The iconic Australian retail brand Jeanswest has appointed KPMG as voluntary administrators after announcements were made last week about its collapse. Established in 1972 and employing nearly 1,000 people, the clothing retailer is now looking to restructure or sell.
What is striking about this announcement is that a 48 year old household brand like Jeanswest can be here one day and gone the next. Although KPMG state that Jeanswest will continue to operate while an urgent analysis is conducted.
For any brand or business owner, this kind of news must create a sense of unease. Being well established doesn’t always ensure continued success. Employing hundreds of people doesn’t necessarily improve the situation. Enjoying iconic brand status isn’t enough either. Seemingly no brand or business is 100% safe.
Many factors are involved in a case like this, including the increase in online shopping, increased competition, high costs and changing customer habits.
First let’s look at some common reasons why businesses can fail:
NZBizBuySell lists 5 common reasons why businesses can fail:
At Angle Ltd, with our branding knowledge, strategic and creative skills, we can help your brand with at least three of the five points above:
Angle Ltd can help you to define who your customers are, understand what they want and establish why they should use your brand, buy your products or services. Branding always puts the customer at the core of everything – after all, a brand exists in your customer’s mind as a set of feelings or emotions connected with your business, product or service.
We can help you with a well conceived brand strategy (including customer insights, brand positioning and value proposition). We can design and develop a unique and relevant brand identity that helps you to stand out, attract attention and drive loyalty and success. We can devise appropriate messaging, communications and marketing campaigns that will go a long way towards helping you connect with your ideal customers.
No matter how great your products or services are, if no one knows about them success will be a bit of a struggle. That’s why Angle designs, writes and creates excellent brand communications – online, in print, through social media and via exhibitions, events and signage. The more targeted and relevant your marketing, the higher your chances of success. And not forgetting internal communications – the more cohesive and consistent your team’s understanding of your brand, the better they are at being brand champions and conveying positive brand messages and experiences.
Angle Ltd can help you understand your competitors better – we regularly develop competitor audits for clients and explore brand positioning (where your brand sits in the market or sector in relation to competitors). These exercises help to develop a sound brand strategy and a solid understanding of who is doing what, so you can anticipate and react accordingly. And make changes if necessary.
While Angle can’t promise to make you a better manager, that fact that clients choose to engage with us as brand and communications experts, rather than try and do everything themselves, is a wise move which frees up their time to keep doing what they are best at. And we’ll always aim to educate about good branding along the way.
Of course we have very little direct influence in this matter! But what we can offer is Angle’s non-traditional agency model. This provides distinct advantages including cost, expertise, no hierarchy and no top-heavy teams – just world class people that have all done their ‘big agency’ time. We’ve stripped back the layers so it’s a friendly and down to earth approach that will help your budget go a long way.
Business failure is obviously not limited to the retail sector – a point that has been highlighted in New Zealand over the past 24 months, where the construction sector has regularly made the headlines. Not least because of a number of high profile business closures including Ebert, Stanly Group, Accent, Arrow and Orange-H.
Among our varied client list, Angle Ltd works with a number of New Zealand brands in the construction sector and related businesses:
The common strengths among these clients are:
All of these brands have excellent foundations in place, including effective management, a strong financial position and well developed and communicated brands. We help them to connect with their customers effectively, communicate consistently and in a unique, relevant way. A way that will hopefully see them continue to successfully build for many years to come.
If you want to build a strong, competitive brand, contact Angle Limited.
We are a full service branding agency with a solid track record of branding projects. We deliver the full package of skills that you need to get your brand fighting fit. Find out about our branding services and how we use branding as a powerful business tool or contact us, we’re experts with a down to earth approach.
Rob Holloway is the Owner & Creative Director of Auckland branding agency, Angle Limited. Angle has clients in NZ, Europe & Australia. Our point of difference is our ability to create a point of difference for our customers. We help people grow successful brands by making them stand out, by solving problems, building customer loyalty and driving results.
Read more about the Jeanswest story here in the New Zealand Herald.