You are to assume the role of a junior market analyst. Your employer, an International Marketing Consultancy, has been asked by an organisation based in the north-east of England J Barbour & Sons (clothing manufacturer) (https://www.barbour.com/uk/) to evaluate how they could use digital marketing to a greater extent within their marketing activity.
You are requested to produce a report for the Marketing Director. The report should:
• Provide a background to the organisation selected
• Identify their current product/service offering and the current segment of customers
• Explain how the key concepts of the marketing mix are applied at present by your chosen organisation
• Use theory to reflect on their current activities
• Recommend how the chosen organisation can improve their digital marketing utilisation
Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of J Barbour`s marketing activities
Marketing is considered to be an essential aspect of the organization and in order to ensure long term success with the different consumers, the company in question would require to ensure that they are successfully able to engage in the right kind of a marketing mix which shall then ensure that the firm is able to build a sustainable competitive image for themselves. According to Ahmad, Musa and Harun (2016), Marketing can be considered to be a business procedure with the help of which the organization tends to create various relationships and long term bonds with the other members of the supply chain as well. Marketing can be considered to be a primary component of any business function. The marketing activity of a firm begins with the action of conducting a marketing research in order to understand the needs of the customers and is put to an end when the customer gains the sales promotion activities at large. According to Hajli (2014), there have been various trends in the marketing strategy which is generally adopted but the different businesses, with digital marketing being the primary new style which is used by the different companies to market their product.
Hence, the primary aim of the report is to highlight the marketing activities of the chosen organization named, J Barbour & Sons. The J Barbour and Sons Company is a clothing retailer as present in the United Kingdom. The brand sells a large variety of clothing for all genders and ages and is largely popular for its unique design and dependable style. In addition to this, the brand is also popular for its unique waxed cotton wear (Barbour.com. 2018). The report will follow a systematized format whereby a brief introduction of the organization has been followed by the discussion of its marketing activities, offerings and consumer market. The concept of digital marketing will also be discussed along with provision of certain recommendations on the same (Chernev 2018). Digital marketing is taken to be a crucial aspect of the organization and hence, it is important for the firm to adopt the particular mechanism.
The particular section will lay down the different marketing activities of the company. The section will be divided into two parts whereby the first section will lay down the current product offerings of the company and the different consumer segments In addition to this, the different marketing activities as adopted by the firm will also be presented.
The J Barbour company has a wide range of products and services to be offered to the different members of the target market (Chaffey 2016). All these products are specialized in the waxed cotton material. Their products can be divided into the following categories:
Clothing: J Barbour offers a wide range of clothing for the different genders which includes product lines like skirts, tops, tunics, blouses, night wear and other casual wear for the women (Malhotra and Peterson 2014). On the other hand, the company also offers products like shirt, pant, denim, t-shirt, shorts and other clothing items which tends to ensure that the company is successfully able to cater to the needs of all the customers as present.
Products and Services being offered
Seasonal wear: The brand also offers seasonal wear with respect to seasons like winter. The winter wear Christmas collection of the J Barbour is very popular and involves a large number of products each of which will be jackets, boots, good warm clothing and others.
Shoes: The brand offers a large number of shoe types. This offering involves different shoes for men and women. For the women, the product line involves Slippers, boots, Wellington and other types. For the men, the product involves boots, trainers, slippers and wellington.
Accessories: The different accessories as offered by the brand comprises of products like belts, handbags, clothing accessories like scarves which adds to the style of the brand`s products (Marinchak, Forrest and Hoanca 2018).
Gifting options: Thee brand offers a large number of gifting items as well for the different consumers. This is highly applicable in the case of festivals and special occasions like Christmas and Easter.
Pet wear: Moreover, J Barbour also has a good line of products for the pets whereby it offers special accessories and clothes for the pets.
Children wear: Lastly, J Barbour also offers a good range of children wear whereby the firm is able to make an offering of various clothes, winter wear, shoes and accessories to the different customers and ensures that the firm is successfully able to engage in a long lasting relationship with them.
