CYC custom shop was started in 1935 by Chiang as a Shanghai shirt company and this was the first company in Singapore to make custom made shirts; with time their customer base grew and expanded to Indonesia and Malaysia where they expanded their product line and incorporated readymade shirts (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). During the 1984 recession, CYC had expanded and had six branches and sub-agents all over Singapore; the company even possessed a five-story factory in Macpherson which was producing a capacity of two thousand shirts in a month (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
This strategy made the company to lose a significant market share to low-priced imports and the arrival of new brands in the market and the company felt that it had to do something to remain in the market; therefore they refocused the company in offering custom made shirts alone and undertook a major refurbishing of the company’s image (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). In 1994 the company started an exclusive outlet at the prestigious Raffle Hotel in addition to a new partition that made corporate uniforms; in the year 2000 the company expanded its product line and this time included custom-made ladies shirts and custom suits for men (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Its most recent strategy was the opening of the second boutique in the year 2002 at Republic plaza 2 to cater to their large clientele who work in central business districts in Singapore as well as selling to the United Kingdom and Australia through their stores (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). Today the company has a reliable customer base of more than sixteen thousand which includes their corporate clientele and over one thousand fabrics to choose from suppliers who also supply world-renowned brands in the clothing fashion industry such as Hugo Boss and Prada (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
CYC Company is well known by its customers for their commitment to their work and this has made them be the choice of shirts marker of illustrious statesmen, valued loyalty, and well-known business leaders who know the importance of shirts that fit flawlessly (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
The company’s selection is always updated by the use of new fabrics and frequent change of designs that portray the newest tendencies and colors. The company’s experience in the tailoring of over seventy years enables it to deliver high-quality products at affordable prices. Their prices have been appropriately determined in line with its target market and a shirt can cost on average $88 and sometimes even more than that. More importantly, even for their tailor-made shirts, delivery is always guaranteed in a period of between three and 14 days, therefore after an order is placed customers can obtain the product within the shortest.
The CYC custom shop market targets are mainly made up of the executives, this is because the company has been producing custom-tailored shirts of high quality for both men and women of allegiance and style since it started (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). The company has also targeted international markets all over the world as can be seen in its initiatives to utilize the social marketing sites as well as its website in the marketing of the product not to mention the local market as well. For instance, part of the Company’s objective since it started has been to penetrate international markets such as in the United Kingdom and Australia (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Another strategy of the Company has been to target the local market in Singapore which has mainly opted to concentrate on since it is where its base of operations is located.
In general, the company’s primary target is the high-end market which comprises of clientele who can be able to purchase high-quality products of value and quality with little regard to price. This has given the company a chance to offer their customer’s desires. The CYC product line is varied and many as it trades in all types and sizes of specialty shirts that it manufactures which is an effective strategy for reaching a wide segment of the intended target market. Finally, like all industries in a rapidly globalizing world, CYC Company faces stiff competition from other companies in a similar line of business.
Brand market valuator of the CYC Company’s products
This is a concept that was derived by Young & Rubicam’s Brand asset valuator (BAV) and is a standard of measurement which is used as a tool of analysis to describe the value of a certain product in several categories (12mange.com, 2011). BAV is useful because it “enables firms to improve the marketing decision-making process and to manage brands better” (12mange.com, 2011). Mainly, there are four broad categories in which a brand market evaluator model can be used to analyze a certain product and evaluate its impact on the market and include terms of differentiation, relevance, esteem, and knowledge (12mange.com, 2011).
Below is an analysis of the CYC Company’s products targeted for the local market. Foremost, I will analyze how differentiations element applies to the CYC custom shop products.
The term differentiation refers to the ability of a given product to perform in the market compared to its competitor’s products (12mange.com, 2011). As we have already observed, CYC Company’s products which are comprised of designer shirts are unique and stylish in the way they have been made which makes the Company’s product very competitive. The products manufactured by CYC Company are reputable, stylish to wear, and comfortable that is a class apart (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
The CYC Company main focus is on producing shirts that are admirable and of great quality which can meet the expectation of the customers; despite the wide range of customers targeted by the company, the firm has proved it can deliver shirts that “are a perfect fit and of great comfort” (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). Additionally, the company is very keen on making sure that it achieves the best through being attentive to details because every little detail is essential to producing quality products. From this analysis, it is generally clear that the quality of a product or service is very important and therefore should be pursued by any firm to ensure that the products of interest become successful in the market.
Secondly, there is relevance which is an important concept that must be derived by the customer using the products.
