Master of Business Administration

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Syed Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Department of Marketing

Committee Member 1

Sir Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Department of Marketing, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Project Type

MBA Research Project

Keywords">Ideas by Gul Ahmed, Market share, Western media, Market leadership, Brand extension, Shopping needs, Buying behavior, Intelligent marketing

Abstract / Summary

The purpose of this report was to investigate the reasons for a low market share and popularity among the youth segment (18 – 25 years) of Ideas by Gul Ahmed. After exploration of the reasons for this ailment our aim was to propose a solution to counter this problem and help Ideas claim greater market share in the youth segment.

Initially secondary research was conducted that included articles and statistics present on Euromonitor. Research journals were explored for relevant research papers on the subject and to find the best practices. Data from websites, blogs and social media platforms was also analyzed to understand the youth segment, its requirements, influences and impulses. Following this research, a survey was conducted where responses were collected about the factors that influence the purchase decisions of youth when it comes to apparel. Following this initial survey another survey was conducted to gauge youth places idea on the factors that influence their buying behavior. It was a gap analysis that gives us the information about the gap between the market requirement and current placement of Ideas. After these surveys to get insight and detailed qualitative data, thirty-one In-depth interviews were conducted. These interviews proved monumental in our research and provided us with findings that helped us devise our recommendations for the brand.

The retail market in apparel and footwear is expected to grow by 40% approximately but Gul Ahmed has its share currently declining. The completion in this segment has grown over time and entrance of many competitors. With growing influence of western media the youth and upcoming generation want western wear and their go to brand was Outfitters which has made its mark in a very short time but on the basis of its intelligent marketing and trendy and stylish product offerings. Many perceive it to be a local replacement for foreign brands like Levi’s and mango etc. similarly for eastern wear Khaadi has taken the market by a storm and is currently a market leader. Consumers wait impatiently for seasonal sale offers for brands like Khaadi, Sapphire, and Nishat etc. Seasonal capsule collections are introduced regularly, and consumers are provided with new designs in short intervals to keep them engaged and frequent buying.

The constructs on which our research is were borrowed from a research paper of Rajput and Khanna published in Innovative marketing Journal in the year 2014. The model revolves around five constructs that influence the buying behavior and decision of consumers. These constructs are store attributes, product attributes, reference groups, promotional factors and consumer characteristics. The survey conducted for these factors included male and female respondents. The analysis of the data unveiled that Quality, Fit, Style, Variety, Price, Durability and previous experience with brand. It also revealed that Khaadi was the most preferred brand. Second survey provided us with data to gauge the gap between market expectations and current product offerings. After conducting gap analysis perceptual mapping was also performed. Result of the analysis of the data acquired of both surveys, was found out to be that there was a 12% gap between consumer preference and product offering of Ideas.

For proposal of possible solution to Ideas we needed to further dig in the findings from our survey and for this purpose In-depth interviews were conducted that helped us suggest possible solutions. Ideas has plastered its image in the minds of youth that it is an elderly brand. This perception of youth has grown over the years due to relatively stale product offering and undirected brand communication. Ideas needs to completely revamp itself to be appealing to youth and increase its market share in this segment. As this market is evolving on daily basis Ideas can never settle or remain stagnant in its approach on all fronts. It needs to change its designs, prints, cuts, and color schemes. It needs to be up to date with trends of the market. Hence, they must introduce new collections regularly and to not make a clutter of those collections but follow a theme and idea. Coupled with their product offerings they need to have clear and directed communication that resonates with the youth. They need to introduce specific collections and lines that cater to youth only. The factors that have contributed to confused communication is that idea has many offerings and variety with no clear demarcation and separation between the two. They try to communicate with their entire customer base rather than going for targeted communication. Ideas has fallen behind in the race for highest market share in apparel retail. They need to follow few of the best practices set by brands like Khaadi and Outfitters. They need to make their sales exclusive and create a mammoth hype through their marketing for any upcoming collection. As Outfitters has set itself as a replacement for foreign brands like Adidas, Abercrombie & Fitch and H&M. Ideas has to do the same and change and modernize its western offerings by designing their products similar to international trends instead of set and standardized designs and silhouettes.

Available for download on Saturday, December 05, 2026