Northwind is a clothing Company that produces and sells both male and female clothing, including cotton T-shirts, baseball caps, fleece jackets, and vests bearing the logos of various sporting franchises. The company’s clothing products are presently marketed by small retail stores that mainly focus on the marketing of outdoor clothing. Most of the Northwind stores are located in the northern New England, California, the Northwest, as well a number of states in the Southern region. The clothing comes in various designs and colours, including sunrise pink, twilight purple, and mountain top white, among others. The attires produced by Northwind have the company’s motto printed on it. The high quality, fashionable colours and the exceptional message on the attire have promoted a competitive advantage for the company (Cohen, 2005). Northwind firm is determined to give back to the society by being part of the local conservation programs. The purpose of this marketing plan is to help the company to develop and finance its conservation programs.
Even though there are other several competitors in the market, holding about seventy percent of the market, there are two major competitors producing the same products as Northwind, and which have a very strong manufacturing and distribution advantage. However, Northwind aims at using its core competencies in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage, by which its competitors will not be able to give the same value to customers as the company does. Already, the company has established core competences in providing a high quality labelled item whose image is acknowledged by customers, establishing a sense of society among customers who buy the items and help create a reputation among sellers for the firm as a dependable producer that delivers the ordered number of items on schedule (Hiebing, 2000).
The company is intending to build on these competences through marketing efforts that maximize the amount of items offered as well as the distribution outlets. Through the establishment of solid relationships with customers, retailers, as well as the various suppliers of fabric, the company believes it can gain a competitive advantage over its competitors.
Apart from the competitive pricing that Northwind has to combat, the political scenario is also significant for the reason that there may be some civil unrest in certain markets, or as a result of inflation, the company’s sales of the clothing may fall. Most significantly, cross border situations vary, and thus, Northwind has to follow all the policies in order to be able to adapt to new changes (Hiebing, 2000).
As the recent economic decline is plaguing the financial system, Northwind Company is planning to streamline its sales and distribution strategies accordingly. In addition, as a result of the diminishing profits, the company plans to undergo downsizing internally and re-thinking of how to penetrate the market (Cohen, 2005).
Social cultural Forces
Social and cultural forces have a great impact on Northwind Company. Since it is a clothing enterprise, it has to remain in line with the stern and harsh differences in cultures within the region in which it operates. In addition, Northwind Company has to communicate its reputation as an international brand so that customers can view its brand as a linkage to other countries. In most cases, the social and cultural implications are evident in marketing campaigns such as certain communities have religious festivals; thus, Northwind has to keep in line with all the festivals for the purpose of understanding the psyche of their market and how they can operate successfully (Hiebing, 2000).
As a result of the emerging technology, Northwind has to completely integrate with all the current changes that are taking place. For instance, one of the present trends that is greatly picking up is the social media. The sudden increase in social media use has resulted in increased interactive engagement with the customers with real time outcomes; thus, Northwind has to keep up with all the developments that occur, keeping in mind how the young people use technology for their own good and how the company can reach them so as to continue increasing their brand’s strength and improving brand engagement (Cohen, 2005).
There may be legal allegations upon the clothing industry that may affect the company’s operations. Thus the company has to stay abreast of all the rules and regulations governing the clothing business (Hiebing, 2000).
The primary target market for Northwind products includes the active customers aged between 20 and 40; these include people who like hiking, rock climbing, cycling, horse riding and skating, among other sporting activities. These active primary consumers consist of a demographic group of well educated and successful people who are either single or married and raising families. The secondary target market includes individuals aged over 45 years as well as individuals who have health problems that require regular physical exercises to manage. Northwind mainly relies on a direct force to distribute its products to customers. The company’s sales and revenues are likely to increase if it crafts and executes effective internet strategies. The achieved goals can be measured through increased sales of the company’s products, increased number of stores distributed globally, and customer retention rates.
The marketing mix
Place – Most of the Northwind stores are located in the Northern New England, California, the Northwest, as well as a few states in the Southern region (Dager, 2010).
Product – Northwind presently produces and distributes a line of good quality outdoor apparel clothing products which include cotton T-shirts, baseball caps, fleece jackets, and vests. All these products have the company’s logo printed on them. The clothing comes in various colours and has names that customers enjoy such as sunset red, sky blue, and cactus green, among others. The potential customers are allowed to select the logo that represents their sports and have it printed on the purchased products (Dager, 2010).
Promotion – Northwind interacts with its customers and retailers about its products in various ways. The information about the company and the products it offers can be accessed through the internet, through direct mailing as well as in person. Northwind promotional efforts aim at differentiating its goods from those of its competitors. The company mostly relies on personal links with retailers for the purpose of establishing the products’ brands in their stores. These links help in conveying the Company’s message, demonstrating the items’ exclusive qualities and establishing relationships. For promotional purposes, the sales representatives of the company will be visiting each of the stores twice or thrice every year and provide in-store teaching concerning the features of their products for mostly new retailers (Dager, 2010).
Price – Northwind products are priced in keeping in mind the competition. The company is not anxious with setting high prices as a sign of lavishness or stature, nor is it trying to attain the goals of counterbalancing the low prices through selling large amounts of products. Instead, the company prefers value costing so that their clients can feel cosy buying new clothes to replaces the old ones (Dager, 2010).
The goals to be achieved
Short term goals
- In the next one year, Northwind aims at obtaining funds to enlarge its production capabilities, enhance distribution, and introduce another new product line.
- Go into other markets such as the Mid Atlantic states (Iacobucci, 2014).
Long term goals
- Within the next 5 years, the company aims at increasing its revenue by about 50% every year.
- Establish a successful website, while ensuring good relationships with the retailers.
- Establish its own conservation programs that can help the communities raise funds of buying open space (Iacobucci, 2014).
- The company’s staff members understand their target customers and exactly what they desire concerning the clothing products.
- Northwind has achieved distribution in numerous markets with rapid acceptance.
- The company has very minimal debt, with great probability for growth.
- Northwind works with one manufacturer which ensures maximum quality control (Dimofte, 2014).
- The company may lose focus of the probable scope of their business.
- A small number of clients around the country are familiar with the company’s brand.
- Northwind has minimal cash flow.
- The company relies on one manufacturer which limits their manufacturing capacity in case the firm wants to expand (Dimofte, 2014).
- Northwind loyal customers are likely to buy the newly introduced produces.
- There are openings in the market that are likely to be occupied with the new products, including tailored cloths.
- Northwind has the chance of expanding across the United States into new markets.
- The company can reach more clients via its web site (Dimofte, 2014).
- Potential competitors may launch similar products as Northwind.
- Clothing market globally has generally gone down in the preceding years.
- The links with the retailers might deteriorate because of internet marketing (Dimofte, 2014).
Cohen, W. A. (2005). The marketing plan. John Wiley & Sons.
Dager, J. (2010). Linking the 4Ps to Lean Marketing.
Dimofte, C. (2014). MKTG 370 Dimofte Summer 2014.
Hiebing, R. G., & Cooper, S. W. (2000). The successful marketing plan. NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group.
Iacobucci, D. (2014). Marketing Management. Cengage Learning.