Marketing Plan

1. Mission Statement

"We are committed to providing comfortable and long lasting clothes that look good"

Product Concept

The concept of this product is to provide the target market which are males and females between the ages of 14 and 20 years old clothing that allows them to be comfortable and casual while still looking stylish and trendy and maintaining a sense of a luxurious lifestyle. By just purchasing the items the consumers are embodying the Abercrombie & Fitch motto of "casual luxury". The target market falls between those ages because 14 years old is usually when a teenager begins dressing themselves and shopping for themselves, so naturally they want to dress like other kids in school, or their older siblings or relatives. That want to dress as trendy and "cool" as everyone else later turns into a real love for the brand which makes the back to school and holiday season the busiest for the company because that's when the target market demand is at its highest.

2. SWOT Analysis

An internal strength for the company would be the production cost. Abercrombie and Fitch items are mostly made outside of the United States, in third world countries in South America and Asian making the cost of production a lot cheaper than it would be if the items were made in factories in the US using domestic labor.

A rather large internal weakness would have to be the employees and that the fact that most of the company's loss comes from internal theft. Because the employees have access to things such as uncensored merchandise and cash registers it becomes a lot easier for them to steal from the company than the regular opportunistic shoplifter. Another weakness I feel the company has would have to be marketing. Although each store is filled with their own marketing and the usual grey toned half naked images Abercrombie uses to promote the brand they don't use any other form of marketing. Aside from the billboard that can be seen in the meatpacking district of NYC Abercrombie & Fitch don't put ads in magazines or on television. If you never knew anything about the brand the only way you'd be able to find out is through word of mouth or stumbling across the store at your nearby shopping mall.
A visible opportunity for Abercrombie & Fitch would be to open more stores in heavily populated areas. For example in New York City the company only has two Abercrombie & Fitch stores and two Hollister store in the city. They have yet to open a children's store in the city forcing people looking for that to travel to New Jersey or Long Island to purchase children's items. There's clearly a demand for more stores in New York City so that's the perfect opportunity for them to open more stores and generate more business.

An obvious threat is the fact other companies that are obvious competition continue to put out similar merchandise at a much cheaper price. So yes a consumer might really want a polo shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch but if they can get it from American Eagle or Aeropostale for much cheaper that's where the consumer will go. Also those same companies that try to imitate Abercrombie & Fitch's merchandise are also getting out there and promoting themselves through marketing much better than Abercrombie is, so they stand to lose a lot of consumers to competitive brands that are offering similar merchandise at cheaper prices and marketing themselves a lot better.

3. Marketing Objectives

1.Start using media resources such as tv, radio and magazines to advertise the various brands under the Abercrombie & Fitch company (ie. Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister etc.) within the next six months.

2. Continue the promotional discounts online and in store to provide consumers with lower prices. Also apply those discounts to all stores including Flagship.

3. Assign target stores with more loss prevention agents to hopefully decrease the amount of internal theft.

4. Create a higher criteria for hiring employment to ensure a decrease in internal theft as well as providing better customer service. Also provide more/better training for employees to provide better service for the customer to ensure happy consumer will return as well as bring in more business.

5. Bring in more company revenue hopefully increasing profits by 50% from the previous year.

4. Retailing Activities

As a retail store I would say that Abercrombie & Fitch's retailing activity has been quite heavy over the last couple if years, especially recently with all of the international shoe openings. Apart from their 1,069 domestic stores, Abercrombie & Fitch is very focused on their international expansion goals for the future. They expect that by 2012 30% of the company's overall sales will be from their international stores. Although there are many Hollister stores open all through Europe there aren't that many Abercrombie & Fitch stores in Europe and Asia which is something the company plans to change. By the end of the 2012 fiscal year they intend 15 additional flagships store throughout Europe and Asia. Along with the international store, Abercrombie & Fitch also now ships internationally. The store also has a credit card through world financial bank, available to consumers through their website.