The relevance of a product measures how “appropriate a product is to a customer” and refers to the satisfaction which is derived by the customer who is using the product (12mange.com, 2011). Foremost, the shirts that are produced by CYC Company are made from very high-quality fabric materials which is the reason that their shirts products are elegant and classic and therefore an important accessory to the customers because they compliment their executive high-powered image. Additionally, the wide variety of shirts which are among the finest are produced in the most excellent way to ensure that customers have a range of options from which they can be able to get what one desires based on their tastes and therefore meeting the customer’s aspiration (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
The customer’s perception of the firm’s product quality and growth or brand popularity is what is regarded as esteem (Zhu). Therefore the customer’s reaction to the CYC custom shop brand creation action is determined by the popularity and quality perception; these two factors vary from one country to another and from one culture to the next (Zhu). CYC custom brand of shirts is commonly perceived positively and valued for its innovativeness which is an art that they have perfected with over seventy-five years in existence (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). This means that the company has enough experience in the current trends of its target market since it has been making and selling shirts to business clients, compared to its competitors.
CYC custom shop targets the white-collar job employees and executives by making and selling shirts to its market segment in Singapore and has over 16,000 business customers on its payroll (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
It offers a quality shirt that is designed by competent staffs of varied types, designs, and color, cuffs, fifty collars, and pockets which means that they in one way or another enable customers to achieve their esteem (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
This is the customer’s consciousness of the firm’s brand and appreciation of its uniqueness (Zhu); the customer awareness of the brand and its meaning shows the familiarity the customer has with the brand as can be seen to be the case because of the customer loyalty that CYC customers have towards this company. This means that the firm must build the brand for the customer to achieve this. The firm started its operation in 1935 in Singapore, at that time many people did not know the brand as they lacked promotional tools to market the product (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Nevertheless, through technological advancement in the recent past, the firm has been able to utilize the internet as a marketing tool and increase the dissemination of knowledge of its brands to its customers. Its choice of location has also played a part in promoting the company’s brand; since the company is in Singapore, most of the target markets are aware of the brand and knows the quality and value of CYC custom shop shirts. The firm has also entered the international market for example in the United Kingdom and Australia, this means that it has satisfied the local market and that is the reason why they are expanding abroad. Market satisfaction is a result of positive brand perception by the consumer (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Both knowledge and esteem generate brand stature and popularity; the brand stature indicates the firm’s brand’s historical performance and the present brand power (Zhu).
To analyze CYC custom shop two approaches can be used that is; when esteem exceeds knowledge and when knowledge exceeds esteem (Zhu). When esteem exceeds knowledge the consumer as per the FAQ consumers seeks more information, for example by asking, “Does CYC sell Accessories? Does CYC makes a Tuxedo shirt and suits for weddings?” “How do I get the feel of the shirt fabrics that I see on your website?”, and “What happens if my shirt does not fit?” (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). This implies that the customers or clients are motivated to look for information on the CYC custom shop brand which means that the brand is making an impact in the market and the customers are curious about the products.
Company/Product Profile: CYC Custom shop
CYS Custom shop is a company that specializes in the manufacture of tailor-made shirts only which has over the years become its flagship brand on which the company has builds its reputation (Getsingapore. sg, 2011). On its website, the CYC custom company describes itself as “Singapore’s finest shirt maker known for the perfect fit of its shirts, quality workmanship, and outstanding service” (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011) in a clear reference to the success of its flagship shirt brand that has now come to be known beyond Singapore.
CYS Shop Company started small in 1935 by its founder and owner a Mr. Chiang and has over the years been handed over through generations up to now and its products have for a long time been the symbols of prestige and wealth given as seen in the target market that the company has chosen (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Company’s Marketing Mix
The marketing mix is a term that refers to the four basic components that must be properly attended for appropriate marketing of a product or a service (Matt, 2010). These four basic elements that are to be attended are what are popularly known as “the four Ps”, namely; product, price, place, and promotion (Matt, 2010). For any product or service to perform well in the market it must ensure its products conform to these four basic elements.
The four Ps are interrelated in that, the product which is a physical object produced must be accorded the right price for it to perform well in the market. However, issues to do with promotions of the products such as advertisements must be well-coordinated with the place where these products are to be marketed and distributed to ensure proper performance of the product in the market. Thus, the ability to coordinate and deal with the four primary elements to ensure the success of a product or a service in the market is referred to as market mix management (Matt, 2010).
