Creating a Marketing Plan for a New Fashion Store
Developing a new business in the market is aa big challenge for the marketers; therefore, proper evaluation of the concepts and strategies to be used and analysis of the demands of the customers are being done carefully before coming up with a marketing plan. This is a marketing plan for a new store that will be built in the heart of one of the famous shopping centers in the world. In this paper, the history and background of the industry as well as the proper target market are studied to ensure the success of the plan and continue to expand the business despite the existence of competitors and constant penetration of new companies in the market.
The whole concept for the fashion store is being presented in this paper including the types of products that will be offered by the company. The market segmentation and the behavior of each consumer category will be discussed to provide a clear view of the store that is being conceptualized. Through this marketing plan and research, the company is expected to achieve its goals and objectives and penetrate the global market.
In developing a business, a marketer has to evaluate all the aspects of the industry and the strategic techniques to make the business a success in the market. From an empty shop to a successful store with appropriate profit and revenue, the business must pass all the trials in marketplace. Apparently, developing a marketing plan is the hardest job for any marketer in any industry; it takes a lot of time and effort before finally coming up with an excellent and strategic plan for the business. On the other hand, a strategic plan may not lead to success if the organization would not make a good execution. Marketers follow certain steps to make certain that the business will not fail in the market despite the intense competition.
This marketing plan aims to create a growth-oriented and well established business that would gain proper sales and profits in the marketplace. Apparently, fashion industry has been a booming has been a booming business. Today, in the world where there is a fast innovation of technology, the society conforms and the needs and wants of the customers for other products are being influenced. Fashion is included in this thread. There has been a fast development and evolution of fashion today, and this idea invites the marketers to penetrate the business in spite of the presence of the existing big corporations operating in the said industry.
Fashion firms are not just in the business of selling clothing with a variety of sidelines; the firm must also sell a larger concept around which people can identify and distinguish themselves. There are four main tasks of fashion firm: to create an image, to translate that image into the product, to present the product, and finally, to sell that product to the proper target market. Basically, products are sold at a variety of price points and must be positioned to appeal to the target customers. The designs, presentation of fashion, and the concept of selling them to the public are influenced by changes in the society, both cultural and economic. Information about sales, reception of items, as well as projective research will inform design, manufacturing, sales, distribution and marketing decisions. The identity of the brand must maintain a coherent representation in the minds of consumers. Through this marketing plan, the marketers will be able to analyze which actions would lead to success and continuous expansion.
III. Background of the Business
A. The Fashion Industry
Fashion has become a major industry with complex economic, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. Fashion’s scope is ever-widening both as a global force and in terms of its reach into different sectors of life. Shopping has become a major leisure activity; though seem to approach is in such a strategic manner and with such determination that it hardly seems like a diversion. People even plan vacations around shopping, and some relationships seem to revolve around shopping. In the advent of technology, the market has discovered and created new ways to shop that will be more efficient and convenient for them. Today, people could shop at the malls or at online stores.
In New York City, there is even a mobile fashion boutique called Shop Caravan that will bring up-to-the-minute designs to the customers’ door. Ralph Laurens Madison Avenue store once featured an interactive shopping window with a touch computer screen embedded into the display window glass. Credit cards could be swiped, at any hour, through a device affixed to the window. Retailers such as Wal-Mart and Old Navy are now advertising trendy clothes in Vogue magazine. There are cable TV stations, magazines, Internet sites, and blogs devoted solely to reporting or discussing fashion. Furthermore, newspapers devote more prime coverage to fashion as a business and cultural phenomena than ever before.
There is also fast fashion for those who cannot wait for the next season’s offerings; there are limited-runs and designer exclusives sometimes sold only on boutiques and there is couture for the truly advantaged. For the people who cannot afford to buy a status purse, there are companies that rent designer bags to their member online. There are also fashion museums and galleries. Apparently, people see fashion all around them: they can buy it, read it, and take courses on it. Its not just a simple phenomenon in the society, in fact, it has been a part of existence of people regardless of their personalities (Manlow, 2009:121).
There was no predetermined pattern to this process of producing fashion, but those in the business could learn to discern the ebb and flow; some could even anticipate the most likely future scenarios. Everything was subject to changes in style: architecture and automobiles, kitchen gadgets and kids’ clothing, furniture and personal grooming products. Depending on the market segment, fashion in apparel might be elite and expensive like Parisian haute couture or democratic and affordable like the ready-to-wear that made Seventh Avenue world famous. Sometimes it could be high and low, integrating highbrow elements in mass-market designs. Some styles fed on elite culture, some on popular culture; some trickled down, while some bubbled up from below, as ordinary people sought to express their individuality in dress or to personalize their surroundings.
