International Marketing Plan
In China, footwear industry has grown steadily in the recent past. The two main segmentations of shoes include athletic and non-athletic footwear. People of all gender and age groups use the two main segmentations. However, market studies have indicated that two factors contribute to the rising demand of shoes such as trendy but comfortable shoes as well as fancy shoes among individuals of all ages (Shaw & Onkvisit, 2009). The paper will analyze different marketing strategies, programs and policies that promote shoe industry in a specific firm in China.
The city of Quanzhou in Fujian Province is the largest target market for sport wear and casual shoes for various market segments. The footwear industry in China is driven by the two main factors. It is important to note that the global footwear industry is mainly segmented by various factors such as end users, type of footwear, material used, and varying platforms of selling as well as sales across different regions (Shaw & Onkvisit, 2009). China is a major shoe exporter of both leather and non-leather shoes. In addition, the leather shoe market has the working class as the largest consumers who are continually placing more demands as far as the shoe style and design is concerned. However, male and female segments have different ideas during the process of purchase. For instance, male consumers tend to stick to more traditional designs while women are attracted to the shoes’ trendiness.
The first actionable goal when importing shoes in my chosen country is observing the traditional comparative advantage (Baginski, Bradshaw & Wahlen, 2014). This means that I will only trade with the countries that are comparatively productive such as the United States. The United States is rich in extensive farmlands, high technology, expensive labor, high yields, deep capital and expensive labor. On the other hand, China has abundant cheap labor, technological mix, low capital intensity and a mix in productivity in both agriculture and manufacturing. The goal would be therefore to engage trade that is sector-by-sector unbalanced (Baginski et al., 2014). In this case, the United States would be expected to have a surplus in goods such as aircrafts or electronics and a high deficit in apparels that can be corrected through trading with China.
The second critical actionable goal is to engage in intra-industry trading or embracing trade that with other industrial sectors (Baginski et al., 2014). The shoe products will have to carry the particular brand names of my firm. Moreover, the brand names will be differentiated according to different target segments with a protective intellectual property rights. The intra-industry trade is more likely to result in a considerable share of China’s footwear products in other countries. However, to achieve the goal one needs to ensure that all trading partners have eliminated all trading barriers. This is because there may be some countries that use trading barriers to tip trade balance in fulfilling their economic interests.
Global Product Marketing Program
The best global product-marketing program is combining design and technology during shoe manufacturing processes (Doole & Lowe, 2008). The program will ensure that the target consumers get the best competitive footwear in comparison to other competitors. In addition, this program is intended to satisfy the desires and wants of customers as opposed to satisfying their needs. The program may embrace other strategies to empower the shoe brand such as introducing accompanying apparels. Global footwear companies such as Adidas and Nike have incorporated this strategy (Baginski et al., 2014). However, this is more likely to work best in specific target markets such as the sporting clientele or youngsters who have the desire to pass a style statement.
Global Pricing Policy
One of the most critical factors that guarantee the success of the shoe firm is integrating a competitive global pricing strategy (Shaw & Onkvisit, 2009). In this case, the most appropriate pricing strategy is competitive and skimming prices since the firm concentrates on shoe’s design, style and promotions. This strategy is appropriate when a company is facing various competitors in the market. In this respect, the company will evaluate competitors’ prices before selecting any appropriate price. However, when the firm is facing threats from new market entrants that are uniquely designed, the most appropriate pricing strategy is skimming (Baginski et al., 2014). Skimming strategy is also applied when a company has higher brand equity in the market. Therefore, my firm will be forced to adopt higher prices for the shoes.
My target consumers are the middle, high class including all high-end consumers who are attracted by the shoes’ design and style. For this reason, since my firm is committed to increasing brand equity, it will avoid adopting penetrative pricing strategy (Doole & Lowe, 2008). The main goal of this pricing strategy is to help improve price quality through psychological approach. Psychological approach means that the high price will persuade the target consumers that the shoe products are of higher quality as compared to the competitors. However, it is important to note that I will ensure that my firm will avert from price discrimination strategy where different consumers enjoy the same product but at different prices. This is because this strategy is more likely to result in product quality dilution and eventual loss of all target market.
Due to the type of marketing and pricing strategy, the most appropriate distribution channel is retail outlets. The retail outlets are expected to be exclusive stores where the manufacturing company directly provides shoe products (Doole & Lowe, 2008). Moreover, complementary products such as apparels may eloquently be displayed in various brand showrooms. It is important to note that such brand showrooms normally get their footwear and apparel products directly from a distributor. However, it is worth noting that consumer behavior has sharply shifted due to technological advancement (Baginski et al., 2014). For this reason, most high-end and high-class consumers prefer shopping though online stores. Therefore, the firm may choose to sell the shoe products through such online mediums such as fashion stores. Therefore, my firm’s distribution channel will have the manufacturer distributing shoe products to exclusive outlets and finally to the end consumers. The manufacturer may also opt to provide distributors with the shoe products, which are finally provided to multi brand showrooms. Ultimately, manufacturers may provide shoe products to online fashion stores or websites (Doole & Lowe, 2008).
Sales Promotions and Sales Agents
The most effective promotion tool for the shoe firm is through product placements or through media such as television (Shaw & Onkvisit, 2009). High sales may be achieved through carefully designed creative ads in such mediums that tend to bring out a sense of energy to the target consumers. The advertisements are designed to attract the target consumers towards the product brand by conveying the right messages. A tag line aimed at shifting consumer behavior should be robust enough in raising product brand and quality (Doole & Lowe, 2008). Additionally, the company will employ sales agents who are able to protect brand quality as opposed to sales people.
Baginski S., Bradshaw M., Wahlen M. J. (2014). Financial Reporting, Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation. New York. Cengage Brain Publishing.
Doole I. & Lowe R. (2008). International Marketing Strategy: Analysis and Development. New York. Cengage Brain Publishing.
Shaw J. & Onkvisit S. (2009). International Marketing: Strategy and Theory. New York. Routledge Publishing.