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Essay: Current Marketing Situation – UNIQLO (SWOT, Marketing Mix)

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  • Published: 4 August 2022*
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  • Tags: SWOT analysis examples

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Basic information about the company:

UNIQLO is a clothing company, based in Yamaguchi-Japan and founded in 1949. The brand works as a retailer, manufacturer, and designer of Japanese casual wear and other diversified products like hats, bags, slippers, and umbrellas in recent years. Moreover, it is a global brand with nearly 2000 stores.

The company’s slogan is “Made for all”, meaning that the company’s objective is to sell its products at an affordable price so everyone can wear it.

The company name UNIQLO is the contraction of “Unique clothing”, so the company not only sells low-price products but also pays attention to the quality of these.

Product

Uniqlo is one of the five biggest specialty fashion retailers in the world. The LifeWear concept of Uniqlo offers simple, exceptional, and affordable clothes designed with attention to details and tailored to each person’s lifestyle. In order to keep the high quality and comfort of the products, Uniqlo created the Takumi team, formed by 400 textile artisans and different partner factories located all over the world. The materials are committed to ethical sourcing of materials for all clothes. For example, cotton, BCI (Better Cotton Initiative), Cellulosic Fibers, etc. Uniqlo does not use real fur to respect the welfare of animals. Not only can protect the environment also can maintain the comfort of products.

The products are mainly divided into five categories, outwear, tops, bottoms, inner-wear, home wear, and accessories. The product of outwear are different styles of jackets and coats for different weather conditions. Tops include dresses, shirts, wrinkle-resistant blouses, t-shirts and UT (Graphic -shirt), sweaters and cardigans. The range of polo t-shirts made in 4 different The bottom are shorts, skirts, jeans, etc One of the main products is heat tech. It sold out about a hundred million products in 7 countries.

Target Market

The company sells diversified products for women, men, and kids. Therefore, there is no particular target market. Moreover, we choose office ladies whose age ranges from 25 to 45 to be the target of our marketing plan, because this group has the “want” to have a new look every day but they don’t have the time to go shopping.

Competition

The main competitors in the market like Gap, H&M, ZARA and Forever 21. Those all the companies in the global fast fashion retail market. In order to other competitors in this fast fashion retail market, they keep innovating and improving their products. One of Uniqlo’s signature innovation is HeatTech

Besides HeatTech, Uniqlo also created AIRism, LifeWear and UV Cut technologies.

SWOT Analysis

Internal Strengths

  • Uniqlo has 27 branches in 18 districts in Hong Kong, which improves convenience for customers to purchase the products. Furthermore, Uniqlo has a strong distribution network and many customers, which allow the company to have a strong influence on the Hong Kong market.
  • Moreover, Uniqlo provides high-quality products at a reasonable price which attracts customers with a low-price sales strategy.
  • Uniqlo’s product range is diverse selling products like shirt, sweater, coat, jeans, belt, socks, underwear, and scarf; all these integrated with innovative technologies such as heat-tech, AIRism, etc.
  • In addition, Uniqlo staff are equipped with walkie-talkies that can be instantly queried to address customer needs. Therefore, the level of service can be improved to increase customer satisfaction.

Internal Weaknesses

  • In order to provide customers with high-quality products at reasonable prices, Uniqlo has a lower profit margin than the average of the same industry.
  • Since Uniqlo is mainly focused on producing high-quality casual wear, the company might not be able to meet the needs of other styles of customers, who might want trendy clothes instead. Therefore, customers have insufficient selectivity in product style.
  • Due to the wide variety of clothing chains of the same price and the increasing number of clothing stores, Uniqlo has a great number of market competition. Uniqlo needs more investment in new technology to research and create more weather-sensitive clothing for different countries.

External Opportunities

  • There are always new segments in the society that can be targeted by Uniqlo. Also, every customer is unique so they have different interests and necessities. Therefore, Uniqlo can provide diverse and innovative designs to answer demand. It also shows that Uniqlo is willing to face the changeable market.
  • Furthermore, the lower inflation rate is one of the external opportunities. If the inflation rate is low, it means Uniqlo can have more circulating funds, which can be used to further develop their business, for example, to create new product lines or to organize staff training.
  • Actually, Uniqlo is a global brand that has 1920 stores operating worldwide, meaning that Uniqlo is transnational. Many people know this brand and it creates a huge market all around the world. The high popularity permits the company to promote itself through viral advertisements and aggressive social media ads to let their costumers know what their promotions and new developments are.
  • Finally, it creates a synergistic effect. Uniqlo always supports other brands like Theory and J BRAND to grow together. The company can do crossovers with other brands and try different strategies, this creates a synergistic effect where 1 plus 1 can be more than 2.

