February 2017 Brand Situational Analysis Marketing Strategies Communication Strategies
The aim of this report is to give an insightful and comprehensive analysed information, so the iconic British brand Barbour can reinforce the image, apply suggested strategies for geographical expansion, extend the brand and communicate its essence and values clearly with minimal risks and great opportunities to grow.
MDIS Nottingham Trent University BA in Fashion Marketing & Branding Year 2 Term 1 BFMD11508A Anastasia Sorokina Kinrain Tai Tiffany Xian
Introduction, 1 Brand Situational Analysis, 2
Marketing Strategies: Entering Singapore market, 12
Brand Extension Risks & Rewards, 20
WHEREVER MEN NEED TO BE PROTECTED, BARBOURS WILL DO IT FOR YOU
Intro Being on the British market for more than 120 years Barbour has become not only a favourite outdoor clothing brand of the Queen but one of the national attributes. Holding the sense of what it means to be British, the brand proudly embrace the â€œgrit, wit and glamourâ€?. Wearing Barbour means to respect the traditions and value the lasting quality and impeccable design that is remain to be close to the original Barbour that people wore half a century ago. No doubt, to keep the brand image through more than a century is not an easy thing to do, however; the members of Barbour family have been coping with it very well. The strategies for building a better communication and new ways to market the brand are presented in this report after the analysis of the J Barbour & Sons Ltd brand.
BRAND SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS
BRAND HERITAGE J. Barbour & Sons was founded in 18 94 in South Shields in the North East of England. Founder John Barbour began supplying oilskins and other garments to protect the growing community of sailors, fishermen and dockers. These first weatherproof items quickly established Barbour’s reputation for innovation and quality. Today, Barbour remains a fifth generation family business. Under the leadership of Chairman Dame Margaret Barbour, Barbour has grown into a lifestyle brand offering a wardrobe of stylish functional clothing and footwear for men, women and children inspired by the unique values of the British countryside. The iconic wax jackets continue to be made by hand in Barbour’s factory in South Shields. Barbour International, the collection for men and women inspired by Barbour’s motorcycle heritage established in 1936, is now a separate stand alone brand with its own identity. The proud holder of three Royal warrants, Barbour is sold in over 40 countries worldwide, including Europe, the US and Japan. Each year approximately 25,000 wax jackets are sent back to Barbour to be repaired, rewaxed or altered. This unique service means a Barbour wax jacket can last a long long time.
Barbour aims to create and maintain customer loyalty by ensuring quality, attention to detail and sustainability. Therefore, Barbour stands for eight main values in their company: consistency, clarity, commitment, fairness, openness, respect, integrity and trust.
Starting as a brand for countryside men, sailors and dockers, today Barbour also produces garments for the royalty. However, they try to stay true to their initial vision of Barbour which is to be a lifestyle British brand number one that can be still accessible to the middle-class people all around the world.
Loyal customers and people who just start exploring the brand can find the brand very down-to-earth, honest, spirited and reliable in respect to their campaigns featuring the countryside and British families, taking care of returned jackets for repair and building personal relationships with customers.
The company definitely has a strong attachment to the traditions. However, today to survive in a new market full of new types of customers the brand tries to gain a younger audience. So, the positioning of Barbour is in delivering a quality product and services to the all types of customers loyal ones and new ones.
consumer pen portrait
The Barbour brand has a broad customer base from a range of age groups and walks of life. They hold traditional British values and are loyal to the brand with whole generations of families wearing their jackets. Barbour customers want durability from their purchases and would often wear their waxed cotton jackets to outdoor sporting events or while visiting the countryside. They are mainly interested in function over fashion. However, the male customers buy mostly for sport and the female for fashion. The Barbour customers are willing to pay more for a product that will withstand their outdoor lifestyle and know that they can rely on the brand to ensure the highest quality. Barbour had seen a recent rise in young men working in the city coming into the stores, favoring the quilted Liddesdale style to wear over their suits as well as ‘trendy young things’ coming into a ‘cool alternative to what the high street has to offer.’ Barbour potential customer is the urban millennial who is tired of buying a new outdoor piece from high-street fashion retailers every season and wants to invest in quality and classy garment that can last for ages and in which he can be completely sure.
