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Introduction

Business firms have to take different marketing decisions so as to raise sales and profitability. Actually, such decisions emerge from  complex interaction of  people who carrying out different roles and responsibilities for completion of marketing activities. Along with this, being a part of overall management marketing executives plays a vital role in developing marketing planning process. It defines the roles and necessary steps which are required to accomplish firm’s goals and objectives. Although, allocation of marketing resources should be done in economical way by considering marketing budget of the company. Marketing planning forward looking exercise that signifies future strategies of a corporation by having a special reference of their product development, sales promotion and channel design as well (Sadjadi, Yazdian and  Shahanaghi, 2012). The present assignment is based upon River Island; it’s a London high street fashion brand that operates in worldwide markets. The firm was founded in 1948 and now its overall revenue is £925.8m.  Apart from this, the report will describe marketing planning process of the firm, for this internal and external analyse is done. Readers will also come to know about the marketing strategy of River Island that assists it to deal with external rivals. Furthermore, there will be a discussion of marketing mix of a clothing brand.

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TASK

Due to globalisation and Brexit, UK’s economy goes down that is difficult to be uplifted again. In this manner, retailers are developed a marketing plan by assessing all risks and uncertainties, The term marketing planning is based on to think ahead by considering the impact of promotional activities on public image as well as sales of the company. Any organisation can fail without having an appropriate marketing plan because it drives innovation and supports to meet sales objectives. Organizations that have been around for quite a while frequently fall into the trap of winding up excessively comfortable. Existing clients keep on paying bills and there dependably is by all accounts a surplus in the ledger. That can prompt timescales for new advancements and activities slipping and, before you know it, the whole association coming to a standstill (Ogunmoku and Tang, 2012). In context of River Island, marketers develop a basic marketing plan so as to make a continuous review of business operations; this will make a firm to more attentive towards market enlargement rather than its maintenance.

Following are the stages that are getting involved in marketing process of River Island: -

Overview of the company

River Island Clothing Co. Limited is a one of the leading clothing brand of UK which operates and franchises a chain of apparel stores. The brand  offers clothing, dresses, tops, T-shirts/vests/sweats, coats/jackets, leather/leather look jackets, capes/kimonos, blazers, knitwear, jeans, skirts, trousers, shorts, leggings, coordinates/matching sets, playsuits/jumpsuits, swimwear/beachwear, and lingerie/nightwear; and shoes/boots, bags/purses, accessories, jewellers, watches, sunglasses, gifts, beauty products, and socks for women and girls .River Island has over 350 stores in the UK, Ireland, Asia, the Middle East and Europe alongside 6 online websites that operates in 4 currencies, which ships to over 100 countries worldwide. At River Island, it works enthusiastically with its suppliers and official agencies around the world to provide a standard health and safety regulation to its employees. The company always ensures that their suppliers sign a contract which commit to World Wide Ethical standards and those who violate them will be prosecuted.  Along with this,  the firm always focus o on that their customer get a unique, great and fashionable look; for this River Island has its own designers who works to produce trendy and new styles.  Basically, the company produces clothing items for the age group of 16 to 30 years both men and women as these people are more willing to buy new cloths. There were 324 clothing shops in UK  in 2013 (-2%*), 156 online shops (+11%) and 35 shoe and leather shops (-5%). Significant growth has been in online shops in Iceland which have doubled since 2008 when only 79 retailers were registered as online shops. Clothing sales account for 7% of overall retail sales which were £117,800,000 according to VAT records** in 2013 and 294 new retail businesses were registered.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS 

It can be done internal and external environmental assessment in order to determine those factors that will affect working activities and decision making process of the firm in direct and indirect manner (Mummalaneni, 2014).

Micro environmental analysis of River Island

STRENGTH

The major strength of River Island is, there are over 350 stores of the company in UK, Asia and internationally. It also has its own 6 online sites operating in 4 currencies. It shows that how the firm has spread in UK and also trying to expanding across the globe.

River Island has been establishing since 60 years in retail industry and it is adored as one of a top best brand on high street which gives it benefits to have loyal client base spanning in the years.

The main motive of company is “Love Fashion. Love River Island.

-     Stores of River Island have a retro feature of 1970’s and 1960’s style Chelsea Girl range aimed at the slightly younger end of their customers.

Ri River Island has variety of unique selling points, as it always come up with amazing style of fashion which makes it able to stand out among other high street stores.

