Tuesday, June 19, 2012
By: Amy Hanson, Blogger for One Step Retail Solutions
First of all, I love fashion and am ever impressed with the innovative world of not only fashion but retail and fashion/retail marketing. Retailing is the consumers connection to fashion, the products you choose to carry determine what society is going to look like.
Karl Lagerfeld and Anne Wintour may decide a cut is "this season" but the retail industry calls the shots when it comes to what will be generally distrubuted.
That said, much of it has to do with marketing and presentation. A good retailer will select hot items AND market them in such a way that they become a "must have item". The gold skinny belt, the little black dress, the maxi dress, the braid, these are all trends that were made popular through marketing and proper placement. An even better retailer will be able to market THEMSELVES in such a way that THEY are a must have item.
The question could be how do you do that? Is having impeccable taste the key or is there more to it?
One formula is interaction and inspiration, positioning yourself as a thought leader. Look books, inspiration boards, "look a day", "how to wear" and "how I wore" this contests are where it is at and J. Crew is not only on the boat but they are rocking the boat with their new "Hello, World" concept.
The concept: send out two top fashion photographers for an across the globe look at how people wear J. Crew pieces. "One-of-a-kind color and impeccable quality know no time zone".
My point isn't to glorify J. Crew (thought I do love me some colorful capri pants), my point is that they are being noted for their "global takeover" when frankly, their formula is something ANY retailer could do (minus maybe, hiring renowned fashion photogs). In the day and age of the internet and social media, a smart marketing doesn't need to have a several million dollar budget to "make it work".
What sets J. Crew apart from other retailers is the willingness to not only have a good product but to push the envelope, think outside the box with smart business decisions and take the cake... the very colorful and well constructed cake.