Download Marketing Communication Manual

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts
Table of Contents
List of focus points
Potential Customer
Customer lifestyle segmentation
Pen portrait
Social Media
Direct Marketing
Sales Promotions
PR & Publicity
Celebrity Endorsement
Guerilla Marketing
Time Planning
This little book is the result of a GAP analysis regarding
French Connection’s identity and image which formed
the research report of my thesis. Additionally, the
recommendations derived from these research
conclusions, formed the occasion for a set of inspirational
guidelines to shed light upon various possibilities to
strengthen French Connection’s position in the brains of
the Dutch consumer even more. Step by step, you will be lead throughout essential
marketing elements which a strong positioning requires,
offering a combination of ‘strategy’ and ‘creativity’, and
how these can be useful for French Connection.
To freshen up your memory this list will function as an
enumeration of all important findings and focus points derived
from the research report to be taken into consideration
The dissemination of ‘French Connection’ and French Connection only, no means of FCUK communications
The expression of the desired imago of French Connection simultaneously raising awareness
The brand’s qualities are; unique, stylish, fashionable and slightly humorous designs (with dresses being a trademark), offer of good quality, creative, unconventional and attention grabbing ways of marketing (in the current situation mainly in terms of campaigns)
The brand’s values ‘original’, ‘distinctive’ and ‘accessible’ need to be communicated more
The economic crisis, low consumer trust and limited expenditure
The blurring of (fashion) trends indicating much more is acceptable
Rise of the internet and the existence of the digital super consumer
The importance of customer experiences (within a physical environment)
The current society which entails ‘priori-time’ and an individual approach
The broadening middle segment indicating the importance of differentiation
The rise of fast fashion chains lead French Connection to belong to the middle segment and raised a need for differentiation
The realization of an important and interesting new ‘target’ group for French Connection; ‘the working woman between the age of 25-45’
List of focus points
Potential customer
Before the determination of the most appropriate strategy for
the expansion of French Connection’s current customer base
in the Netherlands, the question arises: who exactly is the
Dutch woman as French Connection’s (potential) customer?
Customer lifestyle segmentation
As it is very hard to place one individual into any single lifestyle
category since most people’s lifestyles cross over into several kinds
and since our lives and cultures have become much more complex,
it is impossible to place consumers into individual categories. At best only an approximation of how French Connection’s
customer is likely to live her life and behave at the point of
sale can be given as illustration of the lifestyle segmentation.
According to the VALS 2 or Taylor-Nelsen lifestyle segmentation
system, French Connection’s average customer would roughly
belong to the category of the ‘Fulfilleds’ meaning these are more
mature, fairly responsible, likely well-educated consumers who
are fairly home-centered and reasonably open to moderate
levels of fashionability. In addition, they do not mind spending
on clothes provided they are quality products that will wear well
and last in terms of style and durability. (Jackson & Shaw, 2009).
Pen portrait
As mentioned previously, people join different groups for different
activities. In order to gain a better understanding and mental picture
of who will be wearing French Connection and for what occasion
the pen portrait below illustrates French Connection’s (potential)
Name: Marit Broeckveld
Gender: Female
Age: 29
Family situation: Lives together with Pieter van der Meij and son Sem (1,5 years old)
Educational level: Academic/university level
Income: Average – above average
Marketing manager at L’oreal
Shopping, lunch with friends, travelling,running, reading (also professional literature)
Kate Middleton; her work efforts, courage within the Royal family and classy sense of style
Considered most important in life: A healthy balance between family life, friends and a career
The ones who take life too serious; career and status above everything and worst of all, above family life and fun
The next pages will illustrate how the further positioning of French
Connection can best be implemented according to strategy.
The motives for this inspirational manual include:
A further focus on the positioning of ‘French Connection’
and all touch points of the brand ‘breathing’ ‘French Connection’
which will additionally contribute to a greater brand awareness
overall. FCUK will no longer be used in any form of communication.
A remaining focus on differentiation from ‘fast fashion’
competitors by means of unique designs (with the dresses as
trademark), good quality and creative, stylish yet slightly humorous
means of marketing.
A focus on the dissemination of the core values ‘original’,
‘distinctive’ and ‘accessible’. Because of the importance of
differentiation, the expression of the values ‘original’ and ‘distinctive’
need to get more attention and because of French Connection’s
exclusive character as mentioned in some ways, the brand needs to
show how ‘accessible’ it is and thus approachable.
