The purpose of this report is to provide an inclusive analysis on marketing audit and the preliminary marketing plan for ‘Wedding dreams'. Our company commenced its operations in the year of 2001with the aim of providing Sri Lankan brides to be with stunning, unique and modest designs to add joy and create cherished memories on their big day. As this company had made a continuous success in the domestic market it has decided to expand its business in Dubai (UAE), as there is enough market scope to be profitable. The local (Dubai) company that is going to joint-venture with Wedding Dreams is Arushi Fashion who is well established in Dubai bridal shop industry. The reason for choosing Arushi-Fashion is the fact that they only offer bridal dresses but not attires for the grooms, bride's maids, flower girls, best men and page boys. Since Wedding Dreams is excel at providing these attires at the finest quality, Arushi Fashion is impressed to joint venture with Wedding Dreams to expand its span of target markets and of course its profits.
Moreover, In order to identify the suitability of the Dubai consumer market to the exclusive collection of wedding dresses, a marketing audit was proposed to our client. With the aim of making a comprehended report with a detailed socio cultural and economic analysis on Dubai was carried out.
In order to attract international businesses, Duba, has located up industry free zones all over the city. The Dubai Internet City and Media City has given numerous benefits to the economy with technological advances of information and communication. Dubai has attracted many well-known media companies, such as CNN, to support their Middle East operations in the city. In addition, it is one of the best known countries of UAE, and recognized as a trading and commercial hub of the Middle East. Dubai also showed its true financial dominance in the 1970's when the country was named as one of richest countries in the U.A.E. This achievement can be known as due to the visionary guidance of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan past president of U.A.E of that particular period of time.
As per the data issued by the Central Statistics Department, it indicates that the total GDP is amounted to Dh 535.6 Billion in 2008 with a growth rate of 7.4% against 5.2 % in 2007. (UAE Interact, 2009) Although there is an assumption that Dubai's economy is totally driven by oil and gas, that sector only consists of 6% in the GDP. (Economywatch, 2010). The report by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and industry states that the most prime sectors are the Constructions and real estate, manufacturing, restaurants and hotels, government services and the banking sector. (UAE Interact,2009)
Additionally, according to the recent statistics, that has been released by Maktoob Business News, the income per capita in the UAE is currently US$ 54,430 and specifically in Dubai it is nearly US$ 24,000. (UAE Interact, 2009) Therefore we can state that there is more money to be spent and marriage is an occasion when one doesn't hold back on spending. This indicates the potential for the wedding industry to grow further which is a great opportunity for Wedding Dreams to start a business in Dubai.
The inflation rate in UAE is considered to be the biggest challenge which grows up to 12% (Gulfnews, 2008). These above mentioned factors are considered to be both positive and negative in the decision of investing in Dubai.
1.2 Socio cultural analysis
Dubai can be known as one of the biggest midst emirates that make up U.A.E. It is filled with diversified culture, and has given freedom of worship. Other than Arabians the rest of the residents are from India, Sri Lanka, and other such Asian countries. The statistics reveal that the population in Dubai is 1,241,000 as in 2006 with 73% of males and 27% of females. (UAEInteract, 2009). The fact that the percentage of females is extremely lower is one threat for Wedding Dreams as its target market is highly comprised of females.
Women all over the Arab region once, as a rule, married in their teens or early on 20s. In recent decades, however, early marriage has declined sharply in parts of the region, most particularly in Kuwait, Libya, and the United Arab Emirates. (Rashad, et al,2005)
In addition, the population consists large no of Arabians including Sunni Muslims & Utah Mormons and as per to the market research conducted in Dubai, was ensuring that UAE respondents buy luxury branded goods and therefore get categorized as high end customers.
2.0 The Product
Wedding dream commenced its operation in 2001 and specializes in making wedding gowns and party wear for the brides & grooms of Sri Lanka. The ultimate scheme of wedding dreams is to add beauty to the Sri Lankan brides & grooms on their big day by providing immaculate quality wedding dresses and tuxedos. In addition the collection of wedding dreams ranges from simply tailored wedding dresses to luxuriously made wedding outfits which are affordable by each & every target audience.
Further more wedding dream imports its readymade wedding gowns from china and also does mass customization as per to client request. Therefore we as a team had recently decided to extend this service worldwide by initiating exports to Dubai (UAE). Today wedding dreams proposed to provide quality and unique wedding attire to the Middle East men & women. Based on the market research carried out in Dubai, it's evident that there is a growing need for modest yet fashionable wedding dresses and tuxedos. In addition Sunni Muslims and Utah Mormons comprise a large majority of population in Dubai and they have a great interest toward ethnic designs. Therefore our company decided to export its variety of product designs to Dubai (UAE) as it was seen to be profitable and product ranges are as follows. Also as Arabian females dislike body exposing our company proposed another unique service of providing abaya for the women in Middle East. This will be made in high quality fabrics such as chiffon and crystal beads to add more beauty to the brides of Middle East on their special occasion. This will be custom made product as some of the population go for a western style in their wedding.
(2.1)Wedding Dreams as an innovation as it is perceived by the intended market
(2.1.1) Relative advantage
As Dubai is an enormous shopping destination, Dubai has become the central point for both domestic and international buyers. Thus as the bridal industry is among the fastest growing industries in Dubai, one such advantage is the demand is considerably very high. However as the competition is towering up rapidly, the price is fluctuating at an immense manner as a result the price should be closely scrutinized.
Price is the second relative advantage at wedding dreams. As the wedding attire is imported from china, the price is comparatively lower than the local products through low cost labour. This enables us to market wedding gowns and other accessories with a competitive price with a high quality to the lowest price constantly.
Furthermore the high quality and the fine finishing is the other benefit. The products are guaranteed with its superiority for its value. The bridal accessories are produced in material with high quality and high-grade handwork, incorporated with highly experienced workers.
Product variety is massive at wedding dreams. As Dubai is becoming a cultural melting point, the target market rage is high. We provide bridal attire for each segment of the market. Therefore we provide the products with a fine variety to satisfy all segments in the market. Customers are offered with the facility to choose the design and the theme of attire and to make an order that will be made within a minimum time period.
