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MRKT 610 Consumer Behavior

Published : 17-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Questions:

1.What does Lynne Lambert’s marketing strategy appear to be? Define her target market(s) and her strategy for reaching them. Is her strategy the same or different for the gift and apparel markets?
 
2.Develop a SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for New York City Subway Line business.
 
3.Identify the requirements for success in the gift market and in the apparel market. How well does NYC Subway Line meet these requirements for success?
 
4.What does Lynne Lambert perceive her brand to be? What is the MTA’s brand from their point of view? Lynne Lambert implies that her brand is distinct and separate from that of the MTA. What do you think?
 
5.Evaluate Lynne Lambert’s brand in terms of the essential criteria for choosing brand elements.
 
6.Should Lynne be focusing her resources on pursuing the urban apparel market, the gift market, both, or neither? Use the sales data  to justify your response. Develop a set of strategies (4 Ps) to help her move forward in your recommended market.

Answers:

Introduction 

Lynne Lambert had to choose between two options, either to chase her dreams of turning her small business into a lifestyle one or simply sell off her assets. Her business named NYC subway Line, was set up mainly in New York City Gift Market and was established in 1995 after bagging the MTA’s first apparel license.  NYCSL manufactures customized T-shirt having maps and icons of New York City Subway. Lynne wished to expand her business to apparel market as well. However, it was not an easy task since distributing her products beyond the gift market was a challenge. Apart from the competitive environment, apparel boutiques also became a hurdle in Lynne’s path and they considered gift market T- shirts to be down market (Kirk and Berger, 2011). The case study puts light on Lynne’s struggle to thrive in the apparel industry and to expand a business. The marketing strategies of Lynne, SWOT analysis of NYCSL, promotional strategies, and the outcome of this endeavor, are elaborated in the following paragraphs.

1) Lynne Lambert’s Marketing Strategy

Lynne wished to see her company reach to the heights of a widely recognized brand. Her small business was exposed to a constant threat from some unlicensed counterfeit. She wanted to sustain her business in the gift market thorough her trendy apparels imprinted with the graphics subway icons and maps (Kirk and Berger, 2011). Lynne wanted to earn a steady profit in her business of apparels and gifts and she mainly targeted the tourist by keeping the price of her products reasonable. Tourist shops and gift shops included impulsive purchases as tourist majorly buy gifts for friends and family to preserve the memories of the trip. Her marketing strategy was that, she identified the trend of the time and promoted it by every means possible (Baker, 2014). This was necessary since apparel industries are largely competitive and setting a foot in apparel industry was a difficult job. She also offered the retailers to take the product back in case they are not sold thus increasing the sales of her products to the retailers.

Her promotion strategy included participation in trade show, shared a booth of stationary business of a friend at National Stationary show organized in NYC (Fan, Lau and Zhao, 2015). She actively took part in another show in new York city named “Vibe Style” which was basically an apparel show focusing on urban product lines (Kirk and Berger, 2011).

Lynne, during her daily rounds in the Subway of NYC discovered a gift store that had no clothing. Lynne targeted the apparel industry and approached MTA with a proposal of setting up an apparel line based on graphics and icons of NYC subway. In order to carry out her plan, she at first approached MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) to get the license for using the graphics and icons of MTA subway stoppages. In order to reach her target market, that is apparel industry, she targeted the tourist shops, retailers and people who have a taste of urban fashion. She researched the train letter and numbers and with the help of a designer friend, she put her plans on paper. She thoroughly promoted her business to reach a wider audience and was successful to achieve her target.

Lynne followed a similar strategy for both gift and apparel market. She focused on the quality of her product even though that led to the high pricing of the products. She targeted to provide good quality products to her customers and hence, she wisely chose producers who would provide high quality, reliable as well as cost effective products.

2) SWOT Analysis

The strength of NYCSL business by Lynne lies in her creativity of producing trendy apparels. She successfully set up a brand image of producing high quality products with a touch of trendy fashion (Aaker and Biel,2013). Gift market was one of the prime focuses of Lynne and that provided her with a good sale, as that attracted a large number of tourists (Kirk and Berger, 2011).

The weakness was that, in order to provide good quality products, the price range of NYCSL was a bit high. NYCSL’s T-shirts’ price started from $19.99 while the similar tourist oriented Tees were available at much lesser price ranging from $9.99 and $19.99 (Kirk and Berger, 2011).  Apart from this, there was a huge competition in the gift market from unlicensed vendors. They provided the exact replica of Lynne’s design at a much lower price thus increasing the competition.

Opportunities were that, millions of people including 9 million international tourists whose expenditure was near about $29 on 2009 visited New Your City (Kirk and Berger, 2011). This attracted a wide range of customers for NYCSL. With an effective promotion and trendy collection, NYCSL have a wide range of opportunities to do business (Sedaghat, N., Sedaghat and Moakher, 2012).

The threat to NYSCL was its competitors. Since the apparel industry was highly fragmented, and had almost negligible barriers for entry, setting the foot there and maintaining the profit was a challenge (Kirk and Berger, 2011). Tourists were more likely to buy products without scrutinizing the quality of the product. Unlicensed vendors provided the exact replica of Lynne’s T-shirt at a much lower price compromising with the quality. Moreover, NYCSL brand was relatively new and lesser known.

3) Requirements for success in gift and apparel market

The foremost requirement to be successful in the gift market was to strive thrive in an environment of the price competitiveness and wide distribution of the product. Gift market is one of the widely recognized tourist spots. Tourists are generally impulsive buyers and hence the products required to be displayed beautifully to gather attention of the prospective buyers.

