INTRODUCTION

This study will be carried out on the theme of building brand awareness through marketing communication. The purpose of this study is to highlight the importance of various marketing and marketing communication strategies that are required to create brand awareness in the market where the organisation operates (Bird, 2012).

In developing effective marketing communication systems, it is very crucial for organisations to pay attention on the internal potential and the external pressure on the organisational operations. Further, strategic options should be evaluated. Apart from that an effective segmentation, targeting and a positioning strategy should be developed to strengthen the communication process.

This study will carry out a SWOT analysis on Vogue Jewellers to discuss the internal position. Apart from that Ansoff matrix, Porter’s five forces model and STP analysis will be carried out to support marketing awareness activities.

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE AND ANALYSIS

Application of theory on Vogue Jeweller’s scenario

SWOT analysis

StrengthsWeaknesses
  • Effective positioning strategy adapted by Vogue
  • Hands on experience for offering unique jewellery
  • The past learnings that were gained over the past five decades
  • Geographic spread
  • Inadequate attention on marketing communication through digital media
  • High costs on security systems
OpportunitiesThreats
  • Vogue could develop an aggressive digital marketing campaign
  • The company could use IT to obtain customer insights and feedback
  • Vogue could enter new countries (Sjoerd, 2017)
  • The company could introduce new products like Silver and Platinum jewellery
  • Competition from other jewellers
  • Changes in consumer behaviour
  • Reputational issues

Figure 1- SWOT analysis on Vogue Jewelers (Vogue Jewellers, 2019)

Industry environment

Vogue operates in the gold jewellery industry of Sri Lanka. therefore, in developing marketing communication strategies, it is very important to understand the industry environment. In order to assess the industry environment, Porter’s five forces model will be used.

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Figure 2- Porter’s five forces model (Porter, 2008)

Bargaining power of the buyer

Gold is a luxury item therefore, regardless of the price people tend to demand gold jewellery for special occasions in life. Therefore, Vogue has to freedom to increase their labour charges based on the nature of the design without losing the customers. Hence, the bargaining power of the customer is low.

Bargaining power of the supplier

Vogue mainly depends on their own staff in producing unique designs. Apart from that, the company offers branded jewelleries. Therefore, up to a certain degree, Vogue is dependent upon the suppliers. Therefore, power of the supplier is at a medium level.

Threat of substitutes

There are lot of substitutes for Vogue’s products and them being silver jewellery, platinum jewellery and costume jewellery. Therefore, this demonstrates that people have lot of options for gold jewellery. So the threat of substitutes for Vogue’s products are very high.

Threat of new entrants

In order to enter the gold jewellery industry, there are lot of entry barriers. The main barrier is the capital investment. Apart from that technology, capacity, knowhow and expertise. Therefore, it is very unlikely that new players could easily enter in large scale. This demonstrates that the threat of new entrants would be low (Colombo, 2018).

Competitive rivalry

In order to survive in the gold jewellery industry different jewellers like Raja jewellers and Swarna Mahal carries out lot of television advertisements. Therefore, it is clear that competitive rivalry is high.

Strategic options for Vogue Jewellers

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Figure 3- Ansoff matrix (Ansoff, 2007)

Market penetration strategies are directly involved in building brand awareness. When offering an existing product to the existing market, Vogue has to use appropriate communication tools. Television and radio advertising could be considered as a market penetration strategy. Apart from that Vogue has a text message notification system for existing customers. Initially, Vogue was offering yellow gold but recently, Vogue introduced white gold and rose gold jewelleries and these efforts could be considered as product development.

After identifying the demand for gold jewellery after launching the first store, Vogue slowly increased the store networks across the island. By now, Vogue operates in Colombo, Kandy, Kurunagella and in few more areas. This is a market development effort.

In order to support marketing communication activities, Vogue could focus more on market penetration strategies because these strategies are about creating customer awareness, interest and desire of the existing customers.

As discussed under the opportunities, a digital marketing campaign and use IT to obtain consumer insights. These are very important in strengthening communication channels. Further, these strategies will be very supportive in market development and product development initiatives.

Segmentation, targeting and positioning analysis

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Figure 4- Segmentation bases (Kotler, 2010)

Above diagram illustrates that there are four strategies that could be used in segmenting the market. Presently, Vogue Jewellers has used psychographic basis in segmenting the market. Under the psychographic basis, the organisation has paid attention on the lifestyle, social class and the attitudes on a design. However, marketing communication activities are presently directed only on the existing customers (Gruca, 2001).

Targeting

There are three targeting strategies and them being undifferentiated targeting, differentiated targeting and concentrated targeting. Presently, Vogue adapts a differentiated target marketing approach in targeting the market. This is because the organisation offers a range of jewelleries to suite different social classes, attitudes and life styles.

Positioning

Positioning is the process of increasing the consumer perception of a brand among other brands. With regard to Vogue jewellers, the company mainly competes with Raja Jewellers. Therefore, in influencing the consumer perception, Vogue has highlighted the reliability, quality and the uniqueness of designs (James, 2011).

Current marketing mix

ProductThe main product offerings are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, diamond jewellery and gem studded jewellery. The items that are purchased are placed in a finely designed box that highlights the Vogue logo.

Vogue offers a diverse range of products ranging from rings, earrings, bangles and much more.