The firm has acquired an amazing design team, all of its products are well designed in house that sets its sets the firm standards apart from other online retailing stores.

WEAKNESSES

In comparison to its competitors, i.e. Topshop and New Look, River Island does not offers student discount throughout the year.

Most of its cloth are not fashion forward as further brands.

River Island is not change its products and collections as quickly as Zara, who’s makes changes in every 2 weeks. Thus, the firm required to keep up with market trends in retail (McDonald and Wilson, 2016).

River Island does not have a rich collection of men’s and kids wear, they should do the same in order to attract large group of customers.

D   The firm may not have plus size collections which is a major weaknesses as other rivals, i.e. Boohoo and Now Looks are keeping one plus size collections.

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OPPORTUNITIES

They may begin up a store point’s card which would be diverse from what other retailers such as Topshop do, it may be a card you filter once people  make a buy and get focuses, may well be comparative to the storm or M and S rewards card.

Due to globalisation and emerging markets, the firm has an opportunity to expand business in other developing countries as well (Smith, 2011).

Further, opportunity is around pay day to fire up advancements and new accumulations with the goal that individuals are enticed to burn through cash.

River Island  can build on having more USP’s by adding a beauty line in competition with other retailers to boost sales.

THREATS

Political factors, i.e. raising tax rates and minimum wages have  an adverse impact on functioning area of River Island; it results firm needs to reduce the number of its stores otherwise it will have to pay higher taxes.

Environmental factors can affect supply chain process, for example- due to natural disaster or storm in a specific nation suppliers will not able to sell their products at there.

Economy issues e.g. a recession may affect people parting with money.

 If IT and online stores continue rapid growth it could threaten sales in-store and the amount of people who still want to shop in store.

Internal environmental analysis is used by the business entities in order to identify their strength and weaknesses as well as it also find outs future opportunities and threat of market that can affect business in direct and indirect manner. While conducting SWOT analysis River Island should assess the entire internal business environment and then develop marketing strategies accordingly. SWOT analysis also helps in improving functional areas of the company by reducing threat of competitors.

Macro environmental analysis of River Island

  • Political factors– The political condition of UK is stable. There are different political factors, such as - Trading policies, International pressure groups, Terrorism, Political trends, Governmental leadership and structures, Internal political issues etc. are played a vital role in growth and success of a business organisation. In context of River Island, if British government varies its laws and legislations in import and export then retailers cannot their products and services over the world. After Brexit, there is raised tax rates and VAT on purchasing luxurious products. In UK other currencies are not accepted in but all shops accept card payments (Lee and  Carter, 2011). Along with this, Clothes in that nation carry high taxes since there is one of the highest VAT in the world, 25,5% but corporate tax is one of the lowest in the world, only 20%. Custom tariffs, 15%, increase the price of imported goods compared to world prices.
  • Economic factors- The financial crisis in 2008 had put an adverse impact of British economy, many retailing stores were forced to shut down their business and other were reduces the prices of their products. It highly affects annual sales and profitability of companies who operates in UK. But a new positive era started in 2011, customers’ spending power has been increased by 1.8% although, it is essential for retailing firms to keep themselves with economic growth. Beside this, different economic factors that can affect a business organisation are – tariffs, inflation, consumer confidence index, interest and exchange rates, import/export ratio, internal finance and internal cash flow etc.  UK’s expected inflation rate is 2% whereas its input prices are relatively stable especially for fashion retailers. Along with this, UK economy is slow but getting recover since economic recession in 2008.
  • Social factors– In this modern era, it is essential; for online retailing companies to recognise the needs and wants of customers so as to deliver them the same; it supports to satisfy customers’ demands in the best possible manner. But there are different social factors, such as- consumer attitudes and opinions, media views, brand image, ethical issues, demographics, lifestyle changes, cultural diversity etc. Due to raising cultural diversity with an influx of different cultures, ethnicities and races all paying to the socio-cultural framework of the UK’s  social system  Thus, fashion industry is highly affected by these socio-cultural trends in a great manner rather than other industries (Lee and et. al.,  2013). River Island’s has a wider European Market due to aging of population; it is termed as an opportunity as well as problematic for fashion retailing industry.
  • Technological factors– In 21st century, to remain competitive and successful business organisations are tend to acquire new and innovative technologies. It assists them to accomplish firm’s goals and objectives in a certain time period. In context of River Island, the firm uses effective promotional tools so as to reach large group of customers. It also supports to improve production process as well as boost up quality if products. Further, technologies are followed by firms in order to maintain strong relationships with customers by interacting them in better way, for instance – introduction of mobile apps and websites. Here, people can know about all details and upcoming offerings of the firm. It creates a bridge among purely online business model  and those falling into the "bricks and clicks" category. Apart from this, technology also act as risk factor as several have shown their concern across the forsaking of high street as customer drove to online business model.
  • Environmental factors– These elements involves waste reduction, packaging, renewable energy and other concerns that are associated with sustainability. Big clothing brands, like – Zara, River Island, Next etc. have been invested a lot in order to diminish carbon footprint. Beside this, companies should also tend to packaging as well as sourcing in environmental friendly manner. River Island, is not only emphasising on reducing its carbon footprint but also on attaining 100% renewable energy usage in the long term (Urso, 2012). Other environmental aspects are – customers are getting aware about brand or products, thus companies have to maintain their customer loyalty as well as avoid negative backlashes, then they seek to environmental impact.
  • Legal factors –Like all others business associations, River Island should also confirm its minimum legal standards which are enforced by government authorities. In UK, legal aspects are seemed as more complex and companies must comply with EU and UK law. Minimum wage legislations, equal opportunities law and various other laws are followed by firms to ensure their long term growth and survival. For instance- equal opportunity law concerns that there should ensure equality at workplace at the time of recruitment and selection. Although, such laws has a direct hindrance on working activities and practices of an organisation, i.e. River Island,

