Men’s Wearhouse and dropping George Zimmer
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
2 December 2013
Me thinks Men’s Wearhouse needed George Zimmer
Have you seen any of the new TV commercials for Men’s Wearhouse? You know, the ones WITHOUT George Zimmer? I’ll bet you can’t quite remember.
What is going on at Men’s Wearhouse? It seems just about everything is going on except fixing the REAL problem. A few weeks back, Jos. A. Bank tried to buy its biggest competitor (Men’s Wearhouse). Then, Men’s Wearhouse turned the tables and is attempting to buy Jos. A. Bank.
“Now, the brand communications seem younger, but they sure look and feel like everyone else. I guarantee it.”
A couple of months ago, Men’s Wearhouse forced George Zimmer, the company’s founder and branded spokesperson, out as Chairman and consumer focus. At least holiday sales should provide cover for all of this scrambling. It won’t be until 2014 begins to wax that the trouble will be evident.
Men’s Wearhouse needs to rebrand and it needs to begin that process right now. Stealing Share would love to help.
I am not privy to the internal research that seemed to demonstrate that George Zimmer was not bringing the equity he had previously delivered to an older demographic to the 30-something set. But, for sake of argument, I’ll accept that Men’s Wearhouse had good reason to make the move. However, what it sacrificed was a distinctive brand feel. No one else, with the slight nod to Jos. A Bank, felt distinct and different. The advertising agency had captured a tone and feel that was paid off by Zimmer’s promise, “You’ll like the way you look. I guarantee it.”
Now, the brand communications seem younger, but they sure look and feel like everyone else. I guarantee it.
If we were to create the new and important brand for the Wearhouse, everything would be on the table. Logo, name, theme, tone, and theme-line. It is not enough to simply focus on a demographic. Men’s Wearhouse needs a new brand. The new brand needs to represent the highest emotional intensity in the category and it needs to be different and better than the competition.
Right now? Well, it is failing in every which way. I want to see the brand succeed. How? Well there is a process to find the answers and I guarantee it.
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