The Steve Madden marketing mix framework has helped in the meteoric rise of the Steve Madden brand and achieved desired success, competitive advantage, superior value, excellent performance, and remain sustainable in the market.
Steve Madden is one of the most successful companies operating in the shoe design sector. Marketing strategies have been the driving force behind the various aspects of market research so that the business can target customers, understand the changing customer needs, attract customers, and ensure a better customer experience through an integrated set of user-friendly marketing tactics and efforts.
When you have the support of a strong customer base then it will automatically lead to more sales, better gross margins, and excellent performance in the industry.
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About Steve Madden Ltd
- Origin Country: United States of America
- Founder: Steve Madden
- Founded: 1990
- Headquarters: Long Island City, New York, U.S.
- Employees in 2023: 4,000
- Annual Revenue in 2023: 2.122 billion USD
- First Quarter Revenue: 471 million USD
- Net Income in 2023: 216 million USD
- First Quarter Net Income: 32 million USD
- Annual Gross Profit Margins: 874 million USD
- First Quarter Gross Profit: 199 million USD
- Gross Margins: 41.17%
- TTM Gross Profit Margins: 0.87 billion USD
- Market Cap in 2023: 2.6 billion USD
Steve Madden Ltd is one of the relatively new entrants in the footwear and accessories industries. The renowned footwear brand is a public company traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York.
Steve Madden built a million-dollar empire from humble beginnings. He started the company Steve Madden Ltd with his car that was filled with shoes and a mere $1,100. The American footwear designer started selling the shoes to small stores that were often frequented by clothing designers like Betsey Johnson and Jill Stuart who used these shoes in fashion shows. By the year 1993, the business was operating a retail store with 13 employees. This was the beginning of Steve Madden Ltd which became a force to reckon with shortly.
Steve Madden Ltd company has been the recipient of several awards and recognitions over the years like the “Partners in Excellence” (May 2010), “Brand of the Year” (2010), and “Footwear News Company of the Year Award” (2017).
Target Market: Steve Madden’s Marketing Strategy
Steve Madden built the company from scratch ($1,100), believing that it understood the changing preferences and needs quite eloquently in the competitive market. It considers itself an industry disruptor as it was one of the few companies promoting fast fashion in the wholesale footwear industry.
Steven Madden realized that there was an untapped market that could be utilized. The brand’s target customers were young fashion-conscious women and girls between the age group of 16 years to 28 years that were looking for the latest trends but at affordable rates. These women were not interested in cheap imitations but wanted a good alternative designer wear brand that offered value for money.
The company targets girls between the age of 12 years to 16 years through Stevies Footwear and women between the age of 26 – 45 with the David Aaron line. Steve Madden Ltd also targets male customers with its innovative designs and moderately priced stylish products. It is one of the few brands that focuses on customer needs and then designs the products to attract customers and create a strong and loyal base.
Steve Madden’s Marketing Mix (4Ps)
In today’s economy, companies need to conduct more research about the various aspects of the evolving market to identify customer needs and preferences before they try to target and attract customers. There are so many competitors that it has become vital to create a sustainable advantage over competitors and offer something different as it will result in a competitive advantage, user-friendly strategic decisions, better customer experience, more sales, and a gain in market share.
Steve Madden’s team has built a marketing plan that uniquely positions the company firmly in the shoe design industry. Remember marketing mix is a particular topic whose every element is an important factor in attaining desired success and business goals.
Creating an effective marketing strategy is a particular project of the Steve Madden brand. It focuses on the company’s product features and its offerings, retail stores, personal selling, sales promotions, direct marketing, public relations, and promotion strategy to achieve such success that it will lead to superior brand value, excellent performance, and meteoric rise in the brand value.
Product Strategy of Steve Madden’s
The marketing strategy of Steven Madden helps the company to take a qualitative approach regarding the company’s products, their effectiveness, product quality, packaging, and product features to ensure a better customer experience while using the products. The 4Ps framework helps the company to make informed decisions so that it can lead to better revenues.
