1. SINGAPORE POLYTECHNIC
SP BUSINESS SCHOOL
NAME : HANISHA MOTWANI
ADMISSION NUMBER :
NAME OF COMPANY : FOREVR 21
DATE : 17 AUGUST 2016
2. TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents..................................................................................................................................................... 2
THE MARKETING MIX........................................................................................................................................... 3
FOREVER 21 is an American chain of fashion retail brand. The chain, originally known
as Fashion 21, was intended at first mostly for middle-aged women. The store was
targeted towards the Los Angeles Korean American community with most of their
designs popular in the South Korean regions. The store was founded in Los Angeles,
California in 1984 by Do Won Chang and his wife Jin Sook Chang. The first
Fashion 21 store opened on April 21, 1984. It was located at 5637 N. Figueroa St. in the
Highland Park district of Los Angeles. The store sized at only 900 square feet (84 m2).
3. By 2015, the Brand has grown to sell their clothing lines in over 700 stores in the
America, Asia, the Middle East, and the UK. The company now sells clothing,
accessories, and beauty products for both women and men. And the average store size is
38,000 square feet
It is now known to be one of the Fast Fashion retailers as it is able to quickly move the
designs from Catwalks, Fashion Shows to the mainstream consumers. It allows the
common people to buy current clothing styles at economical prices. It is fuelled by the
latest celebrity looks that mirror seasonal trends dictated by high-end designers. This is
done by optimizing certain aspects of the supply chain in order for these trends to be
designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively. More than 60% of its apparel is
manufactured in China.
As per a research done by Forbes Magazine, Forever 21 ranks # 95 in America’s Largest
Private Companies. The company earned a revenue of $4.4 Billion in 2015.
THE MARKETING MIX
Product is the first ‘P’ of the marketing mix. A product is anything that can be offered to a
market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a need or a want.
It is one of the most essential aspect in marketing as it is about creating what customers
actually need and want to buy. However, in terms of marketing, a product includes all the
elements that make that product marketable. It is not just designing an actual product but
also to identify the core product and then expanding it to its augmented level. It is also
4. about providing your brand a name that has all the qualities of making it a good brand
name, thus making your product more marketable.
Forever 21 is a fast fashion retailer which sells the latest trends and styles at economical
prices. It Offers products like Clothing, Bags, Shoes and Accessories for men, women
and kids. Although the brand has something for everyone, however its target market is
mostly teenagers, who are always very keen on trying new styles, however are restrained
with budget. Forever 21 enables these teenagers to buy the latest fashion at affordable
A Forever 21 Product i.e. Clothing can be divided into three levels of product:
1. Core Product: A core product is the intangible value that you may obtain from
the product. In other words, it is the main benefit that you obtain from the
product. In terms of our Brand, which is a Fast Fashion Brand, the main element
of the product is its Design. It brings in the latest designs from high end
celebrities and makes it available to common people and this is the essence of this
brand. It enables common people to afford the style and fashion that was
previously affordable only by celebrities. One of the major strength of the
company is that it is able to respond very quickly to the changing needs of the
customers. Its unique selling preposition is to imitate or create the latest trends.
Another very important aspect of its core product is the Quality. It is a very
important factor as if the Quality is not very good, people may not want to come
back again. The Brand have average Quality clothes, however, as per the reviews
from some customers, the brand needs to put in additional focus on this aspect.
5. 2. Actual Product: Actual product is the tangible form of the core product. Forever
21 offer a wide variety of Clothing for Men, Women and Kids. Most of the
collection by Forever 21 caters to young men and women as they offer more
casual range of products that may include Dresses, Tops, Jackets, Jeans, Shorts,
Skirts for women and Shirts, Graphic Tees, Sweatshirts, Shorts for Men.
However, they also offer a range of formal wear for Men & Women, however, it
is generally more famous for its trendy casual wear. Apart from Clothing, the
Actual Products include Make-up, Shoes and Accessories like Bags, Belts,
jewellery, hair accessories
3. Augmented product: The Augmented products for Forever 21 includes the sales
assistance which is provided by the very fashionable staff that is present in the
store. Also, Forever 21 engages in visual merchandising by releasing photoshoots
and mannequin styling that can inspire its customers to try on various new and
stylish combinations. Also, with the trial rooms facility in their stores, they allow
customers to try on various outfits before they have to choose what they want to
buy. Moreover, they generally also have an exchange policy in case they change
their mind in a week or so.
As evident from the above, that Forever 21 has invested a lot of thought and effort
towards creating the three levels of its product.
