The company was established in 2011 by two brothers, Paul and Rob Forkan who lost their parents in the tsunami tragedy while on holiday in Sri Lanka in 2004. They were inspired to set up the company to raise funds for the charity to assist orphans in Asia and other parts of the world to lead better lives. The two brothers capitalized on the high market demand for flip flops in the UK and other countries to develop products that have received positive reactions from consumers.
Also, some of the proceeds which are obtained from selling the products are used to fund charitable initiatives meant to uplift the social and economic wellbeing of orphaned children in low-income countries (Butler 2013). This paper will discuss the targeting strategy used by the firm for various products it sells in the market and will also review the firm’s current marketing mix.
The target market for Gandy’s flipflops
The target market for Gandys flip flops is a diverse clientele that comprises both customers drawn from male and female genders. The firm sells a wide range of products which are designed to respond to different customers’ needs in the market. Therefore, it has been able to study the lifestyle patterns of various consumers in the market to develop products that satisfy their unique expectations.
Moreover, Gandys uses a concentrated strategy to reach out to diverse groups of customers. As a result, this approach has enabled the firm to come up with appropriate promotions that highlight the value of its products in the market. Gandys has managed to develop high-quality internal processes that enable it to increase its competitive edge in various markets it serves (Butler 2013). Consequently, Gandys has also come up with high-quality communication strategies that enable its target consumers to understand specific needs that are served by its products in the market.
Since Gandys mainly sells flip flops, it does not have diverse product categories like other firms it competes within the market. Therefore, this has forced the company to focus more on manufacturing different types of flip flops to appeal to different consumer groups. The firm’s marketing strategies focus on customers’ lifestyles, personalities, and attitudes to enable it to increase its market share. It has managed to establish appropriate agreements with several urban retail stores to ensure its products are accessible to its clients (Kotler & Armstrong 2013, p. 67).
The firm has also developed close relationships with online suppliers to enable customers in foreign countries to purchase its products easily through different e-commerce portals. Thus, this has allowed Gandys to increase its networks within and outside the industry to satisfy high levels of demand for its products in different markets.
The Leopard flip flops which the firm sells mainly target female buyers. Since the firm has managed to develop different variants of the product, it needs to make them appealing to young customers in the market. Young female buyers from the ages of 15 to 30 can be encouraged to try out the product because its design conforms to their lifestyles. Since the firm has managed to establish mutually beneficial agreements with various stores in the country, it needs to use direct sales strategies to attract this consumer group (Kotler & Armstrong 2013, p. 71). Its promotional messages can highlight some captivating aspects of product design which offer a lot of value to female consumers in this age group. Consequently, this will enable the product to elicit positive reactions from individuals in this customer segment.
The female footwear market is highly competitive and has many firms that target different categories of consumers who have various needs and expectations. The main attribute of Leopard flip flops which the firm can use to strengthen its value in the market is its elegant and stylish design. The firm can use marketing messages which capture how various positive traits associated with the product improve the lives of consumers it targets.
For instance, marketing messages which show that the product makes its users more self-aware will strengthen its emotional appeal to consumers. Consequently, this will enable the firm to make them understand the high value they get whenever they wear the flip flops. As a result, this strategy will enable customers to memorize specific qualities of the product which they find attractive and this will strengthen their perceptions towards it (Kotler & Armstrong 2013, p. 73).
A differentiated marketing strategy will enable the firm to identify the unique selling proposition which the product offers its customers. The firm needs to consider actions by its local and foreign competitors and how they impact its operations in the industry. Some of the firm’s competitors in the market include Debenhams, Havainas, and Clarks flip flops which also target the same consumer segment.
Therefore, the firm needs to use an appropriate retailing strategy that makes it convenient for consumers to order and pay for different products they are interested in easily. This approach will enable the company to use direct marketing strategies through its sales staff positioned in different retail stores where its products are stocked. More importantly, the firm will be in a position to understand the personal expectations of its customers and how they can be satisfied with its products (Kotler & Armstrong 2013, p. 77).
In the flip-flop market, buyers can easily switch their loyalty to other competing products if they feel that their needs and expectations are not adequately served. The firm can overcome this challenge by investing in innovative product development processes to enable it to come up with high-quality product upgrades that conform to prevailing trends in the market. As a result, the firm needs to use effective market research processes to find out more about different issues that affect consumers’ spending patterns and how this is likely to affect its long term performance. Also, different elements of product design need to be taken seriously to ensure consumers get a rewarding experience whenever they put on Leopard flip flops (McAfee 2009, p. 81). Consequently, this will allow female customers to express their inner instincts by wearing the product. As a result, this will make them feel good about themselves.
Gandys marketing mix
The current marketing mix used by Gandys in the market focuses on developing appealing product designs that make customers have positive perceptions of the flip flops in the market. Leopard flip flops are branded as simple, elegant, and stylish, making them attractive to female consumers who take time to relax from their rigorous professional schedules. Thus, the product allows them to move from one place to another without straining.
