AZEEDINE ALAIA BRAND REPORT
IRAM KAYANI FASHION MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION 1
CONTENTS 4- Exuctive summary 6- Brand history 8- Brand Equity and Visual identity 10- Marketing mix 11- BCG Matrix 12- Consumer segmentation 13- Visual consumer profile 14- Brand positioning map 15- Competitor analysis 16- Micro and Macro factors 17- PESTLE 18- SWOT 19- Recommendations 20- Bibliography
The purpose of this report is to understand the current marketing condition of Azzedine Alaia’s luxury brand. My research methods have been demonstrated with the use of appropriate marketing modules and theories. For example, the BCG matrix, SWOT and PESTLE analysis and brand positioning maps. From my brand research, I have looked at external factors which affect aspects such as, success, sales and competitor analysis. In addition to all of this, I have concluded with some recommendations for Alaia’s brand and their marketing approach. To summarise, I have found that this evolved luxury brand has made a huge impact in the fashion industry which has led to its brand positioning and lifecycle being successful and at top in lavishness women’s fashion.
Azzedine, a luxury master couturier who found love for the shape of female form. Tunisian born, Alaia from an early age gained insights and valuable experiences from working in arts where he then began to study female sculpture. Started of a dressmaker in 1957, Alaia went on to privately dress clients, which is how he made a name for himself. After focusing so long on custom made gowns, Alaia evolved to produce ready to wear garments, which became in high demand from him. (The Fashion directory, Thames and Hudson 2011) 1980 Azzedine Alaia’s first ready to wear collection was launched which he then voted ‘best designer and best collection of the year’ by the French Ministry of Culture. (Business of Fashion 2016, Issuu 2016)
‘King of Cling’ Alaia instantly famous for his body sculptured collections for female fashion. The first to feature on catwalks with the likes of celebrities such as Naomi Campbell in haute couture pieces, fringed and moulded leather designs. Grace Jones wearing the famous ‘side fastening dress’ (The fashion directory 2011) and Bettina Moreover. Also working with fashionable females such as Michelle Obama, Tina Turner and Madonna, Alaia was even more recognised in the industry. (Fashion united 2017) Alaia, a ‘fashion rebel’ different to other designers as he often declined to take part in fashion weeks and reveal collections as he liked to keep private. After retiring for a while, year 2000, Alaia signed with Prada to make a comeback and develop a brand extension. The brand went onto produce leather goods such as shoes and handbags which have become as successful as Azzedines ready to wear collections. Alaia’s fragrance collection also first made an appearance on a leather corset in the 1980’s. Brand Founding Year – 1985 the Alaia signature look revealed. Market sector - Women’s ready to wear collections, retailing at high end luxury designer prices ranging from £500-£1,500. Brand extension - Began with custom made gowns, to ready to wear collections, fragrance, shoes, handbags and accessories.
KING OG CLING’
BRAND EQUITY AND VISUAL IDENTITY Brand identity – unique feature - known as the ‘King of Cling’ Alaia would ‘Stretch’ his fabrics to mould and sculpture the female figure. Using mainly leather, silk, velvet and fur, Alaia also had a recognised print cut that he produced himself and would use on his dresses, handbags and shoes.
“HE GIVES YOU THE VERY BEST LINE YOU CAN GET OUT OF YOUR BODY…. TAKE ANY GARMENT HE HAS MADE. YOU CAN’T DROP THE HEM; YOU CAN’T LET IT OUT OR TAKE IT IN. IT’S A PIECE OF SCULPTURE” - TINA TURNER (Business of fashion 2011)
Brand position - after signing with Prada in 2000, Alaia became a high cost high end fashion designer
brand. The luxury patterns and expenses, Alaias brand is currently positioned at the high end alongside designers such as Prada, Alexander MQueen, and Burberry, Chanel,Fendi etc. The associated products are all designer, expensive jewellery and high-end makeup etc. Execution – Communication routes - Alaia’s communication routes are not a strength of his brand as selected designs are shown on runways or exhibitions only. No advertisements are made and no social media directly from Alaia is made. The consumers of Alaias products are majority celebrities which then promote the garments through their social media influence. Again, only selected ready to wear pieces are located in stores across the world. For example, in the UK Alias designs are currently only available in Harrods, Dover Street Market, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. However, some stores only offer accessories and fragrances as his designs are couture limited amounts. Consistency over time – The consistency of presenting Alaia’s products isn’t as frequent as designers such as Burberry. Furthermore, Alaia presents Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter collections with the same consistent style and uses his signature designs, colours and pattern.
