Methods of Entry
In 2018, the Chinese market offered a vast opportunity for a fashion company, with a plethora of resources and extensive options for reducing the number of expenses taken in the course of producing clothes, promoting them, and delivering the end product to a target demographic (Bonetti 2014). Therefore, the specified environment needs to be considered as an essential strategic area where impressive opportunities can be pursued. However, it should be borne in mind that the promotion of Jack Wills in the environment of the Chinese market may be fraught with specific difficulties due to the specifics of the local cultural, economic, and political environment (Bonetti 2014; Kelly 2015).
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First and foremost, high levels of competition in the target market that are maintained by local organisations need to be mentioned. According to Gupta, Low, and Balmer (2015), the Chinese market is dominated heavily by organisations that have a chain of well-developed local distribution networks. Therefore, penetrating it is going to be a significant challenge due to the presence of the said local networks (Gupta, Low & Balmer 2015). In order to enter the specified market, the firm will have to consider an elaborate strategy for analysing its infrastructure and choosing the suppliers that will deliver raw materials of required quality within a set deadline. When considering the options that an organisation may have for improving its current chances for entering the Chinese market successfully and develop a strong supply chain, one must mention the need to negotiate with local retailers regarding wholesale arrangements (Bonetti 2014, p. 457). Therefore, while the process of entering the Chinese market seems slightly tricky, it is not entirely impossible.
Among the key tools that must be used to reach out to the target demographic, one must consider the use of e-commerce. By definition, the subject matter implies any activities involving promoting, selling, or delivering a product via Internet (Bonetti 2014). Seeing that Jack Wills attempts at attracting younger audiences to its products, the use of e-commerce should be considered as an essential tool for keeping the specified demographic informed. Specifically, Liu et al. (2013) stress that the use of e-commerce may require categorising customers based on why they frequent a company’s sites. Specifically, the following terminology is suggested: “shoppers, purchasers and nonpurchasers” (p. 264). The presence of shoppers in the specified list might be somewhat confusing at first, yet one must keep in mind that it is also important to “target different groups of all shoppers who include purchasers and potential purchasers” (Liu et al. 2013, p. 264), hence the use of the identified group (Liu et al. 2013).
Furthermore, the specified steps will have to be supported with the use of the hidden semi-Markov model (Xiao & Dong 2015). Defined as the tool that allows a company to improve its reputation in the context of a particular market (Xiao & Dong 2015), the device needs to be deployed in an environment that is mostly defined by the increasingly high levels of competition and the difficulty of using the services of highly professional suppliers and distributors (see Fig. 1).
Therefore, the adoption of e-commerce should be regarded as an essential measure. The specified step is imperative for the following identification of the tools and approaches that Jack Wills can use to increase its chances of gaining customers’ attention (Beamish & Lupton 2009). As the position map provided below shows (see Figure 2), there are several major competitors in the target market at present. However, most of them tend to occupy a particular niche, such as the clothes for business people, young adults, teenagers, etc. (Firth, Chen, Kirkman & Kim 2014).
The use of franchising should also be regarded as an essential step in the right direction since it provides Jack Wills with an opportunity to minimise the risk associated with the firms’ growth in the specified market (Xiao & Dong 2015). Moreover, franchising is bound to help the company locate valuable human resources. The specified option is especially important in the context of the Chinese market, where the opportunities for locating professional suppliers that have not been recruited by other organisations is challenging. According to Gupta, Balmer, and Low (2015), “International brands may even occasionally set up a network of franchisees using a master franchisee and subfranchisees model before setting up their own subsidiary in order to manage and control their market share” (p. 6). Therefore, franchising will offer Jack Wills a chance to set its business in the Chinese market and establish a strong presence despite the challenges associated with recruiting suppliers and distributors. Furthermore, the use of the franchising technique will lead to a steep rise in the efficacy of the product recognisability (Gupta, Low & Balmer 2015).
