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Branding Project: Ellinor Lindqvist Christina Costa Sabine Kodu


Index Context……………………………………………………………………Page 3 Environmental Scan………………………………………………. ……...Page3 Objectives ………………………………………………………… …….Page 4 Strategy ………………………………………………………………......Page 4 Audiences …………………………………………………………..…… Page 6 Messages …………………………………………………………………Page 6 Tactics…………………………………………………………………… Page 7 Customer Analysis…………………………………………………….… Page 8 Internal Analysis……………………………………………………….…Page 8 Competitor Analysis………………………………………………...……Page 8 Functional Analysis…………………………………………….……….. Page 9 Economic Analysis…………………………………………………….…Page 9 Relational Analysis………………………………………………...……Page 10 Morphologic Analysis………………………………………………...…Page 11 Bibliography…………………………………………………………….Page 12 .

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Context In March 2007 H & M started the brand Collection of style, COS. The chain is a project created by the chairman of the brand Stefan Persson's son Karl Johan. It is his first project within the H &M group. COS is an independent brand and even though it is a part of the group it doesn’t have any visible link to the Swedish brand H & M. The store concept is to produce a collection of luxurious men and women's clothing. The idea is to offer high fashion with high quality fabrics, finish and fit at an affordable price. “Where the H & M's prices stop COS's prices take over. But it will still be high quality at a good price," said Jenni Tapper-Hoel, press contact at H & M in 2007. COS launched their first store in London and the same year they opened a dozen other stores around the Europe, they have chosen locations like Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. Today there are 39 stores and the company has plans to open even more.

Environmental Scan Since COS is part of the H & M group they certainly have the recourses and experience to make it in the saturated fashion market. The production, distribution and logistics are done thru coordination with H & M. The collections are created by COS´s own selection of young designers and buyers. The store locations are carefully chosen and you can find COS at the most coveted addresses in major cities. This makes it easy for customers to find the brand and is a one of its success factors. H & M's has decided to launch COS as an independent brand with no visible connection to the source. This of course has an impact on the consumer 3


perception of the brand. A study done by students at Lund’s University of economics in Sweden showed results that consumers are positively influenced by H & M's choice of moving to a House of Brands and launch COS as a standalone brand. In this article the result also shows that the invisible, but clear link is a key success factor.

Media say that the COS, is H & M' s attempt to go upmarket. Insiders say it’s an attempt to reposition itself after slow sales caused by fierce competition in the "budget" market from the likes of Primark, Tesco and George at Asda. According to H & M their success lies in their product and what they are offering customershigh quality fashion at affordable prices. Of course they have a great marketing and communications departments that know how to sell “ the lifestyle of COS” to costumers. Because this is a lot of what the brand is about. In their stores they display a classic, smart and luxurious style as well as in their own magazine and the garments that they sell.

Objectives The creation of the brand COS is H & Ms attempt to reach a more upscale market. Their focus has earlier been to produce and sell fast- fashion and cheap clothes. COS has a more grown up style of clothing than the bargains that H & M are offering. The H & M group’s objectives are to create a high street brand and to supply customers with classic clothes with contemporary cuts. Today's consumers are becoming more quality conscious and long-term in their buying habits. H & M has created COS to meet this consumer trend. The obvious goal is to reach customers and to sell their product.

Strategy 4


COS is using an interesting strategy to enter into a market that had seemed to be going downgrading, the middle market; that is where brands such as Miss Sixty, Guess, Levis, Diesel, Massimo Dutti are positioned. The concept on which the brand is based gives another meaning to fashion. The COS collection combines the art of details with affordable prices and their business concept is: "fashion and quality at the best price", not forgetting about quality in terms of the fabrics, fit and finishing. COS (Collection of Style) combines the meticulous focus and attention to detail of ready-to-wear design with down to earth pricing; making aspiring fashion attainable to the mainstream. After H&M made the successful collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Viktor & Rolf it’s no surprise the chain reveals this new, design-driven concept with an affordable price tag: haute fashion on the high street. The latest trends show an increased interest in ethical products, and purchasing decisions are not based purely on price. According to trendwatching.com our shopping behavior becomes increasingly "hourglass formed '. Consumers today choose to buy either expensive or cheap products. H & M are following this trend by offering products in both of these categories. There is a growing quality and price consciousness among fashion consumers. The quality-conscious consumers a developing audience in today’s society and has become an important target for brands. COS basically wants to enter the middle market brands with their prices and at the same time they want to eliminate the luxury brands with their quality. As a store they have the chance to grow geographically; set more franchises around the world, but they still want to keep their exclusivity. The future plans are to open their first COS store in Sweden this summer, the brand believes that COS will suit the Swedish customer well. This will be the first store that will be carrying the whole collection for women, men and children.

