Gieves & Hawkes is a heritage British apparel brand with over 200 years of history, occupying an ultra-luxury position globally, and is known for delivering the highest level of craftsmanship and personalised service. In China, Gieves & Hawkes recently launched a premium optical lens line – a global first for the brand.
Red Bridge was tasked to establish a positioning for the lens line that clearly communicated the product differences to retailers and customers, whilst upholding the authentic heritage of the brand.
China’s optical lens market is dominated by strong international competitors from Japan and Germany who have a long history of lens manufacturing, high level of technological innovation, and established relationships with retailers. While Gieves & Hawkes enjoys a celebrated heritage in the fashion world and a transition into glass frames should potentially be easy, it had no credibility in the highly technical world of vision care.
How could we create a proposition for the lens product line that seamlessly connects with its apparel brand heritage and creates a white space within the optical lens market that it can own?
Red Bridge undertook extensive research into the optical lens market utlising both desk research and qualitative findings from interviews with market stakeholders, including retailers and consumers. From this we identified four key insights from which to build our positioning strategy:
GROWING CONSUMER SOPHISTICATION
As more Chinese consumers are becoming near-sighted, there is an increasing demand for high quality premium lenses from both near-sighted consumers, as well as parents with near-sighted children. This demand is pushing consumers to research their options, thus creating an opportunity for increased brand awareness amongst leading lens brands.
There is limited brand affinity in the optical lens market. Even leading brands such as Nikon and Zeiss, who enjoy greater brand awareness, focus their messaging on the functional values of their products and price.
POINT OF DIFFERENCE
Although Gieves & Hawkes does not have its own manufacturing capability as its competitors do, through its extensive network of international vision care specialist partners, they offer the highest degree of customisation in the market.
APPETITE FOR BRITISH LUXURY
Loved for their seamless integration of tradition and innovation, British luxury brands have long held aspirational appeal in China. With movies such as James Bond reinforcing the unique sense of British style and sophistication and luxury brands such as Range Rover and Burberry continuing to lead their respective categories in the areas of design and innovation, the equity of British heritage brands has continued to grow.
Reiterating quintessential British-ness.
THE STRATEGIC APPROACH
To create a differentiated positioning in the market we identified the opportunity to turn the standard optical lens proposition on its head; focusing on the emotional attributes of the respected Gieves and Hawkes brand – its British heritage and proven focus on craftsmanship and innovation – underpinned by the functional attributes of the products.
Core to this proposition was to focus on the brand’s ability to customise. Aligned with the global brand’s proposition of tailoring, it played to Gieves and Hawkes craftsmanship and innovation story, while instantly differentiating and elevating the brand above its homogenised competitors.
Quite simply we positioned Gieves & Hawkes as Haute Couture and everyone else as Prêt-à-Porter. This tailor-made proposition was then supported by the best in class technology and craftsmanship offered by the partners, the stringent quality check procedures required to realise this high level of customisation, and the attentive service that transforms a regular optical lens prescription procedure to a personalised journey.
And of course we continued to reiterate the quintessential British-ness that underlined every piece of the brand delivery in terms of attentive service, design, craftsmanship and innovation.
Embodying hundreds of years of tradition.
THE BRAND POSITIONING
Gieves & Hawkes embodies hundreds of years of British tailoring tradition, to realise a uniquely classic and crafted journey in every pair of tailored lenses.
Gieves & Hawkes 镜片品牌传承百年英国定制文化, 实现高级私人定制视光学之旅.