Page 1: Introduction
By focusing on the needs of consumers, an organisation creates a business that can outperform its competitors. Being closer to consumers and providing exactly what they want is known as market orientation.
A market-orientated business carries out research to find the needs and wants of consumers. It then uses the findings to design products and marketing strategies to satisfy these needs. This compares to product orientation which focuses first on developing a product and then seeks ways to persuade the consumer to buy it.
This case study describes how JD (part of the JD Sports Fashion PLC Group of companies), a large and well-known retailer, manages the balance of its marketing mix around its consumers’ needs in order to achieve business growth.
The marketing mix is often termed the 4Ps. It is a useful way of looking at how organisations reach their consumers. For example, businesses need to create a mix that involves:
- the right products
- sold in the right place
- at the right price
- using the most suitable forms of promotion.
Founded in 1981 in Mossley, in Manchester, with a single shop, JD today is a well-recognised brand. With 335 stores JD is the UK’s leading retailer of fashionable sports and casual wear. For 20 years JD expanded through organic growth. It opened up stores in new locations to grow its customer base and increase revenues. It traded on the rising trend, particularly amongst young people, of wearing sportswear in everyday life.
In addition to organic growth, The JD Sports Fashion Group has also expanded in recent years by acquisition and now has a number of businesses in its portfolio. It has increased its JD store base through the acquisition of First Sport and All:sports as well as acquiring Scotts (premium branded menswear) and Bank (young male and female branded fashion) in the UK.
The Group also made international acquisitions including the French sports fashion retailer Chausport and Champion Sports in Ireland. The JD Sports Fashion Group has also acquired brands such as The Duffer of St George, Nicholas Deakins, Canterbury of New Zealand, Kooga, Kukri and also the fashion brands Chilli Pepper, Nanny State and Sonneti. Brands such as Mckenzie, Brookhaven, Carbrini and Pure are exclusive brands that are only available at JD stores.
With over 500 stores in the UK, Ireland and France, the JD Sports Fashion Group has a reputation for stocking the most exclusive and stylish lifestyle products.
Business to consumer (B2C)
As a B2C organisation, the performance of the JD fascia depends on how desirable its brands are to consumers. By providing exactly what the consumers want JD can outperform its competitors. It also helps it to remain buoyant in a challenging business environment.
JD has continued to grow despite the fact that levels of unemployment are increasing and many consumers now have reduced disposable income. The demand for non-essential goods, such as branded clothing, would normally decrease as incomes fall.