The purpose of this report on the company Pacific Brands and its brand Bonds, is to assess their ability to meet consumer wants, needs and demands in the way that effective for the business to meets its goals.
Firstly, within this report we look into the macro environment forces that could impact on the business’ marketplace as well as having an impact upon their marketing initiatives at each level of the company process, looking into the industrial level, company level, product level and brand level. The different impacts these macro forces would have at each stage of the company process were found to have had a thorough influence upon operations at all levels. Secondly, we also look into the market segmentation variables of the company and its brand by exploring the company’s offerings and its competition at different levels of the chosen product. Also providing a profile of the market segment (females in their teens to mid-twenties) for our brand ‘Bonds’ and their bras, effectively highlighting the characteristics of their target market.
We also develop an understanding of how the company wishes to be perceived by looking at its products and association towards the brand by their target market, in particular, their image as an energetic, trustworthy and iconically Australian brand. It was found that this positioning was largely successful in relation to competitors, as demonstrated by the perceptions of individuals within their market segment. Lastly, we assessed the success of Bonds advertising campaigns, and other communication tools, which indicate their desired position in their marketplace and towards their consumers. This illustrates how effectively Bonds has used its communication tools in engaging with their target market and their competitors.
Through our extensive analysis of Pacific Brands and its brand Bonds, we have found that numerous measures have been undertaken, at various levels to effectively ensure Bonds’ consumers are satisfied with the product they receive and how they are communicated with as customers. This is in regards to effective target marketing for these consumers as well as the quality and trustworthiness associated with Bonds that ensure their goals, as a company are satisfying the needs and wants of their consumers.
As an enduring Australian brand, Bonds was selected to be examined within this report because of the plethora of marketing strategies observed as a result of its 100th birthday campaign. Furthermore, Bonds appeared to possess a significant market share within the Australian ‘intimates’ industry.
The main aims and objectives of this report were to examine Bonds, as a brand within the Pacific Brands family: in relation to the extent by which it is influenced by macro-environmental forces; by discerning the market segmentation offering of the brand, analyse the competition for the brand and ascertain a description of the market segment; explore and analyse the effectiveness of Bond’s positioning of their brand and product image as perceived by its target market; and to describe the brand’s communication tools and analyse their effectiveness.
This was achieved through a combination of secondary and primary research, the latter of which was conducted by an anonymous survey. This report is limited, particularly as a result of the difficulty experienced in finding industry-related journal articles and the small scale of the primary research that may have resulted in an inaccurate depiction of market segment perceptions.
PART-A by Team Member-1: Haria
Bonds is a well-known Australian brand, targeting family value through its products by catering for every member of the family, ranging from women’s wear to children. By using the information generated by the macro forces, Bonds is able to stay abreast in the underwear market through its different levels of production. Different forces impact each level, some more than others, however, this section of the report will attempt to highlight the meaning of the macro forces and how they have impacted on Bonds and its marketing initiatives.
When looking at Bonds from an industrial standpoint we must include the standpoint of Pacific Brands. Acknowledging that not all macro forces will apply or have a significant impact on the brand but rather on the production of its products.
Legislation and Law
In ‘Australia and New Zealand there are numerous laws covering issues such as competition, fair trade practices, environmental protection, product safety truth in advertising, consumer privacy, packaging and labelling pricing and other important areas’ (Armstrong 2015, p.86). For Bonds, they have different laws to comply with as their company operates in an owner factory in Indonesia.
As Pacific Brands operates outside of Australia its industrial impact is different to the laws and regulations found in Australia. Therefore Pacific Brands need to apply and adhere to international regulations to ensure its employees are treated fairly. There have been cases around the world regarding codes of conduct with Malaysian workers ‘In a media report aired on national television in Australia in 2008, labour activist Mike Duffy (2008) claimed Vietnamese workers were being exploited in a Malaysian factory.’ (Crinis 2010, p.589). With these accusations going around about sweatshops it is important that Pacific Brands follows the right practices to ensure their workers are not being manipulated.
