Category Archives: Brand Management

Fashion Incentives for Technology – AKA FIT?

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Is anyone surprised to see new technology being implanted into our fibers, textiles, clothing and accessories? Of course the next step will be placing the chips under our skin, but until then, let’s see how we can find ways to enhance the fashion experience. GPS chips in our pets used to sound crazy too….

A number of years ago, we had a student designing batteries into her custom-made school bags and brief cases to recharge the new hit toy – cell phones. Now we are seeing plug-in dresses and shirts!! We are exposed to the sun much of our commuting and recreating days. So why not put our “outer layer” of clothing to work? This is a natural fusion of bringing techies together with fashion creatives. The geek look is fine for some, but there are those who want a fashionable look for their appearance.

You may have seen the new ideas from Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen, who started her sustainable company: Wearable Solar. Images from her website show some of the possibilities to integrate energy producing solar panels into clothes that will power up your digital devices: paulinevandongen.nl/project/wearable-solar-video/

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The art and science of “intelligent clothing” is an enticing subject for future thinking design and technology students alike. New partnerships are developing across formerly separate lines. And whether it is technology influencing fashion design or the reverse, we are being influenced to integrate technology into much more of our lives.

An early adaptation is with E-textiles that are making it possible to monitor one’s exercise routine and general health.

Our research turned up these examples:
➢ A new cancer-detecting bra is in the lab being designed to forewarn of a potential breast cancer.
➢ Sportswear that monitors your workout routine – heart rate and calories burned; injury prone patterns to correct…
➢ Google Glasses of course and Contact lenses to test for glucose levels
➢ GPS Bracelets are functional and decorative
➢ The D-Shirt — Digital Shirt by Cityzen Sciences
➢ BlackSocks app with RFID chips to keep your socks paired for life!
➢ Diapers that track a baby’s kidney function and potential medical issues…

And we recently observed how Ralph Lauren is getting in on this new wave with his PoloTech fitness-tracking compression shirts worn by the ball boys during this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament in NYC. Working with OMsignal, a Canada-based biometrics firm, they are testing for heart and breathing rates and the stress level of a person’s workout. The measurements are read on a Bluetooth-connected Smartphone.

We are reminded of the saying: “The future is now!” And Ralph Lauren, Pauline van Dongen and others are running on fast-forward to bring these new ideas to us NOW:

Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters
Are your biometrics favorable? Just ask your shirt,
with its small silver yarn-bonded sensors. The answers may enhance your workout.

This adds a whole new meaning to “dressing smart”!
What apparel fashion tech have you seen or tried?

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

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CONTENT… MY USE OR MY SYSTEM?

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What is my apperception of this?

How is brand content, which now dominates marketing communications, managing to match its most engaging media?  And how does a key audience specifically use the content that the brand is communicating?  There is a prevailing truth now that making a brand relevant is as uncertain as our ever-changing technology.

An answer to these questions is not yet very clear.  Instead, brands are challenged to respond to the reality that it is hard to determine whether a consumer is engaged in utilizing technology or in self-systematizing content.

What then can brand management do to create more relevant engagements?   Are there effective ways to go beyond the quick-click, speed-reading, distracted- listening or watching of new content?  Who is in control of the content?  Do the social networks and media technology receive content, edit it, and make it personal, aka editorial, communicating it in their own likeness to others?  Or are they using content as a direct feed, pickup, and duplication of provided content, aka advertorial, from a myriad of sources?  Can the consumer tell the difference and does it matter?

We might also ask: Can a system be created that will identify the consumer who wants to and then does pass content on to others?  This is a big data-mining question for the brand.

The brand marketer now has to create content that will build engagement with consumers who can and will become the brand’s customers and content sharers.

An interesting term now being used in marketing is “apperception.”  This is a process whereby perceived values of a brand are related to the consumer’s past and present experience with or knowledge of that brand.  The new perception is added to the old perception, which forms a whole new apperception.  This new apperception can be the catalyst for new sharing of content between and among social networking and brand aficionados.

The goal is to develop a brand content driven system that aligns with the consumer’s system to receive and process new content.  This is our ongoing need to connect and establish relationships with our audience.  It is certainly giving us a lot to think about and process, as we ask:

Will engagement be enough?

Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

GOOD THINGS TO DO FOR BETTER CONTENT

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Sometimes we need a checklist to remind us of what is important. In the new world of all things “Content,” let’s review:

➢ Emphasize what your products and services do to satisfy your customers’ wants and needs

➢ Don’t market based on YOUR own preferences and behaviors. Think / Be Consumer Centric! Develop and use the number one communications skill of –“I’m Listening,” which indicates that you care if you act on what you are hearing.

➢ Explore customer behaviors and lifestyles and shopper personas. How do customers self-define their personas?

➢ Have customer data that is not influenced by your mindset. This is the customer era – bottom up not top down.

➢ Rely on onsite research to deliver insights into content useful to customers. What will initiate their discovery that you/your brand can help them solve their wants and needs problems?

➢ Good marketing content begins in imitation and develops innovation. The innovation doesn’t have to benefit those who are not your target market. Create specific strategies to focus mainly on loyal customers.

➢ Create your ideas for interactions by engaged-with potential customers

➢ Plan to answer customer questions in Real-Time (or Close-time). Remember – “I’m Listening – hearing – and acting upon your requests.”

➢ Develop intriguing, fascinating, compelling content that draws consumers into your brand’s world. The sense of discovery will bring attention, interest, desire and action (AIDA still applies).

➢ Trust and transparency in content and actions are critical to maintaining a sustainable relationship with today’s customers

brand content Drawing by Art Winters
Drawing by Art Winters

What do we understand and what can we put to use from this review of some of the key elements of Content Marketing Communications?

Let us know what you think…

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.