MBA Marketing Research and Planning

The article analyzes the marketplace for Converse's Chucks All Celebrity range of shoes in the United States of America and carries a take a look at other competitive brands for contrast. Graphs depicting market data in conditions of online sales in US dollars have been included to aid the studies. The report segments the marketplace for Chucks on basis of demographic, psychographic and behavioral factors and then progresses to highlight the prospective market for the canvas sneaker. Also included is the marketplace position of Chucks relative to its competitors. The report represents the product's marketing mixture and its affect on the market position and customers' buying habit. Also, the approach has been criticized in conditions of current and future opportunities. Finally, the statement draws a final result of the market

Introduction to Converse and Chucks All Star

It all started in 1908, when Marquis M. Converse launched the Converse Plastic boot Company in Malden, Massachusetts. The company began as a producer of silicone shoes, which offered winterized rubber soled shoes or boots for men, women, and children. By the entire year 1910 the Converse Footwear Company was producing 4, 000 shoes daily, but it was not until 1912, so it first commenced producing shoes for playing golf. In 1917, the company revolutionized hockey by adding the world's first canvas high-top performance baseball shoes, which it named the "All Star". Five years later, a semi-professional field hockey player, Charles "Chuck" Taylor officially joined Converse as America's first athletics player endorser; Chuck's signature was added 2 yrs later in the All Star patch and for the next four ages, "Chucks, " as they truly became known, were the shoes to possess, especially on the baseball court.

The involvement of America in World Conflict II (1941) required Converse into a new stage and it started manufacturing boots and ponchos. Converse designed the A6 Traveling Shoe for the U. S. Military Air Corps and even post the warfare these shoes continued to be the government released shoes for military services training. Because of its war work Converse received a number of honors from the Army, Navy, and U. S. Treasury.

Converse shoes became the main footwear among the teenagers, who wore them as a symbol of youngsters rebellion in the 50ґs and then for the same reason they stayed popular in the 70ґs and 80ґs.

But it was at the past due 80ґs that Converse's recognition started to decrease. Some unfortunate situations and bad decisions lead Converse to file for bankruptcy in 2001. In June, 2003 Nike bought Converse out for $305 million and has ever since invested more than four million us dollars into its advertising. Today, Converse has over 1, 000 different types of Chucks offering in the market to individuals and organizations, all with the same goal -

"WEAR A SHOE WHICH MAKES A Assertion".

As brought up in the objective statement of the business

"Our Objective is to provide personal service to your customers understanding that soon we will become friends. Our desire is that we supply the same shoes that our owner's father used for cross-country in 1965, and his grandfather used to play stickball in the roadways of Philadelphia in the 30's. "

This report can be an outcome of the evaluation of marketing strategies employed by Converse in the United States of America. The primary reason for the record is to indicate the market segmentation and focus on customer bottom of Converse's most famous range of shoes, the Chucks or Converse All Celebrity, in the U. S. The record further analyzes the positioning of Converse in the footwear industry compared to its rivals; the negative and positive aspects of the setting strategies. It further talks about the product, costs, promotional and distribution strategies and their affect on the buying behavior.

Market Segmentation, MARKETPLACE and Placement of Chucks

Converse cases to be the first boot company to kick off sneakers with 'Self Manifestation' and till time frame Chucks enjoy the status of being typically the most popular shoes with this gain. Despite this reality, Converse prefers to focus only on certain inclination clusters and decides concentrate on marketing over traditional mass marketing.

The market for the Chucks All Celebrities has generally been segmented corresponding to demographic factors, namely, age and income. Furthermore, the company also divides the market on basis of psychographic factors like lifestyle and personality. Behavioral factors, like frame of mind and user status, are also used to segment the market further. The product moves beyond segmenting the market on basis of gender, by offering shoes for men and women, and also unisex shoes.

