Ralph Lauren vs. Tommy Hilfiger—The Ultimate Comparison

Ralph Lauren vs. Tommy Hilfiger—The Ultimate Comparison


One of the topmost wants in our modern society is the desire to dress and look attractive. That’s why it’s now common to find comparisons such as Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger. Since people now want to wear clothes for the benefit of looking good and not necessarily for the fundamental reasons for wearing clothes, we desire to wear the best designs. Since clothes have become necessary to represent one’s taste, lifestyle, and fashion favorites, lovers of different fashion brands and houses seek to establish superiority and dominance over others. 

Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger are two of the most popular lifestyle fashion brands. They offer a variety of stylish and classy shirts, polo, jeans, underwear, sportswear, suits, and accessories for fashion-oriented people and the fashion world. Tommy Hilfiger shouldn’t need an introduction, and neither should Ralph Lauren. Anyone who has an interest in the fashion world would know these two. Besides, they have made their mark and gained ground through innovation and quality. They both cater to the high-end consumers in the fashion world though they have their differences.

Many people, would like to see their differences and what makes them stand out. The question now is, which one is the best and how do you know which one to choose? This comparison article is an attempt to dive in and provide these answers.

  • Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger—Brand History
  • Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger—Product Strategy
  • The Marketing Strategy of Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger
  • Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger—Pricing

Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger – Brand History

As stated earlier, these two brands need no introduction, especially to a fashion-oriented person. However, not many fans of these brands know the history of these brands they love. We know the brands produce well-designed products, and we can use this to defend our interests anywhere and anytime. The problem arises when we have to talk in-depth about the brands. Many of us would have little or nothing to say. To put an end to that, let’s take a brief look into the history of each brand.

The Ralph Lauren Brand

Ralph Lauren—born on October 14, 1939, grew up in the Jewish Bronx. He refers to his story as a true example of the rags-to-riches American Dream. He attended City College in Manhattan, where he majored in business, but did not finish college before focusing on creating men’s clothing. As a teenager, he worked evenings at the Alexander’s, a now-defunct NYC-based chain of stores. He had many ties he made from rags and sold to his fellow high schoolers. That was how his journey into designing and making clothes started.

After his two years’ service in the United States Army, he started working in the Empire State Building, making wide ties out of high-quality fabrics out of a drawer. He was unhappy about the current situation and look of menswear in the late 60s, so he chose to design and custom-make his clothing. He succeeded in convincing Beau Brummel—New York City clothier — to invest in his ties, which was the beginning of Lauren’s partnership with him. They sold these products and made up to half a million dollars. 

The following year, they added shirts and suits, and afterwards, Lauren set out to establish his Polo label in 1968. By 1970, the Polo label opened a shop in Bloomingdale’s, the first boutique built and devoted to a single designer. In 1971 Lauren designed and debuted his first product collection for women, and by 1974, he won the contract to design all the menswear for “The Great Gatsby”—the first of many such contracts. Since then, the Lauren brand has expanded its niche into making fragrance, homeware, restaurant ownership, and many more.

The Tommy Hilfiger Brand

On March 24, 1951, Tommy Hilfiger, born in Elmira, New York, managed to build a signature red, white, and blue clothing brand. From a young age, his entrepreneurial gift became evident. As a teenager in New York, he bought, remade, and sold jeans in Elmira. By the age of 18, he had opened up his store called “The People’s Place” in Elmira, where he sold hippie supplies such as incense, bell-bottoms, and records. He became wildly successful at opening up a chain of stores and began to earn six figures. However, the economic downturn hit his business soon after, and he had to file for bankruptcy in 1977.

Shortly after the bankruptcy issue, he moved to Manhattan with his wife, Susie, and together they worked as the design team for the apparel brand Jordache. They got fired after only one year of working with the brand, but Hilfiger had developed a reputation as a hard-working man, so he got consideration to work with brands such as Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis. However, what he wanted was to own his label. 

The Partnership with Mohan Murjani

In 1984, an Indian entrepreneur Mohan Murjani approached Hilfiger—he needed a designer who would head a men’s sportswear line he planned to start. He gave Hilfiger the latitude to design the label in his name and sealed the deal. 

That marked the beginning of a longtime successful partnership. The duo announced the label’s design using a blitz marketing strategy which included a bold billboard in New York Times Square. The campaign announced Hilfiger as the next big thing in American Fashion. The strategy worked well and ranked high in the fashion industry. Though Hilfiger recorded a commercial success, many fashion elites snubbed him. Hard times began to hit in the early 2000s, and Hilfiger had to look through his company’s mistakes and rework the brand. He agreed with Macy’s to only sell the best-selling products in the store.

