Moods of Norway case indicated many interesting issues relating to brand management study. In this paper, first, we outline two key challenges that Moods are facing, then analyze the brand based on CBBE pyramid, and finally suggest two marketing programs that the company should invest. 1. Key challenges The first challenge facing Moods of Norway is expanding the business to U. S. This is always a profitable but risky opportunity for every firm, including Moods of Norway. The company with “free styling” wants to “just go to the U. S. and see what happens” (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 15). However, U.
S. market – one of the most difficult markets in the world – has many implicit challenges for Moods. Firstly, their brand is unknown in United States. Therefore, they need to base on the local sales agents and distributors in the U. S. Although they had a five-year contract with CAA – the leading talent agency – their profit will depend on the CAA’s success that is affected by the fit between the two companies. For example, CAA has not many experiences with distributing fashion products. Secondly, the U. S. customers’ preferences in color, fabric, size, etc. are different from Norwegian customers.
Moods’ products must be adaptable. This means they might need other suppliers and manufacturers to change their products. Finally, the most difficult question for the company is how they can bring their company’s concept to America and convince U. S. customers to buy their products based on that concept. Because they combine Norwegian nature and ordinary stories into their design that makes their product be unique and succeed in Norway, hence it is not easy to translate it for the customers outside the country. Even if they can illustrate their stories clearly, non-Nordic customers may not be interested in those products.
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As Dahlkvist expressed, they “should do the design in the U. S. , to really get a feel for what moves around in that country and how to do it” (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 15) but observable risks will prevent them from doing it. The second key challenge that Moods should consider is expanding the women’s clothing line, which is also a great opportunity. Men’s clothing accounted for 70% of Moods sales while women shop more in general. Thus, there is an opportunity for growth here. However, Moods should seriously consider the challenge they will face. First, women’s clothing market is more competitive than men’s clothing market.
The market is very fragmented with many competitors representing different styles in all price segments. Many brands have been around for a long time and have gained customers’ loyalty. It will be difficult for Moods to enter the market in any segment. Second, women’s clothing styles are more complicated with different types of clothes. While men’s clothes are limited with some popular types such as suits, shirts, and T-shirts, women’s clothes have a wide range of types from dresses, blouses to skirts, cardigans, etc. To generate sales, the designs must be much diversified and fast changeable.
Thus, some Moods adjustments are necessary, and Moods may face a dilemma of how to keep the moods unique while diversifying the styles to generate revenue. Third, designing women’s clothes requires different techniques. The two main designers of Moods specialized in designing men’s clothes, which is simpler than women’s. Hence, the company needs to hire extra experienced designers for women’s line. However, even with extra designers, keeping the look and lifestyle image of women’s clothing in line with the rest of the company message is still a challenge for Moods. 2. Moods of Norway brand audit Brand Salience
Brand salience measures awareness of the brand (Keller 2008. 60). Although Moods’ management team is interested in expanding as a lifestyle brand, people still think of as it a fashion brand, which mainly focuses on male clothing. However, the brand reached a very high level of awareness in Norway where 85% of its sales happened. One of the evidences is that when customers and partner companies sought “Norwegian Design,” they sought Moods (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 5). “Moods of Norway” is a fashion leader in the country that even Norwegian Police Department approached Moods to design their uniforms.
This high level of awareness partly thanks to the little competition Moods has to face in Norway. Moods also used some other effective ways to raise the awareness. One of those is the fashion show, which was the biggest fashion event in Norway. Other contributors to the high awareness are the pink boat and the image of three owners as a rock band. Brand performance The product itself is at the heart of brand equity and brand performance describes how well the product or service meets customers’ functional needs (Keller 2008, 64). Following is Moods’ brand performance measured by some attributes and benefits.
Regarding primary ingredients and supplementary features, Moods is doing well with choosing fabric from partners in Paris and Istanbul, who provide the best materials for Moods’ collections based on the requirements of quality, color and even style of button. This leads to the good quality of final products, which help Moods sell them at medium-plus price range. In term of style and design, Moods’ products are unique and favorable in male clothing market because it reflects not only the moods of fun and happiness but also the style of cultural tales that Norwegians love.
However, Moods still need to improve designs in female market, which is still the weak point of the company. In addition, service is also an important part contributing positively to performance of brand. It seems that Moods has not pay much attention to customer service. This could be a shortcoming point for Moods to perform well in the highly competitive market like US market. Brand Imagery Brand imagery links mainly to four intangible aspects (Keller 2008, 65). First, in term of user profiles, some 70% of Moods’ customers are male. While company is interested in expanding the age range, the target customers are at age of 18 – 35.
However, Moods is facing a dilemma that “a balance needed to be maintained between broadening their target group and remaining a “cool” brand (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 13). Second, regarding purchase and usage situations, Moods’ products are nearly limited with T-shirts and suits but cover a wide range of situations that people can wear. The situations are suggested by the company’s three original clothing lines, which are “cocktails,” “street” and “casual. ” Moreover, the designers also make effort of generating new ideas by imagining scenarios requiring special clothes.
Third, Moods brand has a favorable personality that is cool, fun, and happy. This also creates values for customers that they have the feeling of connecting to their clothes in each situation. Finally, Moods of Norway does very well in using history, heritage to create the uniqueness for their products. Moods’ clothing lines tell their “authentic, true and real” story of Norwegians heritage. The story layers have great value in getting customers to spend time thinking about Moods’ products, which is good for remembering the brand (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 3).
Although this concept is highly successful in Norway, it is very difficult to apply to other markets. This requires Moods to develop another “story” to tell in US market. Brand Judgments Brand Judgments and Brand Feelings are both of brand responses that “elicit the proper customer responses to this brand identification and brand meaning” (Keller 2008, 60). From the performance and imagery of Moods of Norway, we know partly about the customers’ evaluation of the brand. Following the Possible Measures of Brand Building Blocks that is given by Keller (2008, 75), firstly, Moods bring good value for customers.
