ECCO Sko

ECCO has been under Karl Toosbuy’s management and guidance until he died in 2004. His values, spirits and objectives for the company have influenced its success today. He created a strong brand across Europe expanding its market and appreciation across the continent. The company’s growth has increased with demand for its brands growing across the globe. The company became internationally recognizable in the leather market after its famous boot brand known as the Joker in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then, it has enjoyed more than 30 percent of sales outside Denmark. It has been on a vertical growth trend by seeking to control all levels of production from tanneries to retail stores across the globe. Its growth in Europe and Asian countries has been successful over the years, since the markets are receptive to ECCO’s brands. However, the entry into the American market was slow in the initial stages. It started making efforts to enter into the American markets in the early 1990s. It changed its brand designs significantly to sports shoes styles to adapt to the American markets. The expansion in the American market has been successful over the years influencing the entry into the Canadian and South American markets. ECCO has been successful due to its emphasis on shoe quality. It has adopted advanced technology in its production offering high quality and comfortable shoes, according to customer responses. It has succeeded to maintain competitive advantage over other companies since the 1980s with the major competitors being Puma and Nike (Stake 2006).

ECCO Shoes Ltd

ECCO Sko is a Danish company that manufactures shoes and other leather products. The company has been operational for more than 50 years, since it started its operations in 1963. Its founder, Karl Toosbuy, started a company in Denmark that produced footwear and controlled all the processes of production from leather tanning to retail stores. The company has grown especially in the European market to become one of the largest leather products companies with over 40,000 wholesale and retail stores across the world. The company sells more than ten million pairs of shoes, as well as other leather products annually from both the retail stores and online. It also runs several research and design centers in Europe, as well as major tanneries and manufacturing companies in Denmark, Portugal, Japan, China, Thailand, India and Slovakia among others. The companies also supplies its products to independent retailers and online selling companies to expand its customer base.

Problem Statement

One of the main problems that ECCO Shoes Ltd faces is marketing. The company has created a strong brand name since the 1980s and has continued to launch campaigns in promoting its brand image. Market research is an important tool for every company in order to determine the most effective ways to reach the customers. The corporate world has shifted to the use of online media to reach a larger customer base due to the increasing number of web users across the world. The main problem facing ECCO Shoes Ltd is the choice of the most appropriate online marketing strategies to apply in order to promote its brand image. After carrying out market research, the challenge arises in determining the most effective strategy to penetrate the market from a list of alternatives. The question on how to implement the selected digital marketing strategies also challenges the management. The managers at ECCO are faced by such challenges in an effort to reach the maximum number of customers at the lowest costs possible to promote the brand name and consequently increase ECCO’s profitability (MacKenzie 2014).

Data Analysis

ECCO is a public limited company with over 19,000 employees globally. Its annual incomes as at 2013 were at 8 billion Danish Krone. The company has also recorded selling more than 20 million pairs of shoes with growth in revenue and external sales by 15% and 29% respectively. Despite the increase in revenue from the previous financial years, ECCO has barely achieved its target market in its areas of operation. It still faces stiff competition from other companies such as Nike and Puma that are also established across the world. It has three organizations that deal with sales, namely North America, Asia, as well as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The company has recently reorganized its management. It has also introduced new brands into the market. In order to sell the new brands and increase its growth, ECCO requires reaching more customers on a global scale. It has different market alternatives that it can apply depending on the target market. Marketing is a major challenge for the company, since it requires proper planning and financing. It encompasses all aspects of the company, including organizational culture, fashions and preferences, advertising, pricing and sales strategies. It ensures that the organization prioritizes brand awareness and customer satisfaction. One of the main challenges in planning and implementing marketing strategies is budgetary constraints (Luxenburg 2009). The process requires market research, skilled personnel and marketing media. It also requires customer responses on quality, fashion and pricing. Organizational dynamics are also a major constraint in planning and implementation. After determining the most effective alternatives, the market may change during the implementation process. The success of the strategy depends on how fast the organization can effectively adapt to the changes.

Key Decision Criteria

When choosing the most effective marketing strategies to adopted, ECCO must be guided by key decision criteria. ECCO should decide on the available alternatives guided by specific goals and objectives. The main objective for choosing the most appropriate marketing strategy for the company is to increase its competitiveness. It is possible by increasing the market share in all its regions of operation enhancing profitability. There are key decision criteria that ECCO should follow in determining the most effective strategies. The decision criteria are based on the final result of the strategy, which is to improve customer response on ECCO’s products. One of the decision criteria is fashion. ECCO can make decisions based on customer preferences. Shoes refer to the fashion industry. Therefore, customer preferences change from time to time. ECCO can produce the most popular designs at a specific time in order to increase profitability and remain ahead of the competition. Fashion, as a decision criterion, requires extensive market research that is continuous at any given time. It also requires that the company can adapt to changes in fashion and produce different designs regardless of the time frame. Fashion ensures that the company has popular products that change with changes in fashion (Ehrgott 2010).

