In the route from the raw hide to the retail store marketing of every conceivable type is used and we both borrow from and give to other industries.
The fragmented nature of the leather industry has given marketing a rocky ride. Nevertheless there are a number of companies doing excellent marketing in the industry, mostly supporting a product policy, but occasionally moving to brand recognition at different levels. Marketing has mainly been viewed as an unnecessary cost, as the tanner romances his product, in the belief that leather sells itself . I well remember John Booth telling me that he was not in favour of marketing unless he could see it "adding a penny to the selling price". Some of this section is based on a number of talks I have given on the subject at a variety of venues. They serve as my views on the role and utilisation of marketing in the leather (and other) industries. The lectures are identified on the bar on the left. Some of my more recent items are copyrighted by scholarly journals such as JALCA or magazines so at the moment (January 2009) what is here may look a little out of date. Don't let that put you off. You should also look for my "cool hunting" articles on APLF News:
and my blog at the University of Northampton:http://www2.northampton.ac.uk/appliedsciences/appliedscience/staff/mike-redwood
It is important to remember that we are mostly working with business to business marketing, and often with what is termed "ingredient" branding". While many of the same rules apply, it is not the same as consumer branding. Consumer activity is at the end of the chain and when you think of the companies involved - luxury leathergoods, sports and all other tyoes of footwear, automobiles - the marketing you see is widely varying and sometimes quite advanced. Look at BMW Mini and their use of the Internet.. Branding of course has a roll in business to business just as it does in business to consumer. And innovators in all part of the chain need to think about the consumers and not just get involved in romancing their own product,