Fashion and Hugo Boss
“Fashion is a uniquely sensuous, dynamic and international phenomenon, and HUGO BOSS holds a leading position in this fascinating market. The exceptional personal commitment and standout achievements of our employees form the cornerstones of our success.” (Dr. Bruno Sälzer, Chair of the Managing Board, HUGO BOSS AG).
Hugo Boss AG is a fashion house based in Metzingen, Germany, specializes in high-end apparel. It is named after its founder, Hugo Boss. Hugo Boss has been successfully asserting and expanding its position as a global market leader in the upscale fashion market for many years. The HUGO BOSS brands encompass all key fashion areas, ranging from classic clothing, evening and leisurewear to functional sportswear and complementary accessories.
Licensed products such as eyewear, watches, fragrances and cosmetics further enhance our collections. HUGO BOSS is represented in the fashion market by the BOSS, HUGO and BALDESSARINI brands. HUGO BOSS products are available worldwide in over 100 countries. HUGO BOSS the name denotes success, perfection and a style that transcends international borders.
Its primary competitors are Gianni Versace, Armani and Gucci in the fashion retail sector. The BOSS and HUGO brands cover all the major fashion segments for men and women. Additional product groups such as shoes and accessories, fragrances, eyewear, and watches complement the individual collections.
The target audiences mainly catered to by HUGO BOSS are individuals ranging between the age groups of 20-60 years. Largely, its customers are the young and the professional working class. The marketing channels used are the seasonally changing advertising strategies, business through the internet, public relations and various sales promotion schemes.
HUGO BOSS is represented in the fashion market by the BOSS and HUGO brands. These brand collections and their fashion lines are aimed at various target groups, creating a brand world of extraordinary fashion diversity at a constantly high level of quality. The BOSS Black, BOSS Selection, BOSS Orange and BOSS Green lines as well as the accompanying accessory collections are all part of the core BOSS brand.
The women’s collections in the BOSS Black line offer versatile fashion ranges with a rich array of elegant “modern classics” in business-, leisure- and formalwear: perfect looks that satisfy the most sophisticated tastes.
BOSS Orange offers casual collections for women who enjoy dressing in style and wearing surprising looks. Unusual materials, bold colors and beautiful details appeal to a clientele that delights in experimentation.
HUGO delivers innovative looks for women with a young, upbeat attitude. The collections feature body-hugging silhouettes and up-to-the-minute styles.
For the past several years, a broad selection of innovative lifestyle products has complemented the HUGO BOSS fashions. The segment Shoes & Accessories has featured most prominently and represents considerable growth potential for the company. This product group was therefore integrated into the Group in 2004 and has been progressively expanded since.
Micro-environment denotes those elements over which the marketing firm has control or which it can use in order to gain information that will better help it in its marketing operations. In other words, these are elements that can be manipulated, or used to glean information, in order to provide fuller satisfaction to the company’s customers.
P’S of Marketing
For men include: Boss Black/Boss Black Selection, Boss Green, Boss Orange, Hugo, and Baldessarini. For women: Boss Black, Boss Orange and Hugo. Also part of the brand is Lifestyle Accessories. (As explained above )
The price that a customer pays varies for each type of their product. Their target market constitutes are people between the age of 20 and 60, i.e. for the young, professional and working class. The price of the products of an industry are determined by a number of factors including market share, competition, market costs, product identity and also the customer’s perceived value of product.
Place comprises of two distinct elements: channels of distribution and transportation of goods. HUGO BOSS sells its products are various stores and outlets. It has various retail outlets. It also has logistics that relates to the physical warehousing and transportation of goods from various places. It is well organized and effectively working.
HUGO BOSS promotes itself by advertising their products via Media, i.e. TV, newspapers, banners, internet, etc. Also, sponsorship, product placement, endorsements, direct mail, trade shows, etc help them to promote their brand efficiently in the market. It is also engaged in charitable work.
Macro-environment refers to the surroundings in the market which are unavoidable and need to be adjusted with than manipulate them. It is essential to study these factors that affect the business techniques followed by the organization. Knowing these factors is very important; once exploited, they may prove to be very beneficial to the firm.
Political and Legal Factors
Hugo Boss is involved in international operations. Thus, it faces the domestic as well as the international political concerns. They export and have joint ventures and subsidiary companies abroad. The political and legal factors in various countries differ a lot. Hugo Boss has to take in consideration all these factors since its products are available in over 100 countries. Special attention needs to be given to volatile conditions so that the political conditions are monitored very carefully.
Government policy can severely affect the financial results of the business. For instance the aggressive US fiscal policy driven in art by the invasion of Iraq has caused the US dollar to depreciate against other currencies such as the EUR or GBP.
Economic factors are of concern to HUGO BOSS because they are likely to influence, among other things, demand, costs, prices and profits. These factors are largely outside the control of the individual firm, but their effects on individual enterprises can be profound. Political and economic factors are often strongly related. Since HUGO BOSS is engaged in international marketing, changes in world economic forces are potentially highly significant. The rate of inflation, unemployment and the level of domestic interest rates affect the return from new investments and can inhibit the adoption and diffusion of new technologies. Economic changes pose a set of opportunities and threats, this it is very important that HUGO BOSS monitors the economic environment at both domestic and world levels.