‘Over the years we have been progressively deploying LEAN manufacturing techniques into our facility. The benefits of which include being able to operate at consistently high social compliance standards and scale quickly to support our fastest-growing and most iconic Australian underwear brands’ (Pacific Brands, Ethical Sourcing, 2015).
Due to this Bonds and its company Pacific Brands must adhere to various local laws in Indonesia, strictly adhering to the ‘Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code’. The Ethical Trading Initiative ‘is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe’ (Ethical Trading Initiative Respect for workers worldwide 2015). See Appendix A, Section 1 for more information.
In order to comply with such strict legal regulations Pacific Brands factory adopts a ‘bipartite institutional approach of freedom of association which is registered with the Department of Labour’ (Pacific Brand, Ethical Souring 2015). This has various benefits for its workers to ensure a safe working environment and their ‘lawful rights to free association’ (Pacific Brand, Ethical Souring 2015).
Social and cultural (Natural environment)
For Pacific Brand, the social and cultural environments impact at the industrial level more so than at any other level. This mostly looks at the environmental sustainability by ‘developing strategies and practices that create a world economy that the planet can support indefinitely’ (Armstrong 2015, p.84).
‘Pacific Brands is committed to reducing its environmental footprint’ (Pacific Brands, Corporate Social Responsibility 2015). Striving for a continuous environmental improvement by applying such guiding principles of reduce, reused, recycle and replace. They have an on-going commitment to the Australia Packaging Covenant (APC), which reduces the environmental effects of packaging in Australia. The Australian Packaging Covenant ‘is a sustainable packaging initiative which aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter’ (Australian Packaging Covenant 2015). By enforcing these guidelines into their industrial environment, Pacific Brands complies with the standards set by its customers on a social level. See Appendix A, Section 2 for more information.
When looking at Bonds from a company level we need to look into Pacific Brands the company that owns Bonds as well as many other brands. Some areas of the company level are similar to the industrial level.
It has become a known fact that the company Pacific Brands has been influenced and impacted heavily on the economic front, creating a bigger impact upon its brand Bonds. This impact has come from the drop in the Australian dollar making it more expensive to manufacture clothing in Asia. Therefore having to increase its prices for Bonds clothing by 10 – 15% by next year.
‘Pacific Brands chief executive David Bortolussi said the pressures from the drop in the dollar to below US78¢ affected all underwear suppliers, and customers would largely see the substantial knock-on price rise from January 1, 2016’ (Evans 2015). This economic hit not only impacts the company but also impacts the customers through the increase of prices, which could lead to a downfall in sales until Bonds is able to bring down its prices.
Pacific Brands has partnered up with Dematic to assist with their new national DC in Victoria ‘including the design of the internal infrastructure and implementation of leading-edge order fulfilment technologies’ (Dematic real time logistics 2015). For the company, this will improve upon time and money spent on distribution to different stores located around the country. This will also make it easier for their customer to receive online orders due to lower wait times and will allow for greater customer satisfaction. As a result, the company will retain a higher reputation, which may lead to increased sales.
Legislation and Law
The main focus for the company associated with Bonds is the trademark made by Pacific Brands. This trademark made by Pacific Brands is the basis on which Bonds validates its quality and uniqueness for their products. ‘It also says that what we do matters; that we are not in the business of merely rag trading – but rather in creating things that are worth protecting and that have real value’ (Pacific Brands 2015). By using this to regulate the products distributed and sold, Bonds creates a standpoint at which their customers value their products and their name.
Social and Cultural (Natural Environment)
The care for the natural environment is seen throughout the whole process of production for Pacific Brands ensuring all its companies are doing their bit to comply with the Australian Packaging Convent (APC). Bonds does this by ensuring regulations are met at an industrial level as made evident above.
