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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing


Strategies and Recommendations

Group members:
Wong Hoi Ming Amanda 3035052715
Choy Hong In Connie 2012517952
Chiu Ho Ting Edwin 3035048817
Lee Joo Youn Susie 2012548169
Mak Ho Yin 3035050470

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Executive Summary
Jack Wills is a mid-range British clothing brand aimed at
university students. Easily recognized by its iconic Pink and
Navy stripes and the Fabulously British title, the inspiration
behind the brand is clear and obvious to offer British heritageinspired goods.
Jack Wills is aggressive in executing its expansion plan. Within 2
years, 3 stores have been opened in the Hong Kong district. The
rapid expansion not only proved the companys strong foothold,
but also its rocketing popularity within the Asia Pacific Region.
However, at the meanwhile, threatened by the intrusion of other
foreign labels, like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, Jack Wills is
facing a more fierce competition. In order to stand out above the
rest, it is necessary for Jack Wills to differentiate itself from its
competitors while maintaining its strengths.
This report explores the current marketing strategies of Jack
Wills. The objective of this report is to investigate the companys
unconventional marketing tactics through an in-depth internal
and external marketing analysis, which focuses on four major
perspectives: target market, market trend, 4Ps model and SWOT
analysis.
Based on these four perspectives, it is seen that the current
marketing strategies lack foresight as tactics fail to adapt to the
changing trend and customer groups. We recommend Jack Wills
to introduce strategic changes and maintain its comparative
advantage to cope with the current loopholes, such as
negligence of the potential customers and lack of advertisement.

Acknowledgement
We would like to take this opportunity to express profound
gratitude and deep regards to Mrs. Catherine Gillies, the Hong
Kong based Brand Marketing Executive of Jack Wills for her
cordial support, valuable time and information, which helped us
in conducting an in-depth analysis

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Table of Content
Executive Summary

Acknowledgement

1. Introduction 3
1.1 Background of Jack Wills
3
1.2 Preview of the Scope and structure of the report

2. Methodology 4
3. Analysis of Jack Wills current marketing strategies
3.1 Overview of current strategies 5
3.2 Target Market

3.3 Market Trend 7


3.3.1Growth of Online Shopping 7
3.3.2Clothes represent status 8
3.3.3Rise of mini fashionistas celebrities

3.4 The 4Ps Model 10


3.4.1Product
10
3.4.2Price 10
3.4.3Promotion 12
3.4.4Place
13
3.5 SWOT Analysis 14
3.5.1 SWOT.........................................................................14
3.5.2 Interpretation of SWOT..............................................15
4. Conclusion

15

5. Recommendations 15
Appendix 1

20

Appendix 2

20

References

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

1. Introduction
1.1 Background of Jack Wills
Jack Wills is a premium British clothing label mainly targeted at
university students. Founded by Peter Williams and Robert Shaw
in 1999, it has always aimed at reflecting the UKs rich heritage
and style through its fabulously British, authentic but relevant
university outfitters. Currently, Jack Wills has a chain of 78
stores, serving 5 different areas, namely the UK, Ireland, USA,
Hong Kong and Kuwait.
Though being well known as a fashion brand, the company offers
a wide variety of products, ranging from clothing to home wares
like stationery, fragrances and furnishings. Unlike other fashion
labels, Jack Wills does not use a conventional advertisement
model, instead thriving on word of mouth and viral marketing.
Such distinct approach is tailored to the lifestyle brand as
marketing strategies are implemented at a personal level. Take
the Seasonnaires programme as an example, it allows the
company to reach out each customer, which fosters customer
retention and loyalty.