Brand system - ‘Everything Alaïa creates, he creates with his hands on a bust’
Alaia creates each design himself as his pieces are not fast fashion. The production is known to go through Alaia only and sent only to strict distribution channels such as luxury store and exhibitions. (New york times 2011) ‘We could do fewer collections and obtain the same results. We don’t lose any money if we do less’ (Business of fashion 2011) Brand leverage – Originally Alaia began with his couture gowns and set ready to wear pieces. Afterwards Alaia made a brand extension introducing, handbags, shoes and fragrance which all were successful and made an impact on Alaia’s image and sales. Tracking brand equity - As the brand is targeted to wealthy high end fashionable females, Alaias designs are not targeted or accessible to regular high street shoppers. Alaias consumers show brand loyalty as they become familiar and frequent buyers after purchasing. Brand responsibility – Alaia has a big brand responsibility as it has been a long term exsisitng brand which retails at a high price and has limited loyal consumers. To maintain a good reputation Alaia must respond to consumer needs to maintain consistant luxury goods. Brand Investment – when partnering with Prada this became a brand investment which would target loyal Prada customers and build the brand to become global. Previously showcasing only at fashion weeks and exhibitions was a marketing technique which worked for Alaia as a brand, to build as everyone was keen to see what Alaia had released. (Business of fashion 2012)
PRICE: Luxury couture products and premium ready to wear pieces, Alaia’s pricing strategy is at the high end in the fashion industry. Products retailing at a start price of £500-£1,500. Targeted to women who represent class, elegance and wealth. The fragrance and accessories such as handbags and shoes are targeted to a wide age range of women between 20-50. The pricing has included the time spent to produce each piece as Azzedine looks at each himself and the capital spent on material. Always beginning with the highest possible price to compete with competitors, Alaia has proved the brand using penetration and skimming pricing strategy has been successful. Cost of products has never seen to be reduced as demand for the unique designs is consistent.
PLACE: Alaia a global wholesaler, products available instore and online. In Europe Alaia distributes in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Cyprus and Greece. Alaia also covers across the middle east, Asia pacific and America. Stores: Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Dover street market. Online Alaia is accessible on the Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols website. However only the fragrances are available online. Minimal promotion is done therefore only consumers who shop regularly at these locations will be familiar where Alia is available to purchase. No department stores are known to be used.
PRODUCT: Alaia offers, haute couture designs, ready to wear pieces, shoes, handbags and fragrances. The purpose of these is to dress celebrities, be revealed on runways and be recognised. Alias designs are mainly seen on celebrities. Celebrities are the target audience which then also help with advertising and promoting Alaias work. The difference between Alias work is that he doesn’t advertise the same as other high-end designers. His design and patterns are Using the BGC matrix and product lifecycle, Alaia can compare and review his products to see what does well and what’s in demand.
PROMOTION: Advertising is something which differentiates Alaia from other designers in the same sector as him. No TV commercials are used ever. Public relations and celebrity endorsement and customer loyalty is the main way Alaia gets his work seen. Social media is used through celebrity endorsement. No sale promotion is used as Alaia is considered to be a luxury brand. On the other hand, location of the products which are available to the public (Harrods) personal selling from sales advisors is a big part of gaining customer loyalty and sales. Alaia is however featured in numerous fashion weeks, luxury magazines and red carpet events. This is an additional way Alaia promotes his products.
