International Dimensions of Marketing

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BUS101e Management Assignment 2 – Group-Based Assignment

Section 1: Company Overview

Jane Butler established the high-end knitwear brand Janey B in 2012. The brand, with roots in the United Kingdom, creates luxurious knitwear for both men and women. Janey B is dedicated to making classic, timeless items using time-honored British materials. Jumpers, cardigans, scarves, hats, gloves, and other accessories crafted from the finest wool, cashmere, and cotton are available from Janey B. Everything is developed and crafted to the highest standards in the United Kingdom (Janey, 2023). Janey B’s wares may be purchased via the company’s official online store from handpicked merchants in the UK and beyond. The wealthy clientele who place a premium on quality and artistry is an alluring demographic for Janey B for several reasons. The global luxury market has expanded consistently over the last several years. This trend suggests that customers’ desire for high-end goods remains robust. In addition, the United Kingdom has long been recognized as a source of high-quality knitwear, giving Janey B an additional leg up on the competition. The company does not share its financial results with the public. Yet, the firm markets itself as an upscale label, and its prices reflect that (Janey, 2023). Products are more expensive because they are made with the same care and attention to detail that has made British knitwear famous for generations. Environmental and socially aware consumption is on the rise, and the company’s commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing processes reflects that.

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Figure 1: Janey B logo

(Source: Janey, 2023)

Section 2: Macro and Micro Environment Analysis

Potential Threats

Many threats are especially pertinent when considering the macro environment elements that might affect Janey B’s firm. The premium knitwear industry faces risks such as economic uncertainty, shifting customer tastes, and fiercer competition.

Consumers’ willingness to spend money during economic uncertainty threatens Janey B’s company. Brexit and the COVID-19 epidemic are only two examples of the variables contributing to the global economy’s volatility in recent years. Consumers may be more hesitant to spend money on luxury things during economic volatility, which might affect sales for Janey B (Rayburn et al., 2022). The company’s bottom line may also be impacted by changes in the cost of raw materials due to variations in foreign exchange rates.

Janey B. faces additional risk from shifting customer tastes. Luxury goods not created sustainably may lose appeal to buyers as they grow more ecologically and socially concerned. Although Janey B’s dedication to employing traditional British processes and materials is in line with this development, the firm will still need to develop and adapt to meet the changing tastes of its target market.

The growth of rival companies in the high-end knitwear industry is another danger for Janey B. The firm has built a solid reputation for manufacturing high-quality, locally-made items but faces stiff competition from other high-end knitwear labels (Hameide, 2020). If Janey B wants to keep its market share, it must continue setting itself apart from rivals and informing customers of what makes it unique.

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Customer Analysis

Janey B’s ideal clientele is affluent people who care about quality and artistry. Those in this demographic have been shown to pay more for things created traditionally and with high-quality materials. Janey B can set itself apart from the competition and cultivate a dedicated client base by targeting this specific market, but doing so is not without its share of difficulties.

Janey B is particularly vulnerable to changes in consumer tastes and spending patterns because of its small but dedicated customer base (Radcliffe, 2019). Affluent customers are a niche market that may be swayed by anything from economic uncertainty to shifting fashion trends when making purchases. Janey B’s revenue is vulnerable to external factors like a decline in the economy or a movement in customer taste away from high-end knitwear.

Janey B may lessen the likelihood of this happening by always putting the interests of its consumers first. This requires keeping up with the needs of the premium knitwear industry via consistent market research and input from loyal customers. Janey B can retain its attraction to its target market and continue building its client base by anticipating and responding to changing consumer preferences in product offers and marketing techniques.

Due to the small size of its current customer base, Janey B may need help expanding its business in the future. While wealthy customers are prepared to shell out more money for better goods, there are still only so many of them (Gupta et al., 2022). Thus Janey B will have to look elsewhere for development, including entering new geographic areas or creating new product lines that appeal to a broader client base.

Despite these obstacles, Janey B has much room to grow because its target market is well-off individuals who place a premium on high-quality products made by skilled artisans. A company’s marketing and product development are more likely to succeed if they focus on a narrow subset of its consumer base and cater to its specific wants and requirements. This might assist Janey B in standing out from the crowd and establishing its commitment to quality and artistry. Although affluent customers often buy high-quality items even during economic uncertainty, the luxury knitwear industry is also reasonably shielded from downturns (Gregori and Marcone, 2019). Because of this, Janey B should expect some consistency and predictability in its income sources.

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Competitive Analysis

Janey B has to stay ahead of the competition by emphasizing its distinctive selling characteristics and never compromising on quality or artistry. The company’s dedication to employing time-honored British methods and supplies gives its goods a unique identity and sets them apart from the generic knitwear many other companies offer.

By emphasizing the origins of its components and methods of manufacture, Janey B can maintain its unique selling proposition (Abdirahmonovich et al., 2021) The firm may attract customers who value items manufactured with care and attention to detail by emphasizing locally sourced materials and traditional processes. This strategy could increase consumer loyalty for Janey B by inspiring trust and credibility in the brand.

