Our occasional ventures into oddlots, dollar stores and the like deliver quite special brand extensions and brand licensing. Our tops for today (and we admit we spotted this over Christmas at a Tuesday Morning) were an Izod branded leash and tennis ball set, and a Laura Ashley dog pen.
Obviously, Izod was the sad sister of the “Izod Lacoste” shirt of the 1980s. At a certain point, everyone called Lacoste shirts Izods. And then the licensing agreement went bye bye and Izod had to live on its own without an alligator. Things went OK (well Kohl’s instead of Saks) until recently, when some licensing kidder thought it might “extend” the brand by getting some cash to add it to a dog fun set. Do people with dogs care about a fashion brand ball set? Does the name Izod mean enough to get you to buy the leash and ball set?
The reality? Most WASP preps who might have had an Izod shirt, and would have been predisposed to buy something Izod branded, would have found an old leash purchased at the Walmart, and used some dirty old slobber covered tennis balls leftover from the club.
Dollar Tree has an amusing way to sell Revlon nail polish. You package up surplus Revlon nail polish and then put it inside a separate package that indicates that it is not actually a Revlon product, but it is a repackaged Revlon product.
The back has a clear indication that the Fort Lauderdale company that did the repackaging has nothing to do with Revlon. But it is legit Revlon for a buck.
The late Charles Revson would not be amused. We are, however.
Lite Hat at Target
At Target, the less filling Lite beer seems to be a hip logo for caps. Finally, cheap lager is back again. The Target display, however, did not have any other logos with it; the meaning is perhaps lost if there is no irony. It was just there with other caps, pulling its own weight as a brand, not attracting too much attention. But perhaps it is better than Pabst, which is now slightly un-hip because it was too hip, and only hip if drunk un-ironically.
So is Lite hip, or not? Thank goodness they kept the Philip Morris era logo.
Laura Ashley Dog Playpen
Not sure how you go from Princess Di-era must have fashion and lifestyle brand to licensing your brand to Pet Playpens but we are sure it has nothing to do with a creative team that has sayso.
Laura Ashley truly was one of the great fashion brands; even today, it could do another Lilly Pulitzer, and pull itself out of oblivion by some smart repositioning of its old patterns and looks. It’s a brand that’s ripe for revival.
However, to do that you have to hire a women’s fashion designer with good taste, and a brand policeman that actually plays bad-cop to the money pinchers. Would anyone buy a playpen because its Laura Ashley? Would anyone in a Tuesday Morning value the historic Victorian values of Laura Ashley.
That’s enough nonsense for today.
To address the first and final points, this is again going after rich Millennials. While I had a neighbour my age who did this because due to chronic illness, she could not have children, the rich Millennials, a lot of them, even approaching thirty, still do not act like adults or think they are.
There is also the Recession of 2008, which they came of age in, and does scare them out of thinking they will ever be financially stable–this isn’t just the yuppies, that’s most Millenials. Quite like how my dad and grandparents, who remembered The Great Depression and being jailed for their race in WWII hoarded dry and canned goods throughout their lives, the fear of financial instability in today’s younger adults is something I can understand.
Because of all these factors, they are substituting pets for having children, which means personifying them to an almost farcical extent.
Designer leashes and doghouses are part of this. It’s a foray into serving a fad. As long as they don’t forget what got them a good reputation, there’s no harm in also serving a trend. It might, in fact, bring new customers to the fold of their more legendary products.