Barbour is known for its outerwear and provides a range of products from various jacket styles such as waxed cotton, tweed, leather and quilted styles. The Barbour range also boasts; knitwear, shirts, t-shirts in polo and rugby styles, trousers, footwear, hats, gloves, scarves, socks and ties as well as a variety of accessories including handkerchiefs, wallets and belts. Barbour prides itself on its truly unique services, allowing anyone that has a Barbour jacket to return it to their customer service department to be re-proofed, repaired or altered. They also take on board customer preferences when designing their ranges to ensure the client needs are met. Trends: Barbour historically stands for function and purpose. The coats were made to be practical and protect.
The 1980’s saw Barbour’s popularity rise with the publishing of ‘The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook’ by Ann Barr and Peter York with “affluent young wannabe aristocrats” seen wandering around the city wearing their Barbour jackets and “enjoying the country-seat implications that oozed from it” (Managementtoday.co.uk, 2017). The recent popularity of the Barbour jacket owes partly to the lm ‘The Queen’ starring Dame Helen Mirren. Her depiction of the Queen and her Barbour jacket set the trend especially popular in the USA with fashionable Americans wanting to recreate the quintessential English ‘look.’ The UK has fallen back in love with the Barbour as famous young faces such as Lily Allen, The Arctic Monkeys and Alexa Chung have all be photographed recently wearing theirs.
Barbour has the benefit of a strong brand name and heritage with three royal warrants. It is also seen by its consumers as an investment buy as they know they are guaranteed a quality product that will last.
Barbour suffers from a lack of awareness of the brand name in the commercial market. Right now they have a campaign with Outlander series actor Sam Heughan; however, he might look cliché for the brand very soon. Some stores are closed at the weekend.
One of the opportunity can be an endorsing a female well-known but not over-exposed in the media young celebrity. That can create much more media coverage and interest from a younger group of consumers. Also, as a heritage brand Barbour has potential to grow in Asian market outside of Japan where they already have the stores.
Competitors and fast-fashion companies could copy their trademark wax cotton and quilted jacket styles which would mean the Barbour ‘look’ could lose its appeal quickly as it filters down into the cheaper high street stores. Barbour would need to play up on the durability and service aspects of the brand to hold the customers’ attention.
MARKETING MIX STRATEGY FOR ENTERING SINGAPORE MARKET
Barbour is the part of what people call Britishness. According to BBC, Britishness is a combination of shared values like tolerance, respect and fair play. (BBC, 2012)
There are a lot of clichés about British lifestyle and Barbour should not affirm them. The brand definitely has to go with Zeitgeist and implement technologies along with product and marketing improvement.
As a holder of three Royal warrants the company doesn’t have any right to make For example, in 2012 Barbour worked the decisions that could go against those with Skyfall movie. Daniel Craig as James pillars. Bond wore Barbour jacket in some scenes. It was a perfect combination - “Barbour Being the one of the fashion brands who brings toughness, durability and counare actually represent British style and, tryside authenticity. And Bond helps add even more British Royal Style, means that some glamour and spice to the rather the world outside of the UK has to get the dusty Barbour brand” picture right. (The BrandGym, 2012).
Burberry is known for the birth of the trench coat. A weakness of this brand was that they fell into the wrong market category of the younger consumer, this gave the brands recognizable check print a ‘chavy’ appeal. Growth in counterfeit garments and accessories on the market that interfered with the brand's status. Barbour would need to be cautious with any marketing strategy to ensure they stay true to who they are and do not fall into the wrong market. Hackett is another brand that focuses on a strong British heritage. They push the idea of authentic British style with similar casuals to Barbour plus formal wear. They are also strongly associated with sporting events and much like Barbour, They sponsor various sporting clubs such as the British Army Polo team, the London Racing Club and Aston Martin Racing. Rugby ace Jonny Wilkinson has been the ambassador for the brand since 2002 and the current face of Hackett is actor Matthew Goode. Both men are said to ‘embody today’s gentlemen perfectly.' The website is regularly updated and includes a style advisor section with and ask Jeremy‘ section where consumers can message Jeremy Hackett for advice on what to wear. This adds an interesting element to the site, and it would be nice to see Barbour include small features like this to make the consumer feel more in touch with the brand.