Looking at Bonds from a brand level, we can witness how the brand itself have affected its target market and the ways Bonds goes about making a name for their brand. However, alongside this, there are various macro forces that can impact upon Bonds at this particular level.
Changes in the demographic can have major implication on the company’s marketing initiatives but when trends in the demographic are monitored the company can use the changes and trends to their advantage. For Bonds, this meant introducing a new store in the shopping centre of Marion in South Australia. There has been a major push to ‘hard-sell the popular underwear and casual wear brands’ (Changarathil 2013). Through this change Bonds wanted to target ‘family friendly demographic around the centres we are targeting is perfect for Bonds and the audiences it appeals to’ (Changarathil 2013). This additional store allowed for more of Bonds market to be targeted and therefore meant their brand was more accessible to more customers.
For Bonds to be successful they need to utilize their cultural environment by looking into their target market and highlighting strategies to effectively engage them with their brand.
Bonds have done this by endorsing an Australian icon as their brand ambassador. Iggy Azalea, well-known rap artist has taken on the role of brand ambassador for Bonds early this year. Thus building on the perception of their brand further, by tapping into Azalea’s active life style. By doing this they are able to adhere to the biggest trend that has taken Australia by storm, fitness. Within this particular macro force, Bonds has come out with a positive, through Azalea publicly coming out stating that Bonds does not sexually exploit her, ‘I’ve been given opportunities to promote things but Bonds is one of the only ones I feel comfortable doing as I know my sexuality isn’t going to be exploited’ (Azalea 2015). From a brand perspective, this makes Bonds look like a down to earth brand doing its best to make women feel like themselves. This is also evident in the advertising campaigns put together for Bonds; there is no emphasis on exploiting women’s sexuality to sell their products. This creates a safe haven for their customer especially women to not feel self-conscious but to be themselves.
While looking at the product level of Bonds we must look into how the brand presents itself to their customers through each macro force, and how these, in turn, can have an influence in the way their customers view the Bonds products.
Bonds cater for a large target market focusing its product on family value. However, most of their products are offered to a market that consists of a young, active women. As explained at the brand level, Bonds has used Iggy Azalea to showcase the brand as well as their product. This allows Bonds to target this particular demographic through someone who has influence.
At this particular level of Pacific Brands and its brand Bonds, the product level becomes a mixture of the brand and company in regards to the impact the macro forces have on Bonds. As they employ the same strategies at each level to comply with the different impacts of the macro forces. The main example of this comes from the natural environment factor, whereby at the product level Bonds would be employing the same strategies as at the industrial level by complying with the regulations of the Australian Packaging Convent.
Bonds has had various marketing campaigns for their products but the most significant has to be their 100-year celebration campaign. However, much like any company, Bonds has faced the interruptions of macro forces in their company’s environment. Though there have been some negatives for Bonds mostly occurring from the financial area of the company. Bonds have been able to respond positively to all of these impacts through the strategies employed.
PART-B by Team Member-2: Mirceski
Australian undergarment giant Bonds is one of Australia’s number one sellers in clothing and underwear. With its long history and well-known name Bonds is one of the most iconic Australian brands and infamous for its traditional ‘bonds style underwear’. “With a culture based on the slogan “we don’t work for each other, we work with each other”, Bonds has established itself as an Aussie icon making everything from great quality undies, the iconic Chesty, the Trackie, the Sloppy Joe and the Wondersuit for precious bundles of 8 months through to people of 80 years young.” There are varied market segments that are the basis for understanding the brand’s success, these variables can be divided into a geographic segment, demographic, psychographic and behavioural segment.
As Bonds is such a large company that distributes its range to many retailers there is a strong need for the company to divide its market into different segments. Geographically, Bonds distributes to many parts across the Australian nation, In 2011 Bond’s began to widen their horizons as they saw the vast potential that the brand had, by opening up an online store and beginning to ship to New Zealand, Canada, United States, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and China and the UK they were able to increase their probability and promote the brand on a global scale. In order to expand the brand on a nation wide market in more suburban areas Bonds opened up 14 stores across Australia between 2012 and 2013.
