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Marketing Plan

International Marketing Spring 2013














By:
Leandre Meldener
Ariel Mullins
Ben Wolff
Jessica Charbonneau


Switzerland
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Executive Summary

The North Face is an American outdoor product company specialized in clothing
and equipment lines that are aimed toward wilderness, climbers, mountaineers, skiers,
snowboarders, hikers, and endurance athletes. The company is present in many countries
around the world such as the United States and Canada as well as France, Italy, United
Kingdome and Spain in Europe to name a few. However one of the untapped markets that
North Face has not exploited yet is in Switzerland. Switzerland is a very rich and
prosperous market for a company like The North Face with nearly eight million
inhabitants. Switzerland is a nation with many sports such as soccer, rugby, cricket, and
cycling to name and few, and because of the cold and rainy weather of the mountainous
terrain, it would make an ideal market for The North Face.
This marketing plan will give a description of The North Face as well as the
market they will be entering. The product description gives a short explanations of the
history of The North Face and what product they will be selling in this new market. It
also gives a description of where The North Face is already situated around the world,
and how well they are doing in these particular markets.
The country description section gives a brief description of the climate that the
country is currently in. Statistical data is given such as number of habitants, size of the
country, ethnicity, and languages spoken. All of these factors are very important when
deciding on what market to enter. This section also goes in depth with the currency
present in the country in order to know how to price the products relative to the dollars.
Finally it covers a description of the weather climate all year long since it is a crucial part
of when people wear The North Face equipment.
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The next section describes the political climate. This section goes in depth with
the relationship of the United States of America, and Switzerland. It defines some of the
agreements that were signed between the two countries, and why Switzerland is a good
market to penetrate due to the good relations between the two countries.
The recommendations for marketing section describes some of the modifications
if any needed to the products in order to enter the new market. In the case of The North
Face, very little modifications will be needed due to the fact that Switzerland and the
United States are similar countries. The only major change would the different in
currency which will have to be adjusted.
The following section is market segmentation. This is a crucial part of the project.
This section describes what type of customers will be targeted in this new market.
Research has been conducted in order to find what segmentation The North Face will
have to target in order to succeed in this new market.
Next is the competitive environment. This is also a very important aspect that will
decide if you succeed in a new market. This section covers a research of these
competitors, and their current market share. By researching the companies, The North
Face is able to know who they will target for their products and how are the other
companies succeeding in this market.
Channel option covers the methods that The North Face group will be using in
order to enter the market and distribute its products in the most successful manner.
Finally the last two sections of the project are communications strategies and pricing
strategies.

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Table of Contents

The Executive Summary ................................................................................. 2
Product description .......................................................................................... 6
Country description ......................................................................................... 7
Political climate ................................................................................................ 10
Recommendations for marketing ................................................................... 12
Market segmentation ....................................................................................... 13
Competitive environment ................................................................................ 15
Channel options ................................................................................................ 17
Communications strategy ................................................................................ 19
Pricing strategy ................................................................................................ 20



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65%
18%
10%
1%
6%
Ethnic Groups
German
French
Italian
Romansch
Other
Country description
Switzerland is a democratic country
located in Europe. It borders: France, Italy,
Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein. Its
population is 7,901,000. It is 15,940 square
miles with a population density of 70.63 per
square mile. (5 times more than the United
States)
It started out as The Swiss Confederation
in 1291. A centralized federal government
replaced the confederation in 1848 with a
constitution that was later modified in 1874.
Switzerland became a member of the United
Nations in 2002, after years of remaining in
good terms with neighboring countries. As of
right now, Switzerland is still not a member of
the European Nation. However it has been
taking steps towards becoming a member in
recent years. (CIA)
Switzerland is well-known for being a neutral country. This is because they are
able to maintain national security easier by pleasing the many diverse groups that call
Switzerland home. (WiseGEEK)
64%
20%
7%
2%
1%
1%
1%
1%
0%
3%
Languages
German
French
Italian
Serbo-Croatian
Albanian
Portuguese
Spanish
English
Romansch
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Switzerlands cool climate makes it an ideal country to open The North Face
stores. It has the same four seasons as The United States. Since Switzerland has higher
altitudes in most of its regions, the average temperature during the winter is 28 to 45
degrees Fahrenheit. In some cities the average maximum temperature will only be 32
degrees. A cold front in Switzerland can cause temperatures to remain below freezing for
over a week at a time. The cold and snowy weather increases the need for The North
Face products especially during the winter. (Jud)
Even though it is not freezing and cold during the other three seasons, there will
still be a need for The North Faces products. The high altitudes and mountains cause
Switzerland to be rainy during most of the year. The average rainfall of Switzerland is
60.5 inches per year. Some cities see up to 106 inches of rain while others only see 24
inches. (Tampas annual precipitation is 44.77 inches) The rainy weather is favorable
because of The North Faces large selection of rain coats and boots. (Jud)


