American denim brand Wrangler is cleaning up its cowboy image by channeling a new target consumer. Wrangler Jeans Co. RED, is the brand’s latest collection of jeans, twills and shirts designed for style, and price, conscious Millennial men retailing around $20.
The line, which launched last month, is positioned for nationwide value-minded retailers and combines four denim offerings–vintage skinny, vintage slim, vintage straight and vintage boot–in a variety of premium washes with a selection of stretch twill options. A touch of the line’s signature red is peppered throughout the collection on pockets, stitching and the fly of zippers. And in a nod to Wrangler’s all-American roots, shirts made of chambray, classic twills and plaids are accented with western-inspired details.
For the heritage brand that cut its teeth making denim for factory workers and rodeo heroes, the male Millennial was somewhat of an enigma. Craig Errington, vice president of marketing for Wrangler said, “Traditionally, we sell a great deal of jeans in the mass channel to men who fall into the 35-plus demographic, yet we see a real niche for Millennial men.” With one out of five men already buying jeans in mass channels, Errington said Wrangler honed in on creating a sharp, on-trend collection that resonated with a number of key traits among male Millennial, including taste for value, reliance on familiar brands and an experimental, fashion-forward nature.
“Wrangler has been a leader in the denim category for more than 60 years and, within the last ten or so years, this has been one of the most stable categories in apparel,” Errington said. Equipped with that expertise in the denim category, and the benefits of being part of VF Corporation, Wrangler has been able to maintain great relationships with its long-time partners, Errington noted, adding that those partnerships have offered the brand competitive advantages that results in cost efficiencies it can pass along to its customers.
While Millennials are not Wrangler’s core customers today, they will definitely be a major focus in the brand’s future. Moving forward, the company intends to expand its consumer research by learning more about its new target demographic, their preferences and behaviors beyond its standard product research and testing. “This is an important consumer for Wrangler, and we will be continuing to learn more about this new consumer surrounding the launch, including how they shop, what values they care about most, and more importantly, how we can stay relevant to him,” Errington said.
In true Millennial fashion, Wrangler is supporting the line with digital marketing. The company is ramping up its Facebook and Instagram presence and tapping into a collective of style influencers to help spread the word. “As we know this group is very tech savvy and consumes digital media frequently. In order to effectively break through the clutter and reach this group, we will communicate with them where they’re active in a meaningful way, and that’s online and on social media,” Errington said.