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MARKETING STRATEGY OF UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT


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An Analysis of Marketing Strategy of

United Colors of Benetton

A report submitted towards the partial fulfillment of the requirements of the two years full-time MBA Degree.

Guided By: PROF. PABITRA RANJAN CHAKRAVORTY

Submitted By: SHREY GHOSAL STEFFY VELAYUDHAN SANDEEP SINGH BHADAURIA SUMIT TANWAR HARSHIL PATEL

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We, the Competency Group, take this privilege while presenting this project report, to express our deep gratitude to all those who offered their valuable help and devoted their precious time to help us in completing the project successfully. This journey into project methodology would have been a travesty had it not been for the guidance, assistance, encouragement and moral support from many. It would be unjust if we do not commence this study by acknowledging their efforts. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who gave us the possibility to complete this Marketing Strategy Report. We would like to thank Indian Institution of Planning & Management.

We are deeply indebted to our faculty and guide Mr. Pabitra Ranjan from Indian Institution of Planning & Management for his valuable guidance, stimulating suggestions, patience and for encouraging us to go ahead with our project report. We want to thank all the faculties and our friends in Indian Institution of Planning & Management for their help support, interest and valuable hints during our project.

CONTENTS
Sr. No 1. 2.. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Particular Introduction Objectives of the Study Research Methodology Marketing Strategy Brands Sales Supply Chain Sourcing Visual Merchandising Competitor Analysis SWOT Analysis Questionnaire Analysis Recent Developments Recommendations & Conclusions Appendix Page No. 05 07 07 9 14 15 16 17 17 18 20 21 29 30 32

1. INTRODUCTION:
1.1 History:

Benetton Group is a global fashion brand, based in Treviso, Italy. The name comes from the Benetton family who founded the company in 1965. Benetton Group is listed in Milan. Benetton has a network of around 6,000 stores in 120 countries. The stores are managed by independent partners and generate a total turnover of over 2 billion euro. In 1965, Luciano Benetton, the eldest of four children, was a 30-year-old salesman in Treviso. He saw a market for colourful clothes, and sold a younger brother's bicycle in order to buy his first second-hand knitting machine. His initial small collection of sweaters received a positive response in local stores in the Veneto region, and soon after he asked his sister and two younger brothers, Gilberto and Carlo, to join him. In 1965, the entity known as the "Benetton Group" is formed. In 1966, the Benettons opened their first store in Belluno and three years after in Paris, with Luciano as chairman, his brother Gilberto in charge of administration, their younger brother Carlo running production, and Giuliana as a chief designer.

In 1965 The Benetton Group is established. In 1970 A business model making the difference: unique, flexible and innovative. In 1980 Benetton communication campaigns: known all over the world. In 1990 A global company present in 120 countries. In 2000 Benetton grows with the market: over 150 million garments produced every year and distributed in around 6,000 contemporary store

1.2 Overview of United Colors of Benetton: Today, the Benetton Group is presented in 120 countries around the world. Its core business is fashion apparel: a group with a strong Italian character whose style, quality and passion are clearly seen in its brands, the casual United Colors of Benetton, the glamour oriented Sisley, Playlife American college style and Killer Loop streetwear. The Group produces over 150 million garments every year. Its network of more than 5,000 contemporary stores around world, offers high quality customer services and generates a total turnover of over 2 billion euro. Target Customers: The companies target group is between the ages of 16 to 32 The prices must be logical for someone as young as 16 is able to afford the product The older people who have their own income dont find the product price to cheap or expensive. Older women (over 32) buy these clothes so that feel and dress younger than their real age. Headquarters: Benetton Group's Corporate headquarters is located at Villa Minelli in Ponzano, about 30 km from Venice. Villa Minelli is a complex of sixteenth century buildings of great historical and cultural interest. The villa was acquired by Benetton in 1969 and the task of restoring and remodernising the complex, entrusted to architects Afra and Tobia Scarpa, took over fifteen years. From the mid 1980s Villa Minelli became the headquarters of the Group and home to all its strategic functions.

