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Marketing Research Proposal

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is a fashion retailer created in Ohio, United States of America by David T. Abercrombie, a former trapper, prospector, topographer, and railroad surveyor in 1892. His devoted love for the outdoor life influenced his store, Abercrombie & Co. , and was dedicated to camping, fishing, and hunting gear. Hunters and explorers were regular visitors and customers at his store. Ezra Fitch, a lawyer in New York crossed paths with Abercrombie & Co. when he was searching for outdoor clothing, and in 1900 Abercrombie became Abercrombie & Fitch and Ezra became a partner.

Abercrombie wanted to continue selling gear to professional outdoorsmen, while Fitch wanted to focus the store on the general public. Abercrombie resigned in 1907 leaving the store in the hands of Ezra Fitch. Abercrombie & Fitch follows the fashion theme of « Casual Luxury » and it targets consumers from the range of children to young adults. The company has been an outfitter of sporting and excursion goods. In 1988 it was purchased by Michael S. Jeffries, owner of The Limited, who re-invented the brand by making it today’s casual luxury wear.

Abercrombie and Fitch has over 300 locations within the United States, creating and operating

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four other brands as well : Abercrombie Kids, Hollister Co. , Gilly Hicks and RUEHL no. 925. It has entered the global market as they opened three stores in Canada, one in UK and one in Milano, Italy. Today Abercrombie & Fitch is a successful company. Their image has drastically changed throughout the years from a store for outdoorsman to the advertising of naked teenagers. The company also publishes the A&F magazine quarterly, which is not just selling clothes, it is selling a lifestyle. Objectives

The overall objective of this research is to define if Abercrombie & Fitch should introduce an ethical fashion line or whether ethical aspects should be introduced within current product characteristics. This study will be conducted in the market of the East Coast of USA. Specifically, it will focus on these major cities: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. The further issues addressed will be: 1. Assess the viability of targeting the 14-25 age segment 2. Assess the key product features for this segment 3. Assess best positioning and communications strategy 4. Assess reaction to product attributes 5.

Assess brand and image attributes 6. Develop a profile of target segment 7. Develop recommendations based on results and inferences from the research. We have developed each objective in more depth: 1. Assess the viability of targeting the 14-25 age segment This objective is aiming to determine how feasible it is to target the young adults from the age of 14-25 with ethical fashion. Furthermore, it will show if the young adults are aware and appreciate the ethical concerns linked to sourcing, manufacturing and design of clothes and to which degree they are willing to spend more money on ethical fashion.

2. Assess the key product features for this segment This objective will determine which product attributes are most feasible and appropriate for the target market of 14-25 year old customers. Fashion 101, through its research, will collaborate with A& F in order to make sure that key product attributes concerning ethical fashion are implemented into the product line targeted toward the segment. Finally, we would assess which product features customers like and which features and benefits will appeal to our market segments. 3.

Assess best positioning and communications strategy This objective will help the company understand the market better, assess the business needs and capabilities, evaluate their available resources and choose the appropriate tactics in relation to ethical fashion. We will assess the best way to create awareness, deliver information, educate the market and advance an image concerning ethical fashion. Communications include everything from packaging to the visual look of marketing materials, as well as the message A&F would convey to media vehicles.

Communications work best when they portray a consistent and persuasive message. Furthermore, it will enable the company to effectively position itself in a new field-ethical fashion. 4. Assess reaction to product attributes This objective will determine whether our target market responds positively or negatively to the product attributes. As ethical fashion is a key trend in the fashion industry, we will specifically assess the product impact on the East-Coast young Americans. We will closely watch the reactions of a chosen segment, and deliver appropriate findings.

The big part of our research target will be loyal customers; we will use the success of A&F with current customers to assess whether including the ethical fashion would be appropriate. 5. Assess brand and image attributes This objective will evaluate attitudes towards the brand and assess if the customer attitude would change if introducing ethical fashion. Further, we will evaluate the effect of new image attributes. Moreover, Fashion 101 will measure awareness and perception of brand position findings and address potential strengths or weaknesses.

Last but not least, our findings will also show if brand attributes meet customers’ needs. 6. Develop a profile of target segment This objective will further elaborate on the target segment. Developing a profile of the target segment is critical. In the marketing research, we will find out who the buying decision makers and influencers are. We will identify several market segments, based on the buying habits (where, when, why, how much, how frequently) and rank them in order of priority (the 14-25 segment including 800 persons) Furthermore, it will also include the individuals outside this age segment.

Furthermore, in our report, we will describe their age, sex, income level, geographical location, marital status and other relevant facts. We will include psychographics, which will offer insight into attitudes, opinions, perceptions and beliefs. 7. Develop recommendations based on results and inferences from the research Finally, we will point our recommendations which are pulled together from the previous research. It will be a well structured report that will show to A&F whether it should apply ethical fashion in its line or not.

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