Ben Sherman: brand needs a lot of love and a dose of bravery to rekindle former fame
Ben Sherman: brand needs a lot of love and a dose of bravery to rekindle former fame
A view from Scott Morrison

It's time for Ben Sherman to rekindle its love affair with British mod rock

Ben Sherman, sold this week to a private equity firm, has struggled in recent years but it has a rich heritage with real resonance and...

I’m no gardener. But my friend who is tells me that ‘from the freshest compost come the greenest shoots’

In other words, when the situation feels at it’s shitti*st, life revives anew.

So there’s no time like NOW for Ben Sherman to rehaul, relaunch and revitalise itself. Poke through the compost and come to life again.

It has all the nutrients required - great heritage, authenticity and a global audience revisiting everything British.

Its time to create movements and reinvigorate culture 

I do love Venus fly-traps - a natural piece of predatory brilliance. The attraction to the Hoxton fashionista or the mass-market scale and appeal of Debenhams have the allure of warm nectar.

Who are the new Wellers, Gallaghers and Bests and how do you connect with them?

But, sometimes as a brand, if you’re tempted to chase that nectar, you’ll soon feel the jaws make a sharp and unwelcome snapping sound followed by a slow and painful death.

Straying too far from your natural habitat, whilst alluring, is fraught with danger - Ben Sherman should head home first, reconnect with the beauty that created it and made it potent in the first place.

It needs to stop being a story teller of other’s stories and be the story once again. In it’s prime, it was culture, it had relevance, resonance and real power. It has the chance to rekindle all of that, identifying and finding movements that will fuel the brand’s story again. Who are the new Wellers, Gallaghers and Bests and how do you connect with them?

Focus on what makes an iconic product again

Ben Sherman made the right decision a few years ago to focus their offer on shirts. However, the original products were meticulously made with high quality, well sourced materials that reinforced their desire. There’s a clamour in global markets for products that fulfil the role of iconic must haves that are well built and become ’seasonless’ staples. With Sherman’s widow questioning the quality of the product, the consumer will be too.

Dont be safe

With a chance to grow afresh, Ben Sherman should combine the opportunity to strengthen the product with a braver go-to-market strategy - why not make a concerted push into Japan, China or South America? A more premium product will demand a higher price and, in turn, stronger distribution in these markets now for sustainable long term growth. Whilst the brand may feel like a small acorn in those markets now, rest assured…oh, you know the rest.

Ben Sherman needs to stop being a story teller of other’s stories and be the story once again. In it’s prime, it was culture

Secondly, look at the significant changes in how people are searching for, buying and giving feedback on products. How can Ben Sherman carve its own niche in these times of personalisation, customisation and generative product? How can it reframe it’s business model to capitalise on these increasingly powerful changes to the market whilst adding to its overall story?

All of this needs a tender hand, a lot of love and a dose of bravery - pruning, deadheading and replanting are de rigueur this time of year. Doing so ensures the long term health of your garden.

It will also ensure that Ben Sherman remains a great British brand.

Topics