Going Deeper Than The Buzz: UNIQLO The Apparel for Life
On 2nd July 2018, with the official start of the Wimbledon Championships, Roger Federer, considered as the greatest tennis player of all-time, stepped onto court with his usual cool gait. And yet, there was something out-of-place. His crispy Wimbledon white outfit was no longer imprinted with the swoosh that had been associated with the veteran for over two decades, but instead, it was replaced with a bright red squared logo. Roger Federer has traded Nike for UNIQLO, officially announcing his partnership with the Japanese lifestyle apparel brand as he stepped onto the freshly minted grass.
The move is a strategic one to expand the brand’s reach from casualwear to sports apparel. In fact, UNIQLO has long been looking to expand its brand reach and presence through unexpected yet brand-congruent partnerships. The brand, focused on unisexual, and quality design, is a perfect canvas to foster collaborations with flashier brands. Just most recently, UNIQLO has launched lines of undergarment and LifeWear with private labels such as Alexander Wang and JW Anderson.
Source: Getty Images
Now let’s take a closer look at UNIQLO by using our 4 Facets of Brand Positioning to see how the brand popularized casualwear and become one of the most recognizable clothing brands today.
Truth: A Life Rooted in Pragmatism
UNIQLO provides practicability to its consumers through simple yet quality design, high-tech and useful functions and affordable price.
Like many Japanese brands, UNIQLO stays true to the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity and apply these philosophies in its clothing design. With simple but elegant and well-tailored clothing, UNIQLO advocates the classical basics, making their clothing the building blocks of each person’s own unique style.
UNIQLO is also best known for its industry-leading technologies in their basic wear such as HEATTECH, ULD, Dry-EX and AIRism series. All of which aim to bring the maximum amount of practicality to its wearers, providing more warmth, lightness or comfort in almost any environment. Most of UNIQLO’s products are also incredibly affordable, with price points at around RMB200 or less. Its price accessibility and quality in design form the core competitiveness of UNIQLO.
Source: UNIQLO Website
Vision: Being the LifeWear
UNIQLO is committed to making innovative high-quality clothing that is universal in design and comfort. With its clear unisexual design and basic color palette, UNIQLO is made for everyone to wear everywhere and every day. Moreover, it offers a wide range of clothing types, from the workplace dress, sportswear, undergarments, swimsuits to pajamas, the brand satisfied the dressing needs for all kinds of daily occasions. UNIQLO’s products also come in all shapes and sizes. That’s what UNIQLO stand for: accessible fashion for everyone to bring comfort in our everyday lives better. The brand name already alludes to this vision – UNI-QLO is meant to be the abbreviation of “Clothes with Universality.”
Universe: A Normal Day in Life
UNIQLO has never been about building a world revolving around glamor, but rather it creates a universe characterized by a quotidian way of life. In a way, the way the brand advocates for simplicity and practicality in what you wear also extends to how you live your life. True to the Japanese way of thinking, there is a certain beauty in minimalism and being grounded in reality. The metric of a life well-lived shouldn’t be the great ups and downs you’ve experienced in life, but how the ordinary moments in between are cherished.
Source: Getty Images
Personality: The Regular Guy
An apparel brand, UNIQLO is a regular and easy-going guy. It is those might not immediately make an impression because of their sensible personality, but over time, you learn to appreciate their presence and the little moments you share with them. Even though they’re not the life-of-the-party, you enjoy spending time with them precisely because there’s no pressure for you to pretend to be someone you’re not. Much like its brand image and product design, UNIQLO is laid back, honest and ordinary in the best way possible.
Conclusion: The Race Against the Trends
If other fast-fashion brands like H&M and Zara are a one-stop shop to the latest hyper-trendy items to come from the runway, UNIQLO is the perfect antithesis to that. You can be sure to find their staple items no matter the year or season, and the brand has no intention to change that status quo. As an uber accessible brand both in price and in image, UNIQLO offers something different to the couture of the high-fashion world or the flash of streetwear. And yet, this reversion to the basics is what people keep finding themselves back at time after time.