The highlight of my day is coming home to a nicely packed parcel. Packaging is imperative to the product because it sets the perception of the brand. Something that is nicely and individually wrapped means more to a consumer because it is like it hasn’t been mass-produced so you can develop that deeper connection with the brand.
A brand that does this well is Tiffany & Co; a jewellery brand iconic for their trademark blue boxes and white ribbon to accompany the hand-wrapped gift. My friend wanted just the Tiffany box with no contents, which symbolises how imperative the packaging is for the brand. This aligns with their slogan ‘there is only one true love’ (Tiffany & Co. 2017). When you are purchasing high-end products you expect the packaging to reflect their high-class product, which Tiffany does perfectly; it conveys that the brand is unique- unlike anything you have seen, luxurious and exclusive.
The idea of packaging as a means to generate a strong and emotional response in consumers is highlighted by Sturgees (2013). A case study found “certain packages had a value to consumers that was beyond the product because some females couldn’t throw packaging away”; I am guilty of this with my Tiffany & Co boxes. The study found consumers associated Tiffany packaging with being “elegant, beautiful, fancy and surprising by tapping into their non-conscious memory”. The packaging of Tiffany created a “close connection between colour and the emotions of surprise and excitement because people cannot wait to open the box”. Tiffany have created more than just a box; they make customers fall in love with the brand.
When creating a product package there are 5 ways to make it distinct: size, colour, novelty, repetition and frequency. You must be critical of the packaging you choose because in today’s world there are thousands of brands to compete against so your packaging must be innovative to capture consumer attention. It was found that products, which are cluttered with information, are associated with lesser quality than simplistic ones (Packagedesignmag 2013).
With a trend towards eco-friendly packaging, Lush use recycled materials for their packaging to appeal to those environmentally conscious consumers. They make their packaging distinct by drawing on the novelty aspect as not many companies think about being environmentally friendly. Lush is known for their hand-made beauty products and their commitment to the environment (Lush 2017). The packaging meets consumer needs who believe that purchasing Lush products will make a change, which is true because Lush packaging is 100% biodegradable.
Prakash & Pathak (2017) researched to find the if respondents valued eco-designed packaging. Over 200 young consumers were tested and their purchasing was affected by price, attitude and social norms. However, it was found Indian consumers have a positive attitude towards an eco-friendly packaged product and are ready to pay premiums for it.
It is imperative you know your target and what they value. Apple consumers are more concerned with product quality rather than the environment so to appeal to them so Apple products can be in a consumers evoked set that have gone for the size and colour aspects. Apple uses elegant and minimalistic packaging to create a sensory experience for their consumers. They selectively use colour to grab your attention and packaging that is easy to open; which reflects the product inside: elegant and simple to use (Personalics 2016), making the overall experience more pleasurable.
Consumers need something visually appealing to create any sort of emotion toward a product. It is this connection that will allow them to become brand loyals and be delighted by the brand. This is why packaging is so important and can be the make or break for new products.
The world of social media has taken the globe by storm and is only continuing to rise and grow in strength. Companies are putting their marketing efforts towards a social media focus, as 97% of marketers use it (Forbes 2014), due to the power of celebrity promotion. People are getting paid to post their latest selfies and alongside them they have a crew accompanying them to ensure they get the perfect snap. I mean they can afford it; getting paid up to $1200 per post if you have 500,000 followers for $300 for those who have a fan base of 3,000-20,000 (Smh 2017), I can see why they all want to jump on the social media band-wagon.
It all stems around the concept of social proof which is when you are unsure of how to act so you follow others who you feel to have better knowledge about something (Entrepreneurs 2017). We see this typically with the younger generation who are fashion conscious and easily influenced. They see celebrities promoting products via Instagram or Snapchat so they follow suit as they are easily persuaded when they do not know how to act.
