Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Have An Attitude Not An Ad.

Last year I told you about the local couple who built a clothing chain with a turnover in excess of £100 million while having no marketing department and never running an advertisement.

Today Ray Kelvin founder of clothes retailer Ted Baker (market capitalisation £250 million) declares a similar approach in a very rare interview.

..we don’t do valuations and market research; we have an attitude rather than a target market and we don’t advertise. We have a Ted Baker culture instead; people come into the shop and get Ted-ucated. If customers feel like they have discovered a brand themselves, they become much more loyal.

Is this uniquely applicable to the UK clothes retail market? I don't think so.

6 Comments:

Anonymous fredrik sarnblad said...

How refreshing! I love the "we don't do valuations and market research; we have an attitude rather than a target market and we don't advertise" bit. Fantastic! Luckily, Ted Baker has a shop in Singapore as of last year. Great stuff with price tags to match.

2:00 PM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Tom said...

The UK clothing industry is full of market traders - turned big boys and Ray Kelvin is one of them.

They run their shows the way THEY WANT TO RUN THEM - and as a result you get two things:

1. This refreshing 'attitude' around the label
2. A lot of companies going bust when they get to a certain size.

Ted Baker got a very, very savvy money man and a big load of VC backing at a point in this development - and Ray let these people take the decisions relating to that whilst he continued to stamp his personality onto the brand.

So what am I saying ? Well, you decide. One thign I am saying 'though is that I heave heard all these stories about Ted Baker being a mad company - I've never visited a head office like theirs, that's for sure - but I've never seen the differentiation in their product myself, OR in their brand presentation to be honest.

The clothing is dull and undifferentiated from others in the same market such as Top Shop and Peter Werth etc - in terms of style, price point, channel etc.

But they ARE really, really successful - so clearly either I'm not in tune with that slice of the industry, or I'm missing something.

I reckon it's the latter - and I sense the reason for their success is through leveraging finances and achieving growth and distribution etc.

5:16 AM, October 03, 2007  
Blogger john dodds said...

Tom - I'm not sure I disagree with you except in your interpretation that they claimed to be a mad company in terms of their business savvy. You don't succeed in retail without being very hard-nosed.

As for their style or otherwise - I personally think they'r a little more stylish than those you name but we should both bow to Fred on this as he is renowned as Cynic's pin-up boy and fashion icon. Though what his bosses will say about him being impressed about not advertising I don't know. Well actually I do and Fred's used to it.

9:37 AM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The material and fabrics used to make a Ted Baker shirt is like nothing else out there. The quality is staring you in the face and comparing it to something from Topshop is an insult to fabric.

9:31 AM, October 09, 2007  
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