Boden - strengths and weakness (uni report)(56 Posts)
I need to pick a company to write a marketing report on for a uni course, I thought I'd go with Boden. I need a little help to get started and to base my marketing ideas on.
What in your opinions are their strengths and weaknesses?
good quality esp kids clothes
Bright colours for both boys and girls
Perception of middle class mummy supplier
I need 6 of each and would be interested to include your views/perceptions
Great customer service
Great customer knowledge/understanding - for children (always seem to know what my kids "thing" is!)
Free postage and returns
Discount codes and sales - never buy without
Lack of innovation - seasons are very similar
Sizing can be hit and miss
-discounts/sales/free shipping & returns (which suggests that things start out overpriced)
-smart without being corporate
-more likely not to be made from synthetics
-quality is unreliable. I have things which have lasted ages and others which were worn out after a season
-sizing now inconsistent (it used to be fairly dependable)
-patterns can be too bold - I don't want the whole village to know I'm wearing Boden but rather just to admire a garment. There really is a Boden backlash.
weaknesses: price vs constant discounts/sales. I think the clothes are v.expensive at full price but there is always an offer on but this can vary 10%-20%, sometimes 25% and then if you are a regular or new customer you get bunged a £10 voucher every now and then. This whole pricing strategy puts me off buying. why not just make the clothes cheaper in the first place and have a twice yearly proper sale a la Next.
Strengths : quality, customer service, discounts with free p&p/ returns.
Weaknesses: patterns, repetitive styles, price
I only have bought mini Boden
Reliable sizing. Consistent.
More interesting clothes for boys than you can find n the high street
Easy t navigate website. Easy to pay.
Free delivery and returns
Sometimes ludicrous patterns
So many special offers put me off buying as you always feel another offer is imminent
1-Kids clothes are excellent quality
2-Kids clothes are great designs and age appropriate
3-Customer service is very good
4-Long return period is handy
5- frequent discounts, codes, vouchers, sales etc make them more affordable (but I'd rather just have lower prices to start with).
6-Website is very clear and easy to use
1- Non-discounted prices are high
2-Quality is not as good as it once was, and declining
3-They cut their women's clothes for a very particular shape, which is not sympathetic to boobs or hips.
4-Their women's shoes are very narrow
5-They often sell out early in the season
6- no shops out of London. I'd probably buy more if I could go and see it first.
Strengths, sending you a £10 voucher for your birthday - or in my case multiple vouchers if you've registered different names (maiden/married) and email addresses.
Weaknesses, I find the sizing quite small, they don't really have a plus size range.
Great returns policy
10 years so they were the only prior doing non pink girls stuff, but the supermarkets have learned from them
Often too obviously boden( no one wants to own up to it)
Only kids range is interesting
I don't like strips this excludes about 80% of boden.
same kind of stuff every year
Shoes are v "Middle Aged"
Lack of clothes designed to flatter a less than perfect figure
Over priced relative to the quality
Some lovely childrenswear
More colourful than many brands
Some nice workwear (but see above - could do with more flattering styles for those of us who aren't rake thin)
Weakness: the relentlessly needy communication. I have purchased from Boden twice - both for dresses to wear to weddings. The amount of marketing material I received after both these purchases was enough to make me consider taking out a restraining order against Johnnie Boden. And as for the whiny "you haven't bought anything from us in a while" letters! Sheesh.
Great customer service, usually free returns, designs suitable for the more rotund - ie styles flattering for boobs and tums, not too short, - and the fact that most styles come in different lengths is a plus.
On the minus side, patterns can be a bit lurid, and they are quite expensive.
Weakness - underestimating their potential in the Irish market if they were to offer the same delivery and returns options that they do in the UK.
If you're writing a marketing report, presumably you need to focus on their marketing?
In which case have you signed up for their emails? Have you bought something to see what communications you get from them?
Do you know how they acquire customers? Found their banner ads? Seen their partner dispatch inserts?
Do you know who their marketing director is? Does he/she appear anywhere with published articles / interviews / conference talks etc?
They are successful because they have very finely tuned CRM processes. Forget what the clothes look like, or don't look like. This is all about the sales. The customer experience, the sales pitch, the data analysis, the promotions calendar.
They're clever people.
Marketing weaknesses are the discounts. They have sold themselves out. Their strength is also their weakness. It's a paradox.
Have forgotten their core customer is now 20 hears older and 20lb heavier, hence:
Not enough sleeves, midriff skimming styles, on rather than above the knee
Softer colours for our greyer days
Not enough more mature models
Not as many basics as there were
Too many promotions, just make it all a bit cheaper
Quality (but not what it was)
Johnnie (but respond to market please)
Suggestion - occasional fabric sample in the catalogue would be good
I teach marketing, and I would agree with a pp that their strengths and weaknesses are something of a paradox.
Strengths - strong direct marketing strategy, extensive use of sales promotions for customer retention, occasional gems clothes-wise, digital engagement with key influencers. Backstory and "personal touch" probably appeals to a large part of the target audience. Good delivery/returns. No idea of their social media presence but I imagine it is stromg.
Weaknesses - aggressive direct marketing strategy, with a tone of voice which can be really unappealing - I have bought one item from Boden, ever, and I actually ended up blocking their communications. Sales promotion is over-used, so the goods seems too expensive at full-price - I think this cheapens their brand. Very limited high street presence. Perceptions can be very varied. From memory I think they have ditched their plus-size range, or massively reduced it. PR wise, I think I have on,y once read a proper editorial piece on Boden.
Strength- children's clothes great quality
Weakness- adult clothes much less so and as others have said, v hit and miss.
Strength- some fabulous classics
Weakness- when it's not a classic, it looks like Maria Von Trapp has been at the curtains.
Strength- they don't really go for on-trend (see above re: curtains)
Weakness- with the result that, as others have said, it can get samey.
Strength- great customer service
Weakness - "Johnny" and his bloody patronising tone both in email and on site "Wow! That's going to look great!" when you put something in your basket.
Strength- kids' stuff is priced fairly
Weakness- adult stuff is way way way over priced for its quality.
From a marketing perspective just because I live in the Home Counties and have kids doesn't make me a traditional Boden fan.
I have no issues with their clothes but I don't like patterns and prefer edgier styles and work in London.
Like their shoes, some more original designs that wear well.
Like some of the workwear in the sale.
Like kids clothes but DC 6 thinks they are babyish. Probably not enough superhero tat for his liking.
Got annoyed by the constant mailings and emails, too many offers and not targeted at what I had bought in the past.
Strengths - great customer service, clothes generally better quality than high street equivalents.
Weaknesses - constant sales/discounts, I'd prefer a fixed lower price and seasonal sale rather than having to wait for a discount code.
Quality has definitely declined - I have Boden clothes going back a fair few years now and there is a noticeable difference when you compare older stuff to new.
Some really dire patterns - I wish they could just stick to nice simple colours and patterns!
Strengths: Customer service, free returns, good basics
Weaknesses: hideous prints, badly fitting dresses. Waistlines far to high and squash boobs. Also obsessions with 3/4 sleeve knitwear, and sleeveless dresses. I hate both those things!
Thanks all, this is very helpful.
From the marketing side, i'm doing an intro course as part of a management degree. The format is a report, to pick the company and give a little background, then strengths and weaknesses. Using weaknesses come up with some marketing objectives and then talk about ideas to achieve the objectives. So its from the perspective of improvement from my point of view rather than what they are currently doing.
@burnishedsilver Do you know the returns cost from Ireland by any chance? It's not listed on webpage, and has a link to use ReBound for returns from there.
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