Therefore, it is essential for River Island analyse all these factors in order to make appropriate solutions for the same. Firm should develop effective marketing strategies and policies; it will support them to grab better future opportunities. Along with this, while performing in other countries, River Island should determine political stability as well as economic condition of the nation so as to expand business in specific region. In order to gain high cutting edge, there must be organise a market study by companies. Although, for this purpose adoption of new and innovative  techniques is beneficial in terms of arriving large group of customers in a certain time period.

Marketing objectives

With over 60 years of fashion retailing experience, River Island is one of the most well-known and loved brands on the High Street. Thus, the main objective of the company is to produce fashionable and trendy clothing for men and women on a conscious budget. Mission statement of River Island is to increase the market share by providing hottest and new looks to target and potential buyers. Along with this, there is also an underlying as well as long run commitment to ethical trading based on the belief that business can be both profitable as well as responsible. Thus, the marketing River Island’ is to focus on the ‘plus size’ people by offering premium grade fast fashion at affordable prices to the mass. The strategy for growth helps firm to attain its marketing aims and objectives in a certain time period. In order to achieve its vision and mission objectives (Cronin-Gilmore, 2012). River Island put effective marketing strategies and develops marketing campaigns so as to attain and retain large group customers. River Island should also have to make proper communication with target audiences for recognising their needs and wants.

Strategy selection 

After preparing marketing aims and objectives of an organization, marketers have to select appropriate and befitted marketing strategies so as to spread functional area. Although, marketing strategy of River Island is focus heavily on sales promotion, niche positioning in the market and customer service with loyalty and retention in sales. The marketing budget will not exceed 5% of its gross annual sales.

Porter’s Generic Strategy Framework is one of the mainstream instruments to investigate the requirement for focused examination in the organization. In any case, the need to utilize this examination is to seek after the cost productivity procedures and item separation methodologies in a specific client area. In any case, the organization picks a procedure that amplifies the benefit by offering items at bring down costs with extraordinary quality (Greene,  2011). It doesn't take after a characterized methodology as it just participates in the expansion of items in quality and in addition conveyance. Be that as it may, the nature of movies, stimulation and energized items have a place with the enhancement of nature of thoughts and story when conveyed and also getting the consideration of A-rundown on-screen character and performers. The expansion on the organization's point of view is accomplished in light of utilization and conveyance concentrating on amusement and media of digitisation.

Ansoff’s matrix of River Island: -The key assessment of the River Island can be founded on the procedure received in Ansoff Matrix as it can be sketched out that however River Island takes after a system that either is item improvement or broadening, it looks great just on paper yet as a general rule, there is some hazard associated with the procedure. The hazard can be broke down in view of the adjustments in innovation concerning studio administrators with laying weight on the three measurements of key assessment to be specific reasonableness, practicality and worthiness. 

