Hello! I’m back to blogging this week. I decided not to write anything last week as I wasn’t able to make it to the market research “field trip” to the department stores, but am now looking forward to the weeks ahead!
I’ve really enjoyed the one-on-one sessions with Professor Heenan as he is able to chat with us about our progress as we start to shape our strategy going forward. Next week, Allie and I are presenting our Calvin Klein CIA report to the class and agency so that will be a big part of the work that I do this week. As I already know a lot about CK, being a consumer of men’s underwear, I look forward to researching the company in depth. I think it will also help us with a better understanding of how the competitor market is.
Today I found this great article discussing how CK is injecting it’s brand with this extremely clever interactive social media strategy and it really got my wheels turning. If we are able to come up with something that is as clever as that for the Mosmann brand, I’ll be ecstatic.
Another thing that I began to do was comment on a few popular men’s blogs on the internet, leaving a link to this blog and asking for feedback from consumers and industry professionals. So far, we have received some really insightful feedback!
Until next week,
Jeff Mindell, Strategic Planner
Looking at Mosmann underwear, it is obvious that they are going for an “in your face” presence. The underwear is very vibrant colors, thick waistband with large letters spelling Mosmann. From our research we have learned that a majority of consumers that would be interested in these specific products are gay and/or metrosexual males. Follow the link below to find some examples of what I am talking about:
Specifically look at the bright blue ones, the ones with Mosmann written across the butt, purple ones, etc.
With this all being said, our group is thinking that we will just focus on the more subtle underwear. As seen on the above link, some of the best sellers are white (some with bright colors and others without). We will choose specific white, gray and black pairs that do not have bright colors on them and are not as “in your face”. We feel that the stereotypical heterosexual U.S. male will be more opt the try the Mosmann underwear that are subtle.
While looking in department stores, we noticed that Calvin Klein, Polo, etc. all sell two to four main pairs of underwear. They do not have many options when looking through a Nordstroms (or another department store). The options are just what style of underwear (brief, boxer, boxer brief, etc.) you want, not different styles within one overall style. With this being said, we feel that Mosmann should choose two or three main pairs that they feel will do best in the U.S. and concentrate on putting those in the big department stores.
This past weekend Jill and I visited department stores in Friendship Heights to interview sales people and shoppers about their underwear and their underwear purchasing habits! It was definitely a little awkward at first, but the first female sales associate we spoke with was very helpful!
We started in Bloomingdales and this is what we found:
– Calvin Klein was the first brand seen on shelves and took up the most shelf space. Which makes sense as our helpful sales associates told us they sold the most.
– They also sold: Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Bloomingdales brand.
– They told us that the most popular sold colors are: white, grey, black and navy. The majority of shoppers purchasing colors are gay and metrosexual men.
– Male shoppers are curious how the underwear will fit them and if they will “ride up”
– The sales associates told us that men want underwear that they can visualize themselves in, are very comfortable and look like they have already been washed.
We also visited Saks and Neimen Marcus but they did not have big underwear departments. But we still spoke with sales associates there and got the same answers as at Bloomingdales.
With this new insight (and with some helpful insight from our professor) we have come to conclude that Mosmann’s bright, vibrant colored underwear may have some problem selling in the heterosexual mens market. With that being said, we purpose that Mosmann do some adjusting to their product as to adjust to the US market. But while doing this they should still be able to keep their style and image.
– Example: white underwear with bright royal blue stitching and/or writing Mosmann on the thick waistband
We are still working on this and hope to find some more market research through our surveys!
Along with learning more about our target market, we have also started brainstorming on ways to present Mosmann to the United States market and differentiate it from other brands already present here. Our one idea so far is to make the Mosmann brand adventurous. Now adventurous does NOT mean sports oriented. It could be any every day adventure: from starting college to going to a new club to a first date. We are still working with this idea!
That’s all for now, adios!
Week three! This week our group took the results that we got from our first survey and through email correspondence back and forth, we came up with questions for our next two surveys that will let us hone in on shopping and lifestyle habits of our target. In addition to that form of questioning, Jill and Allie will be visiting some high-end department stores this weekend (I’ll be in Miami until Sunday) with a pen, paper and flip cam to talk to real life consumers of luxury underwear as well the sales professionals at those respective stores. I look forward to seeing what kind of results they get as they get to talk to people one on one and the customers are able to pinpoint what they specifically like or don’t like about particular brands on the shelves.
When I was working for the company that I was with this past summer in Los Angeles, one of my tasks was to compile a list of fashion bloggers with contact information. Five pages later and I have a pretty extensive list of the who’s who in the fashion blogging world. This PDF I forwarded to the rest of my group and we will soon go through it to see if there are any men’s blogs that might be right up Mosmann’s alley. I stand by my feeling that we need to be reaching out to these online influencers as these opinion makers are often the voices that can make or break a brand.
Another great thing that we did this week was lay out a timeline for our group’s progress so that we stay on track. We felt that it was essential to stay organized as it’s easy to forget about the task at hand. I can’t wait until we can start thinking about the creative portion of this project and we are able to create mock-up advertisements and branding campaigns!
– Jeff Mindell, Strategic Planner
Yesterday we created and put out our second survey, which can be found at:
With our first survey, we took responses from women and men to get a general idea of what kind of underwear is normal in the United States. This time our survey is going to only be for guys as we are starting to really narrow down on our target. We have easy access to male college students, aged 18-23. So we are still trying to figure out a way to get in to the age bracket 23-30 years old.