The multi-directional flow had consequences for those who worked or hoped to work in the business of fashion. Everything was fair game for people who designed the goods, ran the manufacturing firms, worked as retail buyers for chain stores, modeled clothes, designed the photo shoots, published the glamour magazines, and surveyed customers for marketing studies and people who waited on customers in the shoe department (Blaszczyk, 2008:7). The global nature of the fashion business requires constant communication with suppliers, manufacturers, and customers all over the United States and the world.
The evolutionary pattern of some apparel companies is that, through technology, automation and expansion, they gradually develop a complete business operation, undertaking all tasks associated with the products. The same can be true of textile companies that grow to offer clothing of fashion products.
Since 2000, however, consumer confidence and spending have fallen due to rising unemployment and a weakened U.S. and world economy. The fashion industry also faces challenges. Women, the biggest consumers of fashion, are spending less time and money on clothes and shopping. The trend toward business casual has also negatively impacted the industry’s sales as many consumers don’t need separate pricey outfits for their professional lives. However, certain areas of the fashion industry are growing. The plus size garment of the women’s wear market, little more that a niche opportunity in the 1990s, has grown into an established category for the women’s apparel industry. Overall, the clothing and footwear market is highly fragmented. Although fashion companies are adept at predicting shades of color that will be popular two years in advance, most people say that fashion manufacturers often lag behind the rest of the corporate world when it comes to technology. People agree that apparel manufacturing runs far more efficiently with the latest technological advancements.
Many professionals working in the fashion industry draw their inspiration from the lives of famous designers. Names like Armani and Versace are not only synonymous with gorgeous upscale apparel, but also with glamorous images and lifestyles. Fashion amateurs often picture themselves designing apparel for a wealthy clientèle, launching new collections to applause and rose bouquets with supermodels and celebrities. The reality however, is that few people in the fashion industry achieve fame and fortune. With this in mind, realistic fashion professionals are opting for more secure jobs. Aside from talent and good marketing, the successful companies in the fashion industry owe their success to close tracking trends (Han, 2003:13).
IV. The Products
Today, consumers everywhere at every income level want more luxury and are willing to pay for it. Moreover, everything is up for grabs and consumers are willing to accept totally new, unexpected definitions of what luxury is and where luxury can be found. Since the consumers have been bombarded by advertisements and publicity of different retailers and manufacturers for their products, the only strategy that will work and take a company and its brand more and more luxury value into company’s products is the brand.
Regardless of the products luxury price continuum, the company must continually reinvent the brand and keep it moving upward. In the situation of marketplace today, due to penetration of countless companies in the industry and changing demands of the customers, the company must keep moving the brands, the products, and the services to keep them vital and alive (Danzinger).
There is a big difference between fashion and luxury goods as products, and what goes into the making of brands. In her book, Luxury Fashion Branding, Uche Okonkwo (2007), the Paris-based luxury branding consultant, has outlined a succinct and pertinent perspective that may serve as a foundation for branding in the sector. According to her, the branding aspect of luxury goods management is integral to a luxury brand’s sustainability.
The brand is the reason that consumers associate themselves with a luxury company. It is what creates and sustains the attraction and desire for products. The strong attachment that luxury consumers have to brands, which often defies logic, is the result of branding. Brands are not products and should not be managed like products. Brands are a complete package that provides a source of identity for products. This identity becomes a springboard for the associations and perceptions eventually developed in the mind of consumers. This is what draws consumers to luxury brands and remains their source of satisfaction – of the journey of branding begins from crafting a clear brand concept and brand identity and projecting it to the public through an equally clear brand personality and brand image.
What the public sees and interprets through the brand image leads to a positioning of the brands in their minds through perceptions and associations. This further leads to the allocation of a space for that brand in their minds according to their sentiments towards the brand. This is called the brand share and influences future purchase decisions and, subsequently, brand loyalty.
The brand name of the product will be “Modern Curves”. Modern Curves is a subliminal message not only of women empowerment but also the position and status that women hold in the society today. Along with the world’s modernity, are the changing perspectives of the society towards women of this generation. Nowadays, women who have advanced educational backgrounds continuously increase in number. This has widened their opportunities for work. Recently, the working environment of women has been improving rapidly from the perspective of the social structure (Burke, 1997:674).
