Tuesday, 6 December 2016

DESIGN iD

After a well deserved week off uni work, I am back and ready to start my new unit, with new levels of motivation and enthusiasm... lets hope I can keep these up till deadline?!?  With the brief being incredibly broad; creating your identity for your body of work. In this unit we will explore what we think defines us by reflecting experiences, interests and ambitions.  To create our USP, I shall develop my design process to a high level where creation of my final product will be deeply explored and experimented.

I aim to use my blog as a platform for my ideas, and thoughts through the process of this unit and to write them here as if a digital diary.  I believe this will help my research progression, and also to keep on track of what i am completing and how far my development has been explored.  I am excited to see what this unit brings and to see the outcome of my design identity.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #9

HAND-IN WEEK:

On Monday had our presentation pitch of Edeoco.  This pitch that we done as a group contributes to our graded mark of this unit, and is assessed by our tutors.  The idea of the presentation was to complete it in a Dragon's Den style business pitch, where technically you are trying to persuade the "judges/investors" aka our tutors, to invest and believe in what our company concept is. In order to prepare for this presentation we each split up individually and worked on what we were each going to say, ensuring that all of the important key points of our business were covered.  We then selected an order and also selected a "lead speaker".  We chose to have this role within the presentation pitch as it  allowed that individual to open the pitch and thus summarise and conclude the presentation as well as.  We practiced for the pitch several times before the real thing and ensured that the powerpoint presentation that we had also created corresponded to what each person was talking about.  It was also vitally important that the powerpoint slides, that were projected behind us, didn't have too much text on each slide as this may distract the audience and is most likely unnecessary too.  In our presentation we also showed the preview of our website mock-up and ensured that the final zine and lookbook were physically printed so that our tutors could flick through and potentially look at relevant pages in these at the same time we were presenting.

I beleive that we had a very successful presentation, as the whole team were confident when speaking out loud but also confident in what they were saying.  Due to the great team connection we have had in this unit, I believe that this was well displayed due to supporting each other when the questions were asked at the end of the pitch, but also with the great "off-the-top-of-our-head" knowledge, due to knowing and understanding our business very well.  I am proud of what individually I have achieved in this unit but also what we have achieved as a group.

This is our final zine that we have uploaded to Issuu : https://issuu.com/megancrosby/docs/edeoco_final_publication







Monday, 14 November 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #8

Only 1 week till its our final presentation pitch and additionally 9 days till official deadline!  That means this week ideally we would love to get everything finalised for the zine by the end of the week so that we can get it printed and bound, along with the lookbook, press release and another other bits we would like to be tangible for our presentation on the Monday.  It would also be great if as a team we could start work on the presentation itself before Friday so we can go over who is going to say what and actually do several run-throughs of the presentation so that we all feel confident about what we are saying and the order etc.  We aim to start work on the presentation in Thursday's session this week so that we enough time to complete the above.

In today's session, we initially started working as a group; collating the work that we have all done over the past week, and making lists of what needs to be done in todays session and what needs to be put in the zine and business plan.  After we were all clear of each of our tasks we got to work on those. As a reminder, I am the social media strategist so I revisited all of our social media accounts  and made sure they wee all up-to-date.  I then took screen shots of all of them and wrote a short, concise overview of our social media reasonings and aim's.  This was then uploaded to the groups dropbox page where Megan (who is crating the final zine) can then take this information and images and simply put them into the dedicated pages for the social media.  Afterwards, myself and Reagen edited the footage that he had taken during the lookbook photoshoot.  We edited this on iMovie then inserted music, as well as the logo of edeoco on the opening clip.  This was then uploaded to our Youtube Channel.


On Thursday's session, we planned the presentation.  As it is in the style of dragon's den, we decided that we need to ensure that it is a clear, precise and strong presentation as we are effectively pitching our niche brand to a panel of judges (who aren't 'judging' us as such).  We each elected ourselves and dedicated a paritcular section to ourselves to talk about our brand.  As I know the majority of the social media side of the business, I will be talking about the social media accounts, as well as any other digital advertising or press advertising that we would like to do as a start up company.  This is what we focused on throughout the day, perfecting our speech's and what the powerpoint behind us will have on it, so that it correlates to what we are saying, and so that it all makes sense. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #7

2 weeks till presentation day!!!!!

