Assignment 2: Market
Due Week 8 and worth 300 points
This assignment is a continuation of Assignment 1.
Write a six to seven (6-7) page paper in which you:
1. Determine any strategic partnerships the department store chain could develop that would help promote the higher-ranged-priced products and support the expansion in the west coast.
2. Construct a strategy for managing the higher-ranged product brands. Provide a rationale for your strategy.
3. Develop a pricing strategy for the higher-ranged products. Provide a rationale for your strategy.
4. Generate at least two (2) ideas for sales promotion, advertising, and sale promotion strategies.
5. Select and outline a digital strategy. Provide a rationale for your strategy.
6. Design a plan to measure marketing performance. Provide a rationale for your strategy.
7. Use at least three (3) quality references. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as 

Assignment 1: Marketing Strategy Implementation – Part1
Janeth Roo
Professor: Charlene Walters
MKT 475

Marketing Plan
	The author of this report has been asked to take on the role of a Chief Marketing Officer of a United States department chain that competes on the same level as Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. As part of the plan, the overall strategy will be enumerated and discussed, the product/market boundaries will be looked at, the marketing segmentation strategy will be identified, the customer relationship management strategy will be described, the general strategy of collecting information about potential customers will be given and all of the above will be buttressed and reinforced with three academic and scholarly resources. While taking on the role of marketing leader in a retail environment can be complex and difficult, there are several core strategies that should always be present and they are not hard to understand conceptually.
	The overall marketing-driven strategy is going to be dictated in large part by the fact that the direct competitors of this theoretical store are competitors to Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. Those two stores are certainly not known for budget-priced items and this theoretical store would not be either. The marketing-driven strategy that shall be used for this new store is bringing a taste of the good life to more people without breaking the bank. This will be done through customer-focused campaigns like annual sales, private sales for repeat and/or signed up customers and no interest financing for higher-end items like the more expensive handbags and jewelry. Credit will not be extended liberally to high-risk credit profiles but medium to middle/high wage earners that want to frequent the store will be embraced and pointed to the goods they desire and not towards what is not desired. The rationale behind the above is that this third store needs to carry itself in the same general way as Macy’s and Nordstrom’s as they are direct competitors. However, taking a full-on copycat approach will not be the way to go and this third store needs to establish its own niche and identity as a brand. Imitation is the norm in retail stores and store brand items but this is not remotely the case with more expensive goods. In addition, there have been requested or enacted pieces of legislation that directly combat direct knockoffs (Port, 2012). Beats headphones, for example, are Beats headphones and anything else that is copying them is fairly obvious and a cheap way out. If this third store sold Beats headphones, they should absolutely not sell any of the knockoffs at any time or for any reason.
	The product/market boundaries are the next subject and this has already been covered in part by the prior sentences. Certainly, most of the wares will in no way correspond or correlate to traditional discount stores like Wal-Mart or Target. There might be some scant shared products but it will not be that much. There will be some comparison to middle-range stores like Kohl’s and Dillard’s. However, while the price point for purses and handbags might very well start in the $50+ range, most shoes, clothes and handbags/purses will start mostly in the $75-100 range and go up from there. Goods that are not reputable and desired by more discerning shoppers will not be sold at this chain. By reputable, that would refer to goods that wear out prematurely and/or are clearly not of higher quality. The rationale behind the above is that this store will not sell goods that will wear out in short order as this is absolutely unacceptable and impermissible when this much money is being spent. This goes double for goods that are on the upper crust. For example, a high-end watch whose band breaks inside of a week is not something that can be left unanswered if it becomes a pattern. The rationale about the higher-end brands is that this store will not be a discount/bargain chain.
	While the cheaper and lower quality goods will not be carried by this store, there is still going to be a clear segmentation of product lines. For example, some brand names tend to or always start at a high price point. One such example is Jimmy Choo. However, other brands like Coach and Burberry have more tiered offerings. Coach is a great example because their lower-priced purses and handbags start at roughly two to three hundred dollars but they also sell higher end purses that are one thousand dollars or more. There will be demarcated sections for each tier. The higher end goods will be secured in locked cases but there will be people present that will offer a full service experience. For the lesser priced good, they will be freely available to touch and inspect and staff will be on standby to offer assistance but not in a pushy or commission-driven fashion as this does tend to turn off people. A simple “can we are of any assistance” will be offered but nothing beyond that if the customer declines. The more “full service” option will appeal to people’s greed and desires of being treated like a high-end customer and this is as it should be since those customers will bring more revenue to the store at the end of the day. To put the above in simple terms, there will be no lower-end goods but there will be middle-tier and upper. The former will be given support as needed or requested and the latter will get the full service experience. The rationale behind the segmentation above is that all of the goods will be of a higher price but some prices are higher than others and the level of service should adjust accordingly as the profit to be had is higher and so is the attractiveness to customers of experiencing that for themselves. Obviously, not just anyone can buy a thousand dollar Coach Purse but it can be an occasional splurge for anyone that is willing to save their pennies and take a dive, if only one time in a great while.
