Brand Management Assignment: Challenges Encounter By Kathmandu Apparels In US
This is your first project as a brand strategist for a medium size Sydney based marketing firm. Your boss has presented you a brief below, which you have been asked to write a brand management assignment. Your mission is to win this project.
Brief: Kathmandu Apparels
Kathmandu is an iconic New Zealand travel and adventure brand with multiple retail chains around Australia, NZ and distributions in the UK. In Australia and NZ, Kathmandu has outnumbered competitors having stores across major shopping centres and suburban areas. In late August 2019, the company has entered the US market. In 2020, COVID-19 has presented challenges and opportunities within the retail sector. Some of the challenges include drop in sales due to restrictions in the number of customers in the stores and store closures in some cities. On the other hand, the rise of transaction facilities (e.g Afterpay) supported the boom in online sales.
Given the current economic climate in the USA and the infancy of Kathmandu as a brand in the US market, you have been appointed to identify ONE core branding problem. Based on this problem, provide a roadmap to that will lead brand growth.
The findings and discussions of the present study will explore in the way towards defining all the related dimensions of branding strategies, which any specific organisation accomplishes for making a memorable impression on the customers irrespective with the nature of the business (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). The process defines, explores and allows the customers for knowing what to expect from the company, where it defines the way of distributing the brand from the competitors and clarifies the related offers that make a better choice over the market (Donthu and Gustafsson, 2020). Similarly, the outline of the findings will define the way about how the related context with the current economic climate of the United States will explore the business opportunities of the selected organisation Kathmandu Apparels as a brand over the US Market by overcoming all the problems and identified issues. Nevertheless, the fundamental points of discursions will explore the selection of roadmap that will lead in the direction that will allow the brand to accomplish and define the roadmap towards leading the brand growth.
Figure 1: Global Economic Impact of COVID 19
(Source: Adekola and Sergi, 2016)
Background of the company and outline of the study
Kathmandu is an iconic New Zealand travel and adventure brand with multiple retail chains around Australia, New Zealand and distributors over the United Kingdom (Erasmus et al., 2016). The selected brand has gone through in such a way which has defined the success factors over the local markets of Australia and New Zealand, wherein some of the cases the brand has outnumbered its competitors having stores across the major shopping centres and suburban areas (Scarborough, 2016). Due to this remarkable success, the management of the selected brand Kathmandu Appeals has decided to explore the required growth opportunities by illustrating the defined business expansion process over the markets of the United States.
Nevertheless, due to the pandemic effect created due to Covid 19 in the year 2020 has brought quite a few significant challenges, where different organisations related to the business has struggled to accomplish long-term business objectives (Bartik et al., 2020). In contrast, in some of the cases, it promoted the raise of transaction facilities that supported the boom in online sales (Alghizzawi, 2019). Hence, related with the selected aspects of the findings of the study will explore and identify anyone core branding problems, which will define the road map for Kathmandu Appeals that will lead in the direction towards exploring the defined organisational growth and strategies in the best possible manner.
Figure 2: Scope and opportunities for Kathmandu Appeals over the USA Market
(Source: Alghizzawi, 2019)
Critical Analysis of the Study
Identifying and justifying the core branding problem with related facts and findings
In the time of the present pandemic situation, the business scenario, as compared with different circumstances, is completed different measured with quite a few dimensions. Performing any kinds of specific business management has become very much challenging and more uncompromising to operate, where branding is one of the core as well as the fundamental areas of discussions. There are several kinds of problems which relate to brand destructions (Scarborough, 2016). Nevertheless, as compared with the present scenario advertisement budgets are the first to consider for Kathmandu Appeals as the reason behind there has been a significant amount of drop in sales identified due to the restrictions created for the pandemic situations (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). Therefore, explored with the outcome of the present findings, the cost of branding will be one of the significant issues for the selected organisation to overcome while exploring their growth strategy in the US market (Adekola and Sergi, 2016).
United States is one of the worst-hit Covid 19 countries where the economy will take time to recover (Dodson, 2016). However, the things are turning to get back on the track, but the pace of progression is very much slow and will be time-consuming. Based on the selected business scenario the management of Kathmandu Appeals needs to develop the required communication channel with their customers towards defining their target audience over the US market, where adequate branding strategies needs to be explored in the best possible manner (Hanlon, 2019). Adopting adequate advertisement strategies explores as one of the critical aspects of branding, where the selected band need to explore in a cost-effective manner, which will be a bit challenging (Chaffey, 2019).
