Today, consumers around the world in general are strongly brand-oriented: a brand is important in absolutely any category where there is competition. If there is only one down jacket hanging in front of the buyer in the store, he is really likely to buy it. And if at least two options close in price are available, they will choose, and the role of the brand is already growing here.
Clothing and footwear is a segment with historically high competition, where there are strong players who spend significant budgets on marketing and promoting their products. Now, with the departure of some foreign chains, we are seeing a massive attempt at a forced brand change, when the company is trying to come up with a new version of the name for the store, often confusingly similar in sound. But I do not think that such experiments will be successful. For example, instead of Starbucks, Stars Coffee began operating with a similar logo. This approach could work in a fifth world country, but Russia is already too developed a market for such an option. In many cases, it is now better to create a fundamentally new brand that will become a leader, not a follower. Its positioning also needs to be built differently. For example, proceed from the following premise: “We are not a clone of Zara, but better than Zara.” I believe more in new Russian concepts, rather than the forced change of signage from old players. Perhaps it was difficult for some local brands to develop due to the high competition of international chains, but now they will get such an opportunity. An interesting moment has developed on the market when the success of a brand is determined not by the budget allocated for its promotion, but by the concept. If there is a high-quality idea, an emotional component, a correctly chosen price niche, it can turn out to promote a brand very quickly today. But mass advertising on federal channels is unlikely to help. Despite the departure of many foreign advertisers, the costs of TV promotion remain too high and the effect may be negligible. Some Russian clothing brands used to choose and now prefer foreign names that are not associated with our country. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, in this case it really depends on the product. Sometimes it is important to emphasize the local origin, the connection with Russia – this can be important for popular food products, such as milk or sour cream. And in the case of clothing, the creators of the brand often want to bring some poetry to the brand, choose, for example, an Italian name. This is familiar to consumers and has nothing to do with attempts to misinform them. A strong brand, in principle, can appear only when it carries something new, its own idea. This will help not only compete with other manufacturers, but immediately free up space on the shelf. In marketing, in principle, it is important to be different, to be different. And for this, you first need to try to look at familiar things from a new angle. And then the business will have two options for the development of events. The company will either hit a goldmine with the invented brand, or its product will be unclaimed, in which case it is better to try something else. How the departure of global brands affected the Russian clothing market