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BEN CHAN and BENCH

Questions for Analysis:


1. How did Ben Chan make a difference in clothing/apparel through
Bench?
Clothes make the man, as the old clich goes. But what if the man who
makes the clothes? As for the case of Mr. Benito Chan or better known as
Ben Chan, channeling his innate creativity and love of design into fashion is
a passion as much as it is a business. Spreading his design wings, Mr. Ben
Chan first ventured into clothing when he and his sister launched a childrens
wear line in a local department store. They opened that first store in 1985,
naming it Suyen after their niece. Unfortunately, they lost the store when the
department store burned down. Undaunted by this loss, Mr. Chan saw an
opportunity to launch a new brand when the department store reopened in
1987. He named the new line BENCH.
BENCH started out by selling only mens t-shirts. The t-shirts were known for
its affordable prices and distinctive style. The designs were so popular
however, that Mr. Ben Chan Chan quickly had to increase manufacturing and
production size to cope with demand as more malls began offering him retail
spaces. He was a one-man team, being in charge of the operations side of
the business, clothing design and even boutique design. He also guided the
companys marketing campaigns, product development and in-store designs.
Hes a listener, and I think thats why hes very successful. He listens to
your ideas. And hes a very positive person, shared by one of Mr. Chans
closest friends.
With Mr. Ben Chans world class fashion style and hardworking ethic, from its
humble beginnings, the t-shirt offerings expanded into a whole lifestyle
store, offering Fix Salon for hair products and services, stationary line
Prescribe(r), Bench Brats for teenagers, Bench Body and Bath specializing in
bath and fragrance products, and now HerBench offering a complete
womens line, including fragrances and cosmetics.
We export not just products or raw materials, but a brand. The Bench brand
stands for an entire vision and the Filipino lifestyle, specifically. This is a
marketing feat, since it is one thing to sell to a domestic market, while it is a
completely different ball game overseas, alongside the worlds biggest and
best brands. The winning strategy is to think, act, and look global, wherever
you are, explains Mr. Ben Chan in an interview with Inquirer.
Mr. Ben Chan and Bench made a difference, they did things nobody dared to
by making initiative and taking risks, because if there is a local fashion brand
that tells its story loudest, it has to be Bench.

2. What makes Bench click?


Mr. Ben Chan was able to focus on innovation and design development to
ensure that BENCH apparels and products remain globally competitive. Yet
despite being the driving force behind many of our popular local fashion
brands, he humbly states that for success to be meaningful, it has to be
shared because Its not just about sales, but also about ensuring that your
people are taken care of.
BENCH enter the foreign market by infusing a Filipino flavor to our designs
but still making it adaptable globally. Strategies differ in various countries,
naturally. In the Middle East, it targets the Filipino population although it has
been
attracting
more
non-Filipinos
to
its
stores.
To establish a true global brand, they are trying to create a Bench family of
endorsers from local celebrities to international ones. A Hollywood endorser
brings in a different flavor to the brand, as would a Korean. When you put
together the entire stable of Bench endorsers, who are all from different
backgrounds, ages, nationalities, styles, body types, it really paints a picture
of a brand that embraces the world. It boosts the brands image because
Bench clothes look good on all of them. There is universal appeal. Clearly,
the tender ages of Adam Levine, Lucy Hale, Joe Jonas, David Archueta and
Lee Min-Ho and their brisk casualness are expected to resonate with kids
who live in jeans and t-shirts worldwide.

To date, Bench has grown to include a ladies line, underwear, fragrances,


housewares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products, with the
distinction of being present in virtually every retail space in the Philippines,
and with a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the
United States, the Middle East, and China.
As it sliced through demographic divisions age, gender, socio-economic
status , Bench is forever became the companys abiding creed because
Bench create, inspire, make, innovate, lead and serve.

3. In your own analysis, how has Bench Chan scanned the


environment where Bench operates?
Ben Chan knew then that he had something to offer to the Philippine market.
Seeing an opportunity in the casual mens fashion category, he used his
background in design and family business experience to go on his own. The
only way to go for the fast-growing Bench brand was to go global, but the
transition was not immediate. Still, Bench dared to tip the scale by staying
relevant and exciting with its innovations.
I think Mr. Ben Chans secret is to think globally early in business. I have read
an article about him from Manila Standard Today where he said that one
should market himself from day one. In fact, the brand ventured overseas to
establish its strength of bringing the uniqueness of being Filipino to the
world. I also think that Mr. Ben Chans keen eye for trends that eventually
helped Bench toward early profitability.
Whatever one may say about the retail benchmark Ben has created, one can
never disregard the manner in which Mr. Ben Chan has turned his celebrity
endorsers into effective tools of merchandising. While others may have
jumped on the bandwagon, spending dollars and hard-earned cash to gain
Hollywood cachet and thereby jumpstart the legitimizing of their own
marketing efforts, its undeniably Mr. Ben Chan who laid the groundwork for
marrying contemporary image and advertising with product and brand recall.
I must add that Mr. Ben Chans success is because he always have a working
plan. He is hands-on and do strive for perfection in which the retail business
thrives on details which size and color of button to use or what specific
shade of gray a t-shirt must have are examples of the minute details that
have to be considered. I think that when he looks at something and he feels
its gonna be a big thing, he ties up his research work and turns it into a
bigger campaign by translating it into a more universal message for the
people to follow.
One of Benchs biggest stunts was putting excitement in the underwear and
making a private item very public. Its biannual underwear fashion show not
only drove more sales but also catapulted the brands image. Acoording to
him, through the show, it is easier for them to market their brand in the
international scene. And in fact, Fox International covered the underwear
show and made a special which aired in Star World. That act definitely help in
strengthening the brand equity in the Asian region.

Submitted by:
GALASAO, Mariel Danica M.
BBA-MM 4-1
References:
www.business.inquirer.net
www.bworldonline.com
www.bench.com.ph
www.manilastandardtoday.com