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Untitled - HvA Kennisbank
PR plan
Berlin ruft an! marlies|dekkers
Title: Berlin ruft an! marlies|dekkers
Author:
Claire van Egmond
Constituent: marlies|dekkers
Counsellor: Patricia Brien
Graduation study: Fashion & Branding
May 2007
Foreword
The research for this dissertation was carried out during 2007 and at the start of
2008.
One thing that can be said about this project is that it was a very educational
process. marlies|dekkers offered me a great opportunity to develop my knowledge
of the PR world, for which I’m very grateful.
This project has been both fascinating and complex.
The time I spent in Berlin, with its unique people I met there, won’t be forgotten
easily, Germany is a country full of polite, helpful people who have been a great
support when needed.
I would hereby like to express many thanks to Myrthe van Haren, Jennifer Bui and
Marie-Jose Vermin.
I would also like to thank my supervisor Annabel Cnossen, who I owe so much to,
without her advice and expertise this project would have never been possible.
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Index
Foreword
4
Summary
7
Introduction
9
Problem discussion
11
Objectives
13
Outline of the report
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Chapter 1: Marlies|dekkers- the company
1.1 marlies|dekkers organisational backround
1.2 marlies|dekkers retail strategy
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Chapter 2: The German market
2.1 Demographic data
2.1.2 Political situation
2.1.3 Economical situation
2.1.4 Culture
2.2 The fashion industry
2.2.1 Designer brands
2.2.2 Berlin fashion city
2.3 The lingerie market
2.3.1 Analysis of the competition
2.4 Marlies|dekkers cultural values v.s the German culture
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Chapter3: Marketing & PR
3.1 Goals & objectives
3.2 Marketing strategy
3.2.1 Word of Mouth (WOM)
3.2.2 Guerilla marketing
3.2.3 Buzz marketing
3.2.4 Celebrity marketing
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3.4.3. Involving the existing customers
3.5 Events
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Chapter 4: SWOT and confrontation matrix
4.1 Swot analysis
4.2 Confrontation matrix
4.2.1 Marlies|dekkers core strengths and opportunities
4.2.2 Marlies|dekkers main challenge
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Chapter 5: Strategic execution
5.1 Increasing the PR and promotional activities
5.2 Action Plan
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Chapter 6: Recommendations
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Recommendations for other future store openings
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List of Sources
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Appendices
Appendix a
Appendix b
Appendix c
Appendix d
Appendix e
Appendix f
Appendix g
Appendix h
Appendix i
Appendix j
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Summary
In April 2008 marlies|dekkers opened her new store in Berlin as the brand
is interested in Germany as a potential new consumer’s market. However
marlies|dekkers needs to overcome and avoid some of its past challenges when
opening a new store in a new market. Last year, marlies|dekkers opened a new
store in Paris. A year later, performance results weren’t as expected. Shop traffic is
lower than anticipated which has resulted in lower outcome for the year 2007. In
order for the store to survive the French lingerie market, turnover has to increase
rapidly by the end of 2008. Whilst this setback needs to be dealt with in the short
term, marlies|dekkers must come up with a longer term strategy to ensure future
launches abroad don’t suffer a similar fate as the Paris store has.
In order for marlies|dekkers to avoid the situation with its Paris store, an action plan
needs to be put in place. As part of this the current developments in the German
market need to be analysed. SWOT analysis has been carried out in which the
internal strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities and threats are determined.
Furthermore, the confrontation matrix will go into more detail of the four SWOT
factors for the marlies|dekkers store in Berlin. This identifies the key issues and their
consequences the brand faced when looking at former store openings. The store
location is the most significant factor contributing to low store traffic in the past.
In Berlin the store is located in an A-location so this potential stumbling block is
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avoided from the beginning.
Another potential problem is the unfamiliarity of the brand; possible solutions have
been recommended to improve brand awareness. These recommendations focus
on the weaknesses identified in the SWOT analysis to reach the desired situation.
Possible solutions to create and sustain sufficient shop traffic on a longer term basis
are discussed. Therefore the advice given in this report will be invaluable for both
the short and long term success of the store.
In the short term, the following action points will have to be implemented
immediately:
1. Creating partnerships
2. Developing PR and promotional activities
3. Appointing a local marketing representative
4. Setting up and implementing a system of knowledge
With regards to future store openings in countries with little to no brand name
awareness, the report summarises a few key points to consider. To position the
brand successfully in new countries thorough preliminary market research and
cultural research is essential to create a positive brand experience and build brand
awareness. Sufficient support and guidance from the main office in the Netherlands
throughout this process is essential for it to succeed.
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Introduction
Marlies Dekkers, a very well known Dutch lingerie designer was launched in 1993.
During that time, she has established seven of her own shops, namely in Rotterdam,
Amsterdam, Maastricht, Antwerp, Paris and Bangkok. In April 2008, she opened
her first store in Berlin, Germany. Whilst at other openings, Paris in particular;
insufficient market research had been carried out; resulting in low shop traffic and a
low turnover, thus not growing the brand reputation adequately. marlies|dekkers is
looking to overcome this by conducting sufficient market research before opening
the Berlin store.
This report focuses on the brand new m|d store in Berlin. The aim of this project is
to maximise shop traffic to the store. Firstly, an extensive study of Berlin and the
new target group needs to be carried out. Secondly, an action plan needs to be
created to increase brand awareness. The findings can then be translated to give
recommendations for future store launches in countries with little to no brand
reputation.
Therefore this research is not only valuable for the Berlin store but will also be of
value for other future projects by marlies|dekkers.
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This report will provide insight how the marlies|dekkers brand can successfully
create brand awareness and maximise store traffic in the Berlin store: Berlin ruft an
marlies|dekkers!
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Problem discussion
A company such as marlies|dekkers is expected to know how to successfully
launch in new markets. However, the company is rapidly expanding, which
means that basic steps are often overlooked, such as comprehensive market
research. For example the recently opened Paris store is currently faced with
a number of adaptation problems. There were very high expectations for this
new marlies|dekkers store. But approximately a half year after the opening, the
results have not been as expected. Shop traffic to the store is too low resulting
in low turnover. Before the end of the year 2007 turnover will have to increase
considerably for the store to survive the French market. While this is a short term
challenge, marlies|dekkers must also develop a long term strategy to avoid similar
situations in future.
This longer term strategy needs to address the issues contributing to the low store
traffic - brand awareness and store location. In addition a clear plan outlining the
PR strategy and other promotional activities to increase both brand and store
awareness is missing.
This report will address both the short and long term solutions marlies|dekkers can
look to implement to succeed in new markets.
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To help marlies|dekkers make fewer errors in the future, this report will develop a
framework which will support marlies|dekkers with future store launches in new.
both the short and long term. To successfully launch a brand in a new market, an
understanding of this market is vital. Comprehensive market research and planning
prior to the store launch are equally as important as the new physical store itself.
Market research should cover country specific factors such as economical,
demographic and socio-cultural aspects of the market. But it should also describe
the industry, in this case lingerie, and different target consumer groups in depth.
Clearly documentation will then allow for better planning to try and avoid potential
challenges identified in the market research.
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Objectives
The problem statement can be formulated as follows:
How can marlies|dekkers create brand awareness in the German market and maintain a
constant sufficient stream of store traffic in her shop in Berlin?
To address the problem statement, the following research questions are formulated:
1 What is the desired situation for the m|d store in Berlin?
1.1 What does the marlies|dekkers organisation look like?
a) How has marlies|dekkers expanded?
b) What are marlies|dekkers cultural values?
c) What is marlies|dekkers current retail strategy?
1.2 What does the Geman market look like?
a) How can other brands position themselves on the German market?
b) What are the most recent demographical, political and economical
developments?
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c) What is the German culture like?
d) What does the Fashion Industry look like in Berlin with regard to new up and
coming designers?
e) What does the lingerie market look like in Germany?
f ) How can we compare the cultural values of marlies|dekkers with the German
culture?
2. What will the strategic execution look like?
2.1What sort of measurements will have to be taken to implement these actions?
3. What solutions for obtaining the store traffic to the m|d store in Berlin are
available and which are most effective according to marlies|dekkers and the
consumer market in Berlin?
3.1What sort of recommendation will be given to marlies|dekkers?
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Outline of the report
The report will exist of the following parts:
Part A: This part will include chapter one till three, the desired situation will be
brought into the big picture. Results for this analysis will be obtained out of the
research that was held in The Netherlands and replenished with the findings from
the action research in Berlin*.
Chapter one will survey the brand marlies|dekkers on account of the brands
intention and retail strategy. This information will serve as a fundamental of this
report.
Chapter two will discuss Germany, this chapter will clarify the German market,
since there are many cultural differences with the Dutch, the chapter will start
as an introduction of Germany, further along in the chapter Berlin will be taken
into account. This introduction will point out all the areas of attention for the
creative who want to set up their business in Berlin. These areas of attention can
also be significant for marlies|dekkers. These areas of attention will be summed
up according to the trends of culture, the consumer and the German market; this
will provide more insight into the country Germany. After which Germany will
be brought into account based on the demographical, political and economical
* See appendix a for research plan
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developments. Striking facts within the German culture which will be imperative
for marlies|dekkers will close this paragraph. After which light will be thrown on
the relating branch of industry: the fashion industry. This will be shortly introduced
with a look on the fashion market focused on the high-end designer brands in
Germany, with the main focus directed towards Berlin. The locations of the concept/
flagship stores and the target group for the luxury products of the designer brands
will be described in this paragraph. Next, the lingerie market of Germany will be
thoroughly discussed. Shortly after this thesis is finished, marlies|dekkers will be
part of this market. The current competitors of marlies|dekkers will be brought into
the picture resulting in the various differentiating factors of the brands regarding
this German market. Finally, all the cultural values of marlies|dekkers will be looked
at in comparison with the German culture. This paragraph will explore what needs
more or less attention when marlies|dekkers will want to approach the German
woman.
Chapter three will enfold all the Public Relations objectives.
Subjects like how to create brand reputation and loyalty amongst consumers with a
focus on the region of the store will be discussed. After, an explanation will be given
about how to build the buzz and generate excitement around the brand with the
culmination being the opening of the m|d store. This will result in a paragraph on
how to sustain and continue to develop and grow marlies|dekkers consumer base
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following the store opening.
Part B: Part B will describe the strategic implementation.
Chapter four will show us the results of the action-research whilst being in Berlin
and what intervention plans have already have taken place regarding those
particular results.
The points of action are mainly based on PR and promotional activities.
It will discuss everything marlies|dekkers should take into account whilst promoting
a new store in a unfamiliar market. In this, the different product placement
strategies will be discussed.
