Marketing Case Study- Can the High Street Survive?

Much has been written in the press about the recession and its effect on spending. There is no doubt that there has been a major slow down and decrease in consumer confidence. So, the question is how can retailers survive? This is a topic that will be seen in a marketing exam or business exam this year.

One way is to cut prices and bundle products together. So a typical offer is to buy a shirt and get the second one half price. However there is more to it. Look at the thousands of people who go shopping and the numbers that return home with bags. They look and some buy and some walk away.

If you are a marketing professional or marketing student,look at the way in which you can excite customers. The marketing lessons are to offer something of interest. It needs to be up to date, not too expensive so buyers can justify it and ease to match into an existing wardrobe. So your display would be Key Trends for Autumn. If you read the millions of fashion pages in magazines that is the story. Yet shops have rails of stuff and you have to work out what goes with what. So outfits or rooms where you can see how it all works together.

Take the marketing case study of Next. The online directory shows, trends and rooms. It is easy for the consumer to see how that wil work for them. You can also shop by product such as shirts or tops. Try then to reflect how someone lives. So is it Saturday night outfit? Smart business suit. Or maybe something you can wear for both?  If you watch the house makeover programmes they style a house so somebody can see themselves living there.

The lesson for marketing students, is to excite the consumer, show what is new but not too different. Make choices simple so that consumers can see themselves in that skirt or buying that latest shade of bedding. By doing this we are removing the risk. The key point is to ask what stops someone from buying?  Typically it would be cost or will this look right on me? What will my friends think and will it work with that shirt I bought last week.

The marketing questions are to understand the need to really get inside the mind of the consumer and not just think about shifting rails of product.

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