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Principles of Marketing Report
Brand: Michael Kors
Name: Simaan Shaikh
This report conducts an in-depth analysis of Michael Kors it analyses their customer market and its segmentation, competition, position in the market and its marketing mix. To do this, a number of research methods were employed. Firstly, primary research was gathered in the form of interviews with employees and customers of Michael Kors. Secondly, a comprehensive amount of secondary research was conducted in order to understand more about the brand, its values and what its product was. Then, a SPICC and PESTLE analysis was done in order to ana-lyse the current state of their micro/macro environment. Post-research, it was easy to ascertain what their marketing mix was and who their competition would be. Based on their competition and sources such as Business of Fashion, a perceptual market position map was created in order to help judge Michael Kors against its competitors. After this, a SWOT analysis of the brand was prepared in order to weigh out their strengths and weaknesses this was crucial in helping to create a conclusion and any recommendations for the brand in order to move forward and improve themselves. At the end of the report, it was recommended that Michael Kors continue their social media relationships with their customers. It was also suggested that the brand pay more focus on their older clientele and quality of their products as well as try to lessen their mainstream quality through the heightening of exclusivity by new collections with different prices or marketing strategies. Words: 245
Introduction 4 Environment Analysis:Micro - SPICC 5 Macro - PESTLE 7 Market Segmentation 8 Pen Portrait 8 Key Competitors 10 Perceptual Map 11SWOT 12 Marketing mix 14 Conclusion/Recommendations 19 Bibliography 20 Appendices 23
Michael Kors Holding Ltd is an American-based luxury designer brand. It was founded by designer Michael Kors in 1981 and after a tumultuous journey they have recently found themselves as on of the leading pioneers of fashion for todays generation. Mi-chael Kors bases their fashion on the theme of a jet-set juggernaut (Business of Fash-ion, 2015), therefore becoming famous for their fast fashion. Their high quality de-signer products are sold at a slightly lower price than other designer brands, making it more accessible to the masses. They produce clothing, resortwear, accessories, handbags and footwear for both men and women (Singer, 2013). The brand suffered serious losses and managed to procure a staggering comeback in 2013, rising quickly to the top and identifying itself as a luxury brand on par with brands such as Coach. According to the Business Insider, in Fall 2010 there was no mention of Michael Kors anywhere in their surveys of favourite brands, but in 2013 it was near the top (Lutz, 2013). Michael Kors pride themselves on their campaigns and their social media outreach, making them one of the first designer brands to be famous on social media. Its main headquarters are located in New York, on Madison Avenue. These headquar-ters act as a command centre, and the 1.1 million square foot building houses most of their main offices (Samtani, 2014). As of 2014, the brand operates around 555 stores and 1,560 in-store boutiques in department stores worldwide (Melton,2014). Their products manufactured in China by Sitoy Holdings Ltd, as labour costs and materials are at a lower cost in Asia. Currently MK is licensed with Estee Lauder, Fossil and Mar-chon 9Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2015). This report contains a detailed analysis of Michael Kors by reviewing who its target cus-tomer is and their market segmentation, marketing mix, the overall retail environment and competition. The aforementioned research will aid in coming to a conclusion that will outline the brands marketing activities by identifying underlying problems that need to be solved.
Image: (BorgenMagazine, 2013)
Micro Environment Analysis
SUPPLIERS Michael Kors is mainly supplied by Sitoy Group Holdings Ltd. This factory is located in Hong Kong and is a major manufacturer of high quality leather goods and travel items (Sitoy Group, 2011). Coincidentally, it also supplies on of Michael Kors biggest competi-tors, Coach (Zhao, 2014).
PUBLIC Michael Kors have their own personal News Releases page on their website, which allows customers an insight into their business for other press related inquiries they have their own press office and also work with Italian press group Onward Luxury Group even though the groups main focus is manufac-turing and distribution (Onward Luxury Group).
