Globalization has gripped the world in a much modernized manner. Today, one can find careers in almost any industry he wants based on his talents. The field of fashion designing is emerging as a new career for many people who have a potential to go out and serve the public with their exclusive talent in designing clothes for them. Due to this increasingly popular trend, many institutes and schools have been opened worldwide which provide classic education in the field of fashion designing. In many countries, the fashion industry has evolved as a major profit generating industry. (Fashion marketing n.d). One of the reasons behind this is the increasing awareness of fashion sense among people. Extensive and effective marketing has also helped the industry to touch the pinnacle of success.
Annick Mokoi recently graduated from the top most prestigious fashion school Lecole Dart Appliqué ET de Couture de Lausanne located in Switzerland. She graduated as the top student of her class and obtained a degree in fashion designing.
Since she graduated as a top designer from her school, Annick Mokoi dreams of becoming a popular fashion designer who could serve the changing tastes and demands of the public according to the latest trends and fashion. She dreams to excel her career in the line of haute couture dresses. She wants to name this line of dresses as Mokoi Designs. Haute couture is a French word which means high dress making. The concept of haute couture refers to the design of exclusive clothing and dresses which are custom-fitted i.e. they are made on the requests of people in the same manner as they want. In short, haute couture aims at serving the orders of a specific customer. The dresses made are of high quality. They are costly. Expensive fabric and exclusive stitching are given all the major attention. (Haute Couture Fall Winter) Annick Mokoi wants to start the business initially by selling her clothes in social events like fashion shows and special evenings where women are present in a large majority. Also, girls and teenagers and models are present there. By doing all this, she wants to gain some experience and name in the industry which will eventually help her in setting up a designer store in her own name.
Identification of international markets:
When a product is introduced, the identification of potential markets becomes essential. This step is the most crucial part in the identification of potential markets. If the product is to be introduced in international markets then it becomes important to know about the market of the country you wish to expand your product in. also, a careful examination of the economy of the country is required. A basic criteria of selection of these target markets is used which develops a clear perception as to how the company is to view its customers and related parties. These steps if followed properly can set up a strong base for the successful development of a market internationally.
Identify potential customers:
The first step of which is to identify potential customers. Annick Mokoi lives in Switzerland where the market is not potentially strong. She has to eventually expand her business to other European countries and of course the United States of America where the market is large. Women are more conscious of latest trends and fashion and are willing to spend more on these items. Girls and women qualify for the potential customers for this new designer.
Conducting market research:
After the identification of the customers, a thorough research on the market is required. Information can be gathered from the internet and the local libraries and newspapers about the specifications of the chosen customer group. If some information cannot be found then there are always sources of gathering information through questionnaires and survey forms. Interviews, group discussions and focus groups also prove effectual in this process. (Kotler, 2007)
Choosing target markets:
Selecting a target market is essential. It is on the basis of this target market that the products are designed and distributed to the customers. Working women can prove to be the best target audience for Annick Mokoi. This is because they have their own money which they can spend according to their wish.
Customer profile Compilation:
Compilation of the customer profile is the next important step. It means gathering the information and things related to the customers in the form of a proper profile so that the sales force and other personnel are clear about the customer base they are serving.
International marketing intelligence:
Market intelligence is the process of analyzing and acquiring necessary information so that the characteristics of the market are understood. It also aims at seeking information about the customers so as to calculate and predict the needs and demands of these customers in future. Any change in the business environment which affects the market significantly is also a part of this market intelligence. These factors need to be addressed if the haute couture is to be introduced in foreign markets.
The purpose of market research is to gather information about the factors which are not fully known to a party before e making any decision. Before introducing the product in other markets, market research is required as it serves as the foundation on which all decisions are taken. It follows systematically an order of six steps which help in gathering the information desired.
Identifying and defining the problem:
In this step the problem is defines. In this case the problem is to select international markets where the products can survive and reach at the rank of maturity on the product life cycle.
