Fast or Frivolous 2018: How has the brand evolved its channel strategy between wholesale, owned retail and most recently ecommerce to drive global, sustainable growth?

Fast or Frivolous? How consumer brands are evolving, accelerating and evaporating, our flagship report from 2017, charted the rapid changes—but also continuity—that the internet brought to the consumer economy. Pre-internet, the playbook…


Digitized: Away and Goop aim to be digital-first “lifestyle brands,” but they are still just product companies

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


Popped Collars: Ralph Lauren popularized an aspirational, preppy style, but falls short of representing a way of life

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


Blazers of Glory — with Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers

#63. Rowing Blazers brings all the quirks of a blazer to life, quickly growing into a Supreme-meets-Brooks Brothers lifestyle brand. We talk with Founder Jack Carlson, about how the company sprung out of his rowing career and his years-long quest to…


Big brands need to unbundle themselves if they want to survive

Gap, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie and Fitch, J.Crew and Aeropostale have thousands of people on staff, hundreds of retail stores, and complex global supply chains. But having largely failed to deliver shoppers better products, inspiring brands and…


The Off-Price Epidemic

While off-price stores like TJ Maxx and Burlington have existed for decades, the 2008 recession—the biggest since the dot-com boom—incited retailers to turn more heavily to the off-price business model. At the time, consumers across all…


Basics brands are commodities. Why do people keep building them?

The hidden secret of most businesses is that the more boring the business, the better the business—the flashier, the worse. This heuristic is especially true in the consumer goods landscape, where brands run the hazard of seeking attention over…


The Exclusive Product and Collab Report

In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously…


The difference between Brand and The Brand, and why neither are defensible

“The brand is defensible” is a phrase increasingly muttered across the consumer landscape. The challenge with a statement like this is that “brand” usually lacks a definition, further perpetuating an important misunderstanding: people are mixing up…


The Wholesale Evolution Report

In the traditional wholesale relationship, brands sell their products to retailers, giving brands access to captive audiences they don’t need to build on their own. This allows brands to focus on designing and producing high-quality products, while…


Mickey Drexler and the death of a supply-driven world

J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler Confesses: I Underestimated How Tech Would Upend Retail read the headline of a big feature in the Wall Street Journal, which ricocheted around the retail and technology world last week. The piece highlighted J.Crew's…