In this weeks session, on the Monday, we began to think about financing as this is a huge part in any setup of a new business.  We began to roughly calculate the estimate costings of the company, and followed on from this of how where we would actually get this money from. 

Office: £1000 rent per month
Desks: £50 x 8 = £400
Computers: £9600
Adobe: 
Chairs:£10 x 8 = £80
Printer: £200
Ink: £25 per month
App Cost: £30,000
Website Domain: £1
Salary: £0
Bills: £150 per month

We would also need to research into the price of packaging, website up-keep and the price of commission we will be taking from companies per sale, as well as the initial contract price with the brands that will be working with us.

Funding:

funding page??
bank?? loans???


In the afternoon session, we researched layout ideas and themes that we would like for our final zine and lookbook.  after physically looking at examples of existing companies that have creative and innovative leaflets, 'year books' and info pamphlets; we all easily agreed that we would like to create both of our publications in a square paper size, and that they are packaged together in a card sleeve.  We ten researched via pinterest of certain layouts, styles and typography alignment that has been used before and that we would like to incorporate into our publications too. 

On the sleeve, we thought it would look very professional if the sleeve was pure white with maybe an embossed effect on the card, and the word "edeoco" would be laser cut out from the centre of the sleeve.  We thought this would then become even more effective if that the book that is placed inside the sleeve had the turquoise blue or the quartz print on it so that when it is underneath the laser cut out the colour/print will show through.




 Also in our afternoon session, we created our cinemagraph (previously spoke about in the last blog post.)  It took a lot of fiddling around and adjusting but in the end we got there.  Here is our cinemagraph for our Autumn/Winter 16 Campaign....



Thursday's session consisted of organising specific tasks for each team member to complete by Monday's session so that we will have everything we need to start collating the business plan, zine and start on the organisation of the final presentation.  After this was completed, we all got on with our own sections.  As I was given the task of Social Media Correspondent at the beginning of the unit, I ensured that all the logos, and images used throughout the social media accounts were all the same to create a clear continuity throughout the brand. We also set up a Youtube Channel for Edeoco, so that we can post styling videos on it, teasers for upcoming campaigns, brand announcements etc.



 I then went on to write my section of the business plan.  I will include this below....

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

We believe that our business will be successful due to the uniqueness of our product.  With an increased amount of sufficient funding and support from the whole team, we will create a strong foundation for the business, for us to strongly develop our product to is highest potential.  The funding is essential for us as a start-up business.  The initial development of the website and app is paramount to the success of the company, as these become the identity of our business.  This is how consumers, advertising companies and other fashion brands will portray us, so this is crucial.  

Due to the awareness of the amount of society that have and use daily smart devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, we were originally only going to produce an app.  We thought that due to the increase in other fashion retailers creating their own e-commerce apps, we would be able to directly compete with them.  However, after study research, we have found out that 67% of female consumers use desktop/laptops as the device they would primarily use for online shopping.  Therefore, we have chosen to create a website as well as the app, so that we can reach the maximum amount of consumers as possible.

After research from website analysis sites, such as Mintel, it shows that there is a significant gap in the market for online retailers to provide a service which allows consumers to guarantee the fit of the garment before ordering the clothing itself. In a study completed by Mintel in July 2013; 43% of consumers say that “the clothing does not match expectations as seen previously n the website” and, 53% of consumers also say that there is a “difficulty finding clothing that fits well without trying it on” (‘Barriers to buying clothes online’.)  This shows that consumers would greatly appreciate and benefit from a service, like Edeoco, which will help guide the consumer to purchase clothing that not only fits them, but also suits them.  The technology that we will use in our app and website will specifically select key pieces from the brands that we offer online to create a capsule collection for that consumer.  This personalised service will enable our business to act as a virtual personal shopper, and due to the lack of competitors we have that offer a similar service, we believe that we will become successful in our field of work, due to this unique selling point.

