The aspect of Steve and Barry's marketing strategy that emphasizes comparable quality for lower prices than its competitors appeals very directly to all parents who pay for their children's clothing. Whereas teens and young adults respond most positively to any association between products and popular celebrities and sports figures endorsing them, their parents are practically oblivious to those connections, except perhaps to the extent they realize that products associated with celebrity endorsements are likely to cost more than they perceive them to be worth (Belch & Belch 1998).
Ordinarily, parents are accustomed to arguments, especially with teenagers, over their preference for name-brand apparel despite the similarity in quality. Long-standing authoritative marketing research into consumer buying trends (Ogilvy 1983) suggests that teenagers (and many young adults) are much more status conscious than mature adults.
According to general principles of social and developmental psychology, this is partly because of the heightened importance of peer group approval in adolescence and young adulthood (Gerrig & Zimbardo 2005). By combining celebrity endorsements with marketing messages crafted to communicate the similarity in value of lower priced products, Steve and Barry's intends to appeal to both major segments of its customer bases represented by young people who respond to celebrity endorsements and their parents who respond to affordable pricing.
Steve and Barry's is viewed as an affordable sources of quality casual clothes and athletic wear by parents and as a source of products linked to popular celebrities by many of their younger customers. One key to maximizing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns is likely the continued recruitment of recognizable sports figures willing to wear the products they endorse during televised competition as well as the recruitment of popular and recognizable celebrities for their similar appeal to less sports-inclined consumers.
Message and Response Measurement:
Key points for media emphasis is consistent with the dual message approach previously detailed. Specifically, advertising and promotional efforts targeting parents (and adult consumers) should emphasize merchandise quality and value for low price.
Corresponding efforts targeting teens and younger adults should continue to emphasize these beneficial celebrity associations and endorsements conducive to inspiring brand awareness and loyalty among that consumer segment.
It is anticipated that the optimal message (of celebrity endorsements) directed at younger consumers is comparatively ineffective with respect to their parents and older consumers. Reciprocally, it is anticipated that the message emphasizing comparable quality to brand-name products and affordable pricing is equally meaningless to parents.
Marketing research efforts may be warranted to determine whether inclusion of both messages within a single promotional vehicle is advisable.
In that regard, the potential concern is simply that a focus on affordability could undermine their receptivity to that portion of the promotional campaign directed at young consumers. It would seem comparatively unlikely that the reverse is true, because parental awareness of celebrity endorsements are not likely to be perceived as negative except in so far as they ordinarily suggest higher prices than non-celebrity-endorsed products. Nevertheless, if marketing studies and focus groups indicate that separating those two messages into parent-oriented campaigns and child-oriented campaigns.
While the low-cost viral marketing type of approach to advertising has already proven itself successful with respect to young people, it may be that more traditional modes of advertising may be required to reach parents and older adults, provided the studies and focus groups suggest that the additional cost of separating the campaign that way is worthwhile. The success of campaign will be measured by revenue increases during the quarter immediately following any such changes in marketing efforts.
Additionally, the success of the campaign will be measured by increased brand recognition as determined by electronic media such as Google trends and response rates to promotional initiatives designed to quantify apparent changes in brand awareness, Internet presence in social messaging sites and blogs.
Belch, G, Belch, M. (1998) Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated
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Ogilvy, D. (1983) Ogilvy on Advertising. New York: Vintage Books. Our Story: About Steve and Barry's. (2008) Retrieved July 31, 2008, from the official Steve and Barry's website, at…