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History and Strategy of Bench

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,240 Words (5 Pages)  •  16,933 Views

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History And Strategy Of Bench

Manila, PHILIPPINES -- By some accounts, Bench's undisputed success in Filipino retail should come as a surprise. Their Chairman has a degree in interior design rather than an MBA. Their stores sell an improbable mix of items, such as bags of popcorn next to sports bras next to cologne.

Yet the brand continues to dominate the Philippine retail market with 132 stores nationwide and 14 stores internationally. They've won countless competitions for their marketing campaigns, and they are worn across the alphabet by every market demographic, whether by a fashionista who likes Bench Body, or a supermarket cashier who likes their jeans.

In the mid-80s, Ben Chan's first venture was a home furniture store, Dimensione. He began designing children's clothing for his sister and brother-in-law, Nenita and Virgilio Lim, who owned a children's clothing boutique. The pieces proved so popular that Chan started a casual men's line of t-shirts, slacks and denim, under the label Bench, which the trio operated together. A Filipino retail giant had been born.

Marketing

Evolution is something the public has associated with Bench, just as it associates the company with splashy marketing campaigns. "Whenever they decide to do something, they do it big. They put all their resources there," said Gigi Tibi, marketing communications manager at Penshoppe, one of Bench's best competitors, adding that she estimates Bench's marketing budget is probably twice that of many local brands.

Others within the industry agree. Each year, Bench executes several multimedia campaigns to promote the season's leading product or concepts, racking up impressive numbers. A large billboard (50' x 60') along a major route like C-5 or EDSA rents for about P200,000 – 300,000 per month. Bench has many. A 30-second primetime TV commercial on a local network costs about P180,000. A full-page magazine ad in a monthly glossy? Around P70,000-100,000 – but most advertisers buy a package of at least three months in order to make an impact.

But money isn't everything. Yvettes Ang, Rustan's associate brand manager for upmarket brands Salt and Tumi, said Bench has a talent for choosing influential endorsers, a "knack for tapping people who will become big in the industry." She mentioned Brent Javier, now one of hottest models in the industry – who Bench used as an unknown way back in 2002 in a Bench Body campaign. According to Ang, "That kind of recall doesn't die out."

In fact, Bench has become so successful at promoting itself that some customers have pointed out that the quality of its marketing exceeds that of its products, a charge that the company denies. Jojo Liamson,

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