Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013 - (Page 27)

COVER STORY Looking Sharp Understanding its customers and the changing nature of retail has helped Rocket Dog become a leading brand for girl’s footwear. Rocket Dog sees its brand equity as a “real powerhouse” according to CEO Cathy Taylor, and it works hard to protect and manage that. Studying the Market To help the company broaden its product lines and stay relevant over the years, Rocket Dog has shopped the world. In fact, about a third of its business is now based out of the Rocket Dog Europe operation in London. Rocket Dog studies trends and does a lot of research to stay tuned to the market. “This year, it is all about casual and sporty styling,” Taylor says. “We study trends for our teen groups, which are brand conscious. The crossover range is a little less brand loyal, but she is much more fashion-aware and looking for something that has price value and fits her lifestyle needs.” Rocket Dog takes a disciplined approach to product development. The process starts around PHOTO: MIKIKO KIKUYAMA L aunched in California in 1997, Rocket Dog Brands has grown into one of the leading footwear brands for girls. The company’s roots stretch to the beach with its EVA and sport products, but it has evolved its collections and introduced full product lines in everything from casual, sandals, flats, dress and boots, and strives to deliver fashion trend relevant styling each season for this consumer. “Our brand is very California and playful, and we have been a leader for young girls and teens 15 to 17 with a broad appeal and crossover in the 19 to 25 range, as well,” CEO Cathy Taylor says. “We want to be true to our California roots and the DNA of our brand in casual and relaxed styling. We know our customer and we give her fashion and fun.” nine months ahead of rollout. The company studies the market and speaks to its retailers and consumers as it moves through the concept stage. Rocket Dog tries to understand what’s important to its customers, what their needs are and where they are going, and it looks at everything from new constructions and styling of how she lives to materials and details that will keep her fashion and trend right. After that, the company moves into an initial prototyping and review stage. After a broad merchandizing review, the company produces final prototypes and conducts small market testing with bigger strategic accounts. Once Rocket Dog has a solid read on a product, it can make some final modifications and get ready to do a final product review and then head out to market. Understanding the customer isn’t the only part July/August 2013 Cathy Taylor, CEO Los Angeles retail merchandiser 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013

Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013
Digital Messaging
How to Bring New Life to the Center Store
Fall Toy Preview 2013
WWWDMAGIC 2013 Fashion Preview
Hispanic Footwear
Firm Fashion Fixture
Macy’s Magic
Generating Buzz
Looking Sharp
On the Trend
Shoe Sensation
Victorinox Swiss Army Inc.
Hiller’s Market
Patrick James Inc.
Art Van Furniture
Fairway Market
Architec Housewares
Easy Rest Adjustable Sleep Systems
Burnstad’s Market
Shoe Carnival Inc.
Destination XL
Hibbett Sports
R.H. Ledbetter Properties
Goodwill of Central Arizona
Beyond the Rack LLC
Cymax Canada
Diamond Nexus
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - July/August 2013