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Out with Old, In with New - by Nissa Ostroff

Out with Old, In with New - by Nissa Ostroff
07/1/13
by Nissa Ostroff
The latest shakeup in the fashion industry involves clothing behemoth Men’s Wearhouse, which abruptly let go of its founder and CEO, George Zimmer, in a manner that has been described as, “brief,” “antiseptic,” and “sudden.”

We checked out where Men’s Wearhouse lands on the BrandAsset® Valuator model.
Not surprisingly, Men’s Wearhouse landed in the “fatigued” section of our power grid, indicating that though many people are familiar with the brand, it lacks the “energized differentiation” required for a successful brand. This quadrant is often a black hole; few brands have reemerged as healthy, as they are well-known but lack any kind of excitement or momentum that comes with brands we know and love like Trader Joe’s, Cadbury, or Axe.

So what does ‘Energized Differentiation” mean? It is the brand’s point of difference in a way that consumers get excited about or the quality that makes successful brands desirable.

The media seems to think that Men’s Wearhouse fired Zimmer in an effort to appeal to the millennials to whom business casual means converses and maybe the occasional blazer. According to an MTV survey, 93% of millennials prefer a job that allows them to dress comfortably. Our data shows that among millennials, Men’s Warehouse lacks particularly in esteem, which indicates millennials more than others have little loyalty to the brand and are unlikely to shop there.

It makes sense that a brand that is “fatigued” and wants to appeal to millennials would want a “facelift,” starting with a younger, more relevant CEO.. In an economy where millennials are consistently worried about job security, a company that takes drastic public action by firing its founder is doing more damage with the audience it hopes to attract.

Research also shows that millennials tend to support companies that are socially responsible, trustworthy, and treat their employees well, evidenced by our research from The Athena Doctrine, which showed that the majority of millennials agree that they would work for less money at a company whose values they agree with. For Men’s Warehouse firing up enthusiasm for the brand would have been a better step, rather than firing the founder.

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