As a top luxury apparel brand, RL always very careful in putting its products in a proper market position. Although a company may want to expose their products to as much of the potential market as possible, this may not be the best marketing strategy since different ways of distribution may result in different consumer perceptions of its products. This is essentially true in the apparel market where the goods are sold can have a large impact on perceived quality of the product. For isntance, a shirt sold at Target would definitely have different perceived quality to a shirt sold at Myer, or in an exclusive Ralph Lauren retail store. Thus, the Polo brand is usually distributed at more ‘classy’ retail such as Myer rather than the general department store such as K-Mart or Target.
It was said that selling the products at cheaper price and in relative low end store, it will damage the perceived quality of the brand and product in the mind of most consumers. Furthermore, the Target market of the Polo brand is generally aimed at people of a higher income bracket to those who do their shopping at Target.
Take a case, if POLO divide a large market into smaller target markets, perharps it can save a large amount of costs by identifying the target market that is most profitable to them and concentrate. And the truth is that the Ralph Lauren brand incorporates many different sub-brands and products, the segment we are looking at is the Polo menswear brand, which uses a centralized marketing strategy.
Product differentiation refers to a firm’s actions intended to differentiate its product offerings and is a generic strategy for achieving competitive advantage. Product quality is one of the most important factors used by many companies to differentiate their products from competitors’ offerings.
If a company tries to be too centralized in its marketing strategy, it can effectively eliminate the disadvantage from being able to gain a large market share. Thus, a company should follow a value strategy where it offers a high quality product priced at similar amounts to that of its competitors. The relationship between quality and price may be contingent on other dimensions of competitive strategy. We can see that the Polo company did try to differentiate itself from its competitors by creating higher quality products to its competitors to sustain a higher price as well as obtain larger market share. However, it does not go over the top of the pricing, the price set are usually very reasonable. Can I say it’s a gospel for most Ralph Lauren fans.