COMPETITOR MARKETING MIX ANALYSIS. Product Line Analysis. The North Face is a company that makes and sells men s, women s, and children s

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1 COMPETITOR MARKETING MIX ANALYSIS Product Line Analysis The North Face is a company that makes and sells men s, women s, and children s outdoor apparel. The products are unique for their warmth, strength to hold up doing outdoor activities, comfort, and designs. The only weakness is the price point can seam high in comparison to other brands. However, they still set themselves apart from their competitors enough to stand out and people still see the importance of purchasing The North Face items rather than their competitors. It is the quality and shape of The North Face s designs that sets them apart from their competitors. The competitors are Jarden Corporation, L.L. Bean, Inc., and Patagonia Inc. (Hoovers A D&B Company). It is important to realize that many of the materials used are the same and therefore they need to use what they have to set them apart. When purchasing an item from The North Face it is easy to know that it is going to be an item that is going to last and fit the purpose it was made for. They also use colors that are seasonally popular and their clothing can cross function from outdoor wear to everyday active wear fashion. The North Face does makes sure that their products are quality before selling them to consumers. They make sure they cover all types of expeditions as well as make sure that all of their products are able to be used for a long time. They do this by testing the color fastness and the ability of the product. They test the fibers they use against pilling, color fastness, and several other things as well as test the product several times in the environment it will be used in before releasing it for sale (McGuire, S. n.d). The North Face does not seem to miss any opportunities. Their consumers enjoy the outdoors and they put an emphasis on protecting them with their

2 Clothes The Loop strategy. This allows people to bring in their used apparel that they would want to throw away and in return they give the customer a reward to spend in their retail stores. The proceeds go to help sustain the outdoor habitats (The North Face). Their innovative textile is using goose down to insulate their jackets. It is a benefit in the outdoor apparel they are making because it is both lightweight and warm for the outdoor activities their consumers like to participate in (Vernachio, J. 2012). Pricing Strategy Analysis The North Face is in the better price zone. Their top selling jackets sell for about $200 and basic shirts sell for around $60 in men s apparel (The North Face). It is a fairly affordable price range for the type of products they are selling and seem to be worth the money because it will hold up throughout the activities the consumers are performing. The difference in their price points seems to be in the material that is used. A basic men s t-shirt made of cotton is $ This seems like a reasonable cost for a t-shirt that is well constructed in comparison to the competitors clothing. A men s warm long-sleeve crew neck made of an anti-oder polyester which wicks away moisture from the skin is higher priced. It is a base layer and keeps warmth in while also keeping the consumer dry. A men s 900 fill goose down jacket which is the highest quality down available ranges from $220 to $240 this includes a lifetime warranty. This is fairly inexpensive in comparison to the men s shirts analyzed previously. They are currently having an end of season sale in the men s department which they are selling items for up to 30 percent off. To many people this is a good deal. This is a strong strategy for The North Face to do because they know that there are sales, but if they need an item during the season they might as well buy it at full price because if they had their eye on the shirt that costs $50 it would be discounted to

3 no less than $35. To many people it would be more important to have the garment when they need it than to wait for it to go on sale with the potential to save $15, especially for the target customer who is upper-middle class adults that enjoy outdoor activities. Promotion Strategy Analysis One of their promotion strategies was previously stated. They do a Clothes The Loop campaign which encourages people to bring in used clothes or shoes of any brand to a The North Face retail store donation center, in return they receive a coupon that can be used in The North Face retail store (The North Face). This encourages people to bring in clothes and shoes to donate them to the cause and once they are at the store and receive a coupon it seems logical for them to stay and see if there is something they would want to use the coupon on. Along with this, because they have the coupon they may be more likely to purchase something because they see it as a great deal they are getting. The North Face is coming out with a limited addition hoodie in December 2015 that they call Made in Our Backyard (The North Face). They allow you to sign up now for an to notify you when it is in stores so you can be the first to purchase it. It also encourages sustainability practices and there are several links encouraging you to shop other sustainable products that are currently available at this time. There is a VIPeaks rewards program that The North Face offers (The North Face). It is a rewards card that customers can sign up for that converts reward points at 2 percent per dollar spent. Once you have earned 2,500 points then you are able to start earning cash back. In March members are able to redeem their rewards in cash or for adventures if they have earned enough points and are required to use their rewards by December 27th of the same year they have

4 received the rewards. You can also follow VIPeak rewards on Facebook and earn additional rewards. Many of their garments also have some form of a warranty policy rather it is lifetime or limited. The products are promoted to their customer through lifestyle images of people climbing snowy mountains and doing other outdoor activities. This appeals to their target consumer because that is the lifestyle that they either enjoy or want to portray to people that see them wearing their clothes. Although they advertise to the mountaineer, that is not the only consumers that purchase and wear their products. Cabela s sells The Noth Face on their online store under hunting apparel (Cabelas). The North Face is doing well financially. According to Bob K. Shearer the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (2013) The North Face brand passed $2 billion in global revenues. Place Strategy The North Face distributes their products in an extended way. They sell in their own retail stores as well as in other places. Cabela s, Nordstrom, Macy s, and Zappos are just a few of the many companies that sell their merchandise. Their distribution strategy is limited. They do not have any apparel that is exclusive to a specific store, but not every store carries all of their items either. They have their own retail stores as well as outlet stores that they sell their products at for a discounted price. Many of the same products that they sell in their stores and on their website are also sold in the other retail stores that sell their products. This is a great way to distribute their products to consumers. Some of the stores are more directed to their target market, for example sporting goods stores are more likely to have someone looking specifically for the warm outdoor gear that is required for the activity the person is going to do. At

5 Nordstrom it may or may not be The North Face s intended target market looking at and purchasing the product but it allows them to get their products out to a wider range of consumers. It some ways it does cater to its intended target market because their products are tested multiple times in the conditions that they are intended to be used in. In other ways not all of their products are specifically intended for doing outdoor activities. This is clear with some of the color choices due to the difficulty to keep them clean. This is an effective strategy for them to target certain consumers directly then produce clothing that may not be as beneficial in outdoor settings. It comes down to the brand loyalty. You find that you like the clothing and it performs well in the conditions it was made for. Then you see something else that may not perform well in harsh condition, but while you are not in the wilderness it will look good while doing daily activities. The consumer is going to know that it is a quality garment and they like the brand so it encourages them to want to purchase more of it.

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