The brand grew to and established significant success till Tommy Hilfiger felt it was time to hand it over to new management. By May of 2010, the rebranded company sold to the clothing conglomerate Pillips-Van Heusen for $3 billion. However, Hilfiger continues to be the brand’s principal designer, and there are now more than 1,400 stores in 90 countries.

Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger – Product Strategy

Ralph is, no doubt, a luxury accessories and apparel brand. They have a robust global presence and cater to the premium segment of society. They offer four broad product line categories in their market mix, which include;

Product lineOfferings
ApparelsPolo Ralph Lauren t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, swimwear, tees, formal wear, denim, pants, vests, coats, etc.
FragrancesLauren, Ralph Lauren Blue, Ralph Lauren Black, etc. 
Home DécorHome blankets, bathrobe, comforters, bath towels, frames, lighting, etc.
Ralph Lauren AccessoriesBags, gloves, ties, scarfs, wallets, sunglasses, eyeglasses, leggings, etc.

According to the research report, this wide variety of product lines and offerings helps increase Ralph Lauren’s market share and reach people of different ages and levels.

Tommy Hilfiger is also a leading fashion brand with a wide range of clothing and a strong global presence. Tommy Hilfiger’s wide range of product segments for lifestyle and fashion provides style, value, and quality. By adding a youthful twist, the brand focuses on classic American designs. The various categories in Tommy Hilfiger’s market mix include;

Product lineOfferings
ApparelsJackets and coats, Hoodies and Sweatshirts, Sweaters, T-Shirts, Shirts, Pants and Shorts, Jeans, Polos, Suits and Blazers, Swimwear, Loungewear, etc.
UnderwearBriefs, Trunks, Boxer Briefs, Boxers
Shoes and Sneakers, Boots, Slides, etc.
AccessoriesBags and Wallets, Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Socks, Belts, Ties and Pocket Squares, Watches and Jewelry.
Home DécorComforter, Monogram Decorative, Earbuds, Sheet set, Beach towel, etc. 

The company has a wide customer base because it has different collection lines. It also delivers on the different styles and tastes of each collection. 

The Marketing Strategy of Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger

Ralph Lauren has spent a lot on product marketing and has also achieved a lot from it. They carry out extensive promotion activities using various marketing mediums such as online advertisements, TV ads, and hoarding. Ralph Lauren is one brand that seems to leave no stone unturned when it comes to advertising. The brand uses strategies such as discounts, contests, and even Rugby Radio to gain the target market and their audience. They also invest in digital marketing and social media platforms to interact with customers. They make sure to participate in various fashion shows such as Milan Fashion Week, among others, that bring the brand’s products to the forefront for potential and existing customers.

Tommy Hilfiger also uses several aggressive marketing strategies to reach their target market. They have very high brand visibility because they use different marketing channels such as newspaper ads, magazine ads, and billboards. The brand also uses celebrities as brand ambassadors and the tagline “For the People.” Tommy Hilfiger offers discounts during special occasions and off-season. They make a promotional statement with their store layout, aligning with the preppy fashion they offer and reflecting the classic relaxed American style they represent. The virtual reality store launched in 2015 to allow buyers to view merchandise in 360degree & 3D and shop the collection immediately was a marketing innovation that changed the brand’s paradigm.

Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger – Pricing

Ralph Lauren is a global enterprise that focuses mainly on luxury and premium product segments. The target audience is primarily the high-income group; therefore, the price is generally high compared to that of competitors. However, the quality makes up for the cost and adequately serves the rich, urban people. That’s why the brand is successful in its earning capacity—resulting in a reasonable amount and a very high-profit margin. They follow a stringent and preservative pricing policy that makes up their marketing mix—keeping their products in high pricing regard.

On the other hand, most of Tommy Hilfiger’s clothes are priced between $10 and $500. Tommy Hilfiger charges a premium on its products and for a high-end fashion brand; its price comes in the lower segment compared to its competitors. Therefore, Tommy Hilfiger has experienced decreased brand equity among customers since its 90’s glory days. However, people want to relate to Tommy Hilfiger because of its unique take on the classic American pop culture and style, which helps the company remain relevant and in the premium fashion brands category.


Overall, in the Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger comparison, both companies have done well. We can also see how well-received their designs and ideas have been and the great feedback they’ve garnered. They continue to highlight some of America’s best clothing features.

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Ralph Lauren vs. Tommy Hilfiger—The Ultimate Comparison Ralph Lauren vs Tommy Hilfiger cater to the higher end of the fashion world; however, they have some striking differences. Click to find them out.
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