A Most Uncouth Product Development

Source Material: Departures Online Magazine: Desire & Acquire

Many, many of my mid-to-late 20s friends have told me about non-iron Brooks Brothers dress shirts during the last 5 years. I have yet to experience their wonders first-hand, but have been told that you pull them out of the washer, hang up, and then BLAMO, you have a perfectly ironed shirt the next morning.

This strikes me as a product development worth mentioning. Brooks Brothers doesn't exactly deny that they sell this shirt, but they certainly don't mention it in their print ads. If you go to their website, you'll notice that the preponderance of their men's dress shirts are non-iron.

What's most interesting about the word-of-mouth I keep getting is that it's mostly from friends that don't have a history of purchasing their product.  The company's decision not to explicitly advertise this product feature vaguely reminds me of Frederic Rouzaud's (Managing Director of Louis Roederer) comments on hip-hop stars popping bottles onto models. Is there something declasse about not having all of one's shirts dry cleaned? Are they ashamed that some of their customers don't work in private equity? Or are they just choosing not to clutter their ads with relevant information?  (Yes, I understand it's "lifestyle advertising," but some people live a lifestyle that involves begrudginly ironing their shirts every morning, and I'm sure they'd like to be targeted too.)


Caroline said...

I've got one in pink and it's really a great product, but to be honest Lands End makes a very similar style that performs just as well so if you don't care about the label, save yourself the money. LE Price: $29 - $45. BB Price: ~$75 each (the current promo deal).
xoxo Caroline

Hadley said...

They are great shirts. After a number of washes, they wear out and rip, usually near the elbow. But Brooks Bros. will replace them for free. Or at least they did for me.

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