The last part of this dissertation, chapter 5 and 6 will sum up 4 different
opportunities for marlies|dekkers to get shop traffic and a high turnover by utilizing
the right PR skills and marketing instruments.
This chapter will react to the problem statement by counting up all the findings
that were discovered during the field and desk research.
Chapter 7 will have a last look at all the researching and analyzing done so far and
will deliver a list of recommendations that will have to be taken into account when
opening future stores elsewhere.
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Chapter 1: Marlies|dekkers- the company
This chapter will address the research question 1.1: What does the marlies|dekkers
organisation background look like? It starts off with a brief description of how the
brand got started and developed (a), followed by a section on retail strategy (b) and
the company’s core values.
Marlies|dekkers organisational background
Marlies|dekkers, Holland’s only designer label in body fashion; has developed itself
into one of the most successful lingerie brands with almost a 1000 sale points
worldwide. In just under fourteen years of time, the brand has established a store
in Rotterdam, Maastricht, Antwerp, Paris and Bangkok and since recently, two in
Amsterdam. Its core aim is to conquer the world with it’s much talked about unique
lingerie.
Marlies Dekkers draws her inspiration from philosophers and artists. With her
vision she devises women to aim for more, hereby offering self-confidence. Her
mission statement is thus: ‘Dare to be’. Nationally and internationally her lingerie is
considered to be innovative, trendsetting and renewing. Every collection and all the
marketing communications convey the inspiration en philosophy of the designer,
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which keeps her vision preserved at all times. The designs are well known for their
use of modern materials, eye for detail and complex finishing’s.
The lingerie can be recognized by the graphic design, which offers a good fit.
The designs of marlies|dekkers express power and confidence. The traditional,
romantic lace and ribbon make place for a regulated combined action of lines,
layers and excisions at unexpected places. marlies|dekkers designs to oblige
women.
Next to many famous Dutch celebrities like Willeke Alberti, international stars like
Nelly Furtado, Kelly Rowland, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera now belong to the
bearers of the brand. Through a brand ambassador program in which well known
women with a positive image are asked to wear marlies|dekkers during public
events, brand exposure is grown.
In the course of the company’s existence the collections have grown substantially.
To make sure that any person can identify her or himself with the brand, she has
created a few sub-labels for the various target groups. Next to the (undressed)
collection there is the (undressed) men collection; a innovative undergarment
collection for men, with a very clear signature of the designer. The third sub label
is the sundressed collection, which consists of modern and exciting bathing suites,
bikinis and wraparound skirts. Fourth is the sunglasses collection; a collection of
glasses, which match the Sundressed beachwear collection. The fourth is the Girl
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collection, a lingerie collection for the younger woman, distinctive for its use of
colour combinations and cool designs. The Special Sizes collection for the bigger
cup sized women; this collection runs from a D cup to F cup. The Nightdressed
collection holds luxurious lounge and evening wear for women. Lastly the Cotton
line, which combines comfortable cotton with the recognisable graphic designs.
Marlies Dekkers holds seven own fits. She brings out seven new collections a year,
which is very unique for a lingerie brand.
Because of the very modern lines she uses in the graphic designs the bra’s are there
to be worn and shown to the public. For this reason Marlies Dekkers designs tops
with every collection, which can be worn with the matching bra to show off the bra
as an item on its own. This is why the marlies|dekkers bra can be seen not just as a
functional item, but women can also wear it as a fashion statement.
In February 2007 Marlies Dekkers joined in a partnership that was much more
successful, than initially anticipated, which helped grow the brand. A very well
known Dutch author Heleen van Royen wrote a book together with Marlies Dekkers
called Stout. Stout, which means ‘naughty’ in the Dutch language, contains ten
chapters about flirting, fashion; lingerie and very successful well known women of
all ages.
With a circulation of a 100.000, it became one of the Bestsellers in the Netherlands.
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March 19th 2007, Marlies was honoured to receive one of the most prestigious
awards for business-women; the Dutch Business Woman of the Year Award, as a
reward for all her hard and innovative work during the years. In her speech, she
said: “When I heard I was to receive this award, I wasn’t all that surprised, sometimes
I feel like I’m storming the world in the boots of ‘‘Hop o’ My Thumb*” The working
moms of my generation were fired the moment they got pregnant and now I have
been chosen as the business woman of the year!”
marlies|dekkers philosophy
“I design lingerie, I sell philosophy” (Marlies Dekkers)
“Through her lingerie Marlies Dekkers tries to give women more self-worthiness. To
establish this, she keeps her designs close to her heart; the life of Marlies defines the
designs. Marlies Dekkers gives herself in order to give herself to you. Released into the
world her design become infused with new life: the wearer’s own. Marlies Dekker’s
intention is to strike a match. To kindle the fire that burns within…
Marlies Dekkers promote authenticity, not ready-made identity…”
(Ferril, 2003)
* Literary fairy tale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703)
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Marlies Dekkers wants to address every woman and at every age, look and lifestyle.
According to Marlies, every woman has her own beauty features, her own strengths
and her own individuality, which makes her special in her own way. Marlies Dekkers
asks women to go with her on a voyage of exploration. Her mission statement is:
Dear to dream and to live out your fantasies. Discover your own powers and talents
and dear to grow by becoming more assertive about your own possibilities. Be
yourself and make your own choices; dare to be.
Marlies|dekkers cultural values
The philosophy as mentioned above forms part of marlies|dekkers cultural values.
The whole company lives by these values and choices are made on account of these
values:
Fantasy
dare to dream
Originality
dare to be
Power
dare to grow
Love
dare to trust
Curiosity
dare to explore
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Fantasy-dare to dream
stands for creativity, creativity as a base for the company but and a foundation to undertake business decisions.
Originality-dare to be stands for the individual, be yourself, be open to others, and don’t be afraid to learn from each other.
Power-dare to grow stands for growth. The growth of the business, but also of the individual. Dare to grow by rising above your own
limits.
Love-dare to trust stands for trust. Have trust in others and yourself. Respect each other.
Curiosity-dare to explore stands for curiosity. Take the initiative and keep daring yourself.
1.2. marlies|dekkers retail strategy
By now, marlies|dekkers has seven of her own stores and about a thousand sales
points worldwide. Her ambition is to conquer the world. In the future sales points
will continue to grow as will marlies|dekkers stores in the world.
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Distributions channels
The brand is sold through various distribution channels:
1. Marlies|dekkers stores
2. Independent retailers in the Netherlands and abroad, with or without franchise
3. Department stores within the higher price range in the Netherlands and abroad
Licensed shops
In the years to come marlies|dekkers plans to open several stores in the major cities
of the world. After Paris and Berlin, cities like London, Milan and New York are set to
follow. As a result, the retail organisation marlies|dekkers will grow rapidly. Not just
within Europe but also in the Far East, Middle East en North America.
Besides expansion, through the stores own network, marlies|dekkers would like to
form coalitions with independent ambitious entrepreneurs who unconditionally
believe in the brand and have a similar philosophical outlook of the brand.
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Model 1
Marlies Dekkers
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Chapter two: The German market
This chapter will analyse the German market. To get a better look at the chances for
marlies|dekkers, a well structured analysis is of high importance.
To establish this analysis, a brief description will be given of Germany to get
acquainted with a different culture with different customs and beliefs. The
first paragraph will map out in which manner other Dutch brands can position
themselves on the German market (a). Further on, Germany will be looked at
regarding the demographical, political and economical developments (b) and
finally the culture of Germany (c). After that the Fashion Industry of Germany will be
looked into (d). Finally, insight will be obtained in the lingerie market of Germany
(e), which marlies|dekkers will belong to in the nearby future and the brands
cultural values will be compared with the German culture (f ). After all these points
of interest, elementary question 1.2 has been responded to.
2. Germany
This chapter will offer a brief picture of Germany, according to the demographical,
political and economical developments. For the description of the demographical
data, the political situation and economical situation the foreign country
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publication of the EVD* and the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were
used as a main source. When this is not the case, the source will be mentioned. This
paragraph will close with a description of the most significant striking facts within
the German culture.
2.1 Demographic data
Germany has a population of 82.5 million people of which 42.2 are women. With
231 inhabitants per km2, Germany is the densest populous country of Europe. The
Netherlands and United Kingdom are the only countries in Europe with a higher
compactness. Of 82.3 million inhabitants approximately 17 million live in the former
East Germany and 3.4 million in Berlin. The population in Germany is aging, based
on the higher life expectancy and the birth rate fall. In 2005, more people aged
65 and over (15.9 million) lived in Germany compared to people under the age of
15 (11.6 million). According to the population forecasts up to the year 2050 the
population will slowly be reduced to 74 millions inhabitants.
The total working population in Germany in 2006 held 39 million people and
counted more than 3.4 million unemployed people. The country publication of the
EVD (2007) shows that when looking at the population of Germany the inhabitants
are mostly German and Turkish. With 2,1 million Turkish people, it can be said
* EVD: Agency of the Ministry of economic matter, www.evd.nl, 2008
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that they are the largest minority group in the country. Alongside Turkish people
Germany offers a home to the Poles, Russians, Italians, Greeks, Croats, Bosnians,
Vietnamese and Serbs.
German is the official spoken language; basic German is understood through the
whole of Germany, with many dialects practiced in the more rural parts of Germany.
The most common foreign language is English, which is universally taught at
secondary school in Germany. Other languages within the German education
standards are: French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. Dutch is taught in
the regions that are aligned to the Netherlands.
Out of the 82.5 million Germans, 15 million people live in the less developed part of
Germany, known as former East Germany and 3,4 million people live in the heart of
Germany, Berlin.
In summary, Germany is faced with three major trends in its demographic
developments; an ageing society, a low birth rate and high life expectancy.
2.1.2. Political situation
The Federal Republic of Germany is a federalist state, existing out of sixteen states
and a coordinating association government. At the head of the country stands the
Chancellor of Germany. The Chancellor (currently Angela Merkel) is elected for a
period of five years by members of the association day (Bundestag), the association
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Council and the Parliaments of the states. The Chancellor signs new laws,
whereupon they become effective. The function of the Chancellor can be compared
with those of the Dutch prime minister: it is a leading representative function.
2.1.3 Economical situation
Germany forms part of the three largest economies in the world beside the US
and Japan. As Germany has developed increasingly as a service economy, the
contribution of the industrial sector to the total German economy has decreased
over the last years, with exception of 2005. Since March 2006 decreasing
unemployment figures and an increase of the number of job openings have
been detected. Businesses have been able to profit of this situation. The average
remuneration costs had increased in 2005; a one point one percent increase in
comparison with 2004. For Germany this is the lowest increase in remuneration
costs in the past ten years. In comparison with all other EU-member states it is the
lowest increase of labor cost of all EU-member states between December 2004
and December 2005. The average gross salary amounts to 3,100 euro per month.
