- May 15, 2015
- Reaction score
I think one of Filson’s Unique Selling Propositions (borrowing a term from my MKT101 class) is that it is Made in America. RL may be built around the appeal of classic/traditional American attire but I don’t think the actual place of manufacture figures as prominently among the brand appeal. It’s not so much about ‘authenticity’ with RL but capturing and selling this mythical preppy mid-century American style to a broad consumer base. Mind you, it is challenging to talk about RL as a single brand as they have so many sub-brands from Chaps to Purple Label with different price points and retail outlets.I wonder if there is also a problem here for brands like Filson in the perception of value vs luxury? Ralph Lauren or Belstaff have managed to justify their margins via marketing and brand management without needing to maintain all production in USA / UK respectively. But they are viewed as a luxury brand, both by their wearers and by the public at large.
Filson is different. We might see it as luxury (or not) - but we are atypical in our understanding. The general public doesn’t see a Filson bag and think of it as much more than a nice canvas bag - and certainly not above a Gucci or even Coach in terms of quality and materials.
So how does Filson grow, maintain and extend brand value whilst sustaining the original quality. It’s a very, very fine balance.
One option is sub - branding - Eg Polo CS Purple Label for RL. Another is lower end of the market items that are better quality than TK Max but less than the flagship, and can serve as an intro to the heritage and provide and up sell pathway.
And so we have Filson T-shirt’s in all varieties, Dryden bags, etc etc. All made quite well, but without the costs.
Complicated stuff, and not something I criticize Filson for. I’m just glad many of the classics are available, and some of the new stuff is also great - ultralight jacket for example.
Now, excuse me, I need to go and work on the patina of my 1994 hunting vest...