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Audiences When referring to the public or audience that COS stores wants to approach we clearly see its target. COS is definitely the “future of style for the man on the street”. Someone who will wear COS, is someone who seeks not only for style and form, but also for upgraded quality. Someone with culture, who understands design maybe a little of architecture, conservative and simple when it comes to dress code but at the same time with a touch of being edgy in trying new forms in style. In an article by Winston Chesterfield, “COS Stores: Style and Quality finally Affordable”, he talks about COS as being “a revelation for fashion, because it does not seek to clothe average man on the street, but rather seeks to appeal to disenchanted man of style, the dandy without a tailor.” In the other hand the head of COS menswear design described that the brand “calls to mind a modern man with a big city mindset, who understands and definitely appreciates good style and great quality.” After analyzing all these and observing the people who enter and approach the store, we get a clear image of who are the audiences of this brand; an interesting market with a futuristic vision of fashion.

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Messages When talking about COS as communicating with the audience, we do not see a lot of promotion. Jose Guerrero, expert in Communication and Media, confirms this by saying that, “COS is basically dealing with catalogues and web communication as major visual references. They do not use ads, TV or any other major publicity, but they do use their stores and create major scenarios for their lifestyles, with great interior decoration and window-displays.� And all these are true, as a matter of fact they communicate through their website where they not only show interesting images of their collection, looks and campaign but also have photos of their spaces and a Magazine who hosts them. Interacting with their photos we see that they are quite personal, artistic and pure. By this we understand that COS wants to transmit that their pieces are constituted by neat, clean and modern silhouettes. The brand also emphasizes the spaces in the store. In their website they expose many images of the interior of their stores around the world. Interior design seems to be important in their way of communicating with the public; everything is organized by colors and as you step in you notice how everything has been thought about. Black, white and grey prevail in their collections giving a sober and interesting air. Stores are not decorated equally; when you enter a store in Denmark or Toulouse you will notice that the spaces, lightning is different. This is what they want to project, they are an innovating brand and even though they are throughout the world they know how to adapt to their environment, they want a costumer to feel comfortable, like at home when choosing a garment. They want the costumer to go visit the store so that there is a closer connection with the brand, because that is where all the experience is, within the store. Everything is so neat and well set, with a lot of illumination that you just feel comfortable knowing that quality is insured. They know how to connect architecture design and fashion, because everything as a whole seems to be coherent. But most importantly they know how to communicate with the audience in a more personal way, offering customers a closer relationship with the store and brand itself. 7


Tactics Cos purchase their products from around 60 suppliers, which are located primarily in Europe and some in Asia. The products are manufactured under good working conditions and the brand has a code of conduct. The code is based on ILO´s core conventions and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it includes the following supplier requirements: - compliance with local labor lawstatutory pay and working hours- the right to organize and bargain collectively-a ban on child labor-a ban on discrimination-a ban on forced labor-health and safety in the workplace – compliance with local environmental legislation. All products sold under the COS brand name are covered by the code of conduct. All suppliers of garments and other products that bear the COS brand commit to our code of conduct. When suppliers sign the code of conduct, they also agree to an undergoing audit. This means that COS can conduct announced or unannounced audits at any time. 


Customer Analysis Someone who will approach COS will probably be around 25 up to 50 years old. The style of the brand doesn’t really appeal to the younger audience. The garments are classic and even though the brand follows trends it isn’t that “trend conscious” as other brands. COS is more about the classic cuts and design. Something that is more interesting for a more mature crowd. "It is fashionable essentials, reinvented classics and the latest trends," says Rebekka Bay COS's former women’s wear designer. The customer is probably interested in design, culture and fashion. What separates a COS brand consumer from everybody else is that one seeks for style and form rather then cheap slogans and throwaway fashion. What motivates the customer to buy from COS is that they are offering a lifestyle, you can find a coherence in the way the website, magazine and stores are portrayed. This gives the customers a feeling of belonging and satisfaction.

Internal Analysis 8


Cos is a rather new brand and doesn’t have that much history. The brands heritage is linked to H & Ms past. The brands values are clear they want to offer a product that has been produced under good conditions. The quality of the garments is also very important as well as the design. The characteristics they require for employing is people who are full of energy, have good communication skills, fast paced but detail oriented and lively interested in fashion, design and lifestyle. Basically someone who is willing to make the customers day.

Competitor Analysis Price wise competitors could be brands like Miss Sixty, Guess, Levis, Diesel and Massimo Dutti. What sets COS apart from these brands is their sense for design and high standard in their products. In terms of brand image they compete with brands like Fillipa K and even Acne. Their vulnerability could be that the product they are offering has a longer lifecycle and that may cause customers to not come back so often in search of new garments. Cos is a new band and doesn’t have an established customer base while other brands may have more loyal customers. The fact that the brand is part of the H & M group could be a weakness. COS is selling a lifestyle that is about design and quality the brand image of H& M isn’t really about these topics. When unknowing customers realize the truth the brand may not have the same value for them.

