Category Archives: Mass Market

How Brands are using Instagram to Connect with Consumers

A picture is worth a thousand words, which may explain why Instagram has become the latest social network to catch the attention of brands. With over 1 million registered users, this photo sharing app provides a unique touch point for brands to engage their consumers while telling their story through pictures.

For those who are unfamiliar, Instagram is an easy to use iPhone application for taking, editing and sharing photos. As a user you have the ability to follow, comment and like other pictures. All these interactions make Instagram an ideal outlet for brands who are looking to explore new ways to reach their consumers. Already, nearly a dozen brands have created their own accounts, including MTV, Pepsi and even Playboy.

Instagram has been only too happy to accommodate this new interest from brands, and they have hinted that they’re currently working on changes which will allow brands to communicate more directly with users. One such change, which was rolled out last month is the launch of hash tags.

Hash tags can now be added to pictures via the caption or comment field. These tags help to aggregate pictures into their own special albums. This allows users to view a real time feed of content, based around a particular topic (similar to how hash tags work within Twitter). To view pictures associated with a hash tag tap on the tag text or use the new search functionality located under the profile tab. For those without a smart phone, pictures can be viewed via RSS feeds: http://instagr.am/tags/%5Bhashtag%5D/feed/recent.rss. Simply replace “hashtag” with the name of the tag.

Brands have been quick to take advantage of this new development. Brisk Ice Tea is using the hash tag #briskpics to collect photos, the best of which they will use to create 4000 limited edition cans. Charity: Water are asking people to use the tag #chatirywater to share images of water in their everyday life, while NPR is collecting user generated content using the tags #love and #hate to spark conversation.

So how can your brand use Instagram to reach consumers? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

1. Host a contest. Provide followers with a challenge to take a picture of something related to your brand. Alternatively you could provide the picture and ask viewers to come up with a unique caption. Best picture/caption wins.

2. Give a sneak peak. Whether it’s the first look at a new product or a few snaps behind the scenes, treat your followers to some exclusive content.

3. Create a real time album for an event. Allow attendees to share their event experiences by using a hash tag to aggregate pictures. This will provide you with a variety of content.

4. Connect with influencers. Check to see if your brand is already being talked about. Not only could this give you a hint as to the kinds of content consumers would like to see, but hash tags provide an easy way to track the people who are already connecting with your brand.

5. Show off a different side. Curate images that represent your brand personality. Connect with consumers by creating content around your shared passions rather than just your products.

Are you using Instagram for your brand? Have any other tips or best practices? Tell us below!

Original Source: Antleragency.com by Beth Tucker

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All About Fashion (Part 2) – Types of Fashion, Income in Fashion, Fashion Schools and more about Fashion

Types of fashion

The garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories:

Vlada Roslyakova A model walks down the runway during the Christian Dior Haute Couture fashion show for A/W 2009/10 on July 6, 2009 in Paris, France.

Haute couture

Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-fashion), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.

Ready-to-wear

Ready-to-wear clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis and occurs twice a year.

Mass market

Currently the fashion industry relies more on mass market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear clothes in large quantities and standard sizes. Inexpensive materials, creatively used, produce affordable fashion. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their own versions of the original look. In order to save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machine. The end product can therefore be sold much more cheaply.

There is a type of design called “kutch” design originated from the German word “kitschig” meaning “ugly” or “not aesthetically pleasing.” Kitsch can also refer to “wearing or displaying something that is therefore no longer in fashion.” Often, high-waisted trousers, associated with the 1980s, are considered a “kitsch” fashion statement.

Income

Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780.. Median annual earnings were $52,860 (£28,340) in apparel, piece goods, and notions – the industry employing the largest numbers of fashion designers.

Fashion education

There are a number of well known art schools and design schools world wide that offer degrees in fashion design and fashion design technology. Some colleges also offer Masters of Fashion courses. Though it is not a requirement to have a Masters level, it is recommended by those already working in the industry to study at this level. The most notable of design schools in Europe include London College of FashionCentral Saint Martins College of Art and DesignUniversity of Westminster and Kingston University in LondonLimerick School of Art and Design and the National College of Art and Designin Ireland, Edinburgh College of Art in ScotlandIstituto MarangoniDomus AcademyPolitecnico of MilanNABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti MilanoIstituto Europeo di DesignUniversity Iuav of Venice in Italy, the Fashion Federation PARIS] European Fashion Accreditationwww.Fashion-Board.com, Antwerp Fashion Academy in Belgium. There is Parsons The New School for DesignCreative Business HouseFashion Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute in New York City. Elsewhere in the United States there is the Savannah College of Art and DesignVirginia Commonwealth UniversityFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los AngelesSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago in Chicago. The National Institute of Fashion Technology in India, Shih Chien University in Hong Kong, RMIT University in Melbourne, Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and the Asian University chain, Raffles College of Design and Commerce, all have reputable fashion design courses.

The only Ivy League University having a Fashion Design undergraduate program is Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The program is offered by the department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design]. Cornell University also offers the only Ph.D. program in apparel design in the United States. The program is intended to address the needs of academia, industry and research by considering apparel design as an applied science that embraces design, technology, physical sciences, the humanities and social sciences in order to meet the human needs for clothing. There are many universities that offer fashion design throughout the United States. The major incorporating fashion design may have alternative names like Apparel and Textiles or Apparel and Textile Design and may be housed in departments such as Art and Art History or Family and Consumer Studies.

READ ALSO:

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 1) – FASHION DESIGN, STRUCTURE, HISTORY

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 2) – FASHION STAR SYSTEMS, WORLD FASHION AND THE GLOBAL FASHION INDUSTRY

Source: Wikipedia.com

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