So the news in December Oroton had entered voluntary administration
and while the administrators of the company will trade “business as usual” while a solution is found, it’s unlikely the brand, as we once knew it, will ever be the same again.
When the company was riding high in 2010, then CEO Sally Macdonald celebrated the brand’s place in the then burgeoning “accessible luxury” market.
“I think we are in an affordable luxury segment which is much more value than a luxury European brand but much, much better quality than the high-street, cheaper, alternative brands,” Ms Macdonald told the Sydney Morning Herald in March that year.
But in 2010, online shopping was still gaining traction and the influx of overseas brands in Australia hadn’t yet happened. It’s fair to argue that Oroton went from being a big fish in a little “aff-luxe” pond, to a small fish that got eaten by sharks the likes of Mimco and Mon Purse, as well as more niche brands such as Deadly Ponies, all of which compete in the same $500-range price bracket.
Ironically, Oroton owns a 30 per cent stake in The Daily Edited, another brand most likely to have taken some of its market share.
The three main reasons they failed are:
- It maintained unprofitable stores, Oroton continued to pour big dollars into high rents at stores that were not attracting the required level of traffic or sales.
- It failed to evolve with marketing practices. They seemed to be unclear on who its ideal customer was.
- They failed to deliver a clear brand message on Instagram, using an influencer such as Rose Byrne is fine as long as your approach and execution matches the ideal customer profile. Which it didn’t!
So it’s clear to see that there are several reasons why they failed and why choosing an influencer marketing as a weapon to overcome marketing challenges, can be beneficial if its the right one. Through authenticity, influencers help brands engage their target audience, and then deliver higher returns in earned media value.