Marketing strategy is the most important task for any business. It defines how the business organization seeks to provide a superior value to its target audience with a view of accomplishing a three-fold objective. It is a framework for establishing a brand image position for the firm to generate sales. This situation ensures the satisfaction of customers who are the backbone of the firm’s profitability and overall success. The marketing strategy touches the individuals carrying out the process, society, and the firm. The success of the marketing strategy in any organization is influenced by a variety of elements. This paper critically analyzes the factors that affect the marketing strategy for a new luxury bag meant for the international luxury market.
Product involvement refers to the time and energy spent by the customers while making decisions on whether to buy a particular product or not (White, Simpson, & Argo, 2014). Products with low involvement are bought for convenience and functionality. As a result, customers do not spend a substantial amount of time to make the decisions to buy them. Examples of such products include salt, sugar, and bread among other products consumed daily. High involvement products take the customers’ time before the appropriate decisions to purchase the product are made. Such goods include cars, and computers among other luxury products (White et al., 2014). Luxury women bags and accessories are conspicuous goods that consumers purchase to display their peculiarity to the surrounding environment. The uniqueness of the luxury bags and accessories is of exceptional importance to the luxury branding process. Consumers purchase such goods to serve the objective of achieving flash. Therefore, the marketers must ensure that the products possess an aura of beauty that serves as the bait for the customers to buy.
Perceived Quality Signals
Numerous studies have indicated that consumers have different cues that they use as a measure of the quality of the products they purchase. These cues are regarded as the perceived quality signals that can include the price, advertising, and/or warranties attached to the product (Uchenna, 2015). Luxury bags are highly-priced goods targeted to a particular group of customers, especially those with disposable income. With the increasing market needs for luxury products over the last decade, most marketers targeting this segment use different promotion strategies to deliver superior quality and value to customers. The consumers of luxury products use the pricing and advertising modes as signals for the high quality of their products. High pricing is regarded as a means to recover the heavy costs incurred in the process of manufacturing high-quality products. Heavy advertising, particularly using the mainstream media, indicates the seriousness and commitment of marketers to enormous spending to avail the high-quality commodity to the esteemed target customers.
New or Used Campaign
The marketing strategy for luxury bags will employ the already used advertising campaigns including TV shows, movies, and celebrity events. This strategy is chosen because these advertising methods have worked for other existing luxury brands including Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Given the nature of the product, whose aim is to achieve the public attention, the use of the aforementioned promotional campaign will be effective, as consumers will want to be like the celebrities by buying of the luxury bags that they see on the TV shows among other events. Developing a new advertising campaign that is not tested can put the brand at risk of failure because the consumer behavior indicates a tendency of trusting the familiar promotional methods.
|Geography||April 1, 2010||Population Estimate (as of July 1)|
Figure 1.0: Table shows census report for the U.S target market for luxury bags
From figure 1.0 above, there is a noticeable steady annual growth of the market segment. In the last decade, the US population has continued to grow. Owing to this empirical evidence, it is inevitable that this market segment will continue to grow for the next ten years. Marketing the luxury bags in this segment looks promising. As the population continues to grow, the number of consumers joining the middle-income class has also amplified. Luxury goods are relatively priced higher as compared to others. The ability to buy expensive products that were initially reserved for the rich is a crucial factor that influences the customers’ purchasing behavior. Secondly, the luxury value perception is another defining factor for this market segment.
Consumers make decisions on which products to buy if they think through the perceived importance (Hassan, Hamid, Muhammad, & Rahman, 2010). The luxury products are perceived as attractive and unique besides being a symbol of a higher status. The marketers need to provide quality products that satisfy the perceptions of the buyers that entail aesthetics, uniqueness, and attractiveness among others. The uniqueness value of luxury products is utilized by the marketers in product promotional campaigns. The social value of the luxury products manifests itself when the consumers become the reference group in the society for using expensive and unique products that the rest cannot afford.
The individual value dimension presents both self-identity and hedonism to illustrate how personal gratification is obtained through luxury consumption (Uchenna, 2015). Self-concept is the totality of a person’s thoughts and feelings towards oneself as a point of reference. This personality trait affects the purchasing behavior of the individuals. Consumers usually buy products that match their status in the society (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, & Best, 2012). The choosing of brands for consumers is guided by their innate feelings and perceptions of one’s self-identity value. In this regard, choosing a brand that is new and unknown can be difficult, as consumers tend to select products from highly recognized brands.
Luxury products are highlighted as having highly defined features such as comfort, beauty, and pleasure among others (Hawkins et al., 2012). This phenomenon implies that some consumers are attracted to purchase luxury products because of the emotional experience that is believed to be established through their consumption. The regulars of luxury products fall in love with the aesthetics, beauty, enjoyment, pleasure, and attractiveness that these goods possess. It is up to the marketers and brand makers to study the consumer behaviors for luxury products in a bid to ensure successful product positioning in this market segment. The failure to learn such distinctive factors of the luxury markets will result in the unproductiveness of the marketing strategy.