Janey B can stand out by constantly innovating and adapting its product line to meet the market’s needs. Janey B must keep ahead of the curve to maintain its position as a leading premium knitwear brand. This may entail trying new materials or manufacturing methods, expanding into new markets, or presenting innovative designs.

Product quality and longevity are two areas where Janey B may set itself apart from rivals. By highlighting the high quality of its materials and the care quality that goes into each item, Janey B can take advantage of the fact that many customers are ready to pay a premium for things that are made to endure (Hameide, 2020). Positioning Janey B as a company that prioritizes product quality above production volume allows them to attract shoppers searching for durable goods.

In addition to these methods, Janey B can set itself apart by emphasizing the quality of its service to customers. The firm may earn its consumers’ loyalty and confidence by responding quickly to their needs and offering them a satisfying purchasing experience tailored to them. One way to do this is by giving convenient and quick shipping and returns, as well as tailored size or customization choices, as well as thorough product information, and care instructions.

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Why choose Japan as a target to expand?

After thoroughly considering the market’s viability, Japan was selected as Janey B’s growth destination. First, Japan has a sophisticated economy, a voracious consumer culture, and a penchant for fine things (JÁRFÁS, 2019). Large numbers of wealthy citizens with a penchant for style and plenty of discretionary cash characterize the nation.

The ideals of the Janey B brand are congruent with the Japanese ethos of quality and artistry. The Japanese market is quite responsive to high-end and luxury goods, and the fact that Janey B places such great emphasis on time-honored British methods and supplies might be a significant selling factor there.

Japan also boasts an extensive network of high-end department shops and boutiques, adding to the country’s already robust retail infrastructure. This gives Janey B more options for reaching consumers and expands the company’s potential client base.

The comparatively low level of competition in the high-end knitwear industry in Japan is another reason why the country is appealing to Janey B. While Japan is home to several well-respected luxury labels, you will find only a few that focus on knits (Normuminovich et al., 2021). There is an excellent chance for Janey B to set itself apart from the competition and establish a firm foothold in a niche market.

Third, Japan is an excellent place for Janey B to launch its first international growth because of its closeness to the United Kingdom and shared cultural values. The historical and cultural ties between the two nations may be used to gain the Japanese market’s faith in the product.

Japan is an attractive and strategic market for Janey B’s expansion due to the country’s robust economy, high consumer demand for luxury goods, appreciation for quality and craftsmanship, well-established retail infrastructure, low competition in the luxury knitwear sector, and cultural affinity with the UK.

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Section 3: Cultural Issues

Janey B has to be very particular about the cultural trends of Japan. This will ensure it caters to the target audience effectively, even in a new country. Understanding how consumer cultural trends and workforce management may vary from country to country is made more accessible using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (Nikosey, 2020). By using these frameworks in Japan, Janey B will be better prepared to recognize and deal with the cultural variations it will encounter as it grows into the country.

 

Figure 2: Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory

(Source: iEduNote, 2023)

The power gap is one such factor; it measures how used individuals are to live in a society where power is not distributed fairly. Hierarchy and deference to authority play significant roles in Japanese culture because of the country’s considerable power distance. Japanese workers may be more submissive to their bosses than their American counterparts (ENDO, 2019). Thus Janey B may need to modify its approach to communication and management accordingly. According to cultural trends in the country’s consumer market, Japanese customers may also be more susceptible to brands that portray a feeling of rank and grandeur.

Individualism against collectivism, the degree to which individuals value their interests above those of the collective, is another axis. The Japanese people respect social order and reciprocity among friends and neighbors very highly. Janey B may need to emphasize developing connections with its consumers and suppliers and consider how its actions would affect the community (Fatehi et al., 2020). In addition, the firm may need to modify its marketing communications to appeal to collectivist beliefs, stressing how its goods promote collective cohesiveness and social harmony.

Japan is also interested in the contrast between masculinity and femininity. Being an essentially macho culture, Japan places a premium on accomplishment and competition, and there may be more pressure to reach goals and deadlines. For Janey B, this may imply emphasizing speed and output while recognizing the value of cooperation.

Lastly, uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which a person shies away from ambiguity and uncertainty. There may be a penchant for order and tradition and a general aversion to novelty in Japan, a country with a high uncertainty avoidance culture. This may have consequences for managing staff if one considers that Japanese workers tend to value structure and process (Tang & Zhou, 2022). According to cultural trends, Japanese customers may be more risk-averse and more likely to choose tried-and-true companies.

Janey B will be better able to appreciate the cultural backdrop of Japan by taking these factors into account. This may aid the business in fostering better connections with its staff and consumers when it expands into a new market.

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Section 4: Market Entry Strategy

There are a lot of alternatives and considerations to make before bringing Janey B to Japan from the United States. Some of the market entry strategies that could be considered are as follows:

Direct Exports

Direct exporting is an option for Janey B, in which the company ships its wares directly from the UK to end users or distributors in Japan. The strategy facilitates Janey B’s entry into the Japanese market with minimum time and money spent on setting up shop there. In addition, the business will have more leeway in deciding how its products will be marketed and distributed.