Over the years, society has become more aware of the environment and the importance of buying sustainable products.  Even though we feel that this is still not the main priority of most shoppers, it is definitely a future trend.  A recent study; “Most important factors when buying clothes” May 2016; describes that currently, considerations around sustainability  of clothing are not a high priority, and that if ethical clothing does not meet their expectation of style and price then women will be less likely to prioritise sustainable clothing over cheaper and fashionable items.  In accordance to this Mintel study, it shows that 63% of women will search for style when shopping, where as only 8% will search for sustainable clothing.  Therefore, as a business, we feel that it is our priority to break these stigmas that ‘sustainable clothing is not fashionable’  and ‘sustainable clothing is not affordable’.  We believe that by ensuring that we provide stylish, affordable clothing, with the bonus of that brand being sustainable, we will reach a wider audience as the clothing we provide will still be suitable for what they are looking for.  They will then result in buying stylish clothes at an affordable price with the subtle extra bonus that the clothing is from a sustainable brand.


BENEFITS AND NEEDS

As a niche business venture, we believe that style should last longer than stock, and that it is equally important for our consumers to feel comfortable, confident, and classy in what they wear, and buy.  In order to ensure that we provide the best service to our customers we will need to be aware of our current competitors, and as team efficiently analyse how they perform within the market, as well as what they provide, how they interact with consumers and what makes us standout to society when compared to them.  We will also need to ensure that our website and app is simple, easy to use, and convenient navigation.   


COMPANY STRATEGY
Our aim as a business is to essentially establish a following, initially through our social media sites, but also from customers of our website and app.  By posting regular and appropriate content on all our social media sites and youtube channel, we will create wide database of consumers who are interested in what we do as a business but also an extensive database of consumers who have purchased from us, and who have returned to have a further look at our website etc.  By engaging with our customers on a daily basis, we believe that we will be able to provide a quality business model, that will be successful, and have the opportunity to develop in further years.  As we are purely an online business, we think it is essential for Edeoco to have be simple, easy to use, and have convenient navigation.  The website and app will be aesthetically pleasing, with the blue & green tone colour scheme being utilised throughout to ensure continuity between our social media, website, app and even our packaging, lookbook, and press release statement.  By creating a clear brand identity, it will allow consumers to easily identify a simple logo or colour and refer back to the brand.  This is what we want to create.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #LOOKBOOK

Here are some images from the lookbook photoshoot that was mentioned in the previous blog post.  These are the initial draft images, that have had slight editing changes made to them.  Our next move as a group is to select the photos by filtering through, further editing the chosen images then place them into an indesign document where we will carefully layout the images to create a story, thus creating our Autumn/Winter LookBook for edeoco.












Tuesday, 1 November 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #6

After the mid-term critique last week, the feedback from our tutors re-assured our group that we are on track with work, however there are fine details within our business that we need to start thinking about and considering; in order for our group to sound as professional as possible.  On the Monday morning session, we decided that we needed to develop our strategy for what deliveries will be like with our company as well as the packaging that they will be in.  Due to the fact that we are solely an online/digital business, we will need to send out orders from the online shop via post.  In addition to this, as an initial start-up we would like not to actually purchase the stock from our stockist (similar to the likes of Asos or House of Fraser), but instead for our brands that we supply to send out the orders themselves.  This would work by whenever a customer purchases an item, edeoco will receive an invoice and so will the brand which the product is from.  Automatically through the databases that we will share with each brand, the quantity will reduce every time a product is brought.  Therefore, regular stock control and good brand-to-company communication is needed to ensure that stock quantity is correct at all times.  Once the brand receives their invoice from us regarding the customers purchase, the brand will then wrap up and package the item in our packaging, however the brand can use their own swing tags, or place in their own leaflets/lookbooks/vouchers etc into the packaging as well (at their choice.)

As a group, we ideally wanted to keep the packaging to a minimum use of non-recyclable materials as we think its is important to keep to tight to the sustainability and eco-friendly vibe.  Therefore, we plan on not providing any excess leaflets/booklets to our brands to place in the packaging, as well feel they are unnecessary, and from our previous experience with online shopping we think that most people never read them and that they are immediately put into the bin.  Also, we plan to use cardboard boxes (recyclable of course) for our main packaging.  We wanted it to be unique compared to other companies delivery packages, so our box is in the style of a drawer.  The consumer will pull out the drawer where their garment will be neatly folded.  There will also be a second drawer within this drawer where the consumers will be able to pull out to reveal some seeds which the consumer can then plant.

Here was our inspiration for our box design...


Here is our prototype design for our packaging...




