Apparel and Clothing Product Management

Companies producing a variety of products and brands often establish a product- (or brand) management organization (Kotler, 2003). Apparels and clothing need to be effectively managed and monitored for it to be able to achieve its purpose. In most cases, the requirement for being able to attain these necessities will be dependent on the target market, and as to how effective the company has been in identifying the needs, demands and ideal design that catches the perspective and the fancy of the market they are aiming to cater to.
The impact that a well-known brand will have on a customer will largely depend on how such branded products are accepted in the market. In the same way, the manner and reception of how people got to know of the brand will also be crucial in determining the proper marketing strategies and tactical measures to maximize the necessary undertakings in maintaining, retaining and improving the level of their product towards the market (Brand Management Strategies: 10 Key Points). Dealing with competing products is only normal and the extent of having to prepare for probable measures is something that should be expected.

This is why, such measures, like continuously monitoring and studying the market and brainstorming new trends is a necessity to maintain focus and market share. For Hugo Boss, it is not only a matter of retaining their market share, but ensuring that their brand continues to enjoy the same level of confidence and exposure that is expected from them by their loyal patrons. While the company is a well known brand in most parts of the world in European and American countries, expansion of the brand towards other classes can be easily achieved, owing to the fact that its brand name carries a touch of elegance and class.

For sure, with the rise of such competing brands, varieties to choose from shall pose to be a problem that would need to be addressed. It is no secret that quality may not always sit well with people who are price conscious, opting to go for alternative brands to save a penny. This is one aspect in brand marketing that should be tackled, and that is, once a certain quality is attached towards the brand, it does not necessarily follow that people will perceive it as something to check out and purchase. Advertising and promotional measures are another key aspect towards the marketing practices for Hugo Boss, but again, this will entirely depend on the target market to which these practices are aimed at.

PROBLEM DEFINITION

Brand/Product Performance
Just like any company, continuously implementing a study of the market and planning is in order. The dilemma that Hugo Boss is facing is how to be able to extend, improve and sustain their current market share without harming or creating tarnish towards the established Hugo Boss brand name.

Brand Awareness
It is no secret that Hugo Boss is a well-known brand and that quality and cost are readily attached towards it. There is no question that this can either be of two way for the consumer, one of which is that it is expensive, and two, fine quality of clothing and apparels. Competitors who study the moves and strategies of Hugo Boss will naturally devise other contingency measures to be able to offset if not advance ahead of their practices to take away a share of the market. Like for example, if Hugo Boss would be focusing its marketing on elegance and classy lifestyles, their competitors could focus on the left out market, the novice class consumers. For them clothing is still the same thing as that of anything else hence, why should they go for something expensive? This alone would hurt Hugo Boss if they are not careful since such would invite some of their loyal patrons in checking out what their competitors have to offer. The end result would be a significant decrease in sales and hinder their operations as well.

Brand Perception
A similar problem that Hugo Boss may encounter is extending their product line is their offering towards the female market as well. While this may not be deemed as something that is critical, it should be remembered that the brand is easily associated with men’s apparel and clothing. Without a doubt, a new type of approach will be needed for the female counterparts as well, if they want this extended product line to be moving and profitable as well.

ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION
1.�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ Employ a Long-Term Marketing Plan to Suit the Market
For companies such as Hugo Boss, a continuous study and planning towards social and cultural behaviors of their consumers should be implemented. Basing product development and innovations purely on the performance of their product should not be deemed as enough to identify what their competitors will be eventually employing. It is presumed that Hugo is aware that not all people over the world are blessed to religiously invest in neither their designer clothes nor their other brands for the lower bracket consumer market.

The Hugo Boss brand is already known to be something that has cost tagged to it. Most often this becomes a negative approach for consumers who look for value for their money. But since Hugo Boss has segregated its product line to three, it can emphasize focus by targeting each brand effectively towards different market classes for a refined overview of class and affordability for the apparels they offer.
2.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Building on the Women’s Apparel Line
Hugo Boss, once mentioned is easily associated to the male populace. This is due to the fact that the brand has gained this perception throughout the years (The Pathway to Reputation). The existence of a women’s line has not yet been pushed effectively, and doing so will extend the scope of the market they intend to cover. Once achieved, the perception of the Hugo Boss Brand will be more than just purely for men, but for both genders from hereon. Besides, once they have established their base on the female population, it is no hidden secret that most women, if not all, have a higher taste for fashion and designing to pioneer such trends in fashion-related endeavors.
3.�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ Re-evaluate the Advertising and Promotion Mix
Without question, Hugo Boss has chosen various means of exposure for their product. This includes corporate endorsements and flagships that bear the Hugo Boss brand. It is evident that with the presence of advertising and promotions that brand will be getting the needed boost for market recognition. However, the various modes of marketing channels may need to be re-evaluated, since it is also apparent that most successful marketing for products in terms of promotions do not necessarily have to cover all the means of advertising, particularly, print ads, radio and television as one. A slow integration of taking it step by step will be definitely something more feasible and not a shocking approach in terms of costs since these means of promotion will certainly be open to them at enormous amounts.
4.�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ Recall and Re-evaluate the flagships.
While the flagship situated in New York is a form of signature and identity for the Hugo Boss organization, it should be thoroughly studied if they are getting anything from putting this up. For sure, identity has been established, but these flagships should be further audited if they are truly an effective way of marketing the product over their other marketing and distribution practices. Doing away with the unnecessary expenses and overhead that do not really produce profit or results should be either shortened or done away with, since as an established brand, Hugo Boss will surely be looked for and recognized in the market wherever people may go. Apprehensions that such distribution channels all over the world may produce undesired results should not be the way to go. Confidence in the brand name that they have built through the years is enough and this shall continue to be a well-known brand by investing the money into more ideal and profitable means.

Overall, Hugo Boss is still a brand that is recognized by the masses. It is without a doubt superior and will carry quality in clothing as its immediate impact on the public. However, competitors are getting wise to this and have their own marketing teams to study and are aiming to gain a bigger share of the market. There is no question that these tactics have been effective for them, primarily using the cost of Hugo Boss apparels as the weakness to pounce on. It is a fact that today, the market is divided and that quality may be sacrificed by most people for the benefit of establishing savings in any way that they can.

For Hugo Boss to continue its current market share in the apparel and clothing needs, a re-evaluation of the current planning and promotional endeavors is needed. While there is no question on the aggressiveness in terms of effectively providing information towards the people, they will still need to cater towards the actual needs of the people above everything else.

Lastly, planning on their marketing strategies should be a continuous and growing process. Hugo should never let their guard down and leave any room for their closest competitors to capitalize on. Making the proper advanced steps in terms of product development, promotions and building on their brand can only be achieved if proper research and development measures are put into place.

Bibliography

Kotler, Philip. “Product or Brand Management Organizations.” Marketing Management 11th ed. New Jersey. 2003

Hildebrand, Mary J. & Klosek, Jacqueline. “Brand Management Strategies: 10 Key Points”. Metroplitan Corporate Counsel. 2003.

“The Pathway to Reputation.” ChangingMinds.org. 2002-2006.

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