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Armani is a legendary company, which succeeded in bringing luxurious clothes to an audience willing to enjoy the benefits of elegance and classic fashion in ones personal wardrobe. was able to turn his company into a globally recognized brand. A brief brand analysis shows that Armani works on bringing the most unusual designing decisions to the consumer with an emphasis on the exclusiveness of every piece in the collection. Consumers associate Armani with competence, sophistication, and excitement. These characteristic traits penetrate every collection and reflect the identity of Giorgio Armani.
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A SWOT analysis indicates that Armanis primary strength is its optimal leadership in the fashion industry, which expands the field on influence and performance. However, the company does not use the opportunities for expansion, which is its main weakness. The company could work on penetrating every country with new stores. Otherwise, Armani will have to face the threat of low-end fashion businesses, which copy the companys products without permission.
In order to emphasize the companys strengths, it is worth taking an unusual expansion strategy with international events. Expansion through combination of Giorgio Armanis taste, the differentiation strategy, and national symbols of every country is a reliable strategy, which will bring Armani to a new level of recognition and respect. Armani Tour, an international event in support of the expansion strategy, will impress the target audience and media by using secrecy, unpredictability, and a unique sense of style in the most unusual way. The new campaign involves a collaboration between Giorgio Armani and leading national designers, which should contribute unique details to every collection. As a result, Armani will improve its reputation and brand awareness.
Giorgio Armani is an Italian designer, the founder of Armani, a company known for its outstanding style in menswear. Today, the company successfully produces clothes for men, women, and children willing to emphasize their taste and style with a sense of elegance and classic. Armani became the most profitable company in the fashion industry in 2015 with annual turnover equaling $3.3 billion (Potvin 2011). The company produces leather goods, jewelry, shoes, accessories, haute couture, home interiors, cosmetics, and eyewear. Armani is a representative of high fashion willingly sharing its luxurious products through stores in big cities, including Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Dubai, and Seoul. The companys brand analysis shows its identity, image, and personality, which formulate under the influence of strengths and weaknesses leading to the development of an effective expansion strategy.
Armani uses a classic style to support its brand, which defines its identity and uniqueness. Giorgio Armani founded the parent brand Armani and managed to add several sub-brands including Emporio Armani, the signature Giorgio Armani line, Armani Collezioni, Armani Jeans, Armani Junior, Armani Exchange, and Armani Casa (Dee 2014). The company uses black, white, and gold colors in the design of logo, website, and products. Armanis slogan It speaks for you emphasizes the uniqueness of every collection, which promises to express its owners taste and style. These colors emphasize the companys expensiveness through the lenses of minimalism and contrasting colors. An umbrella identity emphasizes the uniqueness of the Armani brand, which allowed building an empire of stylish clothes and accessories.
Brand identity is the main criteria, which defines brand image of the company and its differentiation from other companies performing in the fashion industry. The brand image of Armani builds itself upon three pillars including exclusivity, luxury, and quality. Consumers are willing to purchase the companys products thanks to its fashion characteristics, reliability, and uniqueness (Huppatz & Manlow 2014). Giorgio Armani did everything to infuse his company with his personal characteristic traits, which would ensure acceptance of products among consumers. Design is the most valuable ingredient in fashion industry, which defines the further transformation of brand. Armani managed to create a sense of loyalty and respect among its customers, which supports the companys image of a luxury brand.
Armanis brand personality has three distinctive characteristic features, which make it distinctive among other luxurious fashion brands. The company arouses three major associations among the consumers, which include excitement, competence, and sophistication. Armani managed to reach a consensus in supporting its image with the help of appropriate associations, which brand arouses among consumers. Excitement shows the company from the side of the iconic fashion trends, which youth aims to follow in order to impress their peers. Competence allows Armani to attract consumers seeking intelligence, success, influence, and leadership (Zargani 2017). Finally, sophistication emphasizes elegance and prestige in every collection of the company, which impresses high status consumers willing to demonstrate their unique and expensive taste.
The primary strength of Armani is a personality-focused approach, which emphasizes the character of the companys owner. It enriches every collection with extraordinary clothes and unusual design decisions. In addition, the companys leadership in the fashion industry allows it to navigate the tastes of consumers with confidence based on loyalty and trust of the target audience (Theng, Parsons & Yap 2013). Another strength of the company is that every piece of each collection is hand stitched. The company denies using machines in order to avoid defects.
The main weakness of the companys performance is its insignificant presence across the world. It prevents the company from fully covering the markets available in different countries. While China remains one of the main sources of revenue bringing around $20 billion annually, Central and Eastern parts of Europe should have more Armani stores to increase the revenue with the same intensity (Voronina, Hartley & Buce 2015). The company does not pay much attention to the expansion strategy, which could benefit the further development of the brand.
Opportunities available to Armani are broad enough to encourage Giorgio Armani to take immediate action to improve the companys market position. First, the companys staff consists primarily of young employees, which represent a broad field for exploration of talents and unexpected design ideas. This way, the company can avoid the problem the fashion industry often faces, which is a lack of ideas after the founder leaves. Second, Armani has an opportunity for global expansion, which will allow covering a broader target audience.
