Gen. Ed. Assignment:
General Education Assignment:
Incorporation. (2012, March 21). Google Image Result for https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1232795826/16000-GAP-Logo-Format-RGB.png. Google. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://www.google.co.ke/imgres?imgurl=https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/1232795826/16000-GAP-Logo-Format-RGB.png&imgrefurl=https://twitter.com/GapYear_SA&usg=__OXD5i33Fzf-aVlIVr196beA1gyQ=&h=500&w=500&sz=1
The Gap, Incorporation is a global clothing and accessories retailer. The company has been operational for a long time in America, Europe and Asia. With a long time of operation without attachments to Africa the company has finally landed South Africa. There are various reasons that have made South Africa a target for Gap international. One of the core reasons why the company chose to open its operations in the South Africa is the high economic performance of South Africa. South Africa is the best economy in Africa making a target for the company.
South Africa also has favourable economic platform that supports entry of international firms. The government of South Africa has maintained low operational costs for international companies, which give international companies equal competition base with domestic companies.
External environment factors affecting global operations
For any company willing to operate overseas, it must consider various factors with the external environment being the most critical. There are various external factors that companies should consider in the foreign market. These factors include; technology, competition, cultural and social trends, availability of suppliers, the public, and political and legal situation of the target country (Mercer, 1998).
Technology would influence designs that ay nation is likely to adopt n the country. There need be minimum competition in the target country for excellence in business. This is the belief for any company wishing to gain entry to a foreign market. The culture of a country defines their beliefs and perception on various elements making it extremely significant consideration for an international business. The public of a country is also extremely significant in making operation successful for a new company. The public is defined by the target group for the company who are the customers. The public should be ready to accept the new company. Availability of suppliers is extremely fundamental to a new company since it assures it of availability of raw materials. Political stability is the other factor that is exceptionally crucial for consideration for any company willing to operate globally (Mercer, 1998).
Factors motivating the entry of Gap to South Africa
South Africa has favourable factors that made it attractive to Gap International. One of the main factors that attracted the company to the country is the political situation of the country. The country is peaceful with proper system of governance that recognizes the positive impact of international businesses in any economy. This is a critical element that made Gap consider operating in the South Africa. The other factor that motivated the company to open operations in South Africa is the uncompetitive nature of the clothes industry. Clothe designing companies in South Africa are not as competitive as Gap international in terms of quality and designs. Gap is renowned world wide of its quality brands in the clothing industry rendering it difficult for local companies to compete with the global designer (GAP, 2012). Therefore, this factor has motivated operations for Gap Company in the country.
Similarities between marketing strategies for Gap Incorporation in the United States and South Africa
The company has identified an extremely unique and fundamental marketing strategy that has been applicable to the United States, as well as South Africa. The company is extremely considerate of the demography of the country within which it operates. By this, this thecompany has decided to manufacture clothes in designs that acceptable to all individuals in the society. In both countries, Gap designs clothes of al sizes such that all members of the society have access to their clothes. The company believes that this approach would fetch unique market for its products since all individuals in the society will have access to well designed clothes, which are fit for their ages (SouthAfrica.info, 2012).
The company has also chosen to conduct its marketing operations in both countries in unique selling points known as retail shops. The company identified retail shops as the easiest, and most reliable method of reaching a large number of people is their neighbourhood. This is a marketing strategy that aims at reaching a good deal of people by opening a large number of shops, which stock all types of products that the company manufactures. This gives the company a chance to keep its capital base growing from time to time (Zmuda, 2011)
However, there still exist massive differences in marketing strategies between Gap Incorporation in the United States and Gap in South Africa. One of the differences is based on the United State’s marketing team adoption of mobile marketing. This refers to the use of mobile phones as a method of reaching adverse customers for the products. This method has been exceedingly triumphant in the United States (Zmuda, 2011). However, this method is not applicable to South Africa. This is one of the setbacks that come with low technological infrastructure in a country.
On the other side, the South African marketing team has adopted a unique strategy for the new market. The Gap Company has been using the Stuttafords department stores in opening retail shops for the company in the country. In the United States, Gap operates only under its well recognized brand to access all regions it wishes to conduct its activities (GAP, 2012).
Although, the company is gaining stability in South Africa there are various factors that it may seek to employ that may add adverse value to the performance of the company. South Africa is an economy where there still exists a good deal of individuals who cannot afford Gap products at the current price. In this case, it may be advisable for the company to consider manufacturing products that are relatively cheaper than normal products. This would incorporate a large number of individuals who could have not afforded the real design. This uniqueness will automatically sustain the business for a long time in the country with massive output.
The third recommendation would be for the company to hire most of its staff from the country. These should be people who are aware of the market and can predict on what customers are likely to uphold as well as reject. They are individuals who understand the culture of the public and political systems of the country. On such issues, these employees may be the best advisers. This may save the company from adverse and unforeseen challenges which may lead to massive loss.
Completing this assignment has been educative in different ways to me. One of the lessons that I have learnt is that it is always good to consider challenges ahead of a new idea that one is willing to implement. With knowledge on challenges that are likely to occur, I can devise strategies through which I would conquer the challenge for a long period. I have also learnt that continuous rebranding of one’s identity is always good for one to thrive in the competitive world. I have also learnt that with a well built name I can go anywhere and thrive.
GAP. (2012, March 20). Gap Inc. Expands in Africa with Two Stores in South Africa. Home. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/media/pressrelease/2012/med_pr_Gap_Opens_Stores_in_South_Africa032012.html
Market Brains. (2012, July 21). Marketing Management - GAP Inc. Homework Help from BrainMass. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://brainmass.com/business/marketing/22
Mercer, D. (1998). Marketing strategy: the challenge of the external environment. London: Sage in association with Open University Business School.
SouthAfrica.info. (2012, March 22). Gap sets up shop in South Africa - SouthAfrica.info. South Africa's official gateway - investment, travel, country information - SouthAfrica.info. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://www.southafrica.info/business/investing/gap-220312.htm#. UWC52aJHI-4
Zmuda, N. (2011, August 19). Update your user profile - Profile - Advertising Age. Advertising Agency & Marketing Industry News - Advertising Age. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://adage.com/article/news/gap-marketing-ineffective/229389/