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Vans

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Submitted By barrettb
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VANS MARKETING PLAN

Table Of Contents

COMPANY HISTORY3
MISSION STATEMENT3
ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS Consumer/Social factors3-4 Economic factors4 Technological factors4 Competitive factors4-5
SWOT ANALYSIS Strengths5 Weaknesses5 Opportunities5-6 Threats6
PRODUCT ANALYSIS Point of difference6
TARGET MARKET 6 Demographics7 Lifestyle7 Psychographics7
MARKETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Objectives7
Goals 8
MARKETING STRATEGY AND TACTICS8-9
Product9
Place10
Promotion10-11
BUDGET ALLOCATIONS11
PERSOFMANCE MEASUREMENTS11
SUMMARY11-12
BIBLIOGRAPHY13
COMPANY HISTORY Vans is a very popular skateboard and action sports apparel company. Shoes are what the company is known for but they also sell a variety of products including t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, watches, socks, hats and backpacks. The very first Vans shoe store opened at 704 East Broadway in Anaheim, California on March 1st, 1966 by Paul Van Doren. Van Doren worked with a shoe company on the East Coast, but was unhappy with the company so he and his partners moved to Southern California to create Vans. The Van Doren Rubber Company was unique in that it manufactures shoes and directly sells them to the public. Vans wanted to create a shoe that could stand up to any situation and be strong and durable, so they created their trademark waffle pattern on the bottom of the shoes with extra rubber for strength. The company started to become very popular in Southern California in the 1970’s when skateboarders started wearing Vans, thus prompting Vans to start producing shoes for a number of other action sports including wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, BMX, motocross. The company was now a big competitor in the athletic shoe market. In 1982 the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High had an iconic character wearing the slip on Vans shoe. After the release of the movie shoe sales soared. Forty-Eight years later Vans now sell over sixty different styles of shoes, ranging from classic deck shoes to special custom ones, they sponsor the Warped Tour, Skateboard competitions and several pro athletes and also own several huge skate parks in Southern California.

MISSION STATEMENT “The mission statement for Vans says that Vans says Vans makes classic skateboarding and action sports shoes, clothing and apparel for fans all over the world. Since 1966, Vans has been at the center of skateboarding and youth culture.” Through research and personal observation I have realized that the brand is very well known, but only in locations where surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding occur. This means that Vans is currently only marketing to the coastal states in the United States. In places near the middle of the United States such as Arkansas and Kentucky, for example, skateboarding and surfing are not as popular as they are in Southern California. My goal is to expand the target market to reach every part of the United States. We need to find a way to make our shoes a desired product for all individuals.

ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS Consumer/Social factors. Vans main target are the active teens and young adults, otherwise known as Generation Y. This generation is the one that grew up between the baby boomers and the technology era, when playing outside was what every kid did. So because of this they are definitely the most active generation thus far. Vans gripped this concept and uses this to create different ways for consumers to feel like they connect to the brand and that it stands out to them specifically. The Vans marketing team realized that most of the target market as well as possible other target markets would also be interested in music as well as sports, so they began to sponsor many outdoor activities and events. The most famous event is the Vans Warped Tour, which is a concert that features over fifty bands and travels to many different states over the summer. In addition to sponsoring the Vans Warped Tour, this year (2013) Vans is sponsoring the Us Open of Surfing, an event that happens every July in Huntington Beach, California. By doing this they are going to try and target beach goers as well as their surfer market. Over the past couple of years Vans has been trying to widen their target market by also by applying to both the baby and female markets. They produced a baby line of shoe that will appeal to the generations of people who are having children now as well as the Generation Y individuals when they start having children. They also produced “The Girls’” line that is a girlier version of the typical Vans shoe by using different colors and patterns. Economic factors. Seeing as our economy is still not doing that great, consumer spending is down, however, shoes are a necessity. Shoes are and will always be in demand, so people are still buying regardless of the economy. Vans is still selling plenty of shoes, however people are becoming more price conscious and Vans are not the cheapest shoes out there on the market. There are companies out there who are creating lookalike versions of Vans and selling them for much cheaper than Vans does. Vans is also competing against other companies who sell the same type of athletic shoe, such as DC, Nike, and Converse for significantly cheaper than Vans. Technological factors. Technology is one of the biggest things happening in society today. Every day technology is getting better and more involved in people’s every day life. At the beginning of the Vans brand days the only forms of marketing available were flyers that were handed out because things like the computers and the Internet were not around yet. Television was around and popular, however Paul Van Doren did not believe in television commercials. Even now when television commercials are a huge technique used by marketers, you will not see a Vans commercial. There may be commercials featuring the events that are happening such as Warped Tour or the Us Open of Surfing but never Vans by themselves. Because social media and technology are so popular in today’s society, Vans has realized that they cannot be picky about not wanting to have much advertising done because it will hurt the brand in the long run. Therefore they came up with different ways to advertise other than putting the ads on television. They pay for ads on the sides of screens on various web pages that they know the target market is using in addition to adds before Youtube videos and popup ads. Their website, Vans.com, is the main component that they use to share information about the brand. You can do anything from look at what types of shoes are offered, create your own custom pair of Vans, order shoes or apparel, get news on any of their sponsored athletes, and much more. Vans is starting to take use the social media world with sites such as Faceobok, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrist and Vine. The website helps to keep customers informed and new customers interested while the social media sites are used to stay in touch with customers and see what they like and dislike about the products. Competitive factors. Vans are in the center of a very competitive industry. Regardless of what the product is there will always be competitors who try to take business from your company. Some of Vans competitors include Nike, Adidas, Converse, DC, Ryan Sheckler and Sean White. These brands all offer different types of products, they do not all focus on the skate shoe. However, all of these brands have the same target market that Vans does. The positive thing for Vans is that it is a very well known brand and the customers are loyal to the company. The negative is that it is hard for them to get new customers who are already loyal to the other brands. Nike is one of Vans most competitive brands. Like Vans, Nike sells shoes and apparel and targets to the same young adult market. Nike has a large brand with in that they cover virtually every sport out there, where as Vans sticks to the action sports. Nike is also considered to be a premium sports company so they have their shoes and apparel priced at higher prices. The other main difference between the two brands is their product placement. Vans places their products in their own personal Vans stores or specific stores that carry the same types of surfer/skater apparel while Nike places their products in Nike stores or any type of store. DC shoes are another big competitor of Vans. DC shoes sells strictly skate shoes just like Vans does. The big difference between the two brands is that Vans has much more of a collection than DC shoes does and the DC shoes brand is not very well known like Vans is. Although they are not as big as Vans, DC shoes are still a big competitor because of their lower prices and same target market. When it comes to the target market these brands are very similar but when it comes to the product and the positioning strategies of each brand they are very different. In addition to companies competing with the same target market, there are companies competing with the same style shoes that Vans sells. Companies are trying to sell look alike shoes. In this case people see the shoe and think that it is a Vans shoe and purchase it. These copycat brands are selling the shoes for a much cheaper price than Vans

SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS Strengths. Vans have been in business for over 40 years making it a very well known brand. The awesome thing about vans is that they offer products to both males and females. Vans does a really good job with knowing exactly what target market to sell to and how to do it. They use very effective ways of online marketing through their virtual website in addition to their social media sites. They offer many different styles of shoes, although they are all still your typical “skate shoe.” Vans has large collections of colors to chose from as well as different fabrics and the shoes themselves are not too expensive for the consumer; they typically range from $45.00 to $60.00. There are also many available sizes for anyone and everyone. There are infant sizes all the way up to size 16 in mens. In addition to shoes, Vans offers quality clothing. This ability to sell and perfect more than one product is also a strength that I consider important. Vans have been building up its brand name for a while and are very well known in surfing/skating areas around the world. They have built trust in customers and have a big loyal following. The quality of the shoe is what sticks out in my brain as the company’s major strength. You definitely get what you pay for in terms of quality and comfort. Lastly the website is definitely a major strength that Vans has. Vans.com allows you to find virtually any information that you want to about Vans products or their events, watch videos, enter contests, buy merchandise or create your own custom shoes. As you can see Vans definitely has a bunch of strengths, which prove why it is such a strong and trusted brand. Weaknesses. One big weakness for Vans is that the shoes focus on the skater or surfer style. Because of this the shoes are not really marketable to people who are not located in the coastal states where surfing and skateboarding is not as popular. The middle half of the United States, in fact, is not familiar with the brand. They do provide a variety of shoe types, but because they are made of canvas they are not good for rainy or snowy conditions. In this case if someone wears their Vans in the wet conditions they tend to get warn out way faster than if you avoid water. Another weakness is that they provide limited clothing sizes. The clothing typically runs really small and does not flatter all body types. This is another factor of focusing on the surfer or skater style. If Vans did put additional focus and sold to other areas they would be forced to create a wider range of clothing sizes to accommodate every body type. Vans only have a couple of key weaknesses that they could easily fix and become a dominant brand. Opportunities. Some opportunities that Vans has are to increase the social media use with other tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Pintrist. advantage of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pintrist, and Vine. Facebook can be used to host contests and sweepstakes for whoever likes the Vans page. By getting them to like the page, all of their friends get to see the Vans site, thus spreading brand awareness. Twitter can be used for the same thing if we create a special hash tag such as #VansShoes or #Vans. Instagram, Pintrist and Vine are all sites that use pictures and videos to communicate their likes to their followers. If we have people taking pictures of the shoes or apparel and have them tag the Vans page in their post, we will be getting the brand name out there without having to really do anything. By having a variety of different social media sites Vans is able to reach a bunch of different demographics, which will help us to increase the target market. It will help to spread brand awareness and interest about our shoes. Another opportunity that Vans has is to team up with more sports season round to get different demographics interested in the brand. They could add other extreme sports such as bull riding and mudding which are popular in the states that we are trying to target in this campaign. Another opportunity is that Vans gives you the option of ordering your shoes online or in the store. They make this online option available to people who are not located near stores, which creates opportunity for many more people to buy the product. Vans has slowly began to expand the company to many other states and even countries, creating an increase in the number of stores that are open and the amount of products that are being sold. Vans has recently offered an eco friendly line of shoes. The shoes are made from organic canvas and 20% recycled rubber. In addition to making their shoes with more natural materials, Vans is also trying to “go green” by recycling boxes and bags and other materials in their stores. This “green” image will also attract a new group of people into the target market. Lastly a big opportunity that Vans holds is spreading brand awareness and trust through the use of the many concerts that they host, especially the Vans Warped Tour. The Warped Tour is getting bigger year by year and is now creating more buzz by having commercials for it and even turning it into a movie that was placed into theaters. Threats. The major threat to the brand is that there are similar companies out there that also focus on the skate shoes. There are also companies who are producing a fake product replica and selling it for cheaper than the Vans ones are marketed at.

PRODUCT ANALYSIS The Vans brand includes products including shoes and clothing. However, most of the focus is on the shoes.

Point of difference. The Vans Company does a great job at differentiating themselves from the competing brands. Their shoes feature unique trademark patterns such as a waffle pattern on the bottom of the shoe, their checkerboard pattern and a solid white stripe on the side of the shoe. Vans is also marketed as the original and best brand for action sports. They are worn by many famous athletes, rock stars and athletes.

TARGET MARKET The target market for Vans are active teens and young adults, male and female, especially those interested in action sports (people from the age of 13-mid 20’s). Active teens and young adults want to have a good pair of shoes to do activities such as BMX and skateboarding in and Vans are exactly these. We are targeting to parents as well because we want them to be familiar with the brand enough to say hey I want to go out and buy some Vans for my son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, nephew, etc.

