Harry Rosen is the most recognizable brand in Canada for catering to men with a taste for classy dressing and fashion accessories. An established clothing chain for men, with 18 stores in Canada, with 112.28 million USD in sales and 900 employees across locations. Larry Rosen current Chairman and CEO was selected to join the Order Of Canada as was his father who received the honour in 2004. HR also has the distinction of being named a cultural figure in 2013 being recognized as one of “Canada’s 10 most admired cultures.” In order to maintain dominance in the face of competition, Harry Rosen is spending over $100 million on store renovations and new locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Their newest store concept being “The Outlet by Harry Rosen” at Tsawwassen Mills, BC. In 2018 HR had 43.5 per cent of the men’s luxury apparel market, with Nordtstom 12.2 per cent and Holts 10.9 per cent. HR has a digital presence since 2009 and has seen it grow steadily through mobile and online and believes investing in “Omni-Channel” integrating all modes. In an interview for Rotman Management Magazine, Larry Rosen stresses renewal, saying “We’ve been in business for 60 years now, and businesses that last that long have to keep reinventing themselves. so that they are relevant again for new generations. I’ve watched so many businesses die out because they simply aged with their current clients and didn’t do anything differently. We plan to be around when we’re 100 and even 150, and to do that, change and innovation must be part of your DNA.” Harry’s son emphasizes.
Larry is right, a company cannot age with their current customers, baby boomers are after all dying out and even generation X will be moving into their 60’s. It is the time of the millennial’s born between 1981-1996 ( ages 24 to 39 in 2020) and even they are well into adulthood, so should the focus be on those born after 1997, the new generation also commonly known as generation Z. So Larry ponders, does Harry Rosen focus on the younger cohorts or develop an IMC strategy based on segmenting across several segments including their once very profitable cash cows the baby boomers. Larry Rosen explains, “Every time we make our image younger, we get letters and emails from our older customers saying, ‘Hey I’ve been a Harry shopper for 30 years and this doesn’t look like Harry Rosen anymore’,” That is the question posed to their agency Roche and Partners Roche does realize Harry Rosen does need an IMC makeover in order to rejuvenate the brand giving it a newer, younger sharper look. One of the difficulties that HR have faced in the past couple of decades has been to reinvent their image to attract a younger audience very much like the Credit Unions of Canada have who see their demographics dying off. The products and services they offer are more geared towards a more traditional and older demographics, but that can change with a repositioning of the brand with a change in marketing and IMC strategy aimed at a younger demographic. An interaction is needed between the client and the agency in order for the agency to fully understand the segment profiles Harry Rosen is aiming for as well as their need to satisfy the needs of younger customers.
Harry Rosen has in the past relied on using relationship marketing strategies to informally gather insights into consumer needs, as a form of building relationships with their customers. One way is Harry Rosen holds parties at downtown stores in Toronto and Vancouver, music, food and drinks are served as marketing executives mingle with high loyalty customers, this informal way of gaining information and insights has helped in developing more targeted advertising campaigns. With consumers being exposed to well over a thousand ads a day, the ad clutter makes it difficult to get messages through as they tend to get tuned out. So in order to cut through the clutter relationship strategies make sense according to Harry Rosen.
Harry Rosen’s agencies including Roche have also conducted focus groups with different groups of customers in order to get better insights from customers and their attitudes and perceptions about HR stores. In a recent focus group conducted by Roche prior to preparing a campaign, one of the younger groups perceived Harry Rosen as a cold, corporate place, a place where their father would shop at. for them, the stores were too old fashioned for free-spirited young people. Following a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews Roche, an analysis is made where attitudes of shoppers reveal HR need to reposition themselves with a new campaign designed to change perceptions of their targeted segments or even aim at new segments. Initial presentations of creatives fail to impress HR after several attempts Roche has to give in somewhat to their client’s point of view in developing the concept and the slogan “Whatever suits you …….. Harry Rosen.” So, finally, HR executives like the campaign creatives because “It’s back to building an identity for Harry Rosen.”
CURRENT MARKET SITUATION:
The 80/20 rule aptly describes Harry Rosen’s loyalty segment but in reverse, for the challenge for HR is that their loyal customers account for only about 20% of total sales instead of 80% as the 80/20 rule implies. The occasional shopper instead accounts for 80% of sales, and HR have little idea of who they are when they might just come in once a year to buy a belt or a tie. With these one or two time shoppers being demographically and ethnically diverse, HR has little idea how to approach them and better satisfy their needs.
In an attempt to better understand the needs and wants of the 80% mostly younger demographics, Hr launched Sartoria a new loyalty program, under the old program customers would earn gifts if they spent a certain dollar amount which was benefitting high spend loyal customers only. Under the Sartoria loyalty program, customers are rewarded by points on each transaction and are incentivized on future spending. The program would not only track customer transactional data but also give HR’s analytics team new data aiding in profiling and targeting more efficiently.
With 1.4 million Chinese-Canadians, Harry Rosen launched their presence on WeChat and Weibo, the China-based social and messaging platforms popular among Chinese-Canadians. HR’s investment in these platforms has increased as Harry Rosen’s CMO says “We know Chinese that Chinese customers represent a good portion of the luxury high-end market.” Besides focusing on Chinese New Year, HR has also thought it prudent to work with other ethnic segments, hiring multi-cultural marketing and ad agencies as well as diversifying their staff hiring.
Harry Rosen used this image of Justin Trudeau in an ad, the tagline reads, “I guess you’ve heard. I’ve been invited to Harry’s Private Sale.” What do you think the intent of the ad was?
THE FUTURE PATH:
The company believes it’s a very interesting and scary time to be a clothing retailer in Canada esp with the ongoing COVID-19 situation. This is leading to many changes in the retail industry and change is simply part of retail.
Larry Rosen elaborates “There’s no doubt we’re in a period of profound change. The Boomer generation is in the throes of retiring. In two years over half the Boomers will be retired or be of retirement age, if you think of 65 as retirement age. There’s no doubt that power has shifted down. We see it every day in our stores. The new generation of men between 20 and 40 have very different expectations of a retailer.”
Hary Rosen has been adapting to make their online presence felt in a more meaningful and exciting manner. To that end they have seen the online share of their business growing steadily, currently, the company does 10 per cent of their business through digital platforms. Larry Rosen feels that five years on they will continue to have a strong brick and mortar presence alongside an online portion that should grow to about 30 %.
Larry sums up the future nicely, saying, “We recognize that the customer of today wants the convenience of choice. He wants to be able to buy it online, have it shipped to him. He wants to be able to go to a store and try it on. Think about it. Either go home and buy it online or buy it there. He wants to be able to return it hassle-free either to a store or online. He wants to be able to pick up in-store. And today’s customer is way more oriented to those type of activities than ever before.”
1. Come up with a precise problem identification or challenge statement for Harry Rosen. Highlight their positioning or re-positioning statement. Also, state at least three “Advertising Objectives” and three “Creative Objectives” that would guide their IMC campaign. Refer to Pages 127 to 146 for guidance.
2. What media should you as the agency be recommending to HR to reach their target market. Provide justification for each medium you recommend. Based on a 3.0 million dollar budget, prepare charts for expenditure by medium and by month for 2021. Also prepare a detailed Blocking Chart. Please refer to appendix 1. Pages 454 to 457 for assistance and guidance. For more information on Harry Rosen check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Rosen
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