Tag Archives: tmre2014

Live from #TMRE14: Leveraging Superstar Products to Build Brands

Fresh from the heels of the New York Food and Wine Festival (NYCWFF) was Cynthia Soledad of Whirlpool talking about bringing the iconic KitchenAid Brand, a superstar in its category, to build other brands. For, like many feel, KitchenAid is more than a mixer – it is a kitchen lifestyle brand.

The cycle that unraveled from understanding the consumers of three segments ranging from enthusiasts to obsessers was as follows: Aspire (the emotion of trying to do something), seek (the quest for finding the right products, which is where KitchenAid comes into the picture), learn (using the tools as your “sous-chefs” as the brand puts it) and master (to become a chef in your own right). An interesting cycle with the analogy of being an engineer or any corporate career by day, but a chef by night.

The findings reflected that in the kitchen, you are an appreciator as well as a critic. However, the three key truths that were found were that tools from Kitchen Aid are important for creative facilitation, identity reflection and usage outcome. Of which, usage outcome was most important with both small and large appliances.

A fascinating tale of unraveling consumer stories through primarily qualitative research, the two lessons that stay in my mind that can be applied to virtually any category are: consumers are born inherently irrational, and a brand can truly win by playing on the intersection of its equity with deep human needs.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

How Fashion Week utilizes Social Media

How do fashion brands use social media, especially in times like fashion week?


As evidenced in an aforementioned article, brands clamor on
twitter and Facebook to ensure that the wireless networks are abuzz with
their followers. Take Barbie’s QR code enabled scavenger hunt through Manhattan,
for a rewarding gratification of having the city at your touch phone
savvy fingertips. Digital marketing has shown to be the Launchpad when
targeting the yuppy iPhone and android tugging urbanite. View DKNY’s
inventive paper-clad e-vitation, as a blaring example of new times. DKNY
is one of many brands that successfully converted followers on social
platforms into shoppers. Including myself!

CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg deserves two thumbs up for
promoting twitter hash tag equivalents and beckoning New Yorkers to
indulge in the conversation, which allowed lucky winners to pick up a
fragrance sample two weeks in advance of an official brick and mortar
launch at Bloomingdales. Smart eh? And as a police check, there was a crosstab of twitter followings and updates with foursquare check-ins.

Forget
the bustling streets and lack of direction; iPhone apps like Lustr and
interactive maps (shareable on Twitter and Facebook ‘ stalker friendly
or friend-wowing?) all allowed tagging of partner stores as an entry to a fabulous giveaway.
It was not the retail brands that attach themselves to the digital
fiber optics ‘ from Bendel to Jimmy Choo, the upscale market sensed the
current of the circuit, too.

And the perks of simply fanning or following a brand on Facebook or
twitter? If Burberry, one was indeed lucky enough to get one of a
gazillion samples of Burberry’s Body scent, launched and sampled on Facebook
for its fans. Truly a far cry from makeup caked age-ing and harsh
pitched sales folks at department stores who jeered scented cards in
passerby faces. Oscar de la Renta raised its ‘likes’ by up to 40%
through a similar campaign, exhausting 25,000 samples in 3 days ‘ that’s
more than department stores nationwide can do for a single fragrance in
a month!

With so much interactive media space, I was envious of my
non-Manhattan friends who were enjoying the festivities, albeit in a
comforting environment. Livestream drew them to witnessing events in a
less sweaty party, all on the laptop. Fashion brand channels offered coverage
of their respective concerts, like Janelle Monae for Ralph Lauren or
Joss Stone at Nine West. Was the endurance really worth it? I should say
yes!

Coming to fashion week, I wondered the worth of standing at the back of a tent, compared to the minute by minute updates
of everything from the gleam of the stage to the wardrobe malfunction
of a model to the beat of the music, all of which was easily viewable on
one’s smartphone, and at a location of choice.

Note to voyeurs: indulge in livestreams.
Note to brands: livestreams can either build your brand equity, or drown it.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.

Fashion Involves Marketing Research too!

Who thought marketing research could apply to fashion week?

As reinforced in my complete article on the topic, Fashion Weeks off late have astounded me with the level of
social media acceptance and usage that has been a catalyst in making
fashion so much more accessible. Retailers and designers alike have
truly harnessed this power to create nothing short of a racing
phenomenon.

Fashion
week shows today consist of a construction of minutely segmented
moments of a collection, a speech, a look, a sentiment, an accolade and
much more, all of which are instantaneously photographed, retweeted,
shared on a social media platform, and bulge up to relay a magnanimous
sense of real-time brand equity.

To think fashion week is classically an event for media and buyers,
who often forget that the ultimate wearer is the consumer. To that
benefit alone, social media can take credit for bringing fashion glitz
and glamour straight into the lap of its owner. The mainstream consumer
can now scratch the surface of fashion week, and even indulge into
wholesome bites of the world of haute.

And this has been more the case this year than any other. While fascinating to recap the measures taken by designers and
brands alike, my thoughts with the upcoming shopping season is this: how
much brand loyalty has it really created?

Fashion week is a glittering example of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenburg‘s
economics-class-driven idea to boost consumer spending by engaging
customer interaction with their favorite brands and brand endorsers,
namely drool-worthy and idolized celebrities who grace the streets in
the flesh to share the air with their fans. While shared across 700
countries, it is now an excuse to have a party, with stores carding at
entrances and serving cocktails and offering live performances amidst
littered clothing and accessories. From Armani Exchange’s tee
distressing bargains to Kenneth Cole’s personal kick off amidst
paraphernalia, brands lure and endure simultaneously.

In an upcoming post I’ll speak of specifically how social media and consumer behavior marry to fashion in order to bring truly research based insights into the world of haute.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.