The Academy Brand is an Australian men’s lifestyle and apparel brand that’s known for its clean and classic aesthetic. Established in 2007 by founder and creative director Anthony Pitt, he spoke to Booodl about what makes the brand unique, their marketing strategy and the many exciting launches and openings happening for them in the near future.
ABOUT THE ACADEMY BRAND:
The Academy Brand is a men’s lifestyle and apparel brand.
The design philosophy at Academy is the backbone of how the brand started. The first collection was born based on a gap in the market for easy-to-wear classics that were wrapped up in a brand that customers could feel a part of.
It’s more than just product. Prior to launching the brand the market was experiencing the rapid rise of fast fashion retailers, which specialised in lower-priced disposable fashion and not much else. So the opportunity was to deliver a product that competed with the value proposition but had the added value of a brand story. A brand look and feel that could resonate with customers and that they could feel a part of. There were a lot of guys that were craving this. But they had been forgotten. As such, we coined our core target market: The Forgotten Man. And The Academy was created to be the place that would find them.
ON BEING THE ACADEMY BRAND’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER:
Like any business owner or company director you need to wear many different hats. And my role is naturally very hands on. There are two major sides to my role in the business. The first is the design and development of our collections and the second is the running of the business. The creative side of things is hugely important. It’s important that the brand aesthetic and the brand handwriting are maintained from season to season. It’s my job to set the design direction each season and I am very hands-on in the development of product. That will never change.
Of course equally important is the day-to-day operation of the company. Looking ahead, seizing opportunities and, above all, growing the business. There is certainly enough to keep me busy.
ON BUILDING A UNIQUE BRAND:
I think our unwavering and dedicated pursuit in building a true brand makes us unique. It can be very easy to deviate from your plan or cut corners. We do not. Every decision we make is considered with the brand’s wellbeing at the forefront. Every garment we put out to market, every window display in our stores, every EDM we send out to our customers. They all tell a consistent story, an Academy Brand story. I think that’s very unique.
The Academy Brand is available across three key distribution platforms. Yes we have our own retail stores and online, but the brand was built on a very strong wholesale business which we have maintained and continue to grow. Wholesale is an integral part of our brand growth strategy. But the shopping experience comes back to brand consistency and making sure every touch point for the customer has a brand experience that is true and authentic.
Obviously in our own stores we can perhaps take that brand experience to a new level. There’s more scope to do so. Same with online. But the true test for a brand is how it performs across a wider wholesale base in different looking stores and different markets. This has been a huge reason our brand has remained so consistent. And consistency is what builds credibility.
WHY ONLINE MATTERS:
Online is obviously a huge part of society now. Not just business. So it’s a hugely important vehicle to communicate with potential customers. If you don’t invest in your online business you are quite simply missing sales. No business can afford to miss sales. It’s really that black and white.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY:
What is the key ingredient to successfully marketing a business? Perhaps this has already been covered, but again I will reiterate that for us consistency is the key ingredient to a successful marketing strategy. Obviously the content needs to be on point and relevant, but above all marketing strategies need time to build a result. Or build a perception. Consistency of brand message and consistently being in front of customers builds recall.
There are a lot of exciting developments on the horizon. One of those is the launch of our kids’ brand called ROOKIE By The Academy Brand. This has been in development for some time and I’m very excited to say it has now launched with David Jones for Summer 16/17. We are also significantly expanding our partnership with David Jones that will see the addition of fully customised concept areas across all key David Jones stores. And to top it off we are opening several more of our own retail stores over the next six to eight months. It’s all happening!
Plans for the future? I have said it before and I’ll say it again… “be a household name”.