GUESS: Can it rise from the ashes?

How can GUESS target Gen Z in its rebranding strategy? 

Stay ahead of the competition 

How can you confidently enhance your retail strategy? With this report, created using Retviews data, discover how a competitive intelligence tool can allow you to optimize your positioning and boost competitiveness. Retviews, the AI-powered benchmarking platform for fashion, allows you to take advantage of competitors' data in real-time to elevate your strategy and stay on top of the competition curve.

Retviews Competitive Analysis Tool Guess Rebrand US Market Denim Sexy Americana

Use the Retviews platform to benchmark your offer against your competitors

Key takeaways 

  • Guess is falling behind competitors with regards to its entry-level product mix
  • Mens' size inclusivity could constitute a strong growth opportunity for Guess
  • Guess' leading category is lacking in terms of sustainability

Guess used to be considered one of the great American success stories, known and loved by everyone for their sexiness, denim and leather style.  As 2021 was the opposite of a profitable year for them, in 2022 they are overcoming this situation through a business transformation which will result in a rebranding with a new collection for FW22.  Guess owes its initial success to its core identity of “Sexy Americana” - falling more in line with the post-pandemic return to more fun and sexy styles and dopamine dressing, as well as the return to Y2K fashion with Gen Z shoppers. 

Retviews’ data allows brands to keep track of how its competitors are leading successful strategies, spot gaps in their assortment mix, as well as detect trends and identify new opportunities. 

As rebranding is generally done to improve a negative situation, this makes a brand wonder: How can I carry out a successful rebrand, confidently? Dive into the latest Retviews’ report, and see how your brand can improve their own retail strategy, and rebrand successfully with a competitive intelligence platform.

Strategic pricing as a competitive advantage

Price is a key differentiating factor between high end and accessible luxury, by diving into Retviews’ real-time data and looking into Guess’ competitors within the US market, it's possible to see where the brand positioned itself.

Guess Tory Burch Club Monaco Coach Price Indicators Retviews Competitive Analysis Tool

It's clear how Guess stands in the accessible luxury market being the brand with the lowest: minimum, maximum and most frequent prices. Guess could take advantage of being considered as an accessible luxury for Gen Z and focus their rebranding on them as they already are a powerful part of the market, who’s strength will increase until accounting for 40% of the global personal luxury goods market by 2035.

Discounting in accessible luxury

Standing in the accessible side of the luxury market, discounting activities are of vital importance for Guess. As stated before, Gen Z shoppers are becoming a prominent cohort in the luxury industry as their share of market spend is increasing. For this reason, brands are creating entry-level product lines, such as eyewear, small leather goods and other accessories, targeted at them as they are more accessible but they still make them feel part of the “exclusive brand club”. As part of their rebranding strategy, knowing this, not only could Guess increase these products’ assortment quantity, but they could also focus their discounting activities on these categories. 

Automated Competitive Analysis Tool Retviews - Guess Discount Strategy Average Discount Rate FW21 Accessories Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Coach and Guess

If Guess is looking to elevate its position in the accessible luxury market, it could bring its prices higher up-market. However, taking into account the fact that targeting Gen Z consumers could lead to a more successful rebrand, their pricing and discounting activities should reflect the younger generation’s tendency of buying more entry-level products.


What was missing in GUESS' assortment? 

An essential factor which could be contributing to the US brand's lack of success is within its assortment mix. As opposed to Guess, both Tory Burch and Coach had an increase in revenue in 2021 and Guess showcased drastic differences in the percentage of product assortment, compared to two of its leading competitors who were mainly aligned. 

Retvews Automated Competitive Analysis Tool Assortment Mix Accessible Luxury Guess Tory Burch Coach

By analyzing Retviews data, we know that guess was the brand with the least number of accessories in their assortment mix, specifically having a not enough wide range of miscellaneous goods, gloves and scarves. For footwear Guess was not up to date with the trend for loafers and was lacking ballet shoes.

As stated by Nicolai Marciano, Guess' new collection aims at bringing back the early persona of Guess, therefore for FW22 we are likely to encounter an increase in outerwear and in the usage of fabric such as leather and denim in their assortment. Moreover, considering popular accessible luxury brands' success and their prominence in accessories - could Guess target a wider audience and elevate its brand with a larger assortment in accessories? 

By using Retviews, brands can analyze their competitors’ assortments in order to stay on top of rapidly evolving fashion trends and shifting consumer demands, understand if they are lacking in a trend, missing key opportunities for their assortment and pinpoint the right positioning for their offer.


Using size inclusivity to their advantage

Luxury brands are infamous for not being inclusive and for lacking in extended size ranges, especially for men. Companies are not considering and therefore missing an opportunity for a huge part of the market which could be extremely profitable, just consider that in 2021, the value of the plus-size men's market was 848.9 million U.S. dollars. In 2018, Gen Z shoppers accounted for a third of sales in the plus-size market, considering this already large amount, which has most likely increased in recent times. If Guess is to better target Gen Z consumers size inclusivity would be a relevant aspect to consider. 

Retviews Automated Competitive Analysis Tool Size Inclusivity Men Guess Coach Michael Kors

Retviews’ data shows how there is a gap in the accessibility market for size inclusivity and filling it could not only be a competitive advantage, but also a key factor in boosting a brand's performance, allowing it to put in place a successful retail strategy. Guess has been lacking in the XXXL portion of its size structure as well as the opposite end of the spectrum in XXS sizes for men. Considering the push towards increased inclusivity - increasing these sizes would be key in pushing through luxury's lack of extended sizing for men and a key move towards a successful rebrand. 


A focus on sustainability

Millennial and Gen Z are luxury’s most valuable consumer cohort, between now and 2025, according to Bain & Company, they together will account for 130% of market growth. Attracting them requires adhering to an increasing trend toward more value-driven spending, as Gen Z have a strong and growing desire for sustainability options. Proof of this was shown in the State of Fashion Report 2021 by BoF and McKinsey, which states that  nine out of ten Gen Z shoppers think that companies should disclose their environmental and social  efforts. Although Guess has created their sustainable line, Eco Guess, they are still behind compared to their competitors, particularly with regards to outerwear. 

Retviews Competitive Analysis Platform Tool Automated Data Sustainable Collections Accessible Luxury US

Not having enough sustainable options for outerwear might be a significant mistake for Guess, who have a strong focus on denim, leather, and other materials which are largely used in outerwear and which constitute a big part of their core identity. This would imply that one of their leading categories is lacking in terms of sustainability and would be a strong opportunity for improvement for the brand.


Enhance brand performance with Retviews

Your brand can gain access to accurate, real-time data in order to stay competitive in the market, have a clear and detailed view of the actions your competitors are putting into place regarding their collections, pricing and discounts; with the aim of enhancing your own brand's retail strategy.  With Retviews, the competitive intelligence tool for fashion brands and retailers you will never have to second guess the steps you take when upgrading your brand's strategy.

Use the Retviews platform to benchmark your offer against your competitors