However, it is important to point out that there is still a vast difference in terms of
salary between former East and West-Germany: in East-Germany the salaries are
lower.
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Model 3
GDP per capita in Germany
(CIA World Factbook)
Berlin is the capital of Germany and furthermore one of the sixteen German states.
With regards to surface of the state Berlin it is somewhat larger than Hamburg.
Berlin lies in the middle of the state Brandenburg, on approximately 70 kilometers
of the Polish border. The economy of Berlin is weak at present. The export quota
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of 13 per cent in 2004 is low in comparison with the amount of the complete
Federal Republic (34 per cent). The capital is a city in development and carries
a big attraction for young innovative ventures. Approximately half a million
people are operative in the service sector (trade, credit institutions, insurance
companies and movement). Important core sectors in Berlin are movement
technique, biotechnology, media and communication, environment technique
and the pharmaceutical industry. The medium sector in Berlin is one of most
important in Germany. Approximately 70,000 employees are active in the media
and communication sector. In the city 45 radio stations compete with each other
and 24 national and international television networks broadcast their shows in
Berlin. After Hamburg, Berlin is the second largest editor city of Germany. There
are more local publications in Berlin than wherever in Europe. The industry in
Berlin is characterized by small and medium ventures. Many well known European
companies have set up offices in Berlin, like Sony, Siemens en Coca-Cola.
2.1.4 Culture
This paragraph will tackle the culture of Germany specifically. Three findings will be
announced, after which the consequences of the findings will be listed and finally
the points of interest for marlies|dekkers. The descriptions underneath here are
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based on personal findings, originating from empirical research in which informants
have taken part.
On one side discoveries have been obtained by exploring in what manner the
Dutch culture with emphasis on the business culture differs from the German
culture. Is it not my intention to pronounce a value judgment on this, fact is that
marlies|dekkers is a Dutch company with a Dutch business culture, through which
a comparison could be of high importance since there could be some differences in
work method(s) or point of views.
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Model 4
PDI
Power Distance Index
IDV
Individualism
MAS
Masculinity
UAI
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
LTO
Long-Term Orientation
(The 5 cultural dimensions model of Geert Hofstede)
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In accordance with Hofstede (2005) culture is something people share when they
live or have lived in the same environment, where they have been taught the same
cultural standards and beliefs. These habits will subsequently have an influence on
consumer behavior.
Geert Hofstede’s outlook on Germany emphasizes on one side, the very high
ranking of individualism, masculinity and the uncertainty avoidance index. On the
other side, a very low ranking of long-term orientation and power distance also
plays an important part of the German culture.
Germany’s high individualism can be explained as one’s identity is individual;
people think with a first person perspective, they don’t look much further than
within the surroundings of the direct family. Germany also scores very high on the
masculinity index; the culture in Germany is characterized by a dominant value of
materialistic success. The low long-term orientation indicates that Germany adapts
rapidly to change; the low power distance indicates that Germany holds on to the
belief of equal society with the same possibilities for all.
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Findings within the German culture
•
The first finding is that power is very important in Germany and according to
the Germans it is of high importance to recognize who has it and who doesn’t
have it. The Germans tend to judge by what people wear, own and portray. The
authority is in the role, not in the person, Hofstede (2005). This is clearly the
masculine side of the country speaking. Starting off young, they are supposed
to own the most expensive car, have the biggest house and be wealthy.
•
The second finding is that Germans like to live by guidelines, they are not as
flexible as the Dutch, they want do right ‘by the book’. They plan everything
extensively, and wish others to do so also. They like to write everything down.
This means that the meeting is conducted in the right way: everybody is there
on time and prepared, in case otherwise, the Germans will see it as an insult.
Also the Germans do not like surprises.
•
The third finding is that the German are very open to adaptation, they
welcome new brands on their market. The customers are ready for something
provocative like the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur. They are not afraid to
show flesh and their taste is much more modern then in, let’s say France. In
Germany it is not strange if a naked woman is featured in the local newspapers.
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Also there are many mixed gender saunas in Germany where it’s obligatory to
be in the nude.
•
The final finding is that individualism plays a big part in Germany. In
comparison with the UK the Germans are much stiffer when it comes to
working together; they want to know what is expected of them personally, not
as team.
Consequences
The achievement of personal victories is imperative for the Germans; they respect
strong leadership and assertive behavior. Ultimately this could lead to a change
in the economy of Germany, men are accepted for what they can achieve, but
the women are expected to be the care-giver, which doesn’t give the woman
much perspective to show off her competencies. This will result in less growth of
differentiation opportunities for Germany.
Since flexibility is not one of the stronger sides of the Germans, it could convey
some problems in the business etiquette. Perhaps the marlies|dekkers wants to
take bigger steps without performing a full analysis, while the Germans want to
do everything ever so carefully to try and decrease the risk factor. Also when a
company suddenly has a great idea in hope of following it up, the Germans can
36
set this plan aside. Even when the new idea will result in a better outcome, if the
German had no knowledge of this beforehand, the plan will not be continued. But,
there is also a plus to this method; the international company will know that their
business will be handled with care and efficiency. By this, the head office in the
Netherlands will have to do less work in guiding the German company.
Germany’s modern society offers women new perspectives for change in the
traditional conceptions regarding the gender bias roles. Public nudity is not as
prohibited as in other countries; the Dutch only allow it on the Internet, within
certain rules and regulations. This will raise a feeling of overall acceptance for
everyone and create a culture ‘where anything goes”.
Within the business culture Germans tend to want to do every task on their own,
this means that in order to succeed they would have to work together in a group.
But if this cannot be realized, this will create a problem and will result in miss
communication.
When this is translated into the fashion industry, this could mean that when
somebody finds the right product, he/she would like to keep it (the secret) to
his or her selves. He/She would only look out for him/herself. This could form a
predicament for new trends, if the person does not share the information, the
followers will not be able to follow.
37
Area of attention for marlies|dekkers:
As known, Marlies Dekkers is a very successful business woman, and presenting
this fact in Germany is very much accepted, but there are certain ways to do so in
Germany. The success and achievement of Marlies Dekkers will earn high opinion
from the Germans, but talking big will not. Generally the one who talks most subtly
and sparsely is the one with the most real power†. Marlies Dekkers will have to
create a clear business plan and extensive list of what her expectations will be of
her new German employees. If there’s a business meeting with a possible relation
in Germany, she will have to make sure that the team is very well prepared and that
only one leader will take charge. First impressions count.
This will create great prospective for the brand marlies|dekkers. Marlies|dekkers
is a very innovative, modern looking lingerie brand, but more importantly, it’s
very progressive. As Germany is not very conservative, this creates a suitable
environment for the lingerie of marlies|dekkers. As a result, this environment allows
for more rapid adaptation to the marlies|dekkers styles than in Paris, France.
Through various public relations methods, marlies|dekkers must try to get the
brand message through to groups of people, so that the message is shared
instantly. Keeping the state of individualism in mind, she can also adapt and
provide special strategies in order to reach the individualist by offering them a
* Source: Hall, E.T. Reed Hall, M. Understanding Cultural Differences 1989
38
special treatment.
2.2 The fashion industry
Now a clear picture has been painted of the cultural perceptions concerning
Germany while focusing on Berlin, this section will explore the Fashion industry
further concentrating on international designer brands. First the fashion industry in
Germany will be discussed followed by Berlin.
2.2.1. Designer brands
According to the Datamonitor survey, the German market for luxury goods
has a volume of around 4 billion EUR (excluding cars) – which puts Germany in
second place behind France and just ahead of the United Kingdom. The luxury
market is profiting from two trends that guarantee stable growth: the income
gap is continuing to grow, widening the disparity between very high and much
lower incomes. Suitably positioned products profit from this trend. There is also a
generation of heirs who, as it were, inherit wealth overnight.
(MediaPILOT by Axel Springer, 2004)
39
A downwards spiral can be detected in the fashion industry in Germany, although
opposite from that fact there was an addition on the high-end men’s wear by 3,5%
in the last couple of years. For the women outerwear market, there was a slight
change, but not as high as for men. The barrier between designer and fashion
wear became foggier, according to MediaPILOT’s survey one third of the Armani
customers also shop at the H&M. Most Germans can’t afford the Longchamp bag
or anything by Hugo Boss collection‡ that is why a big part of the luxury shoppers
within Germany come from abroad.
That doesn’t mean that there’s no demand for high-end fashion brand, in fact,
according to the Herald Tribune the exclusive fashion brands are becoming the
future of Berlin.
As earlier mentioned, Germans have a need for social status. The many international
designer houses can fulfill this need by showing the Germans they can wear
expensive, exclusive garments. By buying one of those pieces, the social status
results in uplift.
Over 5.4 million people live in and around Berlin and approximately 123 million
people visit the capital each year. These two groups represent an above-average
spending power and an attractive market for both established designers and
innovative young professionals. A lot of the consumer’s expenses go towards luxury
products, like cars, expensive drinks (champagne) and jewelry.
‡ the luxurious BOSS Selection menswear line
40
Today, the tourist passes Gucci, Prada, Escada and Hugo Boss on the way to the
Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Herald Tribune). Because of its central geographical
location, Germany is very attractive to international fashion brands and designers.
2.2.2. Berlin fashion city
‘Berlin has a great future as the capital of designers and creative artists. The
development of the city’s identity as the capital of fashion- fashion as the combination
of culture and lifestyle- has already begun.’
(Klaus Wowereit, 2005)
According to a recent rapport by the EVD, Germany has the largest detail trade
market in Europe after France and the United Kingdom. In 2005, the total turnover
amounted to 326.3 billion euro. For 2006 a turnover of 329.1 billion euro is
expected.
Berlin is Europe’s new fashion center, the city has a creative spirit, is open to new
and original ideas and offers low rental fares, and these are just some of the
reasons that over 800 aspiring designers are situated in the capital. According to
Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin it is ‘der Metropole der Mode’. Berlin is quickly
regaining its status as a leader in the global fashion arena, said Hanns Peter Nerger§.
§ President, Berlin Tourism Marketing
41
The city is literally bursting with amazing young designers, and he is delighted that
the industry trendsetters and decision-makers are once again taking notice of the
talent and creativity found in the capital. It attracts international fashion buyers,
fashion/lifestyle experts, consumers and fashion agencies with it’s many trade
shows for the branch of industry, such as Premium, the Mercedes Benz Fashion
Week, B-in-Berlin and Spirit of Fashion.
