As another semester (MY FINAL SEMESTER!) comes to an end, it's time to reflect on what I've learned throughout this course. The material that was covered in my Marketing Management class is material that all Marketing majors need to know. We covered the basics of everything from graphic design to project management and went in depth on several social media platforms.
As someone who was not a Facebook user prior to the start of this semester, I can honestly say that I learned a lot about what is probably the most commonly used platform in all of social media. Who knew that Facebook had so much to offer for businesses and organizations when it comes to tracking your visitors, likes, and engagement? Not me! I was fairly familiar with Twitter due to the fact that I've had an account for right at six years now! Helping run the A-State College of Business social media accounts for the semester gave me a lot of great insight and has already been beneficial to my work as a Marketing Assistant at a local hospital. If you want to see the exciting things that my team has done with the COB Facebook, you click here and if you want to see our Twitter feed, click here!
As far as my personal project for the semester (this blog) I learned a lot about blogging and how much work goes into creating your best site. I applaud those of you who post often and have a completely new respect for bloggers who work from home! When looking at my numbers for the semester, I was surprised to see how many of you are return visitors and I want you to know that I appreciate you keeping up with my blog this semester!
In marketing we hear about the importance of selling our brand, probably more times than any of us can recall but, we don't necessarily hear about the importance of selling our story. Your story is part of your brand. Where you come from. How you got to where you are. Where you are going. Why you want to be there. Telling your story gives your brand value and helps consumers understand who you are. Humans are wired for connection and knowing you, gives consumers a way to connect to your brand.
This blog may be focused on fashion but, the importance of selling your story as part of your brand is fitting for any blog or company. For fashion bloggers, moving beyond the clothes to show who you are and what you stand for will make a world of difference when it comes to your support.
If you stop and think about some of your favorite brands, you may realize that there is a cause behind what they do. They share their products but they do so in a way that shares what they stand for. Look at TOMS shoes, the company gives one pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold. Warby Parker has adopted a similar concept, with the donation of one pair of eyeglasses for every pair sold. A personal favorite for me is FEED, founded by Lauren Bush, a handbag company that donates proceeds to feed children in need.
Think about your story. Figure out what makes you tick, where you struggle, what sets you apart, what you stand for. Find a way to put those things together and share your story.
What is it exactly that separates a successful fashion business from an unsuccessful one? How can one company skyrocket and another fail? It's simple really; it's all about how your story resonates with consumers. It's all about...marketing. Before the Internet and social media, brands had to rely on TV and print ads to help share their story. Today, they have the chance to tell their own story and interact with consumers in a whole new way.
Where do you start? You have to define your brand before you can do anything. Be able to tell consumers what your brand is and what your brand is not. Give a simple description, define your market, and know exactly who you want to be your customer.
The Four P's of Marketing:
The fashion product is more than just what consumers need; it's what consumers don't know that they need yet. There are countless products in the fashion world and you need to have the one that consumers truly need.
The price is more than just a nominal value. Sure consumers are going to pay attention to that little number on the price tag but it is about so much more than that. Price is about the value that a consumer attributes to a certain item. If you provide that piece that your consumer didn't realize her closet was missing, you provide something of great value.
The place that you choose to sell can have a huge influence on your business. Doing your research is important so that you know where your business will be successful. Whether you choose to sell online or not, it is still important to have an online presence, whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so jump on the social media wagon and start sharing your photos!
The promotion of your brand is what has to take place in order to be successful. In our digital world it is important to promote your brand using different platforms and social media must be one of them. People love a heartwarming story and if you can share how your brand got here in a way that consumers will remember, you will already be a step ahead.
Now go out there and get ready to share your story!
Fashion advertisements have been many things over the years; fierce, classic, and empowering are just a few words that come to mind. We all have ads that we love and I want to share a few of my favorites with you.
With the recent hype over Kendall Jenner being named the new face of Calvin Klein, I feel like we have to start with a Calvin Klein ad from 1981, featuring Brooke Shields. While this picture is considered to be one of Calvin Klein's most controversial ads, due to the fact that Shields was only sixteen at the time, it is one of my favorites. I have to admit that Shields looks pretty fierce in this picture, even if she is only sixteen.
