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Fashion Marketing Lessons – Google Goggles googles Fashion & Shopping faster, smarter and solves Sudoku

The new version of Google Goggles, Goggles 1.3 client for Android, faster and smarter than ever before can scan barcodes almost instantly. All versions of Goggles can now recognize print ads in popular magazines and newspapers. Finally, Goggles has also learned a fun new trick for Sudoku fans.

Barcodes
When shopping offline, it’s helpful to be able to learn more about a product by scanning its barcode. With the new Android version of Google Goggles, scanning barcodes is much faster. Open Goggles and hover over the barcode or QR code. Within a second the phone gently vibrates and presents results, without requiring a button press. Simply tap on the result to read product reviews, check in-store availability and compare prices.
Print ads in magazines and newspapers
We’re excited to take another step in our vision of connecting offline media to online media. The next time you’re flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine, try taking a picture of an ad with Goggles. Goggles will recognize print ad and return web search results about the product or brand. This new feature of Goggles is enabled for print ads appearing in major U.S. magazines and newspapers from August 2010 onwards.

This feature is different from the marketing experiment that we announced in November. We’re now recognizing a much broader range of ads than we initially included in our marketing experiment. And when we recognize a print ad, we return web search results. While in the experiment, we return a specific link to an external website.

Sudoku
Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.

Google Goggles 1.3 with improved barcode scanning is available for download in Android Market. Recognition of print ads and Sudoku solver is now enabled for the Google Goggles app on Android, as well as the Goggles component of the Google Mobile App on iPhone.

 

Source: Googlemobile.blogspot.com

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Fashion of Condoms and Candy Wrapper – Eco Fashion 2011

Trashion. If you’re green and fashionable, you’ve no doubt noticed it’s everywhere you look these days. And this “creative reuse” in fashion may have finally gone too far. It’s time to question, for the sake of eco fashion’s future viability, the plethora of “trash to treasure”initiatives touted as sustainable fashion genius.

It is time to do more with less, and this includes reducing our predilection for “trash to treasure” designs and stories that glorify less than marketable fashion.

The thing that concerns me as someone who also observes how trash is now utilized in eco-art and gallery installations is the message suggesting that we can increasingly find a tidy place for the trash in our lives. Creative reuse needs to move beyond the glorification of trashion and recycled art projects in order to address long term solutions for waste reduction and sustainable economic development. Our primary focus should be on managing this toxic bloom via critically important economic, environmental, and health initiatives.

For sure, timeless design has a transcendent and culturally revealing quality, particularly when it comes to the innovative reuse of materials and cast-off bits. Are we currently aiding or hindering the sustainable fashion movement if we do not make a distinction between designs that measure up as genuine fashion innovation and those that are clever, eye-catching creations that make “trashion” seem fashionable?

Junky Styling‘s recycled men’s suit coats: an empowering approach

Creative reuse projects can be large or small. In the case of fashion, several bold designer initiatives have genuinely overhauled the industry’s patterns of waste and excess via the resourceful recycling of textile surplus and unsold stock. Standout labels like From SomewhereJunky StylingGoodone, and Reet Aus, to name a few, effectively take yesterday’s unwanted goods and artfully re-shape them into tomorrow’s covetable items. This design strategy is genuinely empowering for the fashion lover who is investing in environmentally sound and fashion-forward design.

From Somewhere‘s upcycling of Speedo’s LZR Racer designs

The recent collaboration of From Somewhere with Speedo to create a capsule collection upcycled from unsold and obsolete Speedo LZR Racer designs might seem like an odd pairing to some. However, an industrial fabric challenge like this clearly demonstrates how unwanted waste can be transformed into eco-luxe couture.

Recycling should and must be an engaging activity, particularly when it comes to labor-intensive DIY projects. Some of the most rewarding fashion moments are definitely those where something useless or outdated takes on new life with imaginative tinkering and whimsy. As Kate Black of Magnifeco recently shared with us:

“When it comes to recycling, we have obviously been doing it for years, in all cultures. Textiles that can no longer be used as garments are incorporated into household items like quilts and pillows and now it’s not just recycled textiles making the news in eco-fashion: candy wrapper handbags, pull-tab accessories are front and center, too.  When recycling or upcycling in fashion falls short, though, I generally find that it is from a taste perspective, not necessarily a design perspective.”

I wholeheartedly support projects that provide fair-trade jobs to artisans who create one-of-a-kind accessories and art-objects out of dumpster and landfill pickings, so I am certainly not attacking these folks for the honest craft and handwork that they do.

