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Analysis
Marivi Avalos
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Since 1999 the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival takes place in the city of Indio,California in the United States of America. Once a year this famous music festival takes place during the last weekend of April, with such a big success that the festival originally compound of two day is now extended to three days of Music and Arts. This event has grown in popularity to the point that it is for major interest for any kind of retailer that is linked to Music and Arts, and so it is for the fashion industry. International Brands know it and they work strongly on their special campaigns in order to take advantage of the audience this festival can bring for them. One good example is that of the Swedish Mass Market brand H&M, this brand’s annual parties have become one of the most anticipated events of Coachella, this year the brand the company teamed up with the hottest DJ’s for the launch of their new “divided” collection. They are promoting this special campaign through the hashtag #HMLovesMusic through a video campaign featured by the superstar DJ Eclair Fifi. According to Fashionbi’s Digital Marketing Database the Top 5 Key Opinion Leaders or Influencers for H&M brand and this special campaign on Twitter are:

Analysis
Joshua Whine
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Two of China’s biggest internet companies, Alibaba and Sina Weibo, have announced plans to float on the New York stock exchange this year. These initial public offerings (IPOs) are expected to raise US $15 billion and $500 million respectively. Alibaba (China’s largest internet company), founded by entrepreneur Jack Ma, is an an e-commerce group whose sites Taobao, a consumer-to-consumer online shopping platform similar to eBay, and Tmall, a more upmarket business-to-consumer shopping platform, dominate the Chinese online retail scene. Alibaba’s IPO could become the biggest IPO by an Internet company if it raises more than the US$16million raised by Facebook Inc in 2012. Weibo, owned by Sina Corp, is China’s largest micro-blogging platform, though in recently it has faced competition from the WeChat instant messaging service, from its competitors Tencent. In April 2013 Alibaba bought an 18% stake in Sina Weibo for US$586 million according to Bloomberg, connecting the two internet giants.

Analysis
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In today's macroeconomic scenario, there is the big question (especially for the fashion and luxury industry), if Brazil is still a good market to invest for new offices and stores opening. Is Brazil still a country to consider into the fashion and luxury companies expansion plans? Before answering this question, it is necessary to do an overview on the issues and encouraging factors behind this constantly evolving scenario in the Latin American country. It was 13 years ago, when the economist Jim O'Neill created the acronym BRIC which speculated that by 2050 the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China would be wealthier than most of the current major economic powers. However, today, the BRICs are cracked and Brazil is growing slightly. In 2013, Brazil's GDP increased by 2.3 % and according to Focus, analysts' expectations for this year is a growth of 1.70 % . This forecasting positions Brazil among the Fragile Five - Brazil , South Africa , India, Indonesia and Turkey -, nickname introduced by U.S. bank Morgan Stanley, which invites investors to bet on the fall of the currencies of these five countries, they face " high inflation, large negative balances in international transactions, challenging prospect of capital inflows and weak growth", according to U.S. bank Morgan Stanley quotes. In fact, the problems with bureaucracy, logistics, taxation and access to skilled labor are big issues that stuck investments in Brazil. Late last year, a report in the major Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo obtained a detailed account of a meeting during which Mauro Friedrich, director of logistics at Zara’s Brazil division, pointed out that Brazil was by far the most challenging market of all the 86 countries in which Zara operates because of taxes and poor infrastructure, which make the costs to increase. A comparison between prices in the Brazil and in Spain on basic pieces find differences from 11% to 76%.

Analysis
Marivi Avalos
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The Italian and 85 years old brand is facing a big challenge to keep and constantly renewing its lure to a new generation of consumers wanting premium and luxury brands. Just after Creative Director, Frida Gianni, unveiled the brand’s new ready-to-wear collection for A-W 2014 during Milan Fashion Week, the brand’s parent company and luxury French group Kering announced it’s quarterly results with very disappointing numbers for the group’ crown jewel, Gucci. According to the company’s statement this were the weakest quarterly sales growth in four years for Gucci due to a softening demand in Europe and China, while the sales in the United States and Japan continued to serve as cushion for this drop. Gucci’s comparable sales for the fourth-quarter gained 0.2 percent, decelerating from the third quarter and trailing estimates for 0.8 percent growth. While shares fell as much as 3.7 percent. But how is it possible that the brand failed to have a successful financial performance even if the last collections always get great press reviews, and people are still excited to own a part of the brand’s lifestyle?