Around 6,000 stores worldwide: The development of Benetton's commercial network, characterised by prestigious locations in historic and commercial centres and by the high level of customer services offered, has been supported by a major programme of investment worldwide. The Benetton stores carry complete collections, as well as a wide selection of accessories, offering a full range of Benetton style and quality.

Design:
A staff of 300 designers from all over the world creates the collections for the casual United Colors of Benetton, the glamour oriented Sisley, the leisurewear brand Playlife. The design team is also engaged in researching new materials and creating new lines for different targets from children, men and women to expectant mothers, offering them not only practical and modern styles but also maximum comfort. The result is the latest trends in design and a rich output of many models a year which are realized with computer assisted design systems fully integrated with the rest of the company's production phases.

2. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

2.1 Primary Objective: To analyse the marketing strategy of United Colors of Benetton. 2.2 Secondary Objective: To study the various promotional schemes of United Colors of Benetton. To study the Branding strategy of United Colors of Benetton. To understand the perception of consumers towards United Colors of Benetton. To analyse the strategy of competitors of United Colors of Benetton.

3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The methodology of our project was purely based on personal observation as well as interaction and discussion with customers. The study involved both exploratory and descriptive research techniques using both primary and secondary sources.

3.1 Primary Research Research Design: The research design used in the study was descriptive in nature.

Sample Design: i) Population: UCB customers all over the world. ii) Survey population: UCB customers in Ahmedabad. iii) Sampling unit: A consumer of fashion clothing and apparells (male or female). iv) Sampling technique: Non probability method using judgmental sampling. v) Sample size: 150 vi)Research Tool: Questionnaire & unstructured interview and focus group discussion.

3.2 Secondary Research Secondary research provided insights regarding Industry trends, Offerings of key players and Consumer Profile and preferences; Focus Group discussions and Depth Interviews provided information about Consumer perception about the Product/Service offering, Key factors that influence their choice, Satisfaction levels with current offerings, and desirable features.

3.3 Design Considerations All questions (except identification-based) were closed-ended. The basic questions were posed first, and identification questions were at the end. Careful wording was used to avoid ambiguity or biasing questions. Several questions involved the respondent expressing his/her level of agreement with a certain issue. Few of these questions were stated positively and few others negatively to avoid biasing in response. Sensitive information such as Information regarding Income/Family Status had response categories and was placed towards the end of the questionnaire to increase response rate.

3.4 Questionnaire Development A well-structured questionnaire was developed after a review of Internet commerce literatures. The first half of the questionnaire tried to study the general perceptions and attitudes of consumers towards online ticket booking and the second half tried to study their perceptions related to online travel portals. The questionnaire included different scales such as nominal scale, Likert scale, importance rating scale as well as semantic differential scale.
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4. MARKETING STRATEGY:

4.1 The Pricing Strategy

Benetton has moderate priced boutiques and the strategy of the firm is the match between its internal capabilities and its external relationships. The strategy describes how it responds to its suppliers, its customers, its competitors, and the social and economical environment within which it operates. The inclusion of several of its competitors, such as the GAP and others in the garment industry, would appear to suggest that although conditions in the apparel market are undoubtedly tough, the more brand focused organizations are adapting to the market evolution and are still commanding a premium for added value sales.

In the absence of a store or even on-line prices, to find pricing information for Benetton clothing a search on E-bay was the only site to yield clothing information and since this was an auction site, the prices on the clothing were not an actual representation of the corporations pricing policies. A plethora of information could, however, be found in regards to the accessory line, the magazine, and on the fragrance.

4.2 Production strategy

The Benetton group to the U.S market in hopes of revitalizing its brand across the country. The new benetton stores will have a larger format ranging from 6000 square feet to 20,000 square feet. They will also have a more expensive line of products and a minimal design, say company officials. The retailers plan to open three stores in Manhattan this fall and are looking at sites in Los Angeles, san Francisco and Atlanta.