PriceWhen compared with small scale and medium scale jewellers, Vogue charges a high price from the customers due to the exclusiveness. The jeweller further offers convenient payment plans to attract and retain the customers.
PlaceVogue is located across the island but there are lot of Vogue branches in Colombo district. Most of the branches are accomplished with car parking spaces which is considered as a very important factor.
PromotionThis component has a direct link with marketing communication activities. Presently, Vogue mainly focuses on bill board advertising, television/radio advertising and text message updates. The main concern of this study is to strengthen marketing communication at Vogue (Banerjee, 2018).
PeopleVogue employees a set of experienced and friendly staff. The staff are capable of managing relationships with customers over the long term.
ProcessThe main process is to offer high quality and unique pieces of jewellery. Therefore, the process starts from the factory and delivered to the branches through secured modes.
Physical evidenceUnder the physical evidence the organisation has paid attention on the store appearance. In all the Vogue branches, illumination is a very clear feature. Apart from that air conditioning is also available to make the environment pleasant.

Figure 5- Marketing mix (Compiled by the author)

Importance of marketing communication

Marketing communication is the process of using different channels to communicate with the desired target market. Some of the main marketing communication channels are mass marketing, digital marketing and personal marketing (Mihari, 2012).

Process of developing a communication plan

  1. Identifying the purpose

The purpose of developing a communication plan is to increase customer awareness which is essential for maximising market share and profitability of Vogue (Gomez, 2018).

  1. Identifying the audience

Vogue targets at psychographic customer segment. Therefore, the communication efforts have to be directed at this segment.

  1. Defining the message

In defining the message, Vogue has to highlight the unique value propositions of the company and them being reliability, quality and uniqueness. The message should be defined in such a way that it will impress the target audience.

  1. Resources

In order to implement an effective marketing plan, Vogue has to firstly acquire technology, devices and the knowledge of the employees.

  1. Anticipating obstacles and emergencies

In Vogue’s scenario, when implementing a communication plan, the main obstacles would be inadequate experience in developing digital marketing solutions and reliability of the service providers. Apart from that contingencies could be economic downturns, political instability and changes in social trends. Therefore, these things have to be anticipated in designing and planning a marketing communication plan.

  1. Strategy of spreading the message

This study is stressing more on the digital media because Vogue is far behind the digital strategy. Therefore, Vogue could use few social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Myspace and etc. apart from that blogs could be created to obtain customer feedback. In order to understand the nature of consumer behaviour and the preferences cookies could be used on the webpages (Hollensen, 2010).

  1. Creation of an action plan
Identification of the market trends with regard to communication
Assessing the costs of developing a suitable communication strategy
Deciding whether to outsource or to design the strategy in-house
Testing the new communication strategy
Eliminating the weaknesses and implementing the strategy
  1. Evaluation

Once the communication plan is developed and implemented, Vogue has to assess the effectiveness of the digital communication strategy. In order to do so, the company could assess traffic generated on social media, website performance through digital marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). The company could assess the bounce rate, conversion rate, click through rate and much more KPIs to evaluate website performance. Apart from that customer feedback could be obtained.

Communication channels

Mass marketing is where Vogue could market a product on large scale. Often television/radio/bill board advertisements are targeted at a large market. This is a very traditional approach.

Apart from that Vogue could use digital marketing. Under this strategy the company could use social media, digital screens, mobile applications, website advertisements to create customer awareness of the target market. Presently, such efforts are limited.

Personal marketing is the process of marketing a specific product to customers individually. However, Vogue could adapt this approach because it could enable Vogue to optimise brand awareness in the long term (Jones, 2012).

Integrating marketing communication

It is very crucial for Vogue to ensure that all the communication tools are linked together in such a way that it works in harmony. Presently, Vogue carries out mass marketing and personal marketing. Therefore, when implementing a digital marketing, it is important to make sure that the messages delivered to the customer are the same and are not in conflict (Abela, 2007).

In order to effectively integrate the marketing communication strategy, Vogue could set clear marketing communication objectives. Then all the marketing communication tools could be used with reference to the objectives.

Further, in developing the marketing communication strategies, all the channels could highlight the brand name, logo and the positioning statement of Vogue because it could enable the organisation to strengthen the brand awareness.

Recommendations

  • Vogue could strengthen the digital marketing channel and integrate all the communication channels.
  • The company could periodically upgrade the marketing communication channels with the global trends to create brand awareness in a better way.
  • It is recommended for Vogue to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing communication systems and take remedial action to improve performance.
  • It is further recommended for Vogue to highlight all the components of the marketing mix through the communication strategy to build brand awareness through communication.

CONCLUSION

This report was written to understand the impact of marketing communication on brand awareness. The body of the report mainly highlighted on the Vogue’s current state, importance of marketing communication and the process of developing an integrated marketing communication strategy. So the study clearly highlighted that Vogue could design a digital marketing communication strategy to build brand awareness and enhance organisational performance.

It was further revealed that Brand awareness could be optimised by adapting market penetration strategies. Market penetration strategy is about offering an existing product to the existing market. Therefore, by adapting this strategy customer awareness, interest and desire could be optimised.

In conclusion, marketing communication strategies are essential to build brand awareness. This is applicable for any organisation including Vogue jewellers. Therefore, it is recommended for the organisation to strengthen the marketing communication systems to optimise brand awareness across the island.

 

References

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Ansoff, H., 2007. Strategic mangaement. 4 ed. London: Springer.

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Gruca, J., 2001. Impact of market segmentation on marketing mix. International journal of research in marketing, 18(1), pp. 53-66.

Hollensen, S., 2010. Global marketing. 5 ed. London: Pearson Education.

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Mihari, C., 2012. Apart from that Vogue could use digital marketing. Under this strategy the company could use social media, digital screens, mobile applications, website advertisements to create customer awareness of the target market. Presently, such efforts are limited.. International journal of marketing studies, 12(4), pp. 155-161.

Porter, M., 2008. On competition. 5 ed. New York: Harvard University Press.

Sjoerd, B., 2017. Cultural distance and firm internationalisation. Journal of management, 44(1), pp. 89-130.

Vogue Jewellers, 2019. [Online]
Available at: http://www.voguejewellers.lk/about-us/
[Accessed 2 December 2019].