匀琀漀爀礀戀漀愀爀搀 ⠀䠀愀挀欀攀琀琀 䰀漀渀搀漀渀㨀 吀栀攀 䈀爀椀最栀琀 䄀猀 刀愀椀渀 䌀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀漀渀⤀
䘀伀堀 䴀䄀䌀匀 圀䄀吀䔀刀 刀䔀倀䔀䰀䰀䔀一吀 吀栀攀 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀漀渀 昀攀愀琀甀爀攀猀 猀椀砀 猀甀瀀攀爀 氀椀最栀琀Ⰰ 眀愀琀攀爀 爀攀瀀攀氀氀攀渀琀Ⰰ 猀椀渀最氀攀 戀爀攀愀猀琀攀搀 洀愀挀猀 愀氀氀 挀甀琀 椀渀 愀 挀氀愀猀猀椀挀 愀渀搀 攀氀攀最愀渀琀 猀琀礀氀攀Ⰰ 挀漀洀瀀氀攀琀攀 眀椀琀栀 洀愀琀挀栀椀渀最 甀洀戀爀攀氀氀愀猀Ⰰ 琀栀攀 甀氀琀椀洀愀琀攀 挀漀洀戀椀渀愀琀椀漀渀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀 洀愀渀 愀戀漀甀琀 琀漀眀渀⸀ 䘀攀愀琀甀爀攀 挀愀洀瀀愀椀最渀ᤠ猀 猀琀愀爀Ⰰ 昀愀洀攀搀 刀漀礀愀氀 䈀愀氀氀攀琀 猀漀氀漀椀猀琀Ⰰ 䔀爀椀挀 唀渀搀攀爀眀漀漀搀⸀
British heritage brands Barbour aim to build upon their storied histories to acquire new customers and expand their presence on the global stage. If customers are global and that Barbour looks beyond the shores of the domestic market, they will have some real upside potential. Barbour has the unique product advantage such as the waxed jacket that is not available to the international market, this advantage should result in major business success abroad.
ION Orchard has 941,700 square feet of gross floor area and 663,000 square feet of retail space which is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. Designed by Benoy, the Orchard Turn Development has won two EG Retail and Future Project Awards, the Best Architectural Entry and the Best Retail Development.
Suntec City is one of Singaporeâ€™s largest malls and an appealing shopping destination nestled in the heart of the bustling Marina Bay precinct and has the high-profile traffic of over 3 million per month.
MARKETING STRATEGY FOR BRAND EXTENSION
Lessons learnt from other brands
From a case study of Bench which is in the industry of footwear and attire, it came out clearly that the most important way to capture a larger clientele base is through the maintenance of high-quality production of the products and maintaining rapidly delivery. For example, Bench is usually known for the production of unique, high-quality products geared towards meeting the demands of those in the sporting industry (Bresser, 2008, p. 23). The maintenance of high quality of product with a high degree of consistency has the effect of increasing the reputation of the firm hence improving on the brand.
To remain relevant in the market, it is also important to embrace the new advancements in the marketing of the products and improving on the brand (Peter, Olson, Grunert, 2014, p.12). For instance, with the advent of online marketing, Bench has employed professional staff geared towards making sure that their goods are marketed in an optimal way through the internet while observing the reduction of costs implication that might affects the companyâ€™s general profitability (Walker, 2014, p. 11).
The pricing strategy is also very crucial when dealing with the maintenance of the company brand. While creating an advent of high-quality production, Bench has priced its products very highly. The high pricing strategy is usually quite useful when dealing with the production of high-quality goods in which the customer has approved to have the top-quality as well (Baker, 2014, p. 9). In controlling the market share, the firm has managed to build on focusing on the high-end market. The firm understands the high-end customers are not price sensitive but quality sensitive. This makes the company have a critical competitive advantage where it can raise its prices but still maintain the same market demand (Solomon, 2014, p. 11). The maintenance of the market demand is important especially when dealing with large product brands. Barbour should, therefore, pitch its products as of high quality then raise their prices to depict the quality brought forward. The role of the management, therefore, is to search for those untapped high-end markets and ensure that they produce suitable goods and services that satisfy their needs (Lusch, and Vargo, 2014, p.19).