The Brand name plays an equally important role in the success/failure of a brand. The
Brand was initially named as ‘Fashion 21’ when it was first introduced in LA by Mr Do
6. Won Chang. Once it started booming, the name was changed to ‘Forever 21’. Below are
certain qualities that the Brand name “Forever 21” posses:
1. Suggests the product's benefits and qualities: The name — Forever 21 — evokes a
particular fantasy. To be eternally 21! It is ideal age for everybody. For Kids, as
they always want to grow up and take their own decisions and for adults, as no one
like to be old.
2. It is also easy to pronounce, recognize and remember.
3. It is distinctive in the sense that there is no other brand name with a similar
combination of words like Forever 16 etc.
4. The two words individually are of generic character, however the combination
can be legally protected.
Forever 21 is only one among many fast fashion retail chains around the globe. However,
the major competitors for Forever 21 are Zara and H&M. These are the three major
brands that sell the runway trends straight from the fashion shows to the common people.
While Zara’s collection includes more of formal and sophisticated attire; H&M and
Forever 21 are well known for its stock of chic but trendy runway-inspired pieces. Zara
offers its products at a slightly higher price point that its competitors, it generally attracts
a lot of working adults.
The distinctive feature for Forever 21 that sets it apart from its competitors is that it
has mastered the art of offering stylish and very low-cost clothing. Hence, it is very
7. popular brand among the teen fashion crowd, who are always keen to experiment with
their looks and style but are always constrained in their budget.
As per an article published by Forbes, Zara leads the Fast Fashion industry, followed by
H&M and Forever 21 ranks last among the three, in terms of the popularity of the brand.
Though, Forever 21’s biggest strength is the sheer amount of ever-shifting merchandise
available at a very low cost in its stores across the globe, The brand may now be falling
apart due to the low quality of its apparel, compared to its competitors. For teens,
generally, quantity is more important than quality. So, they do not mind buying clothes
from Forever 21 at cheap rates which may last only for a few months. However, for
working adults, it is more about quality. This is the reason, it is not being able to retain its
customers for very long.
Hence, I believe, that in order to survive and outgrow its competitors, Forever 21 now
needs to focus upon the Quality of its products. When this brand becomes a combination
of the style, it has already mastered, with good quality and low prices, it will be quite
difficult to defeat the brand.
Promotion is another very important marketing strategy among the four P’s of Marketing
Mix. This is the strategy that determines how a company creates awareness for its
brand/product and communicates its features and benefits to the targeted market.
Forever 21 entered into the Singapore market in 2004 with its first store at Wisma Atria
and by 2011 the number of stores had expanded to four.
8. Forever 21 has a target audience of young men and women between the ages of 13 to 30.
Hence, it takes a huge advantage of Internet and Social Media to introduce and
popularize its Brand in the global market. In fact, there was a research done by Teen
Vogue and Goldman Sachs in 2015 where they created a Love List which measures the
spending habits of young women to determine which brand has the most enduring and
valuable relationship with its customers and Forever 21 was ranked 1st
for the third
consecutive year. This determines that Forever 21 is on the right path when it comes to
promoting its brand among its target audiences.
Forever 21’s website is a great example of content marketing. It has a page on their
website, i.e. The Social Media Hub, which, as its name suggests contains a link to all its
social media destinations. This is one page that will tell you everything that is new and
latest with the brand. It is harboring Facebook, Twitter, You Tube badges. This is how
the page looks like:
It creates a visual collage of all their trending products, in a way that it will last in the
consumer’s heart and mind.
The brand also maintains a Facebook page to feature its latest offering and this page is
updated daily to keep its customers engaged. It is also a primary mode of interaction with
their customers as they can know the feedback of their customer when they comment on
their pictures. The page can be viewed with the following link.
9. Twitter is another way they allow their customers to interact with their brand. They also
have created a Forever 21 Mobile App on which you can stay updated, shop find new
deals and also has an option of sharing how the outfits can be styled in different ways.
Furthermore, the brand maintains a video blog on YouTube, however this is one social
media where it falls short as they have very few videos posted on the page.
Through the online promotion, Forever 21 built a solid foundation in the overseas
markets and made full preparation for the local physical stores. Therefore, when the
physical store opens, there is a huge impetus for those fans who have been waiting for a
long time to experience the happiness of direct contact with the brand. On July 22, 2011
Forever 21 had opened its Flagship store in Singapore, at Orchard Exchange. It had
prepared numerous activities to indulge the crowd, with stilt walkers and hip hop dancers
gauging their attention.
