Huberry fashion Marketing Assignment
How the company could develop a more market oriented approach to its business and its design process in particular and would be the advantages of this?
A marketing oriented firm is one that allows the wants and needs of customers and potential customers to drive all the firm's strategic decisions. Being marketing orientated is more than just being customer-led. It requires the full support of the organization may need a complete change in an organization's culture.
The motivation is to find out what customers want then fill them rather than creating products and selling them. The assumption is that customers are not necessarily price driven, but are looking for the total offering that best fits their needs, and therefore the organisation has to define those needs and develop appropriate offerings. This is not just about the core product itself, but also about pricing, access to information, availability and peripheral benefits and service that add value to the product.
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Not all customers want the same things, for example people need to eat when they are hungry. What they want to eat and where they want to eat can vary a great deal. For some, eating at KFC satisfies the need to meet hunger. For others a microwaved ready-meal meets their needs. Some consumers like a bottle of wine with their meals
Customers can be grouped according to common needs and wants, and the organisation can produce a specifically targeted marketing package that best suits the needs of one group, thus increasing the chances of satisfying that group and retaining its loyalty.
Huberry Fashions should implement these steps to take a more marked oriented approach to its business.
- Extensive use of marketing research
- Broad product lines
- Emphasis on a product's benefits to customers rather than on product attributes
- Use of product innovation techniques
- The offering of ancillary services like credit availability, delivery, installation, and warranty
For Huberry Fashions to develop a more marked oriented approach to its business first it must carry out research to find out what customer needs and wants are. The information we gather from the market research is important because it will help us to design and develop our product.
Inputting market research information into the design process will help the business to create products that better satisfy the customer needs, thus more customer are likely to purchase the product. More emphasis must be placed on the product's benefits to customers rather than on product attributes. For example, coat is stain resistant so it does not need to be washed every week, rather than saying customer will buy well designed products.
The advantage in adopting the market oriented approach is that the more Huberry Fashions understands and meets the needs of its consumers, the more likely it is to have happy customers who come back for more, and tell their friends. This process can entail the fostering of long term relationships with customers.
How could the company use market segmentation, targeting and positioning more effectively?
The purpose for segmenting a market is for the business to focus on customers that are "most likely" to purchase the product that they are selling. An business cannot satisfy the needs and wants of all consumers. Segmentation is the process of dividing a particular market into sections, which display similar characteristics or behaviour. Huberry fashions can use to divide their market into groups for example,
- Life style
- Social class
Geographic segmentation defines customers according to the location, it is a simple form of market segmentation. Certain countries and regions are assumed to have common characteristics which influence buying attitudes. In international marketing it makes sense to analyse particular market segments in terms of such characteristics as population, income per head, trade carried out by the country, as well as tastes, and the nature of competition in the market. There is limited scope for the application of geographic segmentation on its own.
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Demographic segmentation tells the business more about the customer and the customers household on measurable criteria that are largely descriptive such as age, sex, race, income, occupation social status and family structure. When people age their needs and wants change, so the Huberry fashion must develop specific products targeted at particular age groups for example, board games for children, MP3 players teenagers and so on.You can use Gender segmentation in fashion, sports and video games.
Finding out what the average age of customers who buy our product is important. This is because we can use that information to target customer, for example if gather information that suggest that majority of our customers are over 55, we could use this when during a marketing campaign so that we target them better. We could for example place advertisement on radio, the diagram below shows the 30% radio listeners in the UK are above 55. The benefit we get is that we are more effective because we are not wasting our money placing advertisement all over the place we are deliberately targeting customer who we think are most likely to purchase.
What is the relevance of the product life cycle concept to the company's situation?
The product lifecycle concept reflects the theory that products, like people live a life. They are born, they grow up, they mature and eventually, they die. During its life cycle a product can go through different stages, achieving varying levels of success in the market. This means that the products marketing support needs to also very. Figure 1 shows the theoretical progress of a product life cycle. Huberry fashions can use the product life cycle concept as a guide to measure what their product has achieved and where it is heading in the future. The products life cycle not only can be applied to products but to business as well.
The products life cycle can be broken down into five distinct stages.
- Maturity & Saturation
All new products go through a development stage, Huberry fashions carry out Research and Development to ensure the new product will succeed in satisfying the needs of the customer profitably. There is often substantial investment made by businesses at this stage, as prototypes are developed and tested through market research. Introduction
This stage marks the launch of the product in the market. Successful product launches require investment in promotional activities, to raise awareness and knowledge of the new product. Initially sales of the product will be low, and continued expenditure on marketing results in increasing losses being made.
With high levels of negative cash-flow, a product that continues to fail to generate the levels of sales required, will be withdrawn from the market. However, if the firms marketing strategies succeed, product sales will slowly begin to rise to a level where costs are being covered, which we refer to as the break-even point
Finally the business begins to see a return on investment, as profit is generated from sales of the new product. At this stage profit per unit sold is likely to be at its maximum, particularly if the product incorporates innovations not currently offered by substitute goods in the market. Many firms will employ a price skimming strategy, if the product provides new innovative benefits to the market.
The reaction of competitors is critical at this stage, the high levels of profit being achieved may attract new competitors into the market, or trigger existing competitors to launch their own versions of the product, which may force the sales price of the product down. Firms will seek to protect and maximise their share of the market, through marketing strategies that aim to create brand loyalty, and gain further market share.
Maturity & Saturation
Sales growth begins to slowdown and level off, as the product achieves acceptance by most potential buyers. The firm will now seek to defend the products stable market share, from increasing competition, from competing products in the market. Marketing strategies will include reminder advertising, sales promotions, and efforts to secure distribution channels.
