Doc Martens Case Study

MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study There is a very interesting write-up on the history section of the Dr. Martens website. It is a very creative approach where they are a total opposite from a common brand. A conventional website would have a pretty straight-forward factual based history of the organization. However, what DM has done is extremely creative and provocative just like the brand itself. The history clearly indicate that in the past, DM use to be an icon that defines a „tribe? such as the „punks? , „ska? , etc.

However, with the evolution of internet in 1992, the whole world was re-defined. The boundaries faded and the „tribe? identify also faded. “The internet spread like an epidemic, reaching fifty million users in eighteen months – a feat that took radio forty years. The first mobile phone text was sent in 1992; within three years, email was like oxygen. Everything has changed” (http://www. drmartens. com/, Dr. Martens History) Everything has evolved into a one man army, the consumer itself. As such, they continue to defy the norm by propagating for people to create their own brand.

Rebel; don? t get tied-up with what people „dictate? through the brands. Be creative all you want and DM would stay relevant as its individuality is defined by the consumer and not the other way around. “ Dr. Martens anchor you, liberate your creativity, inspire and fuel your identity. Our heritage fits your future; your future is our future” (http://www. drmartens. com/, Dr. Martens History) This piece or article itself have clearly articulated the dynamism in the Dr. Martens brand to suit the needs of the ever-changing customer in order to stay relevant for life.

Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 1 Marketing the shoes directly to the Chinese consumers would definitely hurt the DM brand immensely. As stated in the background study the DM brand is exclusive and holds a heritage which is very individualistic in value which is also very western. As such, in order to protect this key element of the brand, it was wise to keep the sales and marketing activities centered in UK. Having the shoes go through UK for distribution also helps to maintain the perception rom the mass that the quality of the product is guaranteed as it goes through a thorough buyoff process by the experts in UK. In true sense, this might not be the process because it is very much viable and profitable to have a tight quality assurance process at the Chinese plant. However, it is the perception that counts. A direct distribution for the local market would also greatly diminish the value proportion of the product hence causing unnecessary demand for a low-priced product which would defy the brand value of DM as an exclusive, individualistic product.

As such, based on the brand aspiration it is and would always be a wise decision to market the shoes from a central location in UK. Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 2 The key brand value of DM is to portray the individualistic nature of the product. In order to amplify this value, activities have to be designed to be both interactive and allow the consumer to showcase their individualistic elements. Based on this, following are several ideas that could help DM to attract more consumers: 1) Have a shoe design competition online a.

This would allow participants to design their own shoes b. There shouldn? t be any restriction on design hence allowing full display of their individualistic design c. Have an online competition to vote for the best design of shoes d. The final design that wins should be produced as a single limited production for the winner e. Keeping the exclusivity by only producing 1 pair of limited edition shoe would keep people wanting to participate and also to vote which would increase the website traffic and brand awareness 2) Posting of individual commercials about their Doc Martens a.

Consumers are required to do their own Doc Marten commercial using their existing pair of shoes b. Originality is the key – no editing or mixing allowed for the submitted video c. Have online competition – with a differentiation. Videos would need to be posted to youtube. com – With cooperation with you-tube, the commercial with the highest hits would qualify for the finals – This would propagate high awareness of the brand as the videos would propagate itself through unconventional channel in order to obtain the highest hit at youtube. com. This would allow brand exposure even without visiting the main website

Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study d. The final selection should be posted rotationally on the Doc Martens website. e. Zero production cost but a very well acceptable commercial that could attract more people to the website f. This competition again allows the projection of individuality that supports the brand value and in the same time increases the brand exposure 3) Allocate space for Blogs a. Users should be allowed to create their own blog at the Dr. Martens website b. Blogs could be used as a platform to talk about the DM products c.

Besides brand exposure, the feedback from the blogs would also assist in gauging the acceptance of the product 4) Online customer privilege account a. Customers allowed to create online account with Dr. Marten b. Exclusive product release and other activities could be send by email c. Offer online vouchers for introduction of friends d. Good method to feed consumers with related news to increase brand loyalty Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 3 The BBC news on the 24th October 2002 that covers the announcement by Dr.

Martens on its move to China has the following excerpt which embodies the general feeling about the move: “It May be cheaper in China, but this is an issue of added value and quality. It does not matter if the boots are cheap if nobody is going to buy them (because of their poorer quality)” Paul Gates, General Secretary of KFAT union, BBC News, 24 Oct 2002 Even though it is understandable that the statement from the union leader is biased because they are also upset about the loss of about 1000 jobs but such a statement does hold weight because the general perception about the quality of products from China was very low.

