Laura Ashley, the brand that originated from Welsh designer Laura Ashley, is a household name popularised by its colourful fabrics for clothes and home furnishings. Laura Ashley Plc. is a small family company with very specialised products spread in the Europe, UK and US. Started by the Ashleys in 1953 the company kept on embracing new products and companies and integrated vertically. The key for the significance and the competitive edge of the company was the design philosophy of Laura Ashley. Although the company faced a shock after the death of Laura Ashley but the company followed the line of Laura's designs. By 1985 the company established its own supply chain and kept on supplying the products at shops. The Company also implemented the Information system for effective communication with in the company Sales practice: The Company established the shops with the same design and undertaken research and development activities in order to analyse the consumer preferences regarding the brand. As a result of the surveys conducted the company found the brand name as the major asset of the company, which could prove to be the main source of competitive advantage of the company.
Using the Ansoff matrix which is a framework for identifying corporate growth opportunities with two dimensions determining the scope of options between products and markets, this study shall develop SMART strategic marketing objectives. It will identify four generic growth strategies:
Market penetration of Laura Ashley means that the company need to aim selling its existing high-end products from accessories, beds, bedlinen and bedspreads, curtains, cushions and throws, fabric, furniture, lighting, mirrors, rugs, sofas and chairs, and wallpapers within the markets it is currently serving but in increasing numbers. Greater effort in sales and marketing to achieve higher product sales is needed for a bigger market share attained possibly through improved product quality or cost reductions. In this process, Laura Ashley must take the opportunity to capture high-end markets in emerging economies such as India and China. As LA's market has declined, more marketing efforts are needed.
Market development means selling to new customers for existing products which could require market segmentation. New market in this instance could include previously un-served geographical areas, or another market segment which was not previously catered to. For Laura Ashley, considering its classic home furnishing and fabrics, new markets such as those seeking luxurious abode overseas could be a target. Age, for instance could also be factor for consideration in this process as it has been suggested by various studies that older age indicate diligent shoppers and pursue sedate lifestyle (Zeithaml, 1985 and Hisrich & Peters, 1974). LA could also go for full nesters indicative through movement in household as this group prefer consumer durables and are basically home-oriented (Shanginger and Danko, 1993)
Product development through new designs of existing products capitalising on existing knowledge and skills for the market it once