The Ray-Ban® Story of Marketing Strategy and Planning

Ray-Ban® is a classic brand that has evolved over decades. Introduced in 1937 in Bausch & Lomb, the whole purpose of launching Ray-Ban® was that pilots had a tough time while flying planes and they need something to guard their eyes from the strong UV rays. In 1999, the brand was sold to the Italian Luxottica Group for $1.2 billion.

Ray-Ban-Logo

The brand has come a long way and has used various marketing strategies to build its image. Ray-Ban® sunglasses are popular amongst people from different walks of life, be it youth or adults, movie stars, music lovers, etc. The main USP being protection from harmful UV rays, the sunglasses are stylish and wearable with any outfit in any occasion. There are two main strategies for the marketing of Ray-Ban®: (i) to have an impact on the audience based on their motivational factors, and (ii) To use the history of the brand in building its current image.  Based on these strategies, Ray-Ban® has positioned itself in the market in such a way that it stands strong with even more expensive brands.

Never-Hide-Stories-Ray-Ban-2

It is one brand that can be compared with luxurious names. Someone who can afford Tiffany & Co. sunglasses won’t shy away from wearing Ray-Ban® although both have a huge price difference. Such is the market positioning of Ray-Ban®. Nothing comes without planning and Ray-Ban® is an apt example of planning from scratch after forming its brand strategies.  The Never Hide campaign by Ray-Ban®, for example, has been very successful and has been going on for years now. The whole idea behind the campaign was to inspire people never to hide from being seen and noticed with the Ray-Ban® sunglasses on.

Let’s do a SWOT analysis of Ray-Ban® to understand the brand better:

STRENGTHS

  • Being a classic brand which has been in the market for a very long time,
  • Ray-Ban® has an existing distribution network
  • Ray-Ban® has a consistent brand loyalty as consumers recognize its quality products
  • The brand visibility is very strong with movie actors, politicians, musicians wearing the iconic sunglasses
  • Ray-Ban® is the pioneer of evergreen styles like Aviators, Wayfarers, Clubmasters and Jackie Ohh
  • Ray-Ban® is the most trusted brand for protection of eyes
  • The products are easily available in the market
  • The brand fits in a budget as well as luxurious market
  • The brand has entered the powered eyewear market too
  • The brand comes in different colours, fitting every age group
  • The brand has kids’ eyewear

WEAKNESSES

  • There are many similar brands in the market that have emerged over the years
  • The iconic styles created by Ray-Ban® have been copied by numerous companies
  • Since it’s a classic brand, people refer to it as old fashioned
  • The products are highly priced

OPPORTUNITIES

  • Ray-Ban® can enter other markets like clothing, watches and bags
  • The brand can increase its visibility via social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • The brand can associate with music festivals like Tomorrowland and Coachella
  • The brand can create more designs in eyewear

THREATS

  • Competition is very high in the sunglasses market
  • Budget manufacturers copying Ray-Ban’s iconic designs
  • The global economic fall is a major threat
  • Fall of sale in off-season

The Ansoff matrix, another marketing strategy allows us to define a company’s strategy through the analysis of two variables: the level of newness to the market and in terms of the product itself. Considering both variables, we can position Ray-Ban® as a follower of a market penetration strategy in which the company sells the same product in the current market; this strategy is used especially in cases in which the brand wants to obtain a higher level of loyalty from its customers.

Ansoff

From the above, we learn that Ray-Ban® has more strengths than weaknesses, but it needs to work on the opportunities, as well threats in order to be also fit in the PESTAL framework of strategy.

It is pertinent to mention that Ray-Ban® has look into Porter’s strategy as well to counter the threat and expanded its reach and not follow old-school marketing plans.

However, no other brand has a legacy like Ray-Ban® and no matter what consumers won’t shun their loyalty to the brand even if an equivalent leveled brand comes into the market. Overall, Ray-Ban® has succeeded in implementing its marketing strategies but it can make some modifications in future.

References:

  1. luxottica.com/sites/luxottica.com/files/ray-ban_history_en.pdf
  2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/paultalbot/2016/07/20/7-questions-your-marketing-plan-must-answer/#5ce933741453
  3. http://pestleanalysis.com/pestel-framework/

 

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