Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Van Heusen : Evolve Yourself

Brand : Van Heusen
Company : Madura Garments ( Aditya Birla Nuvo)
Ad Agency : JWT India

Brand Analysis Count : #467

Van Heusen is one of the largest apparel brand in India. The brand which came to India in 1990 is on the verge of a new growth trajectory. The exciting new path for the brand is built on the rich heritage that this brand carries.

Van Heusen is a truly global brand. The brand has a rich heritage with a history dating back to 1881. The brand journey started in USA in 1881 when Moses Philip and his wife began selling hand-sewed shirts to local miners of Pennsylvania in a push cart. Later Philips and his son moved to Newyork and began selling shirts.

In 1910 John M Van Heusen from Holland found a unique process of fusing cloth on a curve thus created a comfortable self-folding collar. John Van Heusen and Philips' son Seymour Philips met in US and Philips-Van Heusen Company was created. The company also got a patent for the collar in 1919. ( source : Super Brands)

From there, the brand went on to become the largest selling shirt brand in USA. Now Philips-Van Heusen (PVH) which owns the brand worldwide is an apparel giant which owns iconic brands like Arrow, Van Heusen, Tommy Hilfinger and Calvin Klein.

This iconic brand was brought to India by Madura Garments. Madura Garments hold the right to market this brand in India. When Aditya Birla group acquired Madura Garments, the right moved to AB Group.

Van Heusen was a pioneer in the development of executive -wear segment in India. The brand positioned itself as one for the upwardly mobile executives. The brand positioned itself on the platform of Powerful + Fashionable executive formal wear. The brand introduced the concept of " Power Dressing " implying that the brand users are those who occupy the powerful places in the corporate world.

Along with the aspirational positioning , the brand appealed to the consumers by focusing on fashion.Fashion and Formal wear are seemingly opposite attributes and it is difficult to convince consumers that a brand can have these opposite attributes co-exist. Van Heusen was successful in doing that. The best way to impress the fashion conscious consumer is to innovate. Globally Van Heusen is known for its innovation in their clothing. The brand came out with concepts of Ice Touch, Dura Press etc which reinforced the positioning of Van Heusen as a fashionable executive wear.
The brand endorses the core values of modern, fashionable updated, minimalism and timelessness. The brand targets 25-45 year olds who are in the middle-upper class executives who have a penchant for understated fashion.

The brand captured the attention of Indian corporate through is heavy brand promotion and rich heritage. Van Heusen is now a Rs 400 crore brand with strong presence across the country. The brand which initially promoted itself using the tagline " Power Dressing " evolved over a period of time. The tagline was changed to " Power . Evolved " which communicated that the brand user has arrived to a position of power. Now the brand is sporting the tagline " Evolve Everyday". The brand also successfully ventured into women-wear.

The highly competitive Indian executive wear industry has prompted the brand to devise new ways of growth. The brand launched its range of casual wear under the brand VDot and has now roped in Actor John Abraham as the brand ambassador. ( VDot will be dealt in detail in a future post).

The strong point of Van Heusen is its ability to lead the market with its fashionable range. The high quality , never compromising premiumness ( exclusivity) and understated image has contributed a lot to the growth of this brand. The campaigns of Van Heusen (except for the early ones on Power Dressing) were never clutter-breaking but was enough for the discerning customers to patronize the brand.


  1. nishanth6:56 PM

    Another brand slowly heading towards decline" Louie Phillipe".

    They were always the preferred choice of corporates as executive wear, which i suppose is no longer the same as they have failed to differentiate and evolve within themselves with fresh designs and patterns. And the irony is that both hails from the same family.

  2. This is a very curious move by Van Heusen... I don't think this one ill end too well.

  3. Van Heusen has always been among my favourite brands and its good to hear that they are taking steps to keep their branding alive.

    However I am a bit apprehensive about the choice of John Abraham as the new brand ambassador for V Dot....and I have ample reasons to feel so.. :)

    1. John is not suave enough for the brand. If it was a pair of jeans we were endorsing, John could have rocked. But in a V Dot he would look as odd as Sylvester Stallone in a Polka dotted frock.

    2. John won't fit in (literally). I have seen V Dots, I have owned V Dots and believe me those things are not designed to be worn on muscles. V Dot shirts are usually slim fits which just wont go on John. Technically, during the photo shoot, the p'grapher may have a tough time getting his angles right, which could again limit their options.

    3. John is just not cut out for shirts. Maybe even John knows this. That is why you always see him in Tees and Jeans. So when you are so used to seeing someone in Tees, it will take a lot of convincing on the brand's side to make him look presentable in a shirt.

    Now the above reasoning can be void, if V Dot plan to use John only for their line of Tees and jeans-wear but again that would be a marketing waste..wont it??

    My personal take is I dont see John associated with the brand for more than six months. I may be wrong. But I think V Dot should have got hold of a Ranbir or an Imran. They could have done justice to the brand.


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