When they fired Men’s Wearhouse founder and executive chairman George Zimmer, they said that “When the founder is no longer connecting or relevant, it becomes very tricky to put a new image on the company“.
I just read an article on Fox Business that spoke of the termination of Zimmer. The article was remarkable, not for what it did say, but rather for what it didn’t say. The real news is centered around what they failed to report. So let’s take a look at what the article said.
So what did Zimmer do wrong?
- Some say he couldn’t, or wouldn’t connect with Millennials and Gen Y shoppers
- the aging brand “screamed value not fashion” (or simply put, it was a Price and Item brand)
That’s not to say that price/item advertising isn’t essential for many marketers. It is. But when your ad is about your price, your brand is about your price. Period.
- “business attire has changed dramatically over the last ten years”..10??? The world is changing daily. Speed and adaptability are essential
- “out-of-touch television ads are just the tip of the iceberg” yep…and Men’s Wearhouse isn’t alone in broadcasting that pablum.
- “Gen Y shoppers, who are looking for authentic brands with a mission” …big Duh moment here…we’re in the “social economy”. We’re in the age of social activism with Occupy Wall Street and dictatorial banishment…what brand doesn’t understand that you have to show you care?
They are shifting focus away from traditional, boring television ads and it’s clearly obvious that they are moving in the right direction to attract and engage with a younger audience.
If relevance is a standard of judgment for business leaders, there are going to be a lot of George Zimmers out there facing the firing squad.
If you are not championing change you are destined to succumb to it. It’s not an if, it’s a when.