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MKT173 Marketing in Practice Assignments Solution
Initiation and Marketing of Hijab Brand
Muslim Women in the international community have recently adopted the modern lifestyle. Women are getting educated and most of them are working making them earn themselves a living (Ajala, 2017). In terms of taste for fashion, Muslim women have also changed the way they dress by wearing fashion hijab clothes as they adhere to the Sharia law (Hasnah and Harun, 2016). Hijabs are also being introduced into the Fashion world with most brands pushing to diversify the industry experience by offering more hijab designs to the Women (Sharkey, 2018). The different fashion styles and uniqueness in wearing hijab have influenced consumers in the international market.
The large market of Muslim community in the world is still untapped giving Fashion designers a niche to explore. The world has a population of about 1.7 billion Muslims with more than 600,000 located in Australia (Tolj, 2017). Australia which is a multicultural country also has a big population of workers with a large amount of disposable income which makes the local market big for hijab brands and retailers (Jones Lang Lasalle, 2013). Big brands like Nike have already seen the market and they are making sporting hijabs with an attempt to promote the Islamic culture. Covering of head by the Muslim women is a sign of modesty and not oppression as critics put it.
Creating and initiating a hijab brand requires the designer to establish a niche. The niche, in this case, is the Muslim women and non-Muslim community who wear the hijabs. Focusing on this specific group of people will make it easier to market the brand in Australia. It also promotes customer loyalty to the brand (Richard, 2017). A hijab brand also requires that the designer creates a great and unique design that differentiates her brand from others in the market. The design needs to look great in the eyes of the consumer. A design that is not appealing will definitely fail in the market.
The quality of your clothes also needs to be excellent. It is possible to fool your customer once but you cannot fool them twice. When creating a brand, it is important to make quality products. For instance, a hijab that fades with the first or second wash will send your customers away to other designers. Profits are tempting and most designers sacrifice quality for higher profits (Richard, 2017). The quality of your brand affects the customer's decision to come back for more and also invite others.
Keeping in mind the large Muslim consumer population, it is important to apply several strategies in order to reach the local and international market. Establishing an international market requires one to think global. A report from the global Islamic economy stated that Women from the Muslim community purchased modest fashion clothing worth more than $44 billion in 2015 (State of the Global Islamic Economy 2016/17). Strategies to entering the international markets and also exploring the local market further require that the designer builds a community for their brand, establish influencer marketing strategies, create a creative content mix and also know the reason for following a particular strategy.
To build a community for your brand, there is a need for content marketing that is important in building loyalty. Content marketing creates a two-way communication or conversation between you and your potential customers. Building a community involves connecting with the target market through the social media platforms like Facebook, Tweeter and Instagram (My Salaam, 2016). The other strategy to market is through influencer marketing. This involves the use of big influencers to take the brand’s message to the target market. For instance, one can use celebrities, political leaders and other people with high influence on a large population. The influencers use their social media platforms to post the brand’s products attracting a large number of people. Another way to promote your hijab brand is through the use of a creative content mix instead of the normal fashion shows to reach a large market. For instance, the use of short video clips with empowering messages to the Muslim women. The clips could also have a number of women wearing your hijab brand for promotion.
The Middle East and other Arab countries where Muslims are concentrated is the main target for the hijab brand. The Middle East is one of the growing markets with most fashion retailers taking their brands to the region (Jones, 2003). The consumers in the Arab world are more demanding to the increased fashion and culture factors influenced by the religion, norms and the values. which shape the consumer behaviour (Busnaina, 2015, P.2). Therefore, fashion designers targeting this market needs to be sensitive and understand the culture in order to satisfy the consumer needs.
In an attempt to approach the international market, the designer needs to do a SWOT analysis on her hijab brand against the prevailing market trends in hijab fashion. The strengths of the business include the availability of financial resources which is important for any business. The other strength is the growing trends for hijab which promotes the need for modest fashion in the Muslim community. Weaknesses for the business would be fact that the fashion designer is aiming at diverting attention to a new market away from Australia. This is a weakness as the designer does not have an established international market for her hijab brand. Another weakness is that the designer has not yet established the brand even in the local market and the brand is starting from scratch.