Take Katya Henry as an example, she is a well-known media personality who I idolise. She has a follower base of 3.6M and a body that many dream of having. What I like is that she balances promotion and what she stands for. Katya is a vegan and justifies her stance on why she advocates being vegan. She also promotes products where she will receive a percentage of the return depending on how many use the special discount code. She has the power to influence those millions of followers by what she wears and how to achieve a body like hers. She is a smart businesswoman who has started her own workout program that she promotes via her main profile. Katya and EHPlabs
There is no doubt that these celebrities made by social media have a mammoth influence over how consumers behave. Take Tammy Hembrow for example, another influencer with her own workout program that profited 200K before it even got released. So with 1.08 billion consumers using their smartphones as a shopping tool (Promorati 2016), social media is a powerful tool which can utilise celebrity endorsement.
Mas-Tur, Tur-Porcar & Llorca (2016) introduce the idea that social media has the ability to recognise what consumers value through the outlet of commenting and liking certain pages. She also proclaims the importance that companies need to be mindful when promoting products to such a young and naïve audience. With ‘over 1/3 people saying promotions make them more likely to buy a product’ (Promorati 2016), once again we can see the importance of celebrity endorsements.
With the advent of these tracking technologies companies are able to see how much celebrity promotion codes actually affect their sales. Celebrities get gifts sent to their doorstep, which you will see being reviewed on their stories. Lauren Curtis is a great example of this as she will review her latest and greatest products she receives. Being such a well-known and respected makeup artist, people buy whatever she recommends. Model Co advertise one of their mascaras based on the fact that Lauren uses it, just to give you an idea of how much celebrities control your buying behaviour.
The article written by Aluri, Slevitch & Larzelere (2016) has a focus based on hotel businesses and social media, but it is interesting to note the importance of social media on consumer emotions. They discovered websites that incorporated social media were more favourable and had a higher purchase intention as respondents associated it with a sense of “happiness and enjoyment”. This is advantageous for companies who are turning to social media and having celebrities contribute significantly towards their marketing.
Undoubtedly, celebrities are the new marketers who are creating the need for purchase with their influential status. Questions are raised however to regulate such promotions due to their influential nature.
Aluri, A, Slevitch, L, & Larzelere, R 2016, ‘The Influence of Embedded Social Media Channels on Travelers’ Gratifications, Satisfaction, and Purchase Intentions’, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 250-267.
Speak to any female and mention the word ‘Tiffany” and they will instantly know you are referring to the jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. The iconic blue box with the perfectly looped white ribbon is half the reason I purchase their products. Well that’s a bit of an exaggeration; I purchase Tiffany because I have an obsession that cannot be controlled. The whole experience is what I love, from the minute you walk in you are greeted with a smiling face, the staff are experts with their jewellery and know their stuff back-to-front. They are more than happy to let you try on every single piece of jewellery from their latest collections and treat you like a celebrity, even if you don’t have celebrity kind of money to spend like myself. They are all dressed immaculately head-to-toe in their business attire, which just adds to the overall experience by displaying that they take pride in what they do, which is essential when working for such a well-known company.
Working in retail for longer than I want to admit, I have gotten to know the importance of customer service and what it can do for a company. Ultimately it is the make or break. The staff at Tiffany & Co have customer service down-packed and are excellent at what they do. I can honestly say that I have never once had a bad experience in all the years I have shopped at Tiffany. The staff do not pressure you into buying; they take their time with each customer so you feel valued and they are more than happy to listen and fix the problem if one arises. When I purchased my cuff from Tiffany over a year ago after one wear it started to make my wrist green. I took it back to the store because I did not expect a product of such high quality to be doing something that. The young sales assistant happily cleaned the cuff for me, gave me a silver polish cloth and also the cleaning cream to go with it and told me all it needed was a clean to remove the protective coating that comes with the jewellery. She made the whole situation so easy and painless and did not mind that I wasn’t spending money on that particular day, which appeals to me and shows they aren’t just after your money; the staff actually care about you.
