Marketing Concepts - Marks and Spencers

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Introduction

Per Una believe they “deliver high quality style for the modern woman.” This objective drives the company resulting in a turnover of more than £423.5 million in 2006/2007. Per Una was detrimental to the revival of Marks and Spencer and it accounted for one quarter of their total women’s wear sales last year. Born from George Davis in 2001, the label tries to replicate the Italian catwalk trends through “safe fashion” that is “trendy and stylish.” With this in mind is Per Una achieving and retaining their initial vision in this competitive fashion market?

Procedure
The information has been gathered from various sources and in different manners and media, in order to gain a wide variety of viewpoints and objectives to provide an accurate overview. ← An interview with a marketing assistant working for per una and a marketing manager of Per Una, Marble Arch. ← Store Visits: At various stages in the research process store visits have been undertaken and will be referred in the context of trend analysis, observations and consumer behaviour analysis. ← Media resources: The internet – Mintel reports

← Literary: The “Per Una Excellence File” - sourced from the Per Una marketing team.

Marketing Positioning and Segmentation

Positioning

The fact that “Marks & Spencer has a broad demographic appeal to both UK men and women, although it is primarily the “safe haven” for 45+. Of particular note is that M&S reports that the over 45 age group accounts for 75% of turnover”,( Mintel, 2007) thus the report, along with the information derived from mintel and its’ own primary research, has identified the key challenge for Per Una is to appeal to more 30’s through alteration of the brands positioning. The sub-branding, and fast fashion segmentations implicated will contribute to this objective.

Sub-branding

“The M & S approach of segmenting the product offer insight that clear sub-brands can go some way towards enabling the retailer to cater across the trend spectrum without alienating anyone.” (Mintel report, 2007). Per Una have distinctively sub-branded various garments in order to target specific segments of the market. This positioning exposes them to a hugely increased percentage of the market, with petite ranges, evening wear ranges, extra leg length ranges etc.

Fast fashions

For many people incremental time (and energy), now has more value than incremental money. Thus in fashion, much of the independent sector still “expects to be placed six months in advance, yet fast fashion companies like Zara, Hennes & Mauritz and Topshop are aiming to cut lead times from design studio to store display to as little as 15 days, a model now being emulated by capsule collections from Marks & Spencer”, thus subsequently Per Una. This means that the label have segmented themselves in order to be in a position to compete with more “ youth – orientated” brands, who deliver a “disposable fashion” concept so popular with the younger market of today.

Product category extension

As well focusing this branding technique upon the garments, Per Una has also created their own electrical range of products. Although this is an interesting move by a clothes brand, if the products can offer some sort of correlation in term of purchasing psychology, connection between the two types of products i.e time saving ethos, will greatly influence the purchasing decision.

Appeal of “youth – orientated” brands simultaneously

However, these brands that pose Per Una so much competition are also satisfying their older shoppers as well. From the information which the report has derived from these 45 + consumers, it has discovered that the mature shopper will look to the younger segmented and positioned brands in order for an opportunity to keep in touch with “hot trends” and “catwalk styles”. Yet, currently the older shopper does not regard Per Una in this light, - as a pioneer of cheaper...
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