1.2 Preview of the Scope and structure of the


report
This report examines the marketing strategies implemented by
Jack Wills from different perspectives and provides
recommendations based on the current loopholes.
In the first place, an analysis of the current company situation is
conducted using the 4Ps model (Product, Price, Promotion,
Place). The marketing mix model is applied to see whether the
company is selling the right products at the right place with the
right price and using the suitable promotions.
A SWOT analysis is also carried out to evaluate Jack Wills
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, for the sake of
developing a more structured future marketing plan.
It is undeniable that the report contains several limitations, even
it tries to look into the issue from different angles. Inability to
access private information, e.g. marketing budget leads to an
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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

unsatisfactory evaluation, since the report fails to compare the


economic efficiency of conventional and unconventional
marketing strategies. Together with a partial interview and a
survey of small sample size, which provides standard, official
answers and unrepresentative data respectively, the report
tends to be of low creditability and acknowledgement.

2. Methodology
In order to facilitate the marketing analysis of Jack Wills, 3
main methods are used to gather relevant information.
To begin with, knowledge on companys background, marketing
activities and price ranges are searched on the Internet, mainly
from the official Jack Wills website.
Since in- depth information cannot be collected online, we
conducted an interview with the marketing director of Jack Wills.
This fosters our analysis as it offers intimate knowledge on not
only the details of the marketing strategies itself, but also the
rationale and difficulties encountered when they are put into
practice.
Customers from vary age groups are also surveyed for a
comprehensive appraise of Jack Wills marketing effort. The
study is to show the effectiveness of the current plan within each
age group, which helps us to give recommendations concerning
its defects.

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

3. Analysis of Jack Wills current marketing


strategies
3.1 Overview of current strategies

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Jack Wills stick by its 5 core values: British, Entrepreneurial, Innovative,


Responsible and Excellence.

3.2 Target Market


Jack Wills has a well- defined target market. The title, University
Outfitters, has made its target group clear. The brand aims at
young people who are mainly university students aging from 18
to 25.
Jack Wills has positioned itself as a preppy, classy and cool
lifestyle brand. The brand is known for its iconic navy and pink
colors and fine goods, but one should not neglect the fact that its
brand culture is in fact the brands most valuable asset. By
linking the brand with popular sports events like Varsity Polo and
Ruby Sevens, hosting parties and university tours for
undergraduates, as well as pioneering on the Seasonnaires
Programme, Jack Wills has captivated the audience by its funloving, cool brand culture.
Its remarkable success among the teens is undeniable. However,
Jack Wills has ignored another important customer group, which
refers to middle income group at their thirties or forties. Take
Jack Wills Hong Kong as an example, more than 50% of the
customers aged 30 years old or above and more importantly,
they take up around 60% of the total number of VIPs 1.
These statistics indicate that adults at the prime of their lives are
potential buyers with high purchasing power.
Regarding the current strategies, it is certain that such group is
not catered for, since they focus on promotion among the young
age group only.

Data obtained from the Jack Wills Hong Kong Brand Marketing Executive

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

3.3 Market Trend


Market trends are of vital importance. They offer insights for the
marketing department to design the most effective and suitable
marketing plans that are tailor-made to its companies.
With regards to the clothing industry, 3 major market trends are
noted:

3.3.1

Growth of Online Shopping

Online shopping continues to thrive with e-commerce sales


predicted to reach $963 billion globally by 2013, with an annual
growth rate of 19.4%2. Apart from bringing convenience to
customers, the trend of online shopping also offers a vast
potential international market for brands, as trades are no longer
confined by borderlines.
Currently, Jack Wills offer online shopping and delivery service to
different parts of the world3. Yet, free standard delivery service
only applies to UK orders4. On the other hand, it is noted that the
company takes online orders from the official site only, while its
major competitor, Abercrombie & Fitch, allows online orders
through both mobile app and official site.
B2C e-commerce sales have been on the rise and become one of
the most important distribution channels nowadays (Appendix
1). While Clothing, accounted for 61%, has been proved as the
most frequently purchased category (Appendix 2), Jack Wills
2

Goldman Sachs in JP Morgans annual Nothing But Net: 2011 Internet


Investment Guide on
digital commerce
3

Areas covered: UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, HK,
Japan,
Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Kuwait, U.A.E
4

European / International Service (10-14 working days) (12.00)

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

current marketing strategies are not comprehensive enough to


make good use of its advantages and sustain its dominance.