Product: The Company’s product consists of a single brand but which comes in all forms of styles and designs for both males and females; currently the company has hundreds of designs and types of shirts that have been designed over the years that it has been operational. The custom shop describes its products as “well-known for the perfect fit and comfort of its shirts, quality workmanship, and outstanding service” that it says are “innovative and fashion-forward, and showcase new twists on the classic shirt”; (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
These two statements accurately describe the shirts made by the CYC shop and form part of the Company’s tagline used for marketing the product. In its quest to provide customers with high quality, fashionable shirts in trend with its tradition, CYC Custom Shop has consistently endeavored to design and produce two completely new brands of unisex shirts twice every year to continue appraising its brand product (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). The CYC shop products are made of the finest fabrics of the highest quality and bear the hallmarks of ingenious designers who ensure that any shirt design made can be customized to the specifications of the variety of customers that the company has.
Place: CYC shop products are sold in upmarket areas and exclusively owned company shops. These shops are found in high-end department stores such as Raffles Hotel, Palais Renaissance, and in Republic Plaza II which are within the precincts of the Singapore CBD zone (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). All these stores are located in Singapore’s upscale shopping districts which imply that their target markets are high-end customers. Also, the CYC shop products are staffed by competent sales assistants who are very helpful in enabling the customer to obtain the best choice of a shirt that matches their body physique.
As a company that started as a family business and which has remained so, the CYC Custom shop distribution strategy of its products is only done through its stores which means it has no external distributors. This strategy could be as a result of addressing the threat of counterfeit products entering its distribution network (Matt, 2010). Exclusive shops also enable the company to control pricing and deliver the highest quality of customer service. Finally, the company’s choice of location implies that the ambiance of its stores would be very appealing and thereby very attractive to the target clientele of the CYC shop.
Price: The prices of all CYC Custom shop products reflect the luxurious high-end positioning of its brand and are not listed anywhere on its website. CYC Custom shop brands are both necessities and symbols of prestige and wealth and are targeted at the high-end market segment; as such the prices of its products augment the brand image and positioning as is also seen in its choice of the store location. Also, the CYC custom shops reflect the quality of the company’s product from the fabric that is used to the final design of the shirt.
Promotion: CYC Custom shop uses a range of promotional strategies that are regularly reviewed and promoted; currently it has no less than 7 valid promotion strategies that are listed on its websites which are aimed at promoting the company’s sales.
- it is offering a voucher worth $20 to 100 of it fan’s subscribing on Facebook before 18th of July 2011 who will be selected as winners (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011); this strategy is aimed at capturing the youth market segment and at the same time utilize the social mode of marketing.
- for two months during this year the company offered to give complimentary parking worth 2 hours to the first 30 shoppers every day when they spend excess or equivalent of $100 on shopping (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
- The shop also has a valid offer where it gives out an extra shirt for free when one gets to buy five shirts or more at any of its stores (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
- Other ranges of offers that are being offered by the CYC Custom shops include, a competition whereby participants stands to win $8,000 as well as other range of promotions where it has opted to slash off a certain percentage of its products price and thereby sell selected shirts at discounted prices (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011).
Also, the CYC custom shop promotes its products by showcasing its brands through magazines, photos, the internet, and brochures among others in a creative manner that captures the customer’s imagination.
The appearance of powerful and highly successful personalities used by the company in its photos associates the Company’s product with success, wealth, and power.
CYC custom shop has also adapted recent developments in information technology by using social networking sites such as Facebook and web-based advertising on its site. The company also uses experiential marketing concept that utilizes themes, color, and visual schemes especially in its photo advertisement that stimulate the thoughts and emotions of consumers.
A review of the above-stated marketing mix, clearly indicates that the company positions itself at the high end of the fashion market. Its products are made of high-quality materials, are tailor-made to fit personal specifications, exclusive, and are distributed through the company’s stores only (Cyccustomshop.com, 2011). It is for this reason that it is essential for the company to peg its products appropriately to be consistent with this product positioning.
Brand Expansion to China
As a company that has been active for over 80 years, the CYC firm must promote its products beyond the borders of Singapore. Specifically, the firm does not have a well-established market for its product in most Asian countries such as China and especially in Singapore which is its local market. Therefore, it is recommended that CYC Company to have a strategy that will enable the firm to target markets that are beyond its local market in Singapore and the country of choice that I will use is China.
