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PROMOTION ASSIGNMENT

Khanh Huong Le - 17097890


MA International Fashion Business: Marketing Management
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction 04

Who’s NEXT Plc? 05

Brand Overview 05-06

Marketing Mix 07-08

The Next’s Consumers 09

Competitor Analysis 10-14

The Proposal 15-27

References 29-33
04

INTRODUCTION
ESTABLISHED This assignment presents a critical evaluation

regarding a number of brand promotion activities

1864 currently utilised by NEXT. This assignment shall

demonstrate how NEXT is targeting its core cus-

tomers through its marketing strategies and how

NEXT is being perceived by the market. Theoret-

BRITAIN ical frameworks and competitor analysis will be ap-

plied to critically evaluate NEXT’s situation. Finally,

recommendations are offered, regarding how

NEXT can expand its target customer and increase

sale by leading a specific promotion campaign.


05

WHO IS NEXT PLC?


NEXT is a UK-based retail chain established in 1982 with 540 stores
in UK and Eire alone and around 200 stores in 40 countries overseas.
NEXT’s stores and their online shopping directory are now serving an
active customer base of 4.5 million. The retailer prides itself for offering
beautifully designed and quality clothing, footwear and home acces-
sories created by their in-house design team. Next operates through
three main channels: NEXT Retail, NEXT Directory and NEXT Interna-
tional Retail (Next Annual Report and Accounts, 2017)

BRAND OVERVIEW
Brand Values
“Brand value is what brand is worth to management and shareholder...
Another concept intricately linked with brand value is brand equity...
Specifically, brand equity is the incremental utility with which a brand
endows a product” (Dahlgaard-Park, S, 2015)
Reliable, Trustworthy, Professional and having good reputation (Mintel,
2017)

Brand Essence
“A phrase that communicates the fundamental nature of a trade name
associated with one or more products made by the same company”
(BusinessDictionary.com, 2017)
Classic, Contemporary, Quality
06

Vision & Mission


“Our aim is to meet our customers’ expectations by providing exciting,
beautifully designed, excellent quality clothing, footwear, accessories and
homewear” (Nextplc.co.uk, 2017)

Brand Strategy
To improve and develop NEXT product ranges, increase retail selling space
and increase the number of profitable NEXT Directory customers and their
expenditure. NEXT also focuses on improving customer services and satis-
faction level in both retail store and Directory (Nextplc.co.uk, 2017)

Overall, NEXT is the third strongest brand in high street behind just M&S and
Debenhams (Brandindex.com, 2017). The brands were rated using YouGov
BrandIndex’s Index score which measures the overall brand health, includ-
ing the consumers’ perceptions of a brand’s quality, value, impression, sat-
isfaction, reputation and whether customers would recommend the brands
to others.
NEXT ranks well across almost all metrics, from buzz (a balance of the
negative and positive things said about the brand) to reputation and quality
(Vizard et al., 2017). It has a strong brand image of being modern and dis-
tinctive with products designed by its own in-house team. It is considered a
“solid performer” with customers who have used it viewing it as trustworthy,
having good reputation, being reliable and the most stylish brand among its
competitors (Mintel, 2017)
MARKETING MIX 07

PRODUCT
According to American Marketing Association (AMA), marketing is the process of planning and exe-
cuting the concept, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to satisfy individ-
ual or organisational objectives (Franklin et al., 2017)
The analysis of NEXT’s Marketing Mix as below serves to understand how NEXT is executing its
brands to meet the need of its core customers.

NEXT offers “beautiful, excellent quality products that are well made, functional and safe, sourced
responsibly and provide outstanding value to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations”(Nextplc.
co.uk, 2017)
It also offer a wide product range, including womenswear, lingerie, menswear, children’s clothing, foot-
wear, homewear & accessories and flower which aims to appeal to a wide target demographic.
NEXT also have sub-brand named Label/Mix and Lipsy, which added diversity to its product offerings.
Label/Mix is a new range that provides customers with products from establishing and emerging de-
signers’ brand in British Fashion. It is the home to a variety of non-competing third-party branded items
from companies such as Levi’s, Ted-Baker, Adidas, Superdry,
Lipsy is “multi-channel British fashion brand, selling head-turning dresses and of-the-moment trends
worldwide” (Lipsy.co.uk, 2017)
Lipsy’s target market is women in younger age, ranging from 18-25 years old. PRICE
The pricing of NEXT brand product is moderate. However, the pricing of items in the LABEL
range can be rather expensive:
(Based on the research of products in the New In Section):
Women’s Clothing: £ 5- £495
Men’s Clothing: £5- £250
Children’s Clothing: £3- £94
08 PLACE
Next Retail:
NEXT Retail consists of 540 stores in UK and Erie and over 200 stores in 40 countries overseas. Over the past
few years, NEXT has opened larger format fashion and home store across the UK (Nextplc.co.uk, 2017)
Next Directory:
Next Directory launched in 1988 as a hardback book containing 350 pages, which became model for catalogue
retailing. Nowadays, several changes have been implemented to adapt to the change of technology and custom-
er preference. Online shopping was introduced in 1999 and the book became shoppable on the Internet. Custom-
ers can order using the online account Next.co.uk and a mobile app (Nextplc.co.uk, 2017).
The growth in online store is outpacing that in store. However, the stores network provide a broad based platform
for click and collect and therefore, gives NEXT advantages over other online-only retailers (Mintel, 2017)

