It is well recorded that Superdry are experiencing a few problems. Their share price has plummeted and profit warnings have been issued.
Various reasons have been given for the company’s downturn from an over-reliance on staple designs to global warming. One possibility, which I have not heard voiced, is that Superdry products are too good.
Let me explain.
Now, I do not consider myself someone especially loyal to, or influenced by, a particular brand, but I do like Superdry. And Superdry are big on brand. There is no mistaking a Superdry product; no shrinking violet, Superdry; their branding is clearly emblazoned on the exterior, as well as the interior, of most of their goods. But this means nothing to me. I don’t care if someone else knows I am wearing Superdry; equally, I don’t care if they do.
No, the reason I like Superdry is because their clothes are such good quality. Unlike me, they don’t shrink; they don’t fade; they don’t age.
I am still wearing the same Superdry jacket that I first bought maybe six or seven years ago. I wear it practically every day. It is still in as good condition today as it was when I first bought it. It is still perfectly waterproof; it still fits; it hasn’t gone into holes.
And there is Superdry’s problem. If I was going to buy a new jacket, I would probably buy a Superdry one, but I’ve no need to buy a new one while my old one is lasting so well.
While I loathe the concept of built-in obsolescence, it is a business strategy that has ensured the longevity of plenty of companies less worthy than Superdry.
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree is the John Harvey-Jones for the 21st Century.