Ecoist ‘Botero’ handbag crafted out of candywrappers

I do think, however, that we should exercise caution regarding what is an increasing inclination to sanitize and incorporate trash into art, fashion, and design projects for our own aesthetic amusement. Let’s not forget that this everyday refuse should not exist in the first place, at least not in the volume that we are now grappling with. We need to ensure that we do not become de-sensitized to just how out of control our garbage epidemic is. It is one thing to source from surplus textile stock, recycle trash in the waste stream, and get one’s hands dirty with some gritty DIY projects, but not at the expense of garbage becoming a part of our ongoing design lexicon, much less the focus of our attention.

Via Trendhunter: A condom hat may be great for ginning up clicks, but it’s bad for eco fashion progress.

‘Trash to treasure’ is a dangerous term, and one that might soon need to be upgraded or upcycled within the sustainable fashion glossary. Our long term efforts should continue to be focused on cradle-to-cradle design initiatives, zero-waste garment production, acknowledgment of indigenous technologies and crafts that actually aid specific regions, and sustainable economic development that improves the lives of people everywhere so that they can move beyond having to rely on garbage as a means of livelihood.

Chris Jordan photography

The ready-made object is a surrealist phenomenon. Fashion is about personal expression and the ability to be transported to new layers and states of being. Let’s not allow ourselves to get swept up by “quirky” design projects that demonstrate how clever we can be with Coke tabs, Barbie doll heads, condoms, or heaps of televisions and computer monitors, all in the name of recycling – but in reality only keep our movement one step further from legitimate entree into mainstream fashion or, worse, from being taken seriously by leaders in the fashion world.

‘Household goods’… deceased Estate by Claire Healey and Shaun Cordelro

This is not meant as an attack on the resourceful re-purposing of waste materials for home, fashion, and personal use. Recycling is definitely a significant part of the sustainable fashion story, but recycling without an ability to edit is doing us no good.

There is a time and a place for trashion and art of this nature, but we have a responsibility to shift away from scenes that mimic the dying “portraits of global mass culture” (a la work of photographer Chris Jordan) as we look to a greener future.

Lead image courtesy of Goodone; Household goods images via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Source: Ecosalon.com by 

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Is Your Fashion Brand on Instagram?

With so many mobile applications and social networks available, it can often become a daunting task to decipher which platforms are best for your brand. Factoring in time, resources, and manpower, we have to carefully pick and choose where our brands can be socially participating to the fullest potential. It’s no surprise that Instagram has become the fastest growing mobile application recently. The easy to share functions, photo filters, and the strength of an intimate community makes Instagram an attractive social platform, where fashion brands can easily establish themselves as authorities.

Whether fashion or luxury brand, we must not forget that we are still content producers on our social networks. Instagram’s share functions allow users to snap a photo from their mobile device and add an attractive filter (to give photos that instant cool factor) with the ability to share on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare. Fashion houses on Instagram, like Oscar de la Renta, have done a superb job at not only sharing behind the scenes photos, but also displaying them on their other social networks like Twitter and Tumblr. This gives audiences welcoming access into the brand with just the swipe of a button.

Much like the micro-blogging platform of Tumblr, the allure of Instagram is heavily based on the distributing of visuals. Fans of fashion are visual people that are constantly looking for that conspicuous stimulation to take them outside of their daily lives and into the fantasy of glamour and luxury. Instagram gives us the space to share the small, intimate moments in our routines in a new, creative way. Kate Spade invites audiences into their world with photos of favorite New York City sightings, venues and restaurants. Using Instagram’s geo-tagging function, by citing the location in which the photos are taken, Kate Spade automatically becomes a reputable source of things to do and see in NYC.

Does your brand have a new product or piece that is need of a strong spotlight? Instagram is the perfect space for your emerging goods to take center stage, catching those prospective consumers that want a piece of your brand. The team at Club Monaco has done a great job of this, by posting images of staff members wearing pieces that have just been released or have just gone on sale.

The built in community on Instagram has a strong sense of intimacy that isn’t afraid to engage with the photos that fashion brands are uploading. The higher the level of engagement, the more likes, comments, and follows your brand can receive. Not to mention, you are presented with direct, instantaneous feedback in a single stream, specific to that image. Audiences want to know where they can get the dress that Oscar PR Girl is wearing in her style photo.

As Instagram is still considered to be in its infancy, only being launched a few months ago, every fashion brand is taking their own approach to fascinate their consumer and fan base on the application. The strengths of Instagram are the filter, social, community, and geo-tag capabilities. Never has a mobile application been able to have such a wide range of functions that users want right now. You can be en route to a meeting, see something interesting on the street, capture it, filter it, share it and you’ve already added some depth to the identity of your brand. The creativity and intimacy of communal photos uploaded on Instagram captivates voyeuristic users and it can certainly captivate the audience of your fashion brand.