Viewing the subject matter from the perspective of the Agency Theory (AT), one will have to agree that the process of franchising implies a rigid control, which is especially crucial for a company that is willing to extend its scope and range of activities. Indeed, based on AT, the possibility of a franchise to act in a way that does not meet the interests of the franchisor, which is likely to lead to detrimental effects on the overall project, is reduced to zero (Xiao & Dong 2015; Hoffman, Watson & Preble 2016). Moreover, Jack Wills will be able to support a range of steps made in the realm of the Chinese market, from developing a system of relationships with local suppliers and retailers to the management of the retail brand offer (Doherty & Alexander, 2006).
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The size of the price is going to be quite impressive since entering the Chinese economic environment will allow creating a connection with the Asian market, in general. Thus, it will be comparatively easier to transfer to the Japanese economic setting, which is currently viewed as one of the potential options for Jack Wills to explore. In addition, the specified step will allow embracing a bigger audience and developing a brand image that can appeal to a broader demographic. The size of the economy should also be mentioned among the primary issues that have defined the strategy chosen by Jack Wills. According to the recent statistical data, the value of the gross domestic product in China reached the mark of $11199.15 billion in 2016, its growth rate currently being 6.8 (‘China GDP annual growth rate’ 2018). In addition, the size of China’s retail sector needs to be mentioned as one of the key determinants of the decision regarding the further promotion of the product in the specified economic environment. At present, the Chinese retail industry is deemed as one of the most profitable investments and the most lucrative areas for companies to explore (‘China GDP annual growth rate’ 2018).
When choosing a partner, one must keep in mind that Jack Wills needs the support of an organisation that can be described as somewhat famous in the context of the Chinese market when using a franchising technique (Shira 2015). For this reason, the use of Tmall’s services will have to be viewed as a necessity. Known as a large site for carrying out Business-to consumer (B2C) transactions and providing respective services, the organisation will serve as the tool for reaching out to an array of customers and satisfy their needs successfully (Gouveia 2017). Therefore, the identified step will help Jack Wills perpetuate its image in the eyes of its potential buyers.
Marketing Approach Celebrity Endorsements and Other Tools
The significance of social media as the platform for promoting the company’s brand products and cementing its brand image in the memories of the target demographic must not be underrated. Because of the nature of the product in question, i.e., fashionable outfits, encouraging the visual engagement of potential customers must be seen as the primary objective at present. It is crucial to create a visual representation of the organisation that will allow buyers to memorise it and relate to it immediately, thus, viewing it as the first possible choice when it comes to buying clothes and other fashion items. For this reason, the active use of media must be regarded as a necessity. As it has been stressed above, social networks are essential for the active enhancement of products’ popularity.
For this reason, ensuring high-quality service and fast delivery of clothes, as well as efficient assistance to customers, must be recognised as an essential step toward enhancing e-shopping for Jack Wills’ products in China. Mainly, one must pay close attention to the reviews that customers leave online about Jack Wills and its services. At this point, one needs to address the necessity to deal with negative reviews. No matter how perfect the service might be, accidents, when clients will remain dissatisfied, will occur. Even though controlling the factors that lead to the specified scenarios and reducing the instances in which customers will be upset has to be seen as an important part of promoting Jack Wills and building a positive reputation for the firm in the Chinese market, it will also be necessary to handle negative reviews. For instance, creating a support team that will monitor online reviews of Jack Wills, identify negative ones, and communicate with the clients that we’re disappointed with the provided services is crucial. Thus, customers will realise that Jack Wills cares about its customers and is willing to give them the best of services that it can provide.
The pricing issue also deserves significant attention since the organisation will have to establish itself as the organisation providing high-quality products and at the same time ensure that customers do not consider it overly expensive compared to the competitors. Particularly, it will be crucial for the organisation to maintain the balance between the two extremes to ensure that the company offers its products cheap enough to remain competitive and at the price that will cover the expenses. Discounts such as promotion codes and coupons will have to be used to encourage customers to purchase the product more actively.