Indeed, they not only provide the clothing products for customer, but also provide a chance to interact with their clothes by inscribing the lore on its inside. Customers receive more value and feel more satisfied by Moods of Norway’s fun stories. Secondly, in comparison with standardized goods, fashion collections for the winter are not the same for the summer and its change over years continuously. Hence, customers judge the brand based on the success of previous products, other customers and especially in designers’ reputation.
By borrowing associations from its high-qualified designers and owners, Moods become trustworthy and credible brand (Keller 2008, 305). People buy their products because they can trust the Moods Boys’ innovativeness and uniqueness. As mentioned in the case: “When customers and partner companies sought “Norwegian Design,” they sought Moods,” the brand likability is quite high in Norway. In addition, they always are the leader in domestic market. Hence, Moods actually is the fashion expert in customers’ eyes in Norway. Finally, Moods of Norway is only company that designed the lore into the clothes themselves.
Because all these stories are true and authentic, consumer feel the clothes more related to them. When customers love the story, they will also think that the product is relevant to buy. Consequently, Scandinavians buy products of Moods because it is superior compared to others. Brand Feelings Clothing products of Moods bring the warmness to customers by reminding them of old-world, traditional customs, etc. In addition, the clothes combined “traditional Norwegian style and the modern fashion scene” (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 2), therefore, it is so fun and exciting for customers.
For instance, the image of tractor on the suit is so surprising and interesting. Especially, Mood Boys often appear in vivid dresses with the pink fishing boat. The image of the “boy band” is not only the designers’ image, but also is the brand image. They really inspire customers by fun and crazy feelings. Brand Resonance This is the final step of Keller’s CBBE model that “focuses upon the ultimate relationship and level of identification that the customer has with the brand” (Keller 2001, 15).
Based on the case’s limited information, in our viewpoint, they have many loyal Norwegian customers with high attachment, especially 15-20 year olds who think Moods of Norway is more successful than StatOil [the large Norwegian Oil Company] (Austin, O’Donnell, and Krogh 2009, 8). Because Moods relies on word of mouth to marketing their products, so they should have a great brand community in both online and offline. In addition, to enforce the relationship with customers, Moods must make customers engaged to the brand. They should create more value for frequently customers and satisfy them by organizing some fun activities. . Suggested Marketing Programs Moods of Norway are facing two major problems: promoting Moods brand to American market and developing clothing line for women. Two following brief marketing programs are supposed to solve these problems respectively. Promoting Moods brand to American market Firstly, penetrating American market by indirect exporting is very important for new entrant. Based on limited capacity and resources, they must focus on one or two big cities where is profitable for fashion industries in America (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago or Boston…).
Now they have one store in Los Angeles but it is not sufficient. They must expand their market share via many distributors and agents. While enhancing the relationship with Creative Artists Agency, they should get bigger distribution to other important stores. Secondly, making the Moods brand different from other fashion products but still understandable is also essential. That means they must not only focus on their uniqueness (adding lore to clothes themselves) but also create more fun and less regional stories about clothes.
Thirdly, they have to organize special fashion collections in America as much as possible. They also can use the image of colorful tractor as an association to inspire and make American customers unforgettable. Especially, Moods Boys must appear on American TV, magazines frequently… because their impressive appearance affect directly to Moods brand’s awareness. Using celebrities to endorse Moods clothing also increase the customers’ associations, judgments, and feelings (Keller 2008, 305).
Finally, based on analyzing American market carefully, their image should be adaptable to fit American style but still homogeneous in all countries. Expanding the women’s clothing line To conquer women’s clothing market, Moods should seriously take some actions. First, Moods should improve their products in term of designs so that their products are attractive enough to female customers. Currently, Moods have only two main designers who are specialized in designing men’s clothes while women’s clothes require different kinds of technical design.
Hiring Project Manager Helen Marie Rod who had experience with some famous brands is a good step for expanding women’s clothing line. However, to diversify their product, Moods still need to hire extra designers who are experienced in designing for women. Second, for women’s clothes, the company should consider adjusting some personalities to fit female clothing market. They can keep their main moods that are fun and happiness, except “rock stars” and wild moods that are not considered favorable for majority of women.
Third, because fashion shows are the primary marketing activity for the company and the shows are effective, Moods should continue this. However, to promote and increase awareness of the women’s clothing line, Moods should hold a fashion show particularly for women. They should also consider other types of advertising such as Internet or fashion magazines because those sources can easily access potential female customers. Fourth, in term of distribution, in the beginning, Moods can still combine products for male and female in same stores. Nevertheless, in future, they can divide the stores separately.
Finally, yet importantly, Moods should consider selling accessories along with women’s clothing line because accessory is a very important part of women’s style. Moods may design their own accessory line or cooperate with other accessory brand that fits Moods’ brand personality. To conclude, Moods of Norway has many favorable conditions to succeed in American market and female clothing line. Based on Keller’s CBBE model (2008), we propose two marketing program investments to not only enhance the current brand position but also take advantage of potential opportunities to company’s expansion.
By combining traditional style and contemporary tendencies, then applying proper strategies for brand building, Moods of Norway could be high successful in the competitive world of fashion. Appendix ----------------------- Good quality Nice style Medium-plus price points Mostly for men, 18 – 35 Music and artist style Clothing, Shoes, Eyewear Resonance Loyalty Attachment Feelings Warmness Fun Excitement Imagery Good value Trustworthiness Relevance Superiority Judgments Performance Salience Figure 1: Moods of Norway CBBE Pyramid
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