Product compatibility gives the indication of the product quality and the ability of the sterilization process to achieve the intended results without detrimental effect on the product. The wedding attires of Wedding Dreams are made of the best product in quality, attractive prices and a fabulous that the it makes hard for customers to choose one within many. This speciality as Wedding Dreams makes the entire concept an organisation with international notion with graceful fusion.
In a cultural and a demographic perspective, although the native residents in Dubai are Arabs, they have become much more sophisticated and westernized at a dramatic speed with considerable population of multi cultures such as Catholics, Christians, and Utah Mormons who are considered to be the target market. Therefore, the product compatibility of Wedding Dreams is measured to be high. Additionally considering the economic fact that the income level of the target market in Dubai is also high (the statistics say that U.A.E: Dubai Per Capita Income is nearly $25,000 (www.datadubai.com), it is explicit that the target market can afford the product at any given price since the quality matters in such a high - involvement product. Thus it is an opportunity for Wedding Dreams to penetrate the market easily and remain compatible.
In today's society, people tend to celebrate their weddings in a great manner. However the apparel falls under shopping goods, and especially since this is their dream attire on their big day, consumers' involvement in this purchasing decision is towering up. Therefore the complexity is considerably high as people spend a great deal on time and effort.
The degree of a trialabilty of a product or service has a direct correlation with the adoption process of a product or service as the level of trialabilty influences a customer's attitude towards a product or service in terms of risk. In the case of Wedding Dreams, the customer's perceived risk of purchasing a wedding dress will be reduced if they are allowed to try on a dress before making a purchase.
This aspect can be used well by the company to improve the attitude of customers as by default customers are allowed to try on dresses. Wedding Dreams can allow their customers to try on the dresses at a minor fee thus delivering a message of self confidence in their products.
Wedding Dreams can further utilize this aspect by providing personalized trials through customized tailoring if a customer is interested in a particular item. By making a dress fit a customer better, Wedding Dreams can reduce fear and encourage customers to make a purchase by improving attitudes and reducing the level of perceived risk. (Joe's Adblog, n.d).
The extent to which a potential consumer can observe, imagine and describe a new products innovation and its positive effects is known as observability. It's conventional that our product will be displayed in the showroom for our customers to gaze the product before actual purchase and will also provide a special catalogue for designer wear outfits and wedding dresses in order to pay more attention individually which in return lead for mass customizing. Wedding dreams products are tangible and low in complexity; therefore, it's concluded that our product has a high degree of observability. In addition this results in customers adopting at a faster rate which is a favourable outcome and an added benefit to our business.
(1.1) Major problems and resistances to product acceptance based on the preceding evaluation
One of the major challenges that Wedding Dreams would have to face is the severe competition in the industry who are already well established locally. This challenge is chiefly related to two main cultural dilemmas i.e. Ethnocentrism and Self-Reference-Criterion. Ethnocentrism can be defined as what goes on their own culture is ‘unnatural' and ‘correct' (Levine, Campbell, 1972). And Self-Reference-Criterion is an unconscious reference to one's own cultural values (Cateora et al., 2009). Therefore the target market residents tend to give the priority for the local products believing that their product is the best and anything that is imported from a developing country such as Sri Lanka is not superior to theirs. As a result, Wedding Dreams products may be neglected over the local products.
(2.0) The Market
(2.1) The market(s) in which Wedding Dreams is to be sold
The geographical areas in which Wedding Dreams intends to operate need to be analysed and selected so that the marketing efforts can be limited and targeted to target customers within set geographical parameters. The United Arab Emirates consists of seven states and a decision has to be made on the degree of market coverage or market scope. It is important to identify the forms of transportation and communication in the selected states or sub regions a they will influence distribution of products and the communication efforts carried out by Wedding Dreams to target customers.
(3.1.1) Geographical region - Jumeirah
The selected region of Jumeirah is situated in the state of Dubai and this region has been selected simply because of the fact that the UAE partner company of Wedding Dreams; “Arushi Fashion” is situated in this city. (Appendix-2)
(3.1.2) Forms of transportation and communication available in Jumeirah
The transportation network of the UAE boasts the highest international standards with developed speedways and well maintained roads and the city of Jumeirah is approximately 28 kilometers from the Dubai International Airport and this is a very quick and easy drive as many modes of transportation are available from taxis to luxury buses and coaches.
The communication network too is on par in terms of standards with the transportation network as the latest developments in Information Communication Technology have been introduced and implemented mainly due the vast amounts of international contacts and interactions. Satellite phones, 3G mobiles with broadband internet, Wi-Fi, and all other new developments are there in the region. (Jumeirah, 2009)
(3.1.3) Consumer buying habits
(184.108.40.206) Product-use patterns
In general, when they purchase wedding attire for the couple, it is a tradition to procure attires for going away parties. In addition, considering the latest wedding trend, they moreover purchase dresses for the parties who are related to the couple i.e. the bride's maids, flower girls, best men and page boys. Therefore, all type of attires will be available under one roof for the buyers to make the purchase quick and easier.
(220.127.116.11) Product feature preferences
Since the product is greatly associated with the ever changing contemporary style trends, all the products will have up-to-date style features. Nevertheless, for the traditional lovers, it will be tailored and given as per their desires. In both the ways of featuring of the products, it will be guaranteed that all the attires will be unique and the best of quality.
(18.104.22.168) Shopping habits
In general, the wedding attires are something that the bride and the groom have always been dreaming about before their marriage. The purchase of the product requires a high involvement as it is purchased once in their life time and extremely embedded with emotions of the consumers. Therefore, some collections of the attires will be pre-designed and displayed in accordance with the most popular preferences. In addition, the product will be stitched and customized as per the customers' wishes.
(3.1.4) Distribution of the product
The distribution will be exclusive as Wedding Dreams joint-ventures with Arushi Fashion. The product will be available only at the outlet of Arushi- Fashion, in Jumeriah state. There will not be any intermediaries in the supply chain. As the nature of the product itself is very exclusive and prestigious, the excess distribution will not be suitable.
