The CIM (Chartered institute of Marketing) defines marketing as a process of management that helps to anticipate, identify as well as fulfill the requirements of the customers in a profitable way (The Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2010, para. 5). Marketing is a broad term encompassing all the various methods and strategies that companies and organizations employ in order to increase sales and thus generate more revenue. There are various methods (otherwise known as elements of marketing or the 4P’s of marketing) that any organization must observe if it is to achieve its objective. The aim of this report is to identify which of the 4Ps of marketing have been incorporated into Urban Outfitters and determine the effectiveness of the approach adopted.
One of the elements of the 4Ps is product. The organization needs to consider the product’s physical attributes, what it can do, how it compares with competitor’s product and what its benefits are. This will give the company an idea of how to go about marketing and creating a demand for its product for instance, what angle are they going to adopt in creating demand. Should they focus on the ease of use or what the product can do? These are some of the issues that need to be addressed before settling on the product.
The second element involves the pricing. How pricing is done has a bearing on the competitive edge as well as the level of profitability the business will enjoy. The higher the price, the higher the competitive edge, which may or may not imply profitability depending on additional revenue generated. Place is the third element of the 4Ps and is considered in terms of where the business sells its product and how it gets those products to consumers. Promotion refers to the methods and features used to communicate the features and benefits of the product to the target audience. This could be in form of printing brochures, billboards, newspaper, magazines and others.
Unlike other retailers such as Sears and Wal-Mart, Urban Outfitters approach the concept of promotion from a different perspective. Instead of using print to advertise, they instead choose to focus on maximizing the shopping experience for the consumer. This is achieved by finding a narrow category within the broad industry and focusing on that category for instance understanding the psychology of potential customers and consequently tailoring its product in accordance to the target customers wants and needs.
In this way, Urban Outfitters has been able to do what big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sears have been unable to do, and that is to lower them to their customers’ level. Another reason is that Wall Mart operate on a high volume low profit turnover and they therefore specialize in selling mass products or buys in bulk in order to reduce cost this makes it impossible to be trendy or counterculture. Trendy counterculture is all about being unique and this involves producing or availing the product in smaller quantities for each store (Thomas, Zolin & Hartman, 2009, p. 291). For the big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Sears this is impossible and for them to attempt to compete with Urban Outfitters in the niche market would be catastrophic.
Urban Outfitters pride itself on being able to offer customers a unique shopping experience. Their success is based on their ability to keep their products scarce and in demand. It would therefore be difficult for the large retailers to access this product since they are produced in small quantities for each store and since they are in control of Urban Outfitters, it would be impossible for these retailers to access enough products to command a share in this market.
Urban Outfitters have opened up various stores globally, and this is a clear reflection of the diverse consumers’ preferences and tastes from diverse regions. This kind of attention requires a lot of research into trends, what is hip and what is not. This is only possible for an organization specializing in a narrow category of the market since such an organization can be able to adapt itself to the dynamics in that market and restructure appropriately. Since the products sold will reflect this flexibility, it is not possible for the big box stores to sell identical merchandise to that of Urban Outfitters due to their lack of flexibility.
Exclusivity implies a contact term in which one party grants other party sole rights with regard to particular business function. It could also imply not admitting of something or somebody else (Comite, 2010, p. 106). Exclusivity is considered valuable owing to the fact that everybody wants to belong, hence if exclusivity is added into a marketing strategy, the number of people who want to join the club increases making people want in sooner rather than later. This has the effect of increasing sales and therefore revenues of the organization.
Another reason is that most people are drawn to what they cannot have. When a product becomes exclusive or scarce, it becomes appealing and since everybody wants what they cannot have, this becomes an ideal for everyone to possess this product hence the scramble to acquire it much to the delight of organizations and companies. This leads to increased revenues to these organizations.
The other reason is that there is a belief that common is cheap, and that the more exclusive the product, the more expensive and hence valuable the product (Keetey, 2009, para. 3). Since everyone wants the transferred benefits that come with being part of the elite league, most people opt for the exclusive product since others will view them as being of a higher social and financial status. This deep-seated belief has gone a long way in helping companies such as Urban Outfitters establish themselves in the niche market.
Shopping is largely entertainment especially in the case of women. This is especially evident when we consider that Urban Outfitters, which has braches not just in the US but also around the world, sells 80% of its product to women. Some women feel rejuvenated and refreshed when they are in shopping malls even if they are not buying anything. This is especially so for those with small children who use this time to relax alone without the pressures of family and just enjoy the beauty around them. Others use this time to bond with their friends over tea or coffee and hence providing not only a means for relaxation but also an opportunity to connect with others.
For other women, new things seem to compensate their efforts with family and work and therefore it is like a reward for all the hard work.. Some are also on the lookout for things to buy for their loved ones such as husbands and children they therefore want to be updated on the latest gadgets. Even though they do not have the money to buy all this things, it gives them a sense of freedom and happiness just by looking at them. Men on the other hand, appreciate shopping but they prefer to buy what they want for instance electronic gadgets and shoes.
The strategy adopted by Urban Outfitters has been successful largely because the company decided on its target market well in advance and adopted a rare but very innovative approach towards its marketing that is, exclusivity. The fact that the company has also chosen to invest in forward-looking research in divining fashion trends has also contributed to this success. It is crucial therefore for any organization to identify its target market before launching a product and determine what strategies it will use in its marketing if it is to realize the benefits of increased revenue and profits that accrue to a successful organization that is well ahead of its competitors.
Comite, U. (2009). The evolution of modern business from its assets and liabilities statements to its ethical environmental account. Journal of Management Research, 9(2): 100-122.
Keetey, P. H. (2010). Make my marketing work. Why is Exclusivity so valued in marketing? Web.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing. (2010).What is marketing? Web.
Thomas, G. F., Zolin, R., & Hartman, J. L. (2009). The central role of communication in developing trust and its effect on employee involvement. Journal of Business communication,46 (3): 287-310.