Strategic marketing is a mode implemented by an organization to offer better services and create value for its customers. The goal of strategic marketing is to focus on the differentiated aspects of product development and acquire competition over the market. The competing environment for a company decides, where, how, and when to compete with its competitors on the basis of strategy.
The strategic marketing planning is defined under brand planning and plans for future development. The managerial approach undertakes the quality and specific framework of marketing to understand the critical market environment for product development.
Through a market mix strategy, a company can undertake a variety of components to strengthen its brand strategy and sell its product. This strategic marketing paper will address key marketing objectives of the Topshop brand, its internal and external environment, and marketing objectives.
Topshop is a UK based retailer of fashion clothing, designers’ shoes, makeup items, cosmetics, and other related accessories. It initiated its business operations in 1964 with headquarter based in London. Today it has transformed into a global conglomerate having around 620 outlets in different parts of the world, while some 300 are located in the UK alone. Its global outreach is continuously on the move. Besides, it also managed monumental online business transactions in a variety of related markets and industries. Topshop is a part of the Arcadia Group.
The internal environment of Topshop helps to determine brand value and key competitive strengths. The brand is a global marketing manager and works on a focused approach to changing lifestyles. This fashion retail market is developing on the basis of marketing strategy and digital involvement. The internal environment of Topshop elaborates on the brand value, strategic objectives, and competitive analysis of the company.
Topshop is a personality building brand that targets the status of conscious customers. The strategy of the brand is based on its day to day interaction with the market. The marketing campaign and brand value are interlinked because it uses messages for customers’ attraction, proposals, and images on websites to capture their attention. The focus of the brand is to create a unique value in the minds of customers with a fresh look always.
The genuine endorsements from the public are a continuous framework for workers and management to set high goals. The constant innovation strategies are aligned with the marketing dimensions through advertising. Cara Delevingne, through her calm and quirky image, has spread the unique character. A brand target market is a fashion-forward approach with a broad emphasis on innovation through its flagship store. Brand value is generated with a full focus on marketing and advertising campaigns with substantial involvement in digital media.
In this era of the digital revolution, no global giant can afford to be left behind, and Topshop is no exception. Topshop is committed to making a strategic move to use digital for a to coordinate with its customer base worldwide. They are utilizing social media, including Facebook and other channels to cater to their customer needs in a cost-effective manner. The Arcadia Group has recently attracted three senior resources to fill its digital team as the group is desperate to achieve a high degree of its digital presence.
It is worth mentioning that Topshop’s strategy of using social media as their marketing tool is giving dividends and proves very successful as they regularly inform their customers about new arrivals and trends, which are fascinating for thirsty fashion generation. Besides invading social media and digital platforms, Topshop has devised an exclusive strategy, which focuses on product differentiation to gain an ultimate market share in the fashion industry.
Topshop now focuses on the new dimensions of exclusivity and inimitability by concentrating on a novel and creative designing. Resultantly, Topshop is currently working on developing style products that are satisfactorily distinguished.
Its diversity has permitted to gain a remarkable market place in the fashion industry despite the fierce competition from companies like ZARA and H&M. Besides, pledge to originality and ingenuity has enabled Topshop to keep pace itself with changes in the fashion industry. As a novel marketing strategy, Topshop has announced in Sep 2019 its “Landing to-Retail strategy.” It offers the customers an opportunity to shop edit of Topshop’s products from the runway. This is a significant shift from the luxury market to accommodate the client’s pressing needs.
The current marketing situation of the Topshop brand is somewhat modest. Once termed as the ultimate king of young’s fashion dream with elite fans clubs and a permanent mark on the London Fashion Week programs, it is fast losing its charm due to intense competition in the fashion industry. In August 2016, the Arcadia Group presented its financial results, which was not as promising as it used to be as it reported a 16% reduction in its net profits. It is relevant to mention that cut-throat competition from other local and international brands and ever-changing consumer tastes are giving a tough time to Topshop’s global position.
Product strategy: Topshop has introduced a wide range of product variations as its product strategy. The firm now deals in large product lines, namely a wide range of apparel and fittings and fixtures in harmony with the customers’ changing needs and demands. Topshop has high regard for the quality of its products with new style and comfort. Topshop’s primary range of products is dresses, jackets, jeans, knitwear, and shoes.
One of the challenges facing the fashion industry is the fast rate of change arising from its vibrant nature. To meet the challenge of change, Topshop is committed to attaining a high degree of imagination and improvement. It marvelously attributed to the firm’s proficiency in bringing new products to its shops. In order to preserve the charge of its products, it ensures that it introduces only a fraction of a specific product line. It helps them position their products as exclusive.
Pricing strategy: Most of the customers around the world are very price-conscious and want the best return for their money. Business firms follow a pricing strategy, which effectively conveys the value of their products or services. Topshop follows a unique quality pricing strategy, which enables them to collaborate with the high quality of the firm’s apparel and accessories. Customers now have learned to link Topshop’s products with value, where price took a backseat.
