Information Systems Strategy. The Case of Inked Apparel

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2013

22 Pages, Grade: B




Introduction to organisation

Business Model Canvas


Mission Statement


Business Strategy

Task 2
Emerging Technology
Cloud Computing
Inked apparel can use cloud computing for the following:

Task 3
Porters five forces
Critical Success Factor
Business Process of Inked Apparel
Organisation structure
Evaluation of Proposals



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Introduction to organisation

Inked Apparel is a custom clothing manufacturer and retailer; it isprimarily situated in two sectors of trading, which is providing a service to its customer by creating a t-shirt of their desire and eventually retailing the produced clothing online as well as at local market stalls.[1]

Inked Apparel is a small business that will create custom T-shirts, Polo’s and Hoodies with thechoice of customer’spreference of images, which can be then created by Ink’s design team.These designs can be printed on the back or front as well as both sides of the clothing. Customers request through a form whichis available on Ink’swebsite and can be printedinpaper form. Once the apparel has been created the company sells it to the customer at an agreed price set beforehand. In addition a market stall is used to help sell generalised merchandise created by the artists for tourists and citizens such as ‘I heart London’ Shirts; below is an example:

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Business Model Canvas

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Inked Apparel has competitors which offer a service of creating t-shirts, they exclusively operate online only, and one of the competitors is branded ‘Red Bubble’:

Red Bubble[3]

Red bubble is a company which allows an artist to upload their designs to sell to customers at a fee much like eBay thus employing an online auction business model. Red bubble provides their customers with an outlet and free advertising. The competition is immense as anyone can upload their designs to sell to their niche – we can use this for ourselves and make an outlet shop on red bubble.

The biggest competitor Inked Apparel faces and one that they inspire to become and more which is:

Street Shirts[4]

Street Shirts is similar to Inked Apparels business model which is to allow customers to create custom created clothing, however there is a notable difference between the two which is the ability of the customer to request and ask a designer specifically what they desire to be created on their apparel from ‘scratch’, on street shirts you are able to upload an image and apply it on virtual clothing to give you an idea of what you are purchasing.

Street Shirts specialize in creating their own application software embedded on to their website to make custom apparel to on the user’s computer.

Mission Statement

Inked apparel aims to provide a service to take ideas of customers and aim to make them true and existing for them to enjoy. Inked Apparel aims to create designs which will help make clothes more personal for its customers and allow them to express their idea of fashion and their unique style. Inked apparel offers a niche were customers can ask for popular memes or franchise icons to be uniquely drawn for them on the clothing; for example famous quotes such as ‘how you doin?’ from popular TV shows such as Friends, these unique designs will eventually be available for all customers to purchase with their own imprint.


- To be an established brand in the UK within 5 years much like what Moonpig did with custom cards.
- Increase clothing ranges from t-shirts, polo’s and hoodies.
- To achieve a good cash flow for artist and owner to earn a decent living
- Maintain a solid market share to hold on to and target the right trends and audience
- To create a good network that will allow the expansion of the business
- To establish a work schedule that helps the business operate at optimum
- To build a reputation with quality service and products

Business Strategy

Inked apparel strategy is part of differentiation, cost focus and segmentation.

Differentiation in terms of offering features onto t-shirts and apparel such as logo design onto meeting customer preferences.

Cost is acceptable as it is negotiable as well as producing at lowest possible cost because of the wide accessibility of suppliers for plain shirts.

Segmentation as the clothing is tailored for unique niche market instead of having to serve all customers.

Task 2

Emerging Technology

Social Messaging Apps & Applications

Social messaging apps developed for iOS and Android phones are quickly becoming a new trend for every user of a mobile phone to effortlessly install applications such as ‘Whatsapp’ on to their phones for simple and free use. Social messaging apps are building on the success from Blackberry messenger service (bbm) which had great success claiming up to 70 million subscribers according to an article by the guardian[5].[i] However people and companies have adapted the concept and have made it their own, packing different features as well as being free for the most popular phones on the market such as the IPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

Social messaging apps are a growing trend in technology worldwide as many messaging apps across the world grow rapidly in terms of subscribers. Below is a graph of NHN Line messaging app in Japan which holds 40 million subscribers currently and enjoyed rapid growth.[6]

Social messaging applications have heavy implications in terms of the impact it has on mobile operators and competitive social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In a recent article bythe BBC it is stated that “mobile operators lost $13.9bn”[7] in SMS revenue which implicates a huge market of customers are using social messaging to interact with friends and an income is being saved by millions.