3.3.2

Clothes represent status

Teenagers always perceive dressing cool and popularity as highly


correlated. According to a study, teens in the surveyed countries
perceive fashionable clothing as a key to social status 5. In other
words, people at their young age resort to fashion and style in
pursuit of a high- powered status.
Throughout the years, Jack Wills has successfully built up a large
customer base. Being widely recognized as an upmarket clothing
brand for college students with a confident and oozing effortless
style, it shows that Jack Wills somehow symbolizes classy and
cool.
Granted with another advantage, which is the rise of fashion
spending among upper income teens6, it is believed that Jack
Wills can further maximize the young market by implementing
strategies that are more coherent with todays trend.

A study by Antonius Cillessen and Eddy de Bruyn, targeting teens in


Netherlands, Canada,
Germany, New Zealand and Pakistan
6

Among upper-income teens, fashion spending accounted for 38 percent of


their budgets, up one percent from spring 2011.

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

3.3.3

Rise of mini fashionistas celebrities

A research commissioned by Sheilas Wheels home insurance,


which polled parents with school- age children in the UK, found
that the average cost of a childs wardrobe reached 1,677 with
almost two thirds (62%)of the children owning at least one item
of designer label clothing7.
Influenced by the rise of mini fashionistas celebrities such as Suri
Cruise and Romeo Beckham, children are more picky about what
to wear and parents are more willing to spend on expensive
children. As stated in the research, approximately a third of
parents (31%) claimed that their kids turned their noses up at
wearing hand-me-downs, whilst over a quarter of parents (26%)
admitted feeling guilty if they did not buy their children the
latest fashion clothing7.
Despite the pervasion of such unhealthy trend, Jack Wills should
make the most of the unexplored but promising childrens
market and develop itself as a lifestyle brand that cater the
needs of customers from various age groups.

Sheilas Wheels used the independent online research company Fly


Research who surveyed 1,039 parents with children aged between 4-17
from 24 June and 27 June 2011.

Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

3.4 The 4Ps Model


3.4.1

Product

As their slogan states Fabulously British, Jack Wills values


heavily on clothing that are inspired by the British heritage. Their
aim is to provide clothes with finest quality materials, techniques
and designs to deliver their distinctive connection between the
old and the new. Therefore, it is common to see collaborations
between Jack Wills and some long- established traditional British
brands such as Cordings, Fox Brothers, Liberty and Johnstons.
Jack Wills products ranges from traditional British formal wear
such as shirts and blazers to a more contemporary casual
clothing such as hoodies and polo shirts. Besides clothing, Jack
Wills also offer peripheral products such as accessories, swim
wears, shoes, bags and fragrance. Jack Wills clearly aims to
achieve innovation by providing a wide range of products.
However, Jack Wills main competitor, Abercrombie and Fitch
provides the same product range and offers more designs
compared to that of Jack Wills. A method to differentiate and
directly compete with A&F would be to put more effort in selling
their brand image. In fact, Jack Wills uses their unique logo
(peasant with a top hat and a walking stick), the word Jack
Wills or their signature colors (pink and navy blue stripes) on
majority of their products. According to our survey results, 88%
of the respondents claimed that their first impression of Jack
Wills was their pink and navy blue stripes, suggesting Jack Wills
was effective in terms of selling their brand image.

3.4.2

Price

Setting the right price for a product is vital since it sends a


strong message to the market. In order to achieve this, the price
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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

needs to be consistent with the value that the company is


delivering to the customers. In the case of Jack Wills, their value
proposition is product leadership because their vision is to
provide high-quality clothing that is British inspired. However, for
majority of the customers, price becomes their first impression of
a product, and if the company fails to offer the right price, it is
possible the customer may refuse to evaluate the product based
on price alone.