INTERMEDIARIES Resellers: Old stock from the company is taken to outlets of factory outlets or given to various online retailers to sell at a sale price.Physical Distribution: According to MKs annual report 2015, they currently distribute for themselves We also have several small-er distribution facilities across the United States. Outside of the United States, we have regional distribution centers in Canada, Hol-land, Japan, and Hong Kong, which are either leased or operated by third-parties. In April 2015, we expanded our existing distribution facility in Whittier, California to service our e-commerce site. In addition, during Fiscal 2016, we plan to invest in building our own distribution facility in Holland, which will support our European operations. (Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2015)
Micro Environment Analysis
Global Licensing: Currently, Michael Kors is contractually licensing with Estee Lauder, Fossil and also with Marchon. MK joined Es-tee Lauder in 2003 (Estee Lauder), following this its products are now being sold in over 30 countries and territories. Michael Kors will be contractually bound with Fossil until 2024 and will distribute eyewear and watches along side the brand (Michael Kors, 2014). Fincancial: Michael Kors main bank dealings are with Bank of America, HSBC and Wells Fargo Bank (Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2015).
COMPETITION MK has several competitors with similar brand outlooks to themselves; such as Coach, Kate Spade and Tory Burch.
CUSTOMERS Michael Kors target customers are most affluent young women who embrace the con-cept of fast fashion. They also cater to men.
Macro Environment Analysis
Political/Legal -Trade agreements limiting how much can go in and out of a country. -Environmental and ethical restrictions limiting imports/exports.-Tense international relations influencing trade agreements or retail locations.
Economical -Tax inflations which cause cost of materials and price of product to increase-Minimum wage boundaries in different countries influence how much each employee has to be paid-Recessions or inflations adding pressure on individual spending habits as there could be less disposable income available.
Social -Current trends influencing where people buy from or what people buy-Cultural differences influencing what each store sells -Risk of certain cultures not wanting certain prod-ucts due to cultural preferences.
Technological -Rise in online shopping leading to a fall in in-store footfall-Unpredictability of social media could affect sales as its mass outreach determines what the most desirable product is at any given time.
Environmental/Ethical -Counterfeit products or subtle copies being manufactured and sold in high street stores or bargain stores.-Environmental impacts of import/exports may lead to trade limitations depending on countrys governments and ecological footprints.
According to the Business of Fashion, Michael Kors is a Teen Fashion Idol and the preferred handbag label of over 39% of average-income women (Bloomberg, 2015). After conversing with MK sales employees (Appendix 1), it was evident that the brand doesnt place emphasis on who their particular demographic should be. They cater to teenagers and adults. However, the distinguishing factor between these groups would be their fashionability and their brand consciousness this allowed for a accurate pen portrait to be created.
NAME Jonathon SmithAGE 25GENDER MaleOCCUPATION Investment BankerRELATIONSHIP STATUS SingleLIFESTYLE/HABITS Young, sophisticated, driven - likes to have fun
but also works hard and wants to do well. Spends money but never goes overboard. Goes out with friends once a week to a classy bar straight after work and on the weekends likes to relax with friends and do outdoor activities.
STYLE/TRENDS Sophisticated and classy/relaxed and sporty - likes to look good and work so he can make a good impression but never ventures out of the box in terms of style as cannot not want to be too different from his peers in a professional workspace. When shopping he looks for smart clothes that are designer but of good quality but not extremely over-priced. Loves Michael Kors because it fits these requirements and also has outdoor wear/resort wear perfect for lounging or going on holiday with
GENDERS: FEMALE CEN-TRIC
STYLE: PROFESSIONAL, SIMPLE, STYLISH.
Key Competitor TableAfter observing the MK store in Westfields London and Bond Street, it was easy to see who their key competitors were. The competitors highlighted on the side were chosen based on their qual-ity, pricing, style and trends. After interviewing customers at each store (Appendix 2), it was evi-dent that customers who shopped at Michael Kors also like to shop at Kate Spade, Coach and Tory Burch. However, most customers based their choices on current trends, showing that theres no sense of brand loyalty within Michael Kors customers. The perceptual map below depicts how some of these stores fare in comparison to MK based on research conducted online and in person. Ac-cording to Walter Loeb, writer for Forbes, Michael Kors biggest competitors are Coach and Kate Spade (Loeb, 2014)
Perceptual Market Position
Perceptual Market Position
Perceptual Market Position Table:Based on aforementioned research its obvious that Michael Kors is a mid-level luxury brand. While its not as cheap as mid-market brands such as Zara or higher-end brands such as Reiss, it is still cheaper than brands such as Prada and Chanel. Its position on the map acts as a bridge between highstreet and luxury brands proving Michael Kors to be an affordable and accessible luxury brand.