Demographically Bonds aims at looking at a wide target market, as their iconic brand is about providing long lasting undergarments and clothing to suit all ages and body shapes. For the purpose of this report, the age group and gender being focused on are females aged between 14 to their mid 20’s. Bonds aims its brand at the ‘average Australian’ meaning, they do not focus on one specific body type, they aim to cater to all shapes and sizes finding items to suit all different types of body shapes and different lifestyles. They have targeted young females with using various types of public relation techniques, for example, national talents like Sarah Murdoch, Pat Rafter and Rachel Taylor are all ambassadors for the brand and proudly support Bonds in advertising campaigns across the country. There is no set nationality, religion or social class that bonds aim to target, just healthy active Australians looking for comfortable durable underwear.
Bonds have created specific types of undergarments to give individuality and originality to their line, for example for females they don’t just stock the traditional bra on underpants the range expands in many variations e.g. Hipster, boyleg-midi, crop and wire free, strapless tube bras, maternity bras and tops, full brief, hipster, ‘shortie’ etc… this ensures that they can reach a wide demographic of female and suit each customer’s needs and desires. On a psychographic scale Bonds/Pacific Brands values its community “ “working with each other” has always been at the centre of the Bonds family. Bonds sponsors the Nippers program, recognising that the future of surf lifesaving lies within the junior teams” Bonds values its loyalty between customers and brand and have set up an online rewards program for online shoppers. Pacific Brands and Bonds work together ethically to apply the same standard to all sourcing markets Bonds have high quality working and trading standards, working with Pacific Brands Bonds and the company ensures that “In order to make a real, sustainable and positive difference, the Company holds itself and its suppliers, accountable to these standards.”
The Bonds brand is such an iconic and strong name within the Australian market. With its brand constantly growing and expanding it maintains a strong and long lasting name within the Australian clothing industry.
Levels of competition
For Bonds, there are many different levels of competition especially within the retailers they choose to supply to. For example in 2013 when Pacific Brands had a change in leadership one of the main existing problems were “company can no longer rely on major retailers to sell its products. David Jones, Myer, Kmart, and Target are themselves being squeezed by an influx of global competitors with cheaper brands. In response, they are starting their own brands, redirecting marketing efforts away from Pacific Brands and pocketing the margin they would have previously shared with it.” (BRW, 2013). Generically Bonds retail bras, underwear, socks and comfortable clothing for babies, children, men and women and have been doing for decades now. Since the brand launched a century ago over the years many other competing brands have arisen like, the Calvin Klein traditional brief or other Australian hosiery franchises like Cotton/ Cotton on Body and Bras n Things all show to be various levels of competition. Bonds are generally classified as a “Luxury Budget Brand” (Prue, Lewingtion, 2015). To hold a high stake in the Australian hosiery fashion industry over the years Bonds had sought to create many unique and individual styles to suit them and compete with the other styles on the market. Below is a timeline of how Bonds evolved their brand and signature style over the years, by creating styles signature to their brand they are able to maintain their position in the market and keep customers knowledge that their brand continues to provide these styles.
1932 – We start producing the Bonds Baby Vest
1955 – Bonds start making the Bonds Cottontails full brief
1962 – Bonds develops its first Baby Wondersuit
1990 – The Chesty clocks up 250 million sales
1991 – Bonds Produce the Bodysuit
1999 – Our Hipsters are relaunched
2001 – Bonds Bras are launched
2003 – Female Chesty is introduced
2004- Our Hoodie is born
Looking into a profile of the Bonds market segment since the company was officially trademarked in 1921 since then the company has expanded not only from supplying to retailers like David Jones, Meyers, Big W, Kmart and Target they now have over 100 stores nation wide, ship world wide and have distributed the brand to retailers overseas. In 2012-13 Bonds/Pacific brand recorded a $38.9 million dollar profit from opening up their independent stores and continue to expand within the Australian Fashion market.