Promotion strategy: Adopting an effective promotion strategy is so indispensable for today’s business environment that no firm can afford to take a lenient view of it. One of the marketing tools of Topshop is making customers aware of its products, promotional schemes, and fashion trends. Topshop has initiated the following Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) strategy. It enables Topshop use of several communication tools like publicizing, sales promotion, and public awareness.
Place strategy: Just designing or evolving products and services is not enough, it is of utmost importance that firms make sure that customers have easy access to it. If a firm designed or developed an excellent product, which is not reachable by the customers, that is a total loss of time and resources. Topshop has already established a decent number of outlets to enhance product availability
The outlets are successfully located to expand customer accessibility. Topshop has also used an online shopping option where customers can now shop Topshop’s products online. It is proved effective that Topshop reaches online to its customers and offers them a vast number of choices of its products.
The external environment of Topshop is based on the micro and macro environment, under which PESTEL analysis is discussed. The external environment offers clear identification of a company’s position through its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It will also consider the Ansoff matrix, which sheds light on the marketing strategy of a firm by understanding key risks.
The microenvironment is all about forces that affect the business market through competitors, suppliers, and customers. The customer base of Topshop is youthful from 15-29 years of age. UAE has high consumer spending habits and can offer an excellent opportunity to invest. UK and US are also targeted areas of the company to consider the high spending power of teens. Topshop is targeting teenagers by attracting them to unique products with discounts and promotions.
Online trend and digital presence is a crucial marketing approach that has engaged millions of customers across the globe. The fashion sense of the company is innovating due to cultural variation. It has a plan to stay ahead of its competitors by producing innovative designs and strategies. The secure positioning of the brand in China and the UK is targeting youth by fulfilling their demands.
The brand has collaborated with the prominent fashion designers of the industry to develop an innovative, fashionable piece of cloths. The critical designers involved with the brand are Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, and others. The suppliers of the company are different, such as Arcadia. Its relationship is strong with Topshop, and 54% of Arcadia’s suppliers are engaged with the brand. The top suppliers of Topshop focus on 43% of product delivery. Turkey, China, India, and Russia suppliers are involved with the brand.
The distribution channels of the brand are physical and virtual. These channels are used explicitly for communication purposes. Some of the critical aspects of the distribution channels are Topshop App, Independent Stores, and online websites. Through the Topshop App, potential customers acquire access to save and shop, and people quickly access barcode to know the availability of stock. The independent stores are present in the UAE and many other places in the world. The digital framework is online websites that sell female and male clothing.
In order to fully fathom Topshop’s strategic marketing decisions, it is necessary to discuss its internal and external factors in the light of the marketing mix and SWOT analysis. The success of a business in selling its products depends on the efficiency of its marketing strategies. Needless to say, marketing strategies take into account a number of factors like product, promotion, price, and place, commonly known as four Ps of marketing. The macro-environment of Topshop explains about PESTLE analysis, SWOT, and Ansoff matrix.
The political factors constitute the political environment, economic stability, and trade agreements of a country. UK government is working under high stable political conditions. Investors are working satisfactorily in the UK. The trading blocks, G20, European Union, and economic cooperation are bodies that have active involvement of the UK. Topshop is able to export its products with other states, and the economic integration with other countries is helpful to access raw materials and cost-effective trade.
The economic environment is all about stable economic conditions, economic recession, global rates, and consumption of luxuries. The globalization aspects are developing fashion sense in public. In the UK, the economic downturn of 2008 declined the purchasing power of buyers, but his depression made people focus on necessities rather than luxuries.
Due to continued consumption of products, the production of companies increased, and focus was shifted to fashionable products. Topshop has a favorable scope in the UK to prosper and engage young people to increase the production level.
The social environment is all about social trends and how consumers engage with famous brands to cope up with society. For Topshop Company, the social trends in UK and china are favorable due to fashion sense. People focus on unique, quality, and fashion products to align with the latest social trends.
Technological factors for Topshop are all about the digital environment and online presence with networking technology. The use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube is helpful for customers’ interaction. This process is useful to bring a volume of market-related information under changing perspectives of the environment.
The statutory factors in a state that can influence a company are tax rates, government matters, and investment rules. The government involvement in tax returns and valuable policies for investment are significant for Topshop Company. There is a chance for the company to acquire a high level of profitability.
Environmental factors that can spread the brand image and recognition are corporate social responsibility and a focus on environmentally friendly raw material. Topshop can focus on green and recyclable raw materials for its production.
In order to understand Topshop’s Competitive Position Analysis, it is essential to discuss it in the light of Porter’s five forces of supplier power, buyer power, and competitive rivalry, the threat of substitution and threat of entry.
Supplier Power: It is almost non-existent as Topshop mainly produced its own products and accessories and not dependent on any suppliers for its end products. For the procurement of raw materials, Topshop uses its global brand and image power and strike lucrative deals with different suppliers from all over the world.
