Polo adult clothes marketing plan
Ralph Lauren co. has witnessed significant success in the recent past and this has given it a leading position in the industry. The company has particularly experienced rapid expansion in various parts of the world where it has opened various retail outlets and retail stores as well as engaged in productive partnerships. It has however experienced significant challenges in the rugby line of polo adult clothes as it has failed to meet projected results since it was established in 2004. This paper outlines the proposed marketing plan that can help address this issue. The method employed in establishing this plan will look at the company, its mission, strategy and objectives. The plan will further analyze the situation within which the new marketing plan will prevail including the industry, internal and external factors and the potential competitors. It will also describe the target market, differential point, strategic positioning and the marketing program. Findings of the analysis governing the proposed marketing plan have shown that Ralph Lauren has a leading position compared to other competitors in the industry, which will enhance the survival of its new product line in a new market. Major strengths that include affiliation with a strong brand, use of QR technology and creation of an app will enhance the survival of the new product line in a new market. Although this might be suppressed by certain weaknesses and threats, various opportunities prevailing in the external environment will place the new product in an advantageous position to be able to excel in the new market. Important recommendations relating to how the new plan should be implemented is that fashions shows should be held and sufficient stock made to meet consumer demands after the show.
Polo Ralph Lauren, which is also widely known as Ralph Lauren Corporation is a globally recognized apparel company that sells highly distinguished products that defines the American lifestyle. The company achieves this objective by integrating unique fashion statements that are strongly founded on the American tradition in luxurious men’s women’s as well as kids’ apparels. The company has specialized in a trendy product that has differentiated the Polo brand from other ordinary brands. Its brand has expanded beyond the initial Polo brand to include the RRL as well as the RLX brands, the Purple and Black Labels, Chaps, Club Munaco, Pink Pony, the American Living and rugby (Kotler, 2012). A significant brand assortment of high quality products that meet demands placed by different consumer categories have seen the company going international where it has opened various outlet stores in major cities of the world. Rapid successes has also seen the company opening a huge network of online stores, flagship outlets, and retail outlets as well as created an official website. The company has also invested in licenses and partnerships, which have further increased its ability to thrive in the apparel industry despite the economic downturn (HE, 2012).
Despite the significant successes, Ralph Lauren co. has experienced unsatisfactory results in marketing the Polo adult apparel line. Specific disappointments are apparent in the rugby adult clothes section, which tends to be overlooked when any possible improvement is being made in the adult apparel section. Although the company has tried utilizing the opportunity created by the existence of its online store, it still has failed to realize the projected revenue to help contribute to the company’s bottom line success. To address this issue, there is need to develop a new marketing approach for the rugby section of Polo adult clothes to help make significant contributions to the overall company success (Kenny, 2013). The new marketing plan may be developed as follows:
The mission statement governing the direction of the wider Ralph Lauren Corporation is to redefine the American style, offer high quality products, develop a new world as well as invite individuals from around the world to participate in realizing the dream. The rugby brand, which constitutes to one of the newest line of products in the Polo adult apparel, boldly portrays a similar tradition. According to Maryam (2012), this product line integrates a classic and vintage style with what is popularly known as the “chic downtown elegance” to realize a personalized approach to style. Instead of changing any aspect of the product itself, the current marketing plan will simply adjust some of the prevailing advertising channels as well as marketing approaches to reach a huge number of audiences within the targeted market niche.
The proposed market plan integrates the diversification marketing strategy as the means through which Ralph Lauren Co. can enhance its profit potential as well as promote overall sustainability of the business. This strategy entails selling new products in a new market with the sole intention of increasing the overall revenue base that the company can generate from a particular product brand. The main reason for choosing the diversification marketing strategy is to help Ralph Lauren Co. to increase the total revenue generated from the Polo adult apparels by 7% by the end of the next financial year (Yone, 2012). This is especially because the rugby line of Polo adult clothes has not provided the company with the level of revenue that has always been projected since it was launched in 2004. As such, the proposed diversification marketing strategy will help jumpstart the process of generating sufficient revenue within the Polo adult clothes as well as the wider company. The core objective for employing the proposed strategy is to help sell rebranded products that offer a fresh and new image of the rugby brand in a new market. Enhancing diversification of style in the rugby line of Polo adult clothes through rebranding will help Ralph Lauren to gain more exposure by reaching the untapped markets (HE, 2012).
