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North Face

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Assignment 1: Assignment 1: Part A: Your Marketing Plan
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Write an introduction to your company. Describe your company, its location, and the product it makes or the service it provides.
The North Face started in a small mountaineering retail shop in San Francisco’s North Beach by two hiker enthusiasts in 1968. Soon thereafter, The North Face moved to the other side of San Francisco to began designing and manufacturing its own brand of technical mountaineering apparel and equipment (Parker, Battles, Melechiori, Kim, Cummins, 2015). By the early 1980s, The North Face was taking exploration to the outer limits of the ski world, adding extreme skiwear to the product offering. By the end of the decade, The North Face became the only supplier in the United States to offer a comprehensive collection of high-performance outerwear, skiwear, sleeping bags, packs and tents (Johnson, 2015). Now, 48 years after its origin in the outdoor industry, The North Face provides an extensive line of performance apparel, equipment and footwear. Offering the most technically advanced products on the market, The North Face is the choice of the world’s most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers, snowboarders and explorers. The North Face is committed to pushing the limits of design; so that you can push your limits outdoors never stop exploring (Johnson, 2015).
Develop an environmental analysis that includes competitive, technology and socio/cultural forces.
Competition
The North Face is known for their outdoor apparel and outdoor equipment. But in recent years other companies are starting to forge their way into the outdoor apparel industry making the market more competitive, such as Patagonia, Columbia Sportswear and most notably Nike (Parker, et al., 2015). The North Face and Patagonia are similar in a way where they both target the same audience, customers who have an active lifestyle and are committed to both social and environmental change. Columbia Sportswear is essentially about nature geeks, those who enjoy more outdoor activities and nature preservation. Last, but not least Nike, which is the most recognized brand, whose purpose is to design the best shoes for athletes and the everyday consumer.
Patagonia, out of all of the brands listed is the closes competition to The North face. Both companies are geared towards making a market for a specific target, adventurous, adrenaline seeking, and outdoor athletes. The biggest factor that sets The North Face apart from Patagonia is the “trend” of having a North Face jacket amongst college students and the “everyday person”. Patagonia does not want to focus on being “trendy”, but solely for those who want to gain the experience of being outdoors (Johnson, 2015). The North Face did not set out to be associated with the “trend”, but that trend is what will make The North Face more consumer friendly because those who are not up to par with outdoor apparel, will 9 times out of 10 recognize The North Face brand (Hitz , 2015). Patagonia wants their customers to focus more on being monetary conservative, not spending money on two-three jackets, but focus on one particular item to purchase.
Columbia Sportswear is also a competitor The North Face wants to look out for. Columbia Sportswear solely focuses on the individual who may not be an “outdoor person”, but can still enjoy the experience of having that adventure (Gesenhues , 2015). Columbia Sportswear motto is not about the remote excursion or climbing the high mountain because they believe anyone can attain that level of enjoyment without being an elite athlete (Parker, et al., 2015). Columbia Sportswear believes their customers are those who do not aspire to be mountain climbers, but everyday people. Columbia Sportswear target is the customer who is a 35- year old family person.
Nike, the most popular of them all due to their large fan base around the world, partly because they sponsor some of the athletes in the world. Although Nike remains the market leader in athletic footwear, Nike is also strong for fashionable styles with an emphasis in comfort as well (Parker, et al., 2015). What sets The North Face apart from Nike is that, Nike recently started the push for incorporating outdoor equipment and although Nike is a very popular brand, forging their way into the “outdoor apparel” is a market that for their consumer is a slow change. The North Face, Patagonia and Columbia Sportswear have already made a staple in this market, making Nike a competitor for the “trendy brand”, but no competition for the outdoor apparel and gear (Hitz , 2015).
Technology
According to The North Face (2010), there is a policy where they have made a promise to develop their technology centered around the needs of their athletes and consumers. In 2012, The North Face presented three breakthrough technologies to take their outdoor apparel and gear to the next level, which are: FlashDry- which is a proprietary fabric that improves moisture management and temperature regulation during outdoor activity. FlashDry enables the user to stay drier, more comfortable and outperform longer in a wide range of weather conditions and environments and doesn’t add weight or bulk (). Thermoball- collaboration with PrimaLoft (down comforters), offers a new synthetic alternative to down. Thermoball is a revolution in insulation technology. Unlike traditional, continuous-filament synthetic insulations, the small round PrimaLoft synthetic fiber clusters closely to mimic down clusters; trapping heat within small air pockets to retain warmth. ThermoBal technology can offer the low weight,warmth, and compressibility of down with the wet-weather insulating performance of synthetics. TNF Apex- a soft shell technology breakthrough, TNF Apex offers the dynamic duo of a tightly woven abrasion-phobic face for protection, and a soft-brushed interior for performance and comfort. Built to stretch for comfort and mobility, TNF Apex is also treated with our Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish to achieve the ideal balance between weather resistance and breathability. TNF Apex garments are built for warmth and keep you dry in a thick fog or light rain environment. The tightly woven fabric face creates a hard barrier to the elements of cold weather, while the soft-brushed interior allows for a soft warm-next-to-skin feel. The brushed interior also promotes a microclimate, allowing for superior moisture management and continued climate control. The increase use of smartphones throughout the years has also made The North Face create applications that will allow their customers to enhance their shopping experience and to keep up with the latest additions to The North Face collections.
Socio/Cultural
The North Face has developed a sustainability program that addresses their supply chain emissions, after all climate change is one of the most important issues regarding The North Face. In an effort to tackle the issue of climate change, The North Face has reduce the amount of chemical known as GHG, The North Face has been able to reduce their waste production by composting over three tons of waste in a year and increasing recycling bins (Parker, et al., 2015). The North Face has also been incorporating some innovative methods into their clothing production, for example recycling fabrics. In the American culture, it is a rite of passage growing up to play some type of sport. Every day, American as a whole practices some type of sport. According to the Outdoor Foundation, Nearly 143 million participated in at least one outdoor activity. But, there is an underlying problem in the United States related to different ethnical groups. Caucasians participate at a higher rate than African Americans, targeting teenagers (Parker, et al., 2015). The North Face has took on the challenge to change the mentality of youth, by creating a youth engagement foundation to reach young people to get outdoors and inspire more young people to explore more.
Determine the primary and secondary target markets for your company. Next, analyze the primary and secondary target markets that you identified for your company. Be sure to cover the 4Ps (I decided to primarily write on the 4P’s).
The primary target market for The North Face is those individuals who are outdoor enthusiasts, who are adventurous and love a challenge. The main product mostly suits their needs are clothing or gear that has many different styles, various colors. For place, their product is sold at any outdoor stores (REI, Dick’s, and Sports Authority). Prices can range from $59-$230 for a single jacket (Gesenhues , 2015). Honestly The North Face does not need much promoting. They have infiltrated the market, amongst athletes. Their secondary target market would be the average Joe, the everyday consumer, the one who wears The North Face for fashion, not for sport (Parker, et al., 2015). Their main product would sway toward a jacket that is for everyday, nothing too technical or detailed, but a light weight jacket. Place, this product would be sold in (Macy’s, Nordstrom, outlet stores and Fashion websites). Price can range from $39- $130. Promotion would be at the discretion of the stores or centered around their loyalty program, which you can sign up for free on their website to receive a discounted rate (Gesenhues , 2015).

