The global fashion market is highly divergent because of the differences in tastes and preferences across various regions. The market is also differentiated in terms of demographics, although some preferences have been harmonized in the recent past due to globalization. This results in international trends and markets that only require small changes in products in order to ensure localization and enable them to respond to local needs. With globalization and highly advanced information technology, marketers have had to change their strategies in order to respond to the varying needs of the global consumers. Effective branding and positioning of brands in the market depend on standardized marketing strategies that are meant to create an international brand. Standardization and localization can be used in different markets and cultures. This is because standardized marketing strategies have varying effects on the market depending on the culture (Ko et al., 2007).
Shim and Bickle (1994) devided the female apparel market in the USA into three segments. The segments are symbolic users who are fashion conscious, young, and innovative. They also represent high social class. Conservative users are more interested in functionality and comfort, as opposed to fashion and the third segment was made up of apathetic users. Kim and Lee (2000) determined the presence of six lifestyles in relation to fashion: price conscious, fashion conscious, information seekers, self-confidence, time conscious, and attitudes towards local stores.
The most efficient form of marketing used in the international fashion is mass media such as TV. This is used because of the global appeal and large audience. The Internet has also received significant attention from the fashion industry. Fashion blogs and Internet video advertising are used because they can reach different segments and provide adequate information for consumers. They are effective in enabling market segmentation and reaching differentiated markets (Brookins, 2012).
Marketing strategies of TopShop and River Island
TopShop is well-known for its innovative display of marketing strategies that lure consumers to their products. The shop develops limited products in order to enhance exclusivity through limited supply. Product lines such as Kate Moss from TopShop are reduced in their availability in order to foster rarity and improve their appeal. The issues of limited edition pieces for some products result in manufacturing scarcity and prestige. Another strategy used in marketing by TopShop is celebrity association and endorsement. During its debut in New York, the shop held a party with a large number of celebrities attendance. The shop also distributed flyers and gift cards in order to create interest and excitement of the store opening. The store is also active in online marketing and brand awareness through live blogs, which create awareness to both new and already familiar customers (Paulemon, 2010).
The store also uses integrated marketing, and memorable events to create brand awareness and association. The cycle in style campaign was used to introduce the brand in New York. Photographs of the cyclists were taken and used as marketing tools in social media and Internet advertising. Another significant online marketing tool is the creation of an online make over tool for marketing its makeup brand (Turner, 2010).
River Island fashion store deals in style affordable fashion items for both men and women. The store markets its products through the Internet and media advertising using their price competitiveness as the main selling point. The products are advertised as high quality, but affordable, thus attracting customers. In expanding to the international market, the store launched an iPad application. The application targets its core consumers who are young and tech savvy. The application enables the company to show its products and provide a stylish shopping experience for consumers. The app, known as Mobile Closet, enables customers to browse the company’s clothing in store in order to ease their shopping (Johnson, 2011). The store is innovative in reaching the international markets. This is achieved through focus on international markets with international parcel delivery. The store offers a delivery option for customers in more than 100 countries around the world. The company has also opened retail stores in countries such as Russia and Poland (Rapid Parcel, 2012).
Promotional Strategy of Warehouse
Warehouse stores offer convenience and an easy hopping experience for their customers by enabling them to get what they need with ease and at low prices. However, the focus of warehouse store customers is low prices, as opposed to convenience. Warehouse stores do not focus on a specific target market because they offer products for everyday use. This means the marketing strategy applied highlights the wide variety of products available in the store. It also shows the price competitiveness of the store. The main marketing platform for these stores is the billboards and mass media. This is because of the large audience offered by this marketing media. Warehouse stores also engage in online marketing and offer online shopping in their bid to increase efficiency and convenience for the consumers. Warehouse stores also focus on the “do it yourself” strategy, which stems from the need for consumers to engage in performing activities that are necessary in their homes (Louis, 2002). This involves the marketing of manuals and schedules with instructions on how to do some essential things at home without having to hire professionals (Dymski, 2002). This improves the market prospects for the store because it results in savings for consumers, who are price sensitive.