Demographics Gender. In the very beginning of the brand the shoes only came in three styles and focused more on selling toward the men. As the brand started to grow and become popular they decided that they needed to include girls in their target audience. Thus they created their own sub brand that was directed at the female demographic with different styles and colors that appealed more to the girls. Now Vans targets both the male and the female genders in their advertisements and promotions. Age. The age range for Vans customer’s ranges from the ages of 13 to the mid 20’s. It is important for teens and young adults to be in style, look good, and be comfortable and Vans shoes provide all three of these qualities. Although Vans are marketed at teens and young adults children and adults wear them as well. Vans also targets the parents of the teenagers so that they buy the shoes for their children and family members. Lifestyle The lifestyle that is targeted by Vans is the action sports lifestyle. They focus on people who are out doing things weather it is performing an extreme sport or merely walking along the beach. Vans shoes are definitely targeted at the typical “beach folk.” Beach folk are people who are laid back, active in sports and know how to have fun. I think this is why Vans are not targeted at people who live in the middle states of the United States; they are believed to live different lifestyles than people do on the coasts. But we are going to change this belief.

Psychographics In class we learned that people buy things that they think will enhance the view they have on their own identities as well as the view others have of them. Psychographics focuses mainly on what the consumer is looking for. In this case people are looking for shoes that are extremely comfortable, look great and make other people think they have good style. From research I learned that the people that purchase and wear Vans are typically people who purchase and wear other surf and skate attire. Whether it is from Vans or a different company. They are the people who actually are out doing extreme sports and wanting to look good while doing them. I think the most influential part of their buying behavior is where they live and the other people who they see wearing the product. For example we are trying to target new states because people are not wearing Vans there, so they are not attracted to them because of popularity. We need to make them popular to get people’s attention.

MARKETING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Objectives
Our main objective is to gain awareness of our brand in areas that have no idea who we are and open up stores located in the middle United States. As we talked about earlier, our brand focuses on extreme sports such as surfing, skating and bmx. Vans tends to market to places who are only interested in these sports, such as the coastal states. It bases all of its shoes and apparel off of the style of where the company was created, Southern California. The styles of say someone from California and someone from Minnesota are much different. We as the Vans marketing team want to change this and make Vans marketable to everyone. Another objective that we have is to make people interested and excited about the brand in these new areas. We do have some stores in states such as Texas, Indiana and Arkansas but there is only one located in the whole state. From what I learned Vans have a negative reputation in these areas because people think surfing and skating are weird sports and do not participate in them, therefore they think it is weird. Once people see the quality and comfort that our shoes provide it will increase our reputation and sales will increase.
Goals
Expand our company and open up 10 new stores. We plan on expanding our stores to states who do not currently have any. Such states include Minnesota, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee and Louisiana. The green X’s represent Vans stores that already exist and the pink dots represent the 10 new stores that we are going to open. As you can see the stores that are already open are mainly on the coasts or located in big states. By opening up these new locations, we will be creating more brand awareness and hopefully sales! We will be promoting the openings of these new locations like crazy to get people to come and check out the stores.
Introduce new products to attract new customers. The whole goal of this marketing plan is to target a new audience. So to do this we are going to create a new product to get their attention. The girl’s section on our website is listed as a sub brand, so we are going to add country sheik as another sub-brand.
Increase interest and awareness about the brand. Because our brand is well known for being linked to action sports, we are going to keep this tradition in check and start sponsoring other more “country” sports to support this new section of our brand. Such sports including bull riding, sky diving, mudding and skiing. By sponsoring people in these events, potential customers will see the product and be interested in it. Increase sales by 20%. By opening these stores we hope to increase our sales by 20% by the end of 2014.

