Monday, 24 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #5

MID UNIT ASSESSMENT!!!

So this week's Monday session we had a mid-unit assessment, where we had a critique with our two tutors to present to them what we have achieved so far, and what we have developed as a group.  We each spoke about each of our sectors (for example, I spoke about social media), and at the end we discussed what we should alter, improve and also what we need to consider to push our brand further.  Our main points of this discussion were...

-brand logo
-app image
-choosing other sustainable brands & more brands

After our discussion, we decided that it may be best for our icon on our social media pages and app icon to be the 'e' taken from our 'edeoco' logo and made slightly bolder.  Here are some designs we made...


On Mondy's afternoon session we had a photoshoot for an example of the capsule collection.  These images were then edited and selected by the creative directors and well as the product designers, as these images will be used on the website and will act as the main aesthetic for the brand.  I think that the images turned out well, however they may need further editing, for example to decrease the darkness of the background.  Here are a few images that were taken...



Thursday mornings session consisted of our group having a brief team meeting with our unit to discuss our weekly progress.  We briefly went over and further discussed the feedback that was left by a fellow group, from our presentation/critique that we had in Monday's session.  The majority of this feedback referred to the colour scheme and logo of our brand.  Many commented saying that they did not find the pink tones suitable and they looked a bit washed out, (colour palette I am referring to is discussed in previous post - FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #4 ), and that we should consider adapting back to the original colour palette of blue's and green's - which we have chosen to! *see above*  A few comments also suggested that we ensure that the same colour scheme is used on the website/app as well as all the social media sites, to enable continuity.  

After we discussed our feedback, we spoke about our choice of sustainable brands that we would like to stock on our website.  During our critique on Monday it was mentioned that the bigger brands such as Zara and Stella McCartney wouldn't be ideal for us to use due to their brands being too big for us as a start up business but also due to the fact that Stella McCartney's products have a very high price range and that Zara do not currently stock any of there items with other retailers.  In response to this discussion, our marketing strategist; Eloise, done some more research and discovered more brands that we feel are suitable to our target market, as well as the aesthetic that we would like to portray as a company; stylish, classic, affordable. Here is a list of the brands that we will supply from our website...

In addition to this, we also discussed advertising and packaging, as we believe this is the next thing for our group to start developing.  In terms of packaging, we would like to send the brands that we stock our own packaging, so that when every order and purchase is made through 'edeoco', we would receive a order receipt and so would the brand that the item is from.  That clothing brand would then parcel up and send off the item of clothing in our packaging, helping the consumers to identify us as a company and not as a company that re-directs you to other online retailers. In next Monday's session we plan to discuss and develop digital imagery of what our packaging would look like.  Advertising is a key stage of any company's set up.  It is crucial for companies to reach as wide audience as possible, and become unique compared to every other advertisement that society come across on a daily basis.  We plan to advertise through magazines (or newspapers); specialised eco magazines, fashion magazines, lifestyle magazines, technology magazines.  Some ideal magazines that we would like to feature in are The Good Trade, Stylist, Sublime, Eluxe Magazine and Refix Magazine.  We would also like to advertise our brand through the digital underground advertisements on tube line escalators, as well as on youtube adverts, or spotify adverts.  For our zine we will create some digital images of mock up advertisements.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #4

We started off today's Monday morning session with creating our customer profile boards.  Due to choosing a wide target audience (20-45 year old's), we decided to create two individual customer boards in order to target the sub age categories.  For our first one we decided it would be aimed at the 20-30 age category.

 We created this female as a young, stylish individual who is fashion concious and is aware of the environment.  We decided that she would be the type of girl who is most likely to live in a modern flat in Camden, London with her dog.  She would be likely to have a creative job, such as a fashion journalist and the type of girl who would run her own successful fashion and lifestyle blog.  As a group we decided she would most likely be a regular gym go-er, and loves the city vibes so she would take yearly trips to places like New York or go on European city breaks.


And our second customer profile board was for our sub-age category of the 31-45 year old's.  We created this lady to be a well respected, married woman who potentially has a young child.  She would be a hard working woman who is in a well paid job within the city, such as a real estate agent or solicitor.  She would have a good social life, and would regularly attend work drinks or go for meals out.  We agreed that she would probably live in a town house in Kensington or North London area, and commute to the city daily, whilst her nanny would care for her kid/s in the day time.  We said that she cares about what she wears and how her style is perceived from her clients and society around her.  We said she is the type of woman who shops at Waitrose and goes on annual holidays to Italy or to the French Riviera.


