468 Retail and Channel Management Blog

Friday, March 11, 2016

Saxx: Putting the Competition in their Pouch

              Saxx Underwear Co., founded by Trent Kitsch, started as a simple idea for a class project: a men’s underwear that is made with top quality materials and fitted with a revolutionary “3D pouch” design, something that has never been brought to market before. It has now grown into an extremely successful specialty undergarments retailer, going from just online sails early on, to being in retail stores across North America. Interestingly enough, the idea was even rejected on Dragon’s Den, the popular Canadian TV show where aspiring entrepreneurs attempt to convince millionaires to invest in their business, so the start was somewhat of a rocky one to say the least. However, judging by the loyal following and immense growth they are experiencing now, there is no doubt in my mind that there is something in the business that the Dragon’s didn’t see at it’s inception. It’s a classic example of rags to riches, but how did Saxx get to where they are today?
              One of the things that Saxx does extremely well is recognizing the need of the customer. In an interview with Kitsch, he explains that he came across this need for more comfort and protection while he was out at sea. Being in a cramped boat for days on end got him to think about how he could redesign men’s underwear to “prevent contact and be more comfortable”. Although this was a personal realization, he in fact discovered a hole in the market that needed to be filled, as currently there was no underwear that provided the type of protection that Saxx does in times when the user is participating in high-intensity activities. As a result of this need, Saxx aims to appeal to customers who are physically active and also are willing to pay for the high end product that they offer. To do this, Saxx employs brand ambassadors who exemplify the qualities that they are looking for in their own customers: people such as Kevin Love, an NBA all-star, and Ken Block, a rally driver, are some of the ideal candidates that Saxx has chosen to promote their brand.
              One interesting thing to note is that Saxx does not actually own any stores of their own. They mainly do business through their website and having their products in a variety of other retail stores. Since Saxx has a particular type of customer in mind, they really pay attention to what stores their products are in, mainly focusing on sporting goods retailers and specialty stores. Examples include Sport Chek and The Briefing Room. Although Saxx’s brand visibility may not be extremely high due to not having their own physical stores, over the years they have been able to generate a very loyal following because of their innovative and high quality product that is truly like no other.

              If Saxx continues the current growth that they are experiencing now, there is no doubt in my mind that in the future they will became a global leader in men’s underwear, blazing a trail in innovation and forcing other prominent underwear brands such as Calvin Klein and Jockey to play catch up in the years to come



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