At the moment it's focus in a specific market segment, which has restricted it product to reach globally as well as increase, it's market share in such a competitive fashion industry. The company should seek either product oriented strategy in which it should produce such a quality product that will self themselves this strategy is only viable if the product is really superior, unique or can add competitive advantage which is mainly subject to the acceptance by the consumer of Ben Sherman or it can develop new market by observing the need, demand and perception of the market ND should produce a product that can fill the market gap.
For the company like Ben Sherman that offers a medium price medium brand good it is more practical to focus in market oriented strategy. This can be equally integrated with it's new website that can provide a large information about the current trends. The fashion product has very short life cycle. The company can still use different technique to prolong the life cycle of the product to prevent for early decline. Ben Sherman can use product-repositioning strategy in which it can offer a discount to product or even modifying product design and features.
The other techniques it can imply are by developing or entering a new market for which it might have to spend substantially in marketing and sales. However the company should not ignore this opportunities. The company has to use different marketing approach to collect the information about customer behavior, buying patterns, market trends, competitors . This can be achieve through use of major marketing approach like observational, experimental, focus group all these techniques assist to collect widely disparate information.
The timely collected information is analysis to understand the customer's need and racket gap. It helps company to develop appropriate product in right market at right price in right time. Beside this the company should maximize the use of website and should make it more user friendly so that customer spend time interestingly while assessing the company website. Any up date about the company information and it's charity work should be well communicate to the customer so that it will build strong customer relations and positive brand image.
Introduction: Ben Sherman is using different marketing strategy to increase it's market share in fashion industry through out the world. The company is operating in 35 different countries offering a range of men's wear. Like we know each product has finite life cycle, which starts from development of product and service followed by introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Raymond Vernon first propounded the theory of product life cycle. Ben Sherman is in such a vulnerable industry where taste and preference of customer changes very frequently.
The fashion wear are easily outdated with the changes in time. The need of marketing research in modern business has increase tremendously. The business needs information about its customers demand, market conditions, imitators and so on to formulate its marketing plan. Marketing plan is called " life blood of marketing" Parkas, S. A et, al. (2010). Proof. Tousles state marketing information is " the relevant fact used in making marketing decision". Marketing decision should be made in timely manner because it may not be possible to solve today's problem with yesterdays solution.
Currently Ben Sherman is facing dilemma in many of it's strategies from product or market orientation to integrate it's marketing strategies and expansion of product life cycle to develop new market for it product. For this reason it is vital for the company to use appropriate research and strategies to compete and sustain efficiently in its target market. The company should use different marketing research and approaches to keep up to date information of customers demand and market trend so that it can achieve it's stated objectives.
According to Kettle and Armstrong (2008) marketing research is all about "collecting information, assessing, analysis, systematic design and reporting of relevant data" for the marketing of goods and services in a given market situation. Marketing Approach: The marketing research has different elements and could be related with the market size, nature, product, packaging, economic, promotional and sales. Ben Sherman can collect the information of it's customer and market from either primary source which can be obtain through different techniques or it can be obtain from secondary sources which is already available for access.
The major approaches to conduct marketing research for Ben Sherman is briefly explain below: I) Survey Technique It may be pre-defined questionnaires of the survey taker or factual information about the individual participants. It is very helpful marketing approach as it can provide both qualitative as well as quantitative information that a customer prescribes as a result of which Ben Sherman can formulate a plan that is viable and efficient at a given market. ') Observational Approach This approach helps Ben Sherman to observe the action and situational behavior, which is largely objective and accurate information as it eliminates the subjective elements, arose during questionnaires. The information obtain through observational approach can be use to understand the sales pattern, customer preference and response towards product. Iii) Focus Group The group of people having homogeneous characteristics is formed to collect information about how people of these groups will interact the product and service of the company.
According to Krueger and Casey (2000) this research can helps to "identify trends and pattern of its customer as research is conducted many times with similar characteristics of participant group". Iv) Behavioral Research It is the process of identification of individual or organizational pattern in making buying decision. According to Solomon et al, (2006) " it is a process of understanding purchase, use or dispose of product or service to satisfy needs. This research can help Ben Sherman to collect the customer information and built database to understand buying behavior, frequency of buying and response to products.