STARS QUESTION MARKS CASH COWS DOGS
Known to be products with high growth and good market share however, need consistent advertising. With Alaias products this would be his fragrance and shoes. Lots of investment made to develop but have potential in the future. Ready to wear pieces and couture gowns. Profit is produce from these however is used to develop new products. In this case this would be handbags and accessories. Profit is produce from these however is used to develop new products. In this case this would be handbags and accessories. A debated product yet has foundation and is part of the brand. Alaias most unrecognised product would be his belts as other designers have better competitor and customer awareness. For example, Gucci and Hermes.
‘Consumer behaviour is the study of how individuals, groups and organisations select, buy, use, and disposeof goods, services, ideas, or experiances to satisfy their needs and wants’ (Kotler and Keller, 2006) Alias brand use mass communication which is tailoring products to customer needs. ‘The king of cling’ targets women who want to show more shape to their bodies and wear sexually appealing clothes. Segmenting the consumer market: Geographic – depends on the region, urban, suburban and city size. with many distribution places, all around the world Alaia is located in cities with large populations and high luxury demand. Demographic – age, gender, income, social class. Alaia targets wealthy women with high income. Those which have purchased Alaia will recognise Alaia product which shows social class and gives physiological esteem needs to the consumer. Psychographic – personality attributes, motives and lifestyle. Women who like to present themselves by what they wear and like to express their wealthy luxury lifestyle choices through fashion. Alaias design are known to be appreciated for detail and quality. Behaviouristic – brand loyalty, pricing, volume usage. Majority celebrity consumers who keep up with the latest trends during fashion week will show liking to Alaia’s collection as his designs show wealth and class.
VISUAL CONSUMER PROFILE
COMPETITOR ANAYLSIS Azzedine Alaias brand being in the high-end fashion designer analysis his competition is very strong. With the likes of Gucci, Channel, Dior and Alexander McQueen, Alaias marketing and advertising strategy doesnâ€™t peform as well as the others. With constant TV and social media presence the other brands are gaining completion. Alia is very hard to be able to identity his current market therefore consumers go to other brands. However, Alaia does provide cohesion and his own style whereas other brands such as Gucci follow culture and social evolution. This is a good strategy to gain completion and raise sales though this opposes Alias goals and purpose. The morals and values of Alias brand are clear to his consumers and represent his purposes. By taking time to produce and assess each garment shows passion and commitment to his brand. Ensuring that theyâ€™re of high luxury quality material balances out the pricing to it. Majority competitors also offer a service online and have a wide range of their products to the public. Alaia only offers his fragrances online and his physical garments instore. Nevertheless, in stores is very limited collections. This is also another reason why competition turn to other brands as the demand and product is hard to get. Furthermore, because the product is hard to get hold of this can make consumers adamant to want to be able to purchase it.
MICRO AND MACRO FACTORS
Political – Alaias being founded in France allows lots of close by distribution however with recent terror attacks and Frances second time going into recession this is not promising for the sales from tourists and consumers who travel to purchase luxury goods from France. This could also affect the foreign trade policy which will affect retailers across the world. When Alaia wants to expand into other countries they have to become familiar with the political regulations and understand that the government can change policies which may affect the company’s operation. Economical – Alaia has strong markets across Europe including the UK. Things such as Brexit can affect the fashion industry in the UK and what will be available to consumers there. An increase in consumers is a positive advantage to Alaia however worldwide is suffering from a economical crisis which affects passionate consumers and their views to purchasing luxury goods. A number of sales may fall as consumer behaviour changes. Social – Alaia brand isn’t known to be socially participated like other cluster groups. Alaia follows only his own ideas and aspirations therefore diesnt take into account social ac tivity or current social culture. Also, the consumer group for Alaia hasn’t changed since it was first founded. Technology – Alaia has introduced his fragrance range online which has shown an increase in ecommerce sales. “Increased emphasis is being placed online retail platforms such as net-a-porter and matchesfashion.com (Euro monitor 2016) As Alaia is a luxury brand his consumers prefer the instore experience to physically see and feel the goods. ‘Alaia’s new technique using Japanese textile woven microscopically, knitting machinery into garments three-dimensional blue print to knit the pattern seamlessly’ (Collins 2012) Legal – the legal issues would be counterfeits and copyrights however Alaia is a very hard brand to imitate as the products are not consistently the same or have a logo to be replicated. Other brands in the same market share which have significant logos have more counterfeit issues which is an advantage to sales to Alaia as the hard work is purchased rightfully. Though without any counterfeits this cant’ advertise or promote the brand in any way.