In our afternoon session, we planned our cookbook photoshoot that we are planning to do during Thursday's afternoon session.  We looked at inspiration and ideas of scenery, poses and clothing.  We then also looked into campaigns that are a little unique and that will make us stand out, not only by using these images on our website/app but also on our social media sites, by using the images to act as a campaign.  We looked into GIFS, cimemagraphs - which we all really liked!! (link)  Here is some of the inspiration that I have collated for the Autumn/Winter LookBook photoshoot that will be taking place on Thursday....


Thursday morning consisted of our weekly catch-up meeting, explaining what we had been getting on with and what else we had done within the group.  We also dedicated certain parts of the business plan (after the lecture last Thursday) to each group member so that we can all get on with our own sections in our own time, and then collate all the individual sections together at the end.  In the afternoon, we completed our lookbook photoshoot in Bournemouth Gardens and on the Beach.  Alongside the photographer taking photos, group members took clips and short videos of the models so that we can collate a short lookbook "behind the scenes" video that we can edit and upload onto our edeoco Youtube Channel.

PHOTOS OF THE PHOTOSHOOT ARE YET TO FOLLOW.

Monday, 24 October 2016

FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #5

MID UNIT ASSESSMENT!!!

So this week's Monday session we had a mid-unit assessment, where we had a critique with our two tutors to present to them what we have achieved so far, and what we have developed as a group.  We each spoke about each of our sectors (for example, I spoke about social media), and at the end we discussed what we should alter, improve and also what we need to consider to push our brand further.  Our main points of this discussion were...

-brand logo
-app image
-choosing other sustainable brands & more brands

After our discussion, we decided that it may be best for our icon on our social media pages and app icon to be the 'e' taken from our 'edeoco' logo and made slightly bolder.  Here are some designs we made...


On Mondy's afternoon session we had a photoshoot for an example of the capsule collection.  These images were then edited and selected by the creative directors and well as the product designers, as these images will be used on the website and will act as the main aesthetic for the brand.  I think that the images turned out well, however they may need further editing, for example to decrease the darkness of the background.  Here are a few images that were taken...



Thursday mornings session consisted of our group having a brief team meeting with our unit to discuss our weekly progress.  We briefly went over and further discussed the feedback that was left by a fellow group, from our presentation/critique that we had in Monday's session.  The majority of this feedback referred to the colour scheme and logo of our brand.  Many commented saying that they did not find the pink tones suitable and they looked a bit washed out, (colour palette I am referring to is discussed in previous post - FASHION BRANDING & COMMUNICATION #4 ), and that we should consider adapting back to the original colour palette of blue's and green's - which we have chosen to! *see above*  A few comments also suggested that we ensure that the same colour scheme is used on the website/app as well as all the social media sites, to enable continuity.  

After we discussed our feedback, we spoke about our choice of sustainable brands that we would like to stock on our website.  During our critique on Monday it was mentioned that the bigger brands such as Zara and Stella McCartney wouldn't be ideal for us to use due to their brands being too big for us as a start up business but also due to the fact that Stella McCartney's products have a very high price range and that Zara do not currently stock any of there items with other retailers.  In response to this discussion, our marketing strategist; Eloise, done some more research and discovered more brands that we feel are suitable to our target market, as well as the aesthetic that we would like to portray as a company; stylish, classic, affordable. Here is a list of the brands that we will supply from our website...

In addition to this, we also discussed advertising and packaging, as we believe this is the next thing for our group to start developing.  In terms of packaging, we would like to send the brands that we stock our own packaging, so that when every order and purchase is made through 'edeoco', we would receive a order receipt and so would the brand that the item is from.  That clothing brand would then parcel up and send off the item of clothing in our packaging, helping the consumers to identify us as a company and not as a company that re-directs you to other online retailers. In next Monday's session we plan to discuss and develop digital imagery of what our packaging would look like.  Advertising is a key stage of any company's set up.  It is crucial for companies to reach as wide audience as possible, and become unique compared to every other advertisement that society come across on a daily basis.  We plan to advertise through magazines (or newspapers); specialised eco magazines, fashion magazines, lifestyle magazines, technology magazines.  Some ideal magazines that we would like to feature in are The Good Trade, Stylist, Sublime, Eluxe Magazine and Refix Magazine.  We would also like to advertise our brand through the digital underground advertisements on tube line escalators, as well as on youtube adverts, or spotify adverts.  For our zine we will create some digital images of mock up advertisements.