Gap Marketing Mix

Introduction:


Gap Marketing mix
Gap Marketing mix

Gap Inc is a leading global apparel retail company that sells  apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children. The brands in its portfolio include Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Hill City. Its large portfolio of distinct brands also gives it a strong and distinct competitive advantage. Gap sells its products using both online and offline channels. It has company operated stores operational in United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Japan, Italy, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mexico. The company had total 3,666 stores including both company operated and franchised stores. In 2018, the company experienced significant growth in sales. Gap is a popular apparel brand and its core market is USA which accounted for more than 80% of its sales in 2018.

This is a description of Gap’s marketing mix: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

Product :-  

Gap Inc is a global apparel retail company with several brands in its portfolio. The company sells apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children. Over time, the brand has expanded its portfolio through the addition of new brands. Following are the leading brands in the portfolio of of Gap Inc :

  • Old Navy :- Old Navy is a global apparel and accessories brand. Its products mainly include current American essentials accessible to everyone. The brand is known for its democratic style and trendy, playfully optimistic, affordable and high-quality products. Customers can find everything for the entire family from tshirts and jeans to seasonal fashion favorites.
  • Gap  – Gap Inc was founded in 1969 in San Francisco. It is one of the most iconic apparel companies of the world. The brand’s style is anchored in optimistic and casual American. It sells a large range of apparel including all things denim, tees, button-downs, and khakis, along with must-have trends. Apart from apparel and accessories for grown ups, the brand also sells products under various brand names including o GapKids, BabyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody, and GapFit collections targeted at specific market segments.
  • Banana Republic – Banana Republic was founded in 1978 and Gap Inc acquired it in 1983. It was a two store brand that created travel and adventure outfits. Now, it is a global apparel and accessories brand that creates modern, versatile classics. Its product line includes clothing, eyewear, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and fragrances, all made for people living fast moving lives and with the finest fabrics and materials. Banana Republic products are available to customers globally in specialty stores.
  • Athleta –  Athleta is a brand for women and targets people with an athletic and active lifestyle. Athleta has been around since 1998. The brand was designed for and by women athletes. It is a premium fitness and lifestyle brand. In 2016, it launched Athleta girl which caters to the needs of the next generation.  Customers can find athleta products in USA inside the brand stores or globally online.
  • Intermix –  Intermix name is a suggestion of the style the brand has adopted. It mixes trending styles in unexpected ways while also retaining the uniqueness of each style.  The brand curates styles from the most coveted established and emerging designers. Customers can buy its products in US and Canada from stores and in other areas online.
  • Hill City – Hill city was launched in 2018. It is a brand that offer high performance apparel for men. It offers everyday fashion from workdays to the weekend.
  • Janie and Jack – Janie and Jack is a leader in premium children’s fashion, from Gymboree Group Inc. Apart from its 100 stores in US the brand also sells its products on ecommerce channels. Apart from its great quality, the brand also offers innovative and creative styles.

Place :-

The headquarters of Gap Inc are in San-francisco, California, USA. Its products can be bought through both online and offline channels. Its total number of stores grew to 3,666 in 2018. Out of the total stores, the number of company operated stores was equal to 3,194 in 2018. 472 stores were operated by franchisees.

Old Navy sells its products through more than 1000 stores as well as online channels.

Gap opened its first store outside North America in London in 1987. Since then the brand has expanded its footprint globally and connects with its customers through  specialty stores, online, and franchise stores. Today, Gap has around 1700 company operated stores operational around the world and it has also expanded its online presence to 70 countries.

Athleta has stores operational in USA. In rest of the world, its products can be bought online.

Banana Republic products are made available to consumers throughout the globe through its 700 company operated and franchise stores.

Price :-

The various brands of Gap Inc use different pricing strategies and target different customer segments. From affordably priced to premium the company has brought all types of products to the market.  While Old Navy is targeted at average middle class consumers who want affordable fashion, other brands including Gap and Banana republic are priced higher. However, due to the growing competition from the other fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M, the company has tried to optimize its pricing strategy to grow its sales. The result has been positive in 2018.

The fashion landscape globally has changed a lot in the recent years leading to higher competition.  Brands like Zara have brought a large range of affordably priced products leading to higher price pressure on brands like Gap. The competition from fast fashion brands is tough. Gap is working on managing its prices better to grow sales and revenue. However, to reduce the pressure on pricing the company uses discounts and coupons. These are effective at driving sales higher. Gap is also working on cutting down operational costs to reduce the prices and retain customers.

Promotion :-

Gap Inc uses a variety of channels to promote its brand and products. From time to time, it also runs marketing campaigns to promote its products and brands. In 2018 Gap ran the “Meet me in the Gap” campaign for the holiday season. Designed to create excitement among Gap fans, the campaign carried the message of goodness and positive change.  The campaign went live in November 2018 and spanned, television, mobile, social media, in-store and digital promotions.

Apart from promotional campaigns, the brand also uses other forms of partnerships and campaigns to promote its collections and to build recognition. In November 2018, the company also launched menswear collection of GQ’s ‘Coolest Designers on the Planet.’ This program recognizes designers from US And abroad. Old Navy also promotes its brand using such programs, campaigns and partnerships. This helps to generate publicity and increase brand awareness. In March 2019, on International Women’s Day, Old Navy launched a campaign targeted at empowering women and inspiring them to achieve more. Other brands in the portfolio of  Gap like Athleta and Intermix also use such promotional tactics from time to time to raise brand awareness and to connect with fans and followers.

Gap Inc has  also focused on making its marketing campaigns more effective through the use of data analytics and personalization. Customer experience has become key to marketing a brand successfully. It is why companies are focusing more and more on personalization and offering the best instore and online experiences. Gap Inc has also made its marketing more data driven in the recent years so each of the customers can be offered a personalized and distinctive experience.

Conclusion :-

Gap is a renowned global brand of apparel and accessories. There  are several brands in its portfolio that have their own distinct styles. These brands target different customer segments and offer products for the entire family. Gap’s popularity is a result of its consistent focus upon quality and design. Apart from that there is also the power of marketing behind the making of Gap Inc. The brand has continued to extend its product line and global presence through acquisition of new brands. It acquired Janie and Jack in 2019 to extend its presence into the children’s segment. Competition in the fashion industry has grown and that has led to Gap facing higher pricing related pressure. The company is working on optimization of its price mix for better results. However, growth will require focusing upon prices, product quality, marketing as well as customer engagement.

Abhijeet Pratap

I have studied Marketing and English Literature and like to write on topics in Business management, Marketing, literature, latest technologies and other areas. I also like to spend my time learning coding.