Social networks such as Facebook have been lacking presence in Asian markets as other social media apps dominate the market as stated in Digital Trends[8] “What’s threatening to Facebook is that now with a comfortable foothold in the Asian markets where Facebook lags behind” the article goes on to say that popular applications such as Tango and Line have been dominating the Asian markets and are looking to further their prosperity in the European markets, these companies are looking to expand and creating new offerings to gain a market share.
Inked apparel can use the growth and wealth of applications for mobiles as an advantage to help their position in the market. Social messaging is just an example of the wealth, the communication and exchange of information can help Inked Apparel in terms of the exchange of opinions, videos and pictures as the demographic Inked apparel is very active in this community.


Inked apparel can see the growth in applications and especially social media applications as an opportunity to grasp onto as it is evident that there has been substantial growth in this market. In the future if the opportunitymay subside as the market becomes saturated, for example WhatsApphas been reaching over 2billion text messages being sent each day, thusreceiving the nickname “The SMS killer”[9] connoting to a very active community within the social messaging app market.

If Inked Apparel has not grasped onto the idea of expanding into this area, there is a possibility of it becoming a threat, for example if a competitor created an application or something related to the social market first to meet customer needs, the barriers to entry may increase for Inked Apparel to take advantage of a substantial market.

Social messaging apps allow customers to communicate with one another in groups for free, sending images and videos for example. As a result Inked apparel can take this opportunity of free socialising into their hands by creating a mobile application of their own which will allow customers or potential customers to create their own customers t-shirts.An example of a feature in the application can be taking customer images from their phones or create text that they can create onto the apps apparel maker, eventually uploading it to the apparel website to create; or even better creating a checkout onto the application. This may increase revenue as ideas and images can be shared on the social applications where friends and family can exchange opinions to encourage sales to occur potentially.

Basic applications builders have been created by companies to help firms to create an app for their own brand; a good example of a website which allows businesses or anyone for the matter to create applications is ‘AppsBar’[10], tutorials have been created to help users to create applications for mobile phones for consumers to use such as on YouTube[11], these tutorials explain the various amount of features that can be created on your personalised application. A good amount of features such as uploading photos, downloading content, checking out products are a great start for Inked Apparel to start from. The application creators will allow Inked Apparel to spend on a budget that they can afford as a prominent coder in XML, Java, and HTML will not be needed as much as many of the features can be created for free. Features such as uploading photos for example can be easily implemented into an app Inked Apparel would create to allow users to input images from their phone, checking out products for their own convenience is also always a plus.

Mobile applications allow easier access to customers to access business websites, in recent studies conducted by Compuware “85% per cent of customers prefer apps over mobile websites”[12], mobile applications is a growing trend in technology as its more convenient, faster and easier to navigate.

An example of how successful and ever growing the application market has become is Apples App store for various products it has such as the IPhone and the IPad. Apple’s CEO Tim Crook stated the App store has 400 million accounts connected with credit cards and has paid over $5billion dollars in pay checks to its developers of applications, as well as expanding to over 120 countries.[13]

Inked Apparel can create a new strategy which focuses on the objective of taking a slice of the market of applications that are currently on tablet computers and mobiles to increase revenue, brand awareness and marketing.


[1] Mohammed Arshad ‘Inked Apparel’ Logo, Designed by Mohammed Date : 1/12/2012

[2] Mohammed Arshad ‘Inked Apparel I heart London shirt’, Designed by Mohammed Date: 25/11/2012

[3] Redbubble (2013) Art Gallery & Community - T-Shirts, Posters, Greeting Cards, Wall Art, Fine Art Prints, Calendars & More | Redbubble. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[4] Winn, S. (2002) T-shirt Printing and Custom T-shirts from Streetshirts. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[5] Arthur, C. (2011) BlackBerry service crash affects BBM messaging for millions. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[6] Martin, R. (2012) NHN's Line App Passes 40 Million Users in 1 Year, Looks to Grow as Platform. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[7] BBC News (2012) Text apps 'lost networks $13.9bn'. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[8] Bea, F. (2013) Are messaging apps the biggest threat to Facebook? | Digital Trends. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[9] Russell, J. (2012) WhatsApp founder to operators: We’re no SMS-killer, we get people hooked on data. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[10] (2012) Rated Best App Maker, The Easiest Way to Create an App - appsbar. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[11] YouTube (n.d.) - How to Build a Free Android, iPhone, Windows, Blackberry, Facebook and HTML5 App.. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[12] Bindi, T. (2012) » Why more businesses need mobile apps Dynamic Business. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

[13] (n.d.) Untitled. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 2 Apr 2013].

Excerpt out of 22 pages


Information Systems Strategy. The Case of Inked Apparel
The University of Liverpool
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
1582 KB
information, systems, strategy, inked, apparel
Quote paper
Dr Richardson Steve (Author), 2013, Information Systems Strategy. The Case of Inked Apparel, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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