Call it what you want, "Blue Ocean Strategy", Disruption (BDDP's thang), or more simply, differentiation. In today's busy brandscape, being brave enough to break codes and stand out pays off.
I experienced this last week during a morning of shopping heaven in New York, when I visited the flagship store of Abercrombie & Fitch on 5th Avenue. It blew my mind. I blew quite a bit of cash. I went back to take photos.
Its like no other clothing store I've seen:
Clothing store codes Abercrombie & Fitch
Enter and see clothes -----> Get your photo with a model
Glass windows, clothes on show -----> Shutters: what's in there?!
Bright lighting inside -----> Dim lighting
Music as background -----> As loud as a nightclub
Staff to help you -----> Staff as models
The last point, staff as models, is literal, as I found out from their website. The sexy, six-pack hunks and gorgeous girls in their ad campaigns are cast from store associates. Eye candy example below:
And its not just show and image/sizzle. The clothes themselves seem well made, using good fabrics and nice design details (buttons, stiching, motifs etc.). The company describe it as "authentic, vintage-inspired sportswear, with sexy effortless style". And not too expensive either, so good value for money.
Does it work? Well, on both days I went people were queueing to: i) get in, ii) try stuff on, iii) pay. A bit more robust data on the company's performance from Seeking Alpha : 55+ consecutive quarters of earnings per share growth and 5+ years of 25%+ Return on Equity.
Another examples which seems to show that it does pay to be different.