PROMOTION
NEXT’s promotion activities are limited in comparison to their competitors. For many years, NEXT
have not created TV Advertisement. They primarily created TV Ads for Sale season to attract cutom-
ers’awareness. In terms of online promotion, NEXT have wide offerings, including a dedicated NEXT
Blogger Network and NEXT’s owned blog name NEXT Note Book. Next also create regular videos for
their YouTube Channel, such as ‘Behind the Scene’, ‘Ways to wear’ and “How to’ videos. NEXT cam-
paigns are shared online, within catalogues and within magazines advertisements. Seasonal look-
book features the same high profile models.
09
THE NEXT’S CONSUMER
NEXT’s core demographic is of 25 to 45 years old type
ABC1s. It focus mostly on female customers although
NEXT doesn’t sell womenswear exclusively. It is be-
cause NEXT has realised the power of female custom-
ers, whether they are mothers, wives or partners, as
they have the influence to trigger sales (Mintel, 2017).

NEXT’s core customers look for stylish but affordable


clothes to take them through the next fashion cycle and
rather price sensitive (Hoovers.com, 2017). They lead
a busy and socially active life and likely to have a clear
knowledge of product quality and distinctive range of
trends. They are more likely to be Believers and Strivers.

However, in early 2017, all of NEXT’s UK growth came


from selling other brands, which means the Label busi-
ness is outperforming NEXT own label. This suggests that
NEXT’s current shoppers are not attracted to NEXT own
label (Vizard et al., 2017). Similar to M&S, NEXT’s custom-
er base is ageing. Its customer profile has changed con-
siderably, from having 64% of customers in the 25-44 age
group in 2006 to only 46% in 2016. Besides, the share of
45+ year old customers has nearly doubled, from 23% to
42% (Retail, 2017). This trend is a warning sign for NEXT
as it could suggest the decline in sales in the future.
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS Younger Demographic (18-25)
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Something For All

Young, Fashionable and Affordable

Classy Fashionable

Department Store Classic

Older Demographic (26 and over)


11 Competitor Analysis

A brand-positioning map was designed to present the competitive landscape and show NEXT’s advantages in the market. This
also helped to identify NEXT’s two main competitors, which are M&S and John Lewis, as well as strong competition from Deben-
hams and House of Frasers.

The positioning map can be sectioned into three categories based on the level of brands’ perceived fashionability and their target
customers’ age group.

The classic department store including NEXT, M&S, John Lewis, and Debenhams: They are classic on the high street, which means
they are sometimes behind latest fashion trends. Their prices are higher than those of other groups mainly due to higher quality
product.

Something-for-all: These brands are young but have products that customers of most ages can buy into. They have broad range of
product with medium prices.

Young, fashionable and affordable: Brands appeal to the young market, offering latest fashion with affordable prices. Items are
usually of lower quality.
12 Competitor Analysis