Armani has to confront several threats, regardless of its leadership in the fashion sector. First, the company suffers from brand duplicity, which may become crucial to its success and revenue generation in the future. Many companies copy Armani products, which prevents Armani from full coverage of the target audience. Lower segment markets may become a significant threat to the demand of luxurious clothes and accessories offered by Armani. A vision focused on elegance, expensiveness, and luxury could become a threat to the success of the company under the influence of global economic instability (Zargani 2017). The company also slowly moves towards the development of lifestyle collections, which could meet the needs of multiple consumers.
Recommended Strategy for Luxury Brand Development and Growth
Since Armani is in need of new performance areas, which will extend the coverage of the target audience on the global level, it is essential to consider expansion through a combination of three significant elements belonging to the benefits of Armani. Giorgio Armani holds a unique sense of style and design, which is an outstanding feature of the brand. The diversity of collections meets the needs of a broad range of consumers. Nevertheless, the company does not use an advantage, which is available in every region where it performs national symbolism in clothes. It does not mean that Armani needs to create a new vision of national clothes across the globe, which would be pointless. The companys distinctive trait is that it professionally works on implementation of the details in every new piece of clothes.
By incorporating an innovative expansion strategy, Armani will increase its leadership and competitiveness in several ways. First, Armani will increase its flexibility in designing clothes for different groups of customers and will show respect to national identity, which will ensure meeting multiple needs of consumers (Conner 2015). It will also emphasize the companys willingness to express the national identity of every consumer in a stylish way (Mendes & Rees-Roberts 2015). In addition, Armani will increase its exclusivity in designing unique clothes, which incorporate both Giorgios Armani sense of style and consumers national symbolism. The benefits of the proposed expansion strategy are enormous, since it will allow openings new stores in a timely fashion.
Proposal for International Event to Support Luxury Brand Growth
In order to make the expansion successful and profitable, Armani needs to take significant steps and attracting the attention of the target audience on a global level. First, it is worth mentioning several conditions, which should accompany the campaign aimed to open new stores and introduce new collections. Armani should keep every new opening of a store secret. The first opening might take place in Japan or India, which will present the unexpectedness and colorful inclusion of national symbolism in clothes. The first opening should also involve an announcement of the Armani Tour, which will bring new stores to the most unexpected countries and cities. This way, the company will enhance the attention of the public along with rapid growth of interest in the new collection (Bury 2016). Armani should take care of keeping every opening in secret, which will keep consumers guessing what country will be lucky to have another store offering unique clothes.
Another valuable component of the Armani Tour is the collaboration of Giorgio Armani with leading national designers. Every country has a significant input to the fashion industry, which defines trends in clothes and accessories (Messina 2013). Before launching a new store, Armani should contact the leading designers in a confidential way in order to work on adding national details to the collections. This way, Armani will gain recognition and respect in every country where consumers will feel lucky to wear exclusive clothes brought by a collaboration of the world-reknowned fashion guru and local talented designers (Lapolla 2014). Furthermore, this initiative will emphasize Armanis flexibility and exclusiveness simultaneously, which will lead to the improvement of the companys reputation and brand awareness (Bury 2016). Finally, exclusive nationally-based clothes will reduce the threat related to copying Armani products.
Critical Success Factors
The proposed strategy for development and growth of Armani and launch of the international event has several critical success factors, which the company should assume in order to ensure an effective implementation of the new plan. First, the company should understand its opportunities in using the available tools and resources in the expansion strategy (Matthews, Hancock & Gu 2014). It is worth using the potential of every collection in the creation of innovative and unusual clothes, which will lead to an outburst of attention from the target audience (Grigorian & Petersen 2017). In addition, the company should remember that attention of the media and consumers expectations should take a primary place in order to ensure the increase of profits as soon as new stores launch (Phau & Teah 2013). Second, it is crucial to make the collaboration between designers and Giorgio Armani mandatory. However, it is worth controlling the influence of national designers in order to save brand identity without losing brand personality characteristic features. The company should consider the new strategy as a chance to offer unique clothes to consumers based on their origins without breaking the main concept focusing on luxury and elegance.
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Another critical success factor is continuous monitoring of the media discussing the next possible launch of the store. Armani should use the secrecy of the expansion strategy and upcoming events in order to make them unexpected and impressive and increase the effectiveness of the launch events (Lockstone-Binney & Junek 2013). The audience should remember the historical change in the performance of Armani, which decided to combine elegance with elements of national customs and traditions. Every collection should incorporate efficient details, which will only emphasize the classic style of Armani clothes. Finally, secrecy is a mandatory condition of the expansion, because it will allow the company tp take enough time to collaborate with the designers, create new collections, and work on opening new stores.
A precise evaluation of the brand helped formulate a vision of further performance of Armani in terms of applying the proposed expansion strategy. Today, Armani keeps performing with the same pace, but may require rapid changes in the future. However, the company can take advantage of its strengths and opportunities to reduce the threats and weaknesses by taking immediate action now. Armani Tour can become the key to the intensification of the companys market position along with active integration to new markets. In addition, enriching the new collections with national elements will raise brand recognition and respect among consumers without damaging brand image and brand personality. The company should take this initiative in order to promote its development in the next decade, dictating new fashion trends and opening new horizons in the imagination of consumers. Otherwise, threats and weaknesses will reduce the chances of Armani remaining an optimal leader of the fashion industry.