Today United Color of Benetton is one of the best known brands, with daring campaigns and new , innovative and high quality products. This brand stayed in the top for more than twenty years. Anything done under this brand proved to be successful from the start. The mix of the products made under the brand name United Color of Benetton include the consumer products as brightly colored clothing lines, accessories, shoes, baby clothing lines, each collection
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with is own personality adapted for a larger consumer scale as possible. The organizational products include licenses and franchising. The UCB products designed for young people of all ages, colors, nationalities, with the desire to have more color in their life. A global brand that has an international style combining color, energy, and practicality, the united Colors of Benetton sells in addition to a range of male and female clothing for several occasions, a magazine, a fragrance line, and accessories. The core group of Benetton is the clothing line which has a strong Italian character in design and style offering a total look for every day. The adult clothing line is described as having no boundaries or set rules. The adult clothes line extends from casual to formal to glamours to sportswear that allows the consumer to mix materials, style, and themes. The childrens clothings line assimilates popular and emergent trends, encouraging childrens explosives creativity. Much as the adult line, the childrens line offers a multi-ethnic eclectic range of choices. For teenagers, there is an entire dedicated line referred to as, The Hip Site.

4.3. Promotional Strategies

"Communication should never be commissioned from outside the company, but conceived from within its heart".

Benetton Group use the value to creating from capitalize on an image, the Benetton group's advertising campaigns are not only a means of communication but a feeling of us. They use the mediums through their universal impact; they have succeeded in attracting the public to attend to their brand and especially, in standing out among the current clutter of images. All the colors of the world" this is the first slogans to appear in Benetton ads, and thence later has modified to "United Colors of Benetton." this concept communicated on a strong of colors.

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Examples of advertisement media. Magazine

Colors Magazine is one of magazine about the rest of the world. It's on sale in 40 countries, published in 4 languages. Colors Magazine let talk to young people in around the world. Internet

Benetton's website is one of easy way to invite, the user can see the new collection and the new campaigns. It's a way to up to date for customers all the time.

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Fabrica

Fabrica is Benetton's communication research centre, they made it with the aim of combining culture with industry and volunteering young people from around the world to creative and interchange their experience. Fabrica give an opportunity to young artists/designers for training and studying, and develop into the experts.

The promotion strategy of Benetton is mainly the advertising strategy and it Is one of Benettons main assets. At first, from 1984 to 1990 Benettons advertising strategy was based on picture of young people, each of them representing a different skin color, wearing really colorful outfits. The main point of this advertising strategy was to set up individuals together from all over the world, no distinction between skin colors. The brands value was about brotherhood and cultural tolerance. The ads were focusing on cultural tolerance such as Black and White, Russian and American, Jewish and Palestinian. Benettons slogan is the well-known: United Color of Benetton. The brand wanted to have the identity of colors. This is also a sign of allegiance, an outward sign of an ideology and a set of values and brand culture (social issues). This strategy was an innovative advertising strategy, because the company uses social issues. In the same way, it created a long term relationships with customers with strong brand recognition. Nevertheless, in 1991, Benetton changed its advertising strategy. The company repositioned itself in showing the real world and its issue. The advertisements are more and more shocking, the topics are wider such as Aids, war, pollution, and other social issues.

