Brand-nascent retailers are creating new ways to help customers find and wear what their self-brand positioning demands. An example is the current trend in “brandventure” activewear, chosen to show one’s adventure choices. There are now more websites and retail stores that feature specific outdoor adventurewear — with tempting outdoor travel ventures. Inasmuch as adventure tours are the fastest growing travel preference in the world — designers and retailers are working in tandem to provide nascent adventure fashion brands that incorporate tech assets for self-image and outdoor performance.
Sports brands are “nascenting” as well. These brands are creating high-tech wear that can focus on a single sport or adventure. Passionate sports aficionados are choosing retail to blend their love of the sport with a business opportunity. Specialization of this sort creates a brand with a pro-sport positioning that can encourage customer segments to buy more of its customized high-end apparel and related sports gear.
Another nascent tech is “mood-minding” technology that can bring together like-minded customers for similarly desired store experiences and products. Some future labs are experimenting with the customer-driven surveys to learn more about their interests and desires. This nascent tech also uses RFID (Radio Frequency ID) chips in the apparel tags to hold relevant data on a selected sport and its sport-customized apparel. Soon we will see the blending of this data to further service the customer.
These new technologies also lead to new experiential options for retailers to offer their evolving customer segments. It will be vital for retailers to strike a balance between nascence that provide high tech experiences and apparel aligned with their customers’ preferences. All the while, choosing the appropriate sports environments and atmospherics with inspiring mood-enhanced lighting and background music.
And of course, there will be nascence that re-defines luxury fashion. Some volume brands are starting to emulate luxury brands, forming their own alliances with well- known artists and designers. They are co-branding with design creatives to develop “brand-nascence” that will promise more uniquely self-styling items and personalized experiences:
We might ask: Is this new retailing or old retailing? Some of us remember when store owners and buyers knew their customers wants and needs and searched the markets for just the right products. Passionately delighting their customers and bringing them back for more. There seems to be a resurgence of that passion in these single-sport stores — and we are delighted!
Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.