Buyer Power: the Fashion industry is quite dynamic where large numbers of players operate with the ever-increasing product range. Today a customer has a broader range of options to choose from. It forces Topshop to fetch customer trust to maintain its growth. Besides, the continuous availability of its premium quality products is a must.
Competitive rivalry: the Fashion industry is very lucrative and profitable throughout the world, which attracts a growing number of players. Only in the UK, every year, a substantial amount of fresh players enter into the fashion industry, which poses a certain degree of rivalry for Topshop.
The threat of substitution: Due to the availability of a large number of products, the customer has the liberty of substitution. During an economic slump, customers can shop their apparel, and other accessories form next door superstores and other inexpensive retail outlets.
The threat of Entry: There are a plethora of large retail chains such as supermarkets and hypermarkets in the UK. They are on the move to diversify their merchandise by containing various attires and accessories. This, of course, presents a viable challenge to Topshop. Online shopping options also present excellent opportunities for new entrants to expand their business. To thrive in this environment, it is necessary for Topshop to go digital.
Topshop’s strength primarily lies in its formidable brand image, which is recognized all over the world. Fully cognizant of the fact that the fashion industry is quite volatile and trend-sensitive, it invested heavily in maintaining its competitive edge. Topshop’s products are used by many international celebrities, which itself is a brand endorsement. Satisfactory customer experience is strength of Topshop as customers value product quality and store ambiance.
On the weakness front, the high cost of doing business, in the shape of human resource and overhead related expenses, poses a challenge to Topshop. Secondly, another monumental challenge is management issues of large stores along with innumerable product lines.
Topshop can explore many opportunities in the new market niches like youth, senior citizens, and middle-aged generations. It can increase its brand equity by partnering with global celebrities. It can take multifold its revenue size by penetrating new markets and brand expansion.
Like all global corporations, Topshop faces significant threats from competition originating from local and international brands like Emporio Armani, Christian Dior, Mango, and Gucci. Economic recession is also a considerable threat facing all the corporations. It affects its revenue stream with declining sales volumes.
The Ansoff matrix is about the evaluation of business risks and understanding. Market penetration is achieved through different distribution channels, loyalty schemes, and reduction in price. Topshop has a competitive market, and the established market players are focusing on innovative practices. The market development is sales and selling a product to people who have complete knowledge about the market. A riskier strategy by Topshop is product development. It is about selling unique and innovative products to existing customers. This needs customer understanding and their preferences.
The diversification explains the reaction of customers about a product, the transformation in market dynamics, differentiation of product, and needs of customers. This high-risk category is for investors and helps to develop a powerful partnership.
Marketing strategy is how a company focuses on its strengths to acquire a new customer base and develops its product channels. Topshop is focusing on a unique product strategy by product diversification. The firm is dealing with a wide range of accessories and clothing to satisfy customers’ needs. The company is focusing on high-quality products, design, and style to align with the latest trends of fashion. The apparel industry is facing challenges in consumer dynamics. The changing nature of consumer preferences is addressed by upgrading the products and focusing on the firm’s ability to build new products.
Topshop is introducing high-quality, innovative products with premium quality, and stock is maintained on its flagship stores. The pricing strategy is based on the communication and involvement of marketing approaches and promotions. Sales and promotions, marketing communication, and public relations are key aspects of promotional strategy.
The key marketing programs of Topshop include marketing mix strategies and promotions. The brand has high recognition in UK fashion outlets. Its runway debut in 2005, Summer/winter collection, and the high-end label has made its products versatile. The luxury brocade, upmarket material, and elegant aesthetic allow for the prominent fashion sense. Topshop also has a unique collaboration with Wedgwood, Jasperware, and Wild Strawberry heritage brands. The product development strategies with an alliance of British brands have a strong focus on design and style.
The Topshop has a special focus on ‘made-in-house’ products to utilize high-quality premium fabric because its unique products are high priced as compared to its competitors. The price range of the company is broad; it is offering different season collections and luxury brands. The up to date fashion and variable pricing trends are based on demographic patterns.
The brand functions are aligned on marketing strategies and promotion policies. It has acquired different marketing programs, such as digital recognition, by engaging social media platforms. The social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and online presence like websites are engaging for customers.
In China, Topshop is entering by acquiring a license with fewer resource commitments. This attractive aspect for the firm is based on the utility of little capital, thereby entering rapidly. Through this process, market knowledge customer interaction and distribution of products will be carried out conveniently. Another marketing program by Topshop is the entry mode strategy in the UK and selling products in China. The famous global brand is focusing on adequate experience and strengths to avoid waste while enabling marketing conditions.
Resultantly, Topshop is fully capable of claiming a high degree of customer approval. It has used social media and digital portals to the entire benefit of marketing of its products. Topshop is successful in maintaining its international brand image and consistently capitalizing on it.