28 April 2012

Opinion: Equipment the brand.

A random thought that popped into my head late one night:

As daily fashion consumers we are always asking- "How much?"

Correct pricing is a huge determinant on a brand's success. I give you the example of the brand, Equipment. They specialise in blouses, tunics and shirtdresses in which their designs are rather plain and simple. You could get the same thing from a variety of different department stores for about 75% cheaper (with reasonable quality), but what I'm saying is due to Equipment's premium pricing strategy, shoppers are now perceiving the brand as the new 'IT' label for button-up blouses. To help this along, Equipment have gone so far to include the words 'Signature Blouse' in their product titles to truly cement the brand's desire to be your staple wardrobe piece. I'm sorry but marketing fascinates me.

I've seen a few posts on Harper & Harley's blog now about these blouses and I've even included one on my wishlist once before, but really... it's just a blouse with a ridiculous price tag on it.

I'm yet to own an Equipment piece and I'm sure the quality is luxurious, but I still can't justify spending $200-$250 on a simple blouse. And yes I can afford it, but I would much rather buy the same thing at Topshop or H&M for $50.

What about you?

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  1. I definitely agree with you. Sometimes, I fall into those marketing schemes myself (even though I'm actually studying marketing haha), but the mark-ups are pathetic. I can't justify spending over $80 on a blouse, which is why I resort to websites or stores like Yes Style, H&M, and sometimes Zara. I can say that my tops from Yes Style have lasted longer than anything else. I'm glad that you decided to share this post because I don't think people realize the money that they're wasting on a piece that probably costs less than $5 a piece to make.

  2. I've had a plain white and plain black Equipment signature on my wish list for ages now, but I'm also struggling with the price tag.
    On the other hand, they have precisely what I am after, and I haven't been able to find those characteristics in any chain store item.
    Dilemmas, dilemmas...

  3. I totally agree with you. Although it'd be nice to indulge in something as luxurious as a $200 blouse, I just can't justify using that much money on something that is readily available at a lower price...

    xx Nicole

  4. So true! I absolutely adore your blog by the way- following!
    I just launched my new blog! I would love it if you checked it out. x

  5. WOW i love the shirts! i feel that prices like $200 is more justified for pieces like bags and shoes :D

  6. I just did a marketing exam this morning, so this post is quite timely, haha! I think that studying marketing has given me a real appreciation for the tricks that can be used to influence consumers. I've never touched an Equipment blouse, but I'd love to be able to wear one for just a day to compare it to the blouses I have hanging in my wardrobe at home.


  7. I definitely love equipment blouses for their simplicity and perfect fit but like you refuse to pay such an absurd amount for a simple blouse. an alternative I found is scoring these shirts on sale (believe it or not I see these pop on sale every week via shopstyle) and eBay has a ton up for a fraction of the price.


  8. So True, so agree with you!! It is so ridiculous!!
    But marketing is working, the prove, so many girls dream to have one!


  9. I totally agree ! ! nice blog btw !

  10. It's like you read my mind! I was actually considering taking the plunge and purchasing an Equipment blouse this week, because I really need a good blouse in my wardrobe. I had decided that A) they seem to be the most talked about label for blouses at the moment, and this must be for a good reason and B) I was too lazy to search for alternatives.

    Luckily I changed my mind, because despite wanting one really badly now, I would be sure to regret spending upwards of $200 on something that, soon enough, I would spill my coffee on or that would fade in the wash just like any other item of clothing. Premium pricing definitely works magic for a lot of brands, so if Equipment can pull off the status/image and offer good quality items, they deserve the bigger price tag - but they just don't deserve my few and hard earned dollars!

    Here's to Topshop! xx

  11. You read my mind!I love the equipment striped blouse and I have always wanted it but I feel like it is overpriced for a plain shirt that you can pick up at Zara and H&M.It is so ridiculous and even if I had the money to afford it,I would rather invest in a pair of shoes that the blouse that could be purchased somewhere else.

  12. I agree, but on the other hand I do have to admit I find myself buying these kind of products. H&M are probably 50% of my basic wardrobe, but there are some products they're super on, and others which sadly can't compare. I guess that often is due to the creating process... if it becomes to expensive to do it the right way, they will have to do some shortcuts. And if that is the case, I rather spend a little more on one piece, instead of one in 4 different colors, if you know what I mean. But yes, it's way overpriced- which annoys the crap out of me. it seems you either have to go budget or lux, why can't it excist something in between, with more resonable prices ...

  13. I don't have a topshop or hm around me. So I'm stuck with club monaco (about half the price of equipment shirts). -.- I would always opt for the lesser of evils, or 3 nice shirts instead of 1 expensive one for the same price.

    Whether it costs the company 3 dollars to make a shirt and then add in the cost of advertising and promotion, they still make quite a hefty sum. This is just the reality of the brand name and value/equity that is built up and then measured and even put on financial statements. Pricing strategy is just one part, albeit the most important too.

    My guess is that when developing countries (emerging markets) become more developed (increase human rights, healthcare, education), more markets will be tapped (which have over 4 billion people). Once these people have some spending power, lets guess which companies will be more successful in these countries? HM, Zara, Topshop of course! The lower (reasonable) priced products will win and some companies will have to terribly consider their pricing strategies.

    But hasn't that already happened? Yes. Since the recession we have noticed big labels making changes, marc by marc jacobs, michael by michael kors, etc. There are so many now. People will pay a lot for a brand name too. It is only a manner of time until those people in the developing countries gain enough spending power to afford big brands. (In fact China is a prime example of this and the luxury goods market).

    This is long I realize.
    Only you could do this to me! lol...
    I majored in international business, love marketing though.


  14. Thanks for such an insightful comment Leah! I also studied international business and international marketing so I completely get what you're saying.


  15. I own an equipment blouse in abashed silk, and I have to admit I seldom wear it as I'm afraid of ruining it. It's also very heavy, so too warm for summer. I have Karen walker blouses which cost more, in interesting prints which are lighter and easier to wear. While I do love the range they have, I agree, you can get something in a similar or exact style for a lot less. I found a blush blouse at Marc's for about $160 NZD which is better forme than paying $260 NZD or more for one of theirs.

  16. I love this style and I'm sure the quality is amazing. I rather use those 200 dollars towards buying a bunch of amazing items from stores like Marshalls and H&M. Or use that money for traveling.

  17. Marketing fascinates me too! Anyway, I get what you're saying here and I definitely agree with you. It's hard to justify spending so much on a plain shirt. On the other hand, if it had an amazing print...goodbye money.

    I still want to own something by Equipment one day, but I'll probably be looking for it on ebay or during the sales. My bestie actually bought two Equipment shirts for $60 during an online sale x

  18. Hey there, can you pretty please help me! How do you shop at places like H&M and Zara from Australia? I have no idea how to do it :(
    Thank you so much!
    Love your blog and style

    1. They don't have an online store and don't have stores in Australia so you can't. I only have items from there because I've been overseas, sorry! x