The Agent Provocateur Company

Introduction

The market is big and extremely competitive, even if you consider world famous brands. There are companies that deal with both men and women underwear and those which are specialized only in one direction, either lingerie or men underwear. Considering the main tendency on the world market in the field we discuss, it is crucial to mention that more and more new companies emerge and function along with those who have already rooted their positions on the world arena. The underwear market is varied and exciting; the new collections that are observed on the market are full of expressivity, tender and love. The main purpose of this paper is to dwell upon the Agent Provocateur Company that specializes in lingerie; we shall focus readers’ attention on the company itself and its main direction, the stakeholders, the main strategic goals, and the competitive situation that recently appeared.

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Agent Provocateur’s information

The Agent Provocateur Company is the one that deals with the lingerie. The company is situated in London, 154 Clerkenwell Rd, London, EC1R 5AB.The Company was established in 1994 by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees. This year they managed to open their personal shop. The main peculiarity of the company is that it manufactures only the women’s products. Being specialized mostly in underwear, the company also produces different brand accessories, such as shoes, pasties, playsuits, latex boots and stockings, gloves, garters, masks, bangles, massage oils, earrings, body creams, perfumes and other trinkets (Agent Provocateur, 2010).

Key stakeholders

The company has appeared in 1994 and the history of its development is rather interesting. As it was mentioned above, the company was established by Joseph Corré and Serena Rees who decided to find them in this business. Being the main stakeholders of the company till 2007, the couple managed to organize a business in such a way that its products are considered to be the luxury ones. Moreover, the company cares greatly for the clients and managed to create the image of the customers directed company.

2007 was the breaking year in the company stakeholders. The divorce of the couple, Joseph Corré and Serena Rees, was one of the reasons for selling the Agent Provocateur Company. The company was soled to private equity house 3i Group PLC for £60m. Joseph Corré, the founder of the company remained in the company on the position of the creative director. As opposed to him, his ex-wife and co-founder Serena Rees did not stay in the business and left the company. Nevertheless, they remained a minority stake in the company which helped bring sexy underwear on to the catwalk and into the mainstream” (Attwood, 2007, para 2).

A new owner of the company, 3i, provided the following changes. Stuart Rose, a former managing director of the Body Shop, was appointed as the chairman. Jennifer Dunstan, a partner of the 3i will perform the functions of non-executive director in the company. Having taken the reins of government in the hands, the new owners almost immediately signed the contract with Lily Allen “as the new face and body of the brand” (Attwood, 2007, para 8). The selling affair took place in 2007 and it is possible for now to consider the main progress the new government managed to achieve. First, the company is run by Garry Hogarth, a chief executive. 13 new shops were opened for the last 3 years. The company expanded not only nationally, but also internationally. London’s Soho remained the original home and the company widespread to Russia, Dubai, Hong Kong and the USA (Wilson, 2009).

Company’s focus

The company is focused on a larger women audience. But, still, most people cannot afford the products of the Agent Provocateur, as, according to Serena Rees’ words the Agent Provocateur is a specialist lingerie company and it is “responsible for making lingerie fashionable, making it in fabrics and colours that you could not get elsewhere, making lingerie that people want to have” (Ross, 2002, para 34). Furthermore, Serena Rees is sure that the company she and her ex-husband managed to found is a small luxury. She says that “it is not a joke, like some underwear shops, where the joke wears off after a while, particularly if it is an expensive one” (Ross, 2002, para 34).

The main focus of the company is a woman. The company has been operating on the world market for more than 15 years and it managed to make “a revolution in the nation’s knicker drawer” (Ross, 2002). Still, if to check the company’s advertising campaigns, which are going to be discussed in the other section of the paper, the impression is made that the main focus of the company is a man, who desires to buy this luxury and sexual underwear for his woman.

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Considering the official website of the company, checking the main collections, it is obvious that the company wants to meet all women’s desires. The company has already presented the Summer collection, which is ambitious, insolent and extremely impressive. In addition, the company has prepared a Swimwear collection that has already come into the market. The bridal collection is one of the best in the company (Agent Provocateur, 2010). The company cares for women all over the world. The company understands that women should be beautiful, always.