You pretty well know what to expect when you enter a Tiffany & Co store; luxury to say the least, exquisite and fine pieces of jewellery, the customised staircase leading to upper levels and the best customer service. As previously mentioned, it is the whole experience that makes Tiffany unique from other jewellery stores.
From the moment you walk through the doors you can be satisfied knowing that you are making the right purchase as i was when I purchased my best friend’s 21st present. She opened the bag and saw there was the blue little bag with the blue box inside, wrapped in the white ribbon and she actually began to cry. She was so overwhelmed at “her first Tiffany” that she teared up. The brand really creates special moments for its consumers and knows how to emotionally appeal to them. This could also be why I had my 18th birthday cake made into a tiffany box because Tiffany means something to me; it is more than just a brand and that is why I will buy Tiffany for the rest of my life – I am addicted.
For all of those fashion addicts, Spring racing has sprung and with the Melbourne Cup yesterday we saw many big named celebrities flaunting dresses that were full of colour. One of the standouts for me was Jen Hawkins, who as usual wore Tony Maticevski. She paired the fluro gown and accessorised with black which topped off the outfit.
In the weeks leading up to the race that stopped the nation yesterday, I found myself pacing around the streets of Sydney trying to find the perfect dress. I went to Paddington and while there were nice dresses, I didn’t find anything that caught my eye. I must say I really struggled to find something this year, but I went into Bardot not expecting to find a dress and BAM right there was a laced dress, which did not look very dressy on the hanger but when I tried it on it looked much better. I paired it with a Mimco fascinator (that almost cost the price of the dress) and accessorised with my Michael Kors clutch and strappy nude heels.
For those of you out there looking for a nice dress that is comfortable I highly recommend the Bardot dress that I wore. It is called ‘Gretel lace dress’ and is not overly priced for what you are getting. To freshen up the outfit for summer you can accessorise with nude colours, or whites and go for a coloured clutch to top off the outfit.
There are so many dresses online at the moment and Bardot has some gorgeous dresses and two piece sets at the moment. I would also recommend looking at Abyss, Nookie, Alice McCall or Zachary the label. I only stayed local for the big race, but I must say I was quite disappointed as I did not really see anyone that stood out with their outfits. There was a lot of bodycon and nude, with little bright and bold colours (I actually think there were more males in fluro than women) and some people really did not go all out with their jeans and joggers. It was quite upsetting and next year I am going to have to make the trip down to Melbourne for the big race just so I can see all of the fashion beauties flaunt their outfits! I must say I am quite tempted to book my tickets right now and start planning out my outfit over the summer break so I am prepared for fashions on the field.
Working closely with my teammate Blake, we both took particular interest in how people use technology in social spaces. The whole idea stemmed from when we were sitting down for coffee one day and we saw this group of friends who did not interact with each other once during the whole time they were there. We then both looked at each other and questioned “what could be more important than interacting with you’re close friends who are sitting right with you in the real, rather than virtual world?” We began to investigate not only how these people use their technology, but also delve into why they are using their devices and for what purpose. It is not uncommon in the world today to see people stopping conversation and loosing interest with their friend’s conversation to get onto their device and check their social media profiles and check up on who has been following them, or liking their latest upload. It is so alarming that I am actually frightened the day will come when we loose all skills on how to communicate with others face-to-face. We then decided a good way to research into the topic and publish our findings like true researchers would be to create an Instagram page called tech_humans where we can post photos of people and quotes that they have said in relation to their ideas about technology.
With this in mind, Blake and myself set off to find out what people are doing on their phones around campus to add to our research. We began by conducting a brief survey where we would walk up to people and if they did not mind, gather data from them and record what they were doing on their phones. Everyone was not phased by the privacy and showed us exactly what they were doing on their device right there and then. After collating all of the results we found that 50% of people were on some social media application, 40% were texting, 5% were on Internet banking or paying bills and the other 5% were about to call someone. I came across a survey that found in 2012, 80% of users were texting on their phones, 56% were accessing the Internet, 50% were emailing someone, 44% were recording a video, 43% were downloading apps, 31% were accessing health and medical information and 29% were on-line banking (Forbes 2012). This was interesting to note, as many device uses that were found in the Forbes article did not come about in the study conducted by my colleague and myself. This could potentially be because we only interviewed 20 people, which is not an accurate estimate of the population, however we did interview students from all ages to reduce bias.
