Has fast fashion become a past fashion?

Trends change. So what do you do with the €200 Gucci shirt you bought just 6 months ago which is now no longer cool? Nothing. Why? Because you never owned it in the first place. You bought the Zara duplicate that is very similar yet lacks the Gucci tags and cost a fraction of the price. All good right? Nope. Your pocket isn’t hurting but something else is.

Globalisation implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers. Together, globalisation and the movement of clothing production from home nations to cheaper, less economically developed countries have had a detrimental effect on the fashion industry and more importantly the world.

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The 2013 Rana Plaza Collapse, Bangladesh which killed 1129 and injured over 2000. The building was known to produce clothing for brands in the fast fashion industry such as Primark.

Around 260 million children are in employment around the world and the International Labour Organisation estimates that 170 million are engaged in child labour with many making textiles and garments to satisfy the demands of consumers in Europe, the US and beyond. Furthermore, these children are being forced to work in dangerous, unsafe factories posing huge risks to their personal health and safety.

Unsurprisingly, consumers aren’t happy about where their clothing is coming from and in September of 2016, Primark announced their first EVER fall in sales leading to a huge fall in their share prices. Again, unsurprisingly, this is scaring brands who use similar sources for their production and is sparking changes in their supply chains with worldwide giant H&M releasing their “conscious collection” in 2016, priding itself on “sustainable style”. It’s a step in the right direction but for some brands, this is a change that was never needed.

Patagonia is an American company based in California who’s mission statement is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”. The company states that they are responsible for all the workers who make their goods and for all that goes into a piece of

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One of Patagonia’s most recent adverts from their common threads initiative.

clothing that bears a Patagonia label and furthermore sends a team member to inspect any new factories to ensure their production is safe and sustainable.Guess what? People think this is cool! Despite efforts to encourage customers to not buy their clothing, yes, you read that correctly, Patagonia’s sales continue to grow. The brand produces clothing purely for its function, however, it has now become a stylish and trendy brand with many of its consumers purchasing its items not just for its ethics, but for its aesthetics too, proving it might actually pay to give a shit about the planet! Read more about their common threads initiative here.

Do you think about where your clothing comes from when you buy it? and furthermore, would you ever buy an item of clothing because of the ethos of a brand?


Sources:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/globalization

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/world/asia/bangladesh-building-collapse

labs.theguardian.com/unicef-child-labour/

 

 

 

 

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Leipzig gives wings to Red Bull

How Red Bull’s sponsorship of a professional football team resonates with their brand strategy.

 

In 2009 a football club by the name of Rasenballsport Leipzig was founded in the German city of Leipzig. The name has the ridiculous meaning of “Grasballsports Leipzig”. In short though, it makes RB Leipzig, a clear indication to the sponsor and investor of the club:     Red Bull. Fast forward to 2017, the club is playing his first year in the German top flight the Bundesliga, is aiming for the Champions League next season and is causing a lot of controversy among fans, as they are not seen as one of the old traditional clubs in the Bundesliga.

Red Bull has a long history of sponsoring high-risk and high-speed sport events like Formula 1, aircraft racing, motorcycle stunts and football. The Austrian energy drink company wants to link itself to these kinds of events to present the image that their drink is enabling you to do highspeed sports and that it “gives you wings”. In the following I am going to examine through Keller’s Brand Equity Model, how the sponsorship of a football club helps Red Bull in their brand creation.

Brand Salience or so called Awareness was immediately created after the foundation of the club. The product itself, the energy drink, was very well known at the time already, but Red Bull wanted more awareness to its brand. Freely adapted from the old saying “There is no such thing as bad publicity”, Red Bull tried to find loopholes in the regulations to become the sole owner of a 5th division club and rebranded it according to its wishes. The Fans in the very tradition-based German football were furious but the project got a lot of attention, when RB stated that they want to play in the Bundesliga in the next 10 years. Just what Red Bull wanted – Awareness. They also choose a very clever spot for their club, as Leipzig is a growing metropolis in the part of the former DDR in Germany, which always has been lacking a successful football team since the German unification.

To fit into the brand of Red Bull the team had to be created accordingly, this can be linked to the second stage of the Brand Equity Model – Performance and Imagery. Red Bull wants to appeal as fast, risky, and highly energetic. This was applied to the obvious stages of the club, like the jerseys, which are in the company colors red and white. The logo is a red bull as well as the mascot. But also on the pitch the team must perform according to the image. RB is only signing young promising talents, which all have 2 abilities in common – speed and the willingness to take risks. The application of the brand image got even that far into the athletic performance that the formations on the field looked like the horns of a Bull.

Through the Imagery and Performance Red Bull was aiming for Feelings and Judgements in the public towards their football team and ultimately towards their product – the energy drink. It has to be said that a large majority of football fans in Germany despises the newcomer RB Leipzig because of its seemingly infinite resources through their sponsor. But as I already said, Red Bull does not care about bad publicity as long as their brand is presented in the way they want it to be. In this case through fast and risky football. There is another side to it as well: In the region of Leipzig which was desperate for a Bundesliga team in the past 25 years, the club is very welcome. The stadium is sold out regularly, Social Media numbers increase by the day and the city of Leipzig already is in negotiations to rebuilt the stadium.

On the final level of the Brand model it is all about the relationship of the brand with their customers – Resonance. This also can be seen as a conclusion and assessment of the marketing vehicle “professional football club” in Red Bull Brand creation.

It is striking how Red Bull, despite the general criticism of their involvement in German football, were able to increase sales in Germany, yet alone in 2015 by 16%. Red Bull has created probably its own biggest promotion tool and a constant platform to connect their product with their image for their customers. The increased sales in the area, the high spectator rates and social media numbers are proof to the high resonance of the people in Germany towards the football club and ultimately the brand of the Red Bull energy drink.

