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How J. Has Managed To Stay Relevant For So Many Years

Ever since its inauguration in 2002, Junaid Jamshed (or known in the popular culture as J.) has managed to garner an organic following and a seat among the top names in the industry. Through its culturally-authentic and aesthetically pleasing textilery, the clothing giant has remained relevant in the ever-evolving modern market for a little less than 2 decades. But following the death of its namesake co-owner, Junaid Jamshed in December 2016, the top-tier brand was expected to take a hit.

Yet it didn’t. 

Instead, the brand managed to find even more mainstream fame and financial stability in the wake of its co-owner’s untimely, unexpected demise. Here’s how J. has managed to stay relevant in eastern popular culture.

Effective Branding

J. has remained very mindful of its customer and target audience throughout its successful run in the market. In 2014, the brand decided to follow a customer-centric branding module. This was a strategically innovative way of swapping followers from its contenders in the markets that took the audience for “as passive recipients of their brand”. The brand came up with the tagline ‘Soulfully East’, thereby establishing itself as an authentic, culture-focused brand. In a country like Pakistan, where culture and tradition hold a rather significant position in the hearts of its people, this managed to speak to the masses. J. saw an increase in its profit that year, and after. 

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Another approach that J. turned to was a rather religious one. They took up the policy of not showing faces on billboards and other advertisement mediums. This tilted the brand’s focus towards eastern values, mirroring the personality of its televangelist co-owner, Junaid Jamshed. Most of their advertisements depict designs of their prints superimposed on other objects such as yachts, vintage cars and flowers. In a country as religiously-cautious as Pakistan, this made a huge difference for the brand in the textile market. 

Successful Remodeling of the Industry

With its clear-cut religion-oriented brand, J. has enjoyed clear blue waters to swim in. Its focus on an Islamic brand was an original creation for the industry. Nothing like that existed before. The brand merged two aspects of the society that its people did not see as resonative and presented a new dynamic to the industry. 

Previously, fashion was heavily influenced by western values. Even traditional brands had a reflection of western fashion in their clothes. J. effectively established an authentic eastern brand. The color palettes used were eastern, the designs were eastern, and the clothes, in general, were in compliance with the Islamic values. So much so that each collection introduced was co-designed and approved by the renowned religious scholar, Mufti Najeeb. 

Year after year, collections launched by J. boast dated but traditional designs like Gota Kinari and Block Prints in a manner that they seem part of the latest trends. This is another factor that has aided the brand’s reputation as a trendsetter because these designs were previously deemed outdated and old-fashioned by some of the biggest names in the market.

In addition, the brand not only caters to its female audience but also its male counterpart. The brand, from very early on, has had a multi-sexual approach towards fashion. On one hand, it produces colorful and culturally-relevant clothes for women; on the other, it focuses on light-toned traditional clothing (kurta, shalwar kameez, and sherwani) for men. When J. started out, only a handful of brands were doing that. This gave the brand the freedom to explore this area of fashion and experiment with new ideas.

These approaches revamped and remodeled the mainstream clothing industry, with J. establishing itself as the forerunner of the new trend. 

Strong Business Model

For any business to have a successful run, a strong business model is necessary to be put in motion. This is precisely what J. has managed to do over the years. Although the general model has remained the same, it has made significant improvements and tweaked a few threads here and there over the years.

Unlike most other brands, J. owns all of its stores. Even the international ones. In a 2015 interview, the then-CEO“Most other brands have franchises abroad, while we own all our stores.” This not only provides credibility and sustainability to the brand, but is also spectacularly efficient on the finance front. In addition to owning stores, with the branding technique of not turning to models and actors for advertisements, the brands saves millions of rupees every year that would have went in recruiting top-profile actors and top-models otherwise. These strategies, in cumulative fashion, have given the brand the financial independence to explore new areas in the field of fashion whilst staying within the pre-set budget.

The Takeaway 

Junaid Jamshed’s brand, J., has made it mark in the fashion world. Through consistency, culturally and religiously authentic fashion, effective branding, and strong business models, the brand has managed to stay more than relevant in the popular culture. If the brand keeps growing like it has over the past decade, it will inevitably rule the clothing industry in the years to come.

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Moaz Ahmed Khan

Content writer at Sales Professionals Forum. An aspiring writer and poet, who is always on the lookout for new forms of art and literature. His inspirations are Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, Robert Browning, and the Brontés.

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