The next steps are design a set of goals and carefully define the objectives of solving the problem. In this case, Annick Mokoi needs to define what she intends to achieve as a result of introducing her products in international markets. The goals and objectives here are: to maximize the profits, provide excellent and value added services to the clients so that the product can sustain in the long run.
This step outlines the design of the research process which is carried out by the company. This step deals with gathering and acquiring information from primary and secondary sources.
Collection of Data:
This is the last step in the collection of the data. It makes use of the survey forms and questionnaires to acquire knowledge about unknown factors. These will be distributed to the women who are regular customers of different designers and are always ready to go for new designers.
In this step the data will be analyzed. This uses different models and techniques of quality and quantity analysis. As a result, this will show the number of women in the target market who will be willing to try out the brand of Annick Mokoi
All information gathered is for the purpose of being shown to the major stock holders and other people with vested interests in the company. This information takes the form of reports and other legible material which is then presented to relevant higher authorities.
Country of Origin Influence:
Country of origin influence constitutes she factors on the basis of which a customer’s/ client form opinions and perception about the product. These are attributing of the products which are then viewed by the customers as the features of the products. For example: price. If the price is high then the customer is more likely to develop a notion that the products of high quality. If the price is low the product is associated with low quality and standard. Also, marketing is responsible for determining the influence of country of origin factors on the product. If the campaign of these haute couture products is magnificent and grips the customers’ then there is no way that the prospective customers are going to have second thoughts about purchasing the product. These factors are also influential in different potential markets: local or international. For example the fabric which is used in the clothes. If the fabric is in alignment with the weather conditions of the area then the customers will greet the clothes with open arms but if the fabric is too light or too warm for the climatic conditions they live in then there is no way that the product can attract a market. (Kotler, 2008)
Matching products to markets
International markets like European countries of France, Germany and United Kingdom are advanced. Also, United States has a strong potential market for the sale of designer wear. The haute couture clothes do match the international product life cycle. This is because they satisfy the first criterion of being a developed country and the second one of introducing a new product. Annick Mokoi wants to use all her resources and technologies available to sell the products abroad.
The market which is suitable for the marketing of these products is that of girls and women. Since it is haute couture by a designer, the prices are high and cannot be easily afforded by girls who are in their educational parts of lives. Nevertheless, the potential market is large and strong. Also, due to modernization, people especially women are more than ever diverted towards a good sense of dressing up. Whenever they go out they need to wear new clothes and for a woman who earns, buying new designer clothes is no big deal. This can also be attributed to the fact that most of the women living in these countries are independent and therefore they do not spend their money on anyone but themselves. This market is also growing fast because the fashion world has taken all the women in its charm. Once a luxury, fashion has now become a necessity for more than half of the women population living in the world. They are driven by the expensive, attractive designer wear, therefore there is no doubt that the potential market is healthy and an introduction of Mokoi Designs can be successful.
Primary investigation of the external environment factors:
The external factors are the threats basically and the strategies which are adopted by the competitors of the firm. A close investigation of these external factors is highly essential sit helps the company to be aware of the obstacles which impede the firms path of success. Annick Mokoi needs to analyze the external factors like her competitors. This includes all the designers who are involved in the business of haute couture. The strategies adopted by these competitors to make their business grow, the pries adapted by them and the ways in which they do their marketing should be carefully noted. A primary investigation of these resources can be done by the staff Annick Mokoi has hired. But because their lack of experience, she can also hire external companies who take money but can provide a full report on the threats posed by external factor as well as the opportunities which can be availed by a minor manipulation of these factors.
Preliminary investigation of external environmental factors:
The preliminary investigation of these can be done according to DENTPC which is a short form of Demographics, Economic Environment, and Natural Environment, Technological environment, Political Environment, Cultural or social Environment. These are the macro environment factors which revolve around the company. (Ferrel, Hartline, 2007)
These are the people who are the eventual buyers/ end users of the clothes. Ms. Mokoi should be interested in gathering information and statistics of this market and try to keep a track of any changes which occur. For example: increase or decrease in population, low employment etc.
