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Can a Brand Serve Both Teens and Mature Customers?
By: Cindy Wendland
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Michael Kors makes designer luxury handbags, watches, shoes, and women’s and men’s clothing. You may have a few of his pieces and chances are your friends do too. Looking through our closet, we found a knit dress with stud trim and a pair of red sequin gold-heeled pumps (reminded us of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz). One friend recently purchased two of his handbags on her last vacation. Our daughter and her friends are clamoring for one of his handbags. The popularity of the brand is evident, but can the Michael Kors brand sustain this market dominance?

Designer items walk a fine line between staying luxury (accessible only to a few) and mainstream (accessible to many). Typically, designer items are expensively priced and infused with quality details and unique features. The Michael Kors brand is referred to as affordable luxury, but some people are less than thrilled with the brand now that it has become so widespread. This was the case with Coach, Juicy Couture, and Jordache, where the brands lost their appeal to consumers once everyone had them.

Teen shoppers are desperate for the Michael Kors brand right now. This group of consumers is greatly influenced by other consumers, which makes them an important indicator of brand popularity. Once teen shoppers possess a brand, older, mature consumers become less interested in it. This poses potential trouble for Michael Kors, which will be challenged by other up-and-coming brands that teens will latch on to.

Michael Kors can either ride the wave of popularity only to be replaced by other brands or they can do some unique marketing and product development to retain their older customer base. Do consumers want to have what everyone else has or do they want to have a special product? Michael Kors would do well to have a product line targeted specifically at teen shoppers and another for the mature customer, or they will lose both over time.

   

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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