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VICTORIA'S SECRET IN MOROCCO
Marketing Mix. 3
Promotion Plan. 5
Promotion Budget & Implementation Calendar 6
References . 9
Victoria's Secret in Morocco
Victoria's Secret (VS) is a U.S.-based women apparel company. Founded in 1977, VS has continued to grow into a unique women wear brand in U.S. So far, VS has international presence in Canada and Kuwait. Predictably, Canada is similar to U.S. market in many ways, not least clothing culture and wardrobe portfolio. Unsurprisingly, VS has 42 stores in different Canadian provinces, a distribution which emphasizes U.S.'s and Canada's cultural affinity, not least clothing (Victoria's Secret Store Locator, n.d.). Kuwait market is, however, a radical departure from VS familiar clothing patterns and hence marketing efforts. Notably, VS Kuwait does not sell VS regular range of lingerie products. Kuwaiti culture granted, only VS celebrated fragrances and a few collection of VS broad range of women clothing are offered in a stand-alone store (Indians in Kuwait, n.d.). Set for future growth, VS has growing business needs for international expansion (Jannaroe, 2011). One notable market for expansion is Morocco. Chosen as a springboard for further expansions in Middle East, Morocco constitutes a viable market for VS lingerie line. Thus, one objective for an integrated marketing plan in Morocco is:
The following sections detail how VS can achieve her objective.
Given VS initial Middle East expansion in Kuwait, a culturally conservative country, VS has a very unique opportunity in expansion in Middle East region by introducing specific, more "bold" products of her production lines in Casablanca, Morocco as a springboard for future, full-range-of-product introduction in a region conventionally perceived as unreceptive to innovations, particularly in lifestyle. One interesting line of VS products is her full range of lingerie products.
VS is at strong market positioning, internationally, given her perception as a "lingerie company" per excellence. Thanks to growing online international sales online, VS has managed to achieve a notable international presence. This is a major competitive edge for VS in her Casablanca, Morocco entry. As matters stand, competition is expected more form local brands than from international ones like Etam, Lafayette, Wacoal, Triumph Chantelle, Bali, Glamorise, Le Mystere and Vanity Fair. More competitive in much developed markets in which purchasing power is much higher, international women wear companies meet needs of a comparatively narrow market niche in Casablanca, Morocco. Instead, local brands pose serious challenges to VS based on a price criterion. As more Moroccan women enter workforce, purchasing power for women increases, according to a Euromonitor International country report (Euromonitor International, 2014).
Compared to local competition, VS enjoys a substantial market advantage but only if her local visibility and consumer awareness is enhanced (discussed in further details later). Casablanca, Morocco lingerie market is dominated by local brands. Although local brands face mounting pressure from Chinese products, still local brands register much lower price mark compared to VS lingerie products. Enhancing VS image as a quality product of accessible prices, VS can capture a big market share both in upscale and mainstream markets. Thus, price restructuring is required for a more competitive market positing against local competition. This could be achieved by a range of extensive promotional and marketing activities (discussed later).
The question of price is, of course, one which should be approached carefully in Moroccan market. Given a VS perception as an expensive product, price structuring, if any, should not be responsive to competitive positioning only. Indeed, most powerful brands are resilient during periods of intense completion and economic crises. Given VS substantial resources, compared to local competitors, VS is at a better competitive edge, particularly as local players are increasingly leaving local market in response to price pressures from Chinese products. This opens up, in fact, further opportunities for VS to establish herself as an international brand of local appeal, based not on price criterion alone, but also on her global reputation as a quality brand.
