Case Study: Aquascutum
Marketing has evolved through a change in production and consumption due to the advent of new technology (Ranchhod, 2004). The development of technology has also driven the globalisation of communication. During this period, consumers are facing a variety of choices (Jackson and Shaw, 2009). Thus, companies need to actively embrace these changing factors to grow their business and succeed in the marketplace.
The marketplace has been dynamic and competition between companies in the same industry has been increasingly intense (Ranchhod, 2004). Having dynamic capabilities contributes to a company’s “long-term survival or competitive advantage” (Johnson et al., 2008: 84). This is especially essential for rich heritage company, such as Aquascutum. It should not only have strategic capability, but also dynamic capability, which requires renewing and recreating its strategic capabilities to reach the demand of current environment (Johnson et al., 2008).
Moreover, the market has been shifted from product orientation to customer orientation. This requires companies to become more ‘customer-centric’ (Deshpande, 1999). With the development of Internet and wireless communication technologies, a profound consumer communication revolution has been in progress, which challenges companies to create new channels of communications (Jackson and Shaw, 2009). Company can reward customers’ involvement in order to encourage them to promote the company and the brand. Media is the new innovation (Jackson and Shaw, 2009).
This paper will analyse Aquascutum’s current underperformance and suggest some recommendations to its future development. Section I will explore the brand’s history and current situation of underperformance.
Section II and section III will evaluate the struggling factors from two perspectives. Specifically, section II will focus on the external environment of the company by using a PESTEL analysis (Johnson et al., 2008). In the analysis, economic, social and technological factors will be mainly explored.
While section III accesses the internal environment, which will be clarified by a SWOT analysis (Johnson et al., 2008). The last section (IV) will suggest recommendations, with respect to brand equity, extension and globalisation, marketing strategies and social media.
Section I. Underperformance
In 1851, Aquascutum was established with the latest innovations by a tailor John Emary (Acquacutum.com). He introduced the innovative weather resistant coats to the royal family. Since then Aquascutum has an eminent pedigree. At the first 50 years, Aquascutum catered exclusively for the demands of gentlemen. In 1890, the company started to design fashionable shower-proof coat for ladies (Acquacutum.com).
The company was renowned for producing the first waterproof wool and its iconic trench coat. It has been known for dressing “royalty, political leaders and numerous celebrities including Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant” (Trotman, 2012). Aquascutum has been 'Made in England' since it was founded, which maintained the original British sartorial label (The Trench Coat: A History – Aquascutum & Burberry, 2011).
Aquascutum owns three UK stores, which are located in London (one at Westfield and one at Canary Wharf) and Windsor. It also has 16 concessions, 11 international concessions and 7 outlet stores (Aquascutum enters administration, 2012).
The company was family owned since 1990, when it was acquired by Japanese company Renown (Felsted, 2009). In 1996, inspired by the success of its rival Burberry, Renown hired Kim Winser as the brand’s chief executive to address the problem of an ageing core customer base and a tired image. However, the company had been in crisis after Renown rejected the buy-out bid, led by Kim Winser (Felsted, 2009).
Since Harold Tillman and Belinda Earl purchased the business from Renown in 2009 it had continued to make...
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Source: Johnson et al., 2008
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