How fashion marketing can help the fashion industry

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The vast output and profits from the fashion industry come not from the designer collections seen on the catwalk but from items sold in high street stores. To put the impact of designers in perspective, one only has to note that the British Fashion Awards' Designer of the Year will often have annual earnings that amount to less than a day's sales for one large retailer in the Arcadia group. Even so, the designer collections are given extensive coverage in the fashion press where each season more than 250 collections are reviewed within a matter of weeks. Reporting and promotion of these collections are suffused within hyperbole, excitement and genuine enthusiasm by many who attend, the catwalk exhibitions being viewed with a range of perceptions from incredulity to sheer entertainment. However, few people see the direct link that some less experienced commentators assert exists between the garments on the catwalk and 'what we will all be wearing next season'. The influence of the designer collections on everyday apparel purchases is complex and will be considered in later chapters on the fashion consumer, product design and fashion promotion.

The main concern of fashion marketers is therefore the design and sale of garments to the majority of the public, for that reason, the techniques described in this book will concentrate on high street fashion rather than haute couture.

Many people in the fashion industry have aspirations to run their own business. Indeed, the industry is characterized by many small firms and regrettably many failures. This book embraces the fashion marketing needs of people starting their own business; it does not, however, extend to all the needs of small businesses, particularly the financial and legal aspects of new ventures. For the new entrepreneur the chapter on marketing research will provide a sound basis on

a which to start building a business plan. The marketing component of o the business plan is covered in the last chapter of this book.

3 Medium and large businesses are also catered for. The need for r co-operation and communication between the various levels of dis-

t tribution in this sector is so important that manufacturer, wholesaler, g importer and exporter will all benefit from understanding the struc tural aspects of the marketing of clothing and related products and services. Many of the principles and techniques described in detail as applicable to the UK are transferable to other markets. For example, UK mass media data are given in the chapter on fashion promotion, but criteria for designing campaigns and selecting media are also given; these criteria are readily transferable.

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