However, there are drawbacks to direct exporting as well. For instance, foreign trade norms and logistics might take much work to decipher, adding to the time and money needed to break into a market (Guercini et al., 2020). Janey B may also need help standing out from the crowd and competing with well-established local businesses in a saturated market.

Licensing

Janey B might also work with a local Japanese partner to produce and sell its items in Japan by licensing its brand and product designs to that company. With a local partner, Janey B can use their knowledge of the Japanese market, customer tastes, and resource access. Janey B may join the market and begin generating money with little to no upfront expenditure on physical infrastructure if she chooses to license the technology instead.

However, there are drawbacks to licensing as well. It may be difficult for Janey B to ensure that the local partner maintains the same high standards for its brand and products (Donzé, 2020). Licensing may reduce Janey B’s ability to steer the direction of its brand and distribution strategy.

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Wholly-owned subsidiaries

Janey B may take complete control of its activities in the Japanese market by setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary there. One benefit is having more say over marketing, distribution, and product quality. Janey B can get a foothold in the Japanese market and connect with local suppliers and consumers with the aid of a wholly-owned subsidiary.

However, there are a few drawbacks to creating a wholly-owned subsidiary. For instance, plenty of money must be spent on buildings, workers, and rules and regulations (Isozaki & Donzé, 2022). In addition, Janey B may need help understanding the intricacies of the Japanese market due to cultural and regulatory differences.

Joint venture

Janey B may also consider forming a partnership. The first step is collaborating with a domestic Japanese firm to create and sell goods in the country. This enables Janey B to take advantage of a local partner’s knowledge and connections while still exercising some control over its brand and distribution. The cultural and legal complexity of the Japanese market might be daunting for a foreign company like Janey B, but a joint venture can help smooth the way.

Such enterprises, however, have their drawbacks. For instance, they may need a significant initial investment in workforce and physical facilities to start up and maintain effectively (Gereffi, 2019). It might be difficult for Janey B to find a partner in a joint venture that shares the same values and dedication to quality and artistry as the firm.

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Wholly-owned subsidiaries are the best strategy to adopt

After careful deliberation, Janey B has set up a Japanese subsidiary in which she would have 100% ownership. This course of action was selected so that the firm could better manage its branding, distribution, and product quality—all of which serve as competitive advantages. Being a wholly-owned company in Japan also helps Janey B develop lasting connections with local suppliers and clients.

Although the initial investment in staff and infrastructure to launch a wholly-owned subsidiary is substantial, Janey B is sure that it is the best course of action to guarantee the continued success of its brand and goods.

Section 5: Marketing Mix

Product, pricing, promotion, and place are the four pillars of the marketing mix. It is essential to consider how the parts of your marketing mix may be adapted or standardized to meet the demands and preferences of a new market like Japan. The following are some suggestions for each part of the marketing mix:

Figure 3: 4 P’s of Marketing Mix

(Source: Universal Marketing Dictionary, 2021)

Product

Janey B should consider how to modify its product line to suit the tastes of the Japanese market better. If the firm wants to succeed in Japan, it may need to adapt to its culture and way of life in several ways (Jelassi et al., 2020). Janey B may bring in knitwear items suited to the humid Japanese climate, which is different from that of the UK.

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Price

Finding a sweet spot between accessibility and profitability is vital when setting prices, so they are an integral part of the marketing mix. In Japan, pricing methods widely differ by sector and consumer demographic. As a result, Janey B may have to adjust its pricing strategy to remain competitive in the regional market. Taking into account regional issues like taxes, levies, and import rules may also be necessary for the corporation to localize its pricing tactics.

Promotion

Advertising aims to increase demand for a product or service by spreading the word about it. Like any company expanding into a new market, Janey B will need to modify its advertising to reflect the customs and mores of Japan (Hameide, 2020). The corporation may need to alter its advertising content, tone, and dissemination methods to win over Japanese customers. To successfully introduce Janey B items to the Japanese market, the company may choose to team up with well-known Japanese citizens.

Place

Distribution is getting a company’s goods to customers quickly and cheaply. The corporation may need to adjust its distribution strategy to account for the more complicated and fragmented distribution channels in Japan compared to the United Kingdom. To maximize the speed with which Janey B’s goods reach the Japanese market, the company may form alliances with local distributors, wholesalers, or retailers. The organization may also need to reevaluate its logistics and supply chain procedures to meet the specific requirements of the Japanese market.

In conclusion, while entering a new market like Japan, it is essential to consider how to modify or standardize the parts of the marketing mix to meet the demands and preferences of the local market. Janey B will need to alter its product lineup, price, marketing, and distribution approaches to successfully compete in the Japanese market. The firm will increase its opportunities for success and progress in the Japanese market.

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References

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Hameide, K. K. (2020). Managing Fashion: A Management Perspective. Routledge.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=uVYAEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Hameide,+K.K.,+2020.+Managing+Fashion:+A+Management+Perspective.+Routledge&ots=rYS0-jvghR&sig=O4nFLwBtKZC5-IdAFPs8O16tNas .

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Fatehi, K., Priestley, J. L., & Taasoobshirazi, G. (2020). The expanded view of individualism and collectivism: One, two, or four dimensions? International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 20(1), 7-24.https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1470595820913077

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