NATURAL FIT PRODUCTS FOR THE BRAND
In addressing the natural fit product, it is important to understand the context of the marketing objectives of the firm. The main marketing objective of Barbour & Sons Limited is to deliver to the esteem client weatherproof attires which help them to not only keep warm and cold but also makes them comfortable as they wear them (Leonidou, Leonidou, Fotiadis, and Zeriti, 2013, p. 16). The original nature of production demands was to meet the needs of the sailors in which they were to be protected from various adverse in the sea as they sail. To maintain such a kind of brand, the products being a natural fit for the brand are such as the waxed cotton jacket, moleskin clothing, tattersall shirts and corduroy clothing (Dangelico, and Pontrandolfo, 2015, p. 14). Such product fits the brand since they are all seasoned at the same time are durable and of high quality that would earn the company high prices and the well-established reputation. Brand building is all about the inception of a high standard of expectation from the customer and making sure that the client receives maximum satisfaction from what the firm produces (Wang, Dou, Zhu, and Zhou, 2015, p. 9). When carrying out the marketing, it is important to bridge the information and expectation gap. In this context, the company should advertise on what they can deliver as a company and not exaggerate the whole issue on production. The products mentioned above are seen to be a natural fit for the brand since they are known worldwide and have been sold for years on end without changing their fashion and yet their demand is still high (Kardes, Kalyanaram, Chandrashekaran, and Dornoff, 2013, p.112).
BRAND & PRODUCT EXTENSION (FOR SINGAPORE)
For a prolonged period, the Barbour is known for the production of the traditional British brands of attires. Due to the high level of dynamism in the volatile clothing industry, the company has strived to pitch its brands through inculcating the current fashions and designs in the clothing industry. To effectively be competitive in the market, Barbour has outlined its fundamental functions for which it serves the market. In the first instance, the firm has paid much attention to the making of attires that are not only made in the current fashion design but also meet the function for which it was instituted. There are, for example, various cloths of different makes that the firm has manufactured to deal with the weather from various countries while maintaining fashion currently in the market (Halvorsen, Hoffmann, Coste-Manière, and Stankeviciute, 2013, p. 152). Apart from the quilted and waxed jackets, the company is known for production, selling and retailing of moleskin clothing, sweaters, tattersall shirts, and corduroy clothing. In attempts to meet the demands of fashion and function, Barbour has managed to enter into the “waterproof breathable” market
(Bauer, Veblen, and Winkler, 2016, p.99). In this market, it should produce the polar fleece sweaters, Cardura external fabric and their own type of fabric liners. In this way, the firm will be stretching on both the function and fashion through making such types of clothes in the current fashion and design while meeting the consumer demands of keeping them warm (Black, Kapsali, Bougourd, and Geesin, 2005, p.221). Some products from this company would also contain outdoor-oriented characteristics for example waterproof pockets fixed with drainage holes, snuff fitting collars, and wide game pockets. Barbour should open a sub brand for kids called “Barbour Kids” to go into the kids market and produce diverse products, in order to target a bigger range of consumer. Barbour could gain some advantage from opening a sub brand, for example, increase popularity, increase revenue, etc. A well-known brand, Zara, is a successful example of having their sub brand - Zara Kids. Part of the reason why Zara is successful, is because they have many options for parents and kids to choose from.
While trying to meet the current fashion requirements, the firm should modernize its products to fit the current demands of the youthful clientele base while still upholding its traditional credibility through inculcating the culture of the countryside consumers (Calogero, and Tylka, 2010, p.188). Due to the volatility of the market in terms of fashion and design, the firm's ranges of fashionable clothes should be determined by motorcycling ranges of Barbour International Company. The main reason for it is because, using this strategy will draw the inspiration from the waxed cotton suit of motorcycling that the firm is known for since 1951 (Wright, 2003, p. 431). It should be noted that the current fashions are an interpretation of ancient companyâ€™s heritage in love for motorcycles. One of the clothes designed by Barbour is shown below. The above jacket is a fitting outfit which suits the current fashion. The outer part of the jacket is waxed to make it waterproof. The fundamental tradition that the company has been maintaining for four generations it has been in existence is to serve the sailors along the seas (De Rome, and Stanford, 2006, p. 167).