Analysis
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China’s 2014 growth is expected to be stable according to Lu Ting, chief China economists with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, although he also stated that there might be “a possible deterioration in market sentiment relating to China’s growth outlook”. China is the country leading the growth in the Asia-Pacific region and the Chinese New Year is the best time to get an overview of what the annual growth might be in 2014. This year the Chinese New Year holiday started the 31st of January and recorded a 13.3 percent increase on shopping; the total sales of the retail and food industries are equal to 610.7 billion yuans or more than 100 billion US dollars. This is still a double digit growth and reflects a strong consumption and healthy economy even though it is below last year’s growth of 14.7 percent. Moreover, it is to be noted that the luxury spending slowed down further whereas regular items spending increased during that period of time. Regarding the online activity of luxury brands, they still seem to generate great responses from followers during the few weeks before the holiday.

Analysis
Bermal Ozbay
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The more technological advancements have arisen, the more they are implemented into business and recently, the business world has gotten to proceed within more mobile and digital year by year. One of the reasons behind this drift is of course getting closer to the customer and, especially in the marketing field, the experts are working on the issue. Proximity marketing, at this point, enables advertisers to deliver ads, sponsor services, and provide highly relevant offers to consumers using on-location access networks. Also called hyper-local marketing, this method implies distributing local advertising content to customers via wireless channels, such as wi-fi, Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. In this way, customers who sign up for the service in the related location, start to receive notifications about the advertising operation.

Analysis
Dominika Peszko
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To achieve omni-channel retail excellence, fashion brands and retailers focus on reaching their customers through digital technology. As a matter of fact, they do see the potential in apps, and they are aware of their practical use. The benefits can be tremendous. And, apparently, a huge array of apps available can bring consumers to a whole new level of brand engagement. Global Apparel Retailers – Uniqlo and Zara Simple and minimalistic designs. Affordable prices. And most recently, the Uniqlo Recipe app. It is a free app for Apple smart devices launched by Uniqlo to match food with brand's clothing. Uniqlo Recipe is a fun app, that showcases amazing recipes from 6 emerging chefs from the U.S., and matches brand's clothing with each dish. There are four recipes - breakfast, dessert, lunch and dinner – designed by each chef. The dishes are made of traditional ingredients and the instructions are illustrated with photos. In addition, the app includes the diet properties of the dishes. Each of the recipes is inspired by a particular Uniqlo outfit worn by the chefs, and the customers are able to shop items from these looks. Besides, the app features a music timer designed to be used while cooking, or to create a dining atmosphere.

Analysis
Jenny Perusek
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The American luxury market has long been dominated by designers like Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, and Ralph Lauren. But a new duo of luxury designers are making their mark in the industry with one major thing in common: an extensive educational background and international roots that bring an couture-esque level of craftsmanship to the United States of America.

Analysis
Bermal Ozbay
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A smart and successful brand management is done by making the right decisions to decrease costs, to recognize the opportunities of a brand, to solve its problems, to improve its offering and to make sure that customers can have advocacy and become loyal to a brand. Easy to describe but not so easy to execute, these are the daily challenges of fashion and luxury professionals managing a brand. In the fashion industry, there are global and intense competition trends, therefore brands have to be managed while providing differentiated, personalized and recognizable customer experience on a worldwide scale. To do that, executives are dealing with huge amount of data through digital, POS, mobile and social media channels, with the final objective to optimize them, insights are the key for making the life of a brand manager much more easier.

Analysis
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We all have experienced that kind of disappointment caused when you see an amazing fashion item in the web and then going to the store to buy it, and sadly, the sales person will tell you: “Please excuse us but we don’t stock this item”. This is just a representation about the lack of connection between a brand's retail strategy and its communication channels. Isn’t it incredible that, even if today there are hundreds of new technologies that can help brand managers to offer customers an incredible shopping experience, fashion and luxury brands are still struggling to achieve such goals? It is simply not acceptable, brands are not taking advantage of technology to increase customer’s satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy to the brand, hence they are missing the opportunity to increase sales. Today’s marketing biggest trend is all about the Omni-Channel Strategies, many brands from the fashion, beauty and luxury industry are trying to implement them, but to be real, there is not a single brand that is able to say they are offering to customers a 100 per cent Omni-Channel experience. Why? One reason could be that brand managers are lacking information about how to plan the strategies and also they are not able to execute them in the right way. Another reason can be that brands are afraid that retail channels will compete again each other.

Analysis
Dominika Peszko
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Luxury goods are seen as prestigious, over the top, and sophisticated objects cherished and desired by the masses of customers all over the world. They indeed bring billions in profits to the brands which design them and make sure they are available on the market. This time let's focus on Richemont 's latest moves in the world of luxury.