Competitive situation

The situation on the Great Britain and world lingerie market is seems to be extremely competitive. Thus, getting down to the lingerie market analysis, both world and Great Britain, the following information should be mentioned. First of all, Britain market is big and varied. There are many great companies such as Calvin Klein, Adorelle, Eberjey, Lingerie & Co, Lair of Sin and others. It is crucial to mention that there are few companies that deal only with lingerie and focus their attention only on women. Thus, the main Agent Provocateur’s competitors in the women sphere of underwear can be only Lingerie & Co. Nevertheless, Agent Provocateur does not feel any competition from the Lingerie & Co’s size as being on the same market, producing goods for women, these companies use different pricing policies. The Lingerie & Co has chosen the target audience with lower income than those who have an opportunity to buy Agent Provocateur products. The other companies are not taken into account as their range of goods it too high and it directed to different people. Still, the presence on the market the company with the same products inspires both companies for increasing the range of goods and create them more original and varied.

Considering the world famous brands, it should be mentioned that there are great many of world famous brands that are directed to the lingerie production. The examples of the world lingerie brands are as follows, Voluspa Candles, Simone Perele French Lingerie, Niki Lingerie and Shapewear, Gracya Lingerie, Escante and others. These world brands are the international companies which are more experienced. Some companied function on the market for about 80 years, such as LeJaby that was founded in France in 1930’s (Lingerie Brands, 2010). Agent Provocateur’s international competitors are rather powerful companies. Agent Provocateur should try hard to reach their level.

Considering the strategic trends of the Agent Provocateur Company it is significant to notice that its advertising campaigns are the distinguishing parts of their strategic plan. Having considered the advertising campaigns of the Agent Provocateur, it is possible to notice that different celebrities are invited. The latest celebrities that took part in the Agent Provocateur Company advertizing campaigns were Kylie Minogue, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kate Moss and Daisy Lowe (Attwood 2007). The choice of famous people for advertising campaigns is the strategy the company uses. When being founded, the company has chosen sexuality and desire the main strategic trend. Even after the change of the owners, the main direction of the company is not changed.

The ads created for Agent Provocateur Company are always daring and provocative. The ads created to advertize Agent Provocateur products are rare displayed on TV as they main idea of the ads is erotic desire women should arouse in men (Sweney). The direction to the desire is possible to implement in life as the goods the company produces are aimed at doing it. Furthermore, the ads the company makes are the key distinguishing features of the company that make it different. No any company specialized in lingerie do not create such provocative and erotic ads as Agent Provocateur Company does.

Mr Corré, when being an owner of the company, once said, “We only have the confidence to sell people things we actually like” (Ross, 2002, papa 10). He considers it as the company’s philosophy, to sell people only the products they personally like. The company has always been customers directed and it is the key factor of its success. Being a luxury brand of lingerie, the company managed to earn a world famous, enter the international market and establish a reputation of a positive company within 15 years.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Agent Provocateur Company is the one with the head office in Great Britain that specializes in lingerie. There are a number of peculiarities that distinguish Agent Provocateur from the other brands. First, the company specializes only in lingerie. Second, the main peculiarity of the company ads campaigns is that they are shot with the celebrities as the main character. Moreover, all ads of the company are erotic, daring, provocative and full of desire. Being the company that produces goods for women, the ads are directed to men who9 should desire to buy the product for their woman. Furthermore, within three years the company managed to enter the world market and became famous internationally. With the change of the owner, the company managed to open 13 new shops in different countries all over the world. Thus, being the company with specific image and strategy trends, it continues its development and world market penetration.

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References

Agent Provocateur. 2010. Web.

Attwood, K. 2007. Agent Provocateur sold to private equity firm 3i for £60m. The Independent. Web.

Lingerie Brands. 2010. Fine lingerie Pampered passions nurturing the female spirit. Web.

Ross, D. 2002. Joe Corré and Serena Rees: Sex and the City. The Independent. Web.

Sweney, M. 2009. Kylie in Agent Provocateur lingerie voted ‘best cinema ad’. Guardian. Web.

Wilson, A. 2009. Agent Provocateur says lingerie sales hold up. The Telegraph. Web.

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