Research Objective: The market is very large and it is not possible to reach each and every market with same efficiency and effectiveness. Hence the market needs to divide into several segments using different segmentation variable. According to Luis et al. ( 2010) 'it is the process of categorizing on the bases of relatively homogeneous characteristics of the market. ' Among the segmented market the most attractive is evaluated with distinct racketing mix, which is called target market. The company's target market is youth people who are trendy and fashionable.
These groups of people are more brand conscious and socialite. The linkage of music as Ben Sherman promotional activity has proven success to certain degree British market. As the change in music trend has lead to change in taste of its customers. The company has position in such way that the target market is being served with appropriate marketing mix. E. J. McCarthy first defines marketing mix under 4 As product, price, place and promotion. According to him the marketing is all about offering ' right product with right price, at right place in right promotional way. The company is offering a product, which has very short life cycle, which means the product, may be easily outdated with the change in season or fashion as a result of which Ben Sherman could face technological obsolesces or substantial loss in finance and market share. To overcome this problem Ben Sherman is approaching to extend the life cycle of product through repositioning of product. The company can either modified the product and sale in it exists market or build a new market to attract new customers.
According to Kettle and Armstrong (2008) " marketing technique for the extension of product and delays its decline stage. " Ben Sherman can has an option to implement product oriented or market oriented or both of the strategy integrated together to the market. According to Lancaster and Massing (2011) product oriented marketing strategy is where " company strength is quality of product as a result of which product or service will sell themselves. " This approach is based on the firm is focus on good quality product and service and act as " mousetrap" ( Kettle and Keller, 2012)
Where as in market oriented firm emphasis the importance to understand the market need and demand first and then develop product or service to meet the desire and fulfill those needs. Kettle & Keller (2012) describe this approach as a customer- centered, sense-and-respond philosophy. Ben Sherman is using above the line as well as well as below the line strategies to promote and reach customer through direct mail, sales promotion, sponsoring musical events, online auction of limited edition guitar and so on.
This technique helps to interact with the final consumer as a result of which the company can roommate plan and policies to built up strong brand. This is a great opportunity for a firm like Ben Sherman to response the need and up to date information of market. Research Conclusion: Ben Sherman was actually established as shirt maker. The company is primarily focus to men's wear and youth generation who are more fashion conscious than any other age group. The company should aim to widen it's target market as centralizing in particular market has restrict the market size for Ben Sherman.
It is particularly important because the firm cannot control over the customer stability and loyalty for its brand in long term. It is equally supported by Wallis (2013) research that young people are less likely to be brand loyal and as these group people grow than the firm is likely to loose it's customer forever. The fashion industry is growing rapidly and are getting more competitive so Ben Sherman should seek an opportunity to offer range of product to other market or built new market for other age group and even for women's outfit.
This strategy could incur large sum of investment initially and may be value trap business for some period of time. But firm should operate and perform effectively and efficiently to enervate positive cash flow to add value to Ben Sherman in long run. Ben Sherman should implies market orientation strategy because it helps to understand the need and desire of the market. Once market research is conducted then the firm should develop the product that is more suitable to meet the demand of market.
Well it doesn't mean that product oriented marketing strategy is out of date in which a firm will produce a good quality product, which will sell themselves as like Apple product The company can integrate market development and product modification for the extension of product life cycle. As fashion product has very short life cycle, Ben Sherman should reposition it's product in existing 'market through modification to attract new customer through promotion. Similarly, it can approach to new market segment for it's existing product.
The company can use different marketing techniques to collect the information from the market. The most commonly use approach are focus group, observation, buying behavior etc. These techniques can provide many information about the customer, competitor and market trend. If all of these gathered information are analysis then Ben Sherman can draft implement the appropriate marketing policies to achieve its objectives. Personal Observation: Ben Sherman offers a medium price range brand that offers a quality and stylish fashion products to specific target group who are young male customer.