Certain objectives govern the creation of the current marketing plan, which would in return contribute to the overall success of the larger company. One primary objective for creating the current marketing plan is to extend the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes into new market as well as shopping environments. Marketing the rugby adult brand will help the company achieve this objective by capturing a new market comprising of a younger generation with unique tastes as well as styles. In terms of expanding into novel shopping environments, the new rugby product line will be sold in particular specialty shops that cater for the particular market niche that the rugby product line is targeting (Kenny, 2013). This objective is attainable as the new shopping environment will ensure that the brand in question will be accessible to the targeted young men and women. As such, the company will aim to realize this objective by the end of the next financial year, which is 2017.
A second objective guiding the proposed marketing plan is to promote overall contribution of the Polo adult clothes to the total Ralph Lauren Corporation’s revenue. Through the current marketing plan, it is expected that the rugby product line will make significant contribution to the total company revenue by about 15%. In relation to the rugby product itself, the company aims to increase its total sales by 7% within the first year of implementing the marketing plan. The company will then target to increase of the rugby product line by five and three percent respectively within the subsequent two years (Kotler, 2012).
A third objective that Ralph Lauren Co. will aim to achieve through the current marketing plan is push higher into the luxury brand that will be sold in new stores in various parts of the world. This objective will be realized by rebranding the popular preppy adult rugby products into the new Polo-Player logo. This will transform the popular stylish American products into a trendy and fresh look that attract a huge network of consumers within the targeted niche. In order to attract the attention of targeted consumers, other products will be relocated into the traditional retail outlets while the new product is placed in new stores in Bittersweet as well as the Urban Outfitters to target great designer shoppers that frequent in these stores in search for their unique taste. This is expected to take place within the first year of the proposed marketing plan to help the company realize timely benefits (Maryam, 2012).
The Ralph Lauren Co. operates in the textile and clothing industry along with other major competitors, including The Jones Group, Philips-Van Heusen as well as the Liz Claiborne Corporation. Of these competitors, Ralph Lauren ranks first in terms of revenue with an estimated 259.49 Million Dollars in annual net income. The company further ranks first in terms of growth with its Quarterly revenue estimated at 32.4% (HE, 2012). While the textile and clothing industry has itself experienced 9.9% in Quarterly Revenue expansion, it is obvious that Ralph Lauren’s Quarterly growth is way beyond the level of growth experienced in the wider industry. This means that marketing the rugby line of the Polo Adult clothes can experience exponential growth if specific industry characteristics are met through the product. While it is obvious that Ralph Lauren stands at a favorable ground within the textile and clothing industry, it is obvious that marketing the rebranded rugby line of the Polo adult clothes will render significant success especially because the product meets the stylish and trendy characteristics that can appeal to the targeted consumer segment within the industry (Kenny, 2013).
In addition to the leading position that Ralph Lauren occupies in the textile and clothing industry, it has high brand recognition that further intensifies its overall success within the industry. According to Yone (2012), the company’s prestigious name serves as a productive asset especially because it constitutes to one of the most recognized and highly recognized logo within the industry. As such, the company can use its brand name to help the rugby line of the Polo adults clothes grow to reach its projected potential. While the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes is renowned for providing high quality products, it can exploit the readily available added advantage of its unique Ralph Lauren brand name to flourish over other competitors that do not have an equally strong brand. Another strategic strength gives Ralph Lauren an upper hand against other competitors in the industry is that it allows its clients to customize their products. This creates a sense of ownership as customers can feel that they have control in product development, and hence, may be motivated to pay for an expensive product if it is going to meet their personalized demands (Kotler, 2012). For instance, the use of QR codes has improved the company’s image pertaining to its conversance with technology and has as well created an avenue through which customers can learn more about what the company can offer.
