How do the ego prided customers flaunt their status, and how can retailers commercialize on it?
Retailers collect thousands of products covering various established brands and stock it in their store shelves. But the question is, "Which out of these will be of the customers interest? And, which will stay in the shelf to collect dust?" This is more important when it comes to products such as apparels which are more sensitive to trends, and fashion trends keep changing quickly in a capricious manner.
In today's trend, consumption has become partly for pleasure. People show more interest in amassing new stuff to keep pace with their peers, and seek to advertise their status. Rather than buying to match with their state of affairs, they trawl the world for exotic designs, and styles. This applies specially in case of apparel shopping. They prefer more to customize their wardrobe to speak their personalities. The percentage of status seekers is gradually increasing.
A market research on the same reveals that during 2002 this category was 9%, and gradually increased to 12% in 2004, 16% in 2008, and 17% in 2010. Success, to retailers depends on spotting, and satisfying them. To make the retailers job easier, a process called 'trend watching' appeared.
Customers of the present times are more status savvy. Media and internet has made the farthest corners of the planet at a distance of just round the corner. Retailers have been quick to utilize the technological advancements to their benefit. There are brands with deep pockets, which have a dominant market share, and know-how of the competitive advantage of their products. Still the market potential is not easy to gauge. Customer preferences are trend driven, which are very volatile in nature. Retailers get involved in a range of activities that depend on short reaction and delivery times, simplified administrative procedures, low-cost handling etc so as to enable a carefully focused, awareness building marketing efforts.
Spotting the status seekers:
To the status seeker, buying a luxury apparel brand is a status symbol, a symbol of status and exclusivity. They are keen to communicate this through their apparel shopping behavior. Status seekers are generally action-oriented, and outgoing with a competitive mentality and energy. They focus on aspects such as individuality, personal initiative, decisiveness, status, and achievement when they shop for apparels. Though they may or may not be wealthy, they would have a materialistic outlook. They will mostly be employed in a private enterprise, or would be self employed.