  • Market penetration strategy - In this, organizations are endeavouring to pitch their current items to our current clients. This implies expanding our income by, for instance, advancing the item, repositioning the brand, et cetera. Be that as it may, the item isn't adjusted and we don't look for any new clients. A market penetration strategy is particularly about "nothing new". The business is concentrating on business sectors and items it knows well. It is probably going to have great data on contenders and on client needs (Ahn, 2013). It is far-fetched, along these lines, that this procedure will require much interest in new statistical surveying.
  • Market development- This implies the item continues as before, however it is showcased to another group of onlookers. Sending out the item, or promoting it in another locale, are cases of market advancement. In this development businesses are offered its current items into new markets. There are numerous conceivable methods for moving toward this technique, including:-New geological markets; for instance sending out the item to another nation, New item measurements or bundling: for instance, New circulation channels and distinctive estimating strategies to draw in various clients or make new market fragments
  • Product development- This is another item to be showcased to our current clients. Here we create and advance new item offerings to supplant existing ones. Such items are then promoted to our current clients (Arasti, Falavarjani and Imanipour, 2012). This regularly occurs with the auto markets where existing models are refreshed or supplanted and after that promoted to existing clients.
  • Diversification -market completely new products to new customers. There are two types of diversification, namely related and unrelated diversification. Related diversification means that we remain in a market or industry with which we are familiar.

Market targeting and positioning 

Target Marketing segmentation encompasses with classifying a market into several pasts and then serve accordingly. It provides a focus to all of marketing activities in order to reach target audiences of the firm. For fashion lovers, men and women, aged 18-35, who want stylish and fashionable clothing, footwear and accessories at affordable prices. River Island is the only high street fashion retailer in UK that offers a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels unlike other fashion shops in Europe. River Island Iceland is the only fashion retailer in UK that engages with customers and support their needs in their quest for a complete head to toe look (Vaňa and ÄŒerná, 2012).

On the other hand, market positioning entails with buyers’ perception of a particular brand or product in relation to competing brands or products. It is a process of implementing market image or identity of a product so that consumers perceive it in a certain way. The main positioning strategy of ‘River Island’ is to focus on the ‘plus size’ people from 35-65 years old, by offering premium grade fast fashion at affordable prices to the mass. For the more full-bodied individual seeking western apparel, River Island offers name brand western wear in a larger assortment of styles and sizes that aren't always readily available in the mass western apparel retailers.

Assessment of the 4P’s

Marketing mix of River Island

  • Product – River Island is a famous online retailing clothing company over the world for apparel & accessories shopping. The product portfolio of the company includes wide range of brands for men, women and kids. Along with this, the organisation has  featured more than 200000 products from more than 2000 brands which also includes private labels owned by its. On the other hand, River Island also offers accessories from watches to shoes, bags, jewellery and perfumes. Its physical outlets are built in an aesthetically appealing way with an aim of effective customer support(Dey and  et. al., (2012). The firm offers products from retro outfits to traditional as well as high end western. River Island upgrades its collection every festive season and trying provide some unique to customers. Online website of the company is based upon winter and summer collections etc. Furthermore, it also has an online catalogue which is updated regularly that is in vogue with the latest fashion available.
  • Price – The revenues of River Island are based upon its retail sales, as it charges by considering profit margins from customers. In order to survive for long term period and get high competitive edge, the firm is following competitive pricing strategy as it is being faced stiff competition with Bohoo, Zara, New Look etc. On the other hand, to attain more and more customers the organisation also provides certain discounts or offers on purchasing of specific products.  All of the clothing items are produced by its own designers in-house are sold in bundle; River Island follows relationship marketing in which premium is charged for in-store service offered by the shop. It supports to improve  customer service, quality and raising visibility by closer alignment.
  • Place – River Island offers its products through online stores as well as physical outlets which are located over the world. People can easily order their products on its home websites. Along with this, the firm also uses various distribution channels, whole sellers, retailers, franchisee in order to cover large market share (Lidstone and MacLennan, 2017). The home website of River Island its created by considering e-commerce marketing strategies here people get facilitate in finding out whatever they want. . The Online giant has 350 fashion stores in UK and its retail space is of 1.7 million square feet; it shows firm has wide presence worldwide.
  • Promotion – River Island is following an aggressive yet creative promotional plan. This will allows them to focus directly on target customer while still being conservative with their advertising dollars. Although, its promotion is always stay in tune with company objectives and mission statement. In order to promote itself over the globe, the fashion giant acquires various social media channels, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc. The firm has also launched its mobile application where people get know about products and services as well as buy them by a single click.