MARKETING STRATEGY AND TACTICS Our marketing strategy is to distinguish ourselves as a positive recognizable brand for all individuals, not just the surfer or skater demographic. We believe that these shoes are capable of being worn by any person, anywhere, any time. Our marketing strategies are quite simple. We want to boost the positive image of our brand, spread our target audience and increase our sales.
We want to emphasize that you do not have to be into these specific sports to wear our shoes; they can be worn by anyone. In order to achieve this awareness we are going to create an event similar to Vans Warped Tour because events like this are a great way to involve the public and draw in people from many different target audiences. Our event, which is going to be called the Vans Fall Fun, is going to be located in each of the 10 states in which we are going to open stores in. The event will happen the day before the grand opening of each store, to create buzz and excitement. Vans Warped Tour is a daylong event that has over sixty different bands that play on a bunch of different stages. For our event we are going to have performers of all different genres attend, such as some country singers, alternative bands, hipster bands and even some rappers. This way we will broaden the type of people that come to the event and reach more people who could potentially be in our target market. This event will only have two stages and take place at nighttime. In addition to the concerts we are going to set up the sports stage. The sports stage will consist of a skateboard and bmx pool and a bull riding ring. By bringing in the skateboard and bmx aspect, we will be showing people what Vans is originally about. Hopefully we will get them to like skateboarding and change their negative connotations of it in their brains. We will have the bull-riding ring in there as well to show that yes we are mainly a skateboarding company, but we are also offering to sponsor other extreme sports. In addition we will have the athletes that we sponsor there doing tricks and having a signing afterward. We will have booths set up with screen printing stations so that people can pick which Vans logo or saying they want on a T-shirt. In addition we will have booths where people can buy the Vans shoes and get coupons for the store opening the next day. There will also be blow up shoes everywhere showing people the different styles that we offer. Our main goal of this event is to show people that Vans is really a cool brand and to create awareness. We are going to use public relations as the main tool of communication by letting people know what the Vans brand is all about.
Another event that we are going to promote is the opening of our store in each state. We are going to partner up with Redbull for this event. We simply want to get people to come into the store for the opening by offering free Redbull and coupons for our new style of shoe. For this event we are going to us public relations as well as a bunch of advertising to get people informed.
We are going to launch a create your own Vans shoe campaign. This will be a contest to see who can create the most unique type of Vans shoe. The goal of this campaign is to see what this new demographic wants in a shoe and hopefully at the end of it produce they type of shoe that is attractive to these customers. Rather than have people focus on shoe designs we are going to focus on fabric choices for this campaign. We want to see who can get the most creative and unique. The top three shoes that we pick will then be voted on by the public using Facebook and Twitter to cast votes. The ultimate winner will then get flown out to our headquarters in Southern California and get a tour of the Vans warehouse and receive five pairs of any Vans they want. In addition to getting Vans they will get VIP access to our Vans Us Open of Surfing as well as our Vans Warped Tour events.
Product
Our emphasis is getting this new demographic to be interested in our shoes and ultimately purchase them and become faithful customers. We must do what we can to encourage people to give our brand a chance and come check it out. Because of this we are going to advertise all of our shoes as they are as well as create a new shoe that will be targeted at this new market. The new shoes that we will be creating will combine the use of our original skate shoe and a cowboy boot. We do not want to change the style of the shoe to create an actual boot because our brand is all about the “skate shoe.” So we are going to create a shoe that is the same exact style as our original shoe but use the brown leather that looks like a cowboy boot. So essentially it will be a cowboy boot but shaped as our shoe. We will be making typical brown and black style for the boys and making a pink style for girls. The addition of this new style should get the attention of our new demographic and draw in customers. We believe that if this new boot style draws in customers to the new stores they will see the other styles that we offer and be interested in these as well. In these new stores we will offer products that we know people will want to purchase and then carry the options to buy the other products online. The use of our classic styles and the new boot style shoes will be another way to set us apart from our competition.
Place
We will be opening up our new stores in the fall of 2014. This gives us time to go to each state and find the perfect location that is easily accessed by customers and visible to passersby. We will also make sure to place several pop up stands next to the state’s sports arenas where big extreme sports events will be taking place so that the athletes will be advertising for us and then when people leave the arena they will be able to purchase the same shoes. These pop up tents will be a quick and easy way to spread brand awareness and advertise for the brand.
Promotion
We are going to be using a variety of media and discount offerings to generate intereset in our company. Advertising is a huge way to communicate your brand purpose and spread awareness. We plan on using a lot of advertising, especially in the new states in which we are building stores. First we will create eye-catching billboards and place them strategically in each town. These billboards will feature one of our athletes performing a trick and wearing the Vans shoe, and the Van’s logo. Other billboards will advertise that there will be a new store opening near them. The Vans slogan “Off The Wall” will also be featured amongst these billboards. By using bright colors, thrilling pictures, and catchy slogans we will hopefully catch people’s attention and get the information about the new store out there.
In addition to using billboards we are going to use building ads. These types of ads are the kind that are projected onto big buildings. We plan on projecting giant images of shoes and the waffle pattern shoe print along buildings to get people curious about what it is as well as kind of show people what Vans are. In addition to putting the footprints on the buildings we are going to put stickers on the ground of footprints leading to the store from miles away. As well we are going to put cut outs of our athletes around the towns and create a game for people to find each one and take a picture with it. This is another way that we will incorporate social media. We will have people post the pictures of every cut out that they find and hashtag it with #Vansiscoming. We also going to create a shoe car. This is going to be a van that looks like one of our Vans shoes. The car is going to drive around each of the towns and create interest and curiosity on what it is. The only thing that the car will say is Vans.com so that people have to go to the website and learn about what it is. This will draw people to the website as well as help them to understand the brand a little bit better. Another form of advertising that we will be creating are interactive kiosks. At these kiosks you can learn what Vans are and create your own Vans shoe right there. We will have a kiosk attendant on sight of each of our kiosks to answer any questions that the customer has.
We are also going to create a radio and television advertisement that will run a couple of months before the opening of the store. To get people aware that a new store is coming and also to get them interested in coming out to our event, where we are going to be constantly promoting Vans.
Lastly we are going to send out coupons and stickers to all of the businesses and residents in these new towns and states. The coupons will give people an incentive to go and check out the new locations. We will offer 30% off coupons and even free shoes to the first 20 people who show up to the opening.
I believe that using these advertising techniques we will definitely generate a bunch of buzz about Vans and get people interested in the new store.

