Friday, November 25, 2016

If Millennials don't like your brand, should you buy a brand they like?

I've noticed a trend lately.  Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club.  Estee Lauder bought Too Faced Cosmetics.  And this week Neiman Marcus announced a new partnership with Rent the Runway.

Rent the Runway is an online company that rents designer apparel and accessories.  It has recently  begun to expand into brick and mortar locations and now Neiman Marcus is incorporating Rent the Runway units into their stores.  

The idea is to surround the rental clothing with appropriate accessories that the customer can buy to enhance their rented designer items..  There will be in-store services such as styling and purchasing advice, and an app for checking avails and reserving merchandise.

Currently the average age of the Neiman Marcus customer is 52.  The average age for a Rent the Runway customer is 29.  Of course they are hoping that once they have gotten Millennials into the store they will become customers. 

So what do you think?  Do you shop in department stores?  Will you go to Neiman Marcus?  Do you think this idea will work?  And what about the other brands I mentioned?  Is buying brands popular with millennials the best way for companies with Boomer brands to remain in business?

Loeb, W. (2016, November 22)  Neiman Marcus Partners With Rent the Runway To Attract Much Needed Millennial Consumers.  Retrieved November 23, 2016, from


  1. By seeing the website, the partnership between Neiman Marcus and Rent the Runway seems to be success. Both of them could approach each other target, millennials and baby boomers. But I think it’s necessary to conduct two more things; (1)to start a new mixed plan to attract each customer and (2)to inform each customer by appropriate ways about what advantage they will get after the partnership. For instance, fixing up both website to get easy access, lunching new monthly plan on Rent the Runway that customer can take more choices among middle brand or high-brand/designer brand and so on.

  2. Even though I don’t like shopping in department stores as much as online, I find this idea might work. Digital technologies are transforming shopping, and placing more power in the hands of buyers. This shift of power places a premium on any retailer’s ability to deliver a meaningful and memorable store experience. In this case, I feel like retailers are really trying their best to maintain profitability as online transactions grow. However, there are some advantages that department stores possess over Internet. The brick-and-mortar experience is the most immersive and powerful customer touchpoint brands have, and it can have an outsized impact on shopper’s perception of a retailer’s brand and service. A store needs to be more than a place to acquire merchandise — it must be a place that enriches customers’ lives. While the partnership between Neiman Marcus Rent the Runway can be viewed as a unique yet consistent retail experience. As millennials’ purchasing power is ever increasing, it is important to recruit their favorite brands to target them.
    Jia Yin

  3. I certainly believe this is an excellent strategy for NM to attract more customers to its store and to begin to gain consumer insight from millenials. NM brands are excellent yet they are perceived as very expensive while RTR tends to offer affordable options, yet very limited in terms of quality and designer brands. They compliment each other perfectly. The big question is whether millenials who are attracted to NM's newly expanded RTR options, will end up purchasing more from NM, or if the price/option portafolio at NM remains to be prohibitively for millenials? It might also be a good way to capture millenials loyalty early on and play a long term bet for aging millenials as they become more affluent

  4. I think buying millennial brands is the most efficient way to gain millennial customers and it seems to be very successful. Many of these examples of millennial brands have gained such a cult following that it would be hard for the older brands such as Estee Lauder and NM to try to compete in that space, so to partner instead of compete is very strategic. I like to shop at department stores but typically can't afford Neiman Marcus. However, I am a big fan of Rent the Runway and will definitely be interested in going to a Neiman Marcus store that has this in-store service so I can see dresses in person and I'm sure I could be persuaded to buy accessories while I'm there that I wouldn't have otherwise gone to NM for.

  5. I personally much rather shop online than in department stores. With that said I think the partnership between Neiman Marcus and Rent the Runway is great idea. Well I don’t shop at Neiman Marcus but if Rent the Runway ever interest me I would go to Neiman Marcus to take advantage on their in store services to have a better consumer experience, while I`m there I would probably be willing to check out Neiman Marcus products as well. So I think the partnership would definitely bait millennial in. The question is weather or not Neiman Marcus has anything to offer that millennials are actually want and can afford.

    Adam N.

  6. I personally don't shop at Neiman Marcus but my mom and my grandmother do. It is definitely an older store, however I do think that this partnership would work because Rent the Runway's brands carried matches the brands carried at Neiman Marcus very well. It is a less expensive alternative option for shoppers. Because of the price point at Neiman Marcus I think it will be difficult to recruit shoppers my age, however a lot of my friends (including myself) are Rent the Runway customers. Getting me into Neiman Marcus isn't the problem I go quite often, but good luck getting me to actually purchase something at their prices!! Overall I think that the idea makes sense, but the reality of the results may not be stellar.

  7. Personally, I think that the recent collaboration between Rent the Runway and Neiman Marcus totally makes sense. Younger people might not shop at Neiman Marcus simply because the prices of designer clothes available at this store is off the top. However, I believe that they are willing to pay $25-125 to rent a designer dress. In the era of Instagram and social media where people seem to stop wearing the outfit once it gets exposed on social media, renting clothes is not necessarily a bad idea. From my understanding, Rent the Runway is doing great with their sales/rentals so why not expanding their presents to Neiman Marcus stores?

    I think it might be a win-win for both stores actually because just renting a dress is not enough to complete the look and Neiman Marcus provides so many accessories and beauty products options. Personally, I think I’ll definitely give this new collaboration a try!

    When it comes to the recent mergers, the one by Too Faced really got me. It used to be one of my most favorite brands (I’m not preaching, but it’s vegan and cruelty-free!) and now it’s getting under the wing of Estee Lauder, which is one of the worst brands you may consider in respect to animal testing. Even though PETA recently published the blog post where they claim that Too Faced will remain cruelty-free (, I’ll keep an eye on them if they do what promised.

  8. I don't shop here but I don't understand the point of renting clothes. As a guy and not really into fashion I don't see how people rent for 25 dollar when one can just buy new clothes. As a millennial I do see peers always wanting the nicest stuff but not having the money to pay for it. So perhaps their marketing strategy will work but I do not understand why people spend that much on clothes.
    William Gockel-Figge