Fashion Is Highly Dynamic Commerce Essay

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In the 1980s, Saint Laurents fashion house was growing to unforeseen proportions, Saint Laurents believed in a concept called vamprizing, which meant that he would absorb inputs from different cultures and different experiences and create pieces of work that would cater to much larger segments of the market (Weber 2006). He has been successful in that previously, and has deployed such tactics previously, which has completely transformed image, customer repeatability and sales.

The mission statement of a company is basically the purpose or essence of a company and what it stands for. In other words, a mission statement is designed in order for stakeholders and investors to understand the purpose of the company and for what it stands for in order for them to consider investing in it (Hubbard 1994). An example would be what the product has to offer for its clients and customers. An effective mission statement should be as concise as possible in order to describe the companys mission or purpose in less than 30 seconds (Gleeson 2010). Gleeson defines the mission statement as a key element to have in a company because it ensures shareholders that they are clear on the purpose and intentions of the company, so that everyone could focus on the same goals and objectives. Furthermore, the mission statement ensures that all investors and employees are on the same page in case there is any potential use of resources, capital investment or labour. Gleeson notes that the mission statement can appear in several locations either in a business plan or in a corporate relation. The aim of writing a well-established mission statement is to create a succinct definition that people can relate to as well as include all the input of all the members of the organization. Including also some information about the company such as whom the company is, what they do, what they stand for and why they do what they do (Bass 1995).

The Times 100 considered that the business objectives are the goals that an organization is set out to achieve. The objectives and plans of a business are created based on the various stakeholders requirements in the organization because plans are created in order to achieve the means to the ends. The stakeholders are one of the most important people in the business organization because they are concerned with how the business is run as well as its achievements and outcomes. However The times 100, observed that after the mission of the organization is set, the business objective is followed by a set of objectives which is related to aspects such as market share, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, returns to shareholders, and brand awareness. For the business objectives to be successful they need to meet a number of criterias such as quantify objectives, challenge themselves, attain themselves (be realistic) and communicate easily by understanding the objective (Cialdini 1993).

The mission statement of YSL is to design and develop critically successful haute couture and ready-to-wear fashion (YSL 2011). The fundamental objective of the business is being commercially successful. In respect to the latter, Yves Saint Laurent has mastered the fashion industry with its diverse and extensive range of fashion products. Mission statements and business objectives in YSL have not been in conflict as has happened in many other areas of fashion as YSL they have acted in unison. Critical integrity has been compromised most notably at Ratners and financial integrity was compromised at Alexander McQueen but not at Yves Saint Laurent (YSL 2011). Haute couture the centre of critical success is the labels flagship, even though it represents only a fraction of sales under the YSL name. It is the labels ready-to-wear, licensed products and the chain of more than 100 of the brands boutiques which have reconciled the critical and financial demands and reduced commercial constraints. Indeed, total licensed sales of Yves Saint Laurent products reached 6 billion Euros in 2006 built upon this symbiosis if this relationship between mission statement and business objective (Rule 2006).

In order for both Organizational and Marketing objectives to be successful, they need to follow the SMART criteria. The SMART criterion is described as Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. The first step is Specific, which deals with achieving the objective how it is exactly stated and demanded. The second step is Measurable; how the objectives should be measured and how long will it take to be achieved. The third step is Achievable; identifies whether the objectives are realistic given the circumstances and whether the company has the appropriate resources. The fourth step is Relevant, whether the objectives are relevant enough for the specific objective. The fifth step is Time Bound, which deals with the time-frame a certain objective has for it to be done, the deadline should be realistic (Tutor2u 2010).

The goal of the organizational objectives is to achieve the organizations long-range mission. In other words, it clarifies and increases the understanding, support, trust and participation of the people in the business organization and program in effort to build a united company, where people could be well-informed, progressive and united (Hubbard 2006). The organization objectives can be found in the businesss five-year plan, yearly schedule, and quarterly schedule. The organizational objectives can help with planning the work centre objectives. What is meant by work centre objectives is preparing for an upcoming board of inspection and survey (INSURV) visit. That type of planning eliminates crisis management (Tutor2u 2010).

The goal of the Marketing Objective is to achieve the sales objectives. This is achieved by working with each group of the target market; such as having a good data about the sizes of the market, potential market, and the current customer base. The data should include information such as recognized opportunities, customers' buying rates, and other behavioural issues (Integrated 2011). This information in return will help estimate the numbers needed to attach to marketing objectives. The marketing objectives of the business follow the same rules as the sales objectives, and be measurable, quantifiable and time specific (Tutor2u 2010). Furthermore, the business should be aware that its objectives such as having current customers may not all buy again; there should an account for the drop in that group's purchases by also adding a goal to retain a specific percentage of the existing customers. Also the company should keep a record of these accounts for every of segment of the market based on the data. Then, set up a chart to show the math involved in how the marketing objectives meet the sales objectives (Obringer 2011).

