In the modern society, fashion had always been considered as an important aspect in daily life. According to the Fashion arts (2010), there is an increasing in number of intensive competition between fashion retailers for their shares of the consumer market. In another word, it is a battle to gain the customer’s attention and the customers’ loyalty. Therefore, I am now writing this report in order to support our company’s strategy to promote our new range of clothes. This report will provide a draft communication plan with a logo and a strapline along with recommendations for our KMstyle store in order to enhance our brand, communicate with public.
What is a communication plan?
Communication plan is a document written in order to accomplish our association communications. It will help to define the audiences needed to communicate with, show the way to accomplish our objectives, which method or tools can be used and how you will evaluate the results of the program.
Communication consist of writing, oral, electronic interact with certain type of audiences. A communication plan usually aiming for what is our main objective, goal, who is the audience needed to be approached, key messages, tactic, how we can contact them, in which method, using which tools, where to get the information (Robin Mayhall)
Overview and define our main objective
KMstyle is one of the fashion leading retailers over 20 years in the fashion industry. The company operates a supply chain network with over 100 stores in the UK and continuous expanding. Kmstyle provides an extensive range of woman’s fashion products include clothing, accessories. We are now launching a new range of trendy fashion clothes designed by top supermodel Kate Moss. Our goal is to create and maintain a favourable public image by communication to the general public, attract new customers, promote our brand and stay up to date compete with other retailers.
Define our target audience
It is vital to identify who our target audience are; they are critically influence on the communicator’s decision about what to say, how, when, where and to whom. Kmstyle new launching products are focusing on young and trendy segment. Question such as:
Is the target new to the category or a current used?
Is the target loyal to the brand?
Target is loyal to competitor or someone who switches between brands?
If a brand user, is he or she a frequently shopper or not…should be considered as the answer will effect communication strategy (Kotler P, Brady M, Goodman M & Hansen T 2009, p 696).
All we need is “information” which can be obtained internally from our staffs, marketing department, HR department ect… as well as externally from customers and even from our competitors.
Key messages to communicate with targeted segment
This is where we need to question ourselves: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY AND HOW of communications:
WHO will introduce the new range of clothes, brand or event?
WHAT is our company new offering? What are those new features or benefits?
WHEN these offering will be available? When the promotion will be launched?
WHERE will the events, promotion, offer will take place?
WHY should the targeted audience be interested in our range of products?
HOW can our audience get more information on the offering/promotion/products?
These messages should be cleared, written in language that the target audiences can understand and relate to. (Fine ArtsFund)
Identify communication methods
This is one of the most important steps in a communication plan as how KMstyle plans to communicate with the segmented audiences? Which key messages should be used each time we communicate? And how we can make sure our audiences receive the information, hence we can draw out new ways to reach them (Fine ArtsFund) Failure in communication will cause negative effects to our company’s image in the future, therefore choosing the correct method, using appropriate mediums, deliver the right messages at the right time are essential.
Most conventional communication tool is advertising. The main purpose of advertising is introducing and reminding the public about our company’s existent in another word creating brand awareness. Advertising KMstyle’s aim is to inform, persuade the public, remind and reinforce information about the brand. It is a non-personal sale presentation which influences a large number of audiences (Kotler P, Brady M, Goodman M & Hansen T 2009, p 72).
Advertising can be general classified as newspaper, magazines, radio, television, internet, websites email, direct mail, outdoor ads, transportation ads, email and phone call which are various methods to connect people (Jeff Madura 2007, p529) Advertising advantages are:
Make good impression on the reader by suggesting a professional approach which improves the changes of its message being accepted
The content or information is easier to understand
Add impact and interest
Messages will be delivered to a large number of audiences
Exposure is unlimited to your ad as people can come back to see the ad anytime.
Newspaper and magazines are low cost budget, they are distributed nationwide and more focused
Radio has its advantage as it talk to the audience even thought it lacks of visual effect.
Television ads become more common nowadays, research had shown approximately more than 40 million women are watching the annual Academy Awards, many fashion firms and lipstick focus may their ads on this program however advertise on a popular show will be very expensive for example a one minute ad during the Super Bowl cost more than $3 million (Jeff Madura 2007, p531).
Choosing internet as a communication medium is a must. It is necessary to have a proper website designed which includes all the information about the new range of clothes, together with promotions, vouchers…
Direct mail advertising: is also used by sending catalogs directly to homes, for example the cosmetic firms Avon advertised their products by direct mail method.
Outdoor ads: are shown on billboards and signs can also be considered as they attract customer’s attention quickly.
