468 Retail and Channel Management Blog

Friday, February 13, 2015

Michael Kors: Satisfying our Desire for the High Life through “Affordable Luxury”

Michael Kors is a designer brand established in 1981 that sells fashionable accessories and clothing. I find the retailer’s main focus is psychographic and demographic segmentation based on factors such as income, lifestyle, personality and life stage.  The strategic pricing of products is usually in the range of a few hundred dollars which places it closely to brands such as Coach and Kate Spade but much lower than brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Burberry which can range in the thousands.

 What is notable through advertising is that there hasn't been a real attempt made to reach out to a more diverse clientele.  The advertising campaigns focus on a narrow demographic of people enjoying the luxury of a contemporary lifestyle that includes travelling by yacht and private jet.

Fall 2014
Spring 2015

Michael Kors satisfies the hedonic needs of its customers as fashion gives people an outlet to satisfy their emotional and identity needs as it’s a signal for status and class.
Like many who aren’t in Bill Gates’ circle but enjoy certain types of brand names and products, I belong to the target demographic of those enjoy “affordable luxury.” When I hear the words “Michael Kors” spoken, I can’t help but hear and feel a sense of class, sophistication, poise and elegance. Of course I love the product selection and quality but as a marketing student, it’s the brand equity Michael Kors delivers that I find so deliciously enticing.

Over the recent Christmas break I took a trip down to Vegas and frequented a few of their hotel stores in search of a purse that would satisfy my standards of the type of purse a woman pursuing a business career would carry. On a whim I used a different strategy with the sales people to gauge who exactly they perceived as their target demographic and just how helpful they were willing to be.
“I recently got hired as the new marketing executive at my firm,” I lied, “and would like a new purse for work that would be more appropriate for the position.” To my surprise the young lady offers me water and retrieves a perfectly chilled mini plastic water bottle with the Michael Kors label on it. I didn’t even know they had such a thing! Several girls hurried to the backroom to scout the shelves of any sign of the color/style combination I was looking for.

 I can honestly say it was the best customer service experience I’ve ever received in Michael Kors and the entertaining experience confirmed to me who the staff was willing to cater to as opposed to if I admitted I was just a university student. Overall I think Michael Kors has continued to do an excellent job placing itself as a mid-high end brand as women are still flocking to its stores to buy their sought after handbags to add to their collections.



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