OPPORTUNITIES:-To become even more active on social media: As MK himself is the face of the brand, by engaging with consum-ers by giving them a look into his personal life on Insta-gram and Twitter will enhance his public image and make him more famous by giving him a larger following. -As they are a singular brand, they can create more lines. Even though they already have MICHAEL by Michael Kors and KORS by Michael Kors they can create more that could be priced higher than average in order to give it more exclusivity and a different feel to previous collections. -As they have such a large following of teenaged females, they could create a line specifically for them, expanding their target market. -They could develop their mens range more as its signifi-cantly smaller than the womens range inherently meaning they would gain more customer.
WEAKNESSES:-The availability of the brand to anyone and everyone as it lessens MKs exclusivity.-Bargain stores: lessens price of bags and clothes which in turn dilutes their brand image. -Their jet-set trend stops them from appealing to a wider range of consumers, which can lessen their profits. -Their designs are copied by most high street retail-ers, especially their iconic tote bag which means customers could turn to a cheaper alternative instead of buying the real thing.
THREATS:-Any possibilities of an economic downturn in America or Europe as those are their biggest markets and a re-cession would lead to a massive fall in profits. Econom-ic unpredictabilty leading to unstable sales patterns.-The possibility of costs rising in an inflation as that could mean that MK would either have to increase prices or sell more than before in order to cover costs. Increasing prices could harm relationships with cus-tomers as they may not want to pay the higher price and the need to sell more could create an added sense of pressure to the brand which could lead to disecono-mies of scale. -Failing contracts: currently Michael Kors has liscens-ing contracts with Estee Lauder, Fossil and Marchon if any of these were to fall through it could harm their brand image and lessen the amount of financial security MK has as they would have to look for new business partners.-Ethical problems through hiring cheaper labour in China.
STRENGTHS:-Brand image: leading to a better establishment in the market and a better relationship with customers.-Celebrity endorsements: makes the brand more desirable as consumers want to emulate celebrities.-Segmented independent brand: less risk financially and the brand has more overall control over them-selves.-Philanthropy: Never turn an opportunity down meaning they are open to more ventures than most brands.-Ability to stick to their trend of jet-set juggernaut-High quality products: leading to customer trust and possibly increased loyalty.-Global Outreach: enables them to access a large and worldwide market, increasing overall sales and brand popularity as it is extremely well known.
MKs SWOT analysis depicts the strengths the brand has, with focus on its global outreach and which allows them to come across as a leader in their category of fashion. Their independent stature means the risk of overtaking by other companies or loss of control is lessened, increas-ing their strength as a company inclusively. The instability of economies poses a huge risk, as it would for any company because of fluctuating sales it could procure. This can lead to uncer-tainty throughout the brand which can cause diseconomies of scales. They have several oppor-tunities and pathways into which they can expand, particularly in creating a line specifically for teenagers who seems to be their main customers (Bloomberg, 2015). Their main weakness lies within their apparent mainstream qualities as their designs are being reproduced more, meaning there is a loss of exclusivity. Another weakness would be one suggested in Singers article, which stated that customers found fluctuating levels of quality within their products this potentially be a threat because if customers are unhappy with the brand quality, MK could lose a significant amount of customers; especially if knowledge of this lapse becomes widespread (Singer, 2013). Overall, they have more strengths than weaknesses meaning that they are a strong brand, and they have a lot of opportunity to branch out further.
A product means the goods-and-services combination the company offers to its target market. It includes variety, quality, design, features and packaging (Kotler, Armstrong, Harris and Piercy) all characteristics that make MK unique. Michael Kors has a large range of products - they have smart clothing, resortwear, footwear, accessories and their large collection of handbags and wallets. MK are mainly famous for their handbags, but they are well known for their clothing collections within celeb-rity circles.