Taken by Club Monaco via Instagram

Taken by OscarPRGirl via Instagram

Taken by Kate Spade via Instagram

Lala Lopez is a fashion journalist, stylist and social media expert based in New York. Her clients have included Betsey Johnson, Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, and Solestruck.com. She has been featured on CNN, Teen Vogue Magazine and Chictopia. Lala shares her views on fashion, art and social media trends on her blog Lala New York City. (www.lalanyc.com)

Author: Lala Lopez

Copy Editor: Gina Conforti

Photo Credits: Kate Spade

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Levi’s using Instagram As A Marketing Tool

Photo-sharing application Instagram saw its userbase grow to one million in only three months. The service enables people to share their finest moments by letting them take a picture, choose a Hipstamatic-like filter to transform the look and feel, and share it with a small text and/or its geo-location on numerous social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Recently Instagram has drawn considerable interest from a number of brands. Levi’s Brazil is one of the first to roll out a marketing campaign using the service.

The fashion brand takes fully advantage of Instagram’s unique features to display new products that will be released in the forthcoming collection, as well as images that represent the brand’s personality. Users can start following ‘levisbrasil’ in order to stay updated about the latest stuff, all in a purely visual way. I think Instagram’s photo filters totally breathe the Levi’s style. For the moment the campaign generated limited results — only 127 people started following Levi’s Brazil. Nevertheless, many predict a big future for Instagram as a marketing platform. Interestingly, Giles Fitzgerald from London-based communication agency Frukt claims that the service opens up new social media marketing opportunities for visually oriented brands.

“For fashion brands word dominated social media platforms such as Twitter can be a barrier to the more tactile and lifestyle-oriented element of their brands. Instagram with its ability to turn humble photos into works of art manages to blur the lines between a humble snap and the kind of imagery that dominates the advertising billboards and print ads.”

 

Original Source:  Popupcity.net by JEROEN BEEKMANS

 

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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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Dressing with Sense and Simplicity: Organic Fabric and Clothing

No one would like to eat a bowl of pesticides drenched food. Then why wear clothing doused in chemicals?

Centuries before people use to live in harmony with nature and believed in giving even better environment for their coming generations. Now, people have crossed all limits dominated by the voracity of luxuries, benefits and money. This is taking a serious toll on the environment, and on the lives of all living beings in the planet.

The ‘Chemical Cocktail’ of Clothing:

When considering a healthy lifestyle, fabric is the first thing that comes to mind. Synthetic fabrics’ teeming with chemicals and dyes pose severe health threats. Synthetic fibers makes the skin uncomfortable due to the presence of toxins in them. From towels to bed linens, and clothes they are all-pervading in our everyday life. Apart from the potential health hazards to humans, these synthetic fibers also leach into the environment causing serious damages to soil, air, ground water, and other living beings around us.

The Environment Shield Organization of US has declared that seven out of the top fifteen pesticides are used for growing conventional cotton, and are regarded as the most environment polluting pesticides. On the contrary, organic cotton is cultivated using untreated GMO seeds, and by adopting biological based growing practices. A beneficial habitat planting method is adopted which prevents pests, thereby eliminating the usage of toxic chemicals.

stewartbrown 02 Room101 | Organic Fashion Design Pioneer Howard Brown

Natural Dyes Vs Synthetic Dyes:

Synthetic dyes involve many carcinogenic chemicals and effluents that are discharged into the river or atmosphere causing pollution. Chemicals used on fabrics can contain allergens, carcinogens and mutagens. Dyes that are used for special effects on textiles such as flame retardant, stain resistant etc., are likely to create health problems. Natural dyes are obtained from renewable sources, and are good to skin. They are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. Natural dyes are enriched with medicinal and curative properties, and impart healing qualities to the wearer of the fabric dyed with them. They save energy as they are not made from petroleum products. Furthermore, they provide rural employment, and also preserve traditional craftsmanship.

Life with natural fibers’:

Acrylic, polyester, nylon, rayon, triacetate, acetate and other fabrics labeled as stain & wrinkle resistant, and moth repellent will have ample amount of chemicals in their making. These fabrics can be avoided, and replaced with natural fabrics like wool, silk, cotton, linen, cashmere, and hemp. Organic and herbal clothing is more preferable for people who are very sensitive to chemicals. Researches on people with multiple chemical sensitivities reveal that organic clothing is essential in reducing their exposure to toxic chemicals.

 

Source: fibre2fashion.com

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