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You could argue that Huberry fashions finds itself in this position because it has been successful for past 90 years, but only in the last few years sales have begin to decline. Customers know what they want, the product Huberry fashions sell look dated and have becomes unexciting compared with newer offerings from the competition this why they chosen to switch brand. In this circumstance I would recommend they concentrate on their had core loyal buyers, encouraging heavier consumption from them. It may also be possible to convert some brand switchers into loyal customers through the use of sales promotions and advertising.
The emergence of new innovative products and / or technological advances will result in rapidly falling sales of existing products in the market, despite the best marketing efforts. Huberry fashions could withdraw the weak products and concentrate on its core business which is raincoats.
As a product enters its decline stage the business may seek to prolong the products life by implementing extension strategies, illustrated in figure 2.A good example of how to use the extension strategies is how Sony managed to prolong the life of the Ps2. When sales begin to decline it launched a slimmer vision of the same product.
How can the company protect and build on its brand name and image?
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
Brands are used by people to establish their status far more than religion or political parties. We are often jugged by the brand we select, the car we buy, what we eat and what we wear. All of these can be used to classify an individual. It is there for of no surprise that brands are often not about physical attributes but a set of values, a philosophy that can be matched with the consumers own value and philosophy . For example Orange represents a bright future, Nike is about achievement. Branding can help in the development of new products by extending the life of a products, thorough building on consumers perceptions of the value represented by the brand name.
The Problem Huberry Fashions has is that it has become associated with a cheap Imation. This has begun to make their band appear cheap and downmarket. To protect and build one the brand name and image I would recommend that the business emphasise the quality of the products and the workmanship required to create it. The more Huberry Fashions use there trademarks - brand names, logos and slogans - the stronger and more distinctive they become and the more your likely customers are to remember your brand and to use it to tell others about it.
To differentiate our brand name and image from imitation I would also recommend making our logo more visible in out clothing line. Kellogg's faced a similar problem of cheap imitators in the form of supermarket on brand entering the cereal market. To differentiate they adopted a strategy which was to place the famous Kellogg logo on every individual flakes using a lasers.
You could decide to follow the footstep of Nike its cheapest trainers cost £20 and its most expensive £650. This way they target people on low income with cheap trainers but also have a expensive one for people with high income.
Creating a strong brand identity that emotionally connects with consumers is what sets brands apart from competitors. Here as some ways Huberry Fashions can build one the brand name and image.
- Benefits, how does the consumer benefit? We must more emphasis on benefits rather than futures.
- Quality, how well we make the product, if the consumer is not satisfied they want purchases it.
- Where it is made, we must place more emphasis on where m=we make our products.
- Price, we must charge the right price, if we sell it at a low price to many people buy it, overprice to few buy it. Balance is needed.
- Presence, were are we located, does the customer fins us or do we go after the customer. Do we choose to have an exclusive store in London or as well as a website.
In the light of the current economic recession and aggressive competition how should the company respond with regards to its future pricing strategies?
The price the Huberry Fashion sells is product for is one the most important decision it will make. The business must offer their products for a price that the target market is willing to pay . There are many pricing strategies that the business could choose from.
How the customer perceives the value of the product determines the maximum price customers will pay. Perceived value is created by an established reputation, marketing messages, packaging, and sales environments.
Using the price strategy matrix we can determine the price we sell our products for in the future.
Price skimming' involves charging a high price for a short time where a new, innovative, or much-improved product is launched onto a market for example apples I pod.
The objective with skimming is to skim off customers who are willing to pay more to have the product earlier. The prices are lowered later when demand from the "early adopters" falls. A good example is apple I phone or Sony's PS3. It is also easier to lower price that to raise it, so if the initial high price does not generate the required response, it can be slowly lowered until an appropriate level is found.
The price charged for products and services is set artificially low in order to gain market share. Once this is achieved, the price is increased. This approach was used by France Telecom and Sky TV.
The disadvantage could be the impact of the reduced price has on the image of the brand, particularly where customers associate price with quality. This is why Huberry fashions should not adopt this strategy because it is prestige brand and by putting a low price on its products could damage its brand. A good example is Apples I phone, even in a recession it did not lower its price.
This is a no frills low price. The cost of marketing and manufacture are kept at a minimum. A good example is Ryanair and Easyjet, who charge a very low price, they have lots of customer but don't havea good brand image. I thick Huberry fashions should not adopt this pricing strategy because its a premium brand and lowering price to that level would complete destroy its image.
It may be considered when location, exclusivity or unique customer service can justify higher prices. Retailers that stock high-quality merchandise that isn't available at any other location may be quite successful in pricing their products above competitors.
I would recommend that Huberry fashions adopt premium, pricing as it pricing strategy. I say this because Huberry fashions is a premium product. Adopting this strategy in an economic recession could mean lower sales but taking the pain in the short run could benefit the business in the long them. The business may not make lots of sales during the recession, but we should not react by lowering prices. I say this because Huberry fashions premium product and if we decided to lower the price we will damage our brand.
How could market research help the company?
Gathering information on the actual or potential marketplace not only allows business to monitor trends and issues concerning its current customers, but also helps to identify and profile potential customers and new markets. It also helps to keep track of its competition. In this context, market research and information handling offer the organisation a foundation from which it can adjust to the changing environment in which it operates.
Market research can help Huberry fashion in the following areas:
Carrying out market research can help Huberry fashion decide how much to sell its products for. If the price if the price is to high the business may not get lots of sales.
What product should the business make, by researching the market, you can identify customer needs and wants. It can help you to identify treads for example, many people find unacceptable to wear fear. The business could find out what the demand for its products is then act accordingly.
Where should Huberry fashion be located, do customer preface to come to store or go to the website. Carrying out research can provide the business with answer.
What method of advertising it should use. For example if the business carries out research and finds out that most of its customer are over 65, then it may place adverts on radio than internet.