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STYL
21.-23.8. 2011

International Fashion Fair

KABO
21.-23.8. 2011

International Fair of Footwear and Leatherware

Quality branding is important, say the experts

The well-established quality brand KLASA known in food and drinks industry could soon have its counterpart in the textile, clothing, and leather industry – the QZ – Guaranteed Quality brand. The current obstacle in establishing the new quality brand is the lack of finance for its marketing support and relatively low interest of the producers. The issue of branding was discussed at a seminar held by the ATOK Association and titled “Does brand and marking of products influence your success on the market?”

Support of the sales of quality products and easier orientation for the customers – according to experts these are the main benefits of quality brands such as QZ in our country and its foreign sister Oeko-Tex. A single symbol communicates information about independent verification of the product in terms of its declared composition, health safety, durability, resistance to shrinkage, etc. As the president of ATOK Jiří Kohoutek said, QZ on the Czech market is meant to convey this important information to the customer more easily and in a cheaper way than any other form, and at the same time to meet the legal duty of providing information. Despite all this Czech producers are not very interested in the QZ licence so far. Unlike the KLASA brand, QZ is not supported by the state and without a massive marketing campaign it is very difficult to communicate the textile quality brand into the knowledge of the Czech customers. In international trade QZ has virtually no value as foreign customers require certification according to internationally recognised system. Therefore it is necessary to strive for the linking of QZ to the European certification and also to get a greater support from domestic organisations that would enable for a more intensive promotion towards the consumers.

Besides quality brands the seminar focused also on the broader issue of textile product branding and its harmonising. A guest to the seminar was a Swiss expert Rolf Langenegger, who informed the visitors about the evolution of internationally recognised symbols for textile care falling under trademarks. This method of marking substantially facilitated the exchange of information between the producers, retailers, laundry service providers, dry cleaners, and consumers. However, even care symbols did not make their way to all countries and Australia, for instance, still sticks to verbal explanation. Even greater unevenness is characteristic for the marking of contained materials and the result of varying vocabulary and globalised trade are the incredibly long product tags that the customers cut off anyway because they are generally a nuisance inside garments. The marking of the country of origin is not clear either – there are disputes which phase of the production is relevant – the first, the last, or the most important one? But the greatest chaos of all rules the marking of sizes: in Europe only there are five different systems currently in use – Italian, German, French, UK, and US. Inequality is a high obstacle in the development of internet and postal order retailing, but attempts to harmonise the size marking have not yielded any results so far. The European standard did not bring any more clarity either – some manufacturers simply ignore it.

The final discussion pointed to the problems in the retail network, which, in many cases, does not play its role of an intermediary between the supplier and the consumer correctly by not conveying information about the products and not providing necessary explanations. According to manufacturers, the most frequently occurring reason of this is the low qualification level of the shop assistants, which has been underrated for many years in the Czech Republic.

STYL-KABO 2011/08

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Highlights from companies

 

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