Christian Louboutin vs. Yves Saint Case Study

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[. . .] Question B: United By Blue (Brand)

United By Blue has branded itself as an 'eco-friendly' company. The "Philadelphia-based business makes high-quality organic T-shirts. It also promises that for every product sold, it will remove a pound of trash from rivers, oceans, and beaches by organizing cleanup events. The shirts, and the mission-based pitch, had won an enthusiastic reception from retailers, including Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods" (Lapowsky 20102). The t-shirts retail for around $29.50 and their attraction is not based in their appearance (and certainly not upon their price, given their relatively ordinary appearance for a relatively high sticker price) but the extent to which consumers 'feel good' about buying an ethical brand. To further emphasize sustainability, the company uses "banana-fiber paper packaging, hang tags made of elephant dung, and twine, not plastic, to attach the tags" (Lapowsky 2012).

The company has undergone some financial difficulties in recent years. Its "wholesale margins had shrunk -- from 60% to just 15%," partially because the downturn in the economy has made consumers more financially conservative regarding their clothing purchases (Lapowsky 2012). Also, the company has found that being ethical is expensive. The banana-fiber is cost prohibitive and the cotton from which the shirts were manufactured has hit an all-time high, in terms of pricing. The company is facing a difficult decision because it markets itself upon its ethics and distinguishes its brand by its 'sustainability' but to be sustainable is actually quite cost-prohibitive both for the company and for customers. The company was forced to increase the price of the t-shirts to $34, and while "the price increase raised United By Blue's margins to 30%," a number of major retailers dropped the brand because it was so expensive, which may not bode well for the company in the long-term (Lapowsky 2012).

Works Cited

"Christian Louboutin vs. YSL 'Red Soles' Court Case Takes A New Twist." The Huffington

Post. 5 Sept 2012. [22 Mar 2013]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/christian-louboutin-ysl-red-soles_n_1857992.html

Lapowsky, Issie. (2012). "Should an Eco Brand Put Money Before… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Christian Louboutin vs. Yves Saint."  Essaytown.com.  March 22, 2013.  Accessed December 12, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/christian-louboutin-yves-saint/1454776.