The apparel industry however had some different concerns. This industry was large and highly fragmented. It dealt with designing, sourcing and marketing. MYSCL had competition from national apparel brands like Liz Claiborne, Nike, V.F Corp and polo Ralph Lauren with brands, which includes Wrangler, Nautica and North Face (Kirk and Berger, 2011). Apparel industry also included accessories like shoes, handbags and jewelry.

To meet the requirements, the manufacturer needed to undertake various advertising campaigns to reach a wider audience (Parente and Hutchinson, 2014).  NYC subway line was successful in setting up the business keeping in mind the requirements. She intended to provide good quality materials and thoroughly advertised her products on different platforms to garner wide attention (Gailey etal., 2011). However, the gift market sales of NYCSL were much higher than apparel market.

4) MTA and Lambert’s Brand comparison

Lynne Lambert wanted her brand to be widely recognized and to grow her business as a lifestyle brand. MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) was the license provider for Lynne’s apparel business. Lynne Lambert made use of the of the MTA’s graphics and icons that lined the Subway stops. MTA is the largest transportation authority of NYC.

Lynne Lambert’s brand is believed distinct and different from that of MTA, as Lynne was the first entrepreneur who was allowed to use NYC sublime graphics for her apparel business marking the MTA’s first apparel license. However, this collaboration with MTA has earned Lynne some soaring sales.

5) Lambert’s Brand

Brand elements represent a brand and differentiate it from other brands. Brand elements can be name, symbol, package design logo or other elements (Batey, 2015). Essential criteria for choosing brand elements are its strength, favorability and uniqueness (Keller, Parameswaran and Jacob, 2011). Lynne Lambert’s brand is unique in terms that she used New York City’s subway maps and graphics for her apparel business. The strength of her brand was the quality of the products (Wilson et al., 2012). Lynne’s brand focused on producing high quality products. Her brand was favorable for both tourist and normal buyers of NYC subway line.

6) Which one is to be chosen?

Lynne has to choose either the apparel market or gift market. NYCSL is well established in the gift market and garner much more profit than the urban apparel market. Lynne should be focusing on the gift market as it has shown a steady increase in sales over the years. The gift market sales has taken a jump from $86,304 in the year 2006 to a huge $486,489 in the following year and attained a sale of $624, 88 in the year 2008. On the other hand, the apparel market could not garner the targeted sales and has been suffering a loss over the years. The sales of apparel market were $417,253 in 2007, which dropped to only $135,604 in the following year. The data shows that the sales of the gift market are 5 times more than that of the apparel market (Kirk and Berger, 2011). The results from the apparel market are unsatisfactory and hence, Lynne should stick to the gift market.

Strategies

  • Lynne may try to achieve the lifestyle status (which was her wish), from gift market only.
  • Lynne should promote her products more widely to each a larger audience (Grewal and Levy, 2015).
  • Lynne has a wide experience in gift market, which can be wisely used to improve the products and customize them according to customers’ tastes (Stasch, 2010).
  • Lynne should try to improve and target the online sales as well (Keller, Parameswaran and Jacob, 2011).

Conclusion

Lynne Lambert, in order to expand her business in the apparel industry, tried every strategy to accomplish the same. She implemented almost every marketing strategy to promote her business in apparel market as well as gift market. Her business idea was very innovative (using subway graphics in T-shirts) and thus it clicked with the customers instantly. Striving in a market whose trend changes every day was very difficult for Lynne but she still managed to gain huge profit from the sales of NYC gift market and her brand NYCSL became a famous brand in no time. She was the first to achieve an MTA’s apparel license. However, the sales in the apparel market were not at all satisfactory. On the other hand, her business in gift market was showing a steady growth. Therefore, it can be concluded that, it is better for Lynne to concentrate on her business in the gift market.

References

Aaker, D. A., & Biel, A. (2013). Brand equity & advertising: advertising's role in building strong brands. Psychology Press.

Baker, M. J. (2014). Marketing strategy and management. Palgrave Macmillan.

Batey, M. (2015). Brand Meaning: Meaning, Myth and Mystique in Today's Brands. Routledge.

Fan, S., Lau, R. Y., & Zhao, J. L. (2015). Demystifying big data analytics for business intelligence through the lens of marketing mix. Big Data Research, 2(1), 28-32.

Gailey, M. L., Portman, E. A., Burgiss, M. J., Holmes, C. S., & Smith, A. K. (2011). U.S. Patent No. 7,970,648. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Grewal, D., & Levy, M. (2015). Marketing. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Keller, K. L., Parameswaran, M. G., & Jacob, I. (2011). Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity. Pearson Education India.

Kirk, C. P., & Berger, K. A. (2011). A Tale of Two Markets: NYC Subway Line. Business Case Journal, 18(2).

Parente, D., & Strausbaugh-Hutchinson, K. (2014). Advertising campaign strategy: A guide to marketing communication plans. Cengage Learning.

Sedaghat, N., Sedaghat, M., & Moakher, A. K. (2012). The impact of promotional mix elements on brand equity. American Journal of Scientific Research, 43(1).

Stasch, S. (2010). Creating a successful marketing strategy for your small new business. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.

Wilson, A., Zeithaml, V. A., Bitner, M. J., & Gremler, D. D. (2012). Services marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm. McGraw Hill.

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