COTTON TALKING: Brands need to focus on attributes other than price, or risk being sucked into oblivion, according to officials from Cotton Incorporated.

At the fiber promotions group’s third annual Apparel Market Seminar Oct. 7 in New York, vice president of strategic planning Mark Messura asked the question, “Why do consumers need a brand in the first place?”

He answered his own question: “Brands reduce purchase risk. But is it sustainable for brands to be price competitive? Is that a sustainable strategy for the long-term?”

Messura said a company that drives down its prices will ultimately lose its construction quality and as a result, its brand cachet. He dubbed this concept the “The Black Hole Theory of Brands.”

To combat it, Messura suggested focusing on non-price attributes such as packaging and service.

The seminar, which also featured statistics from Cotton Inc.’s Lifestyle Monitor, was organized by Cotton Inc.’s global product marketing division. Other speakers included Melissa Bastos, manager of market analysis for strategic planning, and Kim Kitchings, associate director of strategic planning.

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