The market for the Chucks has been segmented on basis of the next factors

Demographic - Under this factor the U. S. human population is primarily classified on basis old, discretionary income and era. The age categories have been put into four parts, particularly: under 13, 13 to 19, 20 to 35 and above 35. *Further, the income communities have been divided into: 0 income (students), $ 1 to $ 30, 000 (young entry-level pros) and above $ 30, 000 (upper middle income). The years have been segmented into seniors (those delivered between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (those given birth to between 1964 and 1984) and Technology Y (those born after 1984).

Psychographic - Because of this factor the marketplace has been categorized on basis of lifestyle and personality. The populace of the U. S. has been segmented on basis of lifestyle into seven organizations, namely

Resigned - Rigid, authoritarian, chauvinistic (older)

Mainstream - Home, conformist, regular (Part of the mass, favoring big brands)

Aspirer - Materialistic, acquisitive, image mindful, attractive more important than quality of material (Younger, clerical/sales type job)

Succeeder - Strong goal orientation, assurance, work ethic (Top management)

Explorer - Energy-autonomy, exciting (Younger - students)

Reformer - Flexibility from limitation, intolerant of bad taste ( Higher education)

Behavioral - The marketplace has been segmented on basis of devotion position into Hard-core loyals, divide loyals, shifting loyals and switchers. Also, attitudes of the American populace have been used to factor the marketplace into: upbeat enjoyers, insecures and financial positives. Converse has examined web users' online activities to determine who is probably to be enthusiastic about its product, which enables them to put advertisements on whatever sites those individuals are visiting. For instance, behavioral segments important to the boots industry, such as "fashion-interested, " "outdoor sports activities enthusiast" or "soccer mommy, " would be predicated on where the end user has gone and/or what they did on various webpages.

Share of U. S. Shoes Retail Sales by Consumer Group and Major Product Category,

2008

(%)

Target Market

With value to the sections grouped above, the Chucks have been designed to target two age groups: the Young adults, ranging from 13 to 19 years of age and the entry-level pros ranging from age 20 to 35. The Chucks are made for both man as well as the female consumers with different versions and patterns for both. The product offers a unisex range to its consumers. Chuck's online marketing strategy also targets the zero, middle and higher range income organizations. The marketing concentrate is situated mainly on younger generation, Generation X (Gen X) and Technology Y (The Echo Boomers), who fall season in the 'Aspirer', 'Explorer' or 'Reformer' category based on lifestyles.

*The shoes became very popular with rock music artists, and younger generations wore them for his or her distinctive looks, colors, and comfort and instead of the expensive powerful shoes made by Nike and others. These were considered a leisure sneaker and also were purchased because these were fashionable. *

People from inner-directed hierarchy of stages, particularly "I-am-me" and "Experimental" life styles are being targeted.

Product Setting of Chucks relative to its competitors

Converse once stood for athletic boots. Now the brand has developed into a fashion assertion for the retro-modern sub-culture prevalent in today's technology and is sold as a 'Vintage boot' for the new technology. Converse has obtained a good position in the customers' mind through better product capabilities, price, quality and image, offering the merchandise in a different way than the competition do. The business supplies the product in a variety of colors and styles at a realistic price with high branding, which finally helps to position the Chucks, in the clients' perspective, as trendy yet simple shoes.

Converse has used the 'Cultural Icon Approach' to put Chucks on the market by associating the product with the baseball tale Chuck H. Taylor and appending his signature with the brand logo. The brand value of Converse is in a way that owning a couple of Chucks is equivalent to owning a piece of history, which evidently is a value provided by none other in the market. The Product Individual Approach for positioning the Chucks relative to its competitors.

