Building on the strategic notion that the market for Egyptian cotton was broader than traditionally thought, a market analysis focused on the steps needed to turn the strong reputation of Egyptian cotton into a brand identity. The strategy was to invest in a new asset, in a move akin to Intel’s “Intel Inside” campaign. Under the guidance of a consultant from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City , students in fashion design and marketing classes at two U.S. universities interviewed people in the street about what they thought when they heard the words “Egyptian cotton.” A video of these interviews, published in Egytex2000 Trade Fair, made a persuasive case that an Egyptian cotton logo on home furnishings, such as sheets, towels, and bed linens, and on other textiles in the United States would be beneficial. After an intensive design effort, the industry adopted a logo that combined images of Egyptian pyramid with that of a cotton bud. The largest home furnishings manufacturer in the United States , WestPoint Stevens, agreed to place the Egyptian cotton logo on its products, without even passing through a market testing period. The agreement with WestPoint Stevens and one of its principal suppliers, Parkdale Mills, was signed in the presence of President Mubarak at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on April 2, 2000 .
The Egyptian cotton Trade mark (ECL) was then launched in mid. 2001, with the objective of promoting Egyptian Cotton products to consumers worldwide. The ECL is only used for 100% Egyptian cotton products. The (ECL) has been registered during the last three years in major markets around the globe. Euphoric from the launch of the Cotton Trade Mark, officials and non-officials gave the definition of this historic step forward for the Egyptian Textile Industry, with the description as: “To increase consumer awareness of the benefits of 100% Egyptian cotton, there is now an official Egyptian Cotton mark, the result of two years of design development. Registered in 58 countries, the Egyptian Cotton mark guarantees the product is made of 100% Egyptian Barbadense cotton, grown in Egypt . The goal is obvious: enhance product value in the hope of creating a truly luxurious product unrivalled around the world, and increase Egyptian exports in the process”.
According to a professional in the industry, which in December 2002 stated that: “If the logo performs as expected, we could see a premium on price for the manufacturers of upwards of 25%. Exports as a whole are expected to improve by 50% in two years alone.”
The exports of Egyptian Home Textiles to USA and EU have increased mainly due to the consumer demand for Egyptian Cotton products and in particular for Egyptian Cotton terry towels, therefore the Egyptian Cotton Terry Towels exports to USA during 2002-2003, have increased by only 3% compared to the export values of the previous period (2001-2002), while to the EU has increased only 2%.
Meanwhile, the owners of the Egyptian cotton mark should be aware of their responsibilities of monitoring the usage of the Egyptian Cotton Trademark (ECL) since manufacturers of cotton towels in Pakistan began to use the ECL on 100% Egyptian Cotton Loops. This will certainly damage the perception of Egyptian cotton to consumer’s world wide and will affect the credibility of the ECL.