(3.1.5) Advertising and promotion
(22.214.171.124) ‘Advertising media' the ladder to reach your target market(s)
Families in Arab world are undergoing major changes in marriage, therefore wedding industry have to be supple as per to the changing need of the brides & grooms. (Rashad, et al,2005). Also primary target market for our wedding dresses is high end Sunni Muslim brides, grooms and Utah Mormon who are in late teens or early twenties (20-29). The secondary target market to our business is the bride's maid, flower girls, best men and page boys added with ladies who go for a party wear. Therefore newspaper, personal selling, word of mouth, brochures & flyers and exclusive magazines are the proposed advertizing tools which are to be used mainly to focus primary and secondary target market (Arabian brides and grooms (Sunni Muslim) and Utah Mormons). When we visited Dubai to study their market, we encountered that the population use Arabic language the most. With that said, many individuals throughout Dubai will converse in English. Farsi and Urdu are also spoken in various regions throughout Dubai; therefore the advertizing campaign has to be carried in Arabic & English language the most. Also its notable that TV advertisement will not be utilized as this product is sold for high end customers and Wedding Dreams have to attract and retain the clients with the aim of building loyalty which is fundamental to provide a positive word of mouth about our products and services. In fact TV ads are mass media and not effective enough to build reliability and it is not suitable method of communication to showcase our product to its target market exclusively. As nature of product decides the promotional mix, radio ad, TV ad, bill boards are inapt to promote our product and incapable to communicate.
Under this method brochures and flyers will be personally distributed to our prospects indicating the basic information and unique features of our products and services.
Bridal shows will be organized by wedding dreams to attract new customers and to create publicity and positive word of mouth. Also Wedding Dreams will participate in major bridal fashion events in Dubai such as ‘The Bride Show' which is the largest wedding exhibition in which the leading bridal shop owners participate.
Web site ad
Launching a web site through which all information about wedding dreams product and services is easily accessed.
Magazines & Newspaper
Printing advertisement on exclusive wedding magazines such as Emirates Brides magazine, that publishes in the language of English for the country as well as work as a means of providing information for the couples who are to be married in U.A.E will be effective. It's also decided to print in Wedding Arabic & Wedding English magazines which are mostly viewed by brides and grooms in general. In addition advertising on news papers such as U.A.E newspaper, 7 days, Khaleejh Times in the medium of English and Al Khaleejh, Al Arabia papers in the medium of Arabic which are viewed by all the females and males, is too prudent.
Sending personalized directs mails to the target market who often read mails. These can include informing & reminding customers about new offers. And also sending greeting cards to customers and vouchers on special package, for instance clients can bring these vouchers when purchasing party wears.
Word of mouth
Make innovative and unique products to intrigue customer's attention in order to induce them to spread a positive word of mouth. Also as mentioned earlier organize Bridal shows to attract the customers.
(126.96.36.199) Sales promotions customarily used
To achieve the core objectives of wedding dreams, it is important to conduct sales promotion as a marketing stratagem, among all the sales promotional tools, given free gifts, sales discounts, premiums, coupons are some of them that can be espoused. Sales promotions in essence will assist wedding dreams to fabricate loyal customers through relationship building. Accordingly sales promotions will argument positive word of mouth that will indirectly attract new customers and increase revenue.
Free gifts - Offer free goods along with product being purchased. For instance a branded make up kit including Arabian kohl which is very popular among Arabian females or perfumeries to customers who have gone for purchases exceeding the limit of US$ 6000.
Sales discounts - Full Wedding packages, including wardrobes for all the members in the wedding crew and other packages, excluding Bride's and Groom's attire. These packages will be offered with a 10% discount of the total price. Customers who will purchase in large volume will be offered at 25% discount at Off-seasons. Also separate discounts on small purchases will be given by introducing loyalty cards.
Coupons - Most of trade couponing promotions of wedding dreams consist with point - of - purchase supports in Dubai. Coupons will be offered twice a year to encourage the customers. Besides, each coupon is valid for only 10 days after the offering.
Premiums - As Arabians in Middle East are bounded to cover the body, providing abaya's along with the actual product will motivate the purchase at wedding dreams. This is only given for purchases occur under package.
(3.1.6) Pricing strategy
(188.8.131.52) Customary mark-ups
Due to existing high competition in Dubai Apparel market, the pricing strategy at Arushi's Fashion should be analysed cautiously to maintain a competitive advantage to the organisation. The prime objectives of the pricing strategy in Wedding Dreams is as follows
* To develop a competitive advantage in the Dubai wedding Apparel industry through adopting the right pricing mechanism and attracting the target market
* Remain in the import industry by means of accommodating an effective turn-over.
Besides, emerge of many competitors will increase the current competition. Therefore in the initial stage, Wedding dreams can adopt to a penetrated pricing strategy to flabbergast the target market and gradually reach the premeditated price.
(184.108.40.206) Types of discounts available
To compete in the market Wedding Dreams will offer copious discount in an indirect way. The Discount will be proffered in term of Packages. Full Wedding packages, including wardrobes for all the members in the wedding crew and other packages, excluding Bride's and Groom's attire. These packages will be offered with a 10% discount of the total price. Customers who will purchase in large volume will be offered at 25% discount at Off-seasons. These discounted packages will lend a high turnover to the organisation by means of providing a discount to the customers.
(3.2) Compare and contrast your product and the competition's products
There are no major exporters of wedding wear and accessories to the UAE from Sri Lanka but the market in the UAE is highly competitive with several large competitors already operating in the region. In order to be competitive and first and foremost survive upon entry into the new overseas market, Wedding Dreams needs to identify the product offerings of competitors and also assess the quality in order to set assess their own standards to ensure that they not only are able to remain competitive but also gain a competitive advantage. Four major competitors who are already operating in the UAE have been identified and they are as follows;
(3.2.1) Competitor's products
La Donna Fashion House:
This is one of the more up market and exclusive competitors that offers evening and wedding dresses. They have launched their latest collection by the name of “Oriental Nights” that adopts a customized approach using the Arabic theme using locally found rich and exquisite fabrics together with colourful designs and embroideries. The main difference between the product of La Donna Fashion House and ArushiFashion -Wedding dreams is the fact that it offers all the product variety such as the wedding attire for the couple, going away dresses, dresses for bride's maids and so on while La Donna Fashion House solely offers to the bride alone.
