Upon my joining the MBA, one of my main goals was to be able to apply some of the concepts learned in the classroom to my newly started business, “Créations AFNANN”.
My business Créations AFNANN was officially launched and registered with the government this past February. The goal of the company is to provide upscale fashion items with a North-African and Middle-Eastern inspiration to customers, all the while being a socially responsible firm. Indeed, one of the company's main values is philanthropy and upon selling merchandise, our goal is to give a percentage of our sales to charity.
While we have not yet started our operations, the core product that we will be offering is a modern take on the traditional Moroccan Babouche slippers. These can be described as “mule shoes” and are handcrafted by artisans.
Given what I learned in the marketing class through both lectures and the Markstrat simulation game, I am now able to identify market segment and targets for our company.
Segmenting and Targeting
The primary target customers of Créations AFNANN are women with a taste for high-quality shoes, ranging from sizes 5 to 10. The types of shoes offered are casual and dress mules.
- Geographic variables:
The first basis of segmentation will be geographic. When initially launched, Créations AFNANN shoes will first and foremost be sold in Canadian stores such as (but not limited to) Jean-Paul Fortin, Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew.
That being said, a website is in the works and the goal is to subsequently launch an online boutique where women from different countries of the developed and developing world could shop.
In the long term, the goal would be to launch the brand in luxury stores across the world, with the following focus:
• United States: As the world's largest luxury goods market , the United States would be one of the main markets to target. From our research, we could see that competitors such as ZYNE Official have already entered the market and started selling their brands in stores such as Bergdorfs.
• Middle East: As outlined by the Deloitte study on luxury goods, “the market in the Middle East continues to represent a big opportunity for luxury brands ”, especially as Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to be attractive shopping destinations”. Furthermore, as the shoes will evoke some North African/Middle Eastern heritage, customers will be able to relate to the cultural appeal of the product.
• Asia: Countries in Asia such as China/Hong Kong and India represent attractive markets for luxury goods. For instance, in mainland China, “demand remains steady among the country's expanding middle class, with their increasing disposable incomes, as they continue to buy better quality products and showcase their social status ”. Furthermore, similarly to the US, competitors such as ZYNE Official have very recently entered the Asian market in stores such as Lane Crawford, which is an indicator that there is a demand for such goods.
- Psychographic variables:
The second basis of segmentation will be psychographic. Using the VALS framework, the main groups that would be targeted would be the following:
• Innovators: Members of this group are typically future oriented, confident enough to experiment and make the highest number of financial transactions .
• Experiencers: Members of this group typically want everything, are up on the latest fashions and are spontaneous .
Créations AFNANN will position itself as a trendsetter brand for women's fashionable shoes.
For fashion-forward women, Créations AFNANN aims to bring a fresh new take on luxurious Moroccan-inspired footwear born from ancestral traditions. Our shoes differ from other mules from their history, the craftsmanship put in their creation and the positive impact every sale makes in the lives of communities in need.
Point of difference (POD):
- Design: Highly influenced by ancestral Moroccan wear, with timeless elegance and high comfort. Each shoe promises optimal fit and balance with sleek lines and minimalist but intrinsic designs.
- Heritage: As stated above - originally from Morocco, with influences from the rest of Africa and the Middle East.
- Convenience: Créations AFNANN shoes will be easy to buy for customers, as they will be available in multiple locations throughout Canada (and subsequently throughout the world) as well as online. This will be done all the while also keeping a sense of exclusivity (collections only retailing in higher end stores).
Créations AFNANN's marketing mix will be comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, promotion, and customer service.
- Pricing: Créations AFNANN shoes will be priced at a premium, in order to be aligned with the “luxury mindset” the products aim to provide .
- Distribution: All shoes will be distributed through luxury stores as well as an online store. The luxury stores will allow Créations AFNANN to make a name in the luxury market. Alternatively, the online store's aim is to widen the reach to consumers.
- Advertising and Promotion: Créations AFNANN's advertising and promotion efforts will be mainly through social media and online ads. After the initial launch, fashion magazines will also be considered as good advertising outlets.
- Customer Service: Exceeding customer's expectations is amongst the aims of the company.
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