Transportation ads: print advertisements such as poster, leaflets, slogan, logo are often displayed on busses, cabs, taxi as they have a strong visual effect and easily recognized at one glance
(Jeff Madura 2007, p533)
Product placement: is where the product is advertised through the star, movie, show as the majority of public are getting tired of normal advertisement. Product placement become the latest trend and widely used as they are quite costly to launch but mostly bring out an effective results. For example: by showing many of the clothes on the hit show Gossip Girl had made a massive impact on young designer and Project Runway alumna Alexandra Vidal, as fans often eager to own and to wear the same clothes as their favourite star (Trend Hunters)
Conduct survey, questionnaires: enable public to acknowledge our brand also we will be able to get their email and contact information once they register through our websites. After that, we can send out information about our brand, sending out news, survey, and questionnaire through internet. Sending out survey is an easy way to find out what people need and want, whether they satisfy with our service, this method is commonly used in every organisation nowadays. Its characteristics are :
Useful in describing the characteristics of a large population which none other method has this capability.
Can be controlled and dealing remotely through email, telephone, mail which show the results in statistical way.
With a high flexibility, many question can be asked in a survey, to complete usually need 5 – 30 minutes.
Had a high reliable rate, easy to obtain and low cost.
Survey can be shortening to questionnaire form, which can be used on focus group, face to face interview. However the percentage of replying results is relatively lower than the other method also they were designed under a general questions, possibly missing what is most information needed to get (CSU)
Personal selling involves individual sale-person conducts:
Face to face, one on one basis which sale-person got paid by commission. This method can be alternative such an interview face to face with customer to get more information from them or
Focus group: invite 3- 10 customers to form a group with prepared questions about KMstyle’s fashion product range in order to retrieve specific information such as: thoughts, feeling, attitudes or ideas about the company from customers.
Sale promoting: produce a high sales response in the short run (Kotler P, Brady M, Goodman M & Hansen T, 2009)
Coupon: are attached in newspaper, magazines and ads to encourage the purchase for a product consequence increase customer’s loyalty to the brand
Vouchers: discount 10-50% off or buy 3 for 2 prices…
Premiums: giving out gifts or prize for customer who purchase over £100 for example. This method gives an extra incentive to purchase products.
(Jeff Madura 2007, p533)
Public relations: create and maintain a favourable public image is crucial. It has a big impact on KMstyle’s reputation.
Special events: some firm sponsor a special event such as car racing, sports, and football for example: Nike promoting their brand logo printed on runner shirt or shoes. On the other hand, in fashion industry event such as fashion shows week enable the viewing of fashion latest style, this is a place called social gathering and get interact with other brands as well as reporters, media.
News releases: a brief announcement of a firm in written form provide to the media with headlines which enables the firm to update the public about its products or operations, also to clarify false rumours that could adversely affect the firm’s reputation.
Press conference is similar to the new release but instead of written from it is an oral announcement. It is more specify and more personal as news are released directly to the media.
(Jeff Madura 2007, p533-543)
Recommendation & key to success
General speaking, to be effective, communication to the audience has to
Be targeted carefully to suit each section
Must be an on-going, consistent and frequent process.
The information available must be reliable and up-to-date, in order to multi level and promotional to draw attention toward our company (WARP, 2004).
KMstyle’s webpage should have easy contents yet professional layout. Information that is published on the site should be cleared for the audience by using email hyperlinks, newsletters and other media. There should be links to “customer service, clothes range with pictures and prices, size guide, info…” personal shopping is highly recommended as many people do their shopping online or some orders are global. Below is an illustration of a fashion retailer website names RiverIsland:Untitled
Creating blogs, groups, registering with some popular websites such www.facebook.com, www.twitter.com, yahoo, MSN… where a large amount our target audience are connected. Create a link to our main KMstyle’s website to get the public subscribed.
Recommend fashion popular fashion websites with large community networks: fashionising.com, stylehive.com, keboodle.com, thisnext.com, stylefeeder.com, shareyourlook.com… consist of difference styles and fashions which will help KMstyle improve and gather information (Chris Odel)
Through internet, we can get customer’s email which will help us to contact them, sending them information, surveys about our new range, new promotions or vouchers and collect their information.
I recommend the website: https://www.questionpro.com , it will help to design survey questions for free. Once you register for an account, you will be able to access to the website, from creating every single question to a complete a professional survey and sending it to emails directly from your account. Below is a demonstration of a survey created from questionpro website:
Meeting up with a marketing officer or hr, accounting department or even any staff who work for KMstyle in order to collect more information about our customers, also statically know about KMstyle range of products.
For example: booking an appointment with Mr X – a sale manager operation, he has the recording of stock room, he will eventually be able to give out the figure of which products are best selling and which are not ect…(River Island)
Advertising is highly recommended as a key of branding awareness, KMstyle advantages are having our products designed by top supermodel KateMoss. It will be effective and efficient to use her image to boost up KMstyle using fashion product placement method. According to Tungate Mark “When a celebrity wears something, it has direct impact on sales, April Glasssborow, senior buyer for international designer collections at Harvery Nichols recalled when Victoria Beckham was photographed in a green satin Chloe dress by the Sunday Times Style section, it created a demand”.