Proposed prices for VS lingerie products could be modified to better suit local budgets and moderate incomes. VS lingerie products price range span USD 29.50 / USD 400+ (Model LM-322-190). Given current Moroccan Dirham's (MAD) value against USD, VS price range is hardly an option for mass market. Thus, VS's upscale products will be promoted and offered only in upscale areas and venues, e.g. Morocco Mall (discussed in more details under distribution channels). Intime Lingerie (Intime Lingerie, n.d.) is one potential local, powerful competitor for VS. For Intime Lingerie, price range is USD 20 / USD 86. VS might not need to lower but to restructure her prices for lower range products. This could be achieved, as noted, by a range of promotional and marketing activities which would, in addition to a broader market access, enhance brand visibility and distribution channels. Predictably, price is one decisive factor in purchase decisions made by consumers hard pressed by economic conditions which continue to shape consumer behavior and patterns in underdeveloped markets. Paradoxically, moreover, if quality and price are historically coupled, Moroccan market, similarly to underdeveloped markets, continues to exhibit less-quality-for-accessible-price patterns. In response, VS should continue to emphasize her image as a global quality brand. Throughout, VS should emphasize in her integrated marketing campaigns prior to actual market entry her appeal to all in a Moroccan market accustomed to polar dichotomies in marker segmentation. If successful, VS could lead not only Moroccan market but also establish her credibility in future Middle East markets.
For lower price range lingerie products, VS could offer her product range in central Casablanca. Morocco's economic capital, Casablanca is a "Carrefour" for international brands. Like major cities in Morocco, Casablanca is increasingly a hub for younger generations of younger working women. Shopping during break hours or after work, Casablanca downtown is home to a multitude of international local brands in many industries. According, VS could open a flagship store – initially as a soft opening – in downtown area. This should serve Greater Casablanca area as a whole. As noted, proposed store should stock a range of VS lingerie products. These should cover all VS proposed offerings in Casablanca, Morocco, an initial market entry phase, probably followed by future openings in different big cities like Marrakesh, Fès, Rabat and Tangier. For upscale offerings, venues such as Mall of Morocco could be home. For more enhanced reach, VS could establish a range of connections with local clothing retailers. As well, business relationships could be developed with local fabric manufacturers to use local material for product production. During initial market entry phase, VS could reach areas beyond Casablanca via a series of intermediaries or indirect events. These should include, but are not limited to, local retailers in major cities, musical events for which Casablanca is famous for, VS-organized marketing events, not least Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (discussed in more details shortly). VS online store remains, of course, an open platform for all consumers. That is, Casablancans could still make orders online. As VS establishes herself in Moroccan market, integrated digital marketing campaigns should be adequately crafted to meet local needs (more details shortly).
Engaging Moroccans for international products require careful attention to marketing and promotional efforts. Typically, Moroccans prefer local habits and products to imported ones. Ethnocentrism is one characteristic of note for which Moroccans are proven to show in consumer behavior (Hamelin, Ellouzi, & Canterbury). Therefore, VS market entry into Casablanca requires careful, well-integrated promotional and marketing efforts which consider not only for local habits and consumer purchase behavior but also product offering and positing. Paradoxically, although Moroccans are open to world markets, adherence to local ways and habits still largely inform choices for international brands. Unsurprisingly, global successful brands cannot easily penetrate Moroccan market unless local habits are paid homage for first.
Initially prior to actual market entry – expected in July 2016 during wedding season – VS could lure Moroccans into her lingerie products by launching a Mini Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in August 2015. Notably, local Moroccan models would be hired for planned show. As part of hiring process, TV, online and outdoor ads are placed during primes, particularly weekends and late evening. Enjoying high viewership rates, 2M Maroc is an ideal TV channel for VS's initial engagement phase. Ads are in French and Arabic. Highly read, particularly by younger Moroccans, Hespress is an optimum choice for a digital marketing campaign. Casablanca's Atlantic view is ideal for outdoor billboards and possibly an along-promenade fashion show. This initial engagement phase would not only grab initial consumer attention but attract local model talents for possible future VS events. VS's initial attention-grapping phase is of particular significance. Being accustomed to French styled advertising and campaigning patterns, VS would make a splash into Moroccan market, not as being first U.S. clothing company to enter Moroccan market but as a particularly intimate brand, even by French standards.
Overall, VS is predicted to change lingerie game in Morocco lingerie market. From a market conventionally informed by local habits and predictable purchase patterns and consumer segments split, mainly, into upscale and mainstream consumers, VS introduction is expected to not only meet unfulfilled, often conflicting, needs but also to change purchase habits and patterns.