The brand and company continues to strive to create high-quality clothing and long lasting products that reflect the iconic Australian lifestyle.
2015 is the year for the #BONDS100 campaign, celebrating 100 years of the iconic Australian brand. Over the years Bonds has had various popular culture Australian ambassadors to promote the brand and what the company stands for. In 2015 Bonds had decided to choose popular female Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, a female from country town Mullumbimby turned hip-hop superstar. The target segment for this part of the campaign is young females in their teens and mid-twenties. The characteristics of this target market are about not trying to exploit young females; women who want to wear comfortable stylish undergarments whilst not feeling like sexual objects. “I like what they represent to women. I like the way they approach women, I think it’s cool. I don’t think they ever exploit the person representing the brand, they always authentically represent each of the personalities of their ambassadors,” (Azalea, 2015). In a society where the company feels women are being objectified with exploitive undergarments to compete and stand out against many powerful brands Bonds took a more ethical approach to help them stay on top of maintaining high stakes in the market.
Part of Azaleas promotion was to be featured in some campaign videos promoted through social media platforms like YouTube and twitter, the 32-second video shows Azalea modeling in the new styles of Bonds wear in a non-sexual and playful way. A differentiated marketing approach is used within these ads as through each campaign Bonds have chosen just to market the line through videos and images with the title “#BONDS100” where the hash tag can be used on twitter to find forums, blogs, and discussions about the celebration of the BONDS100 campaign.
This is a successful strategy from Bonds, by picking a strong female figure within the media who promote self-love, a healthy body image and a reputable role model for females in the 21st century they are able to maximise sales, promotions and brand awareness.
PART-C by Team Member-3: McCann
Brand and Product Positioning
According to Banyte, Paunksniene and Rūtelionė, “The development of an appropriate and perceptible message to the consumer becomes one of the main goals for marketing professionals.” (2007, p.50) Consequently, Bonds indicates that it desires its brand to be recognised as being youthful, energetic, easy-going and iconically Australian. Similarly, they desire their products to be considered to be fashionable, sporty and to have a high quality and high level of trustworthiness. Bonds, as a brand differentiates itself by focusing it’s branding on sportiness rather than sexiness as the majority of its competitors do, whilst still maintaining fashionable designs.
This positioning is evident through their advertising, especially their most recent campaign #Bonds100, celebrating their 100th anniversary, which included the introduction of Iggy Azalea as their most recent brand ambassador. This choice reflects Bonds’ desire to be seen as youthful and fashionable, whilst abstaining from the hyper-sexualisation seen in the positioning of a lot of comparable brands such as Calvin Klein. Azalea, as an Australian rapper and songwriter, provides this association with the young, contemporary, and fashionable. Additionally, Azalea said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald; “Bonds is one of the only [product promotions] I feel comfortable doing as I know my sexuality isn’t going to be exploited.” (Clarke, 2015) Thus it is evident that this is not the focus of Bonds’ product positioning.
The desired positioning as being youthful, energetic, sporty and is evident primarily within their television advertisements. These video advertisements, such as “BONDS100” involve a lot of dancing, high energy movement and include a combination of both underwear and sportswear (Bonds Australia, 2015). This, along with an easy-going attitude is also emulated on their website which features bright colours, young models, and phrases such as “Show’em off or keep’em hidden, rock your comfy Bonds waistband your way.” (Bonds, 2015). Similarly, on their ‘Our Story’ page, they refer to George Bond, their founder as “a guy with a lot of energy (and even more vision)” (Bonds, 2015), which emphasises their easy-going, laid-back positioning.