The author has described the objectives and mission statement and will discuss how they were applied in the case of YSL. The marketing strategy of YSL is built upon two different markets - the super wealthy and the aspirational (bio 2008). In the context of YSL, the aspirational model has served it well. These aspirational strategies are strategies designed to reposition a brand within a marketplace. The idea is that brand can lead organizational change and lead consumer opinion about a brand. Aspirational brand strategies are used when the current image of the brand is either negative or no longer relevant to the company (Armstrong 1996). YSL demonstrated the savvies of this strategy most notably in 1972 YSL and Berge had full control of the groups couture activities after purchasing the sale of Charles of the Ritz to the U.S pharmaceutical giant E.R.Squibb & Co. They enhanced the brand by a number of innovative and simple strategies. Bergé launched the company into the licensing arena, authorizing the Saint Laurent name to appear around the world on a range of clothing and accessories. The company's licensing activities would prove highly successful in promoting the Saint Laurent name beyond the rarefied worlds of haute couture and ready-to-wear fashions. His 1976 collections of the Opera-Ballet Russes and perfumes such as Rive Gauche 1977 and Opium 1981 increased his brand image and recognition. In 1982, YSL was awarded the International Fashion Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (bio 2008).

However there were weaknesses within this strategy YSL needed to be structured around truly delivering on the promise and needed employees who understand the brand goals and actively and daily work to achieve them (Bass 2005). YSL was criticized for this approach, magazine editors have claimed that their readers do not want to see "real-life" models or the way that beauty products and clothes look on "real women"; that they buy the magazines in the first place because they prefer the aspirational fantasies, and secondly, because they continually hope that by following the advice or buying the products, they will achieve the ever-changing looks that the magazine promotes via the models and photographic/technological wizardry. This has lent the brand into area of controversy as has it dependency on the rich (Weber 2006). While the chief main sales engine of the YSL brand are perfumes which neared FFr 2.5 billion on 1996, which boosted Sanofis beauty divisions total sales to FFr 3.8 billion the haute couture division has been successful critical and financially bit has done something more lent itself credibility and influence (Cialdini 1993).

The level of inter-relatedness is intense however; there have been financial draw backs. In 1986 YSL and Berge purchased the last share of the group YSL from Charles with a purchase price of US $500 million, which they expanded as much as ten times the size of the companys house of couture. As a result of these occurrences YSL and Berge took on a huge personal debt which then had to turn to a third party to finance them. Among these was Carol De Benedetti, who took 49 percent of the new Groupe Yves Saint Laurent. The positive aspect about the YSL brand at that time was that all its products were under the same company. However, the negative aspect was that Berge and YSL had undergone a massive debt crisis, which resulted in losing the entire control of the company. The company depended on the success of a new perfume which was developed entirely in-house for men that launched in order to recoup some of the massive cost that was lost. The company had plans on making the company public on the Paris secondary market however the plan got cancelled after the crash of the market in 1987. The launch of the new perfume of men called Jazz remained a minor player in the men's perfume market, then dominated by Azzaro, Paco Rabanne, and Laroche (bio 2008).

YSL and Berge started looking for new investors, after DeBenedetti wanted out of his investment, offering 15 per cent of the company. However, that time period was not perfect for new investment due to the recession which continued into the mid-1990s. There werent many investors at that time willing to enter a company in which due to its limited partnership structure, they would have no control. The crisis situation of YSL and Berge became worse after several months when another investor, the bank Wasserstein-Perella had to sell its 15 per cent of the YSL group. As a result, the bank was instructed by YSL and Berge to find a suitable and friendly buyer, neither American nor Japanese for its share. Several prestigious labels such as L'Oreal, Moët-Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Christian Dior, Lacroix, and Givenchy were interested in buying, having 100 per cent ownership rather than 15 per cent, however Berge and YSL declined the offer. After being burdened by personal debt Berge had to sell 100percent of the company, with the condition that he is given control of a division grouping Saint Laurent with its arch-rival Dior. LVMH balked (Independent 2008).

After many on and off negotiations made in 1992, with Sanofi; the medical and beauty products arm of French industrial giant Elf Aquitaine, they succeeded in selling the company in order to assure the companys future. The situation became worse for Berge and YSL when their personal debts increased which resulted in arranging a private sale of portions of their stock, raising some FFr 100 million. The Group YSL had a loss for the first half of the year right after the private sale and Berge was charged with violating insider-trading rules. By early 1993 Berge and YSL had agreed to sell the full company to Sanofi, with a purchase price of FFr 3.6 billion. The condition of the purchase was that the Maison de Couture remained the province of YSL and Berge and the YSL Perfume would be controlled by Sanofi. Later on Berge announced his intention to retire after the year 2000. Due to many profit losses caused in the YSL group, such as shrinking sales and meager profits, Sanofi decided to reinforce its perfume division and introduce a more affordable pricing structure, however by 1997 these changes werent enough so Sanofi hinted that it was looking for a new buyer for its perfume division (Drake 2006).

In conclusion, YSL has achieved its business objective - profitability and its mission statement - consumer satisfaction, what is striking about this success is that the complex and entrenched inter-relatedness between them. There would appear to be a disparity between the small base offered by haute couture and the consuming success of prêt a porter, however the latter supports the former while the former is the conduit to the success of the latter. All YSL objectives are derived from this relationship - organizational and in particular marketeering. In the final analysis the degree of co-operation is so inter-related that without it YSL would be unable to function successfully on so many different levels.

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