Figure 1.1 illustrates the different prices of some of the popular


products offered by Jack Wills. All of the clothing are priced over
HKD$200 with the highest price of HKD$896.98, which is clearly
a high price comparing to other clothes sold in Hong Kong. On
top of this, Jack Wills doesnt provide any sales or discounts to
customers in order to maintain its luxurious brand image. This
becomes a disadvantage for Jack Wills whose target audience is
university students with low incomes. In fact, 38% of the
recommendations from our survey mentioned that Jack Wills
products were overpriced and needed price cuts to match the
financial needs of the university students.
Figure 1.1 Price lists of Jack Wills
Product

Price range
(HKD$)*

Average
Price**

Dress

395.87
896.98

646.43

Jeans

496.09
596.31

510.43

Hoodies

596.31

596.31

T-shirt/Short-sleeve (excluding tank


tops and long shirts)

245.54
596.31

266.19

* Price information obtained from Jack Wills official website


(www.jackwills.com)
* Price converted from Euro () to HKD ($) using HSBC currency
calculator

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

** Average obtained from sum of all prices divided by the


number of products
Figure 1.2 Price lists of Abercrombie&Fitch
Product

Price range (HKD$) Average Price


*
**

Dress

710 - 820

723.46

Jeans

710 1,370

816.88

Hoodies

620

620

T-shirt/Shortsleeve

270 - 640

314.21

* Price information obtained from Abercrombie&Fitch official


website (hk.abercrombie.com)
** Average obtained from sum of all prices divided by the
number of products
Despite the high price of Jack Wills products, when comparing it
with biggest competitor Abercrombie&Fitch, the story becomes
different. After comparing the average prices of the two brands
(Figure 1.1 & 1.2), Abercrombie&Fitch clearly exceeds Jack Wills.
From this point of view, it can be said that Jack Wills has an
advantage over Abercrombie&Fitch when it comes to pricing.

3.4.3

Promotion

Promotion is vital to a company as it has great impact on a


companys image and popularity. It is more than providing
information about products to different parties, more
importantly, it is about how to position your brand and make it
big.
Jack Wills, easily recognized by its iconic navy and pink stripes,
has a very distinctive fabulously British, classy and fun brand
image, which can be reflected by its unconventional promotional
channels.
Unlike other clothing retailers, Jack Wills take a more innovative
and bold approach to convey the companys messages. In order
to reach out to every customer, the brand fully utilize the social
media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Weibo, which
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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

allows immediate feedbacks and interactive communications at


a personal level. Together with the pioneering Seasonnaires
programme, it further brings an ordinary clothing brand into a
living brand. Seasonnaires, regarded as brand ambassadors,
dress in Jack Wills outfits, tour everywhere (especially across
universities) and share their fabulous lives in Jack Wills. They get
into the crowd and inspire people around them to join them and
love the Jack Wills culture, rather than stress on promoting the
products. For example, they hold university live band tours and
tea party, which teens can never get enough of. They believe
that such approach is more efficacious as it adheres to the funloving Jack Wills culture.

3.4.4

Place

This P of the matrix refers to providing product at a place, which


is convenient for customer to undergo any purchasing. It is
believed that with the rise of Internet and hybrid models of
shopping, place is becoming less relevant. Yet, for a brand like
Jack Wills, to create a convenient and memorable shopping
experience is crucial. That is, location is still a major element one
should not overlook.
Jack Wills has primarily adopted a selective distribution strategy,
which only a few retail outlets cover a specific geographical area.
For instance, large areas like Ireland and Wales are both served
by 2 stores only. However with regards to Hong Kong district, the
first- served area within the Asia- Pacific market, the company is
more aggressive, as 3 stores were established to serve the small
city. Comparing with the 49 stores in UK, it is seen than both
accessibility and density in Hong Kong are higher.
Stores in Hong Kong (Leighton Centre Causeway Bay, LCX Tsim
Sha Tsui and Festival Walk Kowloon Tong), are all linked by
various means of transport network, together with a high

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

pedestrian flow of varying age groups. This allows the brand to


explore different markets, for instance, LCX targets at tourists
while Festival Walk targets at students from the surrounding
school network.
Since Hong Kong serves as the step stone to test its potential
market in Asia, the 3 stores are located at the perfect districts. It
serves the purpose of catering the Hong Kong local market and
tourists worldwide.

