Fila is a famous sportswear brand. Its origin dates back to 1911 in the Biella textile district in Italy. Though famous mostly for its clothing, it also offers other products like perfumes, caps, shoes and, accessories. Though it has not impressed its customers as it deserved, looking at its products and different strategies like retailing, distribution, and branding, it still has the potential to gain a healthy financial portfolio and, goodwill to compete with the top class brands of the world.
This article will demonstrate the history of the brand, its current marketing and branding strategy, branding problems and analysis, etc. The article will also discuss certain stats about the company to understand potential of the company to lead the list of top clothing brands of the world.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF FILA
Fila is an Italian brand. It was found in 1911 by Ettore and Giansevero Fila in, Italy. At present Fila is owned by Korea. Fila brothers started the company by opening a textile shop. They originally sold sewing materials to the local people of Biella at the foot of the Italian Alps. Both brothers decided to expand their textile business after successfully running it for a decade and achieving notable growth. They started to manufacture fine sweatshirts, scarves, and jumpers.
Their popularity for offering innovative designs allowed them to grow their business throughout Italy. They merged with Fila Fratelli company in 1942. This allowed them to further expand and offer reliable products in the knitwear industry. Their efforts were highly recognized further and in 1968 with an aim to make further expansion, Giansevero Fila hired Enrico Frachey as the managing director of Fila.
EVOLUTION F FILA
During the 1970s, the company made its name in sportswear and offered one of the best and reliable sports products. In 1973, it came up with the “White Line” Collection.
It also introduced one of the most prominent collections of trademark Fila colors: navy and red layered upon an off-white tennis polo proving the company’s vision of becoming the most modern clothing brand in the future. This collection ruled the clothing industry from 1975-1980.
In the 1990s, it decided to introduce shoes for sports ranging from basketball to mountaineering. The company manufactured products that ended up being the most popular products at that time. It allowed the company to sprout their streetwear success in the 90s with everyone from Tupac to Timmy from next door rocking an oversized Fila sweat.
The designs of the company have been popular due to their bold outlook and use of colors that customers like the most. In 2003, a US-based Sports Brand International bought the company. Later in 2007, Fila Korea bought the brand. The company also holds subsidiaries like Magnus Holdings Co., Ltd, with a 52% stake in Acushnet Company.
BRANDING STRATEGY OF FILA
Faced with several challenges, the company had introduced one of the most famous shoes in 2018. It was named as the shoe of the year in 2018. Further, the company. Fila is planning to make its name in the ever-dynamic retail and fashion landscape by making sure that it tackles the challenge of 360-degree customer experience. This implies that it aims to use effectively e-commerce, social media, and retail model to offer its major chunk of products.
CHALLENGES FACED BY FILA
The brand faces the following challenges.
- The rapid changes and trends of fashion in the clothing industry.
- Different legislation and trade wars between advanced economies of the world.
- Covid-19 has totally reshaped the way business needs to interact with customers.
- The retail and distribution model for carrying out business activities might not work as effectively in the future as it was before the pandemic of COVID-19.
- The financial stability of the world is also a big question mark. The world is totally reshaping its way of carrying out its day-to-day activities prompting Fila to rethink its business model.
MARKETING MIX OF FILA
Looking at the pre-pandemic situation of COVID-19, the company stood used the marketing mix of product, price, place, and, promotion in the following ways:
Fila produces sports products for both men and women. These products include shoes, clothing, and accessories for both men and women. It offers its products for different income level groups and targeting youth especially for its different range of products.
It targets both upper and lower class of the society for pricing its products.
It uses its different departmental stores in 11 countries for offering its products. At present, the strategy has been changed and it is using online means to target different customers in different parts of the world. It has also more than 8000 retail stores globally for selling its products.
The brand has made itself visible by attending different events like BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Sony Open in Miami, Florida, and the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the BMW Open in Germany. As compared to its competitors, it has used minimum advertisement campaigns for offering its products.
Founded: 1911 by Ettore and Giansevero Fila in, Italy.
CEO: Yoon Keun-chang
Headquarters: Seoul, Korea
Owned by: Fila Korea
Fila knows that it has a huge potential to capture market share in different parts of the world. It has to streamline its current processes with digital means of communication. The company must address the challenge of financial stability around the world especially after the serious impact of COVID-19 on different economies of the world. Apart from its current range of odd products, the design and branding strategy of the company can be reassessed.
Instead of standing on its current core competencies, it can enter into different strategic alliances with many corporate and e-commerce entities. The brand has to show its visibility by carrying out effective marketing and advertising campaigns. In addition, the brand can also expand itself in many emerging economies of the world. These steps can bring positive results and a strong portfolio for the brand.