A Five Year Marketing Plan For Tulip Clothing

5 May 2016

This five-year marketing plan for Tulip Clothing has been created to secure additional funding for growth and to inform employees of the company’s current status and direction.

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Although Tulip was launched in the UAE only three years ago, the firm has experienced greater-than-anticipated demand for its products, and research has shown that the target market of sport-minded consumers and sports retailers would like to buy more casual clothing than Tulip currently offers.

In addition, Tulip plans to explore opportunities for online sales. The marketing environment has been very receptive to the firm’s high-quality goods – casual clothing in trendy colours with logos and slogans that reflect the interests of outdoor enthusiasts around the country. Over the next five year, Tulip can increase its distribution, offer new products, and win new customers. 2. Company Description

Tulip Clothing was founded three years ago by entrepreneurs Damian Thomas and Geoff Compton. Tulip Clothing reflects Damian’s and Geoff’s passion for the outdoors.

The company’s original cotton T-shirts, caps and denim jackets bear logos of different sports such as kayaking, mountain climbing, bicycling, skating, surfing, and horseback or camel riding. But every item shows off the company’s slogan “Let’s Rock!”. Tulip sells clothing for both men and women, in the hottest colours with the coolest names – such as sunrise pink, sunset red, twilight purple, desert rose, cactus green, ocean blue, mountaintop white, and river rock grey (Thomas 2011).

Tulip attire is currently carried by small retail stores that specialize in outdoor clothing and gear. Most of these stores are concentrated in Abu Dhabi and malls in the northern Emirates. The high quality, trendy colours, and unique message of the clothing have gained Tulip a following among consumers between the ages of 25 and 45. Sales have tripled in the last year alone, and Tulip is currently working to expand its manufacturing capabilities.

Tulip is also committed to giving back to the community by contributing to local conservation programs. Ultimately, the company would like to develop and fund its own environmental programs. This plan will outline how Tulip intends to introduce new products, expand its distribution, enter new markets, and give back to the community. 3. Tulip’s Mission and Objectives

Tulip’s mission is to be the leading producer and marketer of personalized, casual clothing for consumers who love the outdoors. Tulip wants to inspire people to get outdoors more often and enjoy family and friends while doing so. In addition, Tulip strives to design programs for preserving the natural environment. During the next five years, Tulip seeks to achieve the following financial and nonfinancial goals: Financial Objectives:

Obtain financing to expand manufacturing capabilities, increase distribution, and introduce two new product lines. Increase revenues by at least 50% each year. Donate at least AED 25,000 a year to conservation organizations. Nonfinancial Objectives:
Introduce two new product lines—customized logo clothing and lightweight luggage.

Enter new geographic markets in neighbouring GCC countries. Develop a successful Internet site, while maintaining strong relationships with retailers. Develop its own conservation program aimed at promoting environmental awareness in local communities. 4. Core Competencies

Tulip seeks to use its core competencies to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, in which competitors cannot provide the same value to consumers that Tulip does. Already, Tulip has developed core competencies in (1) offering a high-quality, branded product whose image is recognizable among consumers; (2) creating a sense of community among consumers who purchase the products; and (3) developing a reputation among retailers as a reliable manufacturer, delivering the requested number of products on schedule.

The firm intends to build on these competencies through marketing efforts that increase the number of products offered as well as distribution outlets. By forming strong relationships with consumers, retailers, and suppliers of fabric and other goods and services, Tulip believes it can create a sustainable competitive advantage over its rivals. No other clothing company can say to its customers with as much conviction “Let’s Rock!”. 5. Situation Analysis

The marketing environment for Tulip represents overwhelming opportunities. It also contains some challenges that the firm believes it can meet successfully. A SWOT analysis of the company highlights Tulip’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Drawing the right conclusions from a SWOT analysis is the most important purpose of performing the analysis (Kotler 2009). Strengths:

Tulip’s dedicated founders understand the target market and product. Tulip has achieved distribution in several markets with quick acceptance. Tulip has very little debts with great potential for growth. Tulip works with a single manufacturer, allowing high quality control levels. Weaknesses:

Tulip’s founders may lose sight of the potential scope of the business. A limited number of consumers around UAE are aware of the Tulip brand. The firm has limited cash flow.

