What makes these marketing leaders great?
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines marketing as the activities that bring a company’s products to the public awareness and make these products available for the public’s consumption. Even when a company’s products are good, it is marketing that determines whether they will sell or not. In the world of fashion today, there are global marketing geniuses who keep their companies in the lead. It is interesting to see how they are able to make the public love the trends that their companies set.
Hedi Slimane:Dior’s Skinny Look and YSL Ready-to-wear
Hedi Slimane’s best work in marketing comes from his ability to steer his company towards trends that will captivate the public eye and catch his market’s pocketbook. As creative director of Dior Homme of the House of Dior, he was able to popularize the “skinny look” for men. This was a major change in fashion profiles for men, and it took Hedi Slimane’s intuitive gift to know just when the market was ready for it.
After his successful stint at House of Dior, he was at the helm of Yves St. Laurent’s ready-to-wear collection for men. This was uncharted territory for the haute couture company, but Slimane proved equal to the challenge of presenting a high end line for a consumer base that was used to thinking of YSL in terms of highly exclusive fashion.
Dan Wieden: Making Nike the Right Sportswear
Together with his business partner, David Kennedy, Wieden was recognized as a marketing talent to reckon with. He was listed as one of the top 100 advertising people of the twentieth century, and included in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s top 50 CyberElite.
Dan Weiden’s marketing genius is best expressed by the tagline “Just do it.” It is the slogan that Nike has used for all its products, and it has helped market the Nike line as the appropriate fashion for active sports. He has helped consolidate Nike’s image as the most reliable and desirable look for athletes today.
Seth Farbman: Filling the Gap
Gap’s fashion is meant for the young, but in the 1990s, the company felt it was losing its market share. Seth Farbman became part of Gap in the midst of this scenario, and his leadership as its worldwide marketing director comes with his analysis of why Gap was steadily losing its hold on its market. He saw that Gap had lost its identity and its focus on what made it unique. He saw that creating and selling fashion for the young meant forcefully competing in terms of variety and pricing. Farbman’s current campaign aims to concentrate on value for money, optimism, and fun.
Dee McLaughlin: In Style with Forever 21
Forever 21 is seriously competing with American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Aeropostale, the big top names in young fashion. Dee McLaughlin, in charge of Forever 21’s global marketing, has succeeded in developing a truly compelling brand for the company.
Today, this fashion store has nearly 100 locations globally, establishing popular stores in China, Europe, as well as the Middle East. The fashion department store’s customer base has become broader over the years, catering not just to teens but to young professionals and hip housewives. It is easy to establish proof of McLaughlin’s marketing leadership: Bank of America estimates Forever 21’s sales at over $3.5 billion. Who can argue with success?
Breaking into the world of luxury fashion isn’t easy, even for Slimane, Wieden, Farbman, and McLaughlin. Much credit goes to acumen, hard work and persistence. These marketing geniuses charted a path for their respective companies through targeting, segmentation, and most importantly differentiation.
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Photo: High Snobiety