The opportunities are however appealing since the availability of online marketing strategies such as the use of social media platform makes it easy to introduce her products to the world. Using the online platforms could be the best way to promote the brand to local and international consumers. Another opportunity or the designer is that the large market both locally and internationally from the Muslim women waiting to have a taste of different brands. The large market is not limited to Muslims since modest fashion is also appealing to non-Muslim consumers and this increases the demand for more brands (Lewis and Tarlo, 2011). Threats in introducing the hijab brand lay in the high competition that exists among the many brands fighting for the same market. Another threat is the cultural affiliation of the Muslim community who are not willing to adopt the new trend.
A new brand needs to apply different strategies in an attempt to enter into the market. The 4Ps (product, price, promotion and place) marketing mix as a tactic to penetrate the market by establishing a competitive advantage over other brands. The brand promotes the product development which is the hijab. Creating a competitive advantage would require that the designer creates different designs of the hijab with unique features that satisfies customer needs and consider the culture. The second P, Place refers to the venue where the product can be found. To distribute the products, the designer needs to have a physical location in Australia which is the starting point. For the international market, the place for distribution is the internet through hijab e-commerce site where customers can place orders.
The third P in the marketing mix is the Promotion. To promote the hijab brand, communication with the target consumers is very important (Yun-sheng, 2001) Yun-sheng. Several strategies can be used to promote the product such as advertising the products through the social media and other online platforms to reach a wide and diverse market. Personal selling in the local market in Australia can also be used to promote the product by encouraging people to buy the hijabs. Lastly, the last P in the mix, Pricing is very important, especially when entering into new markets. The price of the hijabs should be determined by the quality of the product and the market conditions. A high-quality product needs to be expensive while medium quality should be less expensive. The prevailing market conditions could be used to set the prices so that the prices of the products are not too high or low. This is the best strategy to apply since the brand is a new one.
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2. Busnaina, I. (2015) Fashion Marketing in Arab World: Brand Identity vs. Adaptation. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, University of Benghazi, 9(1) pp.2-3.
3. Hasnah, S.H. and Harun, H. (2016) Factors influencing fashion consciousness in hijab fashion consumption among hijabistas. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 7(4), pp. 476-494. [online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-10-2014-0064 [accessed on 27th September 2018].
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5. Jones, G. (2003) Middle East expansion – the case of Debenhams, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, (31)7 pp.359-364
6. Lewis, R. and Tarlo. E. (2011). Modest Dressing. Faith-based Fashion and Internet Retail. Project Summary. London, UK: University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion.
7. My Salaam. (2016) Top marketing strategies used by modest-fashion brands. [online] Available at: https://www.mysalaam.com/en/story/top-marketing-strategies-used-by-modest-fashion-brands/SALAAM08112016054243 [accessed on 27th September 2018].
8. Richard, L. (2017). How to start a clothing Line: Your guide to Design Thinking, Stampling, Production and Packaging. [online] Available at: https://www.abetterlemonadestand.com/how-to-start-a-clothing-line/ [accessed on 27th September 2018].
9. Sharkey, L. (2018). Fashion retailers target Muslim women with hijab lines after Uniqlo launch. [online] Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/hijab-uniqlo-fashion-muslim-consumers-dolce-gabbana-bloggers-hijarbie-a6935091.html [accessed on 27th September 2018].
10. State of the Global Islamic Economy 2016/17. (2016). Report: State of the Global Islamic Economy2016/17.[online] Available at: https://www.salaamgateway.com/en/story/report_state_of_the_global_islamic_economy_201617-salaam03102016111130/ [accessed on 27th September 2018].
11. Tolj, S. (2017). The Muslim population in Australia becomes the second biggest. Mail Online. [online] Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4641728/Number-Muslims-Australia-soars-Census-2016.html [accessed on 27th September 2018].
12. Yun-sheng, W. (2001). Perfection and innovation of 4P Marketing Mix – How to evaluate 4P Marketing Mix. Commercial Research, pp. 6