Secondary Competitor 1- ASOS

Strategy: “Our aim is to build an increasingly desirable, defendable and differ- Communication:
entiated business model, with a customer experience to match. From fashion ASOS has been able create an emotional relationship with its cus-
advice, stories and inspiration, to more than 85,000 products available to buy tomers. One of its successful campaign is #AsSeenOnMe which
across any device, ASOS, with its unbeatable service, is a true home for young is embedded into the heart of the ASOS website. The campaign
fashion lovers. Our mission remains unchanged: to be the world’s no.1 fashion allows anybody to have their photos wearing ASOS products ap-
destination for 20-somethings” (Asosplc.com, 2017) pear on a product page as long as they have these photos posted
on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags. The campaign helps to
Sales Promotion: build a community of ASOS advocates (Hobbs et al., 2017)
To cater to its target 20-something customers, ASOS offers an all-year round Additionally, ASOS has been highly interactive with customers
10% discount for students. ASOS also offers regular sales promotion, which it through technological innovations on its website, apps and other
measures the effectiveness by revising the performance and then uses sales communication platforms. ASOS growth is greatly attributed to the
promotion as a tool to motivate certain potential customers. It partnered with strategy of multichannel marketing, including the fashion finder,
SmartFocus to work on Customer Relationship Management to track consum- market places, magazines, blog, mobile apps, and other interactive
er profile and study their buying behavior demographically, so that the company promotion activities.
will be able to promote the right products to specific group at the right time/
season. Besides, ASOS A-List reward scheme in which customers receive spe-
cific added benefits from ASOS when they reach different levels of orders also
help to create customer’s loyalty.
13 Competitor Analysis

Primary Competitor 1- Marks & Spencers


Strategy: “We sell beautifully designed, high quality, own-brand clothing and homeware
through 343 full-line stores, Outlets and our M&S.com website....With our focus on contem-
porary style and wardrobe essentials, we are the UK’s biggest clothing retailer by value.”
(Annualreport.marksandspencer.com, 2017)

Market Value: £3.9bn Home & Clothing Revenue (Annualreport.marksandspencer.com,


2017)
Brand Value: Quality, Service, Value & Trust
Products: Womenswear, Lingerie, Beauty, Menswear, Kids, Home & Furniture, Flower &
Gifts, Banking, Energy, Food & Wine
Promotion: TV Ads, Social Media, Print Advertisements, and Billboards

M&S provides free personal style and inspiration service that gives personalised sugges-
tion to women on clothing styles. M&S also implemented sparks loyalty scheme that gives
customers tailor-made offers, priority access to M&S seasonal previews, sales and ac-
cess to events and experiences.
M&S also has long been known for its celebrity adverts. One of its impressive success
is the Twiggy Campaign featuring the 60s supermodel Twiggy, which had clothes “flying
out the store” (Campaignlive.co.uk, 2017). Another strong influencing factors that drives
this strong brand momentum was consistency in its advertising. M&S advertising focuses
heavily on building the brand’s quality perception, which bases around the idea that M&S
provides ‘quality worth paying more for’: customers pay a bit more but have a lot more
back. (Marketingsociety.com, 2017)
14 Competitor Analysis

Primary Competitor 2- John Lewis

Strategy: “Our strategy is underpinned by three aims: increase advantage of partners,


realise market potential & grow efficiently” (Knowledge, 2017)

Market Position: £4.9bn Home, Clothing & Electricals Revenue (John Lewis, 2017)
Brand Values: Honesty, Respect, and Passion
Products: Home & Garden, Electricals, Women, Men, Beauty, Baby & Child, Toys, Sports
& Leisure, Gifts, Broadband, Opticians, Insurance, Food
Promotion: TV Ads, Social Media, Print Advertisements, and Billboards

John Lewis offers Price Match Promise which means John Lewis will meet the lowest
price in its shops and at johnlewis.com. This ensures customers that they could not find
the better price anywhere else. (John Lewis, 2017)

Loyalty to department stores is driven by a number of factors. It is tracked that John


Lewis was earning customers’ loyalty by doing better than expected in terms of rational
affinity but performing poorly on emotional dimensions, perceived popularity and value.
This prompted John Lewis to change its strategy from seasonal advertising route of ce-
lebrities and sparkles to promoting people who put a lot of care in choosing gifts for oth-
ers in 2009. The next three years saw John Lewis committed to master the emotions of
customers, which resulted in positive responses, and customers talking and sharing the
advertisements (Marketingsociety.com, 2017)
PROPOSAL
‘ T H E N E X T M A N ’ P R O M OT I O N C A M P A I G N
16 Proposal

It has been observed that the 25-45 year old core customers of NEXT
are aging and possibly making NEXT’s products no longer relevant to that
customer base. Reportedly, many customers coming to NEXT’s out of
town home stores are 50+, especially on weekdays. These are likely to
have been loyal NEXT shoppers for many years, rather than new custom-
ers. Although there are a considerable number of 50+ customers, these
customers have less need for new clothes, new furniture and children
swear than those who are younger (Retail, 2017)

Besides the core 25-45 year old customer base, according to Mintel Retail
Report, NEXT is the most popular retailer among 16-25 year old males,
since the same consumer research shows this demographic to have a
significantly greater preference for well-known brands than women of the
same age (Mintel, 2017). These existing male 16-25 millennial customers
should be embraced by NEXT.