Berlin has seven fashion schools where the new up-and-coming designers are
being educated. Politicians fully support Berlin’s fashion industry; they try to create
more chances in the creative artists and the industry’s line of work. As Berlin’s
Senator of Economics, Labour and Women’s Issues, Harald Wolf has set up a group;
the Fashion Round Table. The group contains important players of the Berlin fashion
scene and of course politicians. Together, they support the Berlin Fashion Week and
see the fashion industry as one of the most significant components of the culture
industry.
The city is an inspiration to many major fashion and lifestyle photographers, trend
scouts and well known fashion designers¶. It is always one step ahead of the pack,
what makes the fashion designers love it even more.
According to the Aengevelt Real Estate Company, the city’s spending power was
56,6 billion euro in 2005. Berlin is the no. 1 tourist destination within Europe and
attracts international consumers with above-average spending power. People
¶ Source: Fashion in Berlin The Place to Be, Berlin Partners, 2007
42
who visit Berlin like to shop. Berlin is full of trendy districts with their own sense
of fashion and many shops that stimulate new designers. The famous streets are
the Kurfürstendam and the Friedrichstraße, these are the streets where all the big
international designer names are situated such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
The real ‘fashionistas’ can be found at the Hakescher Markt in the Mitte and the
upcoming area Prenzlauerberg. Next to being famous for the trendy districts, Berlin
is well known for its three department stores, they all ofer a mixture of fashion,
home decoration, cosmetics and accessories. The KaDeWe is the most famous of
the three; it is Europe’s biggest department store and receives millions of visitors
every year. The second one is the Quartier 206, this department store specializes
in designer fashion. And finally Galleries Lafayette Berlin, which sounds French but
also, has many Parisian touches. Jean Nouvel designed it, it has a very modern look
and its interior design offers the customer a great experience.
German target group
The prices of the designer brands are very high. Looking back at the demographic
data of Germany it can be determined that only a small percentage of the
population of Germany can afford to buy these high-end designer brands. It has to
be noted though, that because of the large number of population of 82,5 million,
the 14% that can is still worth mentioning.
43
Next to the Germans, expats** are an important target group for the luxury market,
this is because their incomes are often higher than those of the Germans. After the
earlier mentioned cultural believes with regard to status, the need for distinction,
the German expats are very interesting for the luxury designer brands.The German
consumer can be characterized by its high quality requirements and is extremely
cost-conscious. In the last couple of years the consumer is more educated, has
higher demands and is more selective in his/her choice. According to a recent study
done by KPMG, German consumers choose products according to their taste (90%),
the store’s atmosphere (68%) and finally, the quality of the product (64%).
The women are important players for new luxury spending; they work more, earn
more and have a prominent position when making purchase decisions††.
Marlies|dekkers woman
Every woman deserves to feel sexy!
A marlies|dekkers woman is a self made woman, a strong, powerful woman.
Although Marlies Dekkers enjoys being provocative, she insists that she makes
lingerie “for women to wear rather than for men to look at”.
The marlies|dekkers woman knows she can do whatever she wants and won’t take
**
Expats: are people temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing or legal residence
††
Source: Trading Up, The New American Luxury, Michael J. Silverstein & Neil Fiske, 2004
44
no for an answer.
•
She stands up for what she believes in, makes the best of herself, the best she
can be.
•
She wants to be successful and financially independent.
•
She knows that she doesn’t need a man to be complete.
•
She speaks her mind. She can express herself without having the fear of being
judged.
•
She treasures her feminity, is comfortable with her sexuality.
•
She is an example for the younger girls
2.3 The lingerie market
The local lingerie market in Europe is currently 5 billion euros worth. Data on the
specific number of worth in Germany have not been located. Together with Italy,
France, the United Kingdom and Spain, Germany has the most international lingerie
brands on the market. The lingerie market consists of about 75 different brands.
Half of these brands are situated in the lower price class.
The niche market, of which marlies|dekkers is a part of, is in Western Europe
1 billion euros worth.
45
2.3.1. Analysis of the competition
This additional paragraph will discuss the competition: La Perla, Blush, and Agent
Provocateur, the reason for these three is that they are the few brands that even
come near the position climate of the brand marlies|dekkers. For a great part,
information has been obtained by entering shops with a extensive checklist,
observation and conversations with the shop staff. After a brief description of
marlies|dekkers and her distinctive factors will be given which will conclude the
chapter with a description of the influences La Perla, Blush and Agent Provocateur
have on the positioning of marlies|dekkers in Berlin.
La Perla
Within the niche market marlies|dekkers will encounter the competition of the
international designer brand: La Perla. This is mainly because of the well renowned
brand name, since La Perla uses a lot of lace in its designs the style is very different
from marlies|dekkers‡‡. In 2004 La Perla celebrated her fiftieth birthday and is
currently one of the market leaders in the dessous fashion section. Beneath the
name La Perla Group are multiple sub labels like Malizia, for the younger woman,
Marvel by La Perla, a label with eveningwear and Annaclub, a label mainly aimed
‡‡ See appendix d for visuals La Perla
46
at beach wear. The chique and glamorous character defines the style of the
brand. With its own shop on the Friederichstraße, and all the department stores
like KaDeWe, Galerie Lagayette and Quartier 206, representing the brand, La
Perla stands very strong in the city of Berlin. La Perla’s own store has a luxurious,
comfortable look, but it doesn’t have much ambiance§§.
At the moment La Perla has a bigger brand awareness than marlies|dekkers. The
brand advertises in the big, popular fashion magazines like Vogue Germany, Elle
Germany, Vanity Fair Germany and many more. The price of la Perla is much higher
than marlies|dekkers. The target group of La Perla mostly consists of Germans with
a high income and the expats in Germany.
La Perla does not give out customer discounts; sole a free give-away with a vast
purchase.
The brand doesn’t hold any sales either. Today, La Perla is the most expensive
lingerie brand in Germany.
§§ See appendix e for visuals La Perla
47
Blush
Blush, Berlin
Kategorie Konzept Shops
Hier wird Dessouskauf gelebt. Ein amerikanisches Bett inmitten des Stores ist Programm
und schafft intime Atmosphäre. Wahre Blush-Liebhaberinnen können sogar die Blusheigene Kollektion für luxuriöse Dessous und Nightwear genießen.
(Sterne der Wäsche 2007, Sous 2007)
Germany’s Lingerie Concept store of 2007¶¶ is Blush dessous. Blush dessous is
strictly based and well known in Berlin on the Rosa Luxemborgstraße in the very
trendy area the Mitte, which funnily enough is the same area Marlies Dekkers will
open her new store. The shop-owner of Blush dessous is 34 year old fashion and
lingerie designer Claudia Kleinert.
Claudia does not wish to to expand the shop location, therefore not losing the
personal touch she can offer the customers during their shopping experience. One
thing that has to be made very clear is that Blush is a shop but also a lingerie brand.
One of the main attractions is the bed with sexy toys on top in the middle of the
shop, it draws a lot of attention from the consumers. The shop has a great relaxt
atmosphere, where a customer can shop in private. The shop Blush sells high-end
¶¶ See appendix f for visuals Blush
48
brands like Chloe, La Perla, Princesse Tam Tam and many more.
The brand Blush has been created by Claudia herself, she started designing her
own baby dolls and now designs her own lingerie, dressing gowns, nightwear and
accessories. In 2007 she opened a section for men in the shop Blush called Balls***,
there she sells high quality underwear and accessories for men.
The advertising for the Berlin-based brand and lingerie shop Blush is highly
effective†††. It makes big waves with low media-spending. Features include: the
Handelsblatt, Textilwirtschaft , The New York Festival and in many blogs and
websites around the globe.
Blush is growing fast. The collection is now available in Munich, Stuttgart,
Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Copenhagen and our very own capital Amsterdam.
*** See appendix g for visuals Balls by Blush
††† See appendix h for visuals Blush advertisement
49
Agent Provocateur
Being the son of Vivienne Westwood means you’re blessed for success. Joseph Corré
found that out when he joined forces with Serena Rees to introduce their vision of
lingerie: Agent Provocateur. They created designer lingerie, which provoked the
Englishmen; their mission was to create a lingerie collection, which pleased the
wearer as well as their partner. The style is very colourful, burlesque, with a lot of
frills and lace.
Under huge media attention they opened the first AP shop in Soho, London in
1994. Now, Agent Provocateur has over 40 stores worldwide in Vancouver, Las
Vegas, New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin and has several national
and international stores to come. In Berlin it set up a shop-in-shop in the Galeries
Lafayette on the Französische Straße.
Corré and Rees know exactly how to put a fashion lingerie brand on the map,
their clever marketing tools include their ever changing themed shop windows,
cinema advertising, catalogues that reflect an actual novel, the shop interior and
the multiple events they hold at International Fashion Week all over the world. Just
recently in January 2008 they held a party and show as part of Berlin International
Fashion Week in the Rodeo club in the trendy district the Mitte. According to the
event’s guests it was a great success.
AP has got something in common with marlies|dekkers, the ambiance the
50
store breathes, the shop assistants and the shop interior are all part of the same
aspect: the brand; everything screams Agent Provocateur. Designed by Vivienne
Westwood, the shop staff wears their famous pink house coats.
Next to the naughty lingerie the brand also launched complementary products,
which includes books, shoes, jewelry and a line of award winning fragrances by
Agent Provocateur.
The provocative brand is very popular with international celebrities, such as Paris
Hilton, Christina Aguilera, which at the same time is a wearer of marlies|dekkers.
AP lets the celebs participate in the ad campaigns, in 2001 Kylie Minoque wore the
lingerie in a controversial television advert, in 2006 Kate Moss was in four short
films and photographic stills and today Maggie Gyllenhaal is the AP ‘it-girl’.
51
marlies|dekkers
After exploring and analyzing the fashion lingerie industry in Germany, it can be
determined that there’s no brand that can be compared with marlies|dekkers:
•
Experiments with layering, lines and graphic design- this gives the product a innovative and distinctive design;
•
Creates lingerie until F-sized cup, this sets the brand at an monopoly position;
•
Has a perfect ‘fit’ which consists of seven several shapes;
•
Brings out a collection seven times a year, which makes the lingerie a real ‘fashion’ item;
•
Own exclusive stores around the world, which explicitly calls the brand to life and shows off the atmosphere of the brand;
•
In the case of Germany, the name can be easily pronounced;
The factors named above contribute to the uniqueness of the brand and
separates it from all the other brands within lingerie the market in Germany. Since
marlies|dekkers is not new to the market the shop has to be introduced in a correct
manner. The marlies|dekkers lingerie should be seen. The potential customer will
thus have to be taught how to make a comparison with regard to quality/price
52
relation and how to wear the sometimes very complicated designs.
The influences
Positive for marlies|dekkers is that there are multiple brand in the high end
segment, this gives the consumer a chance to compare the prices and quality
of the different lingerie brands, which will give the not so well known brand
appreciation in Germany. Also, Germany is not as conservative as other countries.