In our afternoon session on Monday, we discussed what we would like to do in the session and we all agreed that we needed to re-visit the logo, and colour scheme.  Using our drafted one from our last session, we played around with fonts and styles.  We use photoshop's "replace colour" feature to change the tones and hues of our original background image.  After we selected a shade we liked we placed the image into Adobe Colour (formerly known as Kuler) which creates pre-made colour palettes based on the colours within the image you provide.


After we selected this colour palette, we used each colour to create a backdrop and placed our new font on top...



We have not made a final decision on what exact colour we are going to use, however we feel that we do have the possibility to incorporate each colour into some aspect of the brand.  For example, we could decide that the blue tones could be used for our 5 year future plan, when we expand to menswear and the blue colours will be traditionally associated to the menswear, whereas the pink-er tones will be automatically associated with womenswear.

We also found a website (link here) that created a visual representation of what our app icon would look like if we were to use our logo.  We had to slightly alter the wording of the "edeoco" in order for it to be bold enough to be seen due to app icons being so small.  Here is what we created.

 

Thursday's session consisted of our regular morning meetings with our lead tutor to discuss our weekly progress and decide what needs to be completed next.  We briefly went over the plan for the following Monday's session as we have scheduled group critiques, where we will be presenting our brand so far; displaying the work that has been achieved to date.  During this meeting we also showed and explained to our tutor what was completed in our digital workshop on Monday's afternoon session (all explained above).  She loved our logo but advised us that we may need to reconsider our app icon as she felt like it wasn't as visible compared to other apps - and after discussion we all agreed as this is not what we would like.  Afterwards, we went off and discussed the plan for the critique in further detail; giving ourselves a basic structure of the order of what will be said to ensure that we include every piece of work that we have achieved so far.  This is what we then worked on individually throughout the day (morning and afternoon session) whilst configuring with other group members to show progress and to ensure continuity through all our work.

Between our morning and afternoon session, we had an interesting lecture on the positioning of our brand and the products we will be supplying.  Due to being an online shop, essentially we would not be directly supplying a product as the orders made through our app and website will be transferred to the brands we are working with, where they then as their own company will send out the orders.  However this lecture did cover some important topics that we still need to consider for our final presentation...

- production costs: as we will not be creating a physical product as such we will not need to worry about manufacturing cost, warehouse/shop rent, or shipping and taxes etc, however we will need to research into the potential costs of e-commerce start up businesses and how much it is to hire professional web designers, or the price to create apps that are legally compatible when downloaded through the app store. 

- packaging : we will also need to look into what our packaging will look like and how our online brand aesthetic is coherently displayed through our packaging as well.  Ideally we would like to use recycled packaging such as recycled cardboard boxes in order to carry on with the brand ethos of sustainability.

- consumer incentives :  thank you cards are a great way to create personal relationships with consumers, which will make them feel appreciated by not only the brand they buy from but also our brand.  These cards can be slipped into deliveries from purchases, but also sent to consumers on their birthdays, or national holidays with tokens or personal discounts.  This may create more future shoppers, and will help consumers spread the word about our brand due to the specialised discounts they receive from us.

feedback : our social media sites (especially Twitter and Facebook) will also consumers to feedback to us about what they think of our shop as well as their personal experience using our app/website. However using social media that means we will need to be aware of potential negative feedback as it will be harder to remove this or hide from other consumers. We can also provide simple pop-ups on the app or website that will allow customers to quickly tick a few boxes based on their experience.  Another option we could use is mailing services such as MailChimp, which customers will be subscribed to when they sign up to the website where we could send quick surveys of their recent experience.  MailChimp services can also be beneficial to send monthly trend updates or brand news to consumers, as well as specialised discounts and information on technological updates.  As a company we will need to ensure that a limited number of the emails are sent monthly as I know that many people, including myself, find these emails incredibly annoying, however they do still manage to entice an audience.