	Another form of segmentation will stem from the fact that the stores in question are going to be operating in different parts of the country. This means different cost of livings, different cultural and fashion trends and so forth. For example, the East Coast and the South are entirely different in terms of racial composition, income levels and brand preferences. Some brands are prolific in all metro areas like Coach and such but it can get murky beyond the normal mainstays. For example, the South contains one seismic fashion city in the form of Atlanta. The brand names and trends in Atlanta are going to be entirely different than, let us say, New York because the mindsets and trends are entirely different. One reason is race and ethnicity. New York is a cornucopia of a lot of different races and cultures and is roughly double the size of Atlanta. On the other hand, Atlanta proper is 2:1 black/white and black culture has sprouted up its own preferences and even its own brand names such as FUBU and Sean John. Taken even further, Air Jordan tennis shoes might be a bit out of place at a high-end store in some areas of the east coast and northern United States but they would fit right in within Atlanta stores as they are highly in demand and the resale market is off the charts. Some decry pointing this out as being racial or even racist, but the desire of stores is to cater to the customers and the customers generally expect or demand that anyway. Such segmentation should not be ridiculous but the individual regions of stores should be customized to fit what is desired for that region so long as it fits into the price point and image of the store. The segmentation rationale for this part is obvious and justifiable since different parts of the country have different cultures, preferences and favorite brands so not all of the stores should be identical. They will be similar but they will not be the same from region to region in most cases (Crockett, 2009).
	The overall customer relationship strategy will be much more inclusive as it will make use of a “club” for people to sign up for. There will be no cost associated with the program and the people that participate will be rewarded for following the store’s sales and items through the advertising of private sales and other offers that the rest of the buying public will not be aware of. While no money will be collected to join the club, the use of the card with every checkout will be wielded and used exactly like is done with other such clubs and websites like as the buying habits of each person will be used to customize the price points and brands that they like. For example, if someone buys a Coach purse, they can be presented with store-bound or even special order Coach Wares like other purses, clutches, shoes and so forth. The non-cost and huge upsides of being part of the club will be advertised extensively throughout the store and the salespeople will stress that there are no costs or unwanted marketing. They can always decline marketing emails or notifications if they wish but they can also tailor and customize what they are interested in rather than relying on items actually bought alone. This allows the customer to tell the store exactly what they are in the market for and how much they are willing to spend. The preferences and trends realized from this club and the information tracked could also be pivotal in assessing what should be stocked more in the stores and perhaps what should be phased out or at least limited to special orders. An extensive online portal for the store that allows for easy browsing, management of marketing preferences and brand favorites for the shopper’s club and so forth will aim to give a customer all the selection and such they seek from vendors like Amazon but in the form of a legitimate brick and mortar store that sells high-end goods straight from the source rather than through one or more third parties. Such third-party sale techniques are pervasive on Amazon and other vendors and this can lead to problems regarding authenticity and brand image unless the maker sells directly through Amazon. For high-end goods, this is rare. Using the cards and such has an easy rationale as it allows targeted and low-key marketing and customers do not have to participate if they do not want to. However, they have a strong incentive to do so. As such, getting buy-in and participation will not require a lot of arm-twisting (Treanor, 2010).
The collecting of information will largely be limited to the customer sales and marketing club mentioned before. However, something that cannot really be done in brick and mortar stores but what is done extensively on websites is to have people’s browsing habits and purchases logged. Even if a person does not register for or log into their account, the use of internet browser cookies can be used to track and remember what was looked at. This alone is all that is needed to show similar goods of the same brand, type and price point. Should a user sign up, this allows for all of the same benefits but can be tracked over multiple computers, the things actually bought online or with the shopper card will be available regardless and this makes it all the more easier to effectively market to someone without being pushy or wasting a lot of paper and ink. However, to retain the ethics and politeness that is expected in an age where privacy is harder and harder to attain, customers can opt out of email or snail mail campaigns but the tracking of browsing and buying is harmless. Customers who wish to avoid that can use private internet sessions or public computers to do browsing if they really do not want to be tracked. The rationale behind all of this is that the information can be collected to cater the experience to each customer and thus generate more sales. However, customers have a high degree of control about what is and is not sent to them or otherwise thrown their way should they choose to exercise those options. The rationale behind this is that the information collected is needed but the collection is not done if the customer prefers it not happen.
	As stated in the introduction, marketing is not rocket science but it has to be done in an effective and correct way. This includes catering to the customers and finding out what they like and crave but not to a degree that infringes on their privacy or desire to just be left to shop in peace. Salespeople will not be pushy but they will provide the full level of service necessary to get their dollar. Even if a sale cannot be made every time and even though many customers just come in to browse, leaving a good impression will make it much more likely that they will choose this third retailer over competitors like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s or others.

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Treanor, T. (2010). Amazon: Love them? Hate them? Let’s follow the money. Publishing 
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