This goes by the name of Salma Kahn's Fashion Studio and houses highly experiences professional tailors and embroiders who specialize in Western, Arabic and Asian dresses and accessories. They believe in personalized attention as they ensure that customized products are offered to customers with different lifestyles and who represent various cultural backgrounds. They not only make the dresses fit their customers but also ensure that the designs, colours, and even the seasonal elements are taken into proper consideration to get the best out of the products for their customers. In, comparing and contrasting the Wedding dreams from Salma Kahn, we can say that the price factor is slightly deviated. Wedding Dreams products are comparatively low and are made of the finest quality.
This competitor is a very established company with a truly global presence with its operations in Asia, North America and the Middle East. Through training and development and experienced tailoring and designing, they seek to ensure creativity, innovation and quality that are customized to meet different requirements of customers. They too specialize mainly on evening and bridal wear and possess high capacities to produce and sell through their spread out network of outlets and factory space. In deviating Wedding Dreams products from Rahmanian, Rahamnian is more known locally and globally. Although the venturing company ArushiFashion is also well known but it is not as established as Rahamanian. Nevertheless, the product variety at different price range makes Wedding Dreams competitive.
Ekaterina & Maria Fashion:
This competitor operates in a niche market with packages for VIP clients and has a collection of over 500 designs of bridal wear from the bride to flower girls and accessories that are modern in design and are also very easy and comfortable to wear. This competitor is well known for its designs and quality and thus possesses a healthy brand image. This competitor is solely aiming the VIPs whereas Arushi Fashion -Wedding Dream aims a wide market with variety of price and products.
(3.2.2) Competitor's prices
Going away gown
Bride's made, Flower girl gown
LaDonna Fashion House
Ekaterina & Maria Fashion
According to the industry analysis, the competitor's average price is 2% higher than the price of a gown in wedding dreams. The current market leaders and the average price of the main product categories are introduced below;
Apart from the pricing strategies the above competitors follow promotional tools by presenting attractive discounts and offers. However according to analysis, the pricing strategy and other promotional methods at Wedding Dreams will develop a competitive advantage in the market.
(3.2.3) Competitor's promotion and advertising methods
As mentioned above the direct competitors to wedding dreams are La Donna Fashion House, SALMA KHAN, Rahmanian, and Ekaterina & Maria Fashion. These competitors use a lot of advertising and promotional methods to create awareness about their new arrivals among the public and to retain the old customers. When considering their methods of advertising it's seem to be similar to one another as their product ranges, price, target market are identical. Basically these outlets do shopping mall promotion as there are a lot of popular shopping malls in Dubai.
To be candid, these promotions are especially carried out in malls such as, Deira City Centre, Mercato Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Wafi City Mall Dubai, Dubai Festival City, and Emirates Towers Boulevard, as it is known as the top seven malls which are most visited by high end customers and foreigners. First and foremost, the four direct competitors have their cut outs and banners in these malls. La Donna Fashion House distribute brochures and flyers for bridal wear through certain men's shops in those malls to the male customers who tend to visit often those places, as these flyers are taken to the young females in their families. In addition they advertize in magazines which are customized for people who are going to marry in near future. Also advertizing on emirates magazines and advertisements played in the small monitored TV's in the airplane, which are read and viewed by the passenger's during the journey. It is an additional benefit as emirates is a national airline of U.A.E. Generally all the competitors do provide TV advertisements on Dubai channels such Dubai TV, Arabic, EMI, and Fashion and celebrities, in seasonal basis to stimulate the customer demand in off season. Rahmanian have word of mouth campaign to create a positive word of mouth which is being a major strength for their businesses since 1947. In addition all the outlets have personal selling tactics to attract the customers individually by being personally concerned.
(3.2.4) Competitor's distribution channels
Most of the leading competitors have both whole sellers and retailers selling methods. However retail shop purchase bulks from whole selling warehouses where it reduces in-house storage and costs. In this scenario the distribution is commonly offered by whole sellers. Agents are another mode of channel in the wedding industry. Agents from worldwide import goods for their state through whole sellers.
(3.3) Market size
(3.3.1) Estimated industry sales for the planning year
The recent economic recession has dampened the performance of many industries including the wedding and bridal wear industry. Despite the recession researchers forecast a 2% increase in industry wide sales between 2009 and 2010 in the UAE. Research has also shown that the UAE is one of the ten most attractive markets for apparel manufacturers.
Even though no proper information is available on the industry sales statistics, research has also shown that average cost of a wedding in the UAE approximately 80,000 US Dollars or 300,000 UAE Dirhams. And the number of weddings per year in Dubai is estimated to be approximately 50,000 per year. So the total industry sales comes to US$ 4,000,000,000. Research also shows the mainstream of respondents were willing to spend more than 100,00 UAE Dirhams while an approximate 12% were even willing to spend over 500,000 UAE Dirhams for their weddings.
This provides sound evidence that there is high potential for specialized and designed wedding wear in the UAE and the rise in fashion shows also supplements the evidence as they continue to increase in size attracting more and more exhibitors and visitors each year.
(3.3.2) Estimated sales for Wedding Dreams for the planning year (2011)
The estimated sales for Wedding Dreams for the year 2011 are nearly 41,500,000 which is approximately 0.01% of the total industry sales. (Refer the financial Statement in the financial section). Wedding Dreams hopes to go higher than this amount of sales by more market penetration.
(3.4) Government participation in the marketplace
(3.4.1) Agencies that can help you
The business law for partnerships and joint ventures requires a local company to be involved with a 51% stake in the business while the external company has control of 49% of the business proceedings. In the case of “Wedding Dreams” the most suitable method one of the above methods to enter the UAE as it reduces risk and sole ownership requires businesses to be set up in free trade zones and getting local businesses involved also lowers the capital spending and enables an external company to exploit local knowledge.
Since Wedding Dreams will either go in for a partnership or a joint venture as opposed to solely owned entity, they can be sure to get government support as there will be a local company involved. This will result in tax reductions and even subsidizing to start up business operations.
The ease of raising capital will be greater as the access to sources of finance will be easier with a local partner as local governments and financial institutions will be more willing to provide finance when a local company is involved in a business venture.
