1. Key challenges
The first challenge facing Moods of Norway is expanding the business to U.S. This is always a profitable but risky opportunity for every firm, including Moods of Norway. The company with “free styling” wants to “just go to the U.S. and see what happens” (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 15). However, U.S. market – one of the most difficult markets in the world – has many implicit challenges for Moods. Firstly, their brand is unknown in United States. Therefore, they need to base on the local sales agents and distributors in the U.S. Although they had a five-year contract with CAA – the leading talent agency – their profit will depend on the CAA’s success that is affected by the fit between the two companies. For example, CAA has not many experiences with distributing fashion products. Secondly, the U.S. customers’ preferences in color, fabric, size, etc. are different from Norwegian customers. Moods’ products must be adaptable. This means they might need other suppliers and manufacturers to change their products. Finally, the most difficult question for the company is how they can bring their company’s concept to America and convince U.S. customers to buy their products based on that concept. Because they combine Norwegian nature and ordinary stories into their design that makes their product be unique and succeed in Norway, hence it is not easy to translate it for the customers outside the country. Even if they can illustrate their stories clearly, non-Nordic customers may not be interested in those products. As Dahlkvist expressed, they “should do the design in the U.S., to really get a feel for what moves around in that country and how to do it” (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 15) but observable risks will prevent them from doing it.
The second key challenge that Moods should consider is expanding the women’s clothing line, which is also a great opportunity. Men’s clothing accounted for 70% of Moods sales while women shop more in general. Thus, there is an opportunity for growth here. However, Moods should seriously consider the challenge they will face. First, women’s clothing market is more competitive than men’s clothing market. The market is very fragmented with many competitors representing different styles in all price segments. Many brands have been around for a long time and have gained customers’ loyalty. It will be difficult for Moods to enter the market in any segment. Second, women’s clothing styles are more complicated with different types of clothes. While men’s clothes are limited with some popular types such as suits, shirts, and T-shirts, women’s clothes have a wide range of types from dresses, blouses to skirts, cardigans, etc. To generate sales, the designs must be much diversified and fast changeable. Thus, some Moods adjustments are necessary, and Moods may face a dilemma of how to keep the moods unique while diversifying the styles to generate revenue. Third, designing women’s clothes requires different techniques. The two main designers of Moods specialized in designing men’s clothes, which is simpler than women’s. Hence, the company needs to hire extra experienced designers for women’s line. However, even with extra designers, keeping the look and lifestyle image of women’s clothing in line with the rest of the company message is still a challenge for Moods.
2. Moods of Norway brand audit
Brand salience measures awareness of the brand (Keller 2008. 60). Although Moods’ management team is interested in expanding as a lifestyle brand, people still think of as it a fashion brand, which mainly focuses on male clothing. However, the brand reached a very high...