The following is a guest post from Steven Paul Matsumoto, a Couture and Product Development consultant from Washington state. He is a recognized professional in the field and has graciously agreed to share his expertise with fashion show marketing. We look forward to his continued participation, so leave a comment to show your appreciation.
So you own a boutique or are a clothing designer and you are contemplating putting on a fashion show. It is a big step for you and an even bigger investment. You want to make a big splash and draw lots of attention, but have you considered all of the variables involved? Before you hire an event planner and send out invitations take a step back and ask yourself a few questions.
The first one being: why am I putting on this show? As odd as it may sound the answer to this question is critical. Stephen Covey calls it beginning with the end in mind. While on the surface a fashion show may appear to be a straightforward proposition, in reality it is no different than any other marketing campaign. It needs to have a well-defined purpose. Without these things how can you really gauge if it was truly a success?
What are some of the possible end results from holding a fashion show? There is increased brand awareness and recognition. You could secure that contract with a major retailer you’ve been courting. Your inbox from your on-line shopping cart could be full of orders from around the world and an effective marketing assistant jobs would review each one individually. These are but a few generic possibilities, and unless you know what the end result is for your unique situation I wouldn’t recommend moving forward.
I’m sure that you are saying to yourself right now, “That’s easy. I want people to know who we are; I want people to see our designs and to buy them.” If you were a client, I would respond with, “Who do you want to know about you? How do you plan on showing them your designs, and why should they buy from you”?
Let’s break each of these questions down; beginning with “who do you want to know you.” Here’s a hint: the answer isn’t everyone. This is probably one of the most prevalent myths in business. The more narrowly defined your customer persona is the more effective your show and other marketing efforts will be. A show for 18-to-25 year-old débutantes will be very different from one for 25-to-35 year-old retail buyers.
Once you have solidified your answer, we can explore our second question. The answer ties in directly to how your designs should be presented. Technology has afforded us many cost-effective alternatives to the traditional runway show. Instead of renting out a facility, hiring an event planner, sending out expensive invitations and all the other facets of a live show, consider contacting a local media producer. With the use of green screens and digital editing software you can put your designs in any environment at a nominal investment.
This leaves us with why should they buy from you. What separates you from your competitors? Do you offer a higher quality product, are your materials eco-friendly, are you more cost-competitive? What is the emotional hook to drive your consumers to action? If you don’t know this ask them, your top tier clients are usually your most loyal advocates; marketing director jobs is to review these and focus on the agreed strategy going forward. Use them as a resource and ask them these questions. The answers may surprise you.