Consumers strongly believed in a brand image of Dr. Martens as highly individualised apparel with high quality from UK. With a sudden announcement that production would be moved to China in order to reduce cost would have shocked the consumers because trust on the brand image is broken. As such, the brand risk of this move is considerably huge. However, the management of Dr. Marten did a marvellous brand rescue operation by deciding to keep the marketing & sales operations centralised at the UK Headquarters. This would definitely help the brand in the long run because people would eventually „forget? bout the movement of the manufacturing activity to China and get back to the perception that Dr. Martens is from UK. This would be possible because it is the sales & marketing activities that is „seen? by the customers, manufacturing would be a back-door operation that would hold a much reduced leverage on the brand image of Dr. Martens. The management was also very ingenious in delivering the message about the departure of the manufacturing activity to China. “Dr Martens will remain a brand true to its heritage and deliver footwear of the highest quality.

The offshore strategy is the first step in moving the company and the brand forward in a positive direction” David Suddens, Group MD R Griggs, BBC News, 24 Oct 2002 Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study We could clearly see from the official statement from the company that the term „offshore strategy? is used rather than mentioning about the move of production from UK to China. This is a clear indication that Dr. Martens do realize about the branding risk of this action.

As such, they cleverly drop the China notation and stressed about the brand? s commitment in delivering products true to its heritage and of highest quality. Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 MMDP Assignment Doc Martens Case Study Question 4 Foreign Licenses are good for brand building exercises as it allows for the brand to be developed more actively in the local market with guidance from the headquarters. However, Foreign Licences could also dilute the brand value because marketing actions suited for the local condition would not always represent a proper branding exercise.

For example, heavy discounting due to local competition would definitely dilute the brand value but this could be implemented by the Foreign Licensee in order to achieve the volume which might be their primary focus. Besides that, Foreign Licenses is also good when a global reach from a centralized location is impossible. As mentioned previously, the movement of the manufacturing activity to China was not a healthy move for the brand. In order to curb the deterioration of the brand image, a stricter control was necessary.

It would have been difficult to control the branding activities if all the activities were not centrally located. As such, it was very wise of Dr. Martens to rescind foreign licenses. Besides that, Dr. Martens could easily achieve a global reach on its marketing activities with the evolution of the internet. It also adds value to the brand because they can now proudly claim that the Dr. Martens are authentic because there is only 1 global „source? of this product which is from UK. Sasikumar Rajapan MMDP Sime Darby ‘08 BBC NEWS | England | Dr Martens moves to China Page 1 of 3 CATEGORIES TV RADIO COMMUNICATE WHERE I LIVE INDEX

SEARCH You are in: England News Front Page Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK World Dr Martens moves to China UK England N Ireland Scotland Wales Politics Business Entertainment Science/Nature Technology Health Education See also: 05 Aug 02 | Business Dr Marten brings trainers to heel 19 Jul 02 | England Dr Martens factory closes Internet links: Dr Martens The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites ————Talking Point Dr Martens boots production is leaving the UK ————- Country Profiles announced the company is moving production In Depth

The makers of Dr Martens boots have to China with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs. Programmes ————R Griggs Group, which makes the iconic boots at factories in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Somerset, made the announcement on Thursday. ————SERVICES Top England stories now: 10,000 chased for congestion fine Teenagers admit festival violence Postmaster sacked over robbery Beckham forgives Ferguson Man faces nine rape charges Abuse claimants win compensation 400 jobs to go at zinc works Legal row cat back with owners Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

Daily E-mail News Ticker Mobile/PDAs Union leaders criticised the plans saying they had “shocked and devastated” the workforce. A spokesman for the company said the decision was made because it was far cheaper to produce footwear in China. He said the company would start a 90-day consultation process with its 1,068 employees. It plans to cease all production in the UK, but will continue to employ a number of office and design staff. ————Text Only Feedback Help EDITIONS Change to World It is an especially difficult announcement to make given all the effort that ur staff have put in over the past few years David Suddens, R Griggs group managing director David Suddens, R Griggs group managing director, said: “We regret very much the loss of jobs resulting from these proposed closures but we will make every effort to help staff find alternative employment. http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/england/2356519. stm 26 -May-08 BBC NEWS | England | Dr Martens moves to China “We will also work closely with the local authorities and other agencies. “It is an especially difficult announcement to make given all the effort that our staff have put in over the past few years. Positive direction’ “Dr Martens will remain a brand true to its heritage and deliver footwear of the highest quality. “The offshore strategy is the first step in moving the company and the brand forward in a positive direction. ” John Tully, Northamptonshire district secretary for footwear union KFAT, said: “Workers were shocked by the announcement. “This is devastating news for them and the footwear industry. ” He said that as well as affecting about 700 workers in Northampshire, the decision will have a knock-on effect on local suppliers to R Griggs.

Paul Gates, general secretary of KFAT, said: “It may be cheaper in China, but this is an issue of added value and quality. “It does not matter if the boots are cheap if nobody is going to buy them (because of their poorer quality). ” E-mail this story to a friend Page 2 of 3 Links to more England stories In This Section Go ^^ Back to top News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health |

Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes ———————————————————————————To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>> | To BBC World Service>> ———————————————————————————© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/england/2356519. stm 26 -May-08 BBC NEWS | England | Dr Martens moves to China Page 3 of 3 http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/england/2356519. stm 26 -May-08