The fashion industry is among the industries that are making substantial developments that influence the social lifestyles of individuals. Despite operating in the same business environment, fashion industries focus on different designs that suit different consumers (Burry and Weinstein 316). Hence, brand diversity, specialization, competition, and customer focus are becoming significant business aspects that companies in the fashion industry must observe. Kate Spade and Saint Laurent Paris are among the modern fashion companies that have dominated different spheres of markets with consumer luxury products (Burry and Weinstein 316). In this view, this essay analyzes Kate Spade and Saint Laurent Paris by examining characteristics of consumers, merchandise mix, and the nature of competitors.
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Overview of target customer: demographic and psychographic aspects
The fashion industry dwells on the ideology that different designs match the needs of consumers with different demographic characteristics. Demographics, which refer to quantifiable information about a certain population, are useful in the fashion industry because they aid in determination of consumer characteristics in a target population (Tsai and Lee 1244). Psychographics involves an examination of values, opinions, perceptions, attitudes and lifestyles of a certain population of people. In marketing, psychographics involves the approach of a company towards evaluating the customer lifestyles to enable the marketers create detailed consumer report about customer profile (Tsai and Lee 1245). The two fashion companies have their own customer demographics and psychographics.
Demographic indicators include age, household income, and gender, which are the components that determine the marketing of fashion products (Burry and Weinstein 318). Demographically, the main targeted consumers for Kate Spade are the youths, especially young women, as most of its products include luxury fashion, clothing, home appliances, jewelry, and women handbags (Kate Spade: Company” par. 1). In terms of age, a closer look at the products offered indicate that Kate Spade focuses on teenage and youth fashion products that include stylish handbags, trousers, skirts, tops, and shoes. Handbags have attractive designs, shoes depict trendy designs, accessories are colorful, and clothes fit the styles of the people.
Psychographics is a segmentation of marketing based on lifestyle, attitudes, consumer personalities, and beliefs. It involves price consciousness and factors of lifestyles that influence the purchasing power of consumers (Tsai and Lee 1247). In terms of psychographics, producing high-end products means that Kate Spade focuses on designing and selling high class products to its consumers. In terms of price consciousness, the products of Kate Spade seem expensive with each product price being above $200 (“Kate Spade: Company” par. 2). This means that Kate Spade, as a fashion, company targets consumers with a high purchasing power, conspicuous buyers, and those consumers interested in trendy products, which are generally expensive.
In terms of demographics, Saint Laurent Paris seems like a company focused on fashion products that match the needs of consumers in different ages, but specifically the consumers living in various weather conditions (“Saint Laurent Paris: Corporate” par. 2). The pricing of its product is slightly favorable as the company focuses on selling products that serve the purpose of environmental issues. Saint Laurent Paris produces women apparels and men apparels at equal focus, with all fashion products meant for certain extreme weather conditions (“Saint Laurent Paris: Corporate” par. 3). A closer look at the fashion products that Saint Laurent Paris offers focus on environmental segmentation since most of the fashion products are either for summer or winter climatic conditions.
Capsule description of merchandise mix
The two companies have managed to mix various fashion products to meet consumer demands, especially for people with different consumer behaviors and purchasing power. The fashion company mixes brands meant for ladies in high social classes, provides accessories for women, offers household goods, specializes in clothing, and gives diverse forms of footwear (“Kate Spade: Company” par. 5). Comparatively, the other fashion company produces products for both men and women, but focuses mainly on apparel meant for certain extreme weather conditions (“Saint Laurent Paris: Corporate” par. 3). The product categories of Saint Laurent Paris include fall-winter clothes, pre-fall apparel, and spring-summer clothes for men and women. Here is a capsule description designed in the form of a table with the main content.
Capsule description for Kate Spade
|Product category||Sub-category of the product|
|Clothing products||Dresses, tops, sweaters, skirts, pants, jackets, denim collections, outerwear, and leg wear for classy ladies.|
|Accessories||Wallets, sun-hats, tech-products, belts, cover-ups, eyewear, beauty products, and other small accessories|
|Jewelry||Bracelets, necklaces, watches, earrings, rings, bangles, and other precious jewelries.|
|Home appliances||Tabletops, dinnerware, home décor, home stationery, kitchenware, glassware and barware, odds and ends.|
|Handbags||Top handles, shoulder bags, totes, cross body, baby bags, and clutches of various brands.|
|Shoes||Lady sneakers, plump shoes, flat shoes, wedge shoes, slippers and sandals, and other lady shoes.|
Capsule description of Saint Laurent Paris
|Men’s fall-winter apparel|
|Women’s fall-winter apparel|
|Men’s spring-summer apparel|
|Women’s spring-summer apparel|
A comparison of competitors
The closest competitors of Kate Spade are the famous Burberry and Juicy Counture, which are both fashion companies that invests heavily in fashion products. The similarities of Counture Juicy and Burberry are that they offer high-end products and target women as potential customers. However, the differences between Counture Juicy and Burberry lie in the design and diversity of products. Although both have interest in gender segmentation by stocking products, which mostly related to women and young ladies, their products differ in style and design. Counture Juicy offers products such as clothing, bags, shoes, handbags, and jewelry, which target women aged between 10 and 26 years old. Contrastingly, Burberry offers a collection of products that targets men and women of all ages, and thus, it has an upper-hand in the competitive fashion markets.
The main competitors of Saint Laurent Paris are Prada and Gucci, which are fashion companies. Prada and Gucci are similar fashion companies because they deal with Italian fashion, offer leather products, and provide high-end products. The Italian fashion includes shoes, clothing, wallets, accessories, perfumes, and handbags amongst other high-end leather products. Although they offer similar products, Prada and Gucci differ in the demographic characteristics of the target customers. While Prada focuses on products for both men and women, Gucci provides only fashion for men. Moreover, Prada has more diverse leather products than Gucci, and thus has a competitive advantage in the fashion markets.
Fashion companies are among the companies that require unique approaches in designing and marketing of their products. Market segmentation is the term that defines the marketing activities of a company that are applicable in targeting a given section of consumers. Companies in the fashion industry produce different consumer products in relation to demographic and psychographic aspects related to market demands. Some fashion companies may decide to produce low-end products to satisfy middle- and low-income consumers, while others may invest in luxurious products or clothes that are suitable for certain environmental conditions. This explains the reason why Kate Spade invests in the gender market segment and Saint Laurent Paris focuses on the environmental market segment.
Burry, James, and Art Weinstein. “Business psychographics revisited: from segmentation theory to successful marketing practice.” Journal of Marketing Management 29.4 (2009): 315-340. Print.
Kate Spade: Company 2014. Web.
Saint Laurent Paris: Corporate 2014. Web.
Tsai, Dungchun, and Hsiao-Ching Lee. “Demographics, psychographics, price searching and recall in retail shopping.” The Service Industries Journal 29.9 (2008): 1243 -1259. Print.