New and Lingwood destroy their brand?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Geezer, May 26, 2012.

  1. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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  2. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    This is marketing 101 suicide. A well-recognized, bespoke brand being used to peddle cheap garbage.

    Examples of this type of brand name exploitation are everywhere. For example, compare the success of Mercedes vs Toyota. Mercedes introduced low-end/cheap versions of their vehicles. The result was a debasing of their historically carefully-nutured brand image. Toyota introduced a high-end/more expensive version of their vehicles (Lexus) as a separate division. That required a significant investment in a new and distinct brand. The net result is 2 strong brands.

    N & L has a history of acquiring long-established, family-owned companies and then capitalizing on their "brand heritage" by introducing low-end knock-offs of their high-end products. Some companies never learn. The result will be predictable: complete failure and a debasing of their brand image.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012


  3. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    I agree that this is suicide for a quality brand name.

    They should have used their existing structures and distribution network to offer an alternative brand name instead.

    RL for example, did it correctly when they drew clear distinct lines between their different brand names. Consumers who buy Purple label vs RRL have entirely different expectations and the overall brand is not destroyed by really stupid attempts of manufacturers who are dumb enough to ruin their reputation by trying to sell fish & chips in a caviar wrapping.
     


  4. Wrenkin

    Wrenkin Senior member

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    What does it matter? This isn't a large company. They have two outlets IIRC, one in Windsor and the split location in London. This isn't Toyota. I don't think they have an existing distribution network to speak of, certainly nothing capable of supporting a major department store. They get money, and their regular clientele rarely goes to Fraser anyway. The only people who suffer are those who try and eBay items.
     


  5. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    It matters for the same reason other small companies, like Gaziano & Girling or Edward Green or John Lobb or Vass should not turn into cheap and nasty producers of junk the way certain big companies like Allen Edmonds have done.

    Toyota? Are you kidding? Major department store? Are you serious?

    This is about exclusivity, not some concern like whether Walmart might be reducing their range of cheap Chinese trinkets.
     


  6. Wrenkin

    Wrenkin Senior member

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    I wasn't aware that Allen Edmonds was ever so exclusive. Does Vox know about this?

    I don't understand your second paragraph. Somebody mentioned Toyota, another leveraging business assets. As far as I can tell N&L makes money from rich schoolchildren and their visiting parents, tourists, and locals who were once rich school children. Yes, obviously there will be a psychological effect from this licensing on locals and eBay trawlers, but I don't see the business problem. Obviously the markups on Jermyn are crazy compared to the other shops (well, Hackett too...) but how much can you possibly make off £40 pocket squares at two locations? This way they make more money. Maybe it weakens the brand, but what does the owner care, making some assumptions about the present value of that money? Is there so much at risk financially? Or are we just sad about the potential loss of a charming, exclusive, retailer, 10 years from now, for selfish reasons, independent of an imagined business case?
     


  7. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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    Allen Edmonds? [​IMG]

    Are you sure you are even posting in the correct thread?

    The OP spoke about New & Lingwood and the use of their brand name on cheap garments. And no, they do not only have 2 outlets, they have a thriving export division catering for clients throughout the English speaking world for more than 150 years already, especially those countries where alumni from prestigious English schools like Eton come from.

    We are talking South Africa, India, Botswana, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Burma, Australia,The Kingdom of Swaziland, Lesotho, New Zealand, Caledonia, Zululand, Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, St Helena, Canada etc etc etc etc and the list goes on and on, and yes, they even have clients in the USA.

    I think you could say that their influence is considerably broader and wider than anything Allen Edmonds could boast, their name and reputation certainly spreads further across the planet than AE and they have been going for a heck of a lot longer too.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012


  8. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    HoF and N&L have had this arrangement for 3 if not 4 years, the fact that SF has just made this discovery demonstrates how little impact this has on reputations. Moreover in a similar arrangement, which ended not so long ago, N&L "budget" shirts and ties were available from Moss Bros for over a decade.

    Lots of companies in the fashion world succumb to developing a diffusion line of cheaper products. Selling cheap products to the masses can sometimes make more money than selling quality to a niche.
     


  9. brokentelephone

    brokentelephone Senior member

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    Since when is N&L such a great brand anyhow? I love the socks and pajamas. but I'd never buy a suit there....
     


  10. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    Perhaps they're having cash-flow problems and needed to do something about it, by licensing their brand?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012


  11. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    I hate to break your little romantic hearts, but most Old Etonians wouldn't be able to tell the difference between cheap diffusion lines and high quality clothing. Also, I have personally gone shopping with two OEs at a House of Fraser (Oxford Street) - one of them bought some Superdry hoodies, and the other just bought some cheap Polo Ralph Lauren stuff.
     


  12. LeJouvre

    LeJouvre Senior member

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  13. Geezer

    Geezer Senior member

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    I understand the diffusion line/dept store boutique idea (and I agree most OEs are either ignorant of traditional clothes or actively dislike them - often the latter, perhaps a consequence of being forced to wear tailcoats at school). It's never harmed Huntsman to offer RTW, or T and A to be on sale in upmarket dept stores - and firms like Loake and Cheney get lots of sales from being a dept store prestige line.

    But I don't see the logic in taking a prestige shirt and tie brand and majoring on selling suits. Especially not dull boxy ugly suits. And marketing as N and L, not under a sub-brand (N and L Royal Windsor, for example which has a nicely aspirational sound for people who buy suits at dept stores - or one of the many obsolete labels now owned by N and L like Haines and Bonner).

    If they'd done more of the Lewin/Tyhrwitt thing of selling stuff with a sub-Savile Row/self-consciously "English" thing going on (rather like N and L proper's range of long, waisted, slanted pocket, loud odd jackets), I could see that. These things look like they'd be right at home in a discount chain store in Minnesota or Antwerp. They are inconsistent with the core brand. This is the way, on a much larger scale, that Pierre Cardin and YsL destroyed their cachet in the 70s - by licensing their name to be put on any old tat.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012


  14. Stirling

    Stirling Senior member

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    Guess that makes three blokes who don't have a clue about fashion then.
     


  15. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    I believe they sell high end clothing in their store on Jermyn Street and everything else as far away from their shop as possible.

    Certainly not many people outside of London and this forum will have heard of N&L anyway, so what do they have to lose?
     


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