Tulip relies on a single manufacturer which limits the production capacity if the firm wants to expand. Opportunities:
Tulip’s loyal customers are likely to buy more products.

Gaps exist in the UAE market that can be filled with new products such as customized clothing items and luggage. The key challenge in filling these gaps is in the shaping process that allows ideas to move forward; to be processed and refined in a way so that management can “pick the winners” (Florén & Frishammar 2012). Tulip has a chance to expand across the GCC into new markets. The firm can reach more consumers via a website.

Threats:
Consumers may tire of the concept and the firm needs to keep it fresh. Larger competitors such as Marks & Spencer or Timberland may establish a similar product line. Clothing sales have generally been flat over the past few years, even though UAE has the highest fashion spending in the developed world (Sambidge 2011). Relationships with retailers may deteriorate if they feel internal competition from the internet site.

The SWOT analysis presents a thumbnail sketch of the company’s position in the marketplace. In just three years, Tulip has built some impressive strengths while looking forward to new opportunities. Its dedicated founders, the growing number of brand-loyal customers, and sound financial management place the company in a good position to grow. However, as Tulip considers expansion of its product line and entrance into new markets, the firm will have to guard against marketing myopia (the failure to recognize the scope of its business) and quality slippages.

As the company finalizes plans for new products and expanded Internet sales, its management will also have to guard against competitors who attempt to duplicate to products. However, building strong relationships with consumers, retailers, and suppliers should help thwart competitors. 6. Competitors in the Outdoor Clothing Market

The outdoor retail sales industry sells about AED 50 million worth of goods in the UAE annually, ranging from clothing to equipment. The outdoor apparel market has many entries. L.L. Bean, REI, Timberland, Bass Pro Shops, Cabello’s, and Patagonia are among the most recognizable companies that offer these products.

The outlook for the industry in general and Tulip in particular is positive for several reasons. First, consumers are participating in and investing in recreational activities that are near their homes.

Second, consumers are looking for ways to enjoy their leisure time with friends and family without overspending. Third, consumers are gaining more confidence in the economy and are willing and able to spend more. Tulip’s clothing is made of strictly the highest quality cotton, so it may also be worn around town. Finally, Tulip products are offered at moderate prices, making them affordable in multiple quantities.

For instance, a Tulip T-shirt sells for AED 99.99, compared with a competing high-performance T-shirt that sells for AED 149.99. Consumers can easily replace a set of shirts from one season to the next, picking up the newest colours, without having to think about the purchase. Strategically assessing customer behavioural expectations is the focal point to understanding and improving service quality (Barber & Goodman 2011).

A survey conducted by Tulip revealed that 67% of responding consumers prefer to replace their casual and active war more often that other clothing, so they are attracted by the moderate pricing of Tulip products. In addition, as the trend toward health-conscious activities and concerns about the natural environment continue, consumers increasingly relate to the Tulip philosophy as well as the firm’s contributions to socially responsible programs. 7. The Target Market

The target market for Tulip products is active consumers between the ages of 25 and 45 – people who like to hike, bicycle, kite surf, indoor ice skate, ride horses or camels, and other such activities. They might not be experts at the sports they engage in, but they enjoy themselves outdoors.

These active consumers represent a demographic group of well-educated and successful individuals; they are single or married and raising families. Household incomes generally range between AED 200,000 and AED 600,000 annually. Despite their comfortable incomes, these consumers are price conscious and consistently seek value in their purchases. Regardless of their age (whether they fall at the upper or lower end of the target range), they lead active lifestyles.

They are somewhat status oriented but not overly so. They like to be associated with high-quality products but are not willing to pay a premium price for a certain brand. Current Tulip customers tend to live in Abu Dhabi and the northern Emirates. However, one future objective is to target consumers in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well. 8. The Marketing Mix

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