Another benefit Converse likes over its rivals is the association of the brand with music. The boot became associated with puck rock and counter culture after being worn by the bands The Ramones and Blondie, who communicated with both strong music and fashion statements. The Ramones used the boot within their street image with black leather coat and blue jeans whereas Blondie offered the sneaker a glossier menswear revamp creating an alternative suiting look as strap members used red and black coloured Chucks with small black pants, black jackets, t-shirts and ties on the cover of the Parallel Lines LP. Implementing the 'Product Consumer Approach' to put the Chucks Converse have also collaborated with designer John Varvatos and done several impressive marketing and charitable projects. In addition they released a assortment of Converse shoes motivated by Kurt Cobain featuring artwork sourced from Cobain's journals. Cobain was often seen wearing Converse and was putting on Chucks when he wiped out himself. The Converse Cobain collection has attained a mixed response from Nirvana admirers who have known that Cobain was specifically concerned about commercial appropriation of counter-top culture value.

The unique offering proposition (USP) of Converse All Legend is their simple design, using that your consumers declare the possession of the old-school essence. The traditional 2-ply canvas and plastic singular has been the only design that Converse shoes have revolved around and always will.

Apart from the image value provided by Chucks, the product also provides its consumers with a variety of patterns and colors to choose from, a most attractive attribute for the junior. Moreover, Chucks also come in low ankle elevation design and high boots to suit the design of every person.

The Chucks also compliment almost all apparel for both the genders. Whether it is under skinny jeans, or a short skirt, Chucks can give a trendy look to all. The big broad colored laces in the shoes can simply be organized by youngsters in various ways to provide a fresh look on every set up. It has additionally been a gimmick amongst young people to color the shoes highlighting their individualism. *Therefore, Chucks tend to be than just shoes.

Marketing Mixture and Market Position of Chucks

This section describes the way Converse uses the tactical marketing tools for marketing Chucks in the United States. This section covers the product attributes, pricing, distribution stations and promotional activities of Chuck Taylor All Legend.

Product

The benefits provided by Chucks can be classified into three organizations

The core great things about the product comprise of the actual fact that Chucks are classic kicks that fit any look. They offer a perceived look of self-expression, free-spirit and creative imagination for each owner. Also, Chucks are easy to look after and teens like them because of the low maintenance feature that comes from a straightforward canvas and silicone design.

The actual benefit for the sneaker is its lovely quality for a reasonable price. The Chucks use 2 ply canvas and a strong silicone toe-guard, which looks trendy and at the same time protects your foot. Although Chucks are not designed for athletics, they feel quite comfortable and also have a comparatively simple design.

Another special quality is their potential to transcend cultures; they appeal to punks, rebels, sportsmen, and kids.

Another good thing about chucks is that they come within an unimaginable range of colors and also are packaged in color-themed sneaker boxes, making it more appealing to the prospective consumer foundation.

One of the most crucial features of chucks is the fact that they provide the buyer with a number of choices in conditions of designs and habits. The buyer can choose from hi-top, low-top, X-Hi and Slip-On.

Above all, Converse is a recognized brand in the market of canvas shoes. As a result of this, even after Nike required over Converse, they continued the range with the same brand.

Augmented benefits include, the consumers being offered with a choice to buy a customizable footwear with user-generated content, allowing users to design and select colors for the entire shoe. Consumers are able to create unique custom canvas shoes by uploading their own designs, habits, illustrations, images and text, and then preview their shoes instantly. Users can also embellish their sneaker designs with preset colors and habits. The shoes are embellished and set up from scrape within 24 to 48 hours, which permits consumers to receive their shoes in a single to fourteen days. Apart from all these benefits made available from Chucks, they also come in limited editions for many who want an exclusive shoe. Converse continues coming up web exclusive offers to increase sales and make consumers revisit the website frequently.

The sales and buy arrangement of Converse also offers an easy go back within 30 days if the buyer happens to be unsatisfied with his online purchase.

If purchased at high-end retailer, satisfaction guarantee

Price

Converse's Chucks are priced quite reasonably in accordance with its competitors. On one hand, where brands like Sketchers, Vans, Levis, Adidas and Lee Cooper, offer the same quality and style for a higher price, Converse All-Stars don't usually cost more than $35-60. Chucks sit to suit practically every pocket.

Consumers can also avail the 'Just Reduced' and 'Last Chance' offers on particular shoes while purchasing online. The business usually provides discounts or vouchers on in-store buys that can be utilized during another buy.

