M.M.Lafleur: Market Segmentation and Targeting Case Solution
A wardrobe solution for professional women – M.M. LaFleur has a specialization in creating the luxury apparel as well as accessories with the similar attention to detail as high end fashion houses. It was founded in 2013 in New York,with the mission of helping the women in harnessing the self-presentation power and treating women with the most personalized, productive as well as stress-free shopping experience of their lives. Particularly, the target market of M.M. LaFleur is difficult-to-serve group who don’t like shopping.
Despite the challenging target market; the company-steadily grew over a period of time. The customer are provided with the option to shop online through the website of the company or visit-showrooms, trunk shows, pop-up stores, where the sales associates provided them with attentive personal service. Additionally, the most successful venue for the sales of the company was the feature called M.M.LaFleur “bento box, which was accountable to generate 80 percent of the company’s total revenues. The success of the company thus far could be traced back to various factors, such as: the ease of using online services offered by M.M.LaFleur and high quality and value added products offered to customers.
By the end of the year 2019, M.M.LaFleur had successfully grown over the period of time, from being the small start-up organization to a growing and thriving business with the loyal base of customers.Sara LaFleur – the founder of the company was pleased with the company’s results but at the same time she wondered what steps could be taken to ensure the continued success, momentum and growth of the organization.
Taking under consideration the current situation and evaluation of alternatives presented to the company, Sara LaFleur is advised to pursue the option of expanding the business operations in the international markets, to generate more sales, to access the new markets, to stay ahead of the robust market competition and to drive more growth.
Since its inception, the company has been flourishing and generating an enormous amount of revenues driven by the effective leadership and management team’s efforts on driving sales through both retail as well as e-commerce operations. Despite the continued success and growth in the market; LaFleur is confronted with the dilemma of exploiting the growth opportunities which could lead to the revenue diversification, more sales and additional-revenu streams.
Main target market
While there are number of clothing brands and services offered in the market for women, M.M.LaFleur is unique because of its specific and sole target market – mainly women and its focus on comfort and personalization. Currently, the company has been targeting working women with no interest in shopping for work clothing. Also, the company expanded the target market, consisting of women employed in finance and law.
Taking under consideration the current facts and figures in New York, the women tend to make up the half of the total US population and women drive 70 to 80 percent of all decision related to the consumer purchasing, and 94 percent of women aged between 15 and 35 are more likely to spend over an hour / day shopping online. In the similar way, 85 percent of the women stated that they remain loyal to the brand they admire the most.(Davis, 2019).
In addition to this, the millennial spend enormous amount of money on shopping. As millennial make up to 64% of the entire population of the world (Bakhtiari, 2019), the target audience of the company should-include fashion followers and young female customers because of the reason that the millennial are poised to be the biggest spenders of nation and move into their prime spending and earning years, and 60 percent of millennial remain loyal if treated-well through the customer-centricexperience. By targeting millennial, the company would be able to generate higher revenues by making them loyal to its brand. In order to ensure the allegiance, the loyalty program should be included by the company, with an active courtship and custom discounts to retain them in the long run.
Channel of distribution and geographic locations
There is a large percentage of the department store’s sales in apparel. The company needs to increase its reach to the maximum number of customers through department stores well as its website, by putting major emphasis on transforming the intimate shopping experience of customers with the branded and quality service experience.
The department stores would provide customers a multi-sensory experience and bolster the offerings of the company to a greater-extent. The partnership with either Nordstrom or Barneys would provide higher visibility to M.M.LaFleur, without any need of investing in the real estate to build its own stores. As the operating cost is lower for stores within a store, the company would enjoy the benefit of promoting its brand as well as boosting its volume at significantly lower cost. It is to believe that the partnership with either Nordstrom or Barneys, would improve the efficiencies of distribution for M.M.LaFleur as the company could get the prominent space in the prime location, to offer its products without investing a significant amount of money in real estate, which helps it in decreasing its operational cost.
In addition to this, the company could exp-lo it the business opportunities of expanding the business operations outside the US, followed by the positive market response and continuous growth in Chicago, Boston and New York. Additionally, Canada’s apparel market size is larger and the apparel market continued to experience strengthening demand. The geographic-expansion, mainly in Canada, would help M.M.LaFleur in accessing the talent pools, new markets, having reduction in cost, as well as in the provision of the robust-pipeline to fuel the company’s future growth.
Marketing communication vehicles
In the modern business environment; the sustainability of the companies most likely depends on the social media marketing. The development of the social media positively contributes to the behavior of customer, and it is found with significant effect on the consumer behavior that has contributed positively to the development of the brand image and sales volume of the company. The social media marketing would provide brand oriented direction to the company, helping it promote the marketing message and brand identity. It would also help M.M.LaFleurto in improving its customer interaction and in understanding the potential requirements of customers, which would further help the company in developing the brand image.
Given the current situation emerging in an organization – the company intended to grow further in the market and was presented with various means of alternatives to remain the market leader and to generate a substantial amount of revenues over the period of time. The alternatives and recommendations are provided below:
Alternative 01: geographic expansion
The geographic expansion is one of the alternatives that would allow the company to improve its growth, serve a wider customer base, stay ahead of the market competition and to improve its brand visibility, bring more innovation and improve its market reputation.
Alternative 02: product development
The opportunity of offering new products or services would allow the company to build trust over the customers, to capture the major share of the market and to increase its revenue streams. It would help M.M.LaFleurto in achieving stability in the product demand, improving the reputation for quality and generating higher amount of revenues.
Alternative 03: diversify the target audience
Developing new and different products and serving new markets, such as:work wear for men, would provide tremendous boost to the company’s profitability and its brand image. The product line extension would lead towards an established and loyal customer base, low cost of production and larger market share as a result of the company’s appeal to the wider market and continuous innovative efforts.
Taking under consideration the evaluation of alternatives presented to M.M.LaFleurto; the company is advised to pursue the option of geographic expansion, because it would allow the company to reach its goals faster by expanding its customer base, giving an access to the positive brand awareness and improving its product-quality. Also, the company should access the flexible and multi-skilled workforce to meet the customer demand. The geographic expansion would lead the company towards having many benefits, such as: higher market share, broadened customer base, an improved productivity and its brand image.
Description of rejected alternatives
Currently, the company’s financial position is strong and it is having a continuous growth each year. Additionally, the company had generated 30 million dollars in annual revenues, which has increased to more than 70 million dollars with time, thus depicting the accelerated efforts of the company towards attracting new and existing working women and delighting them by offering high-quality products.The company has continued to deliver value, fashion and customer personalization,which is unparalleled in the industry.
If the company fails to exp- lo it the opportunities of growing the business in the market and it sticks to serve the US market with target market of women only, it would be at risk of losing its market share and profit returns. It is so, because the market tends to evolve continuously with the passage of time due to which the company would be required to employ various other factors to differentiate itself from its competitors, which include;
Consistent product qualities.
Customer supports, and
Additional services including simple customization of product………………….
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