For some brands, turning the focus internally to the merchandise or service is more than simply improving the business; it’s a strategy for differentiation. While most brands continue to evolve with regard to product, marketing, and pricing to remain competitive, another method is to excel in one of these categories in order to build the label around it.
In previous articles, we’ve discussed companies and brands innovating on marketing; today, we will feature those innovating their product offering as a core component of the business strategy.
One brand that immediately stands out is Serfontaine, a premium denim line using XFITtechnology to offer jeans that are far superior in fit and comfort. In a category where it is typically difficult to achieve a flattering fit and high level of comfort across body types, Serfontaine has used technology to pioneer new advances in a relatively unchanging industry. Stretch denim fabric, specifically, has not innovated since the 1970’s, a rather shocking fact when you think about how many women today wear stretch denim. Using Bodymetrics technology, women can have their bodies scanned as a means for discovering the best fitting jean for them. A testament to the product: when three different Fashion’s Collective staffers, all with different body types, tried on a pair of the jeans, we were all beyond impressed with how they looked and felt. It’s an added bonus that the collection styles, cuts, and designs are exactly what the modern woman needs as her wardrobe staples. Currently sold in Selfridges in London, Serfontaine will become more available in the near future, although possibly in limited quantities.
“Product” can have dual meanings; in one way it is the item being sold, but “product offering” can also include customer service, as people are buying the experience of purchasing as much as the merchandise itself. One obvious brand that has staked a claim by providing superior customer service is Zappos. With an exceptionally wide breadth of goods available, context from customer testimonials, fast and free shipping, and free returns, this brand has overcome any hesitancy customers may have once felt when purchasing online by offering unwavering customer support.
In the luxury sector, Net-a-Porter has provided high-caliber service by presenting virtual stylists, their iconic black boxes, and same day delivery by well-mannered gentleman in cities like New York and London. Armed with a strong array of products and labels, Net-a-Porter was able to rise above competition and position itself as the premier online destination for luxury fashion, all based on a higher level of goods and services.
Innovating on merchandise is not necessarily an initial business strategy, but more of an ongoing commitment to always be ahead of the industry. After all, if your brand is known as the leader with the most advanced product offering, it is increasingly important to maintain that status even as the industry moves forward.
What other brands come to mind when you think of superior product offerings? We would love to hear your thoughts!
All articles are reviewed and copy edited by Gina Conforti
Photo Credits: Bodymetrics scanning technology, courtesy of Newlaunches.com