The Major Issue Of Ralph Lauren Marketing Essay

There are widely varieties of luxury brands which are not essential but are badly needed and associated with wealthy and affluent society around the world. The reasons why luxury goods are bought are that people wants to satisfy self-esteem and increase their status, or to go for the high quality and exclusivity of products. In addition, luxury brands provide the sense of mystery and elegance to consumers who want to be made to feel self-worth (Roumeliotis, 2012). In this assignment, Ralph Lauren will become the target brand and base on the relevant literature and theory to analyse and collect data with different research approaches.

Background information, purpose of the study

Ralph Lauren is a well-known and global brand in the products of apparel, accessories and it has always stood for the premium lifestyle as well. Furthermore, it has created the diverse sub brands which are innovation, distinct design and superb craftsmanship, such as Polo, Club Monaco and Rugby (Trefis Team, 2013). Moreover, it initially focused on the men market and following markets were women and different ages across countries worldwide through online shop and in-store retailer. However, there is a great deal of competitors like Chanel, Calvin Kevin, and private label brands that Ralph Lauren is facing. Hence, the purposes of this study may not only help Ralph Lauren maintain existing and grow new consumers, but also understand what people desire, attitude and behaviours.

Problem statement

Recent years, Ralph Lauren’s brand share has been shared by private labels which are gradually increasing at department stores (Trefis Team, 2011). This threat may seriously result in the reduction of existing customers who have loved for Ralph Lauren. Additionally, another problem is Ralph Lauren expands its retails into Asia, but strategy and control have lost. In addition to this, it has to face the high percentage of piracy products which hurts its reputation and brand image in Asia (Trefis Team, 2012).

Management & research question

What specific ways can be done to retain original consumers at department stores?

How to increase its revenues and customers even private labels come out?

Development of objectives & rationale

Estimate competitors’ structures, strategies and prospects to increase more its competitiveness.

Realize consum{Aggarwal, 2008 #16;Corporation, 2013 #6;Corporation, 2013 #10;Devault, 2012 #12;DiFrisco, 2009-2011 #8;Keller, 2013 #17;Logos, n.d. #9;Perner, 1999-2010 #13;Quester, 2002 #14;Roumeliotis, 2012 #2;Srivastava, 2011 #20;Summers, 2005 #19;Tombs, 2011 #11;Trefis, 2011 #4;Trefis, 2012 #5;Trefis, 2013 #3;Wikinvest, 2011 #7;Wood, 2010 #18;Wright, 2006 #15}ers’ perceptions to retain consumers and the relationship between them.

Literature summary

Ralph Lauren has successfully existed in the field of premium lifestyle goods for more than 30 years due to well-organized marketing strategy and vogue design. Particularly, it has powerful brand identity and awareness in customers’ mind through the extended number of products, sub brands, international markets and easily recognized logo (Ralph Lauren Corporation, 2013a). According to Ralph Lauren’s official website (2013a) mentions that the integration of advertising, marketing, merchandising and visual presentation will be a uniquely tremendous way to take into the corresponding showcasing of the world. Hence, this strategy has deeply entered into human’s mind and stimulated customers to fall in love with the brand. Besides, a wide range of price choices from discount to luxury is an advantage which accords with customers’ expectation and preferences that could attract more broadly clients (Trefis Team, 2011). However, Ralph Lauren still has problems need to overcome.

First of all, the website of Wikinvest (2011) has showed that a wave of integration in the midst of department store chains has made for the emergence of major players like Macy’s Inc. (M), J.C. Penney (JCP) and Nordstrom (JWN). Biggish purchasing power is benefit to these chains which are able to decrease the number of physical stores. Furthermore, these chains start their own brands and sale own designed products at department stores to weaken premium brands’ position. Therefore, the competitors of Ralph Lauren have been increasing. Ralph Lauren needs to contend with the private label brands which these chains launch their own with low prices and high quality (wikinvest, 2011). As a result, the market share has decreased and lost part of loyalty customers owing to these private labels.

