NEXT was his first brand and is still very strong. NEXT taught George (GD) Brand Creation. From Womenswear it went on to become Menswear, then Kidswear, Interiors, Jewellery, Gardening – it was the first lifestyle brand.
The great thing was, he was excited and had vision of what could be achieved, but to underpin his ideas, he travelled the length and breadth of the UK visiting Womenswear shops. Market research is fundamental, but the difference is he had never used market research consultants. “You have to do it yourself”.
In creating a brand GD had to define the Brand concept. Everything you create, every operation within the Brand had to be in unison so that it came together as one vision and sub-consciously the consumer recognised this and ultimately identified with it. Of course, you have to come up with a name that encompasses all these qualities, he calls this process his perfect diamond.
The NEXT concept was about – Design, Affordability and Collections, making it really easy for the Customer to shop keeping their individuality but still being able to experiment.
At this time, GD had strong feelings that as towns became overcrowded and clogged up with cars, mail order was an opportunity. In the 1980’s mail order was seen as almost a little down market, targeting people who needed credit. So to this, NEXT bought Grattan and a year later GD launched NEXT DIRECTORY, and still today it has no rivals! Fabric swatches and 48-hour delivery were all revolutionary.
In the late 80’s GD moved on, but he left his legacy with NEXT, continuing to have phenomenal growth.