Tuesday, 4 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #1

New Unit ... New Blog Series Posts.

As part of my first 'professional unit' in second year at university, we are tasked with creating a fashion related brand.  It is a group project, along with including individual components.  In our groups we are required to work as a business set-up, taking up roles in the group and act as if this were real-life essentially.  Once the groups were allocated, we discussed what we thought our strengths were and what areas of a business set-up appealed to us most (for example, creativity, marketing, branding etc.)  I explained to the group that I am confident with digital media and advertising, where I quite liked the sound of the role of the Social Media/ Digital Director.  This meant that I am now responsible for the digital presence of the brand, and customer engagement across all platforms.

*personal aim : ensure regular updates and content is posted, brand loyalty and trust is built to enable consumers to keep coming back to our brand, present the brand in a positive light, drive digital campaigns as well as strong brand identity clearly promoted*

Also in this first session, we briefly brainstormed quick potential brand ideas; men's accessories, kids wear, digital 'fitting rooms', lingerie, festival wear.  All 8 of us agreed that we wanted to create a brand that had a unique identity and had a unique selling point that would make us stand out against potential competitors.  On our second weekly session, we had a guest speaker; Jo Cruickshank, who explained the importance of branding and that the ethos and that the meaning behind your brand is effectively the most important feature.  We discovered that a common issue we personally find whilst on-line shopping is the inability to physically try on items before you buy them due to the obvious reasons of e-commerce.  We came up with the solution of a individual brand app that allows you to enter your personal details such as body figure, skin pigment, and hair colour, and as a result of this a personalised capsule collection is made tailored to you.  We also wanted to include the idea of using sustainable brands, and build upon the idea that sustainability is key nowadays due to the fashion industry being one of the biggest polluters of the environment.

We think that by creating an app that tailors garments personally to your body shape and preferences, it will maybe make consumers keep their clothes tat they purchase through our app for longer as they will buy the product with the knowledge that it will fit them, thus resulting and reducing the 'throw-away' society that we have become.  It will also reduce the need to return items (as this is a particular issue with ordering clothes online.)  Therefore, our brand ethos that we came up with is "style lasts longer than stock".  We hope to target women aged 20-45, as we think (before research is conducted) that this age category is the majority of style concious women, who particularly enjoy online shopping or have limited leisure time so result in only shopping online.  We believe that this age group will be women who care about what they look like in what they wear and potentially worried about ensuring what suits their body figures and what is the most flattering.

*group aim : we wish to solve and minimise these issues that we believe female shoppers have.*

A brief lecture provided by the fashion specialist librarian provided us with useful website links that will aid our research processes and allow us to access industry statistics on our desired brand sectors.  Mintel was the most useful link that I found out of  all provided. I spent an hour or so out of session time to conduct my own research on Mintel so we, as a group could use this data to adapt and learn more about our target market, consumers and social media. For example...

-  twitter was rated higher than Facebook for interactivity between brands and its consumer, including that consumers like when brands content includes advice, customer reviews, tips for fashion, styles and trends.
-  53% of online shoppers say that a barrier to online shopping is "difficulty finding clothing that fits well without trying it on"
-  80% of women,, under 35 years old say that "when shopping it is difficult to tell if clothes will fit"
-  62% say "customer feedback/reviews are useful in evaluating which websites to buy clothes from" - on our app we could have a review feature for each brand; will need to consider bad reviews?? block out? simple 1-5 rate system, less hassle??
-  mature shoppers say that "style and product quality are the most important factors for over 45's" - our app should combat 'quality' as we aim to use sustainable brands, which they may have higher prices but they will hopefully have a longer product life.

 *next weeks aim: develop brand further/ create a clear brand outline, name for brand so social media accounts can be set up, research and contact sustainable brands to see if our idea is 'do-able'.*