Monday, November 01, 2010

Branding JQE by Jacque Kindle: Lessons for New Designers in Fashion Marketing & Advertising

I figured I'd take my own advice about student blogging and write about the big project of the semester in my fashion advertising class.

Each fashion marketing student teamed up with a fashion design student to brand his/her debut collection, which will show at the school fashion show in April. My partner was Jacque Kindle and her line JQE. She's made and sold clothing under Liberated Threads but she wants JQE to be her signature line.

If you're a budding designer or a fashion design student who wants to launch their line after graduation, it might be smart to consider some of the questions brought up in this project, like who are you designing for? And are you doing enough to promote myself?

First, we had to capture the essence and personality of the brand. What does the brand promise? What sets it apart in the current fashion market?
JQE brings you clothing that is trendy, bold and unique but still age appropriate and great for a busy, grown-up lifestyle.
JQE is out of the box without being kooky.
JQE presents interchangeable pieces that are artfully fashionable.
JQE brings modern updates to classic styles.
JQE promises clothing made that will bring you Joy, Quality and Ease.

Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing
This is the outside front of the promotional postcard.

Second, we identify the target market. Who is this brand trying to reach? What is her personality and lifestyle?
The core customer is a woman, 35-45 yrs old, quietly self-assured, successful and knows what she wants from life.
She may or may not be a mother, and if she is she is by no means a "soccer mom".
She won’t sacrifice comfort so she wants clothes she can wear with ease.
From Forever 21 to Ann Taylor to Talbots, it seems this core customer doesn’t have a lot of choices to find the clothes that are the perfect expression of her unique sense of style and her life stage.

Third, we start a promotional campaign based on the brand and the collection's inspiration. JQE Fall 2011 was inspired by a trip to Germany. We wanted to bring photography into the campaign that reflected easiness of Urban Europe.

As it is her debut collection, we also wanted to stress the message to her niche market: this is the collection you've been waiting for, it's not the granny clothing you thought you had to wear.
JQE = Just Question Everything
Just Question Everything
You’ve Heard About Age

Just Question Everything
You Know About Style

Just Question Everything
You’ve Been Taught About Fashion

Part of the campaign was to create a mail piece (as in snail mail) that will get the consumer - and in our case boutique owners and buyers - excited about attending the fashion show.

Ours is a 4x6" folder postcard that opens up for maximum information and design. The outside would be the image above on one side and her studio info and number on the other, in case someone wanted to contact her before the show.

The inside of the postcard.

The inside contains an invitation/ticket to the fashion show. I think it's rude to invite potential buyers and make them pay to see your line. Designers: they don't need you, you need them.

Lastly, we had to expand the marketing campaign to include other events or promotional mediums. Facebook is the best, free way to get your brand noticed. While not every brand is meant for Twitter, Facebook now spans a wide variety people including our target market, so a fanpage for JQE is a must.

Facebook is also a great way to promote a partnership. Because she is a local designer, we decided to start at local boutique that caters to unique but stylish women: ONLi. The owner not only gives local designers a chance but showcases different designers at a monthly event called Fashion Fridays.

Although her collection has yet to officially debut, having a few pieces from her Spring 2011 collection at a local boutique creates a positive brand image. Being a featured designer for the Fashion Friday event only strengthens said image.

The little Polaroids (with Spring 2011 sketches) could be used as the e-mail invites for the Fashion Fridays. The best Friday would be in March as it could serve to promote the debut fashion show collection.

People sometimes don't realize that fashion is more than just pretty clothes. And those who do are the successful designers.

LOL ... I'm emailing this blog to my teacher and hoping we get an A.

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