The company has appropriate marketing mix but it can operate more efficiently if it can increase it's product range for other age group. This can provide more visibility of Ben Sherman brand and increase it's market share. This is particularly important for two main reason as youth people are less likely to be brand conscious and once they ere up they may not find suitable product from Ben Sherman there is very low cost for switching of customer according to Porter Five elements it could lead firm to loose it's market share in long run.
Offering a range of product to different age group and gender can help Ben Sherman to increase its market share and improve brand loyalty and visibility. As discuss above fashion product has relatively short life cycle it could have sever impact on Ben Sherman performance if it lack up to date market information and demand of customers. Extension of product life cycle in fashion industry is less likely practical but not impossible. Ben Sherman can reposition it product to existing market or new market and even product modification can helps to delay in decline stage of life cycle.
Ben Sherman is using both pull and push method of marketing through the use of traditional advertising , mail and sponsoring events but since 2007 it is more actively concern for pull method of promotion through the use of it's own website which facilitate it's customer to view and buy product online. This type of marketing has very wide reach and impact on the brand and company's product as it built positive image to the customers. Online marketing can be is use to interact with the final consumer and get direct feedback as a result it can save substantial research cost for Ben Sherman.
The auction of limited edition of 'Gibson' guitar for charity work helps to have a good customer relationship. Business these days is more about networking and has significant impact on the success or failure of business. Ben Sherman can use online community where different customer group can talk and chat about the product and their needs. This provides an opportunity to collect as much as information about customer perception owe and what they want. Group Achievement: There are different opinions of scholars, if individual or group work is better.
Some argue that individual work is more effective than group which is simply time consuming in discussion and come to common decision. Crook (1998) argue that ' there is no difference in individual learning and group learning as both come up with similar grade" similarly, group learning take relatively longer time to conclude. On the other hand , author Abram and Diplomatic (2001) found " group learning has positive effect on the overall performance of task. " For me, this was my first ever group work and has added potential learning skill.
We dealt how to simplify the complex task and allocation of Job. Assessing research and sharing of information helps to built up the communication confidence. I personally felt very responsible that if something went wrong by myself it can affect the overall group performance. So, for every piece of work has been conclude by group decision rather than personal. So I believe two or more head is better than a single head. Working in a team is all about co-ordination with each other. There were member from different cultural and ethnic background.
Some were more expertise in one field than that of others this provide a potential opportunity to share an expertise among the participant. I was not good in computing and accessing resource through online. This group project has help me to be a computer friendly, finding of resources and accessing it for my research work. The work which is done through detail discussion is more memorable and effective than individual learning because there will be no one to interact and provide feedback in individual learning.
So, group learning and project has significant effect in someone's learning ability. Recommendation: The project conducted by our group is successful to some extent as it helps to reflect the true practical environment rather than learning theories and attending exam for degree. Our group members came from different cultural diversity somewhere more expertise in one field while other where are experts in other field. We simplify the task and allocate the duty and responsibility among the members.
Time management and deadlines bound us to perform our research work in a specified way in timely manner. We had faced many problems during research, which we manage to refine, and came up with possible solution after having a discussion. We share a diverse perspective and held accountable to each other so that we can outperform among other group. It has contributed significantly to the communication skill and flow of information among the group members.
It develops an ability to accept challenges and planning carefully and resolve it through teamwork. To tackle the group work we further sub group with 2 members each for all the four question. I have to provide most appropriate marketing approaches and techniques that can support a communication camping for better public relationship for Ben Sherman. So I suggested some of the marketing approach, which are listed below to induct it, which itself provides an opportunity for Ben Sherman to build public relation and makes it brand more popular among. . Ben Sherman can use online community in which member can upload their photos with limited edition of it's product and interlink it with competition events. 2. The company can advertise in social networking site where it can offer special price for limited period of time to attract new customer as well as retain it's existing customer. 3. The approaches conducted by the company can provide crucial information about the customer preference, taste and market trend in fashion world.