The reason for targeting these customers even when there is still growth
with older generation is because of their size and influence. “If you don’t
put the work in now to get to know this consumer, you won’t be able to
know them in three to five to eight years when you really need to begin
worrying about them”, says Christine Barton, BCG (Fromm and Garton,
2013)
EXPAND THE TARGET CUSTOMERS
17 Proposal

CUSTOMER’S PEN POTRAIT

Brand and styling are extremely important when it comes to brand boy’s
clothing. They have a reasonable disposable income as they are likely to
still be living at home with their parents, which means they have a consid-
erable proportion of their time and money getting the best labels they can
afford. In fact, they buy clothes with the highest price tag they can afford
and unlikely to buy cheap versions of any item of clothing.

They want to buy the brands and designers that they feel best express
their personality, enjoy shopping and love finding an outfit that makes a
statement about their personalities and make them stand out from the
crowd.

Their favorite stores includes Debenhams, House of Frasers and Next.


Favorite looks are casual, which would include good designer versions of THE BRAND BOY
jumpers, t-shirts, trainers and jeans.

Brand Boy likely to be aged between 18 and 25 and still living with their
parents in suburban housing (Experian.co.uk, 2017)
18 Theoretical Framework

According to NewsCred, Millennial Men wants the content In terms of content on YouTube platform, millennial men prefers
to be tailor-made to them and useful in a way that it informs the following type of content:
and entertains them not merely for the selling purpose.
Specifically, 54% expected the content to be tailored to
their age, 55% expected content to be tailored to their lo-
cation, and 63% expected it to be tailored to their cultural
interests. Besides, content that either educates or enter-
tains customers will mostly receive positive response from
millennial men. (Insights, 2017)

A survey from NewsCred also shows the top reasons that


millennial men share brand’s content:

(Insights, 2017)
19 Promotion Proposal

Aim: To increase Next’s brand awareness and preference among 18-25 men,
especially the Brand Boy type.

Objectives:
1. Create an online-shopping website designed specifically for this group of customers.
2. Attract targeted customer’s awareness by Next’s videos and user generated videos
exposing the pressure guys feel ‘to be a man’ and empower men to be whoever they want
to be
3. Create Refer-Next-Friend scheme to help promote the online shopping page among
customers’ circle of friends.
THE WEBSITE
21 Promotion Proposal

This website presents a number of selected clothes for targeted men and group them in styles such as lux loving,
urban juggling, gym-loving, game-making, minimal living and practical seeking. Products presented on this websites
will consist of items from both third-party label brands and Next which are relevant to the core customers’ prefer-
ence.

Before browsing the products, consumers will be asked if they want to find out their personal styles through a series
of questions. Upon answering these questions, consumers will receive a list of recommended items for their chosen
styles.

Consumers can also buy a whole set of outfit, with each items presented with a number of different choice from de-
signer brands to Next brand so that consumers can easily choose the most suitable items for their expenses. After
making a purchase and try the items on, consumers can contribute reviews on the website with each review receive
‘Refer-Next-Friend’ point. This will encourage consumers to engage more with the website by respecting consum-
ers’ voice over their likes and dislikes of the products.

Finally, website also contains tips and inspirations for styling and preserving clothes, all in the form of video or short
visual articles that serves to provide customers with useful information.
22 Promotion Proposal FIND YOUR STYLE

THE NEXT MAN PRODUCT INSPIRATION FIND YOUR STYLE #thenextman

BE THE
NEXT MAN:
BE YOU
FIND YOUR STYLE

LUX URBAN
FIND YOUR STYLE SHOP YOUR STYLE

23
Promotion Proposal
GYM MINIMAL
NEXT WHITE TSHIRT LEVI JEANS BARBOUR THE WAX
JACKET
THE VIDEO CAMPAIGN
25 Promotion Proposal

According to a survey by The Guardian, in which the millennial male readers were
asked what it means for them to be a man in today’s world, most millennial men
expressed similar sentiments and the confusing, challenging and conflicting reali-
ties of being a man today. Lake Huston- a reader of The Guardian mentioned: “The
former alpha male-type behavior is glorified by other men, leading to the rise of
“lad culture”, which I detest. The latter can equally lead to ridicule among peers.
There seems to be an identity crisis for twenty something British men – no one
really knows what the ideal is, what to aspire for, where the lines are. It’s all very
circumstantial” (Zickgraf, 2017)