The government also helps the industry by encouraging more exhibitions and trade fairs and fashion events as it also benefits by improving tourism.
(3.4.2) Regulation you must follow
As per to the U.A.E government's rules and regulations, licensing any business is a must to carry out trade activities in any part of U.A.E. In fact, it consist three types of licensing such as commercial license which is recommended for all kinds of trading, the second is Industrial license which is suitable for a business which is going to specialize in manufacturing or industrializing. The last option is professional license, which is only issued for professional businesses that has expertise on that relevant field. As we decided to joint venture with Arushi fashion which is located in Dubai Jumeirah Beach Road, it's insignificant to obtain any license to operate the business in that region.
Arushi fashion launched its operation in 1989, and specializes in designing wedding dresses for the Middle East women including high end customers of UAE. Arushi fashion's main focus is to provide innovative designs including dresses for henna functions and evening wear.
As our goals and Arushi fashion's marketing goals, its service & products defined to be similar, wedding dreams decided to joint venture with Arushi Fashion, Dubai. It is an added advantage that, Arushi is functioning in the Dubai industry for more than 20 years and has a good reputation among everyone; therefore it's unambiguous to create a positive word of mouth about our service in a short period of time. As per to the nature of our business and legal laws of U.A.E, Arushi fashion is given 51% of the company, while sharing an equal amount of profit or loss. Although joint venture is not required to license the business, we as a team decided publish the agreement to run the business under the name of Wedding Dreams to showcase our ideas and designs to attract and retain the target market and to be successful internationally with the local name.
I. The marketing plan
A. Marketing objectives
Target market(s) (specific description of the market)
Wedding Dreams will be primarily targeting the young couples who are to be married i.e. soon-to-be- the bride and the groom and aged 18-35. And its secondary target market will be the parties who are related to the couple i.e. the bride's maids, flower girls, best men and page boys and all other youngsters who are fond of party wears. Since the venturing company Arushi-Fashion only targets the brides, the span of the target market is small. Therefore, Wedding Dreams products will expand its size of the target segment.
Expected sales year 2010
The expected sales for the year 2011 have been calculated by taking the number of units that have been exported which is appropriate for the size of the segmented target market and the current performance and trends of the wedding industry in Dubai into consideration. The anticipated value of the sales has amounted to US$ 41,500,000. It comprises of all types of attires that would be exported. (Refer the financial statement)
Profit expectations year 2010
It is expected that Wedding Dreams will have a net profit of US$ 24594500 due to high sales revenue and decreased expenditures. (Refer-Financial Statement).
Market penetration and coverage
As explained in the marketing audit, the geographical parameter that has been chosen to initially penetrate is Jumeirah, where the venturing company Arushi Fashion is situated in. This is chosen as the customers and potential customers of Arushi Fashion will be easily attracted. Nevertheless, Wedding dreams hopes to penetrate more of the states in Dubai eventually.
B. Product adaptation or modification: using the product component model as your guide, indicate how your product can be adapted for the market
The product in the context of Wedding Dreams is basically wedding wear and accessories from the bride and groom to all participating parties in a wedding. The product is aimed at fulfilling customer needs through its tangible and intangible attributes. A product has 3 layers and they are;
This is based on the need of the customer and basis on which the product and the design is created. It also covers the functionality of a product which in this case is to fulfil the requirements for wedding attire.
This aspect covers the quality, design and pricing. Despite the change in region, these aspects have to be molded in a way that communicates highest quality that provides value for money and also gives the customer a sense of self esteem.
Support services component
This aspect in the context of Wedding Dreams deals with the assurance of quality and the quality of tailoring and support services with regard to the dresses and accessories.
After having considered these aspects we can choose between product adaptation and innovation. Innovation is not required as the “need” across borders is the same yet the “want” may be different. However, the offerings of Wedding Dreams have to be done by understanding the local tastes and adopt more of an international approach as there will be nationals and expatriates in our clientele.
Since an adaptation approach can be used, the Core component of the product will remain unchanged as the need will be the same and the functionality will accomplish a common task.
The Packaging component with its quality and pricing needs to be done in an integrated way to provide the best quality on par with competition at the best price providing value for money. The designs however, have to be done to suit the local and international tastes.
The Support components can be used to build confidence and also to add value to the product offerings. Services such as tailoring and additional consultation will enhance the experience and aid in assuring customer satisfaction.
C. Promotion mix
The promotion is the next element that the wedding dreams have to implement in such a way to attract viewer attention and as well to enhance the customer perception on wedding dreams. Under this terrain the main methods that Wedding dreams intends to use are advertising, sales promotions, personal selling and some other promotional tools which goes with the product.
This promotional campaign is targeted towards many objectives. Since wedding dreams is a totally new company in the Dubai market, our promotions will be focused mainly towards creating awareness among the target audience. The objectives in brief as follows;
* Create awareness among the target audience
* Create a favorable attitude in the market
* Create the desire or liking for the prospects to try the product at least once
* To have a high reach and coverage through these promotions
* Keep reminding the audience about wedding dreams new arrivals
* Create a loyal customer base advertising Strategy
Through the promotional campaign what we intend to communicate to the target audience is the quality wedding attire for men and omen would provide along with the other benefits and the advantages. The unique designs, mass customizing, the rich materials& fabrics being used, on time deliver and many more values benefits that the customers can get at wedding dreams will be communicated through the promotional campaign. Also the advertisements will be carried out in the medium of Arabic & English as it is the most used language in the Dubai world.
As wedding dreams is new to the Dubai world market it's highly important to carry out the advertisements in the new papers and specialized magazines for wedding preparation to create awareness among the general public. Therefore we planned to carry out the unique ads in two different ways. The first ad which will be published is a teaser campaign and the second one is the follow up ad to be continued after the launch. As mentioned earlier our target market will be the Sunni Muslims and Utah Mormons who comprise the large majority of population and the language mostly used in Dubai is Arabic and English. Therefore the ads will be carried in those two languages as the most.
