It’s the 200th post. Didn’t we just publish the 100th one? Well We’re at least sticking to our word and publishing more and more posts to rock your world. Well, it could be that the posts are not “that” good, but we’re hoping they’re at least somewhere close to this. Unfortunately I was not able to post my 200th edition yesterday as the day and night went by in a flash representing on corporate events. But it’s all good. Today’s as good day as any.
So what will this 200th post be all about? Well I’ve decided that it will be about evolution. Where as we will not go into details of how did a we develop from apes to our current human state I will talk a bit about evolution of brands. I could possibly share more than two lines about evolution of jeans as well, but I guess I will leave that to the next project update.
Evolution is a key to survival, that’s evident. It applies to people, organizations and brands alike. If people are not able to evolve (develop themselves) there is a huge risk of stagnating and after a while realizing that one’s life is really not what one expected. This can happen with a job one’s held for many years or even a house or country one has lived in his/her whole life. At some point you just get that feeling that the walls are closing in on you. The same applies to organizations. It’s very easy to defend the established position at the expense of innovation and creativity. Evolution in an organization can materialize in moving across the safe and sound borders of everyday business or taking chances to bring the business to the next level. Just to remain few examples. The markets develop and move along whether you liked it or not, the key is whether you’re just moving along or taking chances to be the one exploring all fronts? Easier said than done.
What about brands, brands need to grow along with the organization behind it. But with Evolution there is always temptation to take the easy way out doing which can have rather horrendous results. One of my favorite examples of a evolution taking steps backwards is the case of a denim brand which I won’t name. What started as a denim brand famous for innovation, quality and artisan spirit has now become something of a warning example of what can happen if you rely on a brand name alone and forget what that brand was all about. The Japanese denim innovator gained huge popularity among celebrities and common folk alike. Following the success, the brand expanded their market offering lower end products to meet the growing demand. What started as a jeans produced in Japan suddenly became denim produced in one place, washed in second country, sewn in third country, marketed by fourth and sold in fifth. Suddenly the core audience, those who appreciate the quality and craftsmanship were turned off by the brand’s mass market approach and poor quality. Small part of the brand remains true to what they started as but it will be difficult to gain back the support of the general public following the spiral downwards.
There are many such brands out there. The point is that there are steps the brand or the organization behind it can take to bring the brand to new fronts without forgetting what the brand has been all about. Expansion of product categories in the same segment offering the promoting the brand to new consumers in new markets etc. However, it is very easy to sell one’s soul to the corporate devil in hopes of faster growth and bigger turnover. But it’s what business is all about right? Or is it? Now I’ve had several discussions about this topic with a number of people from Corporate suits to Academics but I refuse to believe it’s all just about the power of dollar. What about customer satisfaction, good service, networking, built relationships in and outside business, loved products and brand that makes a mark in history. What about all of these things, surely these are not just pawns that serve the higher purpose of increasing revenue? Is this what evolution is all about? Selling your soul to stay on top?
A little case example at this point. Our beloved The Year Of… brand has retained its niche/novelty approach ever since the dog years first caught the eye of the public. What started as a high-end denim brand has become much more than just that. Moving from denim to apparel, from apparel to accessories and now Sake.
The brand has retained its fan-base by doing what they have done since day one and doing it well. Limited edition goods for those in the know. Products with stories behind them. In addition to the Sake The Year Of the Tiger has resulted in rare collaborations with artist Simon Birch and a range of bags for the Summer 2010.
It’s not the first time the artist is using the denim as a canvas but below is an example of how a pair of jeans can become a part of an art exhibition. The Year Of… x Simon Birch.
One thing that has remained the same since the beginning, is the exclusivity.
This is just an example and there are many more examples of brands that show growth while retaining what’s important and what defines the brand. Staying true to the artisan spirit, different approach and unbound creativity, I would like to think these are the elements that define us and the brands that we carry. Although our business is growing and experiencing changes within and in its modus operandi we still retain the mentality we started with. Sharing the fun and enthusiasm in high quality apparel with everyone interested. It’s a journey that we’re just learning to navigate on and 200 I hope that 200 posts later the we’ve evolved into an even better direction and one thing remains, with your help we can.
One love y’all, I’m out…