Marlies|dekkers can learn from Agent Provocateur, it’s a very provocative brand
which is already successful in the German market.
2.4 Marlies|dekkers cultural values vs. the German culture
When looking at the five cultural values of marlies|dekkers in chapter one, the
powerful values are always aligned with each other and together, they form the
brand.
As mentioned in paragraph 2.1 it is important for an international brand to become
integrated within the market. Concerning the German population marlies|dekkers
can establish this by taking all the needs and values of the Germans into account
when trying to pitch the brand to Berlin. Raaij (2002) shows the factors of influence
on the consumer’s behavior and which factors have influence on the ultimate
consumer’s behavior, see model 4.
53
Model 5
Consumers behavior model, Raaij (2002)
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions show that Germany is an individualistic society
(Hofstede: 2005). This influences the first three factors in the Raaij model*. There
can be spoken about the independent self through the individualistic society,
Germans tend to look out for them selves and don’t really have a strong connection
with others. Searching for own identity and authenticity is of high importance; the
masculine status needs of the Germans have to do with orientation.
The motivation for purchasing is the need for achievement, which one hopes to
get when making the luxury product purchase. These comments have influence on
the consumer behavior of the German population, just before the proceeding of a
* See appendix c for model of Raaij
54
purchase can be determined and a stimulant is present.
The cultural values of marlies|dekkers form the brand as mentioned before. These
are always connected as one. However, when more or less emphasis is laid on these
values, a better picture can be made of the focus points for the German consumer. If
the above comments are matched to the brands cultural values marlies|dekkers can
adapt to the consumers wishes. The cultural values that should be emphasized are
number 2: Identity and number 5: Curiosity. Generally speaking, just like the Dutch,
the German consumer is searching for her own identity and personal development.
In a individualistic society people focus on them selves, not like in the collectivistic
society where the population doesn’t live in groups like the and doesn’t focus on
other people. Respect and appreciation is a big deal, but is not often spoken about,
this refers to the brands value number 4: Love. Exploring the orientation, which
refers to the needs for status, prestige and achievement. This can be connected to
cultural value number 3: Power. From a German consumer point of view, this value
is in close relation with a personal growth of value number 2: Identity. The luxurious
products form the consumer’s identity, thus giving them a status of success.
Since marlies|dekkers is part of the niche/ luxury market, the products will probably
be purchased for the additional status they come with.
Although, status is status when it can be recognized, when a premium brand
doesn’t have any brand reputation it cannot function as a status symbol. Although
55
marlies|dekkers brand message is very strong and clearly announced in all her
Public Relations and promotional activities, it is the brands responsibility to address
the issues and deliver the message that her cultural values aren’t focused on
reputation and status. The search for the right brand ambassadors in Germany is
vital; these are the people that carry out the philosophy of the brand.
The first cultural value, Fantasy does not need more or less emphasis, since this is a
very neutral value when both cultures are compared.
Model 6
marlies|dekkers cultural values focused on German consumer
56
Chapter 3 Marketing & PR
After defining the organizational background information and analyzing Germany,
Berlin and the lingerie market and its brands, this chapter will look into the Public
Relations. This chapter will first describe the goals and objectives according to the
desired situation for marlies|dekkers. Setting up these objectives is essential for a
PR plan. After exploring multiple marketing strategies, this chapter will name the
strategies that fit best with the brand marlies|dekkers. This is followed by paragraph
3.3 which will discuss how to build the buzz in Berlin and how to maintain shop
traffic and interest in the brand after the shop has had its launch. The possible
strategies will be discussed further within the chapter where appropriate.
For this chapter, formal and informal research methods were used. The information
used in this chapter was obtained from chapters 1 and 2 and many conversations
with staff of marlies|dekkers and other relevant external people.
3.1 Goal & objectives
Deciding what the goal is going to be for marlies|dekkers is crucial before starting
to develop the brand’s PR plan. A goal will help steer marlies|dekkers to where she
wants to be in the future.
57
The main goal for marlies|dekkers can be described as:
To generate and maintain adequate shop traffic and establish brand reputation in
Berlin in the next six months
To reach this goal, the S.M.A.R.T.* acronym has been adopted to develop objectives
which better describe how success can be measured. These SMART objectives are
based on: creating awareness, promoting understanding, informing, persuading
and reminding.
The SMART objectives:
S=Specific
a) generate shop traffic to the store, b) create brand reputation
M=Measurable retain and build a relationship with 500 potential consumers before the end of the year by using word of mouth
A=Achievable
build the buzz and generate excitement around the brand
R=Realistic create brand awareness by working together with a PR agency
* SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives, www.goal-setting-guide.com
58
T=Time bound after the store opening, obtain, sustain and develop consumer loyalty and brand reputation to a profitable level within 6 months of its opening
3.2 Marketing strategy
The marketing strategy focuses on communicating the brand’s core competencies
and values. The brand marlies|dekkers must be communicated and delivered using
an effective marketing strategy, differentiating the brand from the competition
whilst creating brand awareness. Marlies|dekkers will have to adopt new marketing
techniques to appeal to consumers and grab their attention.
Viral marketing will be key in the campaign to launch a new store in Berlin. This
marketing method will ensure the brand will reach the public rapidly but does
demand a hands on approach.
“Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a
marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the
message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of
rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.”
(Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing, 2000)
59
A successful launch in Berlin has the potential to lead to increased brand
recognition which in turn will hopefully lead to sales and repeat purchasing.
As the German intimate apparel market is a highly saturated market with many
competitors† competing for the same consumer, marlies|dekkers needs to
constantly inject freshness and innovation into the brand, products and marketing
strategies. The frequent refresh of marlies|dekkers collections will motivate
consumers to stay interested to the brand, which could lead to more potential sales.
It also encourages regular customers to keep an eye out for new collections.. This
frequent changeover will allow marlies|dekkers to portray a sense of exclusivity.
3.2.1 Word of Mouth (WOM)
Currently WOM is one of the main tools for brand building according PQ Media‡,
the leading provider of custom media econometrics and the pioneer of alternative
media research. PQ media even goes as far as calling it the fastest growing
marketing tool in the entire media industry.
† See chapter two, paragraph 2.3.1
‡ ‘Word-of-Mouth Marketing Forecast 2006-2011 PQ Media, www.pqmedia.com
60
Most people only ‘know’ what they read, see, or hear in the media or what they
learn from people they trust.
(Ries, The fall of advertising and the rise of PR, 2002)
According to McKinsey, 67% of the consumer’s purchase decisions are caused by
WOM.
Marlies|dekkers needs to be proactive to create successful WOM, An example would
be to pamper influencers with a gift; they will in turn show their appreciation by
creating positive WOM.
Marlies|dekkers should focus on the following Six archetypes that have been
identified as WOM influencers:
•
The tastemaker is the person who will set the standards and will inform the
taste of others by making use of it’s own instinct. Famous tastemakers are
Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Even now, they
continue to set the standards for women all over the world.
Marlies|dekkers should focus on Claudia Schiffer and KarL Lagerfeld in Germany.
61
Model 7
Claudia Schiffer
(virginmedia.com)
•
The trendspotter is the one that notices. Heidi Klumm, presenter of the German
version of Next Top Model, is a good example in this category. It is a known fact
that she’s an ambassador for the legendary lingerie brand Victoria Secret, but
this shouldn’t discourage marlies|dekkers. German’s Next Top Model provides a
great opportunity for marlies|dekkers.
•
The opinion leader is the one who sells and converts and is typically the
opinion leader is held in high esteem by those that accept his or her opinions§.
In Germany marlies|dekkers should look at one woman who stands out as the
opinion leader: Angela Merkel.
§ Source: www.wikipedia.org
62
•
The expert/maven is the one who knows. Verona Pooth is a stil-ikone (style
icon) in Germany known for Miss Germany & Miss Intercontinental. She would
be a great ambassador for marlies|dekkers, she a self-made business woman
who is not afraid to show off her body.
Model 8
Verona Pooth
(veronapooth.startpunt.nl)
63
•
The celebrity is the one who attracts. A world famous German celebrity is Diane
Kruger who played a role in Troy, next to Brad Pitt would be a great to have
wear marlies|dekkers.
Model 9
Diane Kruger
(popsugar.com)
•
The social ringleader is the one that spreads the news. Berlin and Eva Padberg
both epitomise a modern and young lifestyle, gracing numerous catwalks for
the likes of Chanel, Versace and Armani and was voted ‘Sexiest women of the
year’ in 2007 by FHM Magazine readers.
64
Model 10
Eva Padberg
(11helden.de)
3.2.2 Guerrilla marketing
Growing brand awareness is key before the grand opening of the German
marlies|dekkers store. Guerilla marketing can help reach this objective. Berlin
has many empty spaces/vacant shop areas which can be used as a great PR and
advertisement tool. They will give the brand an exclusive character by poppingup unannounced. This form of marketing strategy will help to increase WOM and
energise the influencers.
For this type of marketing to succeed the shop windows have to be in prime
locations and change their appearance every few weeks to keep passers by
intrigued.
65
This marketing strategy will also help build the buzz prior to the grand opening of
the marlies|dekkers store.
3.2.3 Buzz marketing
In recent years, the principle that is called buzz marketing has grown immensely.
Buzz marketing is now a worldwide-accepted marketing tool.
To create a ‘buzz’, a group of people, a.k.a. the buzz team, is chosen to promote the
brand. These people are also called Evangelists. They are the current ‘fans’ of the
brand, they are already very fond of and familiar with the brand marlies|dekkers.
Marlies|dekkers will persuade people to become evangelists and spread the word
to create brand reputation in Berlin. The pros of using this promotion tactic is that
marlies|dekkers won’t have to pay the evangelists, since they are such big fans of
the brand, they promote marlies|dekkers out of the love for the brand..
Marlies|dekkers will send them to appropriate parties, while wearing (showing
off ) the product, while others are unaware they are actually promoting the brand.
The evangelists should know all the cool places in town and are fully acquainted
with the region, so that it’s easy for them to socialize with potential customers. The
evangelists can tell the brand’s story and help communicate the brand’s values and
simultaneously enhance the fantasy of owning and wearing marlies|dekkers..
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3.2.4 Celebrity marketing
The marlies|dekkers brand ambassador programme mentioned in chapter 1
has been successful in increasing brand awareness. This programme is a form of
celebrity marketing.
The advantages of celebrity marketing for marlies|dekkers are:
The image and the values of the celebrity are directly transferred to the product or
with the service. They give the brand instantaneous credibility, without any effort
for the company. According to Kotler¶, celebrity branding is the fastest road to high
consumer, perceived value and high premium price which is exactly the impression
marlies|dekkers wants to create.