MKs style derives from the idea of jet-set juggernaut couture. Their designs are supposed to be all-American, fast fashion that is trendy and sophisticated. The key to their product lies within simplicity, as it differentiates them from the frills and fuss of fashion. This includes the sleekness of their packag-ing; their symbolic card bags as outer packaging for products is a clear representative of their brand, and the method in which products are wrapped adds an extra touch of luxury to their services.Michael Kors has diffusion extension lines within their brands theres the Michael Kors Collection which is their specialist line. All materials in this collection are of the highest quality or extremely exotic, meaning prices are extremely high. The MICHAEL Michael Kors collection includes a lot more accessories and has a larger range than the Michael Kors Collection. This range includes formal wear but also has denim, loungewear, resortwear and options for plus sizes and petite sizes. MK also has licensing agreements with Fossil for its watches and jewellery, Estee Lauder for its cosmetics and Marchon for its eyewear; ensuring higher quality in its products as each of these brands is specialised in the products they are licensing (Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2015)
Michael Kors have annual fashion shows that showcase their seasonal trends to the public. This gives their consumers an idea on how to wear a particular design, while showcasing their products. Relat-ing to this, the Michael Kors website offers a Trends page (Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2015), which further develops relationships with customers and their products as they can see what is in style at the moment and how they can wear it. MK also have a mens range, however this is significantly smaller than the womens range and not as successful.
Promotion is what communicates the merits of products and persuades target markets to buy particular products (Kotler, Armstrong Harris & Piercy). MKs promotion is one of the strongest aspects of their brand. According to Mintel (See Appendix 4), todays youth is more involved in social media than ever before, making social media an important factor in any promotional aspect. Michael Kors social media pages is one of its most successful forms of promotion - in 2013, they were named top fashion brand on social media. With around 6.4 million followers on Instagram 3.1 followers on twitter, MK has a huge social following. A great example of one of their campaigns was the #WhatsInYourKors on Instagram, where millions of users banded together in order to show off their products or even talk about which bag they wanted this hashtag is still running two years later (Quin, 2015), showing how successful the venture was. They started the #FallinInLove holiday hashtag about customers favourite products this hashtag came with giveaways to lucky winners during the holiday season which promoted their brand im-age by depicting them as a generous brand who gives back to customers.
MK was the first fashion brand to adopt the Marquee method of advertisement on Instagram (Vizard, 2015), which uses 15 second videos to broadcast a product or detailing on a product or a short interview. Their first Marquee advertisement used Lily Aldridge jet-setting around Paris. This method of celebrity endorsement subtly promotes the idea of a jet-set juggernaut customers are more likely to respond to a advert if it grabs their attention quickly (Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2015). By using Lily Aldridge they ensured that customers recognised a famous face, and grabbed attention.
MKs use of famous icons furthers their use of celebrity endorsements - by having icons such as Michelle Obama wear their designs they are ensuring that they are constantly in the spotlight and customers are always aware of their work.
Their website displays all of their campaigns for customers to view whenever they want, and they have numerous posters up in each of their stores as well as having short clips on YouTube to further advertise themselves.
The designer Michael Kors himself has a large twitter following, and even though his tweets are business-centric, his followers are offered glimpses into his personal life as well as a look at up and coming designs he is creating; furthering the brands personal selling.
Image: (Michael Kors)
A place includes company activities that make the product available to its customers (Kotler, Arm-strong, Harris & Piercy). As mentioned before, MK have numerous stores all over the world and each store has a similar layout (See Appendix 3). Their stores are always located near or with other luxury brands in department stores, high-streets, or in malls. They have most of their stores in the U.S. and Europe, however they have recently started expanding in Asia, with India being one of its newest targets (Tewari, 2013). MK have recently started the more unique concept of social media shopping. In a movement called #InstaKors they are aiming to bridge a gap between its followers and e-commerce channels. It al-lows followers to get a direct link sent to them so they can purchase any MK products they have liked online (Buro 24/7, 2014). Michael Kors also has numerous 3rd party retailers such as Vali-mar group or the websites for Selfridges/House of Fraser and numerous other department stores so there is a variety of ways for customers to constantly access their products.
