Product development strategy that diversified assortment to over 50,000 possible variations with minimal inventory commitment.
Defining a product development strategy is critical for fashion entrepreneurs. A higher education retailer was looking to bring its vision to life and produce a final product that meets all campus apparel expectations. We were hired as valued contributors with innovative perspectives on apparel assortments, transforming traditional styles into new and exciting products that excite the campus community.
The client managed 1200 schools and each school had a lot of teams and educational departments, there was not enough product variety for each sports team/department in the school. We diversified the assortment for each sports team with minimal inventory and a lean budget. And introduced an experiential shopping experience in the college bookstores and at the game day concession stores that allowed customers to customize and design their products in minutes while they shop.
SHIRT BAR PROJECT OVERVIEW AND EXAMPLES
More about the project.
During the discovery, we were able to analyze departments and sports offered at each school to come up with the list of essential, most common name drops used (desired) by the students, expand the assortment and build possible variations for each sports team/department. We prepared a road map of three phases – Define / Measure / Analyze, Improve / Design, Implement and Control, with key deliverables and timelines for each phase.
Once we defined the different departments and sports teams, we built a program that enabled customers to customize the product while still in the stores. We designed the base assortment which was pre-decorated and merchandised in campus stores which we called ‘the shirt bar’. The bar had a menu of all different school names, departments, and logos which enabled the students to customize based on their needs.
We implemented this program with minimal inventory and a lean budget. We were able to provide an assortment of over 50,000 variations with no more inventory and very little space. This provided a unique experience since the students were able to design their own tshirts.