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Moss head of brand & marketing Alex Maw on blending tradition and innovation to redefine brand identity

InternetRetailing chats with Moss‘ head of brand and marketing Alex Maw about the company’s recent opening of its flagship store, dropping the ‘Bros’ from its name, and its strategic vision for the future.

Redefining the brand

A significant milestone in the suit retailer’s journey was its recent rebrand, dropping the “Bros” from its name after over 170 years.

However, according to Maw, the namedrop was more than just a superficial shift; it represented a reinvention of the brand itself.

“It’s pretty brave to then change your name and that comes at a great expense as well,” she says.

“We have over 100 stores that we’re gradually redesigning and changing, for us it’s not just about changing the fascia, it requires a whole plan which will span over the next few years.

“But for us, it felt right. We wanted to contemporise the brand and take, take our heritage forward to where we’re going now in the future and Moss felt right.”

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Adapting to change

Earlier this year, Moss revealed plans to expand onto other digital marketplaces, following a 63% increase in turnover.

Meanwhile, the suit retailer also opened the doors to its new flagship store in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, which showcases an “innovative retail concept that combines modern design with timeless elegance, boasting a spacious layout with the updated, pared-back interior style with the newer stores recently opened by the brand.”

As a result, Maw reveals the company is demonstrating a careful balance between embracing digital transformation and maintaining a human connection.

Despite online sales “growing faster than retail”, Moss’ omnichannel strategy works “hand in hand” with each other, and “that is the symbiotic relationship that we’re cultivating at the moment,” she claims.

“Stores for us do remain important. I firmly believe that we are never going to get to a stage of having zero stores.

“People want stores, they want that kind of experience and it’s just about finding the correct balance,” the former Arcadia Group marketing VP notes.

Impact on consumer behaviour post-pandemic

“We benefited from the pent-up demand for occasions,” Maw reveals.

However, she notes that the company has not seen much change in shopping behaviours, instead it has seen a shift in who the company partner with to help carry the brand’s message.

As a result, the company has been actively experimenting with social media influencers, capitalising on the growing trend of men’s fashion influencers.

By strategically targeting key locations, such as London, Manchester and Bristol and partnering with brand advocates, Moss aims to guide new customers throughout their decision-making journey, whether they are looking for a custom-made suit or renting, which the company has seen a rise in.

“Our hire business peaks at the beginning of March and right through to the end of July,” she states. “But, it is on the roadmap over the next few months to have a look at how we can shift our proposition there. There’s no reason why you can’t hire on an ongoing basis.”

However, Maw shuts down the idea of having a social media influencer as a creative director for the company, a move which has seen retailers including PrettyLittleThing and InTheStyle take advantage of.

Future plans

While specific details remain under wraps, Maw hints at exciting plans on the horizon for the brand, as it gears up for the autumn-winter season.

She notes: “The most important thing for us over the next calendar year is to continue to train all our teams, empower our in-store employees and drive our tailoring expertise across all departments.”

However, while no immediate plans are in place, the brand remains open to the idea of expanding its offerings into womenswear, claiming that women are the “decision makers” for occasions such as weddings and proms, events Moss specialises in.

“30% of our customers are women, she says. “We’re looking at the female market as well and at what point can we connect with her at a time of decision making.

“We have a few things up our sleeve. Watch this space”, she concludes.

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