Place/Distribution

Converse has 53 outlet stores in the Unites States located in all major cities like California, Florida and Texas. (www. converse. com)

Apart from exclusive Converse Stores, the merchandise is also distributed to major suppliers and is sold to the consumer through a variety of channels. Matching to data from BIGresearch, in the years 2006-2008 BIGresearch, practically 18% of adult consumers have no preference for a specific branded shop, 12% of consumers shop most often at Wal-Mart and Payless for sneakers. Chucks can be bought online from Converse's formal website www. converse. com.

Promotion

Apart from contending in cost, Converse must combat for market show through strategies like strengthening brand image and product proliferation. The brand image of Converse is created by intensive marketing campaigns and superstar endorsements. The merchandise has already established a collection of classic advertisements after Nike spent a amount of $4 million post its takeover of Converse. The physique below shoes the expansion in the sales of Converse after Nike pushed its campaign.

Nike, Inc. World wide web Sales of Cole Haan, Converse & Other Products and Percent of Total Net

Sales, 2005-2009 (in large numbers $)

Source: Nike, Inc. annual reports and press releases.

Chucks have been sold by famous personalities like Chuck H. Taylor, The Ramones and Will Smith from the field of activities, music and entertainment respectively. Converse has been actively building up a presence within the hip, indie/alternative music children culture for the better area of the past decade, specifically emphasizing its retro-tinged Chuck Taylor All Legend brand. Previously, the business has tapped music artists like Tokyo Law enforcement officials Golf club and Matt & Kim to design shoes and sponsored collaborative singles from blog-hyped acts, including a recently available release from Best Coast, Youngster Cudi, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij. The business also sponsors rock and roll concerts, some sort of event associated with the target market.

Since Converse is similar to a community, an integral part of its advertising is done by its existing consumers through Person to person (WOM) and internet blogs.

Influence of Marketing Combine on Buying Behavior for Chucks

Though the marketing combine needs to be updated frequently to match the changing needs of the existing customer base and to foray into newer market segments, Converse has always promoted Chucks as an affordable trendy boot for children.

With its basic customizable range of kicks, Chucks directly meets the need of creativity and self-expression for the children. Also, the relationship of the brand with music since ages is a solid appeal to the followers of punk rock. Colors, styles, styles, and what's likely to be "hot" are essential criteria in the look of fashion sneakers, and Chucks meet all of them. Additionally, Converse is a renowned brand for canvas shoes and this brand familiarity affects the buyer's decision to purchase Chuck Taylor's every time he strolls into a store with the purpose of buying a pair of shoes.

Chucks are reasonably priced and therefore are more likely, than its opponents, to be purchased. The recurrent discounts and offers that Converse comes up with play a significant role in attracting the clients. The vouchers earned on in-store buys work to persuade the clients to look at Converse again.

With several factory stores in the top cities of the united states, Converse has made the purchase of Chucks quite convenient because of its customers. Comforters are also lured by the option of website buys and the option of the footwear in ubiquitous vendors like Wal-Mart and Payless.

The association that Converse has made out of the superstars from all spheres of life, athletics to music to advertising, has helped it make a confident impression on minds of the targeted young generation. The supporters of indie/punk rock also relate with Converse much more than with every other brand, due to Converse's sponsorships of music happenings. Also, since Converse is a recognized brand, customers tend to buy Chucks since influencers or the reference point groups have got the boot.

Conclusion

Converse is an established brand in the style shoes or boots industry, which positions its Footwear, Chucks All Star, as a footwear of self-expression. The product is reasonably listed and targets the younger technology of students and young specialists. With a variety of designs and colors, high quality expectations and relatively low costing, Chucks are between the most accepted shoes in the mark market. Converse promotes Chucks through a number of distribution programs and superstar endorsements. Overall with its marketing activities Chucks has been a successful brand.

The only area where Chucks are lagging is the athletic footwear section which is huge market to be forayed in.

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