Another study found that 85% of their respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life (Exacttarget 2014). It is important to note why people are so attached to these devices, as 4/10 phone users feel lost without their device (Dailymail 2014), which really introduces some health issues, especially with all of the studies that have found these devices to cause cancer and other serious illnesses (Cancer 2014). On average there are over 221 tasks that are performed by phone users each day (Dailymail 2014), which allows us to begin to understand why people are so attached and cannot live without their phones. They rely on their device to take pictures, receive text messages, access the internet, receive emails, record videos and do their on-line banking (Forbes 2014), and the devices are considered beneficial because they can access online calendars or documents to aid with University or business meetings, you can get your grocery list updated, contact family/friends, pay bills at your own convenience, doctors are beginning to Skype their patients to save a trip to the room, check the weather to see what is happening around the world especially if you are travelling, monitor your children’s activity through apps and Google things that you do not know (Fosi 2015).
It is undeniable that these devices assist us with our everyday lives, but when people are not using them for the right purposes it becomes problematic. One of my biggest concerns and for some people we surveyed is dislike for using technology in social spaces. I find that when I am bored using public transport or waiting for a class I am glued to my phone, scrolling through my Instagram. I am also guilty of taking to my iPhone when I pass someone from high school that I do not feel like talking too, so I pretend I am messaging someone to avoid the situation. It is something that people do all the time, and we are not even aware of it. I think that it is okay for people to use their devices when they are commuting for long hours and they get into the routine of catching the train every day for work. It becomes problematic though when groups of friends are out for dinner, like we came across on our Instagram page where a respondent made all of her friends put their phones in the centre of the table and whoever goes to grab it first has to pay the bill. Of course she would never actually make them pay but it is a good way to give everyone some time away from these devices that control our lives, and allow the friends to reconnect. We have just become so glued to our devices, I mean there are trolleys that have been made which have a slot to fit your iPad in whilst your shopping, which is handy if you are using it for a shopping list but you miss friends or neighbours as they are walking down the grocery isles.
An alarming statistic that I came across was that on average people use their phone for 3hrs and 16minutes each day and uses the same device to aid them with performing 221 tasks over the day (Dailymail 2014). This just reinforces how reliant we have become on these technological devices and our social spaces are at the expense of these devices. Studies have shown that people are communicating less and are texting now more than ever. Our phones are our lives, we are so connected to them I just wish that people could see how addicted they are to these devices and stop for a second and communicate with others around them.