“Political Factors These are all about how and to what degree a government intervenes in the economy. This can include – government policy, political stability or instability in overseas markets, foreign trade policy, tax policy, labour law, environmental law, trade restrictions and so on. Economic Factors Economic factors have a significant impact on how an organisation does business and also how profitable they are. Factors include – economic growth, interest rates, exchange rates, inflation, disposable income of consumers and businesses and so on. Social Factors Also known as socio-cultural factors, are the areas that involve the shared belief and attitudes of the population. These factors include – population growth, age distribution, health consciousness, career attitudes and so on. These factors are of particular interest as they have a direct effect on how marketers understand customers and what drives them. Technological Factors We all know how fast the technological landscape changes and how this impacts the way we market our products. Technological factors affect marketing and the management thereof in three distinct ways: • New ways of producing goods and services • New ways of distributing goods and services • New ways of communicating with target markets Environmental Factors They have become important due to the increasing scarcity of raw materials, polution targets, doing business as an ethical and sustainable company, carbon footprint targets set by governments (this is a good example were one factor could be classes as political and environmental at the same time). These are just some of the issues Legal Factors Legal factors include - health and safety, equal opportunities, advertising standards, consumer rights and laws, product labelling and product safety. It is clear that companies need to know what is and what is not legal in order to trade successfully. If an organisation trades globally this becomes a very tricky area to get right as each country has its own set of rules and regulations.” (professional academy 2015)
WEEKNESSES Some weakness I came across were Alaia’s promotional activity. No social promotion is done for the brand whereas current market is based on sales through social presence. Also, his high pricing points. Due to the material and time it takes to produce a garment, Alaia’s target audience will not change yet may lose over competition due to pricing.
Alaia has many strengths with his couture collections and global presence. Without a logo, Alaia’s pattern and detailing is recognised by many in the high-end fashion industry. Having his work only and only wanted to be displayed on fashion weeks and runways shows a strength in demand for his work.
OPPERTUNITIES Alaia has many opportunities to gain sales. Firstly, his online presences and ecommerce products should be widened, so that consumers can access his collections to buy online. His celebrity endorsement could be reached out to more so the social side can be advertised without him having to physically advertise himself.
THREATS Threats to Alaia’s brand would be loss of consumers due to his usage of animal skin on his designs. Currently known to use crocodile and real fur, the fashion industry has recently become stricter with what’s right to use in high luxury fashion and what isn’t classed as humane. This could ruin the reputation of Alaia and ruin any new upcoming consumer relationship.
From my research on Azzedine Alaia brand I have concluded to some recommendations that I think could bre if use to increase sales and consumers. Firstly, I feel that Alaia could potentially rebrand and target a younger generation with accessorie products. For example, his bags and shoes. These could be priced at a lower cost which would also attract customer attention away from competitors. A more distinctive logo could also be produced which would allow others too physically see the Alaia signature. This could be a great way of competing with brands such as Chanel and Gucci as their logos are recognised globally. Another big impact which I believe Alaia could come up-to-date with is the social media and social presence of the brand. Alaia should be seen at every fashion week which would give opportunity to showcase his work to the newer purchasers and be noticed. Social media platforms are one of the most beneficial ways to increase sales and be seen via media.
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