Social and Cultural Factors
It is very important for HUGO BOSS to manifest itself in changing tastes, purchasing behavior and c hanging priorities. The type of goods and services demanded by the consumers is a function of their social conditioning and their consequent attitudes and beliefs. Social changes are preceded by changes over time in a society’s cultural values. The weather changes are also another factor to be taken care of. Every time the weather of a country changes they need to change their products. Consumers need different trends and styles. They do not need want to wear the same styles every time. The lifestyle trend changes to an extent every time. HUGO BOSS also has an outstanding advertising. All this helps them create the effectiveness of their products etc.
HUGO BOSS plays an important part in technological progress. They have their own research department which plays a part in innovating new developments and new applications. A change in the technological environment affects the products and services that the firm produces and the way in which the firms carry out their business operations. There is a very important need to have technological improvements in the business in today’s world. The design of the collections and the development of groundbreaking production technologies both occur at corporate headquarters in Metzingen. There, for each of the year’s four seasons, their creative teams design the fashions that capture the contemporary zeitgeist.
SWOT analysis refers to the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats that a company evaluates in itself as well as from the market which it is trying to capture. With this knowledge, the internal and external factors of the firm can be easily analyzed and worked upon to improve the growth and market share of the firm. Strengths and Weaknesses form the internal factors and Opportunities and Threats form the external factors that influence the marketing activities of an organization.
The strengths that a company represents the competitive advantage that it has over the other firms it’s competing with. HUGO BOSS has a very good reputation, resulting in a high market share, making it the biggest retailer on the high streets. A good repute brings a high consciousness of the brand name in the minds of almost every potential consumer. Its diversity and variety in the product offerings, furnishing to everyone’s needs whether man or woman, and middle aged customers has added on to being one of its strengths and reasons for loyalty in the marketplace.
Weaknesses often discourage employees in a corporation, but identifying them is necessary in order to overcome them to re-enter the market. A company’s weaknesses are not just the problems from the firm’s point of view, but also from the consumer’s point of view. These limitations slow down the progress of the company when compared to its competitors. Some of HUGO and BOSS’ inabilities are keeping up with the changing trends in the retail market. Sometimes their incapability to target the right customers in terms of product range and potentiality also hinder the growth of the company.
Opportunities refer to the upcoming trends or social, economical or technological patterns that can be exploited to increase market share and customer loyalty. Since the age group targeted by HUGO BOSS is till the age of 60 years, more number of old people should be targeted as prospective customers. Collaboration with other companies to increase product breadth and depth, with more celebrity patronage is a sure opportunity that should be taken advantage of. Buying competitors who could pose a threat in the future is also a possibility that HUGO BOSS can utilize to keep up its market share.
Threats are the inevitable situations that might arise, which the company needs to handle tactfully. These are external factors that cannot be controlled by the company. Changing trends in fashion and economic and technological advances are some of the threats that all fashion industries face, including HUGO BOSS. The varying structures in the market, mostly in the younger clothing markets also are threats to retailers.
In 1987, Boss Orange for men was launched described as sporty and casual separating itself from the trendy Hugo brand and the sophisticated Boss Black brand. Boss Green is a completely sporty brand selling items designed for sport or a sporty look.
The company’s products, divided over three brands, are available throughout the world in 103 countries and more than 5,002 retail stores. These brands are Boss, Hugo, and since 2004, Baldessarini. The latter, Baldessarini GmbH, is a more independent business unit which focuses on a more prestigious image than its two sister brands. It sells, like the other Hugo Boss brands, clothing, shoes, fragrances and accessories but will leave Hugo Boss after the Spring/Summer 2007 collection has been sent to boutiques. This is due to the newly launched premium Boss line, Boss Black Selection, outselling Baldessarini.
Today’s sub-brands for men include: Boss Black/Boss Black Selection, Boss Green, Boss Orange, Hugo, and Baldessarini. For women: Boss Black, Boss Orange (announced in July 2005 for Spring/Summer 2006 launch) and Hugo. Also part of the brand is Lifestyle Accessories.
With an analysis on the various factors affecting the firm along with its strengths and opportunities as internal factors and weaknesses and threats as external factors, there is a clear understanding on the position and market segment HUGO BOSS covers and satisfies. Its strengths and weaknesses along with its PEST factors, the behavior of the organization towards these aspects in the marketing field, are also identified.
1) Kotler, P. (1996) ‘The Principles of Marketing’, Second European Edition, Prentice
2) Marketing (2002) : ‘Don’t let media’s search for a story cloud the business issues.’
Vol 3, p. 16
3) www.hugoboss.com (as viewed on 10/12/07)
4) http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:jwO826q-jWgJ:monikgupta.net/bsc/MarketingReport.pdf+Hugo+Boss+SWOT&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=uk (as viewed on 10/12/07)
5) http://www.coursework4you.co.uk/swot.htm (as viewed on 11/12/07)