Therefore, marketing mix is used by companies to make products available for their end users by using effective promotions. The chosen product of the firm should be able to satisfy customers’ needs and wants in the best possible manner. At this time, pricing strategy also have to affordable or reasonable; but River Island is a high street brand and its products are quite expensive due to latest collection and having good quality of products.

Formulation of marketing budget of River Island:

Marketing budget

 

Particulars

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

5th year

Initial money

75000

25000

20000

15000

20000

Investment

 

25000

14000

15000

18000

Total

75000

50000

34000

30000

38000

Marketing expenditures

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement

10000

9000

7000

6000

6000

sales promotion

7000

4000

3000

7500

9000

Direct marketing

8000

2000

5000

7200

2000

Total

25000

15000

15000

20700

17000

Available balance

50000

45000

19000

12300

21000

Implementation, control and evaluation

After formulating a marketing budget management is required to determine availability of all resources which are required to perform all marketing activities and tasks. For example- marketers should examine whether employees have enough skills and knowledge otherwise there must be organise training and development plans (Stokes, 2011). On the other hand, administration should also have to consult the whole plan with entire association and take necessary suggestions from staff members. It will support to do essential improvements in that plan and make it more compatible or effective.  

These recommendations that could help River Island to strategize its marketing strategies are given as follows:

One conceivable option is to back creations with the goal that the organization can succeed on the grounds that the techniques are best fit for here and now. Speculators and others would be reluctant if the organization procedure is established. Nonetheless, the most ideal approach to meet the requests would team up in movies and work on its advancement. The other real issue that could require a proposal would be the choice of motion pictures as indicated by the choice procedure in light of the age, appraisals, worldwide and demographical require. Be that as it may, the alternative of receiving financially savvy methodologies would be gainful on the grounds that it will help in procuring benefit yet making less costs that could hamper the association. At long last, if the business does not persevere in following its establishment esteems that is making progress toward advancement and splendour in narrating, at that point the outcomes will show shingle and flexibility in precarious circumstances later on.

Conclusion 

As per the above discussion, it get analysed that marketing planning plays a crucial role in growth and vitality of a business association. Organizations that react rapidly to purchaser inclinations raise customer mindfulness and increment mark fulfilment and faithfulness to spread and increment buyer mindfulness with arrangements of up and coming movies and arrangement. Along with this, the report has stated that while developing a marketing plan business organisations are required to conduct an internal and external environmental analysis so as to identify those factors that will harm firm’s market position and goodwill in future. Here, internal analysis is done by SWOT analysis whereas external is done by PESTLE. In order to get high competitive edge and expand market share of the company, River Island has acquired Ansoff Matrix which has four aspects- market development, product development, market penetration and diversification. Porter’s generic strategy and Ansoff Matrix is used by the organisation so as to gain high competitive edge and accomplish corporative goals.

References

  • Westwood, J. (2016). How to write a marketing plan. Kogan Page Publishers.
  • Stokes, R. (2011). eMarketing: The essential guide to digital marketing. Quirk eMarketing.
  • Lidstone, J., & MacLennan, J. (2017). Marketing planning for the pharmaceutical industry. Routledge.
  • Dey, K. & et. al., (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,296,175. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Vaňa, K., & ÄŒerná, Ľ. (2012). The marketing audit as a method of the evaluation of the marketing plan. Research Papers Faculty of Materials Science and Technology Slovak University of Technology. 20(Special Number). 131-136.
  • Arasti, Z., Falavarjani, M. K., & Imanipour, N. (2012). A Study of Teaching Methods in Entrepreneurship Education for Graduate Students. Higher Education Studies. 2(1). 2-10.
  • Ahn, J. B. (2013). A Study on Service & Advertising Marketing Plan using LBS Smart Mobile Technology based on Delphi Research Method. The journal of the institute of Internet, Broadcasting and Communication. 13(6). 281-288.
  • Greene, H. (2011). Freshmen marketing: A first-year experience with experiential learning. Marketing Education Review. 21(1). 79-88.
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