In order to make sure that the final consumer gets the real deal for this cloth as a sailor, the jackets should be improved by inserting the life saver gadgets into the. The buoyant pockets are very critical in ensuring that the sailor do not sink in the event of bad weather during sailing in the sea. Every jacket should also be fixed with high tech breathing gadgets which the sailor may use during breathing. With these gadgets improved on this clothes and other types of cloths for this Company is able to maintain its culture and make sure that it gets the best deal out of the whole context of sales within its clientele base (Inazu, Quinet, Wang, Brown, Stevenson, Barr, Moulin, and Tall, 2012, p. 55). The top part is designed to reveal either the cleavage or the chest of the consumer in the current fashion. The main function of the jacket is to keep warm at the times of rains. It is also designed to depict the most current fashion. In this context, Barbour has strategized in such a way that it meets both the fashion and function demands of the market (Tylka, and Calogero, 2010, p. 211).
RISKS & POTENTIAL REWARDS OF SINGAPORE MARKET
According to Inazu, Quinet, Wang, Brown, Stevenson, Barr, Moulin, and Tall, (2012, p.132), the Singapore market currently account for approximately 2% of the clothing industry. The 2% share of the world apparel accounted for by the Singapore market is contributed by Barbour and Sons limited company. This market is, therefore quite large and generates the revenues of about of US$3.6 billion. One of the potential rewards that the firm is deemed to have is the fact that it produces high-quality apparels, which means they will penetrate the market easily on this ground (Belch, and Belch, 2003, p. 44). It is also paramount to understand the fact that digital marketing and online retailing is soon gaining grounds in Singapore. Barbour will strategically gain more in the market using this mode of marketing as it already has its well-structured online retailing platform (Belch, and Belch, 2013, p. 18). The only important task left for this company is to strategically place its distribution outlets in various cities and towns of Singapore to gain an additional competitive advantage regarding sales and delivery of the products to the esteemed consumers.
The main desire of the consumers is to meet the current fashion and also get the products at the time and appropriate place. Since the digital marketing is gaining grounds here, the cost of marketing would be reduced as it will use its already established online platform to market its goods. On the count of the risks, the firm risks of being out competed in the Singapore apparel industry (Black, Kapsali, Bougourd, and Geesin, 2005, p. 69). According to the current statistics, the country is seen to have a high level of competition in the clothing industry. Some of the major players in the Singapore apparel industry are such as the Burberry, Berghaus, and Bench. In total, there are 130 manufacturers of clothing and shoe products (Gronow, 2013, p. 331). The stiff competition seen in this market creates potential risks of loss as the firm will incur most costs in the creation of awareness and would ensure that their products become quite competitive regarding quality which will indeed require a high level of cost implications (Gronow, 2013, p.331).
To ensure the convenient and appropriate marketing strategy implementation, it is important to inculcate the notion of collaboration within this plan. Barbour should collaborate with Burberry in order to gain more control in the market. Burberry is one of the market leaders in cloths production and selling (Lusch, and Vargo, 2014, p.19). Together, Barbour will be at a position to control the prices through monopolistic competition thereby creating a platform for high profits for the company. Collaboration is also very crucial with the shoe making companies like Grenson Company. The firm will be at position to use the distribution network of the shoemaking company and expand its clientele base by while ensuring ease of penetration within the market. Shoes goes hand in hand in terms of fashion with cloths hence their collaboration will reduce the advertisement costs (Buckingham, 2011, p.154).
Additionally, Barbour should collaborate with the strong handbag brands across UK which are deemed to be bought along with the Barbour clothes. Milli Millu, the complementary nature of these hand and back bags will help the company have one stop outlets which are very crucial while creating a good clientele base. Collaboration with the major industry leaders is essential as it allows for the company to not only understand the selling framework in this industry but also will permit the firm to get the optimal pricing strategy to use (Peter, Olson, and Grunert, 2014, p. 39). Collaboration is essential as it reduces the advents of adverse price wars that might make the firm exit this new market due to unfavorable profitability margin due to low prices and high operational costs.