5. Magazine Ad

6. Store Promotion

The promotion I chose to create is very much like many of the promotions that Abercrombie & Fitch are doing themselves. Trying to get a lot of consumers to come in and purchase their products although there are many stipulations and exceptions that you would have to read the smaller print to find out. for example, Abercrombie

7. Integrated Marketing Communications

Recently Abercrombie & Fitch has released something completely new and never before done by the company for the upcoming holidays. They have created gift box sets of some popular items, such as their winter pajamas, winter wear sets and of course their popular fragrances. These are the promotional messages I would create if I worked for the company.

1. "Be gentle, yet Fierce"- This message would be used to promote the companies wildly popular Fierce fragrance. Typically a male cologne, Fierce is seen world wide as a unisex fragrance given the fact that women love it just as much as men do. The medium for this type of message would be a magazine ad, as well as the fragrance tester that is attached to the page. It would be in both male magazines like GQ as well as magazines that cater to females like Elle, in order to insure contact with all possible consumers

2. "Stay warm, yet cool"- This message would be used to promote their new winter wear, matching hat and scarf sets as all and their newly designed outerwear collection. The medium to be used would be a TV commercial which is something the company has yet to do. So introducing something that's already a very popular item in such a big way would make, would definitely create more customers as well as remind the loyal customers to come in and purchase their new outerwear. especially if the commercials are shown during prime time on the CW as well as MTV they would be sure to make contact with their target market.

3. New design yet classic look"-This message would be used to promote the company's band new 2012 redesigned denim collection. The medium would be the Internet through the form of email and social networking. Abercrombie & Fitch over the years have created a mailing list as well as asked customers to friend the company on Facebook and follow them on twitter. This would be a great way to get in contact with loyal consumers, who have actually signed up to be notified about all the company is offering and let them know about an improvement in an already successful item. By creating a post of Facebook or sending a mass email to the mailing list its letting their target market and consumers who probably will return know that something new is out and worth purchasing.

4. "Stay casual, yet luxurious"- This message goes back to Abercrombie & Fitch's key statement that the company has tried to make for decades. This medium would be billboards all over heavily populated shopping areas such as Soho and Times square. Because the company doesn't actually promote itself through these types of mediums, the consumers are usually people that know exact what they want when they go into the store. With a billboard promoting what the brand is really all about they make contact with not only their target market, but unexpected consumers who look at the billboard and think oh lets go to Abercrombie & Fitch, and would have never thought about going without the added push.

All the messages are promoting a lot of the newer items that Abercrombie & Fitch are offering to bring in more consumers for the upcoming holiday season as well as getting the company out there in more ways than presently being done.

8. Plan for the Future

I believe that in 2012, unfortunately Abercrombie & Fitch will continue to decline in all aspects. In terms of financially, the company hasn't been been doing as well as it has in previous years and it's stocks continue to drop. I believe they will keep offering weekly promotions in hopes of still bringing in consumers, but it won't help much on the national level. I believe that public opinion of the company will also continue to dwindle. With it's crazy amounts of negative publicity over the years it's inevitable that the company no longer be the "cool" brand it's always strived to be. On an international front though, I believe the company will continue to be hugely successful and the international market will be a lot of what helps keep the company a float.

9. Strategy for Future Success

One of the main things Abercrombie & Fitch could do as a company to promote themselves as well as all of their other companies better would have to be better advertising. So far they don't use any of the popular mediums for promotion. For example they could put advertising in magazine that cater to their target market or create commercials to air in time slots most watched by their target market. 

They could also stay away from negative publicity. The company has always had an idea that even negative publicity and controversy will spark sales such as the controversy this summer with the cast of Jersey Shore, but instead of trying to capitalize on negative publicity they could try and put more positive publicity out there, like discussing their work in the community and making it know that the company does help people. 

The company has been making great improvements though by redesigning and rereleasing their line of denim as well as there items with fur. Since the redesign of those items, they have been selling more and are getting much better reviews from the consumers so I'm sure it would greatly help Abercrombie & Fitch to consider redesigning some of their other popular items that consumers feel are low in quality.