Moreover, Forever21’s YouTube site serves as the epicenter of Forever21
“commercials”. Because the company doesn’t place ads in magazines or commercials on
television, YouTube has given Forever21 to showcase their videos and it has with 10,000
dedicated subscribers and over 1 million video views
They had indulged in the Promotion technique called Marketing Public Relations by
inviting VIP guests and media to witness the ceremonial ribbon cutting and organized a
grand tour by celebrity hosts - Denise Keller and Oli Pettigrew. The also organized a
fashion parade, photo shoot booths to engage the people.
10. A key highlight of the event was an innovative collaboration with three popular local
bloggers Nicole Then, OneSixtyNotepad and Tammy Tay from Ohsofickle. For the first
time ever in Singapore, bloggers took center stage in the windows of the famed fashion
emporium as they dressed and styled models that were part of a live mannequin
showcase. After the event, the display was transferred to actual mannequins and kept up
for a full week at the store front.
The brand also engages in Sales Promotion from time to time that creates additional
motivation for its customer to buy the product. It regularly provides its app users with
discount coupons and promo codes that can be used during online shopping. Also,
recently it held an atrium sale at Big Box with apparel, shoes and bags being sold at as
low as $10.
Post this, it also participated the Great Singapore Sale with up to 70% off in all their
Although, Forever 21 is making excellent use of social media to create brand awareness,
however, it should not overlook the importance of offline media to attract the attention of
additional potential customers like billboards and newspaper advertisements or magazine
11. advertisements. Also, another platform that should be utilized in their social media
marketing portfolio is Pinterest. Pinterest is an online clipboard where users can post
images found on the website in one place for all of their friends to see. Forever21 could
really benefit from this new platform.
Price is the amount of money that is charged from the customers in exchange of a
product. This is also another important element of the Marketing Mix as it will determine
the profit that the company will make. While setting a price for a product we have to keep
in mind Customer’s perceived value of that product, because, if there will be a lot of
difference, in the perceived and actual value, it may confuse the customers and hence
demotivate them from buying the product.
12. Furthermore, the price should also be fixed basis the target market. If the target market
for your product is high end customers, for whom quality is the first concern, rather than
the price, the price should be higher as compared to its competitors as it will denote
higher quality. Whereas if the product is meant for the masses, the price should be fixed
at affordable rates.
The Price strategy of Forever 21 plays a very important role in the Brand’s success. This
is quite evident from the Mission Statement of the company:
The company's mission is to provide shoppers with an unprecedented selection of
today's fashions with affordable prices.
And the same is denoted by its Tagline: Fashion is for Everyone
In an interview by CNN with the CEO of Forever 21, Mr D Chang, he mentioned that
since his first store was in a low-income area, it became his moto to sell at affordable
prices. Extract is as follows:
13. Who were your first customers at your first store, Fashion 21, in LA's Highland Park?
D. CHANG (though translator): Highland Park was a low-income area. People didn't
have much money, so, even though customers wanted to go shopping, they couldn't. So,
in the process of adjusting to price- sensitive customers, I think it became my motto to
always have affordable pricing.
Hence, Forever 21’s strategy is to make fashion affordable to everyone. The general price
range for the products in a Forever 21 store is from $2 for accessories and nothing is
over $ 100.
Whereas H&M’s apparel pricing spans from $2-$291 and for Zara’s the range is $5-$322.
In order to have a better idea of the price difference between the tree Brands, we
compared the minimum price of a Female’s Denim Jean and the prices are as follows:
Forever 21: $7.90
As per the above analysis, it is very clear that there is a huge difference in the prices
offered by the three brands.
While, its competitors like Zara and H&M are also based on the same ideology of
providing runway trends to the stores at the most affordable prices. However, as evident,
the price range offered by the two are comparatively higher, however so is the Quality, as
per the reviews by most customers.
The various Pricing Strategies used by the Brand are as follows:
14. 1. Product Bundle Pricing: It is a marketing ploy in which several products are
offered for sale in one combined unit that is often marked at a reduced price
compared to the sum of their separate purchase prices. Forever 21 uses this
strategy by bundling a number of different styles of a product which can be
purchased at a lower price as against the total price when each product is bought
individually. Example: If you buy 1 Denim Jean at Forever 21, it will cost $15,
however, if you buy 3 different denim jeans, it will cost $40 rather than $45.