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4.4 Place strategy Benetton is arguably the worlds largest retailer with a network of 6000 large stores, smaller branches and franchises in 120 countries, worldwide. The company trades on the basis of Just-InTime coloration and finishing providing flexibility to consumer demand. Benetton is an Italian clothing manufacturer with sales of 1.9 billion pounds in 2002. The company distributes mainly through third-party independent retailers, but is currently developing its own retail network. It generates 69% of sales in Europe, 9% in North America, 9% in Asia and 13% in the rest of the world. Italy is Benettons single largest market accounting for about 31.1% of sales. Benettons distribution strategy revolves around a large network of independent franchises and resellers who invests capital in their own network of stores( totaling roughly 5,200 at the end of 2002). These in turn buy merchandise from Benetton and sell directly to the retail customer. Benetton does not impose very strict on the independent distributors regarding the presentation of erchandise, completeness of range and general store ambience. Off course, this strategy creates a number of risks for Benetton. First, the company has less control over the production positioning and the way merchandise is presented to consumers. This raises the risk of inconsistence and variations in consumer perception to the detriment of the overall brand. Second, relying on the third-party distribution weakens business intelligence and customer feedback and generally creates a less responsive business model. Benetton sees itself as a clothing service company rather that a retailer or a manufacturer. Its customers are its shops, which are owned by outsiders. Unlike normal franchises systems, the shops pay no royalties and Benetton accepts no returned stock. A network of 83 area agents knits the whole operation together, finding investors for the shops and keeping Benettons head office near Treviso in touch with customer taste around the world.

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5. BRANDS:

A global brand, and one of the most well known in the world United Colours of Benetton has an international style that combines colour, quality and fashion The Benetton Baby label is a new product line dedicated to the prenatal and the under-fives world. The brand is present in many other sectors, from the elegant accessories to the eyewear lines and perfumes, from the home collection to baby products.

It is an extension of the Benetton brand, featuring under wear, beachwear, sleepwear, accessory collections Under colors is available in its own chain of stores which now has more than 500 locations in thirty countries and in selected Benetton Shops.

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A fashion brand for young adults, with a resolute and distinctive style. It is inspired by teenagers' favorite role models and icons. Killer Loop is the Benetton brand that edgily interprets "street vibrations.

This is the Group's most fashion forward brand Sisley presents elegant and seductive collections, with special attention given to the choice of design, fabrics and new shapes The brand has created the very fashionable Sisley Young line for children from 8 to 12 years old

It is the Benetton leisurewear brand that redefines a style With its clean and elegant collections Play life blends exclusive styles with strong sense of individuality

6. SALES:
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Benetton achieved 967 million euro in sales of its brand "United Colours of Benetton Adult", that is 51% of the total sales in 2009. Another 31% of sales have been achieved through sales of the brand "United Colors of Benetton Kid", that is 601 million euro. The third highest percentage of 16%, that is 300 million euro grossed the "Sisley" brand. The "Playlife" brand grossed 37 million euro.

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7. SUPPLY CHAIN:

Information technology links the market place with the manufacturing process. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) allows Benetton's agents in each country to regularly transmit orders to Benetton's head office. The market is updated every 24 hours allows Benetton to carefully track and react to demand by manufacturing only those garment styles, colours and sizes required. Communications technology has allowed Benetton to "eliminate the filters between the customer and production" and to link the customer directly to the factory. It established WIDE (Worldwide Integrated Distribution Enterprise) to manage the international forwarding and customs clearance functions. WIDE was first established to manage the North American product movements. This organization deals directly with air carriers--eliminating a level of freight-forwarded intervention. EDI technology allows Benetton to transmit documentation ahead of consignment arrivals. to allow speedy clearance through customs and forwarding to the retail outlets. These functions are managed or performed by WIDE. The result of this rationalization was a 55 per cent reduction in physical distribution costs and a reduction in lead times to the USA from 22 days to seven days. Benetton is creating great designs, but also building a logistics system to compete with the fast fashion companies. It has invested more than $160 million into its supply chain for its brands that also include Sisley and Playlife.

Benetton is outsourcing the production of high-margin accessories and has a world-wide distribution network. The company can reroute merchandise during shipment if another store needs more clothes.