Clothing can be considered to be a common product and hence, the different consumer segments which the firm caters to are as follows:
- College going crowd: The College going crowd can involve both girls as well as the boys. The college goers are generally very specific about what they wear and the brands they use. Moreover, UK has a large number of colleges and for this purpose, this consumer segment forms one of the popular consumer segments and hence, this forms a major target market for the brand.
- Office professionals: The office professionals also form a major share of the target market for the company. This is because, J Barbour offers a large range of formal well for both the genders which makes it possible for them to purchase good quality clothes at affordable prices and also ensures that the firm is successful able to gain a consistent target market (Barbour.com. 2018).
- Children below 14: The J Barbour wear offers a good collection of children wear as well. From jacket to frocks to pants and shoes, the brand has a good collection of winter wear for the children which makes it possible for the firm to perform well and engage in considerable success.
- Seniors above 60: As per the demographic segmentation, J Barbour also offers comfortable clothes for the seniors and ensures that along with fashion, these seniors can ensure the convenience of comfort as well (Ngai, Tao and Moon 2015).
- Overall, with respect to marketing, the firm makes use of a combination of both modern and traditional ways of marketing. With respect to the modern way of marketing, the firm makes use of mediums like mobile marketing, internet marketing and other social media marketing techniques, however, it needs to be noted that the use of digital marketing on the side of the firm is not consistent (Hollensen and Raman 2014).
The marketing mix theory can be effectively used in order to understand the manner in which the organization seeks to plan its offering and the manner in which it ensures that the firm is successfully able to gather a large base of consumers. The given section will discuss the marketing mix of J Barbour which is a luxurious clothing store and seeks to analyze the planned offering of the firm (Barbour.com. 2018). The marketing mix can be defined as an essential tool of evaluation and re-evaluation of the business tools which helps a firm to understand its strategies. The marketing mix of J Barbour has been done as follows:
The product forms the most essential offering of the marketing mix. It comprises of the product strategy used and the kind of offering which company chooses to make. The product line as offered by J Barbour can be stated to be quite simple in nature with a mixture of luxury and style. The products are made of waxed cotton which makes them suitable for the climate (Foxall 2014). The products which are offered by the brand can be stated to be highly fashionable and in this context, it can be stated that J Barbour follows a rather niche strategy by offering the best products. It adheres to all genders and even has offerings for children. In addition to this, although the firm`s main forte is clothes, it offers accessories, shoes and pet wear as well (Felix, Rauschnabel and Hinsch 2017). The company is largely popular for its unique quality and design.
The consumer segments
The brand has around more than 30 stores and provides its products in various other stores as well like Harrods, Harvey Nicholas and John Lewis. In addition to this, the brand also has a worldwide coverage. Earlier the brand was only restricted the rural areas but later on it planned to extend into the fashionable line and has since diversified its portfolio offering and aligned it with the latest fashion (Scott 2015). The brand also has an online e-commerce website through which it is able to portray the products of the firm and sell them. The brand also has its offerings available in Marks and Spencer’s for wider coverage. Hence, it can be stated that the firm has greatly revised its strategy, with respect to which it can be stated that the firm has been able to widen its channel which was quite limited earlier.
The pricing strategy can form an essential aspect of the marketing mix of an organization and with respect to this, it can be stated that it becomes essentially important for any business to form a robust marketing strategy which would then assist the business in performing well (Bresler and Lubbe 2014). The pricing range of the brand can be stated to be quite high. With respect to this, it can be mentioned that the firm intends to engage in the pricing technique which involves premium pricing strategy (Godey et al. 2016). This is because the product being offered by the firm is rather unique and premium and hence, each jacket as offered by the firm costs around a minimum of 120 pounds, the firm cannot appeal to all and thereby tries to maintain a competitive positioning by engaging in this strategy.
Lastly, the promotional strategy forms an essential aspect of the marketing mix and tends to seek the attention of the target audience. The promotional mix as used by the firm comprises of elements like newspaper advertisement, billboards, word of mouth and television advertisement (Barbour.com. 2018). In addition to this, with the recent change in technology, the firm has been successfully able to adapt to the internet technology and uses techniques like sending out newsletters, emails, mobile messages and other such techniques. This helps the firm to seek an advantage and gain the best of both the worlds which would then ensure success.