All firms seek to put up brands that sooner or later get etched in the society or community; a brand that is generally accepted by people in the target market and which embraces people’s culture turns out to be a cultural icon (Roll). Nevertheless, very few firms make it to the top since to be a cultural icon is not a chance that a company stumbles upon but rather which it has to sit down, set plans, and implement them (Roll).
A firm expanding its brand internationally needs to plan on the distribution channel as distribution is the major limitation to thriving marketing which can cost a company a fortune as it is expensive especially if there are barriers in the distribution channel that cannot be conquered (Roll). Legal and social factors such as customs, people’s tradition, the target market culture, and the legal requirements make the distribution channel of one country to be different from another’s country, but some aspects are common to all the distribution channels used by a firm irrespective of their target country that has been identified as the choice of expansion (Roll).
In the following section, I shall propose the major marketing designs which are necessary for the CYC Company to undertake to promote its product in the Chinese market. The marketing designs, also referred to as channel designs are strategies or “set of the interdependent organization” which are essentially used to ensure that, a product or service becomes available for consumption by the targeted consumer (Roll).
In any distribution channel, some independent firms or associations are concerned with making the service or the product available to the final consumer; domestic and international marketing channels differ in terms of the variables involved (Roll). In this case, CYC custom shop targets domestic and international consumers since they have satisfied the domestic market; as a result, they intend to expand their brand to the international market. This means that they have to use a different distribution channel that is different from what they are using in Singapore.
Before they can expand to China CYC custom shop should study China’s distribution structures and distribution models such as retailing, wholesaling, use of agents, choice of middlemen, and so on (Laporte). The firm should also determine the reason as to why the already existing businesses use a particular choice of distribution channels compared to others to determine the most appropriate mode of distribution channel that best suits them before putting in place the distribution plan. CYC custom shop should use the following steps when making decisions about the channel to be used in China.
Consumers in business are defined as kings, so everything a firm does must put in mind that the customer comes first; consumers look for better-quality in all products they seek and the marketing channel builds the most important differentiation in value delivery (Laporte). The firm should, therefore, analyze the customer by identifying their traditions, culture, brand perception, brand knowledge, and service output (Laporte).
In designing the output level the firm should consider the lot size; this is the total number of items that a consumer can buy when purchasing (Laporte). If the lot size is small it means that the service output is great. The waiting time should be convenient for customers and the firm should make it easy for the customer to obtain the product from the distribution channel once it has been finalized (Laporte).
Also, the differentiation of the product is a must for any company that has a different target market (Laporte). This means that CYC custom shop should offer to make sure that they offer after-sale-services, this is because the greater the after-sale-services the greater the effort provided by the middlemen and high stage of service output translates to the high cost of the distribution channel and high consumer prices (Roll).
Establish objectives and Constraints
After customer analysis CYC custom shop should set objectives and constraints that will guide them in delivering value to consumers; the objectives should identify the output level desired by the consumer. The firm can identify the target market segments that deserve different marketing channels and choose which they will service, to minimize cost (Laporte).
The distribution channel is affected by the environmental factors, competitors, and available middlemen (Laporte); since CYC custom shop has been in operation for a long time and has established its presence in some countries this implies that their financial condition is not bad and therefore it can deal with middlemen in China. China retail distribution has developed in town and cities; this means that the firm can use retailers in its distribution channel, the chosen channel must comply with China set up standards on marketing and ethical conduct (Laporte).
Determining main channel alternatives
CYC should determine the nature and total figures of intermediaries. It should also establish the terms and role of each middleman; this is by identifying the circumstances of the sale, pricing strategy, the middlemen regional rights, and joint services among others (Roll).
This strategy is an approach that involves the use of intermediaries to enhance numerous activities such as promotions and selling of the product. Therefore, it is relevant for the CYC Company to employ this strategy to acquire a proper market since the strategy is most appropriate when the products are less popular in the targeted market. Promotion is very basic in marketing since it enhances communication to the customers thus generating big sales and large profits as well. It is also advisable that CYC Company uses this strategy to facilitate the selling of the products which is the ultimate goal of the company.
In evaluating the emerging alternative, the firm should use various criteria such as economic criteria, control, and adaptive criteria. Each distribution alternative should produce varying sales and cost levels which means that the existence of the middlemen will depend on their effort (Roll). The firm has to be in control of the channel as many middlemen will pose a problem to the firm since the CYC custom shop cannot be able to control them. Each channel should therefore be flexible and should change as the market changes (Roll pp 14). In conclusion, the “accurate” design and structure for the distribution channel will result from the above analysis by the CYC custom shop.
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