Certain internal and external factors characterize the business environment within Ralph Lauren thrive. These factors are thus important in determining whether the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes will succeed in a new market and realize its projected potential. Such factors are summarized in the table below.
|FAVORABLE FACTORS||UNFAVORABLE FACTORS|
· Affiliated to the Ralph Lauren co.
· Use of QR technology
· Allows consumers to design their own fashions to meet personal preferences
· Popular participation in fashion show
· pre-mature brand
· target market is inadequately established
· high price range compared to most competitors
· products unavailable after a fashion show
· the trendy style cautious market is rapidly growing
· web-based virtual fashion shows
· new competitors targeting a similar population as Ralph Lauren are rapidly invading the market
· low economy
· increasing product prices
As shown in the above table, the rugby line of Polo adult clothes has various strengths favoring its capacity to thrive is a new market. One of the key strengths defining this product is that it is affiliated to the Ralph Lauren brand name. The product can thus rely on this brand to build a strong reputation especially because the company has already obtained customer that can be passed over to the rugby brand. In addition to this strength, Ralph Lauren has acquired a great deal of experience in fashion shows that it uses to promote is product lines. The rugby line of Polo adult clothes can thus employ this experience to its advantage, which would in return enhance its ability to thrive in a new market (Kenny, 2013). The company further promotes an aspect of uniqueness by allowing its customers to customize its products to meet their personal preferences. For instance, the company allows its customers to choose style, logos, patches as well as preferred color that they want integrated in a particular product. The rugby line of Polo adult clothes can adopt this trend, which would in return promote a sense of ownership among customers thereby increase its overall success within the new market (HE, 2012).
The rugby line of Polo adult clothes however has some weaknesses that may suppress its capacity to thrive in a new market. According to Maryam (2012), the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes is still a brand that has not yet flourished like its mother brand, Ralph Lauren. The product is further targeting to sell its products to college students and young professionals. This target market, however, may not have a lot of disposable income to pay for most of the expensive products offered by the rugby line of Polo adult clothes irrespective of the fact that they may come from wealthy families. Another weakness associated with the Ralph Lauren brand is that it has previously encountered serious challenges trying to make new clothes that would meet market demands immediately after a fashion show. This factor may affect the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes to prevail in a new market particularly because it might lose many opportunities to increase its sales (Yone, 2012).
Despite the various weaknesses that the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes faces, the external environment presents certain opportunities that may favor its performance in a new market. The market segment that is interested in trendy lifestyle is rapidly growing, which creates a huge opportunity for the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes to reach a huge number of people that may be interested in its unique brand. The virtual platform is rapidly expanding and it creates a huge opportunity for the rugby line of the Polo adult clothes to participate in web-based fashion shows. These opportunities are however challenged by various threats, which may affect the product’s ability to succeed in the new market. As explained by Kenny (2013), new competitors that are targeting a market with similar demographic features as those of Ralph Lauren. Similarly, Lauren is thriving in a low economy, which may affect the new brand’s ability to succeed in a new market.
The major competitors that thrive in the textile and clothing industry along with Ralph Lauren include Perry Ellis, Jones Group and Philips-Van Heusen. The competitors employ certain marketing strategies that tend to deprive them a leading position in the textile and clothing industry. According to HE (2012), Philips-Van Heusen (PVH) has acquired less known labels that include Bass, Heusen, Tommy Hilfiger and ARROW among others. As such, PVH prides itself for having a wide brand portfolio and a wide range of product offering. This benefit drives the company to reach to wide customer base with no particular demographics. This marketing strategy, however, works to the company’s disadvantage in that it cannot be able to satisfy a certain market, unlike Ralph Lauren’s rugby line of polo adult clothes that aims to satisfy a specific market comprising of college students and young professionals. The company also depends heavily on a vast network of partnerships that it has established to market its products (Kotler, 2012). This may however turn into a weakness particularly if problems would arise between partners. This gives Ralph Lauren’s rugby line of Polo adult clothes an upper hand because it aims to distribute its products through various channels including partnerships, retail outlets, shopping stores and shop-to-shop outlets.