Decide the main goals that you would like to achieve within the next year (short term) and the mains goals that you would like to achieve within the next five (5) years (long term). Determine the most appropriate ways to measure both short- and long-term goals. (I decided to focus on the main goal of The North Face). The mission statement for The North Face is “Our passion is beyond setting records and achieving fame. For us, it's all about changing lives, not just our lives, but also, the lives of those people who inspire us to aim for extraordinary dreams.” The mission statement for The North Face is what pushed them to lead the athletic/ outdoor gear department. They have engrained their core value throughout the entire company and it has paid off. The North Face essentially the “top dog” for outdoor gear (Parker, et al., 2015). They have really honed in on their consumer base and along the way infiltrated the “fashion department” to make their brand more appealing to the younger generation.
Develop both a SWOT analysis and needs analysis for your product. Each analysis should examine four (4) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your company.
Strengths
The North Face’s brand reputation, especially within the outdoor community, is definitely the most significant strength of the company (Hitz , 2015). The North Face is widely recognized for the quality of their products designed to provide high performance and comfort even under the most extreme conditions (Gesenhues , 2015). Its focus on product technology allows The North Face to constantly create innovative, authentic, and technically advanced products. Besides the superiority of their products, The North Face’s commitment to sustainability and the community is another attribute that encourages a positive attitude toward the brand.

Weakness
Even though technological innovation is one of the strengths of The North Face, sometimes it is difficult to communicate it to consumers. The North Face’s technological innovation is also reflected in the brand’s pricing which can become a weakness when customers perceive The North Face products to be too expensive. The North Face will have to still maintain their luxury quality of the brand, but make it more appealing to “millennials”. Innovation will play a huge role in making The North Face a brand to last throughout the next generation. I would recommend The North Face implement a new initiative that provides their consumer base an app that gives them readings on the particular jacket or gear they purchase. All, the fun an exciting ways their gear can be worn or used.
Opportunity
The first opportunity, is the increase of community involvement in order to improve the company’s reputation. Furthermore, expanding the brand’s offerings to other sports and sponsoring athletes. The second opportunity, involves expanding the brand to the casual apparel industry which could lead to more sales. The international market is another opportunity, The North Face’s international sales account for 25% of their total revenue (Gesenhues , 2015). Creating an online presence in Asia and European countries could also result in a sales increase. Lastly, given that The North Face has previously supplied products to the U.S. Marines, seeking future government contracts is also an opportunity that the company should look into.
Threats
The main external threat to The North Face is competition. The North Face’s main competitors are Columbia Sportswear and Nike. Pricing has also become a significant aspect in regards to competition. Companies that are not as focused on quality and durability of their products as much as The North Face, are able to offer more affordable prices. In the larger scope, competitors with a higher market share such as Nike, have the ability to accomplish better community outreach. This is in part because Nike reaches a vast majority of the consumer base is sports and everyday life because of their brand and marketing, also the athletes they endorse, so The North Face has to keep focus on their main goal, which is to provide the best gear and outdoor wear for all consumers to remain the “ top dog”.

