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Up Your Marketing Game In 2011

The new year is upon us, and while the new year promises many new opportunities, they won’t magically appear without a game plan. Setting New Year’s resolutions is old fashion, and we all know they are most often broken. This year, set goals in the form of a marketing calendar. By setting a year full of achievable goals, you’ll set yourself up for success and create a game plan for 2011 to market your business.

Of course, everyone’s marketing calendar will be different, but I’ve laid out some ideas you can incorporate into your marketing strategy to get you started. 

1) January – Plan a marketing campaign calendar for 2011. Plan ahead to take advantage of seasonal events with promotions and leaves room to learn at least one new thing each month.

2) February – Share the love with your clients. The season of love is the perfect time to integrate or upgrade your referral program to ensure clients feel valued.

3) March – Sign up for my blog/RSS feed. I admit this seems a little self-motivated, but the key to being a successful marketer is to stay on your toes, and by receiving regular marketing information you create a reminder to stay on top of things. It also creates an atmosphere for you to continue learning each month without overwhelming yourself with too much information at one time. Plus the while reason I write my newsletter and post articles is to help stylists like you learn to market your businesses. So if you haven’t already, sign up. (See that box at the top of the right column, that’s where you can sign up for my newsletter. Above that look for the RRS icon to grab my feed.)

4) April – If you haven’t launched your business’s Facebook page yet, times a wasting. Everyday Facebook becomes more and more popular and more and more important as a marketing strategy. As previously mentioned, the stylist’s business lends itself perfectly to a Facebook strategy since our business is, after all, based on relationships.

5) May – Stock up on summer reading. Good idea is to buy books to help you create the kind of income you have always dreamed of from your favorite job.

6) June – As you head into the dog-days of summer, be a resource for your clients and potential clients. The summer is long and not so busy for most, so use your Facebook page to publish tips and information that you believe is interesting and useful for your customers.

7) July – Celebrate Christmas in July and use this opportunity to reach out to your clients and thank them for their patronage. Everyone expects cards in December, but sending cards in July is so unexpected that you will really stand out in the crowd.

8) August – As parents start to think about sending the kiddos back to school, it is the perfect time for you to remind them about a new look for fall. It’s also a great time to run promo specials for kids. What about steeply discounted kids’ rebate when mom/dad are shopping too?

9) September – By now you have mastered Facebook. It is time to tackle a new project, how about Twitter? For some reason, Twitter seems overwhelming, but once you get started you’ll see that it is very basic and lots of fun. Head over to Twitter to get started. Once you get the conversation rolling, you’ll be hooked. And better yet, your clients will be hooked on you.

10) October – BOO! Don’t underestimate the number of people who need a special look for October 31. Use the holiday to your advantage and market yourself accordingly.

11) November -Before the holiday rush sets in, set aside some time to take stock of what worked and what didn’t work in your marketing plan for 2011. This will help you be ready to prepare for 2012, and it might point out something that is lacking for the holiday push. If you never analyze what you have done, you’ll never see how to improve, so take a moment to reflect so you can adjust accordingly.

12) December – Remember the “dead zone.” If you plan correctly, you’ll be super busy during the week between Christmas and New Years, which will set you up for a great 2012.

Have a happy and prosperous new year!

Copyright (c) 2010 Tarsha Beavers

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How to Become Fashion Designer ( Part 2 ) – Fashion Industry Career Specializations

Fashion Industry Career Specializations -BREAK IT DOWN

Coming straight from fashion school, you might be thinking that as a fashion designer, you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of apparel. But what you may not know is that generally, the fashion industry is split into categories, and then categories within categories. Basically, the apparel industry is very specialized.
The breakdown begins with price (which usually corresponds with quality). The lowest apparel classification is Discount, and at the height of fashion is Haute Couture:
  • Discount Fashion: These stores sell fashion merchandise that retails at a discounted price from what other apparel stores charge. Outlet malls or stores like Ross, Walmart, Target, or Conway are example of discount retailers that sell discount labels.

  • Budget / Mass Market Fashion: Mass market apparel usually consists of knock offs of higher priced designer fashions that are sold at low competitive prices to the masses. Old Navy, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe are a few popular budget apparel labels. Department stores in this category include JC Penney, and Kohl’s. This fashion market usually retails for less than $100.

  • Moderate Fashion: These include nationally advertised apparel fashion brands such as Nine West, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, and Zara. Examples of moderate department stores are Macy’s and Dillards. These apparel brands typically retail for less than $300.

  • Contemporary Fashion: More than just a specific price point, this classification is a fashion-forward image often aimed at women in their ’20s and early ’30s looking for trendy fashions priced more affordably than Designer pieces. BCBG, Betsey Johnson, Bebe, and Rebecca Taylor fall into the Contemporary fashion category, which usually retails for under $500.

  • Better Fashion: Also selling for less than $500, these collections use better quality fabric and styling than lower-priced brands. Armani Exchange, Jones New York and Anne Klein are a few examples of better-priced apparel lines.