External Threats

  • The rising raw material prices lead to an increase in cost, which means Uniqlo needs to pay more to obtain the raw materials. If Uniqlo doesn’t want deficit, they need to transfer the extra cost to the consumers by increasing the price of the product. But costumers may switch to other brands which sell cheaper products than Uniqlo’s.
  • Additionally, the pay level or minimum wage can affect the company. If the minimum wage increases, Uniqlo needs to follow the law and increase their staff’s pay which also leads to increased costs and the problem explained in the previous point.
  • The company has very strong and fast-growing competitors like The Gap, H&M and Zara. Uniqlo’s designs are very similar to its competitors; as a result, it’s very easy to be replaced. So, Uniqlo needs to launch some special designs to attract new customers and keep its market share.
  • Due to the continued economic downturn in Hong Kong and the continuous decline in consumer sentiment, it is difficult to increase the willingness of customers to purchase.

Marketing Objective

Unique+Clothing=Uniqlo

Uniqlo uses systematic training to provide severe with rich quality with reasonable prices and diverse products to attract different age groups and target markets.

And Uniqlo do not forget to follow different necessity. They assistances the refugees of the Syrian Civil War. Uniqlo offers more than 20.33million items to them and recycle clothing and use the value of the clothing itself to the extreme.

Marketing Mix Programs(4Ps)

To achieve our marketing objectives which is to increase our company’s online sales, we have decided to target the office ladies whose age ranges from 25 to 45, and in order to do so we are planning to implement the following strategies:

Product

The company can expand its product catalog aimed at people who work in the office, by offering clothes with simple and practical design with greater variety of colors, since the people who work in an office environment have to follow a dress code (whether smart casual, business casual or simply business) these clothes categories are generally designed using gray-scale colors, but the company can integrate cool-colors into its designs, this might be a good way to attract customers that are looking for fashionable clothes at an affordable price.

The company might also change the design of products offered according to different seasons of the year, giving customers a sense of freshness when wearing the company’s products, and don’t make them feel like they are wearing the same garment throughout the year.

Place

UNIQLO can position its products in Instagram pop-up stores apart from its own website, this strategy can help the company attract more customers according to the interest and likes of the online users, also helps to increase the company’s online sales.

Currently, the company offers free delivery service for the products to any place, but the company may as well start offering delivery service to the 24-hours EF lockers free of charge as long as the buyer spends more than HK$500 on the same transaction. This logistic strategy helps to facilitate the collection of the products by the buyer, since the target market is office ladies who usually work from 9 am to 6 pm, it is sometimes difficult for them to go to the physical stores to buy the products or to pick it up, so this strategy can give them more flexibility and also encourages them to buy online.

Price

As we know the prices of UNIQLO’s products are affordable to customers, therefore the maximum prices are suggested to be at $600 based on the value-based pricing strategy which is we price the products or services based on what the customer is willing to pay. In order to allow our customers to feel that our company caters to their needs and it is worth paying for. Additionally, services such as pants alteration and delivery will be offered free of charge if you shop online. Besides, if the customer is not satisfied with the products’ quality or size, free exchange and return service will be offered to them once. Some discount will be provided such as $50 voucher for the first-time shop on the website, 85%, and 80% discount will be furnished if you buy more than $500 and $800 respectively as well as membership scheme with saving the membership score that can be exchanged for coupons or products. Apart from the pricing and discount strategies, the payment methods are also essential to the company, since it may affect customers’ shopping behavior, as a result, the payment methods include credit cards (Visa, Master, UnionPay), PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay as well as cash on delivery, etc.

Promotion

Promotion is one of the important parts that can help our company to attract more customers and to increase online sales. Since our target customers are office ladies who age between 25 and 45 so we believe that we can make the promotion which is easily accessed. Due to technology is advanced, people are always concentrated on their mobile phones, so it is suggested that we can make the advertisement through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. For instance, we can take the photo of the products with the caption about online sales discount. Furthermore, since some office ladies are still reading newspapers and magazines, so the advertisement can still be published. Since some ladies are health conscious, and they will do sports activities during their holiday and even they will join different competitions or events no matter what seasons, so cooperate with competitions or events is recommended. If the events are held during autumn and summer, our company can provide products line of AIRism which features quick-dry function and cool comfort as air to customers. Also, we can still offer products line of Heattech which features heat retention, odor control and anti-static, etc.

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