Functional Analysis The relation between the brand image and the product are very close. H & M didn’t think that their new concept could fit under their existing brand and decided to instead build it from scratch. One of the reasons for this is that customers should not associate COS with the brand values that H& M have. The new brand should represent quality, design and timeless pieces. These words don’t really come to mind when you are thinking about H & M.

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When building the brand image everything is carefully thought out. The image of the brand is displayed thru the design of the stores, the employees that work there and the service that they offer. Their website and magazine sell a lifestyle that attracts customers. The product they are selling is part of this lifestyle so the image of the brand and what they are offering are very close to each other.

Economic Analysis COS is all about high fashion with good quality at an affordable price. Any costumer who approaches the brand knows that according to costs; COS is not an expensive brand since it offers well done clothes made of high standard fabrics offering an exquisite and unique style. Their garments lie between 39 Euros and 300 Euros that in our opinion are affordable and appealing. Price examples women: Dresses: From €49.00 to €79.00 Shirts: From €29.00 to €39.00 
 Blazers: From €79.00 to €125.00
 Trousers: From €49.00 to €79.00
 Skirts: From €49.00 to €69.00
 Jeans: €69.00
 Party dresses: From €79.00 to €125.00
 Outerwear: From €79.00 to €225.00
 Leather bags: From € 125.00 to €250.00 Price examples men: 
 Suits: From €250.00 to €350.00 
 Shirts: From €39.00 to €49.00
 Trousers: From €59.00 to €69.00 
 Cashmere jumpers: €99.00 
 Jeans: €69.00 
 Party waistcoat: €69.00 
 Outerwear: From €175.00 to €190.00
 Shoes: €99.00

Relational Analysis The brand does not appear in media that much, they don’t use

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ads in magazines or TV. COS are using their stores as scenarios for their lifestyle, they are displaying their image thru the window-displays. Music, light, scent and the overall design of the store is a way to communicate with people. Inside Cos store Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

The stores have comfortable areas with sofas and armchairs, they offer selected books and journals and provide a relaxed atmosphere. Thru creating a positive atmosphere customers will respond in a good way and understand the culture of the brand. They will have an understanding for the lifestyle that the brand is trying to transmit. In their magazine the band writes about interior design, creative people like photographers, vogue editors, musicians. There is a section in their site under the category things were you find tips about photography books, artists and blogs. These people and different things al fit in under the brands style .

Morphologic Analysis As mentioned before Cos don’t use any major publicity. If you want to enter the press section of their webpage you will have to send a mail to the company asking for a password. There is and has been a lot of secrecy around the brand. The Secrecy has had a positive effect and created curiosity and expectation amongst people. This has led to rumor speeding and a discussion around H & Ms new concept. Word of mouth has played an important part in their marketing. Instead of using the more common ways of marketing they are using other ways to communicate with customers. Their catalogues, magazine and website informs us about the spirit of the brand. The photos in them are artistic and quite personal. Instead of having a big logo COS is more subtitle something that can bee seen in their website.

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To have good locations for Their stores are part of the strategy since they are using their stores as the main advertisement for their brand. People will easier find their locations and the window displays will attract customers. They have stores located at the best addresses around Europe. The flagship store was opened on Regent Street, in the heart of London's shopping district. William Russell a well-known architect that also designed stores for Alexander McQueen designed it. The design of the stores is influenced by mid-century modern Scandinavian design. According to William Russell’s it is a reflection of his own love of Scandinavian design and H&M’s corporate home Sweden. The clean, modern design of the stores sets the tone for COS as a brand. The design is important also for the shopping bags. They function as advertisement for the brand. Even if they don’t always have big logos the design itself attracts fashion conscious people

Bibliography

http://www.fashionbeans.com/collections/cos-clothing-the-future-of-highstreet-menswear/ www.cosstores.com/ http://www.hm.com/fi_sv/finansiellinformation/pressmeddelanden/__prfashio n.nhtml?pressreleaseid=388 http://www.catwalkqueen.tv/2006/11/shiny_tv_at_hm_.html http://www.mensflair.com/shopping-guide/cos-store-style-quality.php http://pentagram.com/en/new/2007/03/new-work-cos-collection-of-sty.php 12


http://www.hm.com/gb/press/pressreleases/__prfashion.nhtml?pressreleaseid =388

http://www.monocle.com/sections/design/Web-Articles/HMs-Collection-ofStyle/

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Branding Project COS  

Analysis on communication

Branding Project COS  

Analysis on communication

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