The second major issue is that Ralph Lauren has started expanding its business into Asia as a crucial growth strategy in emerging markets, whereas the problem comes out. In 2010, Ralph Lauren was licensed to Dickson Concepts in China because this way could conveniently enlarge brand recognition and expand greater consumers and reduce capital expenditures (Trefis Team, 2012). However, not only did Ralph Lauren lose its direct control of the business but also its reputation damaged due to piracy of Polo shirts (Trefis Team, 2012). Because the unstable macroeconomic condition in the world, most manufacturers realize that consumers look forward to cheaper goods to replace luxury goods. Consequently, in order to gain more benefits, Dickson Concept was centred on low-cost production line to produce Ralph Lauren’s products with a stale, low quality brand image in China. It was opposite to the luxury image in US and Europe (Trefis Team, 2012). It causes customers change their love into private labels or piracy.

All in all, in order to maintain its position in the world, Ralph Lauren has to understand its appeal and competitive advantages and whether these advantages have remarkable influence on consumers’ attitude to love for Ralph Lauren. Also, they have to conclude what affects brand loyalty and how to sustain or grow their position in people’s mind.

Model development

There are three developed models to describe the observed features and psychological constructs or attitudes.

Model 1 aims to describe the significant features that impact on preference.

Model 1: Features and Levels


The brand has a strong recognition to compete with new rivals.

The brand does not have a strong recognition to compete with new rivals.


The brand offers multifarious services to contest with new rivals.

The brand offers limited services to contest with new rivals.

Integrated marketing communication (IMC)

The brand utilizes multichannel advertising campaign to attract customers.

The brand utilizes single advertising campaign to attract customers.


The brand produces high quality and delicate products to satisfy customers.

The brand produces low quality and rough products for customers.

Logo¼šAccording to a most influential designer, Milton Glaser, said, “The logo is

the entry point to the brand” (DiFrisco, 2009-2011). Logo makes customers easily recognize a particular brand and distinguish from different brands which do not have obvious logos to recall. Moreover, it can be penetrated into people’s mind when the logo design is simple, colourful and meaningful that associates with the name of brands. The logo of Ralph Lauren is a man with a mallet on a horse that reveals a clear feeling of the wealth people and American look. Besides, Ralph Lauren uses the colours of white and black to show the prestige of its brand (Famous Logos, n.d.).

Service¼šCustomer service is based on satisfying customers’ prospects and

maintains the relationship between companies and customers. The official website of Ralph Lauren offers online customer assistance services which include tracking orders, returning and refunds policy, gift services (Ralph Lauren Corporation, 2013b).

IMC¼šIntegrated marketing communications means “The concept under

which a company carefully integrates and coordinates its many communications channel to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the organization and its products” (Tombs & Seamons, 2011). Most of brands use more than one channel to promote their products due to the fact that multichannel marketing brings effective and impressing feeling to attract consumers. Ralph Lauren capitalizes on multichannel advertising campaign, like making the most of online media websites, print media advertisement and in-store (Devault, 2012).

Product¼šNot only are customers gradually becoming sensitive and careful on

the quality, but also considering the uniqueness of products which could performance their status and reputation. Ralph Lauren delivers luxurious goods in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances to different age (Ralph Lauren Corporation, 2013a). Consequently, satisfied customers will tend to love Ralph Lauren.

Model 2 purposes to explain and define buyer behaviours.

Buyer Behaviour Model

Input (External influence)

Firm’s marketing efforts¼š products, promotion, pricing, channels of distribution,

market segmentation

Sociocultural environment¼šFamily, communication and reference groups, social

class, subculture and culture, opinion leadership

and diffusion of innovation, public policy and

consumer protection.

Process (Decision making)

Need recognition Pre-purchase search Evaluation of alternatives

Psychological field Experience

Consumer needs and motivation

Personality and self


Learning and involvement


Organisational field

Organisational buying

Output (Post-decision behaviour)



Repeat purchase

Post purchase evaluation

Source: 2011, Pearson Australia, Schiffman et al, Consumer Behaviour, 5th Edition

(For the explanation of buyer behaviour model refer to the appendix.)