Perry Ellis relies on a vast network of wholesalers to distribute its range of products to its customers. It particularly focuses on distributing men’s sportswear, which generates up to 87% of its total revenue. This only allows the company to reach to a narrow range of consumers unlike the Ralph Lauren’s rugby line of Polo adult clothes that aims to reach to a broader range of consumers including both men and women aged between 21 and 29 years. A major strength that places Perry Ellis at an advantage is its portfolio of internationally renowned brand, a strong licensing capability and a firm relationship with retailers (Maryam, 2012). However, this company has a serious weakness that work to its disadvantage thereby giving Ralph Lauren an upper hand in its venture. This is because Perry Ellis is smaller and has smaller monetary and marketing resources compared to Ralph Lauren.
The Jones Group ranks as the strongest competitor operating against Ralph Lauren and it designs as well as licenses over thirty-five brands. Its strongest aspect in competing against Ralph Lauren is that it markets similar products as the company, including clothing, footwear and accessories. It also prides on a strong brand portfolio, distribution efficiency, a huge variety of product offering, fair pricing and quality. As such, the Jones group will constitute to one of the strongest competitors against Ralph Lauren’s Polo adult clothes especially in women’s apparels. A major weakness associated with this competitor is that it mainly rely of strong relationships with selected partners. This might give Ralph Lauren an upper hand against this competitor because it aims to expand its distribution channels beyond a few partners (HE, 2012).
The target market for the current product will constitute to young adults particularly college students and young professionals aged between twenty-one and twenty-nine years. The ideal profile for the targeted individuals will constitute of people that are not afraid to express themselves through fashion. The product targets adventurous, potential leaders as well as good-looking men, as well as active, intelligent and elegant women. The product aims to instill a new experience to the customers by making them feel trendy, stylish, colorful and attractive. The product further aims to offer an attractive pricing approach that integrates quality, comfort and reasonable pricing. This owes to the fact that the target market may not have equal resources even though they may have the passion to look good. The product also targets people from all ethnic backgrounds particularly because the company does not intend to be fully exclusive on its image (Kenny, 2013).
The biggest differential point distinguishing the rugby line of Polo adult clothes from competitor substitutes is its ability to use Ralph Lauren’s brand equity. While this is not the case with other competitor substitutes, the new product line in Polo adult clothes will have the benefit of using a superior brand to back its own brand. Further differential point will be evident in rugby line of the Polo adult clothes tendency to go beyond the shopping as well as fashion experience and venture in the social arena (HE, 2012). Unlike other competitor substitutes that tend to rely on partnerships to market their products, the rugby line of Polo adult clothes aims to incorporate various social media outlets, including tweeter, blogs, face book and logging. This will help the company to stay at par with the target market to know their changing demands and preferences. Another differential point id drawn from the new brand’s tendency to target young adults aged between 21 and 29 years who are mainly interested trendy style. This will help the product to break away from the norm of adopting the traditional suit and tie thereby giving the rugby line of Polo adult clothes a competitive advantage (Kotler, 2012).