Monday, 10 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #3

Today in our groups we discussed and focused on the identity of our brand and the image we would like to portray to our target market.  In our session we brainstormed photoshoot ideas, as ideally we need some images to be able to use to put on our website and app, as well as a 'capsule collection look book' we want to create.  As an initial start-up inspiration, Tabby (Creative Director) created this (linked here) pinterest board on the style of what we would like the photoshoot could be like, with edgy undertones and classic outfit styles.  We also thought from the photoshoot we could create a look book style video which could then be posted on the website or on a promotional YouTube page for our brand.  As video inspiration styles, we allcollecively really like these youtubers take on look book videos...

SAMANTHA MARIA | JUNE LOOKBOOK
AUTUMN TRANSITIONAL LOOKBOOK | MEGAN ELLABY

We then re-branded our company and came up with a new brand name as we weren't overly satisfied with "wear-e".  After the brainstorming we created "Edeoco", pronounced eee-dee-o-co.  This evolved initially from the word style, and by looking it up on thesaurus.com, we saw the synonym idiosyncrasy.  We started to play around with merging eco and environment to create a word that suited and sounded like a potential app and made sure that it rolled of the tongue.  One issue of having a made up word as a brand name is that will the consumer be able to pronounce it like we do; unless we make a feature of the phonetics.  We may need to some consumer research into how members of the public pronounce it, and see if they don't, potentially adapt the lettering.  This may still change on lettering in future sessions, but for now we all really like it!  Below are some 1st drafts of logos...

(sorry for the bad quality image)

To create the logo, we used Adobe InDesign Illustrator, as we find it the easiest and has the most effective outcome for what we want to produce.  Due to the background being a bitmap image, we were advised to create alternative logos using solid colours.  These create vector-style logos.  We simply took out a few of the colours within the the green marbling image to create alternative backgrounds.  We wanted to use circle connotations within the logo to represent the idea of long-lasting clothing and reusable fashion for each season and trend.  The font we used was downloaded from dafont.com, even though we really like the font, after asking a few people we realised it is quite similar to the Waitrose brand; Ocado...?  as well as the shoe brand; Ecco..?


On Thursday's session we had a re-cap team brief with our tutor to go over what's been done in the past week and what is the plan for today's sessions.  We went over social media coverage and decided we were also going to add pinterest to the list of platforms that we want our brand to feature on.



Wednesday, 5 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #2

Second week, session one consisted of recapping our brand idea and clearly defining its purpose.  As our own set 'homework' we brainstormed potential brand names in order for social media accounts to be set up and a brand identity can be created.  In our session at university we looked into Simon Sinek's "Start with Why?" theory, which discusses the principal behind every successful person and business.  He explains that working in the reverse to what is expected (why to what) creates more successful brands and can persuade consumers to believe in your company more.  This was our result...
In our groups we established that in order to make our niche brand successful we will need to become unique compared to our potential competitors (brands along the like of ShopStyle, Mallzee, Snap Fashion etc.).  Therefore we will need to promote the fact that our app will have the ability to scan your body shape by simply taking a mirror picture using your smart device camera, a capsule collection will then become personal to you as will be determined on the data such as your body shape, hair colour and skin pigment.  Our app will also offer only sustainable brands or sustainable collections from big brands such as Zara's new sustainable line.  As we plan to deal direct with the supplier we will not need warehouse to store the stock as only electronic information will be sent and the brand will send the delivery themselves rather than our company. 

We then created a S.W.O.T analysis so we could identify our internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats. Then we used a Business Model Canvas developed by our tutor, so that we could clearly identify the ethos and main initial set up behind our brand.  Below is what we produced as a team.

In our second session of the week, we discussed within the group what our weekly plan is and what we would like to accomplish by next Thursday.

*personal aim : create the bands social media sites (facebook, twitter, and instagram), post regular content throughout the week on suitable topics such as brands we would like to use, tips, fashion trends, promotional material etc.*

I wanted to create the social media sites as quickly as possible so that we could gain the most amount of followers in the time of the project, as it will help us best to represent our brand.  Even though we are not 100% on the name we have chose; "Wear-e", I have used it anyway as if we do decided to change our minds then it can be altered.  In addition to the name, the logo and colours used are only rough guidelines of what we will use and these will most likely be swapped at a later date.  Here are the screen shots of our initial social media sites with links below too.





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'.*