The luxury industry is a unique market segment whereby consumers rely heavily on the reference groups to make decisions on which products to buy. Reference groups hold presumed beliefs and perspectives that are used as guiding principles for the individual consumption behavior (Hawkins et al., 2012). Consumers observe the users of the luxury products as wealthy and occupying a coveted position in the society because they use high-end goods. This uniqueness observed in the users of the luxury products provokes the desire to purchase similar or higher quality luxury products. Individuals in the target market for luxury bags observe the celebrities using them. In an attempt to be like the users of the luxury products, the consumers develop the desire to acquire them.
Diffusion determinants are those factors that influence the spread of new products in a target market segment. The spreading happens through the increased purchases of the product (Hassan et al., 2010). The type of group leverages the diffusion of a new product. The characteristics of the reference groups including the level of education, age, and information access can determine the purchasing of luxury bags in a new market. If the reference group exhibits a positive response to the new product, individuals will follow suit. Smaller groups are quicker in the decision-making process; hence, they can accelerate the diffusion rate for an innovation. The rate of diffusion is not only influenced by the firm’s efforts but also the marketing campaign team. Moreover, the level of fulfillment of the perceived is proportional to the diffusion rate because the individuals in a group share the effectiveness of products they commonly use. The positive discussion on the luxury bags will lead to a heightened demand thereby increasing the sales.
Luxury bags present a greater advantage over the ones from other brands. Given the added advantage that the consumers will gain, the diffusion rate of their innovation will inevitably be high. However, the perceived risk of trying a new product in the target market slows down the rate of spreading. Similarly, a high-cost tri-ability of the new luxury bag can inhibit the diffusion in the target market. The consumption situation determinants of the reference groups include the visible usage, high relevance to the orientation group, low individual purchase confidence, strong individual commitment, and status of the item not being a necessity (Yajin & Griskevicius, 2014).
Luxury bags fall under the category of Veblen goods whose purchasing is primarily geared towards satisfying the status quo of the consumers (Yajin & Griskevicius, 2014). These products are developed precisely to give the customer an aesthetic value. Most consumers have a perception that they serve a long-term purpose whilst offering pleasure, creativity, independence, and emotional satisfaction.
Marketing dimensions are chosen based on the cultural background of the target market (Yajin & Griskevicius, 2014). The promotion-focused dimension is common in the US and the UK while the prevention-focused campaign is commonly utilized in the Asian markets including China. The luxury bag that targets people who wish to display their status quo in the public will be suited best by the prevention-focused dimension where the marketers show a loss of value to the customers who fail to buy them. This kind of a marketing campaign provokes even the middle-income earners to develop the need to purchase the luxury bags to avoid being alienated as occupants of the low status in the society. However, in more developed economies such as the US and Western Europe, the promotion-focused marketing campaign works best since a good proportion of the population have reached the self-actualization stages.
The luxury bags are high-end products; hence, the consumers need to search for information about them since the availability of other brands in the industry can pose a challenge in rediscovering them. This situation motivates the customer to process and learn the material. This case applies to high-involvement learning. Conspicuous consumers are characterized by information searching groups. They are in constant search for any available information on the trends and changes in the luxury products. Furthermore, the level of involvement is contingent on the features of the market segment and advertising techniques utilized by the salespersons (Yajin & Griskevicius, 2014).
Consumer Lifestyle and Consumption
Lifestyle has been deemed to influence consumer purchasing behavior. Lifestyle determinants include the consumer subculture, social class, emotions, values, personality, demographics, motives, and life experiences. Such factors influence how, when, what, and where the customer acquires the products. These factors also affect the consumption behaviors of people. Lifestyles change across cultures, ages, and even the types of products involved. The marketers need to study such psychographic factors inherent in the target market segments before launching the products since the lifestyle changes with different cultures and subcultures in the target markets.
To effectively reach the target markets and induce the demand for luxury bags, the firm intends to use both the mainstream media advertising and online marketing strategies. The use of TV shows and endorsers including music and movie stars just like the Vuitton and Michael Kors Companies. The product campaign strategies will help the target audience witness the use of the luxurious products by the celebrities. This situation will lead to the development of a desire to emulate them. Online advertisements will facilitate instant feedback, problem recognition, and quick resolutions.
Marketing strategy entails product positioning in the new target market segments. Before the launch of products in the prospective markets, the salespersons need to conduct thorough customer analysis in a bid to learn the consumer perceptions of the new product, consumption dynamics, life-style determinants, and consumer purchasing behavior besides other facets. The target market analysis is important as it helps gauge the chances of successful product positioning and identifying any risks.
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