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EILEEN FISHER Repositioning the Brand Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2355 2199 Words (8 Pages) Anat Keinan, Jill Avery, Fiona Wilson, Michael I. Norton Harvard Business School : 512085
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Eileen Fisher is a clothing brand in the United States. It was established. Headquartered in New York, the brand came into existence in 1984. With 50+ store locations, Eileen Fisher is growing enormously with every passing year. The major target market of the brand is the baby boomer segment of women in the US. The brand is known for its classy designs embodied in simplicity, grace, and elegance. The brand has always emphasized on natural looks which are completely visible in the advertisements too. The models are usually real women sharing their personal experiences. Due to the above mentioned facts, Eileen Fisher became famous in the US as the brand for older people. Younger audiences could not relate to the brand at many levels and thus the brand lost it there. Eileen Fisher enjoys an amazing response from its existing customers and the brand is known for its high brand loyalty. But the brand does not want to lose on the other segments of customers in the market. Therefore, the case study asks for recommendations for the brand to grab the greater market opportunity. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. How is the EF brand story embodied in its products, stores, employees, and marketing and advertising? How strong is the brand story? What are the core brand associations and meaning narratives associated with the brand?

  2. How healthy is the EF brand at the time of the case?  How do you know? Assess EF’s brand equity, using consumer perceptual metrics, brand performance metrics, and brand financial metrics to assess the asset value of the brand. Is brand equity increasing, decreasing or holding steady over time?

  3. Should EF reposition its brand to enhance its value proposition in the market? Specifically address the pros and cons of the following brand actions: 

    i. Should EF change its existing brand to appear to merging women? Nascent women? Why or why not? 

    ii. Should EF launch a sub-brand to appeal to emerging women? To nascent women? Why or why not? Should the sub-brand include the EF name? Why or why not?

    iii. Should EF stay true to its brand or has it strayed too far? What do you think will happen to the value of the brand in the future?

  4. Should EILEEN FISHER Reposition the Brand to Target the Emerging and/or Nascent Segments? Discuss the Pros and Cons of Repositioning the Brand to Appeal to Each Market Segment.

Case Analysis for EILEEN FISHER Repositioning the Brand

1. How is the EF brand story embodied in its products, stores, employees, and Marketing and advertising? How strong is the brand story? What are the core brand associations and meaning narratives associated with the brand?

Eileen Fisher has a strong brand story. Since the inception of the brand, the management as well as the employees at Eileen Fisher are well informed about the brand’s core values and beliefs. The brand beautifully stands by its core values. The story of the brand is so powerful and influential that the target audience connects to the brand at a personal level. Eileen Fisher upholds the tradition of connecting well to its customers because of its strong values and beliefs. The emotional connection of Eileen Fisher’s staff with the customers has proved to be the competitive advantage of the brand.  

Eileen Fisher is a luxury brand. It sells expensive clothes and has been positioned as a premium brand among the masses. The target market of the brand is based upon middle-aged women, mainly the baby boomers belonging to affluent financial backgrounds. The brand has been really fortunate in retaining its core customers and maintaining high brand loyalty among the masses. The core brand associations are simplicity, elegance, and grace. The brand has nearly been synonymous with comfort and simplicity in clothes. The emphasis of the brand on natural looks has created a perception of Eileen Fisher as the brands for older women. Among teens and younger women, it has been well established that Eileen Fisher is for their mothers and grandmothers. The brand was associated with selling loose dresses and not so fashionable articles, this idea created problems for the brand in the long run. 

The brand story has been beautifully incorporated in its products. The owner of the brand tries to think from the perspective of the customers. The designs of the pieces are the product of inspiration of Eileen Fisher from her own experiences. She would design each article and try it on if it is comfortable for her or not. She believed that the comfort can be felt within and so she wanted to experience things first and deliver the most refined form of each article. They deliver style and grace and yet keep it simple and elegant. Unlike the noise and clutter of the high street fashion brands Eileen Fisher tries to keep things simple and nude. The brand stresses on the idea of natural look and personal comfort. 

The older look of the Eileen Fisher stores are more classical. Adhering to the roots of the brand, the store layout is kept minimalistic with wooden floors and white walls. The store clearly reflects simplicity and sensuality. The employees are well hooked with the brand story. The most valuable asset of the brand, employees, connect to the customers on an emotional level. They thoroughly understand the customer perception and consumer journey of a typical middle aged woman. As per the research, the baby boomers are always looking out for suggestions and advice from the salesperson and the staff at Eileen Fisher knows it all. They devotedly cater to their customers keeping their priorities and preferences in mind. Thus, the employees are well hooked with the brand story of making customers comfortable at their space and beyond. 

The marketing and advertising is closely knitted with the brand’s story. The models with grey hair, natural look in nude make up and flats always aligns with the brand image. They do not follow conventional marketing tactics where brands try to be witty in order to grab the audiences’ attention. Thus the marketing of the brand is simpler with real women with their own experiences. 

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