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Market Segmentation

The typical North Face customer is between 18-45 years of age with an income of
$40,000-$60,000 a year and who live in suburbs or rural areas. The North Face will
segment their product to people who take part in activities such as hiking, mountain
climbing, and training, and other activities such as sporting events with friends. The
interests of the people in this segment include running in marathons, they enjoy being
independent and like the job they are currently in. Some of the opinions this segment
commonly share are; always pushing themselves further, they are environmentally aware
and want high performance products.
As shown in the table below, customers are looking for high performance and
high comfort.
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In an interview conducted about what kind of outdoor activities people
participated in, hiking almost had half of the votes. This is a good indication to The North
Face to keep pushing towards hiking as more and more people are undertaking this
activity.
In a survey it was found that 41% of people purchase The North Face equipment
because of the quality of the materials, 23% thought it was the style and 20% said the
versatility. These are the number the company will think about when entering
Switzerland. It wants to use the same positioning as they used in other countries in order
to be successful.
In the Research conducted by The North Face, it was found that repeated
customer of the brand in current markets look for three main characteristics in products
they buy from The North Face. The first is the performance of the product and will it
keep up with what the customer desire to do. The second is durability and how the
product will hold up in the long term, and finally the comfort of the overall product.
The results of that research is shown in the table below:
Brand Affordable Performance Durability Comfort Style
The North Face YES YES YES
Columbia Sportswear YES YES
Nike YES YES YES
Adidas YES YES YES



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Competitive environment

The North Face has many direct and secondary competitors around the world and
specifically in Switzerland, the new market they are looking to penetrate.
Some of the direct competitors include; Columbia, Nike, Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Mizuno
and many more. The North Face also has some secondary competitors such as
Timberland and New Balance. All of the companies are potential threats to The North
Face in entering a new market. It is important to make sure that to target the correction
market segment in order to succeed in this new market. Below is a table showing the
market share for The North Face in from 2007 to 2010:


Market Share 2007-2010

Outdoor Apparel Market Share Review
$
YTD
2010
YTD
2007
%
Change Units
YTD
2010
YTD
2007
%
Change
The North Face 51.7% 48.8% 2.9% Columbia 33.3% 33.0% 0.3%
Columbia 27.1% 26.4% 0.7% The North Face 28.1% 26.6% 1.5%
Nike 6.9% 6.1% 0.8% Nike 8.9% 7.4% 1.5%
Doufold 2.6% 2.7% -0.1% Doufold 4.8% 4.8% 0.0%
Amerex 1.2% 3.4% -2.2% Meridian 4.0% 4.5% -0.5%
Hot Chilly's 1.2% 1.3% -0.1% Coleman 1.7% 2.2% -0.5%
Meridian 1.1% 1.2% -0.1% Polarmax 1.6% 1.2% 0.4%
White Sierra 0.9% 0.6% 0.3% Hot Chilly's 1.5% 1.8% -0.3%
MTN Hardwear 0.8% 0.7% 0.1% White Sierra 1.4% 1.0% 0.4%
Polarmax 0.8% 0.5% 0.3% Amerex 1.2% 3.5% -2.3%

Bater, Alex. "The North Face." slideshare. (2009)


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As shown in the table above The North Face is pretty highly ranked in the top
three companies for outdoor apparel in both profit and units sold.
Since Switzerland has some of the best skiing and hiking mountains in the world,
The North Face is looking to position its products category towards the hikers as well as
skiers and other extreme mountain sports. These people are interested in pushing
themselves further and want high performance products that will allow them to do so, and
The North Face will provide those products to them.







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Communications strategy
The use of Internet promotion and social media advertising is recommended as
the most successful method of media communications in entering the market. According
to the Internet World Stats, there were 6,430,363 Internet users in Switzerland as of July
2012, representing over 82% of the overall population. Of this group, 51% belong to at
least one social network, representing potential for low cost, immediate increase in brand
awareness from social media advertising (European Travel Commission). The actual
nature of the media promotion will focus on the skiing and hiking sportsman, placing
emphasis on having reliable and innovative gear, and the aspiring outdoorsman needing
the proper tools and apparel. The ads will feature the North Face gear in effect in
extreme sporting conditions in the mountains of Switzerland at a recognizable location
that consumers can connect with.
With the low cost of Internet promotion as the media method of choice, additional
forms of communications may also be pursue to increase the timeliness of brand
acceptance. The use of television promotion, specifically during sports events, would
also effectively introduce the North Face to its target market, but would be more costly.
TV and broadcasting is dominated by the public Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, and
shares some channels with France, Germany, and Italy (BBC News). Using broadcasting
promotion offers the additional advantage of reaching a greater range of consumers and
targeting the specific audience of choice. With Internet as the dominant media, however,
focus should first be directed towards developing effecting Internet promotion
techniques.
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