FSAD_4310_Icebreaker_Case_Questions -...

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FSAD 4310 Apparel Production and Management CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR ICEBREAKER CASE ANALYSIS 1. Icebreaker is a design-led clothing designer and manufacturer based in Wellington, New Zealand. It was founded in 1995 by Jeremy Moon, and now expands its coverage over 22 countries with 1500 stores. The company expanded to the European market, including UK and Germany, then start entering the US market in 2002. And it was decided the entry into China, particularly the Shanghai market, in 2006. The company specializes in the production of merino wool thermals for the outdoor snow wear market. “One-with-nature” is the emphasis of the brand – it uses 100% pure merino wool, completely natural. The brand positions with an edgier fashion-oriented image. The customers of the company are mostly people involved in outdoor activities like hiking, skiing in cold regions and also urban types who wished they were skiing or hiking but never seemed to have the time, as the brand offers the image of professionalism of outdoor sports. Competitors, including Columbia, North Face, Patagonia and Marmot, are mainly targeting at the outdoor sportswear market. But they are not as specialized and technical as Icebreaker over snow wear. Its competitors are more focused to be fashion-oriented sportswear companies, which sell more general type of merchandises. And some of them may not develop as much in material and design technology, rather they would focus in functionality, or some only focus on design aspects. Icebreaker has a clear positioning of the company where it would be a marketing company over technical sportswear instead of a sportswear manufacturing company, so it would focus much of its investment onto the development of design technology and management system, outsourcing the manufacturing part. It helps to keep the company growth in a right direction. As a highly specialized company, it keeps direct personal contact with customers and retailers to understand the market and guide new product development. The innovation of products can collide with what the customer needs, yet not expected. This design-led strategy keeps Icebreaker close to its target and sustainable as it can notice changes in customers’ preference and adapt to them quickly. And the innovation of new products allows the company to charge price premium for the product. The competitive position for Icebreaker is sustainable and long vision, as its strategies provide a general direction with specific development plans. Therefore, it can be used for long-term goal, maybe with slight alternation in detailed part
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course FSAD 4310 taught by Professor Fatmamete during the Spring '10 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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FSAD_4310_Icebreaker_Case_Questions -...

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