Model 3 aims to explain the relationship between brand and customers from the bottom to the top. Particularly, it also conducts that customers love for brand due to satisfaction and loyalty.

CBBE model

Source: 2011, Pearson Australia, Strategic brand management: building, measuring, and managing brand equity, 4th Edition

CBBE model (Customer-Based Brand Equity) was proposed by Keller in 1993. He claimed “differential effect that brand knowledge has on consumer response to the marketing of that brand” (Aggarwal, 2008).

Salience¼šThis layer is talking about the depth and breadth of

brand awareness that customers’ memories can be recalled and recognized the brands in different situations (Keller, 2013).

Performance and imagery¼šPerformance includes the internal

products or services that fulfil consumers’ need. The dimensions of performance do not only focus on product dependability, durability and reparability, but also style, design and price (Keller, 2013). Imagery is the personalities of brands that telling a story about the products and its customers’ expectation. Therefore, brand imagery needs to be strong, favourable and unique to convince and attract the eyes of the consumers (Keller, 2013).

Judgments and feelings¼šThe dimensions of judgment are

brand quality, credibility, consideration and superiority. Yet the feelings dimensions are to measure the social approval, self-respect, excitement and security. Both of two dimensions are to conduct the positive and accessible responses from customers (Keller, 2013).

Resonance¼šIt is to estimate the relationship between brands

and customers in order to foster higher brand loyalty. The dimensions include behavioural loyalty whether frequent purchasing the same brands, attitudinal attachment, like proud of brands, sense of community and active engagement (Keller, 2013).


This section reveals the approaches to use in the study.

Research design

The study will analyse customers’ attitude toward Ralph Lauren and others, also evaluate new rivals’ performances. Therefore, the research will be designed to accomplish the objectives.

Research context

Most customers keen on cheaper products instead of luxury brands in recent years, due to the fact that macroeconomic conditions cause the piratical products and private labels have been increasingly launching. Consequently, more and more competitors are scrambling the market of apparel and accessories. That is why this research tries to help Ralph Lauren figure out a way to get over the threat and more widely understand customers’ need to retain and attract new and old customers. Most important thing is that defining the brand love in customers’ mind.

Data Collection

In this study, both primary and secondary data are used. First of all, the primary data will be using a printing and an online questionnaire survey at the same time that is called “A survey of comparing luxury brands to piracy and private labels.” The questionnaire will have close ended questions, open ended questions, brand rating and choice questions. The advantages of questionnaires are that practical and convenient collect data from a great deal of people in a short time without high cost. However, it still has some disadvantages, such as lack validity (Wood & Ross-Kerr, 2010). Secondly, beside the primary data, comparative data can be provided from the secondary data resources which include firm’s internal information system and electronic database. The advantages of it are economical and specific information can be collected to support primary data. Nevertheless, its data may be out-dated (Summers & Johnson-Morgan, 2005).


The samples of the research study consist of customers from luxury brands and private labels as respondents. The respondents have been divided by nationalities, ages and different backgrounds. It is a non-probability method which includes convenience, judgement, quota and snowball sampling. Furthermore, the advantages of this sampling are that spending lower cost and data can be collected easier than the population measurement. Nonetheless, sampling method provides less precise and creditable information (Srivastava & Rego, 2011).


Features statement

This proposal will use factorial design to collect the data of features and feature levels.

In Model 1, there are four categories of brands’ feature. Each category has two different levels. So it is a 2x2x2x2 factorial design.

Design Matrix for 2x2x2x2 Factorial Designs






Product A





Product B





Product C





Product D





Product E





Product F





Product G





Product H





Product I





Product J





Product K





Product L





Product M





Product N





Product O





Product P





This study will use a seven-point rating scales, which is easy for respondents to answer, to evaluate consumers’ preferences.