Pricing is also a key decision criterion that the company may choose to adopt. Pricing involves evaluating all the market forces to set prices at the most attractive position for the customers. To succeed in the decision criterion, ECCO should analyze the target markets in order to set prices that consumers can afford. Pricing also involves changing the price for similar goods at different market conditions. It ensures that customers at specific market and income conditions are able to purchase the products. Pricing also enables setting prices that are compatible with consumers’ incomes. Compliance with corporate objectives, mission and strategies is also a decision criterion that the company can adopt. It involves campaigns to create an organization that consumers appreciate despite the changes in the market. In order to create a strong organization, ECCO should focus mainly on organizational culture, consumer satisfaction and corporate image. The management makes decisions that promote the brand’s sustainability in the market. Corporate image also focuses on the brand image and company ethics. The company also adopts values, ethics and marketing strategies to promote its brand to the target market.

Risk parameters are also a key decision criterion that ECCO should use to influence its decisions in the market. The criterion involves evaluation of all the alternatives that are available and adopting the one with the least risks. The company adopts the easiest and fastest strategy to implement. It avoids risks by applying the criterion. The criterion requires detailed analyses of all the strategies that ECCO can adopt to improve profitability and increase its market base. The management then analyzes all the risks associated with each strategy, as well as the ease in adopting it. Risk parameters as a decision criterion prevents the organization from adopting strategies that may involve risks leading to unnecessary stretching of resources and the workforce. Quality and comfort are also decision criteria that ECCO should adopt to enhance consumer satisfaction (Ehrgott 2010).

Alternatives Evaluation

Alternatives Fashion Pricing Compliance with Organizational Objectives Within the Risk Parameters Comfort and Quality
Increasing Production Not met Met Met Met Not met
Introducing New Products Met Not met Not met Met Met
Advertising Not met Not met Met Met Not met
Brand Image Campaigns Met Met Met Met Met

 

ECCO can use different alternatives to expand its market and increase its profitability. One of the strategies is to increase production across the globe. Each alternative can be evaluated according to its compliance with the key decision criteria. The company will choose the most effective alternative and one that meets all the decision criteria in order to have a competitive advantage over other market participants.

Recommendations

The most effective alternative that ECCO can utilize increases its profitability and expands its market brand. The success of the brand refers to the brand image, as well as the satisfaction that the consumers derive from the products. It also focuses on organizational culture with the values, ethics and mission to support organizational objectives and enhance consumer appreciation. A focus on brand image and appreciation in the market meets all the five decision criteria that ECCO should follow. It meets the fashion needs by the customers. A brand with a positive image in the market complies with all the fashion requirements in the market. The managers employ market researchers to investigate changes in fashion and preferences and make necessary changes in brands. The research and design department is responsible for ensuring that the company’s products consider consumer tastes and preferences. The department also ensures that the company adopts changes in products with changes in the market. The alternative also meets pricing requirements. Customers appreciate products that are affordable. A successful brand takes into consideration the consumers’ disposable income before setting the prices. Prices in different countries or economic regions may differ depending on the consumers’ purchasing ability. A focus on brand image is also compliant with the organizational objectives. A positive market brand reflects the strength of the organization’s workforce in achieving its goals and objectives. Consumers appreciate sustainable organizations with a stable workforce, as well as compliance to their values, code of ethics and stable leadership. The brand image also focuses on the risk parameters in order to use strategies that do not result in losses. The managers evaluate every strategy to ensure that they do not stretch the resources unnecessarily. A strong brand also focuses on comfort and quality by evaluating consumer feedback and making appropriate changes where necessary (Stake 2006).

Action and Implementation Plan

In order to improve the company’s brand image, ECCO should focus first on its internal environment. It should respond to the needs of the workers in order to create a healthy working environment and respond appropriately to market changes. The company has several brand values that guide it in creating a strong brand image. The values are perfection, technology and craftsmanship, design and comfort, as well quality and ethics. The second step in achieving the values should be launching a campaign strategy that will improve its brand in the international market. Online media has proved to be the most populous way to reach the maximum audience on a global scale. The management should launch campaigns to communicate to consumers about the uniqueness of ECCO products as compared to other leather products. The mode of communication should be inspirational, honest and unique in such a way that it will attract people using online media to share it to company’s network of friends. Research shows that the most entertaining content on the web, especially in social networking sites, spreads fast. The companies should also deploy research and design teams in all their markets to determine their requirements. The team should also organize online surveys to evaluate consumer feedback. By implementing plans to strengthen its brand, ECCO Shoes Ltd can expand its market and increase its profitability (Stake 2006).

Conclusion

A case study analysis assists an organization in providing solutions to achieve their aims and objectives. By focusing on consumer satisfaction and organizational values, ECCO Shoes Ltd can evaluate different alternatives using key decision criteria to guide it in expansion. The company is the leading manufacturer and retailer of leather shoes and other products in the world. It can focus on strengthening its brand name using different strategies in order to increase its consumer base. It can also use online advertising to reach more people, as well as collect feedback on consumer tastes and preferences. Brand image campaigns comply with all the decision criteria that should guide the managers. The planning and implementation process requires innovativeness from the employees and the managers to enable smooth transition into new practices. A positive image ensures that the consumers appreciate the company as a whole and are willing to become loyal in the future.