Benetton sends inventory in small shipments, ships every two weeks, but can ship in seven days if a product is hot

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THE ROBOTIC DISTRIBUTION CENTRE Benetton has huge distribution centre where the garments are already packed in one of two standard boxes which are bar-coded and pre-addressed to customers. The bar-coded cartons are delivered by high speed conveyors from the receipt bays to rail-guided transporters in the storage area. Each transporter can transfer up to 24 cartons at a time to and from the racking. Simultaneous put-away and retrieval occurs to maximize efficiency. The storage zone has a capacity of 250,000 boxes sorted randomly. The DC handles 12,000 boxes a day. equivalent to 6,000 consignments a day, representing some 60 million garments a year.

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8. SOURCING:

Sourcing the finished product In recent years special attention has also been focussed on the "Sourced Products" areas, with outsourcing of production in countries like China, India and Thailand, Turkey. Three main areas of sourcing: - China coordinated from Hong Kong; - South East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia) coordinated from Bangkok; - India (coordinated from Bangalore).

9. VISUAL MERCHANDISING:

It should be simple yet attractive with appropriate color and lighting. It should focus on the best selling products and should carry a distinct theme. Window displays have been found to promote sales, highlight seasonal changes, and announce the arrival of new products apart from showcasing the best selling merchandise. It provides a view of both the exterior as well as the interiors of the store. Walks and entry should be so designed that there is sufficient space for customers to have a hassle free movement. Benetton provides Valet parking for its customers. The following Exhibitor shows the signage put on the entrance of the store

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10. COMPETITOR ANALYSIS


Benetton mainly operates in the apparel sector, which is a highly competitive industry with respect to production, distribution and sales. There is a lot of diversity in competition ranging from local, national and global department stores, specialized retailers, independent retailers and manufacturing companies. In India, the major competitors of Benetton include Mango, FCUK, Guess, Espirit, Westside, etc. The company faces a lot of competition internationally as well from brands like Gap, H&M etc. The competition in the industry has increased in the last few years, owing to the entry of foreign brands into the Indian market, and thus low cost production plays a key role. Apart from competition for sales, the companies also compete for significant store locations. The intensity of competition also puts a price pressure onto the operating companies in the industry or could lead to a loss in market share.

MANGO Mango clothing company is a worldwide famous manufacturer and distributor, specializing in women's and men's apparel and accessories. Mango clothing brand MNG was founded in 1984 and has become one of the leaders in retail sales. Mango retail stores are based in big city shopping malls and on shopping streets. Mango (MNG) is a Spanish company which is based in Barcelona but which has expanded to over 92 countries with more than 1000 shops; and with further expansion planned.

GUESS Guess? Inc. The Group's principal activities are to design, market, distribute and license lifestyle collections of casual apparel and accessories for men, women and children that reflect the American lifestyle and European fashion. The Group operates through the following divisions: Retail, European, Wholesale and Licensing. The Group also grants licenses to manufacture and distribute products, which complement its apparel lines. Its products include collections of denim and cotton clothing, including jeans, pants, overalls, skirts, dresses, shorts, blouses, shirts, jackets, and knitwear. The company also grants licenses to manufacture and distribute various products, including eyewear, watches, handbags, footwear, kids and infants apparel, leather apparel,

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swimwear, fragrance, jewelry, and other fashion accessories. It sells its products through its own stores, a network of wholesale accounts, and the Internet.

GAP The Gap, Inc is American clothing and accessories retailer based in San Francisco California, and founded in1969. The company has five primary brands: the namesake Gap banner, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta. Gap, Inc. remains the largest specialty apparel retailer in U.S., though it has recently been surpassed by the Spanish-based Inditex Group as the worlds largest apparel retailer. Gap Inc. is one of the worlds largest specialty apparel retailers, with more than 3,100 stores and fiscal 2008 revenues of $14.5 billion.

ESPRIT Esprit is an international youthful lifestyle brand offering smart, affordable luxury and bringing newness and style to life. The Group offers 12 product lines encompassing womens wear, mens wear, kids wear, edc youth as well as shoes and accessories through over 640 directly managed retail stores and over 12,000 wholesale points-of-sale worldwide, occupying over 817,000 square metres directly managed retail space in more than 40 countries.

