Uniqlo Essay Example
City and State Where Institution is Located
Owned by the parent company Fast Retailing, Uniqlo is a modern Japanese company that aims to inspire the world to dress casual. The brand offers clothing for men and women of all ages. Though the brand started as a small Japanese Menswear chain, the brand has grown and has succeeded internationally in such countries as the US, France and China among others. Though the company offers differing clothing items for both men and Women, this essay will focus on Uniqlo clothing brand. The brand’s unique selling point is that it sells Japanese fast fashion.
Description of Uniqlo brand using the brand characteristic model (generic, expected and augmented)
Uniqlo offers clothes that low in price and that are designed for everyone. Uniqlo offers functional clothing that meets the needs and wants of a large consumer scope. Uniqlo products are differentiated by their focus on high quality, functionality, comfort and simplicity. Their products are tough and convenient to wear for daily life in line with customers’ expectations.
The current target audience
The brand’s target audience can be described as follows;
Demographically, the brand is targeted to both male and female aged between 18 and 25 years of age as the primary target with a secondary target of those aged between 25 and 40 years. The brand mainly targets undergraduates and above with a focus on university students. Uniqlo targets people from all races.
Geographically, the brand targets the people in living area markets.
Behaviorally, Uniqlo target customer base include experiencers, thinkers and strivers who has money to spend, who seek quality functional products at a good value and also prize variety and energy.
Brand image/Brand perception
Uniqlo is a brand with a clear vision for providing high quality, performance enhanced, basic casual wear at the lowest prices. It is a provider of Japanese fast moving fashions. The brand is up to date and fashionable with exceptional and unique functional performance. It is a made for all clothing which can be worn whenever and wherever.
-Uniqlo is Japanese leading retail chain in terms of sales and profits.
-the company has wide international presence
-the company offers highly discounted prices
-Outsourced production to China where it is cheap
-a strong workforce of 30,000
-though it is a strong brand, it has a limited brand recall.
-High bargaining power of customers hence brand switching affecting value.
-ability to leverage on good brand image to increase product portfolio along with clothing
-taking advantage of viral advertising and aggressive social media usage to increase brand promotion.
-opportunity to aggressively market the brand in sporting activities.
-increased competition both domestically and globally.
-sustainability of its cost leadership is in doubt
-easy brand switching
-Increased FDI regulation in different countries.
Uniqlo brand positioning strategy
The Uniqlo brand is positioned as a stylish, high quality, affordable clothing that focuses on broad range of products in many colors.
Uniqlo offers a mixed array of affordable, innovative, stylish and high quality clothing. Uniqlo differentiates itself by selling basic items in a wide array of colors. A unique product for the company is Heatech which creates warmth despite being light and is applied in Uniqlo products. Uniqlo offers a wide selection of clothing products at all times of the year that range in style from casual to more fashionable or professional which are of high quality and many colors. Its product offering can be defined as follows;
Design-Many colors variations, adapted to many needs, casual to formal and simple
Quality- Uniqlo quality is strictly controlled, functional and uses innovative fabrics
Features- Uniqlo offers wide range of products that are both innovative and affordable
Branding-the brand is affordable, reliable, fashionable and desirable.
Uniqlo uses a penetration pricing strategy in entering new markets. It sells its goods at a lower price point than its competitors. As such, the company offers high quality goods at relatively low prices. This strategy is aimed at increasing sales volume while maximizing market share. Below is Uniqlo’s perceptual map in comparison with its competitors.
Uniqlo uses a one-level marketing channel system where goods are directly sold to retail stores from the manufacturer. The company has a network of manufacturing partners in South East Asia and China who are affordable and dependable and able to manufacture innovative product while ensuring high quality standards. Furthermore, its placement strategy allows for higher margins while stabilizing prices all year round. The company has also increased its international presence with an aim of creating a strong brand image by systematically opening large flagship stores. The stores are placed in ideal places near its competitors’ in major cities to attract a large traffic of customers.
Uniqlo uses a mixture of platforms in an endeavor to establish a reliable relationship with its target customers. Shop workers use Japanese service system in serving the customers thus providing customers with a blank palette from where to build own outfits with the use of versatile Uniqlo clothing. Other channels used include the media in a bid to create awareness while building loyalty (Aaker, 2017). The media platforms include the TV, magazines, newspapers, its own website and social media resources such as twitter. Other promotion channels include sponsorships and campaigns where the company discounts its products.
Uniqlo has grown to become a global brand with its competitive advantage being offering high quality fashion products at affordable prices as shown in the above perceptual map. However, it operates in a highly competitive market. The following is a summary of its main competitors;
Zara- Zara’s agile supply chain strategy is its source of competitive advantage coupled with its new product development, manufacturing and supply chain operations that are a significant departure from the dominant fast fashion business models.
H&M- H&M’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to produce fashion that is considered ‘cheap and chic’. In other words, the brand offers fashion that is of very high quality but which is relatively cheap in comparison with its competitors.
Trends in the fashion industry
‘Fit’ is now critical (will this fit the customer well?) –Retailers are now increasingly battling with product returns owing to online retailing. As such, Uniqlo would do well by offering items that fit well. This should be done through investing in tools that enable sizing such as augmented reality enabled virtual fitting rooms, 3D body scanners and similar software tools which compare size across brands, create avatars and size them. By investing in such tools, Uniqlo will add value by enhancing customer experience and reducing cases of product returns.
Use of Machine learning –Using machine learning would help Uniqlo add value by predicting in advance customers’ tastes and preferences. The focus in the fashion industry has become that of anticipating and predicting what customers want. This can be achieved by Uniqlo through using technology through investment in artificial intelligence as well as machine learning. This should be done to strengthen the traditional statistical analysis by using computer vision and deep learning in studying unique tastes and predicting and personalizing recommendations at an individual level.
Aaker, D2017, Why Uniqlo is winning, Retrieved on 10th March 2017, from;
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