The North Face is an internationally recognized products name and a subsidiary brand of the VF Corporation, specializing in the production and sale of high-quality outdoor gear and footwear. North Face products have been in the market for over forty years, and the products are well known for their high quality and durability. The brand mostly target the outdoor involved groups such as the mountaineers, skiers, climbers, athletes and snowboarders and also provides clothing and footwear suitable for the normal casual wear. As a way of achieving a wide market range for their products and services, the North Face has expanded their business operations to various global market segments including North America, Europe, and Asia. This paper, therefore, describes the international strategy that the North Face used in expanding the sale of their products and services in China. The paper also outlines some of the benefits that the company has achieved from the expansion into the China market as well as the actual and potential challenges.
As a way of achieving the target market, the brand focused on the ways of achieving local responsiveness through modification of the products to fit the needs of the local community. This was achieved by aligning the product with the culture of the Chinese people which is the nature. Thus, the brand adopted the ‘go wild’ marketing statement which encourages the locals to buy the products that they can use in indulging in nature activities away from the busy cities. Such activities include camping and other outdoor fun activities that connect the local people with the nature. The transnational strategy involves collaboration of both multi domestic strategies that decentralizes decision-making process on some aspects as well as the global strategy that allows the mother country to determine the types of products. This has made the North Face successful in China as the company integrates the people’s needs to the type of product they sell.
As a way of achieving a wide market in the new segment with little resistance, an international company can opt to adopt new market penetration strategies such as alliances, licensing, exporting or form acquisitions (Hitt, et a, 237). With the aim of expanding the market quickly, the North Face decided to use the strategy that would help the company deal with the existing competition and also make the products known to the people more easily. Thus, the penetration strategy used by the company is strategic alliances whereby the North Face Partnered with IDEO, an already existing company in china so as to improve sales and popularity of the new products more easily. Some of the benefits that North face has achieved include customer growth whereby the company recorded a 17 percent growth in outdoor and sports brands in the 2013 financial report. The company, however continues to face stiff competition as well as deal with counterfeit products that are being sold under the brand’s name.
Hitt, Michael. Et al. “Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization”, 11 Ed. NJ: Cengage Learning, 2013.
IDEO. Brand Strategy for The North Face. Company Report, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ideo.com/work/brand-strategy