Duluth Trading Co. Differentiates its Merchandise to Optimize ROI
Google “work pants” and several outlets come up: Carhartt, Cabela’s, Dickies, Duluth Trading and more. Work pants. Opposite of dress pants. Pants that work. Pants that get the job done. Pants that are tough. They all seem to look alike. Take it a step further and explore the pants category at each of these retailers and there’s one that might just make you stop: Duluth Trading’s Fire Hose Work Pants. Out of the dozens of selections in this sea-of-sameness category, this product seems to differentiate itself and, therefore, its brand.
Duluth Trading wants you to know that this isn't just a clever name. These Fire Hose Work Pants are indeed made out of fire hose: “The same great 100% cotton canvas that once wrapped rubber fire hoses, responding to call after call, dragged up and down stairs, pulled through windows, yanked around sharp corners.”
Duluth Trading found a way to differentiate itself from all the other work clothing companies by patenting a fabric and manufacturing process that promotes “supreme toughness and supreme softness” simultaneously. And this isn’t simply a one-product differentiator; it’s a core attribute for their overall brand. Duluth Trading offers Fire Hose presentation jackets, fleece shirts, portfolios, jeans, wallets, belts, phone holsters, coveralls and more.
Duluth Trading knew it had to define its brand differently. It did so by its product development ingenuity (bravo to the merchants!), and even provides customers with a search list of its major innovative achievements: Longtail Shirts, Ballroom Jeans, DTPro Gloves & Gear and F.O.M. Shirts, to name a few. Duluth Trading continues to do its homework by reinforcing its product message on web screens and catalog pages with a serious, work-related guarantee: “We dare you wear ‘em out!” There's no confusing this brand with the others!
Is your brand in a “sea-of-sameness” product category? How much ingenuity have you brought to that category? What's your defining reason for being? Do your customers know?