When I think about the All-American girl, I think of Springdale native Bridget Hall (shoutout to my fellow Arkansan!) Ralph Lauren ads always portray the epitome of American life featuring beautiful people in classic, well-tailored clothing and Hall was a huge part of this image in the 1990s. This particular advertisement remains one of my favorites even though it is almost 20 years old!
When it comes to a woman being president today, the idea is not completely out of this world but; in 1992, when this Donna Karan ad came out, the thought of a woman running our country was unheard of. The idea represented here is empowering to women everywhere and even featured the slogan "in women we trust." With the 2016 election right around the corner, do you think we will see Hillary in any Donna Karan pieces?
Remember that post from a few days ago talking about the influence fashion bloggers have on consumers? Their influence on consumers impacts brands as well. Take a look at NYFW (every fashion lover's favorite time of year!) and you may see some familiar "social media queen" faces. One in particular for me is Leaf Greener. Leaf, whose Chinese name is Ye Zi, has almost 100,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly shares fashion related content. Leaf, a former fashion editor for Elle China, has recently stepped out to become a fashion consultant and stylist on her own.
Not only are Leaf's Instagram fans interested in what she's doing and what she's wearing, but designers are becoming interested as well. Leaf spent the week with some of Fashion Week's favorite people, including some of the beauty world's top ladies at Leonard Lauder's penthouse cocktail party. Rosie Assoulin, an upcoming designer and now friend of Leaf, expressed excitement to have Leaf in New York for Fashion Week. Leaf was seen out for lunch in a bright yellow pantsuit that looked like it came straight out of Assoulin's Spring/Summer Collection and by that evening she was seen in a gorgeous evening gown.
What does all of this mean? Consumers and brands are paying attention. Designers are starting to take note of the influence that social media stars and fashion bloggers have on consumers. Let Leaf Greener's time at NYFW show you that brands and designers are paying attention to the same people you are. Fashion bloggers are becoming a big source of inspiration for consumers and with this shift, designers are shifting their focus as well.
Take a look at your Instagram feed and think about what you see. Chances are the people you follow correspond with a certain theme. For me, that theme is fashion. I find myself scrolling past OOTD photos, shoes, handbags and etc. every time I check my Instagram. When I need some inspiration, I turn to Instagram and Pinterest, as well as a few of my favorite fashion blogs.
In a society that is more social than ever before, bloggers or vloggers (video bloggers) have the power to change the way consumers view brands and products. The influence of bloggers can be overwhelming and the result of their influence can be negative or positive.
Think about when a new restaurant comes to town...what you hear plays a huge role in what you think. When you hear that someone had a negative experience, chances are you may expect to have a similar experience, if and when you visit the location. Fashion blogs are no different and it does not stop with the original poster. From what I have seen, once a blogger shares their negative experience, comments start to pour in from consumers who have had similar experiences. I have seen several YouTube videos from popular vloggers about their negative experiences; when I scrolled through the comments section to read what other viewers had to say, it was never good.
That said, bloggers are also boosting sales for some companies simply by wearing their products. Some readers/viewers are so into what a blogger is loving that they will buy everything the blogger uses. I personally try not to buy everything that my favorite bloggers talk about but sometimes it is too hard to resist the urge (I'm talking to you TiffanyD!) Would you like to take a guess on how long I waited for a necklace to come back in stock after I saw Tiffany wearing it in several videos? Five months, five long months.
We are so easily influenced by the experiences of others and when we are constantly reading blogs or watching videos, we come to trust the person on the other side of the computer. Once we trust them, we rely on them for advice and inspiration. Brands have to see the influence that fashion bloggers have on consumers. Bloggers turn their social media accounts into a way to spread their message about companies or products and they send these messages out to what is likely your brand's target audience.
Why do we listen? They are one of us. Sure, we all love to hear what beauty products Jennifer Aniston is using (you can read a list of her beauty secrets here) but in reality, we do not all have our own personal glam squad to get us ready and dressed in the morning. Bloggers show us how to use certain products and what to wear with those cute booties that are in style this fall. Bloggers make it personal and real and that is why they have become such popular marketers.
Hi friends! I'm Cally, an Arkansas native living in Nashville, TN. Here's a look inside my life, posts about products I love and probably a few too many Friends quotes!