BUDGET ALLOCATIONS

PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS
Our estimated objected was for Vans to increase its sales by 20% by the end of 2014. In order to calculate all of our earnings and see if we met this goal we will have to look at sales from previous years. We will look at the records from 2011, 2012 and 2013 and compare the results that we got there to the results that we got now. We also need to track how well the new stores did well and what they did not so well. If they created enough revenue in themselves to stay open or if they are going to hurt the company in the long run. We also need to look at if we did in fact attract the new target market and demographic like we wanted to. In order to do this we must keep track of who our customers were, what they bought and their spending habits. We can measure this by having each store tally what each customer bought as well as asking each customer to participate in an emailed survey or survey on the back of the receipt. If people fill out the surveys we will have a much better idea on the type of people that we are reaching. We just want to make sure that we reach our percentage increase goal as well as the target market that we are focusing on.
SUMMARY
Although Vans is a very strong company with great brand recognition here in California, it is not as recognized all across the United States. With this campaign we are going to create brand awareness in states where Vans shoes are not as popular dude to different styles and activities. We are going to target a new demographic and show the world that Vans is the top shoe company on the market. By properly identifiying this target market in our newly decided geographic locations, we will be able to increase our sales and create more brand awareness as we stated in our goals. With the help of all of the ideas in our marketing plan we believe that we will be able to make Vans a household name and desired product in every state.

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