British shirtmaker reexamines brand, design and international strategy
India’s prominence in manufacturing has had an unintended, yet powerful, impact on one of Britain’s premium shirtmakers. The Pink brand, which has operations worldwide and a headquarters in London, manufactures its signature product in India.
Since its acquisition by LVMH in 2003, Pink has not been able to distinguish itself from the legions of other premium tailoring brands. When manufacture shifted to China, production quality decreased, leading to a less positive perception.
Now, John Ray, creative director at Pink – and formerly of fellow tailor Dunhill – has spearheaded a rebrand that seeks to improve the fortunes of the brand. Renaming the company from Thomas Pink to Pink Shirtmaker London, the company is reclaiming ground it has lost due to poor brand consistency, quality and design strategy.
Christopher Zanardi-Landi, president & CEO of Thomas Pink, says, “Our mission is to be the reference point for British shirt-making, realising our opportunity to expand and develop the business and broaden our appeal across categories. Shirts remain at the heart of everything we do. By paying tribute to the original values of Pink we can create a new and contemporary vision that brings back fun and excitement to shirting.”
In terms of design, Pink is going back to basics. One of the challenges was that the British shirts were no longer made in Britain or comprised of British materials. To shift this, Pink has taken British tailoring to Indian manufacturing. It has upped the game for its Indian manufacturers by blending British design with quality Indian production, yielding an original result: a return to the classic British shirt.
In addition to the product redevelopment, Pink’s in-store experience will be redeveloped and the company has eliminated all of its international franchises, barring those in India, which it is repurchasing, allowing for a more consistent brand implementation across all of its markets.
Ultimately, its a shift in brand strategy and design that is aiming at not being too disruptive so as to be unrecognisable, but still redevelop the brand so it can offer a better experience to its customers around the world.