Overall this was an interesting topic to research into, and gather first-hand information from respondents. I found that because we started researching the project early, the whole process was smooth and there was ample time to conduct secondary research into the topic. This allowed me to find out statistics about what people are doing on their phones and even compare their research findings to what my teammate and myself discovered. To conduct our primary research we went around the University and questioned 20 people what they were doing on their phones right at that moment. We also went through the main street in Wollongong central and asked 5 people whether they liked using their phones in public areas. The results from the study were not astonishing, as we had an idea of how people were using their phones, but the secondary research had interesting uses of these devices and opened our minds to how we are using technology. It actually can be beneficial sometimes, for example, you can do online banking and for small businesses it enables them to pay workers from home or pay bills that need to be paid. However, there are several anxieties that we realized people face when it comes to technology, and two of the main stresses are the issue of phones emitting radiation, which leads to cancer, and also people inappropriately using the devices and engaging in pornography. It is not surprisingly that people reach for their phone and go through their emails before they manage to make it out of bed, as we are so reliant on these devices. The younger generation has become so engulfed in the social media world, they forget they are in social situations where you are almost expected to talk to others around you. Personally, I do not like it when people have headphones in and do not acknowledge you when they are either shopping or walking around, but they may have their own reasoning for this like relaxation or not wanting to be bothered by sales assistants. From a personal experience my father really dislikes it when my sister just sits there on the lounge going through her social media pages, rather than engaging in family time. We have recently seen advertisements to “get back to the table”, where families are encouraged connect with each other and I think this is something that not only my family, but many of my friends and their families need to encourage in their household. We are beginning to loose our communication skills because we are so attached to these devices and we won’t walk to tell someone something, rather we just message them because it is less work. I really enjoyed the whole research process and finding out how reliant people are on their devices. Now more than ever we are so connected to the virtual world doing a range of things from texting, to updating our Facebook status to googling how to cure our flu. Some common problems that researchers can encounter include deadlines, changes, failure to manage risk. Insufficient team skills, visions not being outlined clearly and ineffective communication (Aapm 2007). These along with not assigning the right people to manage the project, failing to get everyone involved, putting too many little projects into the one and not being flexible can lead to challenges in creative project management. Along with this research can be problematic when you do not have enough time, have not got enough people to base conclusions off and not getting the right answers that you need to form a conclusion. I truly believe that because both my workmate and myself were efficient in our research, we managed to avoid any major issues with research and if we wanted too, we still could have found further research into the topic had we more time on our hands. I would have preferred to make a video with the research that we found so we could interview people first hand and film exactly what they were on, but I am unfamiliar with that technology and agreed with my college that we should stick to what we know, Instagram and blogging. Overall it is a really interesting topic to learn about and I would love to continue to research it over the years to see how the technology has further developed our communication habits, and what people are using their phones for, and whether this has changed since right at this moment.
Without a doubt Bec & Bridge is up there with one of my favourite brands. I always manage to find something when they drop their new collections, and last year was no different. As I mentioned in my other post, fashion tends to go in a loop and this spring/summer is showcasing cut-outs (like last year) and has now also moved onto everything lace-up. From shoes to bodysuits to tops and dresses everything is laced up or cutout to make the clothing pieces unique.
As many of you know the Spring Racing has arrived and so I went through my wardrobe to get some inspiration for a killer outfit to wear on the field. I stumbled across this Bec & Bridge playsuit that I haven’t worn in a while (partly because it is white and I am too afraid that it will get dirty), and my love for this playsuit was reignited. It is so simple but it can be dressed up with a nice pair of heels and worn with a hat to the races, or you can really dress it down with some flats and wear it to brunch with your girlfriends.
I love it because it is so diverse and the cut-out is so unique. With social media always providing some fashion inspo (Instragram especially), I am always spoilt for choice with new looks and styles to be influenced by. I particularly always resort back to my basics like Bec & Bridge and Staple the Label where I know that I will find something for spring fashion. If worst comes to worst and I can’t find something that I am in love with, I know that the playsuit will set me apart from the rest. It can be easily paired with a nude set of heels and a black floppy hat to top off the casual, but effortless look.
It is safe to say I will be posting much more coming into Spring fashion and some of the websites that I find have hundreds of decent outfits are: The Iconic, Sass & Bide, Bec & Bridge, Nicholas the label and Lady Luxe Boutique. Bardot is a shop that I love too! It has affordable clothing and I have never found an unflattering piece. There are tonnes of other websites that I could link, or that you can find online but I would recommend heading onto Instagram and getting some inspiration so you have an idea of what you are looking for. Floral is also something that we are starting to see again, as it is quite flattering and symbolic that summer is around the corner, YAY!