As it was mentioned earlier, Singapore market is highly competitive; the market penetration could be quite difficult, the difficulty is caused by the fact the many industry players have various techniques of keeping out every new entry into the market (Lusch, and Vargo, 2014, p. 18). Collaboration has the effect of making sure that the firm gets compromise from other major industry players that would help it penetrate the clothing industry quite easily. The collaboration here would help in the efficient creation of the production and distribution lines. With keen attention to the high-end customer, Barbour should collaborate with the companies that target the low-end customer to use their distribution lines to gain the market entry (Buckingham, 2011, p.154). Barbour & Sons Limited is known to have the brand with grit, wit, and glamor. Collaboration has the effect of either ruining this notion or strengthening it depending on the type of collaboration and the type of company with which another collaborates. To enhance its brand status, the firm
needs to collaborate with those companies that target the high-end customer since Barbour also targets the same group of customers (Ferrell, and Hartline, 2014, p.22). Collaboration with Bench has the effect of improving the brand status of Barbour since the firm targets the high-end customers. In this context, Bench targets those customers who like sports while Barbour targets those who like wearing weatherproof clothes. Such differentials in the consumer segment help the collaboration to take root. Less competition would be experienced by the two firms while their pricing strategy would be the same. The similarity in the pricing strategy is deemed to help the two firms which have collaborated to gain control of the market and reduce the effects of price wars that would jeopardize the companies in this industry. If the Barbour collaborates with a company with low-end customers, it is deemed to taint its brand since the firm sells those products for the high-end market (Chowdhury, Prajogo, and Oke, 2015, p.18).
In summary, this marketing strategy is pitched to give the Barbour and Sons Limited the best plan of action to take while penetrating the new market. The firm is known for production of high end clothing products. The target market for Barbour products are those clients who wants all weathered clothes. The company due to its outstanding reputation and good financial base will penetrate the market through digital market. Collaboration with other industry players is very essential as it makes the company gain control of the market. The main lesson learnt from the competitors is that high quality production of these goods is very essential especially when dealing with the high-end customers. The customers also require consistency and convenience the product and service delivery. The firm should also use the high pricing strategy to depict the high quality of its goods for the customers who are not price sensitive but majors on quality.
EXTERNAL COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS
Thinking about how Barbour communicates, it is essential to feel a bit lost. You wonâ€™t see it through top virus advertisements online or screaming billboards with celebrities that tend to appear on the covers of numerous tabloids. They donâ€™t chase you but speak with gentle, respectful and classy; yet, modern manner. These days Barbour communication is more through digital channels which is reasonable enough - the time of catalogues and, even, TV in some way or another, is gone. All channels that Barbour uses: advertising, PR, direct mail, point of sale, window displays and web communications Those main digital channels are: video advertising on youtube social media (such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr) their website barbour.com and online advertisements
Barbour understands the power of YouTube nowadays and its advantage in front of TV. Just since 2016 they posted more than 50 videos about the essence of British lifestyle that Barbour embraces. Along with seasonal campaigns, they have collaborations with interesting people and creative short videos with just garments animation.
Sean Conway Adventurer In 2015 Barbour made an exquisite collaboration video with endurance adventurer Sean Conway. The landscapes of picturesque Lake District which is on the north-west of England opens up a certain personality of Barbour customer and brand DNA overall. It feels authentic, realistic and inviting. Music and inspirational quotes featuring in the video add a certain value to the ÂŤprettyÂť pictures. Barbour is the brand for people who appreciate simple things - the beauty of mountains and sunrise, being in solitude and harmony with yourself and outside world.
Sam Heughan 2016 Another example of successful brand campaigns is the one with certain celebrity. Barbour is (picky) about people they work with, therefore they try to find right brand ambassadors who can fully represent what the brand is about, focusing more on their values than on fame of this well-known person. In 2016 Barbour made Sam Heughan an ambassador. Sam Heughan is a British actor who was born in the same area where John Barbour was - Galloway, Scotland. He is famous by US production TV series Outlander, which is great because his fans in America will have an awareness of the brand. Sam Heughan has a traditional class and relevance to the Barbour. The video advertising shows him as a countryside gentleman sitting at the fireplace in the castle and walking his dog around. When the customer sees it, he automatically will think of loyalty, traditions and freedom. Very simple, yet elegant and timeless way to show the customer the essence of Barbour.
