Scratch N Sniff
Branding Design

Osten Apparel

Creating a New Identity for a Start-Up Sportswear Brand

Osten Apparel Company
Designer and Consumer Researcher
Tools Used:
Illustrator & Photoshop

An apparel start-up was looking for an Identity. The Egyptian brand wanted to emulate the American sportswear model. It required consumer research, trend analysis and research into competitors currently that fill the same niche. The goal was to gain respectability and provide a foundation for growth

Egyptian is the leader in cotton manufacturing  — not by volume but by quality. It is extremely long staple and can emulate silk when woven in fine thread counts. Egypt is also a huge manufacturing powerhouse. Egypt is also a leading importer of knockoff products. There are many American brands available in stores but unless purchased from a brand retailer, it is most likely to be a knockoff. These products don't last and quickly fall apart.  In the process, they give quality Egyptian products a bad rap. American brands come in at a premium price. Because of tariff duties, they are easily three to four times as expensive and well beyond the affordability of half of the Egyptian population. Fast fashion brands Zara, H&M or houseware stores like IKEA also come in for a premium price point but offer no advantage for the buyer.  A pair of Sketcher athletic shoes can easily be over $200. The same shoe could be purchased for roughly $35 in the United States. The reasoning is simple — they want to keep manufacturing in Egypt to keep jobs. Jobs keep an economy flowing and Egypt has the largest population in the MENA region. Items made in Egypt are extremely affordable though can be limited quality. The need as been to compete in a limited market. If the product had a global scope the value could be more in focus

Your Baby is Ugly

The apparel category is a growing category in Egypt. Egypt was behind the world in the health club and nutrition craze. Stores like GNC are currently just breaking the surface (along with pet stores as the average Egyptian finds new economic opportunities. Egypt as a whole is growing — in population AND economically. The concepts needed to deliver on two tasks. First, it needed to convey to the owner/manufacturer that the problem was not just a simple tweak to the current logo. It did not instill confidence in the product. It actually had an adverse effect on me. Secondly and most importantly, it did not stand up against the competition in the sportswear apparel category. A search of what was available proved my theory. The expectation for the consumer for an athletic brand needed to leverage the aspirational quality... much like the Nike swoosh. No amount of subtle adjustments was going to make this puppy work. It had the wrong feel for the apparel category. Putting together a comparison sheet made the argument for a redesign an easy no brainer. The second obstacle was the leveraging the nationalism that is Egyptian without the stigma of made in Egypt

Making an Authentic Brand

The receptivity to new brand options was palpable. It had not been inconceivable that an Egyptian brand becomes the next Nike, Addidas or must have global brand. The new logo made sense instantly. It has a quality aura like an American-made product. With proper manufacturing of the products, it delivers on the "buy Egyptian" nationalism. Positioning the brand to be similar to an American brand is a good short-term strategy. For longer term growth, the brand needed to resonate with "on-trend" support — seasonal colors shifts to inspire a purchase, branding that is targeted to the allegiance to Egyptians and also to inspire a huge tourist industry. Egypt currently is the number one hotspot for global tourism. It is the "bucket list' tourist destination and currently dominates the tourist industry. Leveraging that market will help support the brands global ambitions by making it a must have souvenir item to wear while working out


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