Providing the road map for brand growth with proper justification and implementation
Concentrating more on content marketing
In the present pandemic situation, the best possible use of content marketing in the form of the digital aspects will prove to be quite useful to explore the best alternative ways of adopting the required branding strategies (Chaffey and Smith, 2017). Due to the mandatory norms of maintaining social distancing majorities of the people across the globe are focusing more to get benefited while using the defined technological aspects and frameworks (Kingsnorth, 2019). As discussed, there has been a boom identified over the online sales in the period of Covid 19, focusing more while using the digital platform will allow the selected brand to define their target audience (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). Along with the same point of time, the best use of the digital platform will explore the required as well as the diversified opportunities of using more than one medium (Chaffey and Smith, 2017). For example, the use of the social media tools will prove to be quite suitable for Kathmandu Appeals in the form of Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube that will explore the right opportunities to reach out billions of active users not only in the United States but across the globe to define their target audience in the best possible manner (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). Nevertheless, in the present situation, the process towards adopting the correct technique of digital and content marketing will affect people's interactions work and purchase (Erasmus et al., 2016). Along with the same point of time, the proper use of the digital marketing content will ensure that the norms of social distancing will be performed in the required manner and will prove to be quite useful towards maximising the impact of brand awareness among the defined target market.
Figure 3: Content Marketing: A Defined Branding Aspects
(Source: Chaffey and Smith, 2017)
Trying the low-cost advertisement options
As mentioned earlier cost will be one of the critical factors related to the context of branding. As the reason behind, the adverse effect of Covid 19 has dropped down the sales volume significantly for Kathmandu Appeals has brought crisis over the revenue earning aspects of the selected brand. Therefore, the management needs to focus on adopting the required branding strategy over the present economic climate of the United States in a cost-effective manner (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). Consequently, the use of content marketing related to the context towards exploring the platform of digital mode will prove to be the best alternative solutions for the present business scenario of Kathmandu Appeals. For example, the cheapest way to advertise over any kinds of social media tool can be placed starting as little as $20 (Scarborough, 2016). Using the fundamentals of the online advertisements along with its advance technique will prove to be as one of the defined forms of branding as it can be done cost-effectively and will reach the target audience without maintaining any kinds of specific geographical boundary (Vinerean, 2016). On the other hand, the process will allow the selected brand to closely measure how the audience responds to the related context of marketing.
Figure 4: Digital Marketing Framework
(Source: Scarborough, 2016)
Determining the organisational goals with the target audience (Corporate and Effective Brading)
Accomplishing the long term goals and objectives over the present situation will be challenging. However, adopting corporate and effective branding strategy will allow Kathmandu Appeals to accomplish quite related objectives in the present situation by overcoming the discussed barriers (Gursoy and Chi, 2020). The use of the corporate branding strategy will explore in the areas that will help the customers to relate the business identity based on a wide range of product offered over time by Kathmandu Appeals. Similarly, on the other hand, the use of the effective branding strategy will minimise the need for extensive marketing initiates for every new product or services for the selected company as the customers will have a preset understanding of the offered products or service’s quality, reliability and purpose (Jovanovska, 2020).
Use of key theoretical concepts and findings
Three Stage Theory of Branding
Based on the related context of the branding strategies and techniques used by Kathmandu Appeals mainly concentrates with the view towards exploring the digital platform will prove to be crucial towards using the three-stage theories of branding. The fundamentals of three-stage branding strategy will explore the concept with the view towards relating Design, Value Proposition and Positioning Statement for Kathmandu Appeals while exploring the defined strategies of branding (Richards and Duif, 2018). The subsequent part of the study will analyse all the related aspects by exploring the perspectives of the selected theoretical framework about how the management of the selected brand will be able to explore the best possible use while performing the branding activities.
The concept of design makes an exact point of differences for the selected brand, where Kathmandu Appeals will be identified over the market by the customers among the other brands. Therefore, the management of the organisations needs to make strong representations over the market that will act as a unique identity for the selected brand (Jovanovska, 2020).
