When selecting a primary source to produce your product overseas, you must ensure that the “core” compentancies/capabilities of the factory match the “vision” of the Design team and brand as a whole. This many times is where brands fall short, and compromise happens, whether in construction, materials or both. In falling short, you risk alienating your consumer and long term growth of the brand.
The sourcing component, and the development teams ability to carry the “vision” torch are integral to the success of not only the product itself, but assures the overall founding principles of the brands are carried out in each product for the new season. This seasonal process begins with product line planning, marketplace positioning, concept/final design and ends with development, sourcing and final product qualification. This is a difficult, but necessary process, if you are to maintain your leadership position, and stay “true” to your brand. Sourcing with factories that are not component in your product will surely destroy your brand, as the consumers will recognize an inferior product and move to another brand.
I always mention brands, not commodity driven products, as brands truely have an “advocate” following, and their expectations are to not buy a product, but rather live a “lifestyle: (ie. Ralph Lauren..). When you compromise this “lifestyle” through inferior products, the affinity for the brand has dimished and will eventually fade away….
Always bring Design “Vision” to Reality…
Do not compromise your “Principles”…
Always bring reality to the “Lifestyle”…
Enjoy the Ride..!
Bryan Smeltzer is a successful consumer products business executive and entrepreneur. He has held executive-level roles in business development, product, and marketing with some of the world's most prestigious brands, including; Oakley, TaylorMade, Adidas, K-Swiss, Schutt Sports, among other international brands. In addition, Mr. Smeltzer founded an apparel brand, successfully running a profitable business for ten years, eventually selling to a VC firm. He currently oversees LiquidMind Inc., a global brand strategy firm that partners with both start-ups and established brands to empower their businesses to think different, be different, drive a passionate culture, and execute relentlessly.