| Surviving administration is Bench’s first priority. Then, is there a long term future? Because it’s the lack of a successful long term plan that has contributed to this situation.
British Fashion Brand BENCH has filed for administration as of April 30 2018 and arguably, it has been on the cards for awhile. You don’t need to be a Chief Marketing Officer to use Google Trends to see the lack of interest year on year.
Back in 2011 while working for an agency, Bench was a client. A fairly attractive one at the time. You only had to walk down the high street briefly before you saw a hoodie with the chunky logo across the chest. Much like how we see Superdry as the go-to brand today for middle-aged guys.
Dads in their 40s who aren’t ready to completely give up on their youth are wearing Superdry today. Could they become the next casualty?
As an experienced digital marketer in fashion, I’ve made a point of always telling brands the inconvenient truth whether they wanted to hear it or not. Lack of brand growth in Google Trends may not take account of other areas like Amazon – but – it does act as an excellent canary in the coalmine.
BENCH has long passed the point of older men buying their latest styles. The question is, can it reinvent itself for the Instagram story generation?
Snapchat’s greatest strength during early growth stage was that older people didn’t get it, didn’t understand the user experience, and it stopped them from adopting it. Not so good if you dream of becoming an eternal unicorn for shareholders. A perfectly sound strategy if you need to stay relevant to a younger audience.
Although a multi-brand retailer, from a branding perspective ASOS have managed to avoid the trap of becoming the place where only your mother might shop. To the extent that even Amazon in Europe are not taking marketshare in apparel as easily as they did in the U.S.
How BENCH engage with its desired audience in the always online world needs a rethink. First, it needs to survive entering adminsitration.
// Andrew McGarry is a digital marketing consultant and agency founder who can be found on Linkedin when he’s not writing in the third person. //