Central, however, to Bonds’ desired positioning is their image of quintessential Australian-ness and, by association, their trustworthiness. This is expressed, particularly within the BONDS100 campaign, by utilising other elements of Australian culture. The selection of Azalea as Brand Ambassador is a reflection of this; by choosing a young Australian who is greatly prevalent in the contemporary entertainment industry and thus national and international popular culture, Bonds is associating itself with Australian success. Furthermore, within the aforementioned “BONDS100” video advertisement, they utilised, not only a song by INXS, a highly successful and revered Australian Band, but also including Australians from as young as 6 months to those as old as 99 years of age (Bonds, 2015). In doing so Bonds is asserting itself as a staple of Australian culture.
As a result, a suggested positioning statement for Bonds would be:
For young men and women, Bonds is a fashionable underwear and sportswear brand that provides the comfort and confidence to lead an active lifestyle. That is because Bonds is respected as an iconically Australian brand that can be trusted to produce good quality apparel at an affordable price.
Positioning and Perceptual Maps
As identified in part B, the target market for Bonds’ bras are young women between their teens and mid-twenties. An online survey was distributed to women in this target market. The manner in which the survey was conducted, a transcript of the survey questions, as well as the results, can be viewed in Appendix B, Section 1. Information as to how the “average” price for bras within each of the brands can be seen in Appendix C, Section 2. For the most part, the positioning of the other brands were left the same within positions as they were found to be perceived by the surveys. This is because the purpose of these charts is to indicate any similarities of discrepancies as to how Bonds desires it’s bras and brand to be perceived (positioning maps) in relation to how it’s competitors are perceived and how bonds and it’s was are actually perceived in relation to how it’s competitors are seen (perception maps).
Target Market Perception Analysis
According to Banyte, Paunksniene and Rūtelionė, “perception controls the relationship between environment and an individual, with the help of which the consumer acquires knowledge, forms his opinion and attitude to processes occurring in the environment.” (2007, p.56) Therefore the perception of brand and product are of paramount importance to female consumer behaviour.
As demonstrated by the positioning and perceptual maps (Figs. 1-8), overall, Bond’s desired positioning within the Bra market, in relation to its competitors, is relatively similar to how it is perceived by individuals within their target market. However, it must be noted that the sample size was small and thus results are not conclusive.
Quality Vs. Average Price (Figs. 1-2)
Figures two demonstrate that Bonds’ bras are perceived as being of a very high-quality product, whilst their average pricing is somewhat mid-range in relation to its competitors. Perhaps Bonds would rather position themselves as having a higher quality than its competitors, particularly Bras N Things, who are the closest competitors n relation to price. However, they essentially fulfill their desire to be seen as a high quality, affordable brand by their target market. It is interesting to note, however, that the target market’s perception of price (see Appendix B, Section 1, Question 2) which was not included in the perceptual map indicated a highly similar perception of price to the reality.
Youthful/ Mature vs. Casual/ Sexy (Figures 3-4)
As previously mentioned, Bonds does not see to actively position its bras as being “sexy”. Rather, Bonds positions itself as a brand with a casual attitude and casual products. This is indeed reflected in the perception of the target market. As demonstrated by figure 4, Bond’s is perceived as being a relatively casual and youthful brand. However, figure 3 demonstrates that Bonds may prefer to be perceived as slightly more youthful than they are in actuality.
Fashionable/ Un-fashionable vs. Sporty/ Un-sporty (Figures 5-6)
As previously described, Bonds positions itself as an energetic (sporty) and fashionable brand. As Figure 6 demonstrates, Bonds is considered to be, by far, the most sport or energetic in relation to its competitors. However, it is also perceived as being unfashionable. In fact, the survey sample considered it to be only minimally more fashionable than the least fashionable of the six brands: Target. This is certainly not desirable for Bonds and indicates that consumer perception does not match their positioning in this regard.