The rugby line of the Polo adult clothes aims to appeal to customers as a stand-alone brand after taking advantage of opportunity created by brand equity behind the Ralph Lauren brand name. Unlike other competitors, Ralph Lauren’s rugby line of the Polo adult clothes will continue exhibiting high quality, fashionable, prestigious, modest and professional image. Contrary to other competitors that stick to the traditional approach to professional attire that constitutes of suit and tie, the rugby line of Polo adult clothes will add a casual element that can appeal to consumers interested in the brand but were restricted by high prices (HE, 2012). This can be outlined in a positioning map as follows:
The current rugby product, which constitutes to part of Ralph Lauren’s Polo adult clothes, represents luxury and quality. The product constitutes the company’s primary goal in creating a unique lifestyle rather than merely being a popular brand. The product however is no different from other Ralph Lauren brands in that it appeals to a narrow range of consumers, which explains why the company has not experienced the projected level of success from this brand. The product offers a preppy and sophisticated look that warrants inspiration in the next more than 30 years (Yone, 2012). Its prep factor is particularly favorable in regard to budget and it fits perfectly with the style, sophistication and trendiness, which it aims to accomplish (Kenny, 2013).
High product prices that are merely differentiated from those of competitor substitutes have proven to be the main reason why the rugby line of Polo adult clothes has born less than expected results. This has failed to appeal to most people including those considering themselves as being affluent. While most products sold under the Ralph Lauren label tend to be high priced, the current product will be sold at a relatively low price, which will help to promote customer loyalty. The prices will be set at even numbers, flat dollars or end with .50, which will help to promote high quality impression. This will be distinguished from most competitors that set their prices in odd numbers as well as ending with .99 (Maryam, 2012). The projected price list for the new products in the rugby line of Polo adult clothes will appear as follows:
Plain T-shirts with the Polo logo: 23-26 dollars
Graphic T-shirt-26-36 dollars
Simple pants -46-54 dollars
Jeans 62-78 dollars
Coats -120-230 dollars
These prices are high enough to contribute to the projected success of the brand and low enough to attract many consumers within the target market. A 15% discount will be offered to college students, as the company aims to retain this segment of the customers until they enter the professional world (Yone, 2012).
The current product will be distributed to new locations through wholesale, retail as well as direct distribution avenues. Products can as well be sold at specialty stores, retail outlets and online. Although the rugby line of Polo adult clothes already has 12 outlet channels through which its products can sold, it will also employ selective distribution to dispense the new products to retail outlets, specialty stores and online platforms (HE, 2012).
The company hopes to employ a combination of various communication media in its promotional strategy. The techniques are already being used by the larger companies and have proven to be successful, and hence, there is no need to invent something new. One promotional strategy that will be used will include direct marketing where the company will send mails to existing online shoppers for Polo adult clothes so as to promote the new rugby line. While the company already knows these customers’ shopping habits, the message can be designed in a very effective manner to win their trust in trying the new product line (Kenny, 2013).
A second promotional strategy will include point of sale display where the new product will be shown to consumers as they shop for other products. This tactic may entail placing attractive eye-catching banners in close proximity to the company’s retail outlets. Large pictures may also be placed on windows to draw the attention of shoppers into the retail stores (Kotler, 2012).
A third promotional strategy will entail online advertising where the company will employ side banner ads to reach vast network of target audience. The need to choose this promotional strategy is justified by the fact that almost everyone within the targeted age bracket uses social media while others follow their most preferred brand. Using the social media platform will also enable the company to reach other potential customers that were not part of the old market demographic (Yone, 2012).
The Ralph Lauren co. has witnessed significant success in the recent past, which has given it a leading position in the textile and clothing industry. The company however wishes to unlock the potential success of the rugby line of the polo adult clothes to increase its contribution to the success of the larger organization. Creating a new marketing plan that can allow the new product to prevail in a new market will be appropriate. The company thus aims to exploit the major strengths and competencies associated with the product to launch it in a new market where it can reach an untapped population. A key recommendation that can promote success in the proposed venture is for the company to fund for a fashion show where rebranded products can be shown to customers before being disbanded into the market. a huge stock should also be made to ensure that the launched products are readily available to help meet customer demands after the fashion show.
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Yone, J. et al (2012). Ralph Lauren Corporation. Retrieved on 15th April 2016 from https://ezielsresume.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/final-marketing-plan-for-rugby.pdf