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- USA 
We wrote our bachelor thesis project in cooperation with Kingsland AS, a Norwegian brand of high-end equestrian apparel. They have expanded successfully in Europe, and are in the process of expanding to both Asia and the U.S. Kingsland has had operations in the U.S. since 2008, but the U.S. market entry has been challenging due to problems with their distributors. This has led to difficulties in establishing brand value and a unique positioning in the market. Because of these problems Kingsland wants more control over their U.S. operations, and is now reviewing their options. Our client wanted us to develop a detailed marketing plan on how Kingsland should re-enter the U.S. equestrian market. We have studied the industry and the target market in the U.S. The focus has been on retailer purchasing behavior, consumer behavior and customer demand. In order to clarify the U.S. market, conducting research was essential. We gathered secondary data to develop general knowledge about the industry and the target market. Secondly, we conducted primary data through both qualitative and quantitative research. The qualitative part consisted of depth-interviews, both with a local retailer, and with an experienced female equestrian. The quantitative consisted of an online consumer survey and a telephone retailer survey. In addition, we met with the CEO of Kingsland, Carsten Mikkelsen, and went with him on an exhibition for retailers in the industry. The research indicated that the industry of English equestrian apparel size is approximately $400- $700 million, and the financial growth since the recession has led to a growth in demand for equestrian apparel. The retailer situation is fragmented with over 1000 retailers. The majority of retailers determine their product offerings based on customer demand, and about 50% know or have heard of Kingsland. The competition is high, with primary competitors such as Ariat, Pikeur, Tailored Sportsman, Kerrits and Ovation. Kingsland’s competitive advantage is their unique breeches concept, their European style and exceptional quality. The consumer research indicated that most of the respondents had heard of Kingsland, but very few were familiar with the brand. We also discovered that Kingsland’s product line might be too decorative for the U.S. consumer who tends to prefer more conservative products. Based on our research, we have developed our recommended strategy that can be divided into five subcategories; branding, product line, price, retailer and consumer. The branding strategy consists of a recommendation of brand positioning in the U.S., and a change of logo. Concerning the product line strategy, we recommend that Kingsland only introduce their competitive product line of show jumping and dressage, in addition to their Breeches Concept. The pricing strategy recommends Kingsland to adjust some of their prices to remain above-market, but still at a premium price point. The retailer strategy consists of building relationship with high-end retailers in the industry. In final, the consumer strategy consists of recommendations on promotional activities, such as sponsorship, ads in magazines, catalogs and a social media plan. LIMITATIONS It is taken into consideration that the study conducted has limitations. The study does not include the entire U.S. equestrian market, but a niche within the market that might deviate from other equestrians. Further, the marketing budget is quite small for covering such an extensive market. In addition, limitations during primary research occurred and did affect the reliability and validity of the research findings.
Bacheloroppgave i Internasjonal Markedsføring fra Pace University i USA, 2013