Page 2: Product
Ben Sherman has to decide whether to:
- create a product and then market it to target customers (product-orientated) or
- find out what the market wants and then provide it (market-orientated)
To achieve both, the company produces a wide product range that appeals to all its target market segments. The range includes casual clothes, formal wear, denim, footwear and lifestyle accessories, such as underwear, watches, bags, belts and fragrances.
A strong brand image ties the product range together. Each collection has an umbrella theme. In 2007, the product theme was 'This Sporting Life' and the marketing theme was 'British music and style'.
Product life cycle
Ben Sherman uses major fashion shows to launch its collections to the press. The fashion year has two cycles the spring/summer season and the autumn/winter one. The fashion industry is highly competitive and fast-moving. Fashion products tend to have a short life cycle.
This means the time between the launch of a product and the point at which that product is 'mature' is very quick. Competition amongst fashion retailers forces businesses to refresh their ranges a number of times in a year. This topping-up modifies the product as it reaches the maturity stage. The boost of a new product or style then extends the life of the range.
Products need refreshing to avoid the dip in sales during the Saturation stage of the life cycle which could result in an early decline. The additions and changes help sales rise again, earning extra sales revenue and profit, as well as maintaining the Ben Sherman brand in the market.