Also, online selling allows the firm to partner with other third party suppliers to deliver its products to consumers in different global locations. This has made Leopard flip flops it to benefit from high levels of exposure in other countries which will be beneficial to the firm’s long-term market expansion strategies (McAfee 2009, p. 84). Since proceeds obtained from the product are used to fund charity programs for orphans in low-income countries, the firm is able its customers that its business model is sustainable. As a result, this makes the product to have its own unique identity in the market.
The firm sells its product in different places to make it more convenient to the needs of different customers who are interested in purchasing it. Leopard flip flops are sold online and this makes it easy for the firm to sell these products to consumers in remote places who are not able to access retail stores where its products are stocked. The firm’s website serves as one of its major sales portals where customers familiarise themselves with different variants of the Leopard flip flop to find out if they appeal to their tastes and preferences (McAfee 2009, p. 88). Also, the firm’s flip flops are sold in some stores which sell footwear and clothes such as Sole Trader, Foot Asylum, House of Fraser, and Top Man. As a result, this has allowed the firm to improve all processes of its value chain to ensure its customers can purchase its products easily.
The pricing of the product in the UK is set at 20 sterling pounds and this will allow it to increase the level of its market penetration. This price responds to the value which customers attach to the product in the market. As a result, the Leopard flip flop product has managed to attract consumers in the market who are interested in enjoying the value the product offers.
Also, since part of the proceeds obtained from selling Leopard flip flops are used to fund charity initiatives, this enables the firm to enhance the image of the product in the market thereby increasing its financial performance. Consequently, the firm can establish more meaningful relationships with its customers (McAfee 2009, p.93). They will be able to recognize that the Leopard brand allows them to take part in meaningful activities that have the potential to transform the lives of other people who live in poverty.
The firm uses different promotional strategies to sell its products to consumers in various market environments. On the firm’s website, customers can browse through different product categories according to their sizes, colors, and prices. This information is helpful because it helps them to select specific products that conform to their tastes and personal needs. Leopard flip lops which are sold by the firm come in different colors and shapes to enable them to appeal to diverse consumer preferences. The firm uses online, broadcast, and print adverts to market its products to various consumers (McAfee 2009, p. 97).
It also uses social media marketing approaches to create more awareness about its products in the market. Sales promotion strategies are used by the firm to boost sales in the market to help it achieve better financial performance in the market in the long run.
Recommendations for a Revised Marketing Mix
The firm needs to incorporate other important aspects of supply chain management to increase the value of its products in the market. More importantly, the firm needs to develop a wholesale strategy that allows it to sell more products in bulk to other destinations to increase its sales (Hisrich 2010, p. 49).
Since the product has received positive reviews from different customers across the world, the firm should partner with large retail chains that have a dominant global presence to increase their sales. For instance, it needs to enter into working relationships with IKEA, Walmart, and Tesco to make its products more accessible to more consumers in foreign markets. Consequently, this approach will allow the firm to boost its sales revenues in the market and it will be able to attain its long-term objectives of initiating more charity projects for orphans.
The pricing strategy for the UK market is good but the firm may be forced to revise its pricing structure for international markets. In some Asian countries, customers may be discouraged from purchasing the product because of its high price and this may cause the firm to lose its competitive edge in the industry. The firm needs to use a market penetration strategy in countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines which have large numbers of consumers willing to sample high-quality products (Hisrich 2010, p. 53).
Therefore, this will make Gandy’s appeal to female customers in other countries that have large numbers of consumers. For instance, since the products are manufactured in China, the firm can price them at 12 pounds in large retail stores in urban areas. This will enable it to sell larger volumes of Leopard flip flops to more consumers in Asia.
In the long run, the firm needs to establish relationships with other retailers that have operations in different countries. It can also license franchises in other countries to manufacture and sell the flip flop products on its behalf to reinforce its brand appeal across the world. This approach may enable the firm to have more points of sale locations where it can sell its products to increase its long term revenues in the industry.
Moreover, this approach may enable the firm to reduce the high costs of operations the firm is likely to face in its future operations in foreign locations (Hisrich 2010, p. 57). This will also allow the firm to overcome different legal and regulatory barriers that make it difficult for foreign firms to conduct their operations freely in foreign countries. Consequently, this will enable the firm to increase its sales revenues from different markets where the product is sold.
Lastly, the firm needs to use other promotional strategies that can help it to increase the value of the product in the market. It needs to use messages which are structured in different languages to appeal to consumers from diverse backgrounds who may be interested in purchasing Leopard flip flops but do not understand English. Also, the firm needs to strengthen the relationships it has with its customers. Consequently, this will allow the firm to come up with innovative product designs that address consumers’ needs and expectations thereby increasing its sales revenues.
Butler, S. 2013. ‘Brothers orphaned by tsunami set up flip-flop business to help children’. The Guardian. Web.
Hisrich, R. 2010. International entrepreneurship: starting, developing and managing a global venture, Sage Publications, London.
Kotler, P & Armstrong, G. 2013. Principles of marketing, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
McAfee, RP. 2009. Competitive solutions: the strategist’s toolkit, Princeton University Press, Princeton.