PEOPLE According to CIM, a brands reputation rests in the hands of their staff (Chartered Institute of Market-ing, 2015). For this reason it is important that the People part of the marketing mix is successful. As Michael Kors is a large luxury brand, it is impor-tant that their staff reflects on it. For this reason, they have extremely friendly staff who are always ready to help and communicate with the custom-ers on a one-to-one bases. Michael Kors customer service is efficient and they have a plethora of ways in which they can be reached in order to answer any queries or concerns. In fact, Michael Kors himself still conducts one-on-one fittings and occasionally goes into his own stores in order to converse with customers and check that eve-rything is running smoothly, strengthening their brand image and showing how closely knit they are (Business of Fashion, 2015).
PROCESS Process is the delivering of a product or service and the behaviour of those who deliver it, factors which are crucial to customer satisfaction (Char-tered Institute of marketing, 2015). Michael Kors has an online store which delivers worldwide, and there are different delivery platforms for each country. Michael Kors partners with multiple delivery services in order to reach their customers. They are informed from the beginning of when their product is shipped out to when it is delivered to them. This ensures that the customer is satisfied constantly throughout the process without waiting too long.
PHYSICAL AMBIENCE Their store design is sleek and simple; as their main attraction are their bags and accessories, those are always at the front of the store as that makes it easier for the customer to find what they are looking for. Their clothes are located towards the back of each store, along with the footwear. Each store has numerous mannequins styled in a particular way to showcase different products adding a sense of uniformity to their stores. Their retail atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, custom-ers are offered beverages in the larger stores as well as testers for their new fragrances.
PRICE Price is the amount of money customers must pay to obtain a certain product (Kotler, Armstrong, Harris & Piercy). MKs pricing is perceived to be within the mid-level luxury band. It offers high quality products but at a slightly lower price than luxury couture houses such as Gucci or Chanel. Pricing includes discounts and sales which MK frequently has, both in-store and online. While their pricing may be lower than other luxury brands, it is still higher than normal high street stores, adding a sense of exclusivity to it. In terms of differentiation, Michael Kors embodies the idea of affordable and accessible luxury some-thing that luxury brands were not perceived to be to general masses. It was only after their rise to popularity that mid-level luxury products became mainstream.
In retrospect, Michael Kors have a successful marketing mix, with their strength lying in their product and promotion. Their promotion is particularly strong due to their unique relationship with various plat-forms of social media, that their competition is yet to possess. With the concept of their jet-set fashion, they have been able to create a distinguishable brand, giving them a strong USP. Overall, their marketing strategy comes across as efficacious, as it manages to attract a wider audience and communicates with their consumers constantly, giving the brand a more personalised feel. At this point in time, Michael Kors is experiencing positive sales due to the popularity of their products, however they could face a reduction in sales due to increased competition from other brands and the end of their popularity. Their weaknesses lie within quality consistency and the loss of exclusivity their brand has experienced in the recent years especially with their products being favoured by younger generations. This takes away from the sophistication of the brand as older consumers may think the brand is too youthful for them now. To rectify this, Michael Kors can consider creating new diffusion-extension lines, other than the two they already have. These new lines would have to be marketed differently as currently their products are marketed through social media and smaller scale campaigns. The products would have to marketed in a manner that would cater to MKs older consumers, in order to depict their products as something that can be accessed by all ages. There is also scope for them to expand their mens range as it is currently sig-nificantly smaller than the womens range; an expansion of mens ranges would increase sales, especially as metrosexuality increases in men today. Overall, Michael Kors has a successful brand strategy and with a few slight changes, it will continue its reign at the top.