Celebrity marketing reinforces the image of the company and gives marlies|dekkers
a step forward enabling the brand to gain competitive advantage.
Differentiating element, it causes a movement of interest on behalf of its customers
and challenges other competitors.
According to Al Lieberman** , relationships are worth more than title and money in
the entertainment industry, they create power and authority, thus creating brand
¶ President, Kotler Marketing Group
** Author of The Entertainment Marketing Revolution
67
advocacy which is important for marlies|dekkers.
Studies show that the use of celebrities captivates the attention of consumers and
facilitates not only the recognition of the brand but also gets consumers highly
interested in purchasing the same item.
3.2.5 Product seeding
Product seeding is also known as celebrity product placement. Celebrities are
perceived to have the best things in life, this is the reason that they have so many
followers. They are the most powerful influencers for the fashion/lifestyle industry.
For instance, a celebrity will get cost-free products from marlies|dekkers in return
to wear it a for example to a launch party, premiere, without the usual celebrity
endorsement. The benefit this brings is that the star’s wearing marlies|dekkers do
so out of a personal choice leading fans wanting to copy their style and buying
marlies|dekkers.
One way to get marlies|dekkers products to the stars is Hollywood’s popular
phenomenon, the ‘swag’†† celebrity give-away-party; these parties take place before
a big occasion like a launch party or award ceremonies. In exchange for a
†† See appendix i for visuals SWAG
68
photo-op of the celebrity holding the product, he or she receives expensive
promotional items, which in turn generates publicity for the brand.
See paragraph for a great event where marlies|dekkers can apply this strategy.
3.3 Media channels
3.3.1 Traditional offline media
The communication strategy consists of many alternative and unique ways to
constantly be prominent in the competitive landscape. One very good example of
a traditional medium is an advert in a newspaper, magazine or a brochure of any
kind.
Marlies|dekkers lingerie is fashionable so needs to focus on appropriate fashion
magazines in Germany in which she should promote the brand through
advertisements or sponsored articles.
Suitable magazines in line with the marlies|dekkers brand are Vogue Deutsche,
Myself and Vanity Fair. Especially Vogue Deutsche with 1.3 million readers and its
leading position of the monthly high glossy women magazines is attractive for
marlies|dekkers.
69
Rates for these magazines are as follows:
Vogue Deutsche: one whole page (213 x 277 mm) is 25,500 euros
Myself: one whole page is 19,900 euros.
Vanity Fair: one page up to 18,100 euros in this weekly magazine
Model 11
www.condenast.de
Shopping guides are also a lucrative place to advertise such as Berlin Ein000
trend guide which will be a very good match for marlies|dekkers. This gives
marlies|dekkers a chance to present herself in detail to citizens of the city, new
Berliners or visitors to Berlin. With half a million copies produced since the first
edition and a new version published twice a year, ein000 has become an invaluable
shopping accessory for Germany’s capital.
70
Model 12
Ein000 shopping trend guide
Ein000 offers multiple possibilities for marlies|dekkers like an advertisement, a
fashion story, for which Ein000 will suggest a concept, or hand in a short description
of the store. Its lower prices compared to the magazines mentioned before makes
publishing in this shopping guide very attractive for marlies|dekkers, especially as
the information will be promoted for a period of six months.
71
Model 13
Prices
Ads
1/1 Page
1.700,00 EUR
Cover 2/3
2.500,00 EUR
Cover 4
2.800,00 EUR
Fashion Stories
1 Cover page
1.500,00 EUR
2 Cover pages
2.600,00 EUR
Prices for Shops
1/1 Page
818,00 EUR
2/3 Page
563,00 EUR
1/3 Page
310,00 EUR
Ein000 Media Data
72
3.3.2 New Media: The Internet
The internet will allow consumers who are brand aware to further explore and
investigate the brand. The internet should be used as a platform to inform potential
consumers. Wallpapers or banners (at the side) of websites the target audience
visits, as well as pop-ups, where potential customers will visit are a way to increase
online brand awareness. The websites that have been identified to place a (super)
banner on are www.vogue.de, www.elle.de, www.bequeen.de, www.myself.de, and
for the men, www.gq-magazine.de.
These are appropiate in terms of infuencers and the genre of the website. Bequeen.
de just had a summer fashion shoot with marlies|dekkers lingerie right before the
opening of the store. Due to the gimmick surrounding the banner and its presence
on both the female and male orientated websites, it could lead to a new generation
of brand awareness is created. This banner should be reused and updated when
necessary as a communication tool in the future.
73
Model 14
Example of Vogue website’s homepage with Toyota wallpaper
www.condenast.de
74
3.4 Parties involved
3.4.1 PR Agency
It would be advisable that marlies|dekkers explores a collaboration with a local PR
agency to assist in building its brand awareness in Germany. This PR agency will
help build the brand through free publicity in the German market. Marlies|dekkers
can make use of its experience and market knowledge in the field, its database of
industry and personal contacts, social media platforms and opinion leaders.
After exploring many PR agencies, K-MB GmbH (footnote Christophe Kamps
Markenberatung, Berlin) would be the most appropriate match for marlies|dekkers
in Berlin. K-MB combines creative public relations and strategic brand consulting
for distinctive consumer brands. As a communication agency they offer industry
competence in the sectors of mobility, food/beverage, fashion, beauty, travel,
wellness, social, entertainment and technology. It currently represents a group of
premium and middle-end brands such as Absolut Vodka, Mercedes-Benz, Drykorn,
Sarah Heartbo and many more.
K-MB can develop strategies for brand experiences, such as exclusive shop
openings and events in off-locations. They have the knowledge about trendy
communities, which will give marlies|dekkers the possibilities to reach out and
attract the true influencers.
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This PR agency does not only generate proactive advertorial coverage in magazines
and newspaper through their already established contacts, but can also set up a
reactive press office which sends out samples via the head office in the Netherlands
and offer a press clippings service, monthly update meetings and status reports.
K-MB will have to ensure that marlies|dekkers will get featured in the right
mediums. Along with this it is imperative that K-MB contracts and persuades
suitable endorsers(influencers/celebrity ambassadors?) to wear marlies|dekkers.
Together they can create a strong, successful and ongoing PR campaign.
3.4.2 Local marketing representative
Using a local marketing representative would be very helpful. He/she could identify
exactly who the main influencers are in Berlin and how marlies dekkers can best
approach them.
One of the advantages working with a local marketing representative is
the opportunity for a more personal consultation with the influencers of
marlies|dekkers. When dealing with people abroad, it is more difficult to relay ideas
and make sure that the marlies dekkers and the influencer are on the same page. A
local rep can reach the local potential customer in the best way avoiding language
barriers, since he/she lives in the same region as the customer and speaks the same
language.
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Also, he/she could assess local marketing needs and help develop marketing
strategies, provide essential marketing intelligence and feedback. The local
marketing representative can support marlies|dekkers in their local marketing
activities, such as fairs, advertising, events and PR. He or she knows what will and
will not work because of their experience.
3.4.3 Involving the existing customers
Involving existing customers of maries|dekkers will be of importance trying to
establish the brand in the German market. These customers have already bought
into the brand and repeat purchasing should be motivated wherever possible.
It’s wiser to focus more on increasing sales to a smaller percentage of your existing
customers than to find new ones.
Peppers, 1994
In order to build a successful lasting relationship with its customers, marlies|dekkers
will have to continuously meet or exceed the customer’s need through its products,
services and branding.
If marlies|dekkers succeeds at this, the likelihood positive WOM is created in the
process is very high.
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People are relying on brand recommendations more and more this day of age.
Thomassen, 2006
To strengthen customer loyalty and build more memorable experiences,
marlies|dekkers needs to look at ‘experimental marketing’.
In order to do so, a client database must be created and kept up to date. This will
allow marlies|dekkers to contact this list about the brand and events increasing the
brand experience.
Almost three- quarters of luxury consumers would like information about luxury
goods and benefits from companies with whom they already have a relationship to be
communicated through emails.
Pedraze, 2007
The customer data will be collected from the following media:
The store
If clients are making a purchase or want information regarding the brand
The Internet(website?)
If potential customers order brochures or want to become a member of the collection, events or news mailing
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A transactional website Once this exists more customers information can be obtained when purchasing online
Events
Customers could fill in a form to receive news updates etc.
Competitions
Details of people who win merchandise or other experiences
Reward schemes
Card loyalty schemes
The term transactional here does not mean e-commerce but the ability for
customers to look up their information and edit this themselves. A great way to
grow information held on customers is to allow them to add more info once logged
into the website.
The customer database will allow messages to be communicated through multiple
media channels through ‘permission marketing’. Thus creating an ongoing
relationship with members, Godin,1999.
It is believed that online channel is the best way for luxury firms to reach out to the
wealthy and present their products.
Another interactive media channel that should be used is a mobile phone textmessaging channel which can inform clients about new collection and event
happenings. This would be an effective approach for the marlies|dekkers customers
as many are frequent travellers and lead busy lifestyles.
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A reward scheme will also be implemented in Berlin based on the already
established marlies|dekkers scheme abroad. This will keep track of customer
purchases to date and offer customers a discount after 10 items have been
purchased. Currently, this scheme is received positively and doesn’t cheapen the
brand experience like normal sales or discounting would. Customers perceive these
benefits as a reward for being a loyal customer‡‡.
We know more about who they are, the position they are in. With all this information
(marlies|dekkers) can market to them on a deeper level with the next touch.
Siebert, 2002
3.5 Events
Berlin offers many key local events for the fashion industry. These are the events
that marlies|dekkers can strategically partner with to increase more overall
brand awareness. This paragraph will take a look at possible influencer events
marlies|dekkers could help organise and support in order to create a successful
launch of the brand.
hree key local happenings that fit well with marlies|dekkers are:
‡‡ This will only be valid in the marlies|dekkers store in Berlin
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•
MTV’s Designerama
This event is where music meets fashion on live TV. It takes place in Berlin every
year in September. At present, it’s one the biggest fashion events in Germany.
National and international young, up-and-coming fashion designers show their
collections here, under the slogan ‘“nightlife rocking – next day shopping”. This is
a great opportunity to promote the brand and its store since the trendsetters are
attracted to this event, like stylists, fashionistas, models, celebrities, musicians and
many more. Creating a catwalk show would be very lucrative for marlies|dekkers.
In the same week the MTV vee-jays will wear the new creations of the showcased
designers, marlies|dekkers could profit by handing them her products, which in
turn can lead to WOM marketing
•
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is held twice a year in January and in July.
During this event the highly appreciated international fashion designers and the
German fashion designers take part; it connects international fashion with German
trends and collections, thus putting Berlin on the map as a fashion capital of the
world.
