Herschel Supply Co. Marketing Strategy
To develop an in-depth and clear understanding of Herschel's entry into North America, specifically 1) brand positioning (vs. Europe), 2) assortment and pricing strategy, 3) distribution choices, and 4) performance.
Herschel Brand Positioning
- Founded in 2009, Herschel Supply has propelled its brand to global status and currently, it sells millions of bags in more than 45 retail outlets globally.
- From its inception, Herschel Supply Co. designed and positioned its brand to target teenagers, especially school and college teenagers. In this regard, the company established itself with the hip kid and continues to target this demographic. Likewise, Herschel Supply Co. also established cool collaborations based on its smart retail strategy and intelligent placement among influencers on Instagram.
- The company capitalized on positioning the bag as the "well traveled" backpack. The founders have been traveling and visiting new places to increase the brand's exposure, in particular, they visited many trade shows in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and adopted the “Well Traveled” positioning, which they started by asking individuals with the travel bag to share their stories and images from their travels to its blog.
- At trade shows, the team spent time blowing up their bags to make them look perfect. Importantly, the team made sure that their products looked great, and well-positioned as an ideal traveling backpack.
- While Herschel did not start by opening retail stores, it forged partnerships with high profile stores, including Colette in Paris, Selfridges and Dover St. Market in the U.K., American Rag, Urban Outfitters and Nordstrom in the U.S., Harvey Nichols and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Beans, United Arrows and Journal Standard in Japan, and Little Burgundy in Canada, etc.
- With the positioning "The Well Traveled," Herschel decided to develop specific product for specific retailers, focusing on unique partnerships that also make sense to both brands. For example, it has collaborated with surf fashion company Stüssy eight times, and used its Stüssy fabric patterns in its bags.
Summary of Findings
Based on initial research, since the founding of Herschel Supply Co. in 2009, its positioning has been geared towards the traveling enthusiast, including sports fans. Importantly, the brand primarily targets teenagers, college students, and backpack lovers in general. The brand's positioning in the U.S. and Europe follows the same concept, hence there are no major differences in how the brand positions its backpacks in the two regions.
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