Focus on advertising on fashion magazines type such as : Cosmos, Glamour, Vougue, Elle…
Recruiting sale staff for improving personal selling, staff will approach customers with questionnaires given and leaflet to handout over public
A few samples of question can be:
Do you like shopping?
How often do you shop?
Which brand is your favourite?
What style of clothes do you consider best suit you?
What do you think about our KMstyle Brand?
What type of clothes you usually shop in KMstyle?
Have you ever shop form our online store?
Did you receive offers or discount from us?
In the consequence we will be able to collect more data from these answers.
Developing poster upon Kate Moss’s style or poster display in front of the store. For example :
New range of products…
“Feel of the temptation…”
Image source: http://magsandfashion.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/katemoss1.jpg
Additionally, billboard with high quality of printing which visible through the day can be placed on Piccadilly Circus or airport…
Press conferences or new releases rely on Kate Moss’s image. Recommended on: the Times, the Guardian, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph…
An example of successful promotion: Victoria’s Secret relies on models to do promotional tours in which they promote Victoria Secret products (Jeff Madura, 2007)
Launch or attend the fashion shows e.g. the London Fashion week to boost up KMstyle’s image and create positive public relation. Here are some keys step needed to be consider before running a fashion shows:
Decide the purpose of the fashion show
make a list of what are our objective for the shows
put up fliers, ads, poster, leaflet in order to spread news about the shows
book a location in advance with an estimate amount of audiences
Have meetings with models: Kate Moss…
advertise the show
don’t be too stress and have fun, enjoy the show!
Below is a sample of an advertisement on fashion show
Image Source: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs24/f/2007/355/0/7/Fashion_Show_Poster_by_lightskinnnn38.jpg
Main keys to success:
Draw out a timetable and bulletin all the key points: date and time, things to do, meeting need to attend, person need to contact, how frequent, and staff involved…
Enable customers to access and contact our organisation, looking out for feedback in an effective way
Keep contact, stay on track and inform customer about information from our company also connect with internal departments.
Efficiently using communication method to promote our company range of product and improve our appearance
Considering having or attending press conference, fashion shows keeping data up-to-date, renewing our material in order to attract more customers.
Recruiting more staff specialise in marketing area and sale staff.
In the fashion industry, it is vital to understand how communication is the key of information and taking a consideration to be able to communicate is necessary. Generally speaking, this report overall present a draft communication plan along with my communication support recommendations in order to help KMstyle promote the new range of clothes to the targeted segment. Together with the disadvantages, advantages of each methods and how to ensure a success results in communication process.. If there is any further enquiry regarding these; please do not hesitate to contact me via my email.
References and sources
Kotler. P. Brady, M. Goodman, M & Hansen, T (2009). Marketing Management, Pearson Education Limited, England, Essex, chapter 19, “designing and managing marketing communications”, p 696
Kotler. P. Brady, M. Goodman, M & Hansen, T (2009). Marketing Management, Pearson Education Limited, England, Essex, chapter 20, “managing mass and personal communications”, p 722
Madura, J (2007), Introduction to business, 4edn, Thomson south western, advertising, p529.
Madura, J (2007), Introduction to business, 4edn, Thomson south western, advertising, p531.
Madura, J (2007), Introduction to business, 4edn, Thomson south western, advertising, p533-543.
University of arts (2010), Introduction to fashion retailing, [Online]. Available from: http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/shortcourses/shortcourses_Introduction_to_fashion_retailing.htm [Accessed 05 Feb 2010]
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Tungate, M, 2008. Fashion Brands : Branding Style from Armani to Zara [Online].2nd Edition. Kogan Page, Limited. Chapter 4. The designer as brand, p280. Available from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/westminsterintl/docDetail.action?docID=10250421&p00=communication+plan+fashion+promoting [Accessed 12 Feb 2010]
CUS, Writing guide research, advantages and disadvantages of the survey method, [Online]. Available from: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/research/survey/com2d1.cfm [Accessed 09 Feb 2010]
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WARP (2004), Example of WARP communication plan V1.1, “3.2 Audience”, [Online]. Available from http://www.warp.gov.uk/Marketing/CommPlanV1.1.pdf [Accessed 10 Feb 2010]
Chris Odel, ezinearticals, Promote Your Own Clothing Brand – Top Fashion Networking Sites [Online]. Available from http://ezinearticles.com/?Promote-Your-Own-Clothing-Brand—Top-Fashion-Networking-Sites&id=1102112 [Accessed 10 Feb 2010]
QuestionPro, Fashion attitudes, [Online]. Available from: http://www.questionpro.com/akira/showSurveyLibrary.do?surveyID=148&mode=1 [Accessed 10 Feb 2010]
Kate Russell, How to start a fashion show, [Online]. Available from: http://www.ehow.com/how_4443476_start-fashion-show.html [Accessed 10 Feb 2010]