Well known top model Eva Padberg is the ambassador for Mercedes-Benz,
she would also be a great product seeder for marlies|dekkers, she could wear
marlies|dekkers underwear and show it off at the show, parties or other public
81
events. To be part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week marlies|dekkers has many
opportunities; she could organise a catwalk show, or arrange a party afterwards.
One of marlies|dekkers main competitors, Agent Provocateur had a catwalk show
in the last edition at the end of January. It was a great success with an even more
successful after party following the show.
•
Premium
Premium can be compared with a clothing event in the Netherlands, the
Modefabriek (the Fashion Factory). Besides Berlin, Premium is also takes place in
München and Düsseldorf.
Since 2003 Premium has established itself as a name of a renowned national as
well as international fashion trade fair. With its modern style, more than 850 of
the freshest, high quality, exclusive brands of women and men’s fashion take
part, for example from Crocs to Christian Lacroix. As well as the clothes, the other
categories such as shoes, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, multimedia and home
decorations are well represented at Premium.
Obviously, with marlies|dekkers modern unique style, this would be a great
showroom to place her products in. Not just underwear, but also more
marlies|dekkers home decoration products. This event is an excellent way of
introducing these products during Fashion Week at Premium.
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Chapter 4 SWOT and confrontation matrix
This chapter will discuss the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
marlies|dekkers faces. A confrontation matrix will then relate the internal and
external factors identified in the SWOT with each other. Lastly, the main challenges
marlies|dekkers is faced with are summarised.
4.1 SWOT analysis
SWOT analysis will highlight the internal factors i.e. the strengths & weaknesses,
and the external factors, i.e. opportunities & threats, involved in setting up the new
m|d store in Berlin. It will help marlies|dekkers identify which internal and external
factors are important to achieve the goal and subsequent objectives mentioned in
section 3.1
83
Model 15
Positive
Present
Strengths
1. Product
2. Brand aspects:
philosophy & cultural
values
3. Well known brand
reputation in the
Benelux
4. Marketing strategy
5. The store/ -A location
6. Personnel in the
store are all German
Negative
Weakenesses
1. Unfamiliarity with the
brand
2. The company has a
Dutch business culture
3. Must reach group of
people instead of one
person
4. New store team,
less knowledge
of the brand- less
brand empathy High
prices emphasise
the exclusiveness of
marlies|dekkers
84
Future
Opportunities
1. Berlin is a fashion
capital of the world
2. Berlin is a
cosmopolitan city
3. Demand for design
increased
4. Germany welcomes
new brands in the
market
5. Germans like
provocative, which
will help them adapt
fast
6. Exclusive brands are
the future of fashion
in Berlin
Threats
1. The city is bursting with
young, new designers
2. Many competitors in
the lingerie market
3. Few customers
could results in small
customer database
4. Marlies|dekkers lack
of knowledge of the
German market
5. Relatively high prices
of the products
SWOT model marlies|dekkers in Berlin
4.2 Confrontation matrix
The confrontation matrix enables us to look at the SWOT model from the outside in
(see model ). This gives a clear view of each of the opportunities and the strengths
and weaknesses that could impact this opportunity
It then becomes clear what the strongest internal strengths are and also the biggest
85
opportunities and largest threats. . As a result, the core challenge marlies|dekkers
faces becomes clearer through the confrontation matrix and SWOT analysis.
Model 20
Strengths
Weaknesses
S1Brand aspects:
philosophy & cultural
values
S2Product
S3Well known brand
reputation in the
Benelux
S4Marketing strategy
S5The store/ -A location
S6The personnel in the
store are all German
W1Unfamiliarity of the
brand
W2The company has a
Dutch business culture
W3Must reach group of
people instead of one
person
W4New store team,
less knowledge of
the brand- less brand
empathy
W5High prices
emphasise the
exclusiveness of
marlies|dekkers
86
Opportunities
O1Berlin is a fashion
capital of the world
O2Berlin is a
cosmopolitan city
O3Germans like
provocative, which will
help them adapt fast
O4Increase in
demand for design
O5Germany
welcomes new brands
in the market
O6Exclusive brands
are the future of
fashion in Berlin
SO1 Company’s image
matches the potential
consumer market in
Germany
SO2 Its positive financial
status reduces the risk
of entering the German
market
SO3 Marlies|dekkers
should bring its
international image
to the internationallyminded: department
stores in the big cities
SO4 The Germans are
experienced lingerie
wearers and welcome
innovative quality
products
WO1 The Germans are
willing to pay extra for
innovative, high quality
products
WO2 The company’s
diverse activities should
be promoted to meet
the German demand
for convenience and
service, which goes
hand in hand with the
country’s dynamic
economy
WO3 The “Provocative”
character of
marlies|dekkers
appeals to
internationally-minded
consumers
87
Threats
T1The city is bursting
with young, new
designers
T2Many competitors
in the lingerie market
T3Few customers
could result in small
customer database
T4Marlies|dekkers
lack of knowledge of
the German market
T5Relatively high
prices of the products
ST1 Marlies|dekkers
needs to use its strong
marketing techniques
and experience to
introduce the Germans
to its innovative
products
ST2 Marlies|dekkers
acknowledged brand
has the advantage over
less known competitors
ST3 Marlies|dekkers
needs to maintain its
efforts to be socially
responsible. Its praised
working environment
and positive reputation
are valuable.
WT1 With the
expansion of the
company’s products
and services,
marlies|dekkers should
promote its competitive
advantage
WT2 Its international
character is a key
success factor in the
negotiations with
potential businesspartners
WT3High prices should
be an instrument
to emphasise the
company exclusiveness
WT4 Marlies|dekkers
should further develop
its social responsibility
and its reputation
Confrontation matrix marlies|dekkers in Berlin
88
4.2.1. Marlies|dekkers core strengths and opportunties
The obvious strengths of marlies|dekkers in Berlin are:
•
Product
•
Brand aspects
•
The store
•
The marketing strategies
The brand and the product are strong creating more opportunities and reducing
threats at the same time.. Together they can help increase brand acceptance.
The opportunities marlies|dekkers has in Berlin are moreover positive; Germany
welcomes new brands and is always open to unique, innovative design minimizing
the risk of a small customer database. The brand aspects, image and marketing
strategy will also work towards maximizing the growth of brand acceptance
through the positive environment:
•
Berlin is a fashion capital
•
Germans like provocative
•
Germans welcome new design
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Another opportunity raised by the matrix is the shop-in-shop strategy where big
department stores would offer opportunities such as loyal customers.
For marlies|dekkers to take full advantage of its opportunies, she must focus on
improving the weaknesses and focus on using its strengths at the same time.
4.2.2. Marlies|dekkers main challenge
As mentioned, the confrontation matrix allows us to identify the core challenges
marlies|dekkers faces in Berlin.
To summarise marlies|dekkers biggest weaknesses and subsequently its challenges:
•
Unfamiliarity of the brand
•
Knowledge of the brand and its philosophy aren’t yet conveyed and
understood by the shop’s personnel
•
High quantity of competitors
•
High prices emphasize the brand’s exclusiveness
The biggest threat is the possible competition marlies|dekkers faces. In other
countries marlies|dekkers hasn’t had as much competition as she will face in
Germany. To overcome this challenge, a recognisable brand and committed
customer base needs to be established in order for the competition to have a lesser
90
effect on the company.
A large customer base is very much sought after since the high prices of
marlies|dekkers will always form a threat. This will not change so marlies|dekkers
must try and put a positive spin on this by focusing on the high quality and
innovative designs rather than price.
The weaknesses must be addressed if marlies|dekkers is to reach her desired
situation in Berlin. Most of the weaknesses are related. The two main weaknesses
affecting the success of the Berlin store are the unfamiliarity with the brand and the
new store team who need to be educated about the brand. The latter can be dealt
with quickly & easily while the former is harder to tackle and market expertise is
needed to reach the desired situation for marlies|dekkers.
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Chapter 5 Strategic execution
This chapter will answer the second research question mentioned in the objectives:
What will the strategic execution look like?
It will start by discussing the PR and promotional activities followed by a section on
how to achieve this.
5.1 Increasing the PR and promotional activities
Many PR strategies have been researched; the most significant for marlies|dekkers
are summed up below:
•
Attracting customers and VIPS
•
Create a list of German celebrities to contact who could help grow brand
awareness and reputation
•
Find a suitable ambassador for marlies|dekkers, someone with a strong image
and feeling for the brand who has access to other relevant contacts
•
Initiate a concept in which customers will be attracted to become a member of
the marlies|dekkers customer database
•
Be part of an event which attracts the same kind of influencers marlies|dekkers
is looking for and approach them
92
•
Placing adverts in the Fashion magazines and shopping guides
•
Place an ad in the Vogue Deutsch in the month June
•
Place an ad in the GQ to reach the German men influencers
•
Look into creating and publishing a Fashion Story with the help of Ein000 trend
shopping guide
•
Create flyers and promotional material (gift vouchers) to create awareness for
the store to be handed out in the store or by promoters
Potential partnership opportunities
•
Research possible collaboration with ladies fitness gyms and clubs/bars
•
Create collaborations with hotels in Berlin
•
Increase network of Dutch people in Germany, with help of the Dutch Embassy
in Berlin
The marlies|dekkers store trainings
•
Weekly training on topics such as the brand, products and sales service levels
•
Hand-outs to educate the shop team and brand manager on the brand and
marlies|dekkers philosophy and values
•
The team’s attention will have to go towards the skills within the team
93
Appointing a local marketing representative
•
This person will live in Berlin and will know the culture, the surroundings, hip
places. But also have knowledge of the branch and have many useful contacts.
He/she will work in close contact with the PR agency in Berlin and have regular
meetings with the local sales representatives. Finally he/she will keep in close
contact with the main office in the Netherlands.
•
The existing knowledge, experiences and contacts will be handed over to
the local marketing representative as well as product and brand training to
increase the knowledge and contacts base.
•
Any future projects will be discussed with the retail and communication team
in the Netherlands, for which the positioning and the image of the brand will
stay intact.
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5.2 Action plan
The three month action plan below incorporates many of the potential marketing
and PR strategies mentioned in this report:
2008 Three month action plan
•
May
House warming party undressed|suite : showcase of
marlies|dekkers collection and introduction to the brand
and it’s store
June
•
Place banners on websites
•
Advertisement in Vogue Deutsch and GQ
•
Advertisement shopping guide
•
Start special customer/retailer evenings
•
Being a part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: SWAG
July
party by marlies|dekkers
•
Start direct mail in order to create and grow the customer
database
•
First workshop in the undressed|suite at Lux 11
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Chapter 6 Recommendations
This chapter will provide recommendations addressing the goal (see section 3.1)
and the related research question 3.1:
How can marlies|dekkers create brand awareness in the German market and maintain a
constant stream of store traffic in her future shop in Berlin?