It is obvious that Barbour doesnâ€™t do any plot oriented advertising, they rather deliver the feeling of how it is to live in the world of Barbour. The commercials send to the audience the same idea of what it means to be in Barbour family but in various frameworks. It obviously shows a certain rural dignity and worth of being the brand customer. Even though Barbour is worn by urban dwellers too, the core of the brand remains the same - sincerity, family values, adventure, integrity and free spirit. The main focus is on being authentic and happy.
Barbour International Being a sub-brand Barbour International has slightly different approach to communication as its customer is likely to be also different from the one of the main line. Barbour International is about being bold, fearless and, of course, free. It is mainly youth-oriented and inspiring for young talents. Initially developed for motorcyclists, Barbour International has a strong reputation in motorcycling community as a brand who has worked with legendary Steve McQueen. Now, the brand supports and attracts hidden talents and extraordinary people who deserve some spotlight like Alice Costelloe - a young musician and a songwriter, and Mr Gee who is a spoken word poet in the campaigns.
SOCIAL MEDIA No doubt, it would be very hard thing to do without social media. It is easier way for Barbour customers to share their stories through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms. The brand mentions actual hashtags they look through in their video campaigns and official social media.
Barbour people campaign Barbour knows how important to stay connected to the customer. â€œBarbour Peopleâ€? is the project by the brand to celebrate and talk to individuals of different backgrounds, occupation, character and story, who have at least one common thing - Barbour in their life.
Barbour has a very clean and sleek website. Even though they have different collections and sub brands as Barbour International and Barbour Dogs - it is easy to navigate and explore the brand. It is common that people are not happy about taking their time trying to figure out what sub brand stands for what and which collection they need. A customer of 2017 needs to understand the brand intuitively. Barbour through imagery and defined segments on the website allows them to feel where they can find something specific or just explore something easily that they are interested in. The colour scheme fits into the brand image and makes the website complete. Analysing the current campaign pictures it is important to say that the values and overall mood no matter what campaign it is remains the same. As it was mentioned in video communication part - it is family life, seizing the countryside, adventurous yet calm (solitude) spirit, strong connection to the nature and contemplating simple but meaningful life full of admirable things.
120 YEARS Barbour is 123 years in 2017 and theyâ€™ve developed a nice time line and articles on their heritage. Today it is easier to reach a big audience through video or social media posts, so the lack of that will be discussed in the following sector.
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION ANALYSIS
Communication within the company as much important as with outside world. The right combination of employees’ energy and attitude is the main key to running a successful brand. Barbour is a perfect example of the company with high employee commitment. Ian P Buckingham in his book «Brand Champions: How Superheroes Bring Brands to Life» talks about Barbour Netiquette: The brand truly stands for every employee to be a communicator. Clearly, Marketing Department is the main force for integrity of brand external and internal communication. Therefore, Line Managers are the people who deliver brand’s new strategies and directions from decision-makers to product-makers in the company. At the same time they make sure the employees understand and live with 3-C brand values: consistency, clarity and commitment (Ref) through meetings, workshops, events and, of course, e-mail.
Another practice Barbour implements is encouraging workers to communicate with each other (and with customers too) face-to-face or telephone rather than through e-mail. In the age of technology people tend to build less real personal relationship with each other. However, when we talk about building something as big as the British lifestyle brand number one - it is pivotal to have a cohesive team of professionals who fully believe in what they are doing and why. Being a family business from its very beginning Barbour tries to embrace people and process as long with the product. Their objective is to make every person working in Barbour feel himself a member of a huge family. The management built on personal relationships, trust and respect always gets the best results. Barbour worker has to be free spirited and authentic just like Barbour customer. So, the messages the brand sends need to be relevant to the both sides.