  • Bridge Fashion: Priced under $1,000, these apparel fashion lines serve as a “bridge” between better and designer fashion categories. Bridge fashion includes names like Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman, DKNY, Emporio Armani, and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.

  • Designer Fashion: True fashion designer collections typically sell for more than $1,000 per item. The fabrics, fit, details, and trims are superior to other ready-to-wear items. Some examples of designer labels are Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, and Chanel.

  • Haute Couture / Avant-garde Fashion: Also know as couture, these terms have been commonly misused by ready-to-wear brands. Haute Couture, or simply “couture” fashion designers sell custom, made-to-measure apparel, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, and is affordable only to a select few. Technically speaking, there are only ten official Haute Couture Fashion Houses including: Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and Givenchy. Avant-garde fashion designers produce high quality, one-of-a-kind garments that experiment with new fashion design concepts and push the envelope of popular apparel design.

Even within the fashion industry categories listed above, each apparel market is broken down into more specific career specializations. First, fashion companies are broken down by customer: men’s, women’s, children’s etc. Then are further divided by type of apparel: sportswear, eveningwear (special occasion), sleepwear etc. And then even fashion design teams are designated to specific areas like Wovens, Knits, Sweaters, Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear and so on.

A discouraging thing to note about the fashion industry is that it is very difficult to move from one career category to another. If you start building your fashion design career with mass-market apparel companies, you’re going to face some barriers when you apply for that dream fashion designer job at Ralph Lauren. The same goes for apparel design specialties. If you’re experienced in designing children’s woven tops, chances are you won’t land a position designing women’s dresses. If you’re absolutely determined on making a switch in the fashion industry, you’re best bet is to start from the bottom in your desired career field and work your way up again.

Something else to consider is the different types of apparel manufacturers and retailers out there. There are fashion manufacturers who design and produce their own apparel designs, which are then sold to fashion retailers. These manufacturers do not have their own retail fashion stores. Examples include Shoshanna, Jones New York and Carmen Marc Valvo. There are also fashion manufacturers that own licenses for a variety of brands. For example, at the time of this writing, Phillips Van Heusen (PVH) owns Calvin Klein and IZOD, but licenses brands like DKNY, Sean Jean, and Kenneth Cole.

Then, there are fashion retailers that only sell merchandise purchased from manufacturers. These include stores like Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. There are also many manufacturers that also have their own fashion retail locations such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange and Nicole Miller. Other apparel retail stores have their own product development teams and have merchandise manufactured specifically for their private label designs such as Gap, Old Navy, and Express. In addition to purchasing merchandise from outside manufacturers, many department stores also have their own private label collections. Examples are: I.N.C. (Macy’s), and Arizona Jeans (JC Penney).

Pre-Fall 2011

The largest employment opportunities out there lie within mass-market apparel companies. They often pay rather well to begin with, however these figures usually level off after a few years of experience. The higher-end fashion markets pay less to start, and work hours are longer, but the prestige you’ll receive from such reputable companies will do wonders for your resume.

Source: Desigernexus.com

 

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Top 7 SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Tricks for 2011

A new year comes with brand new goals, targets and challenges for everyone including bloggers and Web administrators. It is therefore no surprise that many people will be looking for some of the best and most appropriate search engine techniques that will get their respective Websites on the first page of one, most or all of the top search engines. Thus, finding the best online strategies that will assist in driving targeted results could become the determining factor for thousands of businesses and blog owners trying to stand out and take their Websites to the next level in 2011.

As a result, this article will take a look at some of the most important methods that will assist not only businesses but blogs, affiliate and individual Websites achieve their ultimate dream of getting to page one on search engine result pages (SERPs) as follows.

1. Article Marketing: Article marketing is one of the most successful search engine optimisation (SEO) action plan methods currently employed by a significant number of Internet marketers. Essentially, you will write articles with a single keyword focus and a link pointing back to your website. You then submit  those articles to article directories that post them for free. Once an article is published, it will provide a backlink to your Website that search engines can pick up. Overall, this process takes time, so patience is recommended.

anatomy-of-result-seo

2. On-Page Optimisation: This  is perhaps the oldest and most tested SEO method in the book. On-page optimisation is the first step  when it comes to optimising Web pages in order to gain necessary attention from search engines. The process consists of  using optimized keywords, title tags, alt tags on images and the use of good-natured Weblinks. Today, on-page optimization contributes a substantial amount to your page rank and if applied properly, it could significantly improve your chances of getting to the top of search engine result pages.

3. Social Media Marketing: Social-media marketing is a familiar tool today, although many Internet marketers seem to abuse it. The goal is to use social-networking Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to set yourself and your business up as an authority as well as a recognizable personality and brand that can be trusted for niche information. However, you will need to provide constant, daily value that your readers can take away from it.

4. Viral Marketing: Viral marketing, like social media marketing, is focused on attracting people to you. As a search engine method, viral marketing could be said to be the least measurable, although it can also be the most effective. Examples of viral marketing consist of: sending out free e-books, creating squeeze pages, video distribution through YouTube, and supplying free software.