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

3.5 SWOT Analysis

3.5.1 SWOT
*

Popular boy band One Direction from United Kingdom wears Jack Wills very
often while facing the press, and this provides free advertisement for Jack
Wills to the teenagers.
**

According to information collected from an interview with the Brand


Marketing Executive of Jack Wills.
***

Teens spending on fashion increased from to 38% of their budget on


fashion in 2013. Besides, the spending on fashion of teenagers doubled from
2002 to $170 billion in 2012.
****

In March 2012, UK retail websites received an additional 8.5 million visits


through social networks and forums compared to March 2011, representing

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

a 2.3% increase year-on-year.

3.5.2 Interpretation of SWOT


From the above internal and external analysis, we pinpointed
some major problems, like negligence of the potential customers
and lack of advertisement. In order to make Jack Wills a more
successful brand, we advise the company to embrace its
opportunities, such as fully utilize social media and target
potential customer groups, whilst maintaining its strengths. It is
expected that by seizing the market opportunities, the clothing
brand will be able to tackle its threats and maintain a strong
foothold in the industry.

4. Conclusion
The report conducts a thorough internal and external analysis of
Jack Wills marketing strategies. In a nutshell, the current
strategies are well implemented but lack foresight. As long as
the brand can get rid of its rigid conceptions and make changes,
effective tactics can be applied to serve the more diversified
customers and ever-changing market trend.

5. Recommendations
Place advertisement through mass medium
Currently, Jack Wills refuses to place advertisement, as they
want to maintain a lifestyle brand image. However,
advertisements are undoubtedly important in raising a brands
recognition. Thus, to have it in both ways, we suggest placing
advertisement in 2 major media, with each target a particular
customer group. For teens, we suggest placing advertisements
on social network like Facebook and Twitter, which has been
proved to positively influence ones purchasing behavior 8. For
potential customers, who are mainly middle class working adults,
we advise placing advertisement on high-class popular
magazines like TIME Magazine. This serves both functions: to
promote the brand and maintain a luxury lifestyle brand image.

A recent poll conducted by Experian showed that 24% of people would be


positively influenced to buy a product after seeing an advert on Facebook.

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Improve online shopping services

Mobile app
Smartphones and tablets have become a vital part of ones
everyday life and apps for all platforms are growing. Data has
also proved that the number of mobile shoppers has rocketed 9.
Therefore, instead of only creating a handbook app for US and
UK, the brand should create an international accessible free
shopping application for customers worldwide.

Free Shipping
Free standard delivery should not confine to UK only. Though its
impossible to offer free shipping to every single order due to
high cost, Jack Wills should offer free standard shipping to
patrons outside UK whenever they spend a certain amount e.g.
100. This helps in capturing potential markets like China and
Thailand where stores are nowhere to be found.

In- store pick up


Online shoppers seek a convenient, easy and quick shopping
experience. Since delivery usually takes at least a week, we
advise Jack Wills to implement in-store pick up for orders placed
online. This benefits both parties as customers can avoid making
a futile trip if the wanted item is out of stock, while stores can
avoid costly administration work on customer reserve and stock
transference.

Launch limited edition products


Limited edition products always attract customers, especially
teenagers, because they represent prestige, distinction and
status. Given a large group of loyal teenage customers, we
recommend Jack Wills to launch limited edition products
occasionally in different areas. Apart from boosting sales, it is
also expected to raise brand awareness.
9

According to ForeSee, citing Mobify, the number of purchases made via


smartphones and tablets tripled over the course of the year.

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Launch product lines for kids


In order to extend the target audience to a wider range of age
groups, Jack Wills should first aim to cater children designer
clothing. Abercrombie & Fitch has already achieved this by
creating a section named Abercrombie Kids which is targeted
for consumers aged 7-14 offering childrens sized casual wear.
They have already made their products online through a
separate website (www.abercrombiekids.com) to allow easier
access for online consumers. Therefore it is recommended for
Jack Wills to also adopt the childrens wear products strategy in
order to increase their opportunity to sell more of their products
and capture the current fashion trend.