SWOT Analysis
The SWOT analysis shows that the brand’s reputation accounts for its most important strength. There are multiple opportunities to extend its market share; however, The North Face needs to work on their labor force in order to ensure a better company culture and to be able to exploit the opportunities effectively (Hitz , 2015). The North Face’s competitive environment should not be a threat if the brand found better ways to communicate their technological innovation. With effective communication strategies The North Face will be able to justify their pricing and make consumers value the attributes and the long-term benefits of its products.

Conclusion In conclusion, The North Face has changed the hiking and outdoor equipment industry in a major way. They have made is more appealing to not just athletes, but everyday individuals and made their brand a “fashion” brand along the way. They have led so many profitable and successful environmental initiatives to create awareness from reducing manufacturing waste to striving to get youth involved in their communities and to enjoy the outdoors more. Also, The North Face has created a huge following of loyal customers and that list keeps growing by the implementations of new initiatives, such as using Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and more to grab the attention of customers who more than likely never hear of The North Face (Hitz , 2015). The North Face has also created their own blog to create a more personal channel and outlet to communicate with their loyal customers. All in all The North Face has etched out a place in this market and the future looks very bright for The North Face for years to come.

References
Gesenhues, A. (2015, February 04). North Face VP Of Global Marketing Now Gets To Lead The
Brand He Loved As A Kid. Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://marketingland.com/north-face-vp-global-marketing-now-gets-lead-brand-loved-kid-117178
Hitz, L. (2015, May 29). The North Face's Instagram Strategy | Simply Measured. Retrieved
January 30, 2016, from http://simplymeasured.com/blog/why-instagram-is-the-apex-of-north-faces-social-media-strategy/#sm.0001i7a8pdp32ds4vb8120vtw73t5

Technology. (2010). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from https://www.thenorthface.com/about- us/technology-innovation/technology.html

References
Adweek.com (2015, April 16). The North Face Shifting Marketing Strategy To Focus On People
With Active Lifestyles. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/2015/04/16/Marketing-and- Sponsorship/North-Face.aspx
Hitz, L. (2015, May 29). The North Face's Instagram Strategy | Simply Measured. Retrieved
February 12, 2016, from http://simplymeasured.com/blog/why-instagram-is-the-apex-of-north-faces-social-media-strategy/#sm.0001i7a8pdp32ds4vb8120vtw73t5
Johnson, L. (2015, April 15). The North Face Wants to Own the Athlete Market and Beat Big
Names Like Nike and Adidas. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/north-face-wants-own-athlete-market-and-beat-big-names-nike-and-adidas-164067
Jones, N. A. (2015, April 09). Why The North Face Keeps Climbing. Retrieved February 10, 2016, from http://blog.hourlynerd.com/why-the-north-face-keeps-climbing/
Melchiori, B. (2015, May 04). The North Face - final draft. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/BrunoMelchiori/the-north-face-final-draft-47746109 Outdoor Participation Report 2014. Outdoor Foundation, 1 Jan. 2014. Retrieved February 10,
2016 http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.participation.2014.html
Parker, A., Battles, B., Melchiori, B., Kim, H., & Cummins, R. (2015, May 04). The North Face
- final draft. Retrieved January 28, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/BrunoMelchiori/the-north-face-final-draft-47746109
Patterson, A. (2011, September 25). The North Face - Advertising Strategy Plan. Retrieved February 10, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/AshPatt14/the-north-face-advertising-strategy-plan

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...Cindy Bachan Kaplan University AC503 Advanced Auditing Unit 3 Just For FEET, Inc. Case Study Professor Louis Beaubien December 14, 2011 1. Prepare common-sized balance sheets and income statements for Just for Feet for the period 1996 – 1998. Also compute key liquidity, solvency, activity, and profitability ratios for 1997 and 1998. Given these data, comment on what you believe were the high-risk financial statement items for the 1998 Should auditors insist that their clients accept all proposed audit adjustment, even those that have an “immaterial” effect on the given financial statements? According to section 312.10 of the PCAOB standards, “the auditor’s consideration of materiality is a matter of professional judgment and is influenced by his or her perception of the needs of a reasonable person who will rely on the financial statements” (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2011). This statement suggests that there are no hard and fast rules with regards to the determination of whether an adjustment is material or immaterial. In my opinion, much of the decisions are left to the auditor’s interpretation of the rule. Given all the rules and standards that both auditors and corporations must abide by, it would be wise to accept the proposed audit adjustments. Whether they are “material” or “immaterial” should not matter, because the fact that the auditor finds it necessary to propose the adjustment must be based on a rule or......

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