Australia/ Un-Australian vs. Trustworthy/ Un-Trustworthy (Figs. 7-8)
By far the most significant element in Bonds’ positioning efforts is their desire to be seen as quintessentially Australian and therefore trustworthy. As indicated by the Survey results and demonstrated by Figure 8, Bonds is perceived as being by far the most Australian and significantly more trustworthy in relation to its competitors. Whilst bonds might prefer to enhance this image even further (see figure 7), the results of the survey indicate that their positioning has been highly successful in this regard.
In conclusion, Bonds’ desired positioning as an affordable, high quality, youthful, laid-back, fashionable, energetic and trustworthy iconic Australian brand has largely been achieved, as reflected by the perceptions of individuals within their target market. Whilst a few areas could be enhanced and improved upon, the results indicate success in their positioning, as achieved by their communication tools.
PART-D by ALL members of the team
In order for a company to effectively communicate with its target audience, the company must put in place communication strategies/tools that to give the company its desired position in the eyes of its target market. Thus, the iconic Australian brand Bonds utilises communication tools to send specific messages to their target audience. As identified in Part C of this report, an appropriate positioning statement for Bonds as a brand could be:
For young men and women, Bonds is a fashionable underwear and sportswear brand that provides the comfort and confidence to lead an active lifestyle. That is because Bonds is respected as an iconically Australian brand that can be trusted to produce good quality apparel at an affordable price.
The shift towards a richer media mix to execute an effective communication approach is created through five primary communication tools, advertising, personal selling, sales promotions, direct and digital marketing and public relations. ‘Today, more companies are adopting the concept of integrated marketing communications (IMC)’ (Armstrong, 2015, p.344). Through this ‘concept, the company must carefully integrate its many communications channels to deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message about the organisation and its brand’ (Armstrong, 2015, p.344).
The most obvious way in which Bonds communicates to their target audience is through their advertising strategy. ‘Advertising has up until now dominated much promotional thinking and teaching, partly because it is the promotional form that is most obvious to us every day and partly because it often accounts for the largest proportion of the promotional budget’ (Smith and Taylor, 1993-2004, p.vii). Bonds’ most recent campaign Bonds100 is being broadcast on television and through Internet advertising through YouTube, and social media websites such as Twitter, for which the hash tag #Bonds100 was designed. These particular advertisements (as described in appendix c) highlights the “Aussie” family, vision projected by Bonds but most importantly emphasises its main target audience of young, active women. Billboards are also still being used throughout shopping centres that direct customers to the Bonds store. As stated by Smith and Taylor, 1993-2004, in their book ‘Marketing and the integrated communication mix’, advertising provides ‘reassurance after the purchase and thereby increases the likelihood of positive post-purchase behaviour such as repeat purchases’.
‘Personal selling is the mot effective tool at certain stages of the buying process, particularly in building up buyers’ preferences, convictions and actions’ (Armstrong, 2015, p.349). Bonds uses this communication tool in store when interacting with its customers, by learning what their customers want and showing them products that would benefit them. This interaction allows Bonds to create friendships with their customers and helps them uphold their value as an all round brand, for every member of the family.
Another communication tool that is used to integrate Bonds message to their target audience is sales promotion. Sales promotion holds many unique qualities that invites customers in through special deals that keep them coming back for more products and services. ‘Sales promotion effects are often short-lived, however, and often are not as effective as advertising or personal selling in building long-run brand preference and customer relationships (Armstrong, 2015, p. 349). Bonds promotes its sales on television as well as through social mediums such as Facebook and Twitter, where their target audiences are increasingly finding their information (Bonds Aus, 2015).
‘The Internet and e-marketing are making a dramatic impact on the world of marketing communications planning’ (Smith and Taylor, 1993-200, p.viii). Direct and digital marketing takes a look into marketing tactics that are mostly found online through the use of emails and through the customers individual shopping habits. With Bonds, this can be found on the website, where you can join their mailing list and receive promotional offers to be used in store and online. Direct marketing is less public and more immediate and customised to individual customers, through targeting their purchases and therefore incorporating personal selling into the mix by offering similar products for their use.
