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Understand your DNA to build a brand identity

Roger Wade

Rumours of B&B’s demise are premature. The only disappointing aspect was the lack of good UK indies who attended.

Congratulations to Karl-Heinz Müller and his team at Bread & Butter who, despite the odds and the weather, delivered a great show last month. Rumours of B&B’s demise are premature. I was particularly impressed with the Lock hall, which featured hand-picked heritage brands such as Barbour, Lyle & Scott and Levi’s.

The only disappointing aspect was the lack of good UK indies who attended. I can understand the financial pressures that small shops are under, but surely the key issue for indies is to find exciting new product?

I bumped into my old mate Eddie Prendergast, who founded The Duffer of St George, at the show. We had our usual bit of banter, but it was great to see him back doing what he does best - finding great product and running a quality indie called Present in London’s Shoreditch.

Other retailers would benefit from looking at examples such as Present and Manchester’s Oi Polloi. Back in the day, Duffer pioneered the concept of bringing in exciting new product that nobody else stocked, and it was always exciting to check out the new arrivals on a Saturday. Indies need to build up that same sense of excitement, and offer quality product not available on the high street.

From a branded perspective, it’s good to see my old partner, Simon Poole, doing so well at Luke. He has championed the cause of indies and is living proof that you can still have a good business by selling to indies.

Frankly, I was disappointed by most of the product at B&B; it was all a bit boring and predictable. To survive today, I believe good brands need to be brave and

offer fresh, exciting product. A brand should understand its DNA and what makes it special and use that to stand out from the crowd.

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