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11. SWOT ANALYSIS

The SWOT analysis includes the Opportunities, Threats, Strengths and Weaknesses. Strengths: Customers are brand loyal. Benetton is enjoying competitive edge vis--vis competitors in Italy. Benetton is maintaining good company relationship with labor. Benetton is having soundness in financial management. Benetton system procedures, structures, processes are consistent with designed industry standards.

Weaknesses: Benetton needs improvement in re-inventing vision, mission and strategic objective and goals. Marketing improvements are needed in marketing management. Improvements are needed in Human resource Management. Opportunities: Economics conditions including all its indicators reflect positive health of Italy economic conditions. Benetton is reasonably equipped to internalize the social shift. Benetton is implementing all the related laws and its article/clauses. Apparently Government policies are supportive towards industry. Benetton is reasonably equipped to maintain the pace of technological changes. International components namely economics, political, technological, legal exhibit normally in USA.

Threats: Italy is experiencing social shift in terms of customers. Customers are seeking value and they have become savvy also. Legislations are being passed frequently related to apparel (textile) industry. The industry is subject to technological changes and having a high vulnerability. Benetton is facing fierce competition in USA and their counterparts dominating the market. In USA due to cultural diversity customers have different taste, preferences and they see out different values from their transactions.
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12. QUESTIONNAIRE ANALYSIS

1. From where do you purpose fashion garments ?

Shopping Place
1.50% 33% Street Market Retail Shops Mall Internet 49% 16%

2.

How frequently do you go for shopping of garments?

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 1% 0% Weekly

56.50%

34.50%

8%

Quarterly Frequency

Monthly

Annualy

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3. For which purpose you go to Mall most ?

Purpose

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

53% 31% Purpose 7% 9% Purpose

Shopping

Games

Movies

Others

4. What is your monthly budget for shopping of garments ?

Monthly Budget(Rs.)
8% 25% X < 1000 1000-3000 3000 < X

68%

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5. Have you ever seen any advertisement of United Colors of Benetton ?

Watched Advertisement
58%

42%

58%

81.50% 18.50%

6. Which brand of fashion garments you prefer more ?

Brand
18%

43.50%

United Colours of Benetton Levi's Spykar 29.50% Others

9%

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7. Which factor of UCB attracts you more ?

Factor
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Price Quality Brand Ambassador Advertisement 6% 5% 5% 84.00% Factor

8. How much do you appropriate quality assurance of United Colors of Benetton ?

Response
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Very Much Appreciable Can't Say 20% 13% 2% No Appropriable 0% Not at All 65% Response

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9. Which brand of UCB you like the most ?

Brand of UCB
35% 30% 25% 20% 33% 15% 10% 5% 0% UCB Sisley Play life Killer Loop 18% 28% 21% Brand of UCB

10. On which occasion do you like to purchase the UCB most?

45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Festival Parties Birthday Ocassion Anniversaries 19% 23% 17% 41%

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11. Would you suggest UCB to your relatives / friends?

Response
Yes No

19%

81%

12. Do you find sufficient varieties of accessories & apparels at UCB outlets?

80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Yes Response No 27% 73%

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13. Do you find enough number of outlets of UCB in Ahmedabad ?

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Response

32%

68%

Yes

No

14. For whom do you prefer the product of UCB ?

Category
23% 13%

Kids Gents Ladies 64%

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13. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

UCB Men's Collections

United Colors of Benetton has consolidated its product range and expanded the assortment in its men's collections, a segment that now accounts for around 21% of UCB sales. Sisley Young Sisley Young collection for children from 3 to 12, but concentrating on the 8-12 age group, it plays on sensations, emotions and creativity, all of which are reworked, filtered and adjusted to the young age of our very modern little women and men. LUCKY YOU

From 30 October 2010, customers purchasing in a single transaction three items from the United Colors of Benetton Toddler and Kid (from size 74 to XXL) lines among those marked with the special LUCKY YOU sticker will receive the cheapest item free (subject to availability instore at the moment of purchase). The promotion will be valid at participating United Colors of Benetton stores, displaying the special United Colors of Benetton. Lucky you advertising posters.