Economy of the country where Ms. Mokoi wants to extend her business should be studies carefully. She should know the extent to which the economy is flourishing. She should know the figures of the country’s debts and credit limits. She should also by heart know the country’s economic policies. She should also know the major trends n the payment and consumer spending models.
Ms. Mokoi does not deal in a business where she needs to know the natural environment. Making of clothes does not require any factories which emit chemicals which disturb the environmental balance. She also does not need to care about the shortage of raw materials as clothes are not made from any environmental materials.
Advancement in technology is today a very important factor in the businesses.
Any company whatever business sit many are in always seeks for the best available technology. The technology saves a lot of time and tedious work. It saves costs and increases the efficiency. Customers place orders often via phone or internet. Therefore, Ms. Mokoi must see the technological environment of the country before entering into its markets.
Businesses all the time suffer because of the political and legal environments of the countries. Government rules and regulations, restrictions, political conflicts, lobbying, pressure groups and everything should be taken into notice.
This is the society norms, beliefs and values which people share and exercise. Their sense of dressing is also inherited from these social values. Therefore, Ms. Mokoi needs to excel in the designs which are in demand by the people there.
The marketing variable are the four P’s of marketing, they are: product, price, promotion and distribution.
The product in this case is the haute couture dresses, Clothes are the essential elements living and therefore any idea related to clothes is much anticipated by the consumers. The product here cannot form the basis of not entering into an international market.
Prices are the variable factor of the product. They vary from clothe to clothe according to the design and embellishment on them. This factor however, can prove deadly in some countries where people cannot afford to high prices because of unequal distribution of income in the societies.
This is the marketing of the products. An effective marketing camping in any country regarding designer clothes can attract a huge market.
This is also important and more dependent on the factor of delivery of products to the right place at the right time to the right customers.
The competition in this field is very high; there are already many designers in the market who are in the same business. Designers like Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Gucci and Prada to name a few are already in the business and are reaping good money. Therefore, the competition is pretty strong in this market. Ms. Mokoi will not have an edge over these companies unless she decides to sell the clothes at lower rates and yet maintain the good quality.
Country market choice:
Based on the discussion above, Ms.Mokoi chooses to start her business her in United Sates of America since she sees the strongest market there.
The uncertainty that follows the outcome of any decision taken is the risk. When doing business in States there aren’t a lot of risk factors to consider regarding the potential markets and customer base. But one risk is there that is the presence of competitors who have been there in the markets for a much longer time and have a strong loyal customer base.
Based on product life cycle, the BCG portfolio mix describes the priorities that should be given to products in a portfolio. According to the product life cycle, the product is in its introductory phase. Therefore, the product has low growth and low market share. It can start afresh in any country where the conditions are favorable. Based on the discussion above, Ms. Mokoi can start her business in France which is near to Switzerland and the hub of all fashion activities held around the world. Also, United Kingdom is a good choice since the incomes of people working there are high and they will welcome a new designer. United Sates of America goes without saying is the largest country in the world and therefore holds a lot of potential for genuine businesses to flourish.
The analysis has been done above under different headings. It can be concluded that based on the most opportunities and least threats and more strengths than weaknesses, States can be selected as the best country to start the practice.
For the chosen country Market:
Impact of environment on Marketing Strategy:
The environment will have an impact on the strategies adopted by Ms.Mokoi. American valued colors should be used and such strategies be adopted which promote their culture.
The above case handles all the factors Ms. Mokoi needs to consider to set up a business in a country of her choice preferably United Sates as it holds the strongest economy around the world with a huge population in which the women prove to be the best clients for her product of haute couture dresses.
Ferrell O.C & Hartline, Michael (2007), Marketing Strategy, 4th Edition. South-Western College Publications
Haute-Couture Fall Winter 2009/2010 Definitive schedule retrieved July 30, 2009
Kevin,K.& Kotler,P., 2008, Marketing Management. 13th Edn. Prentice Hall
Kotler, Philip & Armstrong, Gary (2007), Principles of Marketing, 12th edition, Prentice Hall
Pronowski, A.(n.d.) Fashion Marketing 101. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Fashion-Marketing-101&id=41674[Accessed July 29,2009]