Individuality and style
1. Relentless focus
Ted Baker’s famously eccentric chief executive Ray Kelvin likes to call himself “the closest man to Ted”, effectively posing as the brand’s alter ego – or real-world incarnation. As much a presence on the design floor as in the boardroom, Kelvin resolutely applies the mantra “Would Ted do it that way? to every business decision – driving the company’s focus on product and design .
2. Obsession with product
Since its first store opened in 1988, Ted Baker has continuously emphasised the importance of design and product, and its commitment to quality and attention to detail. Positioning itself as “no ordinary designer label”, the company has carefully developed its brand’s distinct and quirky style. When asked about the reason for its continuing success, Ray Kelvin commented last year: “Better product, better design. It’s that simple.”
3. Leveraging a British identity
Playing on its British heritage, Ted Baker makes the most of ‘brand Britain’, especially in its stores abroad. The retailer’s new flagship store in Tokyo, for instance, provides shoppers with an immersive experience based on the British capital and includes a booth fashioned like the back of a Black Cab.
4. Obsession with the brand
For all its quirks and eccentricities, Ted Baker – the brand and the Ray Kelvin alter ego – take the business of retail very seriously. As Kelvin once put it: “We are claustrophobic about the brand. We break the mould, taking the lead because we are very, very serious about what we do, as much as we joke about, you mustn’t be fooled.”
5. Never be boring
Store design is one of the most distinct differentiators of the Ted Baker brand, breaking up monotony of identikit fashion chains with customised, individualised shops. Its new Bluewater store, opened last year, was styled as the fictional Kent village of Tedbury, complete with a country pub, apothecary, a butcher and cake shop.
6. Customer experience
Going hand-in-hand with the customised store, is Ted Baker’s obsession with its customer’s experience. The retailer recently introduced in-store wifi, launched a click-and-collect service and is looking to roll out touch-screen devices in every store. Interactive installations are also integral to its store designs, enhancing their quirky décor and Ted Baker spirit of retail entertainment.
7. Company culture
Kelvin’s management style is both nurturing and challenging of both staff and suppliers. He often expresses the regret that he can’t know all of his team, but is equally prepared to challenge staff and their ideas.
8. Unique marketing mix
Ted Baker’s approach to marketing the brand has remained the same from day one – driven primarily by word-of- mouth and out of the ordinary campaigns. With marketing stunts having included the giveaway of a can of chocolate bunny hotpot for Easter or special World Cup football cards - Roy of the Rovers style - in 2006, Ted Baker prides itself on having built an international designer label without a traditional advertising campaign.
9. International opportunity
Ted Baker began wholesale trade in the US in 1996, its first franchise store opened in Europe a year later, and international expansion has contributed to the retailer’s success ever since. Over the past year, it opened additional concessions in the US, Spain and Ireland and its first store in Tokyo, Japan, while launching concessions in the Netherlands and South Korea. International expansion is set to present the greatest long-term growth potential for the retailer.
10. Online presence
The company launched a transactional website in 1999 – effectively making Ted Baker one of the first drivers of the online bandwagon in the fashion sector. With regular updates to the site over the decade, a UK website relaunch in 2009 and a dedicated US website launch in 2010, the online channel has become an integral part of the retailer’s strategy. Even though Ted Baker does not disclose its online sales, it is estimated that online turnover could be of the order of £10m – approaching 10% of sales.