5. Link Baiting: Link baiting is a search engine optimisation action plan method whereby you produce high quality content that will attract attention on its own. For example, if you had a weight loss site, you could produce an article on the Top 10 ways to lose weight naturally. The article could be massive and take hours to write, but it would also be a powerful authority resource in your chosen niche thereby drawing plenty of attention from many other websites.

6. Word of Mouth: The importance of word of mouth techniques in search engine optimisation often gets overlooked. While it may not have a very direct impact, its consequences could be massive. This approach could take the form of simply telling a friend about your site, providing avenues for others to suggest to their friends and simply distributing a business card with a simple URL pointing to your Website. By so doing, your sites gets noticed, receives more attention, attracts more visitors which equates to better reputation and ultimately better ranking ranking by search engines.

7. Trusted Site Backlinking: Although article marketing can potentially generate numerous backlinks, if you want truly valuable backlinks, you need to find trustworthy sites i.e. those that search engines like Google hold in high stature. For example, top level directories such as DMOZ or Yahoo! and major forums or information resources.

Source: techsling.com

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Google Boutiques.com, a World of Fashion

Google unveils a new shopping portal, Boutiques.com. It showcases the power of search in the world of fashion. You can shop and choose from a variety of styles, designs and collections of famous designers and stylists. Shoppers can easily catch up with the trend because it allows users to save likes or dislikes in the site.

Shopping is the watchword today. Almost everyone around the globe is on a Shopping spree. Google understands this and thus, has launched a new shopping portal entitled Boutiques.com to add on to its almost full kitty of world class products and services. The portal, as they say, combines the goodness of both social and search. It allows for finding and discovering styles and fashions collections that have been put together by renowned celebrities, designers, stylists and fashion experts, to name a few.

Through this site, Google will be able to analyze the tastes of consumers by ways of a number of clicks, Google Trend data, computer vision and machine learning technology and ultimately, letting them know the entire world of fashion. As is the case with Youtube,  whenever a user logs into his/her account, the site would know the user’s taste for fashion and recommend those results that suit the taste.

Google got the technology from its acquisition of Like.com, along with which came the technology team behind it. They were already working hard on that and had also launched a site of their own called WhatToWear.com. The team at Google now consists of PhDs in Computer Science and Fashion Designers and Stylists. In fact, it is an amalgamation of computer nerds and fashion nerds. Altogether, the team is working on creating a new route to browse, find and buy world class fashion under one roof.

Source: Marketingconversation.com by ROBIN PANGILINAN

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Fashion Marketing Techniques

  • Fashion marketing techniques apply many of the same marketing strategies that large and small businesses use. Fashion marketing includes market research, advertising and promotion. Research gathers information about the market for a particular brand or product. Advertising helps generate sales, and promotion increases brand or product awareness. Some fashion marketing techniques include fashion events, print publications, press releases and media relations, digital media and product placement.
  • Events
  • Fashion marketers conduct promotional events. Product launch events invite the media and public or private guests to learn about new product offerings such as jewelry and other accessories. Runway events showcase fashion apparel that is worn by models. Spectators view the models to see how the clothing fits and evaluate the overall look. Other events involve hosting or sponsoring charity events and causes that help build brand awareness.
  • Print Publication
  • Fashion marketers use print publications to promote the brand or product offering. Print publications include the brand’s self-published magazines, trade and consumer magazine advertisement, mailings and newsletters that feature individual products, flyers and posters at store locations, point-of-purchase announcements that are placed at the checkout counter, product inserts that are included with product purchases and billboard ads along highways and city streets.
  • Press Releases
  • Fashion marketers create and distribute press releases. Fashion marketers use press releases to announce the brand’s activities. Releases may introduce a new fashion line or brand, or introduce the brand’s founders. Press releases often keep the public informed about the brand’s activities by announcing new and upcoming product launches, runway events, successes and newsworthy stories about the brand or individual products. Marketers distribute press releases to newspapers and other media outlets, and may use a public relations firm to help reach larger audiences.
  • Digital Media
  • Fashion marketers use digital media for research and promotion. Web technology provides an efficient platform for collecting survey data that reveals information about the brand’s market. For example, some brands that process orders online ask the customer to fill out a satisfaction survey after they complete the purchase. Other Web technology involves social media applications that accomplish outreach and promotional goals. Fashion marketers can keep target markets up-to-date with live status messages, and use profile queries to find new potential customers and distribute e-promos to relevant audiences.
  • Product Placement
  • Fashion marketers, publicists and other promoters use product placement marketing techniques. Product placement techniques involve featuring fashion items and apparel on television programs, movies and celebrities. Product placement displays the product without explicitly advertising it, because this marketing technique displays the product within the context of the primary entertainment. Sometimes, television commercials follow-up on television shows that feature product placement items to increase awareness or credibility.
  • Source: eHow.com By Miguel Cavazos, eHow Contributor

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    Neiman Marcus 2010 Christmas Book Reveal

    Come on ‘backstage’ and follow the organization of how Neiman Marcus built and unveiled its 2010 Christmas Book’s fantasy gifts.

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