Coach Inc. is a design house that deals with luxury accessories and lifestyle collections. It was founded in 1941 on 34th street in Manhattan as a family run workshop (Egner, 2009). The company started off small with only six workers who made billfolds and wallets by hand and has now grown to a big company. Coach inc. produces high-end leather items like luggage bags, purses, and accessories. Coach Inc. makes its sales through more than one thousand departments and outlet stores. Coach Inc. later acquired luxury shoemaker Stuart Weitzman holding in the year 2015 (Egner, 2009). When compared to different industries, the luxury goods industry seems to be unique by various means. The manufacturers in this industry follow a clear brand differentiation strategy because there are limited possibilities to differentiate products by multiple features. This paper concentrates on reviewing the strategic analysis, strategy formulation and how the strategies are being implemented in the Coach Inc. Company.
Over 50% of the companys revenue is made from sales in North America through wholesale, retail stores, and internet and factory stores (Egner, 2009). The business-oriented outlets in Japan and China also account for revenue from countries like Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong. At the product category level, the main competitors of coach Inc. are Cole Haan, Dooney & Bourke in the US market while in Singapore the main competitors are Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Coach Inc. reaches out a more extensive demographic than these other companies whose primary focus is on high income. In the global markets, the Coach Inc. is trying to regain its upscale luster by dropping department stores because of the increase in sales in North America making the second quarter of sales higher than the first one.
Coach Inc. is now changing its name to Tapestry Inc. to reflect all its three brands which include; Coach Inc., Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade. The transition aims to create a platform for their shared values and to avoid any confusion that may be caused by the company and any specific names. The managers and the directors of Coach Inc. believe that the brands will be merged together to become a corporate house of high-end products and they will each retain their titles. Coach Inc acquired Kate Spade for $24 billion and through this acquisition (Egner, 2009). The company was able to create the first New York-based house of modern lifestyle brands which are defined by authentic and fashion innovation (Egner, 2009). Coach Inc rebranding to Tapestry is just another way the company used to establish its dominance in the American market. Victor Luis, the companys CEO has made it clear that Tapestry intends to add more threads of enterprises Gamble et al. (2014). By rebranding, the company hopes to send a signal to potential targets in the premium fashion market. Coach Inc. used the name Tapestry to reflect the values of the company by showing that their business is evolving and showcasing how the brand has grown after rebranding while also expressing the cultural diversity of the people and brands for today and tomorrow. The customers believe that Tapestry embodies its creative name and consumer-focused business while also representing the deep heritage of the group. Rebranding a company is essential because it gives the company a chance to expand into international markets Gamble et al. (2014). The company will also be able to face competition because they will differentiate their products from the companies producing similar brands. The name used in rebranding has to be unique to avoid client confusion and in case they had a bad experience elsewhere, you dont want to absorb any negative press.
Tapestry has also made efforts of signing in a music star Selena Gomez as the face of the brand in late 2016 for a deal worth $10 million (Egner, 2009). The reason as to why the company used celebrity endorsement is to attract customers in a younger demographic. Gomez is highly followed on social media and using her image would influence her followers in buying luxury accessories from the company. Celebrity endorsement creates brand awareness, and they build it much more quickly than with other traditional types of advertising Gamble et al. (2014).
The difficult part about rebranding is that it involves a lot of change and all at once. That is never easy for the company, its employees or even its customer. Confusion can bring chaos because change is scary because no one knows for sure what the end results will be. People can become easily confused or frustrated whenever change occurs. Therefore, Tapestry needed to communicate effectively to everyone about the rebranding project. Another issue with rebranding is that the company may lose a few of its customers. If proper rebranding strategy is not implemented in the right way, the company risks losing some of its existing customers. Unfortunately even when Tapestry does the right implementation there is still a possibility of losing its customers. Rebranding a company is very expensive especially when the company is developing a creative rebranding strategy, graphic design, marketing as well as advertising campaigns to support that project.
Coach Inc operations have been very successful in the past years through the business environment is very competitive. In the luxury goods industry it is very important to control the different success factors. The role of the perceived brand, the availability of a widespread distribution channels and high quality standards represent the major challenges in this industry. The strong basis for successful operations and growth in a company is a clear business strategy that mainly focuses on differentiation. Overall target of the competitors is to achieve highly valuable brand perception by the targeted customers. The perceived brand value represents the key to success in the Coach Inc. Company. A differentiation strategy goes with high investments in marketing and services that all together will enhance competition.
Thomas Egner, 2009, Strategy Analysis - Coach Inc, Munich, GRIN Verlag, http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/135450/strategy-analysis-coach-inc.
Gamble, J. E., & Thompson, A. A. (2014). Essentials of strategic management. Irwin Mcgraw-Hill.
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