One way we hope to get this done is through talking to men in department store underwear sections. We are planning to visit Friendship Heights department stores (including Bloomingdales, Saks, etc.) at the end of this week. We will not only talk to customers but also talk to sales associates to see if they notice any trends of underwear purchasing.
After this section of our marketing research, we will have one more survey and then hopefully be able to make moves with the research we find. We hope to start coming up with strategies as ways to get the Mosmann brand out there. Here are some things we already know need to be considered for this next step:
– We need to distinguish Mosmann from other high end brands (CK, Armani, etc.). We plan to do this through Mosmann underwear specific product features, including the bold colors, thick waist band and unique fabrics used.
One issue that we have found difficult to move past is the gay and metrosexual community. We feel that with way the underwear is currently designed, it would be hard to enter the United States market straight to heterosexual men. Because of the boldness and style of the underwear we feel the best approach would be appealing to gay and metro sexual community, and then the heterosexual men would follow in the next year. But we are still figuring out the kinks within this dilemma!
That is all for now, we are going to meet tonight and go over some more ideas and then go from there!
Week #2 is upon us! As Allie already mentioned, we put out an initial survey earlier in the week about the purchase habits of our sample. We got a nice amount of respondents and we are now working on our second survey that will hopefully help us and the Mosmann brand with some answers on how to effectively reach the target market.
Jill discussed the pros and cons of working with online coupon dealing companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial. We felt that it might be a great idea to do something like this as it will really elevate brand awareness, even if the company takes an initial monetary loss.
This week, it was my responsibility to write out our plan of action or our proposed marketing tactics. Our group realized that Mosmann is in an interesting position. They do not have to change any brand attitudes that consumers have toward the brand because they are not well-known here. Instead, we have the opportunity to introduce Mosmann as an elite upmarket brand and segment our target market at the same time. Our group’s plan of action is to have multiple channels on which we will reach out to our perspective customers. We plan on having sponsored events, making use of our social media platforms and reaching out to online “Influencers” on behalf of the brand, as well as doing deals with online promotional coupons through those respective companies mentioned above.
For one of the marketing tactics, we thought it would be a great idea to hold sponsored events in four major cities across the U.S. that would have men in our target market. They would be New York, Miami, DC, and Los Angeles: all cities with affluent, urban consumers. For these events, we would want to see high-end hotels or lounges host Mosmann “launch” events. Servers would be sporting the latest Mosmann styles and there would be signage all over the venue. We think it would be a great idea to get a liquor sponsor as well. It would make sense to think about what drink their target market is drinking and what drink is fashionable and appealing to the Mosmann man. We would then reach out to that company and go from there. At these events, the guest list would be made up of fashion bloggers and media who would be there to cover the event for their respective cities. It would be an easy (and free) way to generate buzz for the brand right around the time that Mosmann is looking to break into the U.S. market.
– Jeff Mindell, Strategic Planner
As a longtime subscriber to online coupon e-commerce websites, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, I was excited to see an article in the December 2010 issue of Wired Magazine about the online discount consumer culture and how this emergent phenomenon came to be. Obviously there is enormous potential regarding using these sites to deliver attention and business to Mosmann via unconventional channels.
Basically, online discounting sites have amassed a huge following of several hundred thousand consumers that subscribe to their email lists. This services contract with companies to offer products and services discounted by 50% or more. Of the remaining 50%, the company keeps half and the online service keeps half while delivering thousands of purchases, new customers, and hopefully future business. According to the article…
“[Groupon and LivingSocial] encourage impulsiveness and experimentation, harnessing the ever-shifting, gamelike terrain of the online dealscape, offering users not just a collective price but a collective buying experience.”
Not only would online coupon sites – such as Groupon and LivingSocial – offer Mosmann enormous exposure, but also the opportunity for consumer trial on a massive scale. This could be a great opportunity to further both of those marketing objectives. And besides, according to Groupon’s CEO Andrew Mason, as quoted in the article…
“the most effective coupons aren’t the ones that save you money on things you’d buy anyway; they’re the ones that come from out of nowhere, giving you license to buy something you otherwise wouldn’t.”
At a quick glance, there are pros and cons and even more questions brought up when considering emerging secondary ecommerce channels for Mosmann:
- brand exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential consumers
- lots of new, almost entirely US business
- potential future business
- free advertising to online retail service members
- would garner attention and Mosmann website traffic (click throughs)
- economic gamble in exchange for an indeterminable number of new customers
- surge in demand potentially could overwhelm company and lead to negative brand attitudes among consumers
- must sell product for at most 25 cents on the dollar
- may affect positioning of the brand
- What would be the specific terms of an agreement (ex. caps, time frame, etc.)?
- Can Mosmann handle demand?
- How many people will see the deal? And how many fall within our target segment and are likely to buy? Is this even predictable?
- Can Mosmann afford to sell at 75% discount?
- Realistically, what’s the likelihood of repeat customers and future business?
- How do using secondary e-commerce sites affect Mosmann’s positioning?
All these questions will have to be answered before we can make a decision on integrating secondary e-commerce sites as purchasing channels and for awareness creation into the overall strategy. But, it is most definitely something to consider.
-Jillian Blazek, Media Director