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Did branding make Trump win the American election?

trumpNowadays all politicians brand their image and their ideas and Trump succeeded very well in this. For this reason, I have been very interested in the US elections but also scared of what was happening. I found it very interesting the way Trump did his campaign which was basically selling himself as a brand. I will not give any opinions in this post on the political part but only about how Trump branded himself. I will describe a very interesting process on how he managed his campaign and how the American people “bought” Trump as a president.

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Trump is a very successful business man and managed his campaign and then his brand the same way a company would do. I want to apply what he did to the Keller’s Brand Equity Model. The first step is “Who are you?”: to do that and to make sure people will speak about him Trump said things that the other candidates would have never said in order to shock and make the media talk about him. Indeed, he did not act like any politicians in the past, he did not have any filters. For example, about the Mexicans and the wall he wanted to build. By doing that he was already answering to the needs of some Americans. He built his image by saying thing like that which is known everywhere because he was totally different than the other politicians. The second step is “What are you?”: A huge concern for American people was to have a job, Trump promised them they will have more jobs that they could ever imagine. He also showed how they can trust him when seeing his successful business life. He tried to target as much Americans he could by saying things that will answer to their needs and make them speak about him. The third step is “What do I think, or feel, about you?”: it is separated in two categories: Judgements and feelings. Many Americans had a good opinion about Trump prior the election because for them he was not like the other politicians. They saw him as the man that could save the US and “make it (America) great again”. Trump was saying what they wanted to hear. He was also credible as he runs his own business and for this reason he was superior to the other candidates. He made them feel as well that he will take care of “America first” and answer to the need of Americans first. This leads to the last step: “How much of a connection would I like to have with you?”, the resonance. The fact that Trump was elected shows that many Americans in a way have been loyal to him and his project. We can then say that the Americans wanted lot of connection with him and liked his project and him. But now that he is the President as we have seen in the media this loyalty is decreasing drastically and Americans are starting to think that it might not have been to best choice to vote for him.

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This proves the importance of branding and it can even lead to be elected. As a business man Trump ran his campaign as he would brand a product. In my opinion, Trump was very successful in branding himself and his campaign the results of the election proves that. It remains to be seen if the brand he created performs as well as the people who engaged with the brand expected to perform.

Sources : https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/keller-brand-equity-model.htm

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/06/28/trumps-7-steps-to-bring-back-u-s-jobs.html

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LVMH – The most successful luxury firm that you’ve never heard of

Dom Pérignon, Hennessy, Céline, Christian Dior, Moët & Chandon, Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Bvlgari – the list goes on and on. You have seen these brands in the most influential magazines and their stores in the best locations of large cities.  However when you buy goods from these luxury houses, you don’t only support them but the largest luxury corporation by revenue called LVMH.  But why has almost nobody heard of this firm?

The most famous luxury brands have been founded decades ago by a visionary person in a new category. For example Louis Vuitton started manufacturing waterproof stackable canvas trunks or Pierre Pérignon created champagne by a grape experiment. After years gone by and usually after death of the inventor, a luxury brand could be able acquire their state of heritage and exclusivity.

According to branding strategy insider, branding and marketing of luxury product differ from every-day goods, called the Anti-laws of marketing. A crucial factor is that they are targeted to non-owners and for people who can’t afford them, to make them look upwards to the owners of the goods and dream of possessing one too. In addition pricing of luxury goods need to increase all the time, so that the luxury brand holds it image and value in the eyes of the public.

What is the reason then behind of the non-marketing of LVMH group for public? As a comparison, for example DrOetker uses completely different approach. They have branded all of their product lines under the name of the parent company and have made sure people can trust the quality and consistency. The reason behind this difference could lay on the fact of not trying to mess up with the gut feeling of the old and famous houses or that they want to make the designers feel less restricted. In addition all of the brands are different from each other, so a huge firm association could be unappealing for the public and effect on the revenue. By letting people be in the darkness of the information, or ignorance, probably makes LVMH’s brands even more intriguing and the receipt for the success.

 

References:

https://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2016/06/10558.html#.WLghYm-LTIU

Tungate, M. (2009). Luxury world. 1st ed. London [etc.]: Kogan Page.

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Why do you buy things you don’t need?

Only in 2011 fashion industry was worth almost 3 billion U.S dollars, this industry employs many techniques to persuade people to spend their hard-earned money on garments they don’t necessarily need in their life. Bruno Remaury explains that traditional marketing is based on need. Companies produce a product that corresponds to an existing demand and attempt to prove that their product is the best in its category. But fashion is based on creating a need where, in reality, there is none. Hr concludes that fashion is the factory that manufactures desire.

Stewart Pearson in his book “Building Brand Directly” explains that brand is a combination of features (what the product is), customer benefits (what needs and wants product meets) and values (what the customer associates with the product). In order to follow the global trend, fashion retailers are now trying to create emotional connections with their customers through emotional branding & tapping into all five senses (vision, touch, taste, smell and sound). Companies should aim to establish more powerful connection with their customers, who can ‘feel’ the brand on many different levels – often in a deeply emotional way. Fashion brands aim to create a credible, sincere emotional connections with the consumer to be able to command higher consideration and solidify brand loyalty.

In the book “Fashion Brands” by Mark Tungate brings Prada as an example of the company which was able to understand that the brand message had to be carried right through from advertising to clothing store. Nowadays, clothing brands are building the entire universe around their garments by creating an experience when shoppers can spend time investigating and considering the desired products with the high level of “involvement”.  The key to a successful fashion label lay not just in the garments but in the universe surrounding them.

 

 

 

 

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