After its acquisition by Carters, Inc., OshKosh faced three key brand challenges.
How could we revive the faded American icon in a manner relevant for the 21st century? How could we create a unique and sustainable position in an increasing crowded marketplace? Finally, how could we ensure that the brand was clearly separated from Carter’s? At a moment in time when many who wore OshKosh as kids are now having children, the brand was losing ground.
Mass retailers were offering better value, fashion houses were creating mini-me, adult-down lines, and everybody seemed to be cashing in on “fake authenticity”.
With over a hundred years of creating clothing grounded in work wear: rough and tumble, durable, authentic, outdoorsy, and their irreverent personality: quirky, bold, cheeky and fun, it was clear that OshKosh was a brand with authenticity and powerful cultural values. We rebuilt the OshKosh brand around the universal need for kids to be kids, with the brand idea of “a kid’s work is play.”
The new brand positions OshKosh as a kids’ outfitter, not for babies, not for grown ups, but a place kids want to be, where every part of the experience, including the clothes themselves, should stimulate, enable and inspire kids to explore, invent, create, imagine, move, to go play! We developed a new brand expression with a simple but playful logo – with the oversized “k” emphasizing kids. The photography style captures kids at their best, at play being themselves.
The clear brand story help Carter’s Inc. executives focus their strategy to ensure that the two sibling brands did not cannibalize each other. The brand’s designers were inspired to innovate the apparel to deliver the idea of play. OshKosh’s decline is on the reverse with new stores opening this year.