The age old tale, time flies past when your having fun, has proven correct once again because I have now found myself almost at the end of semester and also at the end of my blogging streak for BCM240 (Media, Audience and Place). Blogging is not something that is new to me, but this subject has really opened my eyes to the world of blogging. I give bloggers a lot of credit because it is hard to attract followers to your work, and most importantly it is so difficult to find new things to write about that people are going to have a vested interest in. My overall blogging presence is something that I have worked extremely hard on over the past few months because I have learnt how important it is to have everything intertwined so your viewers can understand what you are writing about. I have acted like a sponge over the past few months, absorbing everything that my tutor has told me and I cannot express how grateful I am to have been taught how to navigate my way around wordpress.
Throughout this semester, my main goal was to try and attract more people to my work and also to understand the whole WordPress lingo and what all the gadgets were on the left side task bar. I really was not confident with using my WordPress and I was reluctant to tag and post my url onto my social media pages because I was scared that my work was never good enough. Something that I have realized is that my blog is MY OWN WORK, I can post whatever I want so why should I be nervous about what people think? Well that’s the thing; I no longer have a fear of writing exactly how I feel about things. This has lead me to post about one of my favorite things in the whole entire world and that is fashion! I only have a few posts but it is a start and with this newfound confidence I will someday be taking the WordPress world by storm and sending it into overdrive with the amount of posts I will be making.
One strategy that I was taught to lure people to my page was to link my WordPress to my Twitter and start tagging #BCM240 so that not only my fellow BCM240 colleges could see my work, but also people from around the world who were studying a similar subject and those who just have a passionate interest in the media and it’s changing dynamics. Right at the start of the semester I came across this website which had tips on how to get people visiting your blog. I can confidently say that the last 2 steps I am trying to nail – I am writing about things I enjoy and I am definitely posting more regularly so that people who visit my page won’t see out-dated information and hopefully they will enjoy what they have read.
I also came across a site on how to make your blog more attractive and one of the key things is to ensure that people are learning something from what you are posting. I know that when I am going through wordpress, I am not going to read something that 1) doesn’t look interesting, 2) is hard to read and 3) isn’t going to benefit myself in some way. Another way to make the post attractive is too make sure that you include images, appealing headlines and make the post interactive so the audience can engage with what you are saying. This page also provides some killer tips on how to get your blog looking good.
After trying to get as much of this into my blog I logged onto my Twitter one day and saw that Tony Bianco Shoes had retweeted me and I must say I was over the moon!
This doesn’t happen to people like me… I mean I only have a few followers I am nobody special, but this really boosted my confidence and I am going to continue tweeting about fashion. I truly believe linking my Twitter to my wordpress was the best idea I have had because people who are following my Twitter have now followed my wordpress and had I not have linked the two, I honestly don’t think they would have found my page.
Another thing I could have done, but haven’t really got the hang of is to start using Reddit as advised by Kate Bowles (our lecturer and the brains behind what it takes to get your blog looking good), and in the future I hope to get the lingo of it too because it is another outlet where people can find my blog and hopefully follow me.
I have snapped a shot of the recent views I have received on my page because ever since I started to tag words that are relevant to what I am writing people are starting to read what I am posting. I am yet to get a view from somewhere other than Australia, but hopefully if I keep posting, tagging and introducing interactive posts people will start to follow and comment on my blog.
I also found that by commenting on other people’s blogs you are getting your name out there and connecting with the users in the blogging world. It is something that I was never confident in doing but I love both positive and negative feedback because that is the only way too improve. I haven’t received many comments or likes on my posts, but I am getting views which is important to me because it means people are looking at what I have to say so now I just have to work on getting them to interact more with my posts.
Overall, getting my blog into tip-top condition was hard and it’s still very far from perfect but I have started to include polls, links and tags to get people to notice that I do exist in the wide world of blogging. It is challenging to always think of something to write, but I am one who loves a good challenge so I endeavour to post at least once each week to ensure regularity. I’ve changed my theme to something that suits what I am writing about, and expresses what I like. After searching hours on end, I finally found a theme that I liked and tailored it to my liking, with a header photo of my own wardrobe and colour scheme to match. Blogging is something that I really enjoy doing, so I hope that one day I will be reaching thousands of views and inspiring many young women with everything fashion related.