The brand is one of the prominent retailers that manufactures moderately priced footwear and accessories. Madden started designing shoes like fringe boots and penny loafers for teenagers from an early age.
After working with L.J Simone for nearly a decade Steve Madden signed a deal with M.C.S Footwear to create, develop and market the Souliers’ line of women’s shoes. For the first time, the Steve Madden name was put on the shoes and the designer was given a cut of 10% on the profits. In 1990, he decided to strike out on his own and started manufacturing and selling shoes to retail stores in Manhattan.
In his initial years, the Steven Madden company manufactured boots, clogs, and sandals but by the year 1997, the Madden shoe portfolio included leopard-printed platforms, zebra-printed loafers, and prom night shoes.
With time the company expanded its product portfolio to include cotton t-shirts and takeout tees. The company also signed a licensing agreement for manufacturing sunglasses, hosiery, outerwear, jewelry, and handbags.
In the year 1999, the company started selling Jordache shoes under a license agreement for girls between the age of 10 years to 16 years, and by the end of the year, the licensed product portfolio included intimate apparel, belts, and hair accessories.
In the year 2000, the Stevies footwear collection was sold in department and specialty stores. The product offerings included tailored, casual, and evening shoes, slippers, sneakers, sandals, and boots.
Steven Madden is a renowned American company that designs, sources, sells, and markets footwear for women, men, and children under its name and other private labels. It also manufactures and sells handbags and accessories. The company operates through five segments Wholesale Accessories, First Cost, Retail, Wholesale Footwear, and Licensing.
Steven Madden’s product offerings include.
The marketing strategy of Steven Madden for the shoe segment includes sandals, heels, slides, sneakers, booties, boots, flats, loafers, platforms, casual, loafers, and mules
- UTOPIA GOLD
- MONA BLACK LEATHER
The marketing strategy for the clothing segment includes bottoms, coats, jackets, dresses, tops, shirts, and denim
- LIVVY DENIM FABRIC
- GENEVIEVE SET OLIVE
The marketing strategy for the handbags segment includes crossbody bags, shoulder bags, belt bags, backpacks, and mini bags.
- BEVELYN BLACK
- BKINDER BLUSH
The marketing strategy for the accessories segment includes sunglasses, hats, scarves, gloves, watches, jewelry, socks, and tights.
- HOOPCRYS SILVER
- JAXON SUNGLASSES BLACK
Place Strategy of Steve Madden
Steve Madden Ltd has spread its product presence to several markets in Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, South America, India, the Middle East, South Africa, Central America, etc. The company operates in 75 countries with the help of 300 retail stores and 8 online stores. In the initial years, Steve Madden Ltd manufactured the footwear in Brazil, New York City, and Mexico and sold them to department stores and specialty stores. Later as the sales increased the company opened several other manufacturing plants to meet the rising customer demands successfully.
The designer believed in the policy of global expansion and started acquiring companies like Marlboro Leather in 1994, Adesso Shoes in 1995, and David Aaron in 1996.
Steven Madden with the help of samples tests the success of new designs at its stores. The ones that become popular are sent for mass production as well as distribution.
Steven Madden has entered into distribution agreements in international markets for product sales. Besides operating own stores and e-commerce websites the company also offers products via independent retail stores and online retailers.
Own brands include Steve Madden, GREATS, Dolce Vita, Blondo, Betsey Johnson, Mad Love, and BB Dakota. It licenses various brands like Superga and Anne Klein and designs and sources products for various retailers.
The marketing strategy of Steven Madden ensures that all the products are safely and quickly transported from the manufacturing facilities to the retail stores for the end customers.
The various distribution channels used by the company to market its product offerings are mid-tier and major department stores, e-commerce websites, own stores, retail stores, specialty stores, online retailers, national chains, value-priced retailers, mass merchants, catalog retailers, and luxury retailers.
