Fashion! A category that fascinates as much to a retailer as it tempts to a 20 something youth. However, admit the fact that the ongoing battle for survival intensifies further in case of fashion retail and a majority of it includes apparel.
In a scenario where modern retailers are trying hard to keep up with the ever-evolving demands of millennial youth, the foray of international brands raking on fast fashion has aggravated the ecosystem. The chase to offer newness and exclusivity has made the brands seek out newer ways to tap the section of super-consumers.
This is where brand licensing has a major role to play. Sensing the immense potential the $740 billion worth brand licensing industry holds, many of the retail giants such as Arvind Brands, Madura garments and Reliance brands have acknowledged licensing as an effective retail strategy to cater to the Gen-Y. Also, several brands like Celio, H&M and Jack & Jones have launched capsule collections of licensed merchandise.
What makes the fashion lucrative for brand licensing is the $40 billion worth apparel market which is second only to food & groceries. Moreover, apparel act as a potential medium to create a consumer engagement with brands, given the decreasing consumer loyalty and rising influx of internet.
For instance, the Guns & roses collection of T-shirts by H&M is selling like hot cakes in India. Retailer Media highlights top reasons that make fashion the best bet for licensing.
Lower entry levels: While other segments as fragrances or eyewear require specific set of expertise, apparel segment offers comparatively lower entry barriers given the standard sizes and not so high manufacturing cost involved.
Pocket friendly ticket size: With price range starting from Rs 899 (for T-shirts), apparel market is quite often driven by impulse buying behavior of consumers. And when graphics of a superhero or any of the popular TV characters adorn that canvas of apparel, the tendency of impulse buying goes a level higher. This is why the T-shirts with logos of Superman and Batman are in trend irrespective of the success or failure of the movie.
Reach to masses: Apparel as a licensed merchandise acts as a failure-proof medium to create consumer engagement for the brands with fashion being embraced as an idea of self-expression. For instance, a Hulk T-shirt makes more sense to a 20 something college going and fitness freak guy rather than an olive green polo neck T-shirt.
Visibility: Brand recognition forms the core of every strategic alliance and brand licensing is no exception as the main motive behind licensing is to enhance the visibility of the brand. And this is why apparel segment works wonders. In case of eyewear, the brand is visible only in form of logo at temples, in case of footwear only a small area is available, but with apparel, an entire canvas is there to market the brand.
Fading brand loyalty: Again the super consumers may or may not be excited about the latest collection of some XYZ brand, but if it is Captain America capsule collection by Jack & Jones or Simpsons exclusive collection by Celio, it is surely going to click with the millennial youth.