Publishing advertisements on exclusive wedding magazines such as Emirates Brides magazine which is the only English-language wedding magazine published locally for the region and offers essential information to brides marrying in the UAE will be effective. It is also decided to print ads on magazines such as Wedding Arabic & Wedding English, which are mostly viewed by brides and grooms in general. As elaborated the teaser campaign will be carried out in the respective magazines for the first month, right before the launch. Follow ups will be continued after the launch. The objective is to create the brand awareness to the general public and remind them about our innovative products and services added with actual benefits.
It is important to publish the ads in the Dubai news papers as we are newly moving in to the Dubai market. And this form of advertisement will have a high reach and coverage as it is viewed by everyone on a daily basis. News paper ads will also be published right before one month prior to the launch as teaser campaign. After the launch the follow up ads will be continued in the respective papers.
In addition, advertising on news papers such as U.A.E newspaper, 7 days, Khaleejh Times in the medium of English and Al Khaleej, Al Arabia papers in the medium of Arabic which are viewed by all the females and males.
As wedding dreams is in the introductory stage of its expansion in Dubai, the main massage we intend to convey is all about what is special in Wedding dreams products and the all its other benefits. The promotional themes we have designed for it are,
Teaser campaign - Just dream…….by wedding dreams
Follow up ad - Wedding dreams….your dreams are made real here.
The estimated cost for printing ads in the news papers and magazines are given below, and these costs are relevant in determining the total cost of the promotion campaign. Also it's accountable in estimating the final budget.
Type of ad
One time cost in $
Times per month in $
Cost per month in $
News Paper - 1/2 page
Magazine - full page
News paper - 1/2 page News paper ads will be printed on week days in U.A.E newspaper, 7 days, Khaleejh Times which will cost around AED or Dh 2100. The ads in weed end will be published in Al Khaleej, Al Arabia, which will cost around AED or Dh 4250.
Magazine - Ads in the magazine will be published in week days on Emirates Brides magazine and ads on Wedding Arabic & Wedding English magazines are published on daily basis. Total cost for the magazine ad will be AED or Dh 3500.
In the wedding industry Sales Promotions is a very widely used promotional tool and is proven to be effective. So Sales Promotions would be used to promote wedding dreams for the potential customer base which would be high end Arabian customers.
* To create immediate sales for wedding dreams. As wedding dreams is a new kid in the block creating immediate sales would be advantageous to gain more revenue and attain marketing goals.
* To create brand loyalty among the customers and they would make repeat purchases and do positive word of mouth to promote wedding dreams as they would be highly satisfied with the Sales Promotions.
* To introduce new design to the market as target audience has less reliability and interest which in return may help to attract them and retain.
* To counter the above mentioned competitors sales promotions and other activities
* To increase wedding dreams product rate among the consumers in the beginning of next year. (2011)
* To reduce seasonal decline in sales
Most of trade couponing promotions of wedding dreams consist with point - of - purchase supports in Dubai. This method helps the company to increase the repeat purchases of the clients. Coupons will be offered twice a year to encourage the customers. Besides, each coupon is valid for only 10 days after the offering. This is to encourage the consumers for immediate purchases of Wedding dreams.
By using premiums, wedding dreams hopes to increase client purchases with a unique idea. Wedding dreams offers premiums to all the clients who purchase their wedding attire under the Full Wedding package. It is important to encourage the consumers to buy larger quantities than needed to stimulate the sales.
Wedding dreams Full wedding package, loyalty cards, premiums and free gifts are provided under various discounts. As mentioned earlier a 25% discount are given on packages and 10% discount given for customers with loyalty cards. Also the coupons are valid for 10 days from the day of issue and the premiums are given for customers who do package purchases. Free gift offer for purchase exceeding the cost of US$ 6000. These practices bring a great interest towards the wedding dreams products.
Personal selling to the respondents of Wedding dreams' target market will be an effective plan to make the public aware of wedding dreams' existence. There are three main definitional characteristics which distinguish personal selling from other types of marketing.
* Personal selling involves direct contact between buyer and seller, either face-to face or some form of telecommunication system such as telephone sales
* It attempts to send its messages directly to consumers, without the use of intervening media. This involves commercial communication (Brochures & flyers, direct mail, e-mail, and telemarketing) with consumers or businesses, usually unsolicited.
* It is focused on driving a specific "call-to-action." This aspect of personal selling involves an emphasis on traceable, measurable positive (but not negative) responses from consumers (known simply as "response" in the industry) regardless of medium.
We will be combining personal selling and advertising together to capture our target market towards our products. Combining advertising and personal selling will improve reach and reduce costs. Also we will be combining personal selling and sales promotion to target the ultimate consumer and other promotional tools are designed to assist the sales staff.
Other promotional tools
Bridal Show and Exhibition
This promotional tool will be exercised by Wedding Dreams through Arushi Fashion where there is a renowned bridal show or exhibition is being carried out such as ‘The Bride Show' which is the largest and the most famous fashion event in Dubai where they can attract more customers. To participate in such an even will cost around US $ 140,000.
Public relations projects
The strategies to be carried out to maintain Public Relations would be; To get actively involved in charity projects - An example would be to provide free weddings to poor who are incapable of investing money to accomplish their dream once in a year. When this goes on the mass media automatically the public would be impressed and would have a great liking towards Wedding Dreams.
Another suggestion would be to allocate a small margin of the profits, maybe 5 % for needy projects that involve charity such as AIDS prevention, Cancer aid. This would be an effective way to win the general public and they would be the idea of that Wedding dreams is acting as a Corporate Responsible company and is not only concerned about profits.
D. Distribution: from origin to destination Port selection
(Port Rashid- Dubai)
Apparel and clothing is bulkily transported via sea. As most of the Dubai Ports poses world class facilities, port Rashid is among them. Therefore the chosen Port for transportation is Port Rashid as it is situated in the city Dubai. Rashid Port is ranked first in efficiency in terms of container facilities, where it enables to transport both imports and exports in the least time phase. However the products will be directly transported from the Colombo Port to Port Rashid in Dubai.
Mode selection: advantages and disadvantages
· The Cost is lower than air freight
· Compared to Air freight the distribution period is longer
· Low taxes and low labor cost.
