BACKGROUND OF THE COMPANY
Icebreaker was founded in the year 1995 by Jeremy Moon. The company was founded on the basic principle of innovating and replacing the petrochemical fibres with natural fibres. The main motto of the company is to value and encourage natural fibres and develop a sustainable business for a better future. All the products of “Ice-breaker” are made out of natural merino woollen fibre. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from merino sheep farmers. Icebreaker merino clothing is for the outdoors and technical sports. Its lifestyle wear includes underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker is originally based in Wellington, New Zealand, and is market to more than 3000 stores in 43 countries. It all started in 1994 when a merino sheep farmer, gave a woollen t-shirt to Jeremy. He liked the soft and lustrous fibre and he found that it wasn’t scratchy, itchy like the wool he’s grown up with. It was also long-lasting and machine washable. Considering all the factors Jeremy was inspired to create an entirely new category around this product of “Merino Outdoor Apparel”. In 1995 the company was founded and the world’s first natural layering system is officially born. Merino wool’s amazing warmth to weight ratio and low bulk was the biggest inspiration behind this innovation.
KEY PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE MARKETING
Ice breaker is strongly founded upon the basement of sustainable marketing .The market researchers have found that one needs to adopt sustainable business practices to evolve and strengthen customer relationships.
CONSUMER ORIENTED MARKETING
Considering the customer’s point of view, Icebreaker has designed it’s products vividly. The apparels are designed keeping almost every kind of target audience. Customer feedbacks have been valued and the garments have been altered according to the consumer’s choices. The apparels of Icebreaker Company are suitable to withstand any weather and environmental conditions. The products are based on simplicity, logetivity, versatility, purposeful, natural and sustainable.
CUSTOMER VALUE MARKETING
The company has come up with the idea of creating a transparency report every year. They believe that being transparent and opening doors to consumers allows them to make more conscious decisions. The transparency report is the result of our long-term commitment to build an ethical and sustainable business. The transparency report is created to let the customers know where their clothes come from and how they are actually made. They also launched firstname.lastname@example.org to encourage people to ask anything and share ideas for strengthen the consumer value. The consumer value is built to have long term relationships with the consumer segments. Transparency enables the concerned consumers to make more informed decisions and thereby build trust and scrutinize brands.
The company has left no stone turned when it comes to the innovative marketing. They invented corespun, an innovative new technology that wraps merino wool around a high denier nylon filament to radically increase longevity. Also they launched COOL-LITE™ – a blend of merino and plant based TENCEL®. Made from eucalyptus (the most ecologically sustainable natural fibre available) It helps to cease heat and delivers an outstanding breathability.
PRODUCT, PROMOTION, DISTRIBUTION AND PRICING STRATEGY OF THIS ORGANISATION IN RELATION TO SUSTAINABLE MARKETING INTERESTS
Product, promotion, distribution and pricing strategy are the MARKETING ACTIVITIES that an organization can take for the purpose of facilitating commercial exchanges. They are also known as the FOUR ELEMENTS OF MARKETING MIX.
- PRODUCT: Icebreaker is extensively a design-led company. It believes that a design-led company requires an intuitive leap, not just trying to find out what people want, because most people don’t know what they want until they see it. It’s uniquely designed products are one of its kind. In the Icebreaker world, products are designed to transcend the basic need for warmth and relate to the customer on a broader level of values-based wants.
- PROMOTION: Icebreaker has always followed the strategy of collaborating with local markets for better promotion of their products. They accessed and joined hands with the local companies of France, Japan and China to extend their market and promote their products. Also, icebreaker has partnered with VF corporation, an American worldwide apparel and footwear company, to access and promote products in new markets.
- DISTRIBUTION: Although icebreaker is native to New-Zealand, it has extended its arms across the globe, for a better reach of value-based customers. In a bid to access the best technology, ethics and capacity they extended a global level collaboration of French, German, Japanese and Chinese companies to excel an and create an advanced manufacturing hub in Shanghai.
- PRICING STRATEGY: Icebreaker has always focused on branding. It is purely a VALUE-BASED PRICING. They highly believe that, once the brand is values by customers, pricing is not an issue. Also, they make every aspect of their product reflect their brand values. They have theorized that greater the distance between their ideas and those of competitors, the greater the uniqueness of their product and this results in price becoming less of a factor for customers. The increased priority placed on branding by marketers in recent years offers an opportunity for consumer researchers to provide valuable insights and guidance. In particular, in highly competitive marketplaces, marketers often must link their brands to other entities.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE STRATEGY
Although the marketing strategy used by the company of Icebreaker have been recorded to provide practical benefit to the same and also maintain its marketing activities in a significant manner, it does have some drawbacks that create a barrier for the same to be on the first paradigm. Thus, the given report tends to specify some strategic recommendations that will help the relevant company under discussion here in the paper to improvise the synergy of its marketing-mix strategies and satisfy both the customer as well as the organisational goals. Therefore, the study in question strongly suggests some strategic suggestions that will assist the appropriate business being discussed here in the paper adapt the cohesion of its marketing-mix policies and fulfill both the client and the organizational objectives.
- Recognition of the usefulness understanding of the consumer behaviour i.e to plan and manage the dynamic marketing environment) means marketing researches find up things such as :-
- what consumers think of the products
- How they use these products.
- What is their attitude towards icebreaker products and its advertising. (JP Peter, JC Olson, KG Grunert – 1999 )
- Market segmentation needs to be implemented. It involves identifying consumer groups with unique needs, purchasing processes and developing specific marketing programs for them.
- Studying their customers ‘ behavioral strategy by requiring input from them on each purchase made by the client (Melero, Sese, 2016).
- Pertain better production practices than its peer rivals and thus derive a power base in the company sector.
- Induce much sophisticated and innovative modifications in technology.
ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION
Understanding competitors’ strengths and weaknesses is of paramount importance for marketers, developers, and planners involved in strategy development. Creating a competitive market position is vital to long-term success, and thus seizing market competitiveness should be of great interest to promoters. (Market positioning analysis , Joseph S. , Muzaffer Uysal ). This report conceptualises strategic market positioning as the ways in which firm‐specific resources and assets are deployed to build positional advantages in product‐markets. It also Presents analyses of data generated from high technology, medium and large, industrial manufacturing firms and discusses these results in the light of previous findings.
With the assistance of the research, it is evaluated that Icebreaker is in the synergy of keeping the quality of its product ahead of its peer rival (New-Zealand trade and enterprise). Moreover, the firm is also known to keep in an efficient manner both the quality and the pricing strategy of its products. Icebreaker’s main competitors are Ibex Outdoor Clothing, Smart wool and North Face. It is performing relatively great when compared to its competitors. After a detailed research, the following chart represents the annual revenue of icebreaker and its competitor companies.
Thus, with the assistance of the above research, it can be asserted that both feasible and recognizable critical sustainable principlesare used by the Icebreaker business.With the efficient use of manufacturing garments using natural fiber, the firm has been able to maintain its clients in the organization of the business.
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