Issue: January , 2013
Branding of Bangladeshi 'Clothing': Are We Ready?
Abrar A Apu
, MSc www.abrarapu.com
This article is inspired by several news, seminars and conferences recently held in Bangladesh where advices came out tocreate brand image or to improve the reputation of Bangladesh as clothing manufacturer through own clothing branding.McKinsey & Company, Marketing Guru Philip Kotler, Nielsen Bangladesh, severalwell-established research organizationsand renowned experts unanimously have been advocating for clothing branding of Bangladesh. Bangladeshi clothingexport is increasing with an average growth rate of more than 10%. The position of our clothing-manufacturing sector is inthe middle of global textile clothing supply chain management (SCM). Branding clothingof the country means to extendroles of this sector from beginning of the chain to theend (viz. manufacturer to wholesaler and/or retailer or to theconsumers). The roles of brand developer and marketer differ completely from the roles of manufacturer.Here I am tryingto ﬁnd out will Bangladesh be as successful as clothing manufacturer in introducing its branded clothing items? However,branded Bangladeshi clothing meansmore value addition, more foreign currency retention, better payment to the workers,better attention to the Occupational Health & Safety and environment which as well results a better positionedBangladesh.
Clothing Industry, Branding, Integration, Sweatshop, and Types of Clothing Firm.
I would like to address the industry, which manufactures dresses from textile material (fabrics) we put on as 'Clothing industry'.The performance of Bangladeshi Clothing industry can be appreciatedbecause of its export values and employment of more than35 million people, around 80% of which are women. The previous year exports value of Bangladeshi made clothing is in thesecond positionafter china globally. McKinsey&Company, US based consulting giant has addressed Bangladesh the 'next China'and the firm predicted that Bangladesh clothing export might cross more than 43 billion USD by 2020. Research report fromNielsen Bangladesh revealed that Bangladesh needs extensive branding at home and abroad for long-term sustainability of theclothing sector. Many industry experts believe that it is the appropriate time tobrandcountry's clothing sector. Clothing brandingis important for Bangladesh for three important reasons: to create safe guard against increased price competition and transformbackbone industry of the country into global image as France created image in fashion, Germany in automotive industry, Japanfor consumer electronics industry.The second reason is:clothing brands addvalue in products and generate revenue for highprice.The third reason is:people across the world will know Bangladesh as the country of choice for clothing items.The export of our clothing items in the global market has been increasing since its inception. As the country is becoming as an exporter of textile-clothing goods, the country should produce quality branded goods under its own name. It will raise reputation and docountry branding too. Philip Kotler globally known as marketing guru, in the world marketing summit-2012, advised Bangladeshto brand herself through clothing branding.
Brand and Branding:
Though 'Brand' is mentioned to be a trademark connected with a product or producer, it is indeed a perception created atconsumers mind against that trademark or that particular product. A brand can be described as a marketing identity created fora generic product in order to distinguish its competitors(Penman, Textile Branding). Earlier mankind began leaving a mark tosignify ownership of property, membership in a group or clan, or to identify political and religious power that leads today asbrand. Brand name always silently bears a bundle of intangible attributes and among many attributes quality and reliability arethere undera brand name. A country, a place or product can be branded individually, but all are interrelated and finally can becontributed in country branding. A product branding is always more flexible than that of country or place branding. After aproduct has been launched, companies are free to make modifications in response to consumer demand but in case of place orcountry branding, a country can't replace its beaches with mountains.Products can be discontinued, modified, withdrawn fromthe market, re-launched and re-positioned or replaced by improved products.In the textiles and clothing sector, branding can be applied at various levels, most typically at the clothing level. Global textilebrand IKEA and clothing brand Nike have larger revenues than the GDPs of some small countries. Indian origin Raymond,Sitaram, Arvindand etc. are well known global textile fabric brands for shirt, suiting and other form of formal clothing. In somecountries, Indian clothing- textiles and fabrics are considered as fashionable.Positive clothing branding create positive country image. Armani and Gucci premium clothing brands add value to Italian countryimage, in the same way Nike for the USA, H&M for Sweden, Zara for Spain, Hugo Boss for Germany and etc.
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Bangladesh Textile TodayIssue: January , 2013
Branding of Bangladeshi 'Clothing': Are We Ready?http://www.textiletoday.com.bd/magazine/print/5691 of 713/02/2013 15:07