Tuesday, May 10, 2011
ch7. Business Marketing
A politically attractive sweat-shop-free business model and a superior product that was competitively priced helped Charney, CEO of American Apparel, carve out a niche market among T-shirt wholesalers. The company found particular success as a supplier of T-shirts to rock bands, who screen-printed their logos onto the shirts and sold them at concerts and online. American Apparel first became profitable in 2000, and the company nearly doubled its sales growth and employee force each year thereafter, eventually adding new products, such as tank tops and women’s underwear.
For those business customers, American Apparel has the online store just for wholesale so customers can order online or download their latest print catalog, or receive up to 3 free print catalogs by mail.
American Apparel’s business customers are mostly producers. American Apparel’s t-shirt line is widely sold by graphic designers to print their designs on it. Also music bands print their pictures and logos on the products. Colleges buy their product to print their logos on and sell those in their college souvenior shop.
The company’s business products are component parts because their products usually are just printed on and then get ready to be sold. At the same time, it can be processed materials used directly in manufacturing other products.
According to the text book, MKTG 4, business buyers evaluate products and suppliers against three important criteria: quality, service, and price.
-Quality: By their business model, vertical integration, they are proud of the products made in the USA by highly skilled workers they consider their friends and family. Most of their customers insist that the quality is good and all their clothes fit really well and are worth the money. Their wholesale products come in more than 100 colors.
-Service: American Apparel offers 2-3days air delivery at ground rate in most states in the US. With discounted air, orders going to select East coast locations will arrive from their Los Angeles headquarters in just 2-3 days at no additional cost. There is no minimum order requirement. They also have a lot of flexibility when it comes to custom orders, including the ability to use custom patterns, stitching, colors, and fabrics. With each custom order, they will send the customers a sample before they start full production. They will not begin production until customers are completely satisfied with.
-Price: currently they can only give customers access to their wholesale price-list when customers have an account with them. However, customers can always call customer service and ask about their prospective cost.