Friday, July 27, 2012

Jordache Then & Now: From Brand Empire To Business Conglomerate

"It was the time of Studio 54 and Saturday Night Fever, and designer jeans were hot....The brothers concocted the Jordache brand, an acronym of their names." - Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Bloomberg BusinessWeek has an interesting piece on Jordache then and now. What stands out most for me - aside from the fact that these jeans are the first brand I can recall being attached to as a kid - is the lack of brand-ness that this healthy conglomerate has. 


Eternally memorialized in the 1981 Ryan O'Neal movie So Fine, founders the Nakashes don't trade on the name anymore, and they don't have a brand strategy the way most of us think of it nowadays. Yet they're doing just fine. "Often, decisions are made by whoever argues the longest and loudest at Friday night Shabbat dinners."


A family business making decisions at the Shabbos table. Buying low and selling high, as the opportunity arises. Making business decisions based on profit and product rather than image. It's the old-fashioned way of doing business. For the Nakash family it seems to work. 


I wonder if they're at the vanguard of a broader trend, in which people trust not the brands at the periphery of the organization, but the core group of family and/or friends that run them.

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