(n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2015, from Onward Luxury Group: http://www.gibo-co.com/press_index.phpBloomberg. (2015, April 15). Michael Kors, Teen Fashion Idol. Retrieved November 5, 2015, from Business of Fashion: http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/michael-kors-teen-fashion-idolBuro 24/7. (2014, November 17). Michael Kors launches a shoppable Instagram initiative . Re-trieved November 6, 2015, from Buro 24/7: http://www.buro247.com/me/fashion/news/michael-kors-instagram-sales.htmlBusiness of Fashion. (2015, April 7). Michael Kors: The Jet Set Juggernaut. Retrieved November 5, 2015, from Business of Fashion: http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/careers/michael-kors-the-jet-set-juggernautChartered Institute of Marketing. (2015). The 7 Ps of Marketing. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from CIM: http://www.cim.co.uk/files/7ps.pdfEstee Lauder. (n.d.). Michael Kors. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from Estee Lauder Companies: http://www.elcompanies.com/pages/michael-kors.aspxKotler, P., Armstrong, G., Harris, L. C., & Piercy, N. Principles of Marketing. Essex, England, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.Loeb, W. (2014, June 27). Bag Wars: Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterloeb/2014/06/27/the-bag-wars-coach-michael-kors-and-kate-spade/Lutz, A. (2013, November 11). One Stat That Shows The Stunning Rise Of Michael Kors. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-stunning-rise-of-michael-kors-2013-11?IR=TMelton, N. M. (2014, May 30). Michael Kors plans rapid expansion with 45 more North American stores. Retrieved November 2015, from FierceRetail: http://www.fierceretail.com/story/michael-kors-plans-rapid-expansion-45-more-north-american-stores/2014-05-30Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (2015, March 28). Annual Report 2015. Retrieved November 12, 2015, from Michael Kors: http://s2.q4cdn.com/702269136/files/doc_financials/annual_report/cropNO-MARKS_PP_ANNUAL_REPORT_10K_WRAP.pdfMichael Kors Holdings Ltd. (2015). Trend Reports. Retrieved November 8, 2015, from Michael Kors: http://destinationkors.michaelkors.com/michaels-edit/trend-report/#view_moreMichael Kors. (2014, November 11). MICHAEL KORS AND FOSSIL GROUP RENEW GLOBAL LICENSING AGREEMENT FOR WATCHES AND JEWELRY. Retrieved November 15, 2015, from Michael Kors: http://investors.michaelkors.com/news-releases/news-releases-details/2014/Michael-Kors-and-Fossil-Group-Renew-Global-Licensing-Agreement-for-Watches-and-Jewelry/default.aspxMichael Kors. (n.d.). Michael Kors Collection - Women. Retrieved November 13, 2015, from Mi-chael Kors: http://www.michaelkors.com/women/michael-kors-collection-clothing/_/N-28esMintel. (2014). The Consumer Social Media Sites Used for Fashion. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from Mintel: http://academic.mintel.com.arts.idm.oclc.org/display/725128/?highlight#hit1Quin, R. M. (2015, February 24). Steal Their Style: 7 Retail Brands Bringing Life To Their Digital Marketing. Retrieved November 6, 2015, from SocialBros: http://www.socialbro.com/steal-their-style-7-fashion-brands-bringing-life-to-their-digital-marketing/
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Interview @ Westfield (manager)
Q: What age group comes into your store the most? A: 21-30 years old. Q: Do you get more male or female customers?A: Mostly female.Q: What product of yours sells the most?A: Definitely our accessories, the classis tote or our chunky watches.
Interview @ Bond Street (assistant manager)
Q: What age group comes into your store the most?A: It varies, I would say 17-40. 17-19 year olds usually come with their parents and they buy things for them, otherwise people buy things themselves. Q: Do you get more male or female customers?A: Definitely female.Q: What product of yours sells the most?A: Our tote bag and wallets
Interview @ Westfield (customer)
Q: Do you have a lot of Michael Kors products? A: I have two bags and a wallet as well as a shift dress.Q: How would you describe your style?A: Classic, sophisticated, not fussy Q: Are you a loyal MK customer?A: I wouldnt say that this is my only place to shop, I like to browse different places and choose what I like.
Interview @ Bond Street (customer)
Q: Do you have a lot of Michael Kors products? A: Yes, a lot actually.Q: How would you describe your style?A: Elegant, smart casual mostly, very British I would say!Q: Are you a loyal MK customer?A: Yes, but my other favourite is Kate Spade.