· Urgent consignments cannot be made
· Efficiency - capability to move great amounts of cargo a longer distance in a short time period
· Loss of cargos due to unexpected circumstances
· The Rashid Port is well linked to other parts of the country by a network of road and rail connections
· The standards of packaging should be higher than the air freight packaging
Packaging of wedding attire should be met with high standards. Wedding attire will be in Carton packaging bags, Secondly the carton packaged freight is packaged in Acid free, water proof wedding dress boxes where the quality of the products will be preserved and safe.
In Sri Lanka, there is a process of documentation in cargo. According to Customer Declaration, four documents should be completed; namely the warranty copy, statistical copy, parties copy and security co copy.
Under the ministry of textile industry development all exporters of apparel should be registered. Before transportation wedding dreams should go through the custom procedure and Port procedures as below with the required Export duty.
· Shipping note
· Shipping Document
· Cargo Dispatch Note
· Customer declaration Security form
· Packing List
The following Bank documents should be submitted to the bank before the final stage of freight dispose.
(1) Invoice (2) Letter of credit
(3) Origin Bill of lading (4) Insurance policy
(5) Bill of exchange (6) Packaging list
Insurance claims are important to Wedding Dreams when they send their products Dubai. A sea freight forwarder should be selected which will provides marine insurance to products upon the request of the customers. However, the Sri Lanka EXPORT CREDIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (SLECIC) is committed to provide Export Credit Insurance and Guarantee support services for the development of exports of Sri Lanka. The following guarantees should be constructed prior to the freight export installation.
* Export Production Credit Guarantee
* Pre-shipment Credit Guarantee
* Post-shipment Credit Guarantee
* Export Performance Guarantee
Nanyang Forwarding & Transport Co (M) Sdn Bhd (NFTC) is chosen as the sea freight forwarder to transport the products by sea from Sri Lanka to Dubai and to the store. Their total logistics services are all under one roof for customer's convenience. Their operations teams with extensive experience to handle any type of cargo by whatever transportation requirements to any door worldwide. Their good rapport with various authorities involved in shipping and logistics ensure smooth cargo clearance. Therefore the freight forwarder of wedding dreams will be effective.
E. Channels of Distribution (micro analysis)
The dresses and all accessories will be sourced and provided from Sri Lanka which will be the supply hub for UAE. Since Wedding Dreams has tied up with a local company by the name of Arushi Fashion, the channel of distribution will be fairly simple.
The dresses and accessories will be sent from Sri Lanka to the UAE where they will be marketed and sold at Arushi Fashion outlets. Therefore, the channel of distribution is short with a relatively higher degree of control and gives a sense of exclusivity with the products being made available at selected outlets. There will be no wholesalers or importers involved as Arushi Fashion will be the sole licensed importer and retailers in the UAE.
Wedding Dreams Arushi Fashion
* Exporting: This will be done by Wedding Dreams from Sri Lanka.
* Importing: This task will be done by Arushi Fashion in the UAE who will be the official importer.
* Warehousing and Retailing: This task too will be done by Arushi Fashion where their stores will be used for storing and the selling will be done at their outlets. Apart from the dresses on display, A “Just-In-Time” method can be used where tailored dresses and customized accessories can be supplied from Sri Lanka based on orders made.
F. Price determination
Cost of shipment of goods
It ensures a safe shipment of the Apparel goods and other accessories are packaged in anti Alcoholic and water proof containers and crates. The owners of the shipment will make well suited packages to ensure the products are transported safely. Therefore it is recommended to allocate 5% of the production cost.
The financial budget includes all the Costs in transportation which is amounted to US $ 45,500 per year.
All freight conduct expenses in the exporting process are expected to be US $ 152500.
Insurance cost is to provide an average indication of the comparative insurance which is anticipated to be US $ 10,000 per annum.
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for gathering and protection customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods. This is estimated to be 20% of the production cost which comes to the amount of US $ 1633750.
Import taxes and value-added tax
* GTS - 5%
* Duties - 20%
* Sales and Excise tax -15
Company's gross margins and Retail Price
The pricing of the Wedding attires and other attires are the total production cost which includes the production cost, shipping, handling and transportation expenses. (Refer the financial statements) Additionally it also includes the costs of marketing, administration and other overheads which are shown in the profit and loss A/C. The price includes the profit margin of 60% in pricing which is a quite profitable for Wedding Dreams. The price details of each product are exposed in the financial section.
G. Terms of sale
This looks at how the risks, obligations, tasks and costs of different nature are divided between the supplier and the buyer, in this case between Wedding Dreams and Arushi Fashion in relation to the international transactions that will be made. These are known as Incoterms (worldwide standards) which are created by the international chamber of commerce in order to use during the course of international transactions.
As per to the Dubai law and obligations, The forms that the exporters use to carry out the transactions are Free on Board (FOB), Cost and Freight (C&F) and Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF).
1. Free on Board (FOB): This term applies to the exporter's port and covers cost of goods and transportation to the importer's port.
2. Cost and Freight (C&F): This aspect covers the transportation costs at the port of the importer which will be UAE and how the risk of loss, stolen, or damaged goods will be transferred to the importer (Arushi Fashion) from the supplier (Wedding Dreams) once the good are brought and loaded in the importing country.
3. Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF): This covers the cost of transporting and insuring the goods being transferred to the importing port along with the quote on the cost of goods.
H. Methods of payment
Basically the method of payment has to be in US$, CIF or CIFC, when engaging in transactions in Dubai. With that Pro Forma Invoices is also recommended as a mode of payment, in order to facilitate the opening letters of credit. The method of payment will need to be agreed when negotiating the contract with Arushi Fashion and the methods are as follows;
* Payment through cheque or cash
* A Bank receipt is required if customs duty has been paid through a Dubai bank.
* Customs duty debit facility is given against bank guarantee
Also it's integrated that an irrevocable letter of credit is required until an occurrence of a firm trading relationship. Documents Against Acceptance (D/A) or Documents Against Payments (D/P) may also be used as documentary payments arrangements are far less common in Dubai. (Doing Business, 2009)
II. Pro forma financial statements and budget
Wedding Dreams will export its products categorized into 7 main types according to its target market i.e. Bridal Attire, groom's attire, bride's maid attire, flower girls' attire, best men attire and page boys' attire. The price ranges also varies in order to attract more target market.
(Refer Appendix - The products at different price ranges).