The last communication tool used by any company for effective communication with their target audience is public relations. This is where customers receive the message through the means of ‘news’ rather than sales-directed communication. For Bonds, this type of communication can be best described through their new brand ambassador Iggy Azalea. This is done through the stance as a public figure in the music industry, therefore contracting a lot of attention. News about the partnership of Iggy Azalea and Bonds as a part of their Bonds100 campaign sparked more people to notice the brand and take note of their products more. In an interview with Azalea, she states that she is happy to be partnered with Bonds as a brand that ‘sets a realistic body expectation for all women’ (Wasley, 2015). This has leant a hand in Bonds sales showing them to be a caring brand not looking for a type of ‘women’ but a brand that can be seen for everyone.
The overall effectiveness of communication tools used in promoting and marketing the Bonds brand and Bonds message was extremely successful, through the use of social media platforms, high-profile public relations and ‘bonds rewards programs’ the brand are able to effectively promote and increase profit with these techniques.
The #BONDS100 campaign to date has proven to be one of their most successful way of marketing the brand. Social media platform twitter is a great way to connect certain topics through forums and discussions. With the hash tag #BONDS100, the brand was able to effectively communicate to social media users. An effective marketing strategy is to utilize social media platforms to their full potential. As the BONDS 100 campaign was all about celebrating the brand, the youthfulness of the new line and promoting un exploitive and realistic expectations of the human body using twitter was a great way to promote this idea on a macro scale. This was an effective e-marketing tool and a great way for fans of the BONDS brand to communicate their views on the campaign and get involved with the brand on a personal level.
When evaluating the effectiveness of the surveys undertaken for this particular report the group had found that by promoting our surveys online would be a sufficient and effective way of communication to the target market. The results from the surveys allowed for a broader understanding of the brands, needs of a consumer and their thoughts in regards to the products.
Through this survey, it was found that Bonds’ communication tools were by and large effective in communicating their desire position to their target market. For example, when compared to six competitors in the Australian Bra industry, Bonds was considered to be the most Trustworthy and the most Australian. This demonstrates how effective Bonds marketing campaigns and tools such as BONDS100 have been in communicating their desired position. However, amongst the sample group Bonds was also considered not considered to be fashionable, indicating that Bonds’ communication tools are lacking in effectiveness in this regard. Thus Bonds’ communication tools were highly effective for most elements of their positioning, particularly considering emphasis was placed upon the quintessential Australian nature of the brand, and thus the trustworthiness of the products.
In a growing technological society, the media plays an extremely large role in the either success or failure of the brand. As stated previously Bonds utilizes iconic Australian public figures to promote the wellness of the brand, by keeping the brand and its promoters close to ‘home’ this can be seen as a successful communicating tool as this allows them to effectively and actively promote the brand in a positive way nation wide.
Tools like e-marketing, public online forums, surveys, blogs, high-profile public relation strategies all have proven to be successful in their approach to marketing and promoting the Bonds brand image and products.
In this report, Bonds, as a part of the Pacific Brands group, was found to be highly effective in responding to the influence of the macro-environmental forces impacting upon its marketplace. Furthermore, Bonds was found to have responded to the high level of competition within this marketplace, as well as the great variety of products required from them, by highly segmenting their market. In particular, the target market for their bras was found to be young women from those in their teens to those in their mid-twenties. In addition, this target market responded well to Bonds’ positioning as it was found that their perceptions almost entirely aligned with the brand’s market positioning characteristics. That is not to say that there are no areas that need improving on. For example, it was found that the majority of survey respondents did not consider Bonds to be a fashionable brand, which severely undermines Bond’s desired positioning and leaves it vulnerable to competition. However, it was confirmed that Bonds is considered to be a trustworthy, highly Australian brand by its target market and has thus been successful in conveying this through their communication tools, especially within its BONDS100 campaign in 2015.
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