The UCBs product merchandising policy is also important in its success because they emphasized a climate of scarcity and opportunity. So, its consumers know that if they like something, they must buy it in this moment and not later. All these characteristics makes UCB a business model difficult to imitate and for this reason its competitive advantages are more sustainable. In conclusion, Benetton uses knowledge management to balance structure and creativity. They recognize that both creativity and structure is crucial in ensuring the success of the venture.

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14. RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSIONS


Recommendations Based on the analysis of information gathered and inferences made thereof, some recommendations are as follows Promotional Offers: Consumers are price-conscious and are attracted towards promotional offers. Give the usual promotional offers that other brands do, like cash back offer on usage of certain credit cards. Customer Care: Easy and quick access to customer care acts as a re-assuring factor and increases customer satisfaction with service offering. The company should look at providing multiple channels of customer care, though the focus should be on customer care over phone, as revealed through data analysis.

Conclusion

Since 1984 wearing Benetton clothing was not just an act of covering the body or nice, it was a statement. A statement that he or she wearing them is an open-minded, modern person. This mentality was achieved by the highly inspired and original advertising directed by Toscani. Every campaign they have launched under his direction always attracted an enormous quantity of attention and almost every poster or billboard they had put up attracted many reactions. Their campaigns have introduced new words in the advertising language, words such as shockvertissement and reality ads. Today the brand Benetton no longer stands out from other clothing and apparel manufacturers which is also showed the lower profits they get every year. So they still have quite the ethnic diversity in their promotion, but in todays modern society this is no longer something of frown upon, but a necessity. So their billboards continue to be simple and not so commercially intensive, but if this is not backed up by a powerful story, the effect is almost null. The advertising society, especially in Europe, has reached a point where simple commercials that directly try to convince the buyer to buy a product or service, no longer work. The buyer has become quite an intelligent breed, they do not want other people telling them what to buy, and they want to be convinced by arty commercials, smart ads a company philosophy they relate. And because Benetton didnt change their advertising style since 2000, everyone got used to it and even grew
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tired of it. Their simple portraits with white background just dont cut it when faced with the aggressive and intelligent campaigns by

rivals such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Reebok. Even though Benetton like to think of themselves as above this sport &leisure wear league and into the Marks & Spencer, The Gap etc. lifestyle wear league, the lack of a strong identity places them somewhere in between. Some people would rather see Benetton maintain the controversial ads. In Britain, when the new, happy-faced ads broke early in 2001, they were panned as so innocuous as to be invisible. Even though these new ads were made by his disciples at Fabrica, Oliviero Toscani was even more dismissive. Its a waste of money he said. Bitterly attacked by some and internationally acclaimed by others, Benettons campaigns are not only means of communication but also an expression of our time. At the same time they have paved the way for innovative models of transmitting corporate intelligence. In the end, some might say that it doesnt matter what critics said, that the campaigns were tasteless, that the company was exploiting the worlds problems to create the image. It doesnt matter Toscani said that ads were only trying to raise awareness on social and cultural issues. What matters is that Benetton brand was built on petty cash and in a very short time frame; it is now among the worlds best known brands, and this was achieved in less than 20 years by one photographer, only print ads and billboards, no advertising agencies, no television commercials. Today, the Benetton Group is present in 120 countries around the world. Its core business is fashion apparel: a group with a strong Italian character whose style, quality and passion are clearly seen in its brands, the casual United Colors of Benetton, the glamour oriented Sisley, the leisurewear brand Play life. The Group produces over 150 million garments every year. Its network of around 6,000 contemporary stores around the world offers high quality customer services and generates a total turnover of over 2 billion euro.

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