To disseminate the desired image of French Connection whilst raising
awareness about ‘French Connection’, its identity and products, and
communicating its key values amongst a broader public of Dutch
women, which, by means of marketing communication, influences
buying behavior and an increase of sales within a time frame of three
For the Dutch market, the strategy for French Connection includes
the strengthening of its psychosocial meaning; influencing the
brand’s perception towards the desired direction and to differentiate
itself from other brands because, on a functional level, the brand’s
offer does not differ much from other fashion brands. Through the
expression of the brand’s meaning amongst a new and existing public,
French Connection’s awareness will simultaneously be raised.
Because the positioning of a brand always enhances the balance
between brand (identity), competitor (differentiation) and consumer
(relevance), it is essential to define the right choices on which the
strategy is based for each of those:
-Brand identity: French Connection needs to first of all express its
presence and values, ‘original’, ‘distinctive’ and ‘accessible’, whereby
the focus should be on ‘accessible. Current brand associations such
as ‘elegant’, ‘feminine’ and ‘fashionable’ can be considered within a
bigger framework.
-Consumer relevance: French Connection should focus on Dutch
working women within a broader category of working women
remaining a strong design/price/quality ratio as this is considered
important by customers and non-customers. In addition, raising
awareness around points of sales both on- and offline combined
with attention from fashion media and a suitable experience will
contribute to the brand’s image.
-Competitor differentiation: By emphasizing on the brand’s distinctive
identity and expressions, original designs, such as its trademark
‘dresses’, and accessibility French Connection will remain distinct.
The focus is thus on a positioning matching the brand, expressing
the relevance for the Dutch female (working) customer and a
differentiating message from those of competitors.
‘French Connection is to be a credible and fashion focused brand
offering distinguishing and stylish product designs of good quality
with a slight sense of humour.’
The following categories illustrates the most important
instruments for French Connection to use as tools to
communicate towards the Dutch female customer.
Although the head office fills in the lay-out and decides
upon themes and campaigns, for the Dutch market there
should be more focus on…
On the basis of the relatively low brand awareness, advertising as
traditionally the principal method of communicating a brand’s identity
and presence, would help to firstly gain customers’ attention and then
create a more powerful image. By means of placing different formats
across media such as the Bijenkorf magazine and fashion magazines
which often feature French Connection in shoppings/series already,
such as: Fab, JAN and Red, French Connection will be ubiquitous. The
layout of these advertisements would be similar to those already
used, featuring strong seasonal campaigns with a slight sense of
humour, communicating the brand’s originality, distinctiveness and
Social Media
Although French Connection’s Facebook-, Twitter-, Pinterest- and
Instagram- account are owned and updated by the head office in
the UK, it would be clever if the Dutch head office raises awareness
about these types of social media to update the Dutch female
consumers with news and collections. By regularly communicating
French Connection’s active share in those, Dutch consumers are
confronted with new products for sale, interesting combinations in
style, influential celebrities wearing French Connection and (not least
important) the brand’s unique character and more, resulting in them
potentially appreciating the brand (more).
Direct Marketing
With the aim of creating direct response and eventually building
relationships, French Connection can start a dialogue with its (core)
customers. If the brand takes into account customer wishes and
ideas it can further improve relationships and create more loyalty
towards the brand in the Netherlands. Even with the aim to reach a
more local customer base to start with, f.i. taken into consideration
all business women working in and around the WTC area in the south
of Amsterdam, direct mail can work effectively if carefully used and
only for those who regularly shop at French Connection and feel
related to it. By means of these direct mails customers can amongst
others be invited to sample sales, special events and shopping nights
giving the customer the idea of a special treatment. Because French
Connection in the Netherlands only has a few employees and one
store the relationship can very well be remained personal which is
beneficial for both the brand and the customer.
Sales Promotions
Besides existing seasonal selling-price reductions, loyalty cards,
enabling customers to save points per purchase, could work beneficial
in terms of brand loyalty, if, for instance, in collaboration with more
retailers selling French Connection in the Netherlands. In this case
loyalty cards would not provide discount as a reward, but a more
surprising element or gift, which would additionally give loyalty cards
a new definition (more fun) and would express French Connection’s
values of being ‘original’ and ‘distinctive’. An example of this would
for instance be to save up for swimwear or beach hats in summer
and for hats and gloves in winter (preferably different types/colours
to choose from).
PR & Publicity
As PR can be considered as one of the most important communications
tools available, PR is currently used for fashion media, financial media
and stylists by communicating news releases, organizing open days
and through the availability of press packs, look books and a sample
collection for magazines. In return these publics are rewarded by
shopping discounts and invitations to French Connection events.