Hence, from the given analysis, it can be stated that J Barbour has been performing considerably well as a company and has created a unique position for itself in the market by making an offering of unique products as available in fashionable styles which create a good positioning in the minds of the different consumers (Stelzner 2014). This image not only assists the firm in ensuring that it is able to provide stylish as well as comfort products. The firm follows a premium pricing strategy which is the reason why it can be stated that J Barbour is following a differentiated strategy which helps the firm in differentiating its product from the general competition (Changer 2016). The channels which the company has been using since the last few years have changed considerably and recently, over the last few years, the company has taken actions to extend upon its distribution base by not only selling the products at an exclusive store their own retail outlets but also in regular retail stores like Harrods’s and Marks and Spencer’s. However, with respect to promotion it can be stated that the firm has adopted a rather safe style of settling upon a combination of using the traditional means of advertising as well as the modern means (Stephen 2016). The firm makes use of newspaper advertising, billboard, local television, magazine, social media, e-commerce websites and other such techniques. However, based on the analysis, it can be stated that the firm is required to improve its digital marketing techniques as the firm has not been taking considerable measures to improve upon the same.
Use of theory and application to J Barbour
According to Weinstein and Pohlman (2015), the digital marketing can be defined as a method of advertising whereby the medium of the advertising exists between the channels like the social media, search engines, websites, email and mobile marketing with the help of applications. The paid search is common technique which is adopted by brans across the world so that when any consumer searches the internet for specialized jackets, J Barbour will be the top most choice for the consumers who would like to make the specific purchase. Content marketing can serve as another technique which could help the firm to gain considerable success in the long run and ensure long term growth for J Barbour by promotion the goods of the firm (Tuten and Solomon 2017). The email marketing is also a useful technique usually used by the marketers to promote their goods with the designated target audience (Barbour.com. 2018). Lastly, marketing automation and the use of mobile applications and notifications can be deemed to be a useful method for J Barbour to market its goods. In this manner, J Barbour will be able to ensure that it is successfully able to gain a larger share of the market. The different recommendations which can be given to the company based on the same are as follows:
- J Barbour needs to focus on a digital marketing strategy which focuses on the engagement of the different consumers. In this way, the company will be easily able to ensure that the customers, who are the main reason behind the media strategies get hooked to the purpose of the firm.
- Develop a responsive design: Although J Barbour is engaging in a considerably good strategy for the firm, it needs to strategize adequately and see to it that it is successfully able to engage the customers by presenting them with a design which is response as well as reciprocating in nature (Balakrishnan, Dahnil and Yi 2014). This will assist the company in earning a high return on investment.
- Moreover, J Barbour also needs to ensure that the mobile strategy of the firm is quite responsive in nature so that the firm is easily able to use it even when the other mediums become obsolete (Ashley and Tuten 2015). In this manner, it will be able to reach out to the different customers quite easily.
- Use the 1:1 medium of approaching the customers: The digital marketing procedure has made it considerably easier for the brand to communicate with the consumers on a 1:1 basis with the motive of seeking consumer attention. In this manner, they will be able to ensure that personalized messages can be sent to the different customers. By making use of these strategies in the domain of digital marketing, the firm will be able to ensure that it is able to attain the set objectives.
Therefore, from the given analysis, it can be stated that J Barbour is a leading luxury clothing brand as present in the United Kingdom and in order to ensure long term success, it is required to engage in exquisite marketing strategies which will not only assist the firm in gaining the attention of the target audience but also go a long way in ensuring that the firm is able to gain a larger share of the competitive market and that it is successfully able to increase its revenue base. The given report was based on the marketing activities of J Barbour and the manner in which the firm has been performing in the particular competitive domain where comfort and style are the main factors influencing the different consumers. The marketing activities of J Barbour were analyzed, by making use of the marketing mix and the firms digital strategy was also discussed which was then followed by a discussion on the different digital marketing strategies which can be adopted by the firm.
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