Handbag company Coach is trying to reinvent itself as a lifestyle brand, complete with clothing, watches and shoes.
But there's one troubling aspect to Coach's plan.
Unlike competitors Tory Burch and Michael Kors, Coach doesn't have a larger-than-life designer to build its brand around, Cotten Timberlake at Bloomberg News reported.
As a result, the company will have to pay more for marketing. Even then, it's quite possible that the brand won't connect with consumers, Timberlake writes.
"The question is where is the authenticity going to come from?,” Jeffry Aronsson, a fashion brand-builder told Timberlake. “A brand is a reflection of the person who is leading it, that provides the authenticity, the foundation of a business.”
The founder's identities are key to lifestyle brands.
Ralph Lauren evokes a British country estate in his marketing, while Kate Spade appeals to a city woman. Michael Kors identifies himself as a jet setter. Tory Burch relies on her image as a busy single mom.
Without a clear leader, Coach could face an uphill battle marketing a lifestyle brand.
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