Adopting proper value proposition will allow the management of Kathmandu Appeals to explore whatever the company wants to offer in the market. Nevertheless, over the current pandemic situation the management of the selected organisation need to offer something more and unique as compared with the brands operating with similar kinds of a business module which will add value for the customers (Vinerean, 2016). Nevertheless, branding will prove and define as one of the substantial aspects of value positioning in the best possible manner.
Finally, the use of the positing statement defines the way about how Kathmandu Appeals will explore the offered products and services over the current economic climate of the US Market to be perceived in the minds of the customers. Nevertheless, the selected, as well as the required aspects of the branding strategy, will ensure in the way that will make a mark over the minds of the customers (Erasmus et al., 2016).
Theory of Brand Culture
The concept of brand culture explores the way with the view towards formulising about how Kathmandu Appeals will explore the new model of branding, where the process suggests that any specific brand-related with the defined business objectives will be able to operate based on their defined cultural perspectives in the best possible manner (Gursoy and Chi, 2020). With the overall as well as the defined aspects of the fundamentals of the new banding strategy related with the cultural frameworks suggests that a brand can operate much like culture, in the anthropological sense of the word (Adekola and Sergi, 2016). Nevertheless, the idea with the view towards defining the dimensional perspectives of the selected theoretical aspects, where Kathmandu Appeals can operate in a similar way, was based on what anthropologists today the consumers are saying is exactly how a brand should operate towards accomplishing long term goals and perspectives (Chaffey and Smith, 2017).
Figure 5: Cultural Brand Perspectives
(Source: Adekola and Sergi, 2016)
The concluding part of the study will analyse as well as exploring the fundamentals areas about how the sleeted organisations will be able to accomplish the long term business perspectives over the selected area of business operation. Nevertheless, the market of United States Market is one of the badly affected regions globally due to the pandemic situation, where the overall market recovery rate is very much slow. The determined situation for Kathmandu Appeals will be tough to explore, where the adoption of adequate branding strategies and techniques need to be explored in the best possible. However, the findings as well as the outline of the study will define the areas that will relate as well as explore all the related factors measured with the defined aspects of barding about how the management of Kathmandu Appeals will be able to accomplish their long term business perspectives over the US market.
Adekola, A., and Sergi, B. S. (2016). Global business management: A cross-cultural perspective. Routledge.
Alghizzawi, M. (2019). The role of digital marketing in consumer behavior: A survey. Int. J. Inf. Technol. Lang. Stud, 3(1), 24-31.
Bartik, A. W., Bertrand, M., Cullen, Z., Glaeser, E. L., Luca, M., and Stanton, C. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on small business outcomes and expectations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(30), 17656-17666.
Chaffey, D., and Smith, P. R. (2017). Digital marketing excellence: planning, optimizing and integrating online marketing. Taylor and Francis.
Chaffey, D. (2019). Digital marketing. Pearson UK.
Dodson, I. (2016). The art of digital marketing: the definitive guide to creating strategic, targeted, and measurable online campaigns. John Wiley and Sons.
Donthu, N., and Gustafsson, A. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 on business and research. Journal of business research, 117, 284.
Erasmus, B., Botha, T., Van Rensburg, M., Du Toit, G. S., and Motlatla, M. D. C. (2016). Introduction to business management. J. W. Strydom, and S. Rudansky-Kloppers (Eds.). Oxford University Press Southern Africa.
Gursoy, D., and Chi, C. G. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on hospitality industry: review of the current situations and a research agenda
Hanlon, A. (2019). Digital marketing: strategic planning and integration. SAGE Publications Limited.
Jovanovska, S. R. (2020). BRAND AND BRANDING STRATEGIES. Research in Physical Education, Sport and Health, 9(1).
Kingsnorth, S. (2019). Digital marketing strategy: an integrated approach to online marketing. Kogan Page Publishers.
Richards, G., and Duif, L. (2018). Small cities with big dreams: Creative placemaking and branding strategies. Routledge.
Scarborough, N. M. (2016). Essentials of entrepreneurship and small business management. Pearson.
Vinerean, S. (2016). Branding Strategies for Social Media Marketing. Expert Journal of Marketing, 4(2).