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Fashion & Apparel | Global Marketing | South Africa

Company Background:

JD Sports is the leading specialist retailer of fashionable branded and own brand sports and casual wear in the United Kingdom, specialised in selling branded sports fashion and outdoor retail in an omnichannel environment.


Formulate an international marketing plan for the company to expand into the South African market. 


As developing an international marketing is a monumental task, I thought it best to break it down into parts to keep it simple and easy to follow. This was my process:

1. SWOT Analysis

This gave a clearer picture of the company's core competencies and opportunities that it could leverage within the South African market. It also highlighted the company's shortcomings and potential problems it would face when entering the market. 

Overall, this gave a snapshot of what to focus on and set the foundation for the marketing plan. 

2. Set S.M.A.R.T marketing objectives.

  • This would help set the direction for the plan and set a measure for the success of the marketing efforts.

  • For the JD Sports marketing plan I set the objective of meeting specific brand awareness and revenue figures over the space of three years. 

3. Entry Method Strategy

An appropriate market entry method had to be chosen between export modes, intermediary modes, and hierarchical modes. This was done by analysing how individual marketing factors affect the company, and looking at how the company has handled internationalisation in the past.

After an in-depth evaluation, a hierarchical entry mode was chosen for JD Sports.

4. International Marketing Mix

At this stage, decisions about the product, price, distribution, and promotion had to be made. The decisions were based on the company legacy and context of the target South African consumer.

The most defining factor identified was that JD Sports strongly sticks to its premium brand image, and as such all marketing mix decisions were made to support the brand.

5. Implementation and Coordination

At this stage of the marketing plan, the potential cultural distance between the United Kingdom and South Africa had to be assessed and mitigated. Research into South African business culture was conducted and an appropriate negotiation strategy was adopted to make deal formations easier. 

Additionally, a marketing budget was drafted to keep track of the marketing plan's progress.


Having gone through the process and experienced the pain points, I can now confidently design and execute an international marketing campaign for a major brand in any context

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