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Brandonomics from Savage - Troy Pike

Troy Pike

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How best to handle a multi-tiered and growing brand? Robin Tooms discusses the uniform business with Troy Pike, CEO, Parker School Uniforms.

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Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage Brands. And my guest today is Troy Pike, CEO of Parker School Uniforms. Troy, welcome to Brandonomics.

Troy: Hi Robin, how are you?

Robin: I'm doing great. I'm so glad that you're with us today. I wanted to talk to you about branding. But, first let's do a little bit of background. So you've been with Parker for five years now. And it has grown significantly since then. And part of that has really been due to some of the acquisitions, which of course brings about the brand strategy portion of it. So how do you look at acquiring brands and how that fits into the Parker brand strategy in total?

Troy: It's a really critical decision for us because we're very targeted. The Parker brand, the foundation of the brand, is very much steeped in the private school, premium school uniform market. And it's really important that we find like companies who provide like service because our value proposition is not just the product. It's very much about the availability of the service that we provide and the entire experience for the end customer as well. So we have to find people who are like-minded and there are a lot of regional companies in the school uniform business. And they run the spectrum from people who will sell the local auto mechanic a uniform - if he'll buy it to people who are very much purists. And so we look for companies who have a premium brand stature in their local market, have really good relationships with the schools because the school uniform business is somewhat unique in that way that you have a customer which is an institution but they're not actually buying from you. The consumer is buying from you. So you have a multi-tiered sort of brand relationship with that customer.

Robin: So when you're acquiring what do you do to make sure that it's good for both the acquiring brand and for those regional customers that they're serving?

Troy: Well the first thing that we do is we try to understand - You know we have a pretty good understanding of the market but we try to understand the people who are behind the company. We have interviewed schools that they deal with. We look at the profile of the products that they carry and the mix of products that they sell. And that's a pretty good indicator for us, what types of schools they serve and what they're selling to those schools.

Robin: And how they're providing value to their customers.

Troy: And ultimately how they provide value to the customers because our value proposition is very much a premium brand value proposition. And we are the full-service brand in our marketplace. And so we have to bring everything to the table: quality, durability, consistency, and service. And we have to be more available. We have to fit every single child. There's no option there. So we need to find companies who are like-minded in that way.

Robin: That's very good advice. Thank you so much for sharing that. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.

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