Create brand experience


By offering a wide variety of unique (navy and pink stripes) and
fine products, Jack Wills has successfully built a name in the
clothing industry and developed a large customer base. Thus,
instead of focusing on the products itself, we suggest creating a
favorable brand experience for customers as a way to foster
customer loyalty.

A. Aged 18- 25: Promote Jack Wills fun- loving


culture

Sponsor local big events


Teenagers usually engage in extra- curricular activities. By
linking the brand to different popular and positive events, it is
expected that Jack Wills fun- loving, extroverted culture can
deep- rooted among young people. Outside Hong Kong, Jack
Wills sponsor the Varsity Polo, which is a well- known popular
sports event among university students. In order to blend into
the local culture, the brand is suggested to sponsor big events in
HK Universities, like University teams, Joint- University Mass
Dance Competition and singing contests. Introducing the British
sports like Polo to Hong Kong is also recommended as it serves

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

the function of promoting the fabulously British culture.

Jack Wills Club


Apart from the Seasonnaires programme, Jack Wills could
establish a Jack Wills Club, which welcomes any university
students that are interested in the organized activities. The club
serves as a platform for students to build a social network by
holding activities regularly. Joined members hang out, do sports
and have fun with the Jack Wills Seasonairres, for instance they
hold beach parties, football games, polo games, running events
or even sky-diving once a week or month in different seasons
throughout the year. During each event there will be cameramen
taking photos and videos, which will then be uploaded onto the
official site and social media like Facebook and Twitter.

B. Aged 30 or above: Improve customer service

Offer styling service


We propose an entirely new service to Jack Wills, which is known
as the styling service. Whenever customers have difficulties in
choosing what to wear for any dates or events, the Jack Wills
crew transforms into stylists and work out a suitable and decent
look for them from head to toe. In other words, the staff
recommends an appropriate outfit, put on makeup for them with
the help of Jack Wills clothing and cosmetics. This new service
breaks the rules of the conventional retailing industry as it offers
products and service at the meanwhile. In addition, the
suggested service aims to build a personal and intimate
relationship between customers and the brand, along with
promoting the Jack Wills products.

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Promotional pricing
Because majority of the consumers perceive Jack Wills products
to be overpriced, it is recommended that Jack Wills implements a
promotional pricing strategy aimed at different age groups.

A. Aged 18- 25: Enjoy a good deal with fun

Snap shot competition


With the rise of photo- sharing apps, like Instagram, a snapshot
competition should be able to attract active participation. It is
that a person takes a picture of themselves wearing Jack Wills
products and the winner is awarded with a favorable discount.
This is expected to create noise and allow Jack Wills lovers to
showcase their creativity and talents, while enjoying a good deal.
Terms Begin Promotion
Targeting at students, Jack Wills should provide promotions
during the beginning of each term for students who are looking
for new clothes for a new beginning. This enables students to
start a fresh academic year with an enlightening attitude.

B. Aged 30 or above: Down-to-earth


VIP Programme
Jack Wills current VIP programme gives out goodie bags to
regular customers seasonally. Therefore, in order to cater the
more down-to-earth middle age customers, we suggest the
company to approach a practical method such as providing
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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

discounts for newly admitted VIP members or providing cash


coupons to encourage customers to buy more of their products.
If Jack Wills put more effort in adjusting their price and its
promotional strategies, then it will definitely gain opportunities
to boost their sales.

Appendix 1

Figure 1 Top 5 Countries, Ranked by B2C


Ecommerce Sales, 2011-2013

Source: eMarketer, Jan 2013

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

Appendix 2

Figure 2 Online Purchasing


Patterns in the 4 Surveyed
Countries, 2012

Source: Pitney Bowes, 2012

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Analysis of Jack Wills Marketing Strategies and Recommendations

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