Coach enjoys high brand recognition as 90% of our respondents could recognize the Coach logo even though the brand name was blurred in the question we posed to them. A highly likely reason could be that Coach is well established in Singapore.
Depth of Brand Awareness
For luxury handbags, the brand with the highest recall is Louis Vuitton, followed by Prada and Gucci. Coach has a relatively high brand recall as it ranks at 5th place. Our selected competitors have a lower recall among respondents, with Kate Spade ranking at 9th position and Michael Kors at 2nd last position. We attribute these differentials in rankings due to Coach and Kate Spade being well-established in Singapore, in comparison to Michael Kors, which entered the market just last November.
For luxury accessories, the brand with the highest recall is likewise Louis Vuitton, followed by Prada, and subsequently Chanel and Gucci tied at 3rd place. Similarly, Coach has relatively high brand recall as it ranks at 5th place. Michael Kors was not recalled here at all while Kate Spade ranks at 8th place.
Breadth of Brand Awareness
We posed the free-response question “If you were to purchase a luxury handbag, what brand would it be, and why?” in our survey and majority of the respondents indicated that they would purchase a Prada handbag for its design, quality of leather, brand reputation, and classy brand image. Interestingly, Kate Spade, was the choice of 12% of the respondents due to its youthful image and vibrant colours. On the other hand, only 6% would purchase a Coach handbag for its design. These results sadly indicate that Coach handbags are not as “strongly desired” as compared to those of its direct and indirect competitors.
For the similar question regarding luxury accessories, majority of respondents (22%) would likewise purchase accessories from Prada for its wide variety and quality leather. 15% of the respondents would purchase from Kate Spade (mainly wallets) for its design, vibrant colours and affordability. However, only 3% would purchase from Coach, for its design.
Hence, Coach has moderately high brand awareness as it fares high in brand recognition and depth of brand awareness, but not as well in breadth of brand awareness.
‘Quality’, ‘Value’, ‘Quality Leather’ and ‘American Style’ are common words that come to our respondents’ minds when they think of Coach. These associations are perfectly in line with Coach’s value of ‘The Brand is Our Touchstone’, where the brand stands for “quality, authenticity, value and a truly aspirational, distinctive American style.”
The common positive words which our respondents associate with Coach are “mature”, “sophisticated”, “practical” and “versatile” while the negative associations are “Auntie”, “old fashioned” and “dull”. The negative associations suggest that Coach is perceived to be a brand for the more mature population.
Our respondents were asked to rate the following aspects of Coach: After-sales service, in-store customer service, store layout, value for money, product variety, trendiness, functional design (zippers, compartments, etc.) and quality.
Results show that more than half of our respondents are either satisfied or very satisfied with Coach’s ‘quality’ and its ‘value for money’. In addition, approximately half of our respondents are satisfied with Coach’s ‘functional design’.
However, a significant number does not think that Coach is trendy and this is definitely one aspect which Coach has to improve on.
Majority of our respondents either purchase Coach products less than once a year or are given Coach products as gifts. We note here that given that Coach products are luxury goods, the frequency of them being purchased by our respondents can thus be limited as a result.
Most of our respondents do not have strong favourable liking for specific aspects of the Coach brand. The preferred aspects are Coach’s brand image and brand reputation.
When asked to pick feelings associated with Coach, the respondents gave satisfaction, warmth and happiness a high score (i.e. >/= 7). A possible reason is that people purchase Coach products as gifts for others, and the feeling of receiving and giving is commonly linked to warmth and happiness. However, Coach does not rank high on youthfulness and excitement and we attribute this to the negative associations of Coach being “Auntie”, “old fashioned”, and “dull” that were picked out earlier on.
Our results show that Coach has low brand loyalty and we have identified three main groups of users among our respondents. The first group does not purchase Coach products and they are users of Coach only because they received the products as gifts. The second group consists of consumers who purchase Coach bags, but less than once a year. The final group does not even have the intention to purchase any Coach products in the near future.
Next, we realized that more than half of our respondents purchase Coach products to make themselves feel good or to reward themselves. However, a large proportion also indicated that they purchase Coach products as gifts to others.
As of now, Coach has weak engagement with its target market in Singapore. Many of our respondents indicated that they are not engaged with the Coach community on various platforms, namely FaceBook, Twitter and other mediums. Also, they do not keep up-to-date with recent Coach news. Hence, these mediums are some of the touchpoints that Coach can improve on.
Relationship with brand
More than half of our respondents likened their relationship with Coach to a casual friendship, with smaller groups describing their relationship as a fling or an arranged marriage. From this, we can infer that current Coach users have a distant relationship with the brand because of the infrequent contact with its products, or because the products they are currently using are gifts. In addition, brand loyalty is low as shown by the infrequent purchases.