Aaron Gray // Greater Returns

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Musings on Web Analytics, product strategy + other stuff.

Eddie Bauer Embraces its Inner Male

Eddie Bauer is another example of a brand that got big, then moved away from its position in an ill fated attempt to expand and paid the price in declining sales. In 1996, prior to the brand expansion efforts, Eddie Bauer had sales of $430 per square foot according the the Puget Sound Business Journal. That had declined to $250 by 2006. The expansion efforts included moving to dressier lines and more women’s clothing, and abandoning the rugged outdoors position that made the brand so powerful in the first place. Stick to your position, or watch it erode and die.

As a clothing retailer, Eddie Bauer owns “outdoors” in the mind of the consumer. Straying from that proved disastrous. It appears that CEO Neil Fiske wants to return the Eddie Bauer brand to the rugged outdoors, where it came from.

Hooray for Neil! This will be another interesting turnaround to watch along with Starbucks. Interesting that both are taking place in Seattle. Don’t know if that means anything, but it’s nice to see this stuff happening in our own back yard here in the Pacific Northwest.

Filed under: Marketing, Positioning

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