PROMOTION BUDEGT & IMPLEMENTATION CALENDAR
This section addresses basic promotional and marketing activity expenses VS is predicted to incur for a Casablanca, Morocco market entry. Followed by an Implementation Calendar, details of VS promotion and marketing efforts are identified.
VS promotion and marketing expenses display differential surges and low points depending on a set of factors including, but are not limited to, promotion and marketing effort complexity (i.e. set of components and stakeholders involved in a specific promotion and marketing activity which might require extensive market research – and hence extra budget), duration and manageability (i.e. external market factor which might impact VS conduction of entry process but which might not be completely under VS's control such as gaps in distribution channels, political, or legal barriers).
Generally, expenses are expected to surge at entry points and to decrease after activity introduction and during periods in which promotion and marketing activity are performed in non-prime seasons (e.g. summer). There are, of course, exceptions including, for example, longer range partnerships for which expenses are expected to surge as business relations deepen and diversify. The following is a promotion and marketing budget statement.
Promotion and Marketing Expense Budget
Jul. – Sept. (2015) Oct. (2015) – Feb. (2016) Mar. – Jul. (2016)
Miscellaneous $0 $0 $0
Total Promotion and
Marketing Expenses $0
Based on a presumed Promotion and Marketing Expense Budget, a detailed implementation calendar is required for date- and budget-controlled action. As noted, VS's entry into Moroccan market involves a set of promotion and marketing activities conducted over specific periods. Due to complexity and variety of promotion and marketing activities, only major milestones are included. Notably, advertising, sponsorship and partnership programs are listed. This is, of course, an initial implementation calendar for which future modifications are expected as more retailer partner may be engaged or advertising efforts devised. The following exhibit shows main milestone in VS implementation calendar:
Advertising Start Date End Date Budget
TV Ad Campaign #1 June 1 2015 August 15 2015 $0
Outdoor Ad Campaign #2 June 1 2015 August 15 2015 $0
(Ocean Front & Downtown) June 1 2015 June 15 2016 $0
TV Ad Campaign #3 August 15 2015 August 15 2016 $0
Digital Marketing Campaign July 2015 July 2016 $0
Total Ad Budget $0
PR Start Date End Date Budget
Strategic Partnerships July 2015 Ongoing $80k
(Partner Retailer & Hassan II University Casablanca)
Total PR Budget $80k
Direct Marketing Start Date End Date Budget
Mini Victoria's Secret August 15 2015 August 15 2015 $200k Fashion Show (Lutz, 2012)
Total Direct Marketing Budget $200k
Euromonitor International. 2014. Womenswear in Morocco. Euromonitor International [Online] Available from http://www.euromonitor.com/womenswear-in-morocco/report [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Hamelina, N., Ellouzia, M., & Canterburya, A. (2011). Consumer Ethnocentrism and Country-of-Origin Effects in the Moroccan Market. Journal of Global Marketing [Online] 24(3), p. 228-244. Taylor & Francis Online. doi: 10.1080/08911762.2011.592459 [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Indians in Kuwait. (n.d.) INDIANSINKUWAIT [Online]. Available from http://www.indiansinkuwait.com/ShowLifeStyle.aspx?ID=8518&SECTION=30 [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Intime Lingerie (n.d.) Intime Lingerie [Online]. Available from http://www.intimelingerie.ma/index.php/fr/ [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Jannarone, J. (2011). Victoria's Secret Gets Out Overseas. The Wall Street Journal [Online]. Available from: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304793504576434381565604512 [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Lutz, A. (2012). 18 Years In The Evolution Of The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Business Insider. [Online] Available from http://www.businessinsider.com/victorias-secret-fashion-show-history-2012-11?op=1. [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
Victoria's Secret Store Locator (n.d.) Victoria's Secret [Online]. Available from https://www.victoriassecret.com/store-locator/all [Accessed: 27th March, 2015].
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