Pricing Strategy of Steve Madden
A good customer experience is important for the growth of a company and that is what the Steven Madden marketing strategy utilized. The designer took the time to research, identify, and understand customer requirements and created products of lower prices accordingly resulting in higher sales and greater profit.
The company earned its revenues from retail sales which accounted for 30% of the total sales. The rest of the revenues were earned from marketing the company name to major department outlets.
The marketing strategy of the company has put the focus on mass production and distribution and not on exclusive and unique product lines. The overall product line targets the masses in both developing and developed countries and not luxury markets.
The Steve Madden team offers moderately priced consumer products to its customers so that everyone can easily afford them. The pricing strategies are aligned with the product strategies to achieve desired business goals.
The company has adopted the following pricing strategies.
Affordable Pricing Strategy
The Steve Madden team has adopted an affordable pricing strategy for the product offerings and kept lower prices so that the target audiences can find it reasonable and afford them. The company policy encourages mass volume and increased sales as it will lead to higher revenues.
Competitive Pricing Strategy
Although the company faces stiff competition from several successful brands, Steven Madden has been successful in gaining a competitive advantage over rival brands. This is because of the marketing strategy which ensures that the company has adopted user-friendly and competitive lower prices for its products. The Steve Madden team has kept the prices at par with those of the competitors so that the customers remain loyal to the company.
Promotional Strategy and Mix of Steve Madden
The Steve Madden team has created an aggressive marketing strategy with the help of promotion tools. The focus is on creating awareness about the products of the business model so that it can compete with the competitors and ensure a better customer experience.
The promotional tools adopted by Steve Madden’s marketing strategy include the following-
Steve Madden’s marketing strategy has used traditional media as an important promotional tool to focus on customers, increase sales and compete with competitors. The ad campaigns are shown through digital and print media for example television channels, radio, newspapers, billboards, hoardings, magazines etc.
Another example of promotion is the use of personal selling to target consumers. Like most retailers, Steve Madden’s marketing strategy ensures that its employees are in direct contact with customers and can easily persuade them to buy the products.
Social Media Marketing
The company realizes how important social media marketing is for promotional activities and thus has posted related information and content to engage with the customers. An example is the content it posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube so that the customers are aware of the latest happenings in the company.
The marketing strategy has used sales promotion as an important advertising tool. The company offers teacher, military, and student discounts as well as gift cards to lure in more and more customers and ensure a good customer experience.
The iconic powerhouse is known for trendy fashion and its commitment to sustainable business. The company is committed to issues like diversity, climate change, waste management, and inclusion and laid down the groundwork for reducing carbon emissions. The company has launched Re: Vita and SM REBOOTED which operates as a resale marketplace for Dolce Vita and Steve Madden brands.
The marketing strategy of Steven Madden has taken the help of celebrity endorsements to increase brand visibility amongst customers. Jenny McCarthy, Sara Cummings, Halsey, Chiara Ferragni, and Chelsea Clinton are some of the prominent names who have worn Steve Madden footwear.
Employee Resource Groups
The company has an Employee Resource Group of employee volunteers who fosters an inclusive and diverse workplace to build community and offer support to employees. SM PRIDE was launched to create an equitable workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, Black Sole for creating an inspiring anti-racist culture, and De La Sole for fair treatment of employees belonging to Latinex and Hispanic cultures.
Digital Campaigns of Steve Madden
The footwear label announced the ad campaign “Steve Maddenverse” starring Normani, Sweeney, and Jordan Alexander to attract the younger generation.
The brand has tapped Bella Poarch, Chloe Cherry, and Latto for its fall campaign Maddenwood. The ad has augmented reality experiences to attract consumers.
Key Takeaways from Steve Madden’s Marketing Strategy
The key takeaways from the Steve Madden marketing mix and marketing strategy are –
- Understand customer needs and then create products that will ensure a good customer experience
- Strong support from customers will ensure better sales
- The focus should be on providing an enriched customer experience
- Create sustainable advantage
- Maintain aggressive promotional activities via different promotion tools
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