To further implement the PR process, French Connection could
more regularly provide the Dutch media with news and events
provided by the UK head office and in addition French Connection’s
presence at events and collaboration with events would be extremely
beneficial, such as Amsterdam Fashion Week or ladies days/nights.
By making more use of PR & publicity tools, more awareness around
French Connection as a fashionable, innovative and/or humourous
(depending on the news, event or activation) brand will be created
which is in line with the brand’s desired image of being original,
distinctive and accessible and its business aims.
Celebrity Endorsement
As mentioned in the research report and based on the brand’s
blog, celebrities, such as Kate
Middleton, Pippa Middleton, Angelina Jolie and bloggers play an
important role for the brand in the United Kingdom. Derived from
the fact that the cult of celebrities and the circulation of celebrity
magazines has become increasingly important in the Netherlands,
this heavily influences the perception of fashion brands. By seriously
considering the social importance of some Dutch celebrities or by
looking at how their dress style or fashion sense is embraced by the
public, French Connection could benefit from dressing celebrities
matching the brand’s identity. When communicating this through
all possible forms of media available, the benefits of celebrity
association will be visible in brand awareness and sales. Based on
past collaborations and on personal characters which need to fit the
brand’s identity, the following Dutch celebrities could be addressed:
Nicolette van Dam, Heleen van Royen, Chantal Janzen, Renate
Verbaan and Marion Pauw.
Guerilla Marketing
An unconventional communication method for French Connection’s
presumably sophisticated, time-poor and technology-enabled, or
at least smartphone-enabled, (potential) customer will connect the
brand with these women. Another reason for this is that this form of
marketing will be suited to the existing use of unconventional ways of
advertising, of which the FCUK advertisements are a great example
of the past, and by means of a more unconventional approach also
the modern consumers cynical of branded advertising and other
corporate communications will be approached. Especially in the
creative fashion industry and true in the case of French Connection,
guerilla marketing can be used well for exploring new creative
possibilities for brand contact. The brand could by means of this for
instance speak to its potential new target customer base: working
women between the age of 25-45.
A guerilla marketing campaign for French Connection must be creative,
attention-grabbing, intended to stimulate action by consumers
and be of limited duration. This campaign should ‘breathe’ French
Connection’s key values ‘original’, ‘distinctive’ and ‘accessible’ in all
its facets and ‘dresses’ as the brand’s product trademark should form
the main theme around which the activation evolves. In relation to
French Connection’s customer and potential customer, an individual
approach, limited time, a focus on quality time (for instance ‘fun
shopping’), a certain limited of innovation and clarity need to be
considered. Within an economic framework (budget-wise), the
current economic crisis needs to be taken into account yet the blurring
of fashion trends on social level offers more perspectives and makes
the event more accessible.
For the future it is advisable that French Connection the Netherlands
secures its budget for marketing communication on the basis of a
percentage of the turnover, the so-called turnover percentage
method, either based on previous year’s turnover or the expected
turnover for that year. Instead of using the budget left after deduction
of all costs, a fixed budget for marketing communication will now be
In financial terms, the table below will give a rough indication of
the estimated costs for the previously mentioned marketing tools
in addition to the company’s regular cost structure and if made use
of once, for instance the first time. Furthermore the costs will vary
dependent on the particular circumstances.
Bijenkorf, Fab, JAN, Red Social Media
Direct Marketing
If used off-line Sales Promotions
Loyalty cards
Product giveaways
PR & Publicity Celebrity Endorsement
Per sponsored outfit max. Guerilla marketing
Costs agency hired
Event and necessities
Total € 28.000
€ 200
€ 1.000
€ 500
€ 500
€ 2.000
€ 32.200
Because relatively the market does not change fast and due to the
importance of a strong establishment of the brand French Connection
in the minds of Dutch female customers, is chosen for a middle long
term planning (which usually implies a period of two-five years) of
three years.
Floor, J.M.G. & van Raaij, W.F. (2006). Marketingcommunicatiestrategie.
Groningen/Houten: Wolters-Noordhoff
Jackson, T & Shaw, D (2009). Mastering Fashion Marketing. Hampshire:
Palgrave Macmillan.
Riezebos, R & van der Grinten, J. (2011) Positioneren Stappenplan
voor een scherpe positionering. 2nd ed. The Hague: Boom Lemma
based on the book ‘The Brand Gap’ by Marty Neumeier, 12th of
August 2011