What does it mean to be a man today? It is likely to be the question of most millen-
nial men, as they no longer subscribe to the traditional male identity. According to
Romy Nehme, vice president of insights and strategy VaynerMedia, younger mil-
lennial are those going through the very first steps of becoming an adult. These
younger millennial men prefer platforms revolving around news, video and image
sharing. It is also mentioned in her interview with eMarketer that there are still unfair
depictions of men by the media: the “dude bro” stereotypes are also still common
(Emarketer.com, 2017)

Leveraging this issue, “the NEXT man” video campaign consisting of 2 phases. In
the first phase, NEXT will post video and images on its own media, including Web-
site, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to raise the awareness of targeted consum-
er around the issue of evolving male identity and what it is to be the man of the Next
generation. Following this, consumers will be encouraged to send their answers in
the form of videos or pictures, hashtag “#the NEXT man” and receive a reward for BE THE NEXT MAN: BE
their responses. Finally, all consumers’ responses will be collated to form a video YOU
that will be used as TV Ads for the NEXT’s website.
REFER-NEXT-FRIEND SCHEME
27 Promotion Proposal

Hypothesis: This is a ‘social currency’ style loyalty app and scheme that encourage cus-
tomers to shop and share their Next purchases online as well as refer their friends who are
also looking for quality stylish branded clothing.
When sharing products, new campaign and purchases on their social channels, consum-
THE NEXT MAN
ers will be rewarded with points. These points can also be collected when customers pur-
chase the products, and can be redeemed in the form of discounts or gifts (soccer tickets,
game devices...). This points reward system will give consumers an incentive to talk about
Next on social and refer Next to their friends which will increase engagement levels and
word-of-mouth advertisement surrounding the brand.
This feature will aim to appeal to the existing ‘brand boy’ customer of Next. As they only
have slightly above average spending compared with other male types (Experian.co.uk,
2017), they are likely to value the perks of loyalty schemes.
A study by Apeagyei (2011) studied the differences in gender regarding the influence of
individual media platforms including store windows, fashion lifestyle magazines, television
programs and movies, advice from friends, relatives and sales associates, the internet
and observation of others. The study showed that overall, men and women are influenced
equally from advice from friends and relatives. (Shepherd et al, 2016). Therefore, this
scheme of “Refer-Next-Friend” will work for target customer, which are millennial men be-
tween 18-25 years old. SHARE YOUR STYLE
KPI and Measurement TO EARN POINTS!
- Number of customers who share videos and send response videos to NEXT.

- Number of comments and interactions with NEXT’s video on social media.

- Sales performance of the website.


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6. Next Winter17 Campaign. Image. Available at: http://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
7. Pound Symbol. Image. Available at: http://sweetclipart.com/black-pound-sterling-symbol-2123[Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
8. Shopping Cart. Image. Available at: https://thenounproject.com/term/shopping-cart/106006/ [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
9. Place Symbol. Image. Available at: https://www.freepik.com/free-icon/map-mark-symbol-of-ios-7_709512.htm [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
10. Promotion Symbol. Image. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Breezeicons-actions-32-media-playback-start.svg [Accessed
15 Dec 2017]
11. Next Winter17 Campaign. Image. Available at: http://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
12.Target Customer. Image. Available at: http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1087768/this-new-research-will-completely-dissolve-your-
working-mom-guilt [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
13. Expand target customer base. Image. Available at: https://kr.123rf.com/photo_12230558_stock-photo.html [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
14. Customer pen potrait. Image. Available at: http://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
15. Aiming Millenial Men. Image. Available at: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-25903031-stock-footage-portrait-of-attractive-serious-
stylish-young-man-looking-into-the-camera-and-smiling-in-the-city.html?src=rel/7391719:8 [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
16. Aiming Millenial Men 2. Image. Available at:http://www.nextplc.co.uk/media/image-gallery/campaign-images [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
17. Target Customer Family Man. Image. Available at: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/license/547017713 [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
18. John Lewis Christmas Marketing Campaign. Image. Available at: https://www.retail-week.com/pictures/980x653fitpad[31]/6/9/7/1320697_
John_Lewis_ad_long_Wait.jpg [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
19. M&S Marketing Campaign. Image. Available at: https://www.retail-week.com/topics/marketing/marks-and-spencer-hires-dame-helen-mirren-to-
lead-all-star-ad-campaign/5052215.article [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
20. Target Customer Mother and Daughter. Image. Available at: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/license/518351274 [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
21. Target Customer Professional Look. Image. Available at: https://giphy.com/gifs/street-style-kjubaEaArkyXu[Accessed 15 Dec 2017]
22. Target Customer The Millenial Man. Image. Available at: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk [Accessed 15 Dec 2017]