Case Study_ J. Peterman.doc

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  • 1. Johnny Schaefer J. PetermanInternal EnvironmentJ. Peterman’s current marketing objectives include going back to the original concept which is J.Peterman. J. Peterman himself has been stated as saying, “we used to cell cotton cashmere that washigh quality and sold well, but there was nothing ‘Peterman’ about it.” The company has gone back tomore of its eccentric roots including a 35-lb buffalo coat. Also J. Peterman has adopted the internet farbetter than he did in the 1st generation of the J. Peterman catalog. J. Peterman has also broadened theirhorizons by adding upscale furniture to the mix this time around. Training employees to realize the “J.Peterman culture” is a top priority. All objectives from a marketing end are rooted in the J. Petermanculture. The culture of individuality and at times a little obscure. Maintaining the company culture toensure its strong brand recognition. To assist market the launch of the new J. Peterman, loyal customerswere sent the J. Peterman Times. The Times was a newsletter aimed at reestablishing J. Peterman in theeyes of the customer. Also ironically, John O’ Hurley who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld became abusiness partner in the company. Brand awareness was at an all time high during the Seinfeld era,although many viewers that the company was fictional. Capitalizing on the strong brand name helpedthe relaunch of J. Peterman.J. Peterman’s revenues in 2002 were $8 million and currently have 22 employees in its Lexingtonheadquarters. Peterman sends out 8 catalogs a year with, on average, 50 pages. This is much smaller incomparison to former years when Peterman had 600 employees, 13 stores, and 18 catalogs averaging115 pages.Technology continues to be a back bone for J. Peterman, who recently invested $1.5 million in adatabase system that will move seamlessly between catalog and retail store consumers.Sales for J. Peterman our on the rise and sales are expected to grow up to $105 billion by 2007. Keycompetitors are not expected to have nearly the growth that J. Peterman has to look forward to, but thatis due to already established companies. J. Peterman’s objectives are to start back at the start, whatmade them different and successful initially. Beautiful catalogs that feature art work and written storiesto catch the reader’s eye, and the innovation of www.jpeterman.com/ with the addition of furniture.Also a strong push towards high customer satisfaction is a staple for the new J. Peterman. With theavailability to purchase orders through: the website, by fax, email, and to speak directly with acustomer service representative.Customer Analysis:J. Peterman customers:Demographic: Men over 35 who wish to stand out in the crowd. Individuality is everything with J.Peterman. J. Peterman does offer a variety of women’s clothing as well.Geographic: United States is the primary location for J. Peterman sales. Trendy cities such as NewYork and L.A. offer a great market for J. Peterman.
  • 2. Psychographic: Individuals who tend to be more type A. Adventure loving, trend setting, risquéindividuals tend to purchase J. Peterman.Customers tend to be more “upscale” and high class in comparison to typical clothing companies. Itemsat J. Peterman can easily cost several hundreds of dollars.Although men tend to wear the products more often, women are the primary purchaser. This has to dowith the adventure lifestyle of the catalogs. Also on the whole it seems women tend to purchase moreclothes then men. Financially both parties tend to be responsible for the purchases. Since thedemographic is generally older parties, many of those are married and have shared income/liabilities.Customers tend to purchase more items at a single time, as opposed to single items several times. Thishas to do with shipping costs, and the frequency of the catalog launches.Customers are very loyal to the brand and the distinction between heavy and light users is very small.Repeat business is common for J. Peterman.Since the product in question is clothing, after “consumption” it can be assumed the products are keptfor occasional use, given away, or thrown away.Customers purchase the product primarily through the online site and catalogs. Select retail outlets areavailable, but the growth of the online site was greater than the company had perceived.Purchases tend to go in seasons; obviously winter coats wouldn’t sell as well to customers in themiddle of July. With clothing and fashion trends J. Peterman styles offer seasonal items.Customers purchase our products because they are considered stylish and innovative. Competitors likeJ. Crew offer very similar items and fashion, but do not have the “Seinfeld appeal” or the different styleof catalog. Also J. Peterman offers a variety of items that a lot of their consumers will never purchase(the buffalo jacket mentioned above) but the company’s novelty transfers over to all products, even asimple button up shirt. Who is honestly going to buy a $400 derby hat? Wealthy trendy consumersthat’s who! The Peacoat for $198 has more of a mass appeal, yet still has the cutting edge style of J.Peterman.It is hard to determine truly what a “need” for the consumers is. In theory anything that covers the“necessities” and offers warmth can satisfy the need. The need in this case for our consumers would bethe need to stand out. The need for J. Peterman customers is the satisfaction of feeling moreadventurous than their counterparts on the subway. Customer needs in fashion change constantly, and astrong company foundation of the “J. Peterman attitude” will ensure that these needs are met. Thecompetitors are also constantly changing with fashion trends as well.Credit cards are the primary method of payment for customers through the catalog and the website.Credit cards accepted are: American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.Customers tend to establish more long term relationships. This is clear through the case describing thesuccess of the J. Peterman Times and the quick growth of the online website. Customers were quick toreturn to J. Peterman when the opportunity arose. J. Peterman doesn’t compete on price, per say, it isevident that they could purchase a button up shirt much cheaper else where. They are buying it for thebrand.
  • 3. Catering the catalog to the attitude of the customers is key to developing and maintaining longrelationships with our customers. Constantly striving for the highest level of customer service bydelivering products on time, highest in quality, and asked for referrals.Customers who do not purchase J. Peterman can be abused to fall into a few categories:Cannot afford it/choose not to spend the money – these customers do not see the economic gain inspending a considerable amount more for a product with a J. Peterman tag when they can purchase ashirt similar at Kohl’s for much less.Loyal to other “brand names” – these customers buy J. Crew and ONLY J. Crew. They for whateverreason feel that it is a superior product and are satisfied with them historically. “If it’s not broke whyfix it?” attitude.Scared; J. Peterman offers some pretty crazy products at times and this could push more conservativeshoppers away from the brand all together.Didn’t know of J. Peterman as a real brand, or hadn’t heard the name at all.Advantages for purchasing competitors could be price and distribution. There are Kohl’s and Wal-Marts nearly on every corner and the ability to purchase low cost clothing items is very evident.Waiting for a catalog order may not give the immediate gratification that others are looking for. Alsosome “brand name” items like J. Crew tend to have more physical store locations through out theUnited States.The potential to get those who are unaware of the brand to purchase J. Peterman is difficult. It would bevery costly to send a blanket catalog to everyone nationwide. Also, J. Peterman may be more reservedon sending excessive catalogs after the failure in Japan ($400,000 lost on poor marketing/catalogdistribution).Offering a variety of more “conservative” products could backfire on your loyal customer base butcould offer the potential of bringing in new customers. J. Peterman is insistent on maintaining the “J.Peterman attitude” and to some degree, that’s having customers come to them.