Besides, celebrity endorsements will have to be viewed as a possible tool for encouraging Chinese buyers to consider Jack Wills’ products. For example, movie actors and actresses, such as Fan Bingbing, may be recruited to promote the clothes. It would be a reasonable step to use the support of the celebrities of the largest scale possible, from movie stars to the current Chinese ambassador, yet the financial restrictions that the organisation may face in the context of the Chinese market could restrict the array of opportunities for recruiting celebrities for the promotion of the product. Thus, Jack Wills will focus on the rising stars that may not charge the company as much as well-established celebrities. The participants will be asked to place their images wearing Jack Wills’ products on web banners. In addition, a series of YouTube videos featuring celebrities in Jack Wills clothes in a particular setting will be shot and shown online.
Apart from the strategy described above, developing applications for online shopping should also be regarded as an issue of significant importance. Since Jack Wills targets all types of audiences, catering to the needs of a younger crowd will have to be viewed as a necessity. Utilising the applications that will encourage online shopping will help the firm gain the popularity that it needs to enter the market. In addition, using social media as the means of attracting customers’ attention should also be seen as one of the primary tools for gaining the attention of Chinese buyers. The specified goal may be seen as difficult to attain since China has banned western social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., it will be crucial to explore the social networks that are available to the target audience.
For instance, one will have to utilise WeChat as the means of maintaining the connection with the target demographic instead of Facebook (Ong 2018). Similarly, Sina Weibo will be used as an analogy of Twitter to provide concise yet information updates on Jack Wills’ products, options for its loyal customers (e.g., discounts, exclusive products, etc.), and other crucial data required to keep customers informed and enthusiastic about the product. Toudou Youku, in turn, will be utilised as the substitution for YouTube as the means of engaging people visually and at the same time encouraging them to learn more about the services of the organisation, the wide range of products that it has to offer, and the events that Jack Wills may set. Specifically, Toudou Youku will become the primary means of using celebrity endorsements in commercials to build the image that the target demographic will see as innovative and, therefore, worth considering as their choice for purchasing clothes.
Currently, it is crucial to enter the Chinese market, i.e., introducing Jack Wills’ products to the target demographic. Thus, the goal of entering the Chinese economic environment must be considered as the primary short-term objective. Therefore, introducing Jack Wills’ products in the online environment so that it could meet the needs of its new market should be regarded as a necessity. By constructing a new concept of Jack Wills clothes with the help of online tools, particularly using e-commerce as the primary tool, one will be able to spark the interest of the Chinese audience.
It should be noted that the shift toward the use of e-commerce is fraught with numerous risks for the company. After having been working in the offline environment for so many years, Jack Wills may find it difficult to integrate into the online realm. For instance, the transfer to a new mode of communicating with customers, delivering services, collecting feedback, etc., may disrupt Jack Wills’ operation for a certain time period (Ong 2018). Nevertheless, it is crucial to cater to the needs of new Chinese customers that are used to online shopping by transferring the business to the online setting (How China is changing the future of shopping | Angela Wang 2018). Therefore, adopting the principles of e-commerce as a tool for boosting the company’s efficacy in the Chinese market should be regarded as a necessity. The specified step is crucial in case the opening of the offline shop will fail.
Among the long-term strategies, establishing a strong presence in the Chinese market should be regarded as a priority. Jack Wills needs to be recognised in the Asian market, and starting with the Chinese economic environment is a massive step in the right direction. Numerous economic and financial opportunities that the organisation can pursue in the specified realm are worth the risks and challenges associated with recruiting partners, building a brand image, and addressing the issues related to political constraints. In addition, reaching the position of the top ten apparel companies in the target environment must be seen as a goal. Therefore, the process of attracting new customers through the active use of the available media, the promotion of the ideas of brand sincerity, cultural heritage, and quality as the synonyms of the company’s brand, and using celebrity endorsements is another long-term strategy that the firm will have to use. The focus on e-commerce will help prevent the scenario in which an offline shop may fail to deliver the expected profits.
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