The profit and loss A/C statement has been exposed below in order to show the feasibility of the plan. (Please refer Appendix-2 for other financial statements which have been used as workings)
Trading, Profit & Loss A/C for the year ended 31-12-2011
Cost US $
Net Sales (Refer Appendix- 3/ Note -1)
(-) Total Cost of Production (Refer Note-2)
Logistic Cost (Refer Note -3 )
Marketing Cost (Refer Note- 4)
Overheads (Refer Note - 5 )
III. Resource requirements
Since Wedding Dreams has a large warehouse or storage there is no need for it to worry about the Storage facility about which many exporters do. The only needed resource for Wedding Dreams currently is finance. The available finance resource for Wedding Dreams will be the investment that the owner puts in and apart from that, Wedding Dreams can make a use of leasing and bank loan facility which encourages exports at reduced interest rate. The suggested recommendation is loan for exports that Sampath Bank and People's bank offers at the cheapest interest rate than the other.
Sources of Information
* AMEinfo, 2009, Sheikah Jawaher opens Sharjah Wedding Show, retrieved from
http://www.ameinfo.com/148257.html, on the 20th of January, 2010
* Competitor analysis - Rahmanian, retrieved from http://www.rahmanian.com/ on the 14th of January, 2010
o La Donna Fashion House, retrieved from, http://www.ladonnafashion.com/ on the 14th of January, 2010
o Salma Khan, retrieved, http://www.wedding.ae/Bride_dress_Salma_khan.htm on the 14th of January, 2010
o EKatrina & Maria house, retrieved from, http://www.wedding.ae/Fashion_Katrina_maria.htm on the 14th of January, 2010.
* Australian Business Global markets, 17th January 2009, Doing Business in U.A.E. Retrieved from, http://www.austrade.gov.au/Doing-business-in-UAE/default.aspx on 28th January, 2010.
* Cateora . R.C., Graham. L.J., Salwan. P., 2009, International Marketing, 13th ed, published by McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd, New Delhi.
* Chinaapparel Net News, 2009, UAE: Wedding Industry Growing at an Exponential Rate, retrieved from, http://www.chinaapparel.net/news/2008/2008-06-06/15917.shtml , on the 28th of December, 2009.
* DubaiTourism, 2009, Population Statistics in Dubai, retreived from, http://www.dubaitourism.ae/Portals/0/Statistics%5CPopulationStatistics/A001%20UAE_Population_2008.pdf, on the 22nd of January, 2010.
* Economy Watch, 2009, Economy of Dubai, retrieved from http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/dubai/ on the 20th of January, 2010.
* Gulfnews, 2008, Inflation in UAE stands at 12% , retrieved from http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/inflation-in-uae-stands-at-12-1.112004 on the 22nd of January,2010
* Joe's Adblod, Product Characteristics. Retrieved 26th January 2010. From http://advertisingadvice.blogspot.com/2008/03/product-characteristics-relative.html
* Lachenmayer.S.J., 2009, Lens On Dubai Society -Fragile or Postmodern, retrieved from http://www.systemic-excellence group.com/shared/files/papers/Lens_on_Dubais_Society_-_Fragile_or_Postmodern_KEY_FINDINGS.pdf on the 26th of January, 2010
* Levine, R.A.; Campbell, D.T.: Ethnocentrism: Theories of Conflict, Ethnic Attitudes, and Group Behavior, John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York 1972
* Maktoob Business News, 2007, UAE Per capita income rises to record, retrieved from http://business.maktoob.com/20090000366338/UAE_per_capita_income_rises_to_record_in_08/Article.htm on the 20th of January, 2010.
* Rashad .H, Osman. M,, RoudiFahimi.,F, 2005. Marriage in Arab world. Retreived on 26th January, 2010 from http://www.prb.org/pdf05/MarriageInArabWorld_Eng.pdf
* The Emirates guide, 2009, Types of business in Dubai, retrieved from, http://guide.theemiratesnetwork.com/living/business.php, on the 21st of January, 2010
* UAEintercat newspaper, 2009 , Dubai GDP rises, Despite Global Downturn, retrieved from, http://uaeinteract.com/docs/Dubais_GDP_rises_0.3_in_first_quarter_despite_global_downturn/38203.htm, on the 20th of January, 2010.
* UAE Interact Newspaper, 2009, UAE Economy records 7.4 % growth, retrieved from http://uaeinteract.com/docs/UAE_economy_records_7.4_growth_in_2008/34951.htm on the 19th of January, 2010
Geographical Region - A detail overview of Jumeirah
With a population of approximately 6.9 million, the United Arab Emirates is an area of around 77,000 square kilometers approximately. The largest state is Abu Dhabi and it accounts for 87% of the total area of the UAE. However, UAE nationals account for only 19% of the total population the high living standards and professional opportunities have drawn expatiates. The state of Dubai is the most populated of the seven states with a population of 1.6 million people. Approximately 88% of UAE's population resides in metropolitan areas.
Jumeirah is a coastal residential city in the state of Dubai and is popular with both expatriates and tourists visiting Dubai. This area has a healthy combination rich palatial residencies and more economic dwellings and is one of the most expensive regions in Dubai. With recent developments, Jumeirah has obtained an image of luxury and exclusivity and thus has reaped benefits to the travel, leisure and lifestyle industries. The blend of UAE nationals and expatriates and also tourists creates a profitable segment for Wedding Dreams to target and exploit as it has several high end shopping malls and several five star hotels.
Note-1 (Total Exports Sales)
Price Range in US$
Going away dress
Total Sales for the year
Note 2 (Total Production Cost)
Total Production Cost for the year ended on the 31-12-2011
(+) Export Expenditure
Cost of Shipment
Sales and Excise tax
Total production exp
Total Production Cost
Note 3 (Cost for logistics)
Cost for logistics
Cost per container
* number of containers
Total Cost for Logistics
Note 4 (Marketing Promotional Cost / Budget)
Marketing Budget 2011
Cost US $
News Paper Ad
Bridal Show exhibition
Direct mail expenses
Overhead marketing expenses
Total Marketing Cost
Note 5 ( Total Overheads)
outlet in arushi-fashion
Financial Cost (including bank mortgage)
Business Development cost