The term ‘modern’ stands for the current state of the society in terms of social and economic aspects. Curves, on the other hand, refer to anatomical aspects of women. Apparently, the brand name wants to emphasize the current status of women today especially those who are striving to succeed in the corporate world. Modern Curves highlights the tremendous change of women from the past to the present generation. With this brand name, the company expects to attract the attention of the target market not only through the quality of products and services that the company may offer to the customers but also through the recognition of capabilities of modern women.
The brand name was developed through an identity value which relates to the way the brand can be used by consumers to convey something about themselves (Chevalier et al, 2008:89). in other words, the company would like to make the products a signature outfit for all empowered women around the world. When customers buy a Modern Curves outfit, they will not simply buy an outfit; they will also buy a fashion product, branded by a reputable name and one which has a strong identity value. The brand name, as an important visible part of a more complex reality, provides the mediation between the essential values of a luxury company – its identity– and the perceptions its customers have of it – its image.
A brand is the name with the power to influence the market. Apparently, its power increases as more people know it, are convinced by it, and trust it (Kapferer, 2008:13). This brand name tries to appeal to the women of the present generation and create an image that would keep in the minds of the customers as well as the people who would look at those women in the Modern Curves clothes.
V. Target Market Segments
A. Target Markets
The target customers presently shop at the department stores for the type of business clothes that the business will sell; however, the other portion of the target market currently shop at other fashion stores casual clothing. Through the use of strategic plan, the organization believes that they can capture the attention of the target customers for a number of reasons. This business is particularly interested in professional women who expect advance in their chosen career. These women require fashionable clothing at reasonable prices. Market research demonstrates that upwardly mobile working women prefer fashionable, but slightly conservative, clothing at moderate or sale prices.
The target market for these products is women between 23 to 45 years old. From the young professionals, the company will design clothes up to the older women who are still conscious about the latest fashion trends. Oftentimes, these women are those who aim to pursue their career to the highest level and are determined to achieve more than what they already have. The modern women believe that physical appearance boost their confidence which has been the greatest factor for their success. Further, these women are decided of what they want to buy and what they want to gain out of that purchase. The simple yet unique designs of clothes will be based on their demographics and psychographic aspects in order to ensure the loyalty of this market group to the brand.
In order to develop an effective marketing plan, the marketers have to evaluate even the simplest aspect of the business. Before finally building Modern Curves Fashion Boutique, the company has to answer every question that may affect the whole strategy or influence the entire industry. From product conceptualization to targeting market, Modern Curves needs to have a consistency to be able to come up with an excellent and effective marketing plan. This is the reason why the aspects of marketing such as market segmentation, customers’ evaluation, targeting location, and industry analysis were done despite the fact that Modern Curves has already the capabilities to compete with other fashion design manufacturers. Through this marketing plan, the company will know which way is better to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. Further, the company will be guided with the marketing principles that are significant for business expansion.
Good strategies to penetrate the market is necessary not only to create awareness but also to maintain the impression that a certain company would get upon the introduction period; however, the development of techniques should not stop once the product becomes a success in the market. Aside from these plans, Modern Curves should continue to create new concepts and ideas to satisfy the demands of the customers as well as gain the recognition of the global marketplace.
The product innovation continues as long as the company operates in the market and this is the most important thing that the companies should learn in order to avoid early decline stage. There are many opportunities and each movement in the marketplace provides an opportunity for growth and expansion. A neophyte product in the industry, like Modern Curves, has all the opportunities to gain proper market share and wider market; the company must only learn to develop new strategies to maintain a good beginning.
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Burke, R. (1997). Women in Corporate Management. The Netherlands: Springer
Chevalier, M. & Mazzalovo, G. (2008). Luxury Brand Management: A World Privilege. Singapore: John Wiley and Sons
Han, H. (2003). Vault Career Guide to the Fashion Industry. USA: Vault, Inc.
Kapferer, J. (2008). The Strategic Brand Management: Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity Long Term. USA: Kogan Page
Manlow. V. (2009). Designing Clothes: Culture and Organization of the Fashion Industry. USA: Pan-American
Okonkwo, U. (2007). Luxury Fashion and Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques. UK: Palgrave Macmillan
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