Recommendations are derived from the all the previous chapters in this report and
will provide an overall conclusion as to what marlies|dekkers needs to focus on to
achieve her goal.
The recommendations are:
•
Create partnerships
•
Develop PR and promotional activities
•
Appoint a local marketing representative
•
Set up and implement a system of knowledge
96
Each of the recommendations is described in depth below:
1. Create Partnerships
As mentioned in paragraph 2.1 it is very important for a brand to become known
locally, to become integrated in the market. Here in lies the opportunity for
marlies|dekkers since there are many popular night clubs, hotels and shopping
malls in Berlin.
•
Clubs have been researched during the Berlin action research to establish
possible partnership. A promotional customer evening would quickly grow the
brand awareness.
•
A shop-in-shop in one of the best visited department stores will be researched
in the future.
•
A partnership with a luxury hotel is also a possibility. The entire collections of
unique, luxurious, designer hotels have been researched thoroughly. Perhaps
a suite can be leased by marlies|dekkers and a party can be organised together
with another interested brand. There haven’t been partnerships with other
brands so far so this might be different way to get marlies|dekkers on the map.
•
There are many high end sport clubs in Berlin. One of them is the all women
club Jopp Frauen Fitness Berlin. Wealthy women have a membership here. A
possible collaboration might be interesting for marlies|dekkers, since many
97
•
potential customers can be found here.
•
Sponsorships for certain events that fit with the brand are also a possibility to
gain awareness. The current Germany’s Next Top Model finale which is to take
place soon creates the perfect opportunity.
2. Develop PR and promotional activities
While the brand and the product are strong, the brand is practically unknown in
the German market. While Dutch associate lingerie with marlies|dekkers, Germans
do not. Implementing the right PR strategies is crucial to overcome this. At every
promotional event the store location must be emphasised to raise awareness. All
the promotional activities need to focus initially on the female audience, since
these form marlies|dekkers biggest potential customer base.
A highlight of some of the PR and promotional activities:
•
Advertise in high-end Fashion magazines and local magazines and or books
such as shopping guide Ein000.
•
Set up customer recruitment events like special acquaintance evenings. The
store could serve as a meeting point. For example, the shop personnel and or
existing customers could invite ten women to enjoy a light bite, drink while
being educated about the brand. Explaining the brand, fitting possibilities,
98
special treatment and of course the chance to try the lingerie on will be the
focus points of the evening. This could lead to increased WOM.
•
Hold brand presentations on special club nights or networking events.
•
Big promotional events can be organised in the longer term, such as Fashion
shows by marlies|dekkers. There are enough suitable events and locations in
Berlin so a decision will have to be made based on the following criteria:
-The look of the event/concept, will this fit with the brand?
-The promotion and reputation around the event, will this deliver many positive things for marlies|dekkers?
-The target group/influencers, are the influencers of marlies|dekkers present?
Examples of possible events are the up scale high-end Fashion shows, but the
less upscale events can be just as effective, shows in hotels or clubs are also very
suitable. A well known event is more suitable at the start while the brand is still
unfamiliar.
Focus in the next few months should be on initiating as many plans of action as
possible to grow brand awareness and attract new customers. After this a large
investment such as a Fashion show will generate much more for marlies|dekkers.
99
•
Create new contacts, increase and broaden the current network of contacts.
•
As mentioned earlier, contacting and attracting celebrities and ambassadors
for the brand is key..
•
Another smaller, but potentially very interesting group are the Ambassadors’
wives. They usually mingle in the higher circles and have a vast network of
connections. An Ambassador’s wife will be a good potential brand ambassador
for marlies|dekkers.
3. Appoint a local marketing representative
The Paris store opening indicated that the Dutch? shop’s staff was not enough
to get the brand message across. A local marketing representative could help
prevent Berlin facing similar issues as Paris did. He/she should know a bit about
the Dutch culture so he/she could serve as an intermediate between the two
cultures. Furthermore he/she could keep close contact with the main office in
the Netherlands, making sure that the communication between both countries
can accelerate and become clearer. This person will also be invaluable keeping in
contract with local PR agencies.
100
4. Set up and implement a system of knowledge
Knowledge sharing is vital to setup a new store in a new city.The Dutch head office
needs to support the German team while the German team together with the local
marketing representative can provide insights into the German market
Key areas to cover are the brand, its philosophy and values, and related marketing
plans. In store training is also important. Control, support and coordination will
enable long term success.
Documenting the knowledge and process to communicate this clearly is
recommended. Documentation of successful and less successful marketing
strategies, potential customer groups’ researches, partnerships and contacts should
also be made compiled and shared within the company. This way knowledge is
shared both ways i.e. between local teams and the head office and can be used for
future store openings.
101
Recommendations for other future store openings
Finally, this thesis will conclude with a few recommendations for the future. These
will be given based on my findings in this report.
Thorough research will have to be performed before planning to open a store in a
new location. Areas to investigate further are:
•
Market research of the potential consuming market
•
The culture of the country
•
The Fashion branch
•
The lingerie market
•
Potential influencers
•
The approachableness of the influencers
•
The location
A clear understanding of these areas will allow for a strategic positioning plan to be
created.
A part of the research can be performed in the Netherlands, but as this project
uncovered certain information can only be obtained in the place of destination,
especially when facing a different culture.
102
Local market research agencies should be able to help out on this front to advice
marlies|dekkers. However it is important for marlies|dekkers to provide them with a
clear brief to understand the brand fully.
A template of a strategic plan covering different marketing and communication
strategies which could be adjusted per country, taking the cultural differences into
account would be immensely valuable. It could provide a framework to work from
so that no vital areas are missed off when planning and opening a new store.
103
List of Sources
Literature
Anne van der Meiden (1994), “Public Relations: een kennismaking”, Bussum: Dick
Coutinho
Richard Florida (2002), “The rise of the creative class”,New York: Basic Books
Al Ries, Laura Ries (2004), “The fall of advertising and the rise of PR”, New York:
Harper Business
Mark Saunder, Philip Lewis, Adrian Thornhill (2007) , “Methoden en technieken van
onderzoek”, Amsterdam: Pearson Prentice Hall
Cathie Burton, Alun Drake (2004) , “Hitting the headlines in Europe”, London: The
Institute of Public Relations
Meghan Ferrill (2003), “Marlies Dekkers: 33 propositions”, Schiedam: TDS Uitgevers
Jeff Winke (2006), “PR Idea Book”, Denver: Outskirts Press Inc.
104
Anne Gregory (2004), “Planning and managing public relations campaigns”, London:
The Institute of Public Relations
Patricia J. Parsons (2003), “A manager’s guide to PR projects”, London: Lauwrence
Erlblaum Associates Publishers
Nadine Barth (2008), “Berlin fashion metropole der mode”, Koln: Dumont Buchverlag
Naresh K. Malhotra (1996), “Marketing research an applied orientation”, London:
Prentice-Hall
Internet
http://www.germany.info
http://www.indexmundi.com
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
http://www.kbates.com
http://www.german-business-etiquette.com
http://www.motivaction.nl
http://www.strategy-business.com
http://www.celeblounge.net
105
http://www.create-berlin.de
http://www.kw-berlin.de
http://www.artforum.com
http://www.elsevier.nl
http://www.artforum.com
http://www.viceland.com
http://www.stylished.com
http://www.modekultur.info
http://www.geert-hofstede.com
http://www.evd.nl
Books used for self study
Verhage, B. (2001). Grondslagen van de marketing. (5th print). Groningen: Stenfert
Kroese
Kotler, P. (2004). Marketingmanagement, De essentie (2nd print). Pearson Education
Benelux
Gert L. Kootstra (2003), “Hoe het volledig potentieel van design als strategisch
merkinstrument benutten”, Den Haag: Census
106
Informants at marlies|dekkers
Annabel Cnossen
PR Manager
Marika Boso
PR representative Germany, Italy, Scandinavia
Danielle Brakenhoff
Sales representative Germany
Myrthe van Haren
PR representative America, United Kingdom
Jennifer Bui
Marketing manager
107
External informants
Fabian Blaschke
Lives in Essen, knows Berlin well
Claudia Geißler
Produktions & Anzeigenleitung Ein000
Stella Roeber
Born and raised in Germany, personal contact
Lucia Pazira
Student AMFI, practiced Internship in Berlin with German fashion designer
Interviewed her in January 2008
Eva Vleugels
Dutch, lived in Berlin
Dorothee Hagemann
Lives in Berlin
108
Lars Doering
Owner of Club Icon in Berlin and is DJ
109
Appendices
110
Appendix a
Research plan
The project had the model of a qualitative research and was measured in the
following forms:
Research >> SWOT >> Action Research >> Advice
The research started in the Netherlands. During the investigation the desired
situation was made clear through analyzing the internal strengths and weaknesses
and the external opportunities and threats. During the action research this was
added with information and findings from Berlin. Subsequently these results are
processed in a plan of action. With analyzing the SWOT analysis the causes for the
low shop traffic for the store in Paris became clear. The recommendations to create
and maintain shop traffic for the store in Berlin have been developed though this
research and intensive investigation.
Research methods:
During this research the following research methods were used: Desk research,
study of literature and field research
111
Appendix b
Marlies Dekkers visuals
112
Appendix c
Raaij Model
113
Appendix d
La Perla visuals
114
Appendix e
La Perla store Berlin
115
Appendix f
Blush concept store
116
Appendix g
Blush Balls visual
117
Appendix h
Blush advertisement
118
Appendix i
SWAG Party in Hollywood: Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian
119
Appendix j
Interview
1. Customers Buying decisions
•
Can you describe the shopping behaviour (customers buying behaviour) of German
people in general?
•
Can you describe the German customer shopping behaviour of Lingerie?
•
How would you describe your current customers? Can you characterize them?
•
In which product groups are the customers in your believe the most interested?
•
Do you in your opinion fulfil in their wishes when you consider the following aspects:
- Sizes;
Yes/ No
- Quality;
Yes/ No
- Price;
Yes/ No
- Atmosphere/ ambiance;
Yes/ No
- Presentation
Yes/ No
- Special activities;
Yes/ No
- High service;
Yes/ No
- Guarantees/ returning or exchanging goods
Yes/ No
120
2. Location
•
Is the store located in a good shopping area?
Yes/ No
Clarify shortly:
•
Can the store be easily reached by/for
Feet
Yes/ No
Car
Yes/ No
Public transport
Yes/ No
•Are the other shops in the direct neighbourhood of the marlies|dekkers store supporting
the company?
Yes/No
Clarify
121

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