2. Promotional Pricing: It is a marketing strategy where products are temporarily
priced very low in order to increase short-term sales. Recently there was a sale by
Forever 21 at Big Box with everything at $10. This was promotional pricing as
they also had other products which were priced at regular prices. As the
15. promotional pricing bought in a lot of footfall, people also bought the regular
priced products along with the discounted products.
3. Psychological pricing: Psychological pricing is a pricing/marketing strategy
based on the theory that certain prices have a psychological impact on the
customer’s behavior. This pricing strategy is also used by Forever 21 by
expressing the retail prices at an odd number which is a little less than the round
number, as it is evident from the below pictures:
16. While Forever 21 is managing quite well in terms of the pricing strategy, however there
is one more pricing strategy that can be used by the brand quite well. Forever 21 invests a
lot in visual merchandising. This is evident from the very stylish mannequin that we see
in the store. Forever 21 can use Optional Product Pricing, where they can provide a
discount when people wish to buy the clothes and matching accessories or bags that are
used by the designers on the mannequin. This will also help them to sell more products,
rather than just one dress. Also it will encourage the shoppers who can get fashion
advices in terms of mixing and matching and also get a discount on the same.
In terms of Marketing Mix a Place is the process that is a followed by a particular
company in order to make the final products available to the customer all the way from
where it is manufactured. The process may involve one or more intermediaries like
distributors, wholesalers, retailers etc. Furthermore, a Place also denotes the Ambience of
the final Place where the product is offered to the customer.
17. Forever 21 has always followed a One level distribution channel, with most of their
manufacturers being in India and China, from where the merchandise is made available to
the customers through their retailers which are available around the globe.
It has one of the finest Distribution channel in the Fast Fashion industry as this is the one
brand that is ever changing and always updating its collection as per the changing trends
However, they have also recently started with a zero level by introducing their mobile
app, where there is no need of a retailer and customers can choose and buy the products
directly from the Mobile App, which can be downloaded for Free on any of the
Softwares, and thus it will be sent straight from manufacturers to customers. This
introduction of a new channel has made the distribution system even more faster and
The Retail Stores for Forever 21 are specialty stores as the Brand is not sold at any other
outlet except for their own Specialty stores. Furthermore, at these specialty stores we find
clothes from no other brand, except for Forever 21. This works hugely in favor of the
brand as it is never sold with its competitor’s product kept next to it. Also, they are able
to design their showroom according to their choice.
As far as the location and ambience of these stores is concerned, Forever 21 outlets are
generally located in Malls or Shopping Markets, where people generally go to shop. In
Singapore, Forever 21 has four location, namely Forever 21 SMRT Orchard Station,
Forever 21 Sports Hub Kallang Wave Mal, Forever 21 Vivo City, Forever 21
18. 313@Somerset. All locations are easily accessible and usually crowded with
The floor of their outlets are always sparkling and the store is very bright with white
lights filling the space. Store is generally organized basis the selection as well as basis the
price. Generally, for high priced products, it is assorted basis dress, shirts, tees, sweaters
etc. However, for low priced products, they have generally bundled together different
products with similar or same price range.
This enables people to easily move into the section that is the most preferable to them.
However, the clothes are not very well organized in terms of being folded and kept in a
line, as we find in Zara. It generally gives you look of being cool and a bit messy. But it
seems like it is done on purpose.
Also, Forever 21 is an open display store as one can not only touch and feel the clothes,
but also can try and see how it looks on them.
Another important factor of Forever 21 is its very apparent investment in visual
merchandising. The mannequins are specially styled and displayed in order to catch
attention on passers-by. It also gives ideas to its customers that how can the different
products be styled.
The music being played in the stores is generally rock and fusion and not very loud. The
volume is absolutely optimal to enjoy shopping.
Forever 21 was recently a part of controversy which was caused due to their
negligence towards one of the very important factor for a Brand’s image. According
19. to the reports, a well-known actor Gurmit Singh's daughter, Gabrielle visited a Forever
21 store in Singapore and was offended with the music being played in the store.
According to Gabriella, the music was disgraceful towards women and insulted women.
Fashion retailer Forever21 has apologised to actor Gurmit Singh's daughter, Gabrielle,
after an open letter she wrote criticising the music played at one of its outlets went viral
Post the apologies from Forever 21, she wrote: "F21 has responded and apologised for
the music, which is pretty great! However, misogyny as a common occurrence in our
everyday lives is still a big issue, which is why I'm leaving this post on my blog."
This is a huge lesson for Forever 21 as well as its competitors that the ambience of ther
store is an image of what the Brand represents. Hence it should be in line with what
appeals to your Target Audience.