Analysis
Bermal Ozbay
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Children’s wear market aroused the interests once again due to the recent research conducted by Greenpeace in the previous weeks. The scandalous research revealed several hazardous residues found in children textile products, and now all the eyes have turned to the sector. Investigating the sector in detail, I found other remarkable facts about its market as well. Here is the evolution of the current state of the children’s wear's market around the world.

Analysis
Joshua Whine
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Perhaps the two greatest fashion consumer countries in Asia, Japan and China are of huge importance to global fashion brands, especially the luxury market. However the fashion and consumer histories of the two countries are very different and this now can be seen in their current fashion and retail landscapes.

Analysis
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It is no shocker that the luxury consumption and growth rate in the Chinese market has slowed down: From a 30% growth rate in 2011 to 7% in 2012, 2013 also witnessed a slight 2% growth and a similar trend is also expected for 2014 according to Bain & Co. Numerous reasons can be attributed for the decrease in the development of this sector most notably because of the change in the functioning and behavior of the Chinese market.

Analysis
Laura Sanchis
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The easy access to information has made it increasingly more difficult for companies to hide their production processes. And, if we believe that many fashion consumers see clothing and accessories as a statement, a more educated and more informed consumer will want his garments to be a statement not only of his personal style but also of his social consciousness.

Analysis
Marivi Avalos
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It is just one week since we left 2013 year behind, but it had a lot of surprises and must read analysis from our team of international contributors. Hence, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share the most read articles during last year here in Fashionbi 247, with an extensive variety of topics that go from new talents, the real definition of luxury, the ugliness being the "new beauty" in the industry to an overview of the fashion industry in Romania and the role of Innovation Models in the fashion industry.

Analysis
Marivi Avalos
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Christmas just passed by, but still there are left tons of gift guides and wish lists from all the beauty and luxury brands promotions, let's say holiday's season is not over yet. In addition, New Year is coming and it is a good time for reflection, so I felt the need to answer a question that often comes into my mind during this time of the year (as a marketer in the fashion and luxury industry): What does the Holidays Season Means for the Beauty Industry? or to be truly honest (am I the only one going crazy and buying fragrances during this season?).

Analysis
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This year comes to an end and it is the perfect time to review luxury stores’ openings and performance in China. So many market adjustments happened this year that most of the foreign luxury brands in China show much different results than what they expected. So who is the big winner this time according to the Chinese consumers? Is it Louis Vuitton again? Let us have a look at the most noticeable luxury stores’ openings in 2013!

Analysis
Alejandra Ortega
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The past 5th of December, Sir Paul Smith, owner of the eponymous brand Paul Smith, one of the greatest British designers (winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion in 2011 at the British Fashion Awards) was in Milan to give you a chance of having a great Christmas, the present: Meeting him.

Analysis
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Should executives of luxury brands be more confident in the North American luxury market or in the Chinese luxury market this year? China’s luxury market’s top leaders, like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, are facing a serious change in trends and expectations from Chinese customers. “So passé”, said a China street-style watcher in China Fashion Trends’ article Enter the Hipster: China’s Street Style Evolves about the Gucci brand.

Analysis
Jenny Perusek
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Time passes by and with the falling of snow comes the end of another interesting year in fashion. So to celebrate the end of 2013 and the excitement that 2014 brings, let’s look at two luxury fashion brands who found themselves on the nice list this year and the one who now falls in the naughty category.

Analysis
Joshua Whine
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Chinese brands may soon be just as common in Europe and America’s fashion capitals as the Chinese consumers who travel to the West in huge numbers in order to stock up on designer labels. But with so many Chinese travelling, moving and studying abroad, are they now bringing their home-grown brands and fashion culture with them?

Analysis
Marivi Avalos
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Nowadays there is a big concern towards the impact the fashion industry is having in the world's environment, as a result not only companies, but also innovators and entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives to reduce it. One way is to support recycling, and there exist three main ways for doing it in fashion: 1.To use fabric composed of reprocessed fibers or recycled polyester, 2. Reconditioning textile fabric (unwanted factory surpluses) and the 3. Recycling or customizing clothing, using second hand garments and re-fashioning or even repairing it to give them a second life.

Analysis
Bermal Ozbay
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Raf Simons was presumably one of the most talked about creative director for the past two seasons. It was not only because of his abrupt departure from Jil Sander for his surprise appointment at Dior. But it was after the surrealist vibe he used for Dior’s Spring 2013 campaign and Fall 2013 collection, that he really took center stage. Even if many were not gushing over the new direction, that was taking a radical turn in Dior, it seems he has achieved the success somehow.

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