MKT603 assignment 7

| January 30, 2017


The following Assignments should be completed and submitted to the course faculty via the learning platform for evaluation and grading. Submit your responses to these questions in one WORD document. List the question first, and then your response.

For each question below, try to find at least one related outside scholarly reference using the university’s online library resources available to you from the main online learning platform home page. Be sure to properly cite your sources, both in-text and with a reference list at the conclusion. If you use an online source to support your answers, you must provide a properly formatted link to the source. You may use MLA, APA, or Chicago citation formats, but be consistent and make sure your sources are credible.

In most cases, your responses should not exceed 500 words.

Assignment Questions

(Case Study: Abercrombie & Fitch)

A&F has undergone several unique transformations since its formation over 100 years ago. It began as a sporting goods store selling expensive and exotic merchandise to adventurers, presidents, businessmen, writers and movie stars. Its assets were acquired by Oshman’s Sporting Goods, where the Abercrombie brand had floundered for several years. A&F stores were acquired by the Limited Incorporated in 1988. The business experienced a period of rejuvenation and rebirth. A&F was spun off in 1996 and became a successful teen retailer selling casual apparel and accessories with a cool “preppy” look. It took a leading role in the creation of a new store format — one that other retailers were eager to imitate. The format was intended to provide an entire experience for young shoppers with trendy music, appealing visuals, and perfumed interiors. This encouraged teenagers to “hang out” and “browse.” They wanted to act and look just like the models they saw in the stores.

A&F engaged in many controversial strategies and was the target of several lawsuits. Despite A&F’s experiences with recessions, war-time troubles, bankruptcy, changing ownership, and legal battles, it has survived. In recent years, it has benefited from significant financial success as well.

1. A&F paid $50 million to settle three lawsuits charging it with racial discrimination. Do you think the lawsuits were justified? Did A&F’s marketing strategies which apparently insulted certain minority groups encourage a corporate culture that was intolerant of diversity? Does A&F, as well as other retailers, have the right to market itself to any ethnic group it wants? Should retailers be free to hire employees with personal appearances that match the image they are trying to project – even if it means not hiring African-Americans and Latinos?

2. Consumers today are following two tracks: necessity shopping when convenience and price are important and recreational shopping when an individual shops for fun. Many retailers are trying to attract the latter consumer by providing an extraordinary shopping experience. According to a retail marketing expert, Pam Danziger, stores that rock — or “pop” — have the following distinctive features:[1]

• high levels of customer involvement and interaction

• a contagious, electric quality

• an ability to evoke a shopper’s curiosity to explore and experience the space

• atmosphere, store design and merchandise that contribute to a comprehensive vision with tangible and intangible elements

Do you think that A&F has implemented these features in its stores? Why or why not?

Can you identify other retailers who are using emotional branding or appealing to the “experiential” buyer?

(Case Study: Caterpillar, Inc.)

The assessment of opportunities and threats is the foundation upon which planners develop strategies. The Caterpillar case illustrates some of the problems associated with the identification of opportunities and threats, especially in a situation where previous successes are notable. Attempting to pattern long-term growth on the basis of previously valid assumptions is one of the classic dilemmas facing the strategic planner whether in consumer or organizational markets.

1. Why was Caterpillar able to meet Japanese competition and succeed while other major U.S. manufacturers failed? For example, what did Caterpillar do that the big three automakers have not done?

2. Evaluate Caterpillar Inc.’s marketing and management strengths and weaknesses.

3. What are the major growth opportunities for Caterpillar, Inc. in the international market? What are the risks associated with expansion into these markets?

4. Caterpillar has been a major corporate voice in the call for the reduction of trade barriers not only in the U.S. but also worldwide. Explain the benefits to Caterpillar if trade barriers were eliminated.

[1] M. Wilson. “The ‘Pop’ Factor,” Chain Store Age 82 (April 2006), p. 78. Retrieved May 18, 2006, from ABI/Inform (ProQuest) database.

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