In 2014 Barbour has celebrated 120 years since its foundation in 1894. The brand already started «120 Years of Barbour» campaign educating existing and potential customers about the unique heritage it is proud of. The story is an inevitable part of the brand’s success and marketing, especially for international marketing. Barbour has a strong reputation in Great Britain and Europe but to attract a new customer in new market as South East Asia is a challenging task. Focusing on the heritage mixed with contribution to society and decent celebrity involvement can be a right formula to reach international customer base.
BARBOUR BRAND FILM Making brand films is not a new trend but in most cases effective way to express how serious the fashion company is. A lot of lifestyle and fashion brands with impressive heritage has filmed their stories not only for Internet, TV but even for cinema (Dior, Valentino, Ralph Lauren etc.) It can be 10-15 minutes film about Barbour history, brand core values, style icons who wore the wax jacket and other products, feedback from loyal experienced customer and a new one, short stories by Barbour workers, interview with Dame Margaret. Implementing the film with the picturesque views of South Shields, the factory and stores atmosphere, historical video frames of Steve McQueen who has been a face of Barbour International and royal family including Princess Diana wearing Barbour jackets is a beautiful and affecting way to generate the heat for customers and media. If the campaign will have enough coverage and get a lot of feedback then it is possible to think on making the full-length documentary.
WOMEN OF BARBOUR Today standing for equal rights for both sexes and educating people «what a true feminism is» - one of the priorities for brands. Sharing the right values with customers is extremely important. Barbour was founded first for the fishermen, sailors and dockers who were all men. In 2017 it is more than jackets for countryside men. It is a British philosophy of living involving either men or women. Like the idea of «He For She» campaign to engage men into supporting equal rights and female empowerment - Barbour as originally a brand for men can stand for its female customers, workers, managers and, of course, Chairman Margaret Barbour who has worked in the company more than 40 years. Making a clear statement that Barbour supports sex equality with this campaign involving the heart of the brand Dame Margaret Barbour is able to lift the brand image and awareness.
A new brand ambassador appealing to the young customer base has a chance to push up the sales for Barbour International sub brand that can interest not only local audience but global too including South East Asia. Maisie Williams is a young actress featured in highly rated HBO series «Game of Thrones». Being a 19-year teenager, she has been already nominated for Emmy Award as «Outstanding Supporting Actress in Drama Series». On Emmy awards she carried a bag by Charles & Keith, Singapore fast fashion shoes and accessories brand which leaded to the brand’s big sales. The young actress has an English class with modern attitude and can be a great choice for Barbour to make her a brand ambassador for Barbour main line or Barbour International bringing awareness and delivering values of the brand to the millions of her fans and followers.
SOUTH SHIELDS BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL The Great Britain is famous with spectacular music festivals where a lot of young independent artists expand their auditory. If Barbour targets the younger customer (especially for Barbour International) the events could be a great opportunity to get the millennial approval and recognition. For instance, Tommy Hilfiger does “The Pier” event second year in a row already and it totally changed the attitude of young consumers into positive way. Setting up a festival in such historical place for Barbour family should have even more emotional connection with the brand and the brand employees. There is no need to invite pop stars. The event should not be that scale. However, inviting young aspiring and talented artists who are just starting their big career in music can work out very well. Some of them to consider: Arctic Monkeys Rag’n’Bone Man The Aces Magic Gang (RadioX, 2017)
Barbour has everything to gain success and expand around the world because of its rich heritage, consistency and strong values. However, the brand must be careful to not spoil its image like Burberry once did. Attracting a young new consumer is wonderful but shifting all focus on them may become a huge damage for the brand based on traditions.
To improve Barbour has to focus on: â€˘ Keep being consistent with its product and support a cohesive team of professionals treating every worker so, they can feel themselves as the members of the Barbour family â€˘ Delivering the message about its heritage to the younger audience to stay relevant â€˘ Making unexpected but meaningful collaborations that will gain the interest and publicity
The report covers the brand background, DNA, consumer pen portrait, product range and SWOT analysis. It offers marketing and communication s...
Published on Jul 11, 2018
The report covers the brand background, DNA, consumer pen portrait, product range and SWOT analysis. It offers marketing and communication s...