Attitudes measurement

In the behaviour model, it assumes buyer behaviour as “Y1”, firm’s marketing effort as “X1”, sociocultural environment as “X2, decision making process as “X3, purchase “X4” and post-purchase evaluation as “X5.”

Firm’s marketing effort

The brand offer high quality products to fulfil your need.

The price of this brand is worth to pay.

The brand’s channel of distribution is easy to find and be recognized.

The brand’s promotion is strongly attracting you.

Sociocultural environment

The brand can increase your status.

The brand brings a strong cultural spirit.

Decision making process

The brand can raise your personal traits.

The brand has a name you can trust.

The brand has the ability to deliver what it promises.

The brand meets your expectation.

The brand’s quality has been consistent for long time.


I would repeat buy this brand.

I would consider buying this brand.

I would never buy this brand.

Post-purchase evaluation

I am more interested in this brand.

I would recommend friends or family to buy this brand.

This measurement will use five-point rating scales. Respondents are asked for the degree of each statement.

Brand statement

This research uses balanced incomplete block designs (BIBDs) to compare luxury brands and piracy and private labels.

Parameters of BIBDs:

There are five brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Kevin, Bar III, Halogen and Chanel (v=5).

There are ten choice sets (b=10).

Each brand comes out six times (r=6).

Three brands appear in each choice set (k=3).

Each pair of brands appears three times (λ=3).

Incidence Matrix for a BIBD with Parameters (5, 10, 6, 3, 3)

1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1

1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0

1 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0

0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1

0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10






Respondents have to choose the best and the worst option in a set of available options.

Analysis plan

This research will summarize the data collection to check whether the objective is solved by using the computer software known as Statistical Package for Service Solution (SPSS) program. Furthermore, refer to data screening to check for the data what missing and reporting descriptive statistics. Moreover, identify the techniques, such as ANOVA and regression analysis, for modelling several variables that appropriate to each objective.

Ethics statement

In this research, respondents are anonymously volunteer participants who can withdraw from this study anytime. Furthermore, it will be a safety study which protects the personal rights of participants. The study will use only for academic research to understand consumers attitude on brand love; hence, private information will not be recorded. The data collection will be digitally stored in database. On the other hand, researchers may meet the problem is sensitive respondents so each method needs to be careful designed. Moreover, in order to ensure the quality of this project, questionnaire needs to be previously sent to estimate whether it is straightforward.

Brief summary

Restate research objectives

The mainly objectives are to estimate competitors’ strategies and to enhance more Ralph Lauren’s competitiveness as well as to grow closer relationship by comprehending consum{Aggarwal, 2008 #16;Corporation, 2013 #6;Corporation, 2013 #10;Devault, 2012 #12;DiFrisco, 2009-2011 #8;Keller, 2013 #17;Logos, n.d. #9;Perner, 1999-2010 #13;Quester, 2002 #14;Roumeliotis, 2012 #2;Srivastava, 2011 #20;Summers, 2005 #19;Tombs, 2011 #11;Trefis, 2011 #4;Trefis, 2012 #5;Trefis, 2013 #3;Wikinvest, 2011 #7;Wood, 2010 #18;Wright, 2006 #15}ers’ perception. Therefore, there are three developed models to specify the observed features, psychological constructs and attitudes. Finally, the objectives will be checked whether they are solved by summarizing the data collection.

Potential importance of the research

Turning to the details, there are four important features, like logo, service, IMC and product, which may impact on consumers’ preference. Thus, Ralph Lauren can compete with new rivals by analysing their weaknesses and strengths. While the psychological attitudes on buyers behaviour include external influences, decision making and post-decision behaviour. This model could help Ralph Lauren understand what consumers will consider and be influenced when choosing brand and the attitude of post-purchasing. The last one is aims to explain the relationship between Ralph Lauren and customers by CBBE model.

Implications of the research

The data will be collected to examine the objective is solved or not through SPSS program which may offer high credibility and high value for Ralph Lauren to gain more customers and maintain greater reputation.

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