Taking a Bite Out of the Niche Pie!

So…I’m a bit of a niche magazine junkie.

 

 

 

I think there’s something quite unique about having a publication, or any sort of art form, that is so specific, that you know EXACTLY who your reader is, why they’re reading it and why they’re continuing to buy it.

I’ve been doing a lot of research into niche publications in relation to forming my customer profile and how these publications hold themselves in the marketplace compared to commercial publications. I think this research has really helped me identifying why it is that individuals buy niche publications and why it is that such publications are actually revenue raisers, more so than commercial fashion mags.

I’ve found some really great quotes from professionals, stating that niche publications are here to stay.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan from Medill Reports Chicago writes that: “Analysts say specialization may be the key to surviving in the magazine business.

 ‘In the case of trade or technical magazines, you’ll usually find ready advertisers, especially if they are directly linked to the focus of the magazine,’ said Jim Gross, an analyst for Chicago-based Barrington Research. 
’That’s what’s called an endemic advantage.’ ”

Further, Adam Gray of Fairfax Media Publication Solutions says that “niche publications serve a highly targeted and pre-qualified group of people, providing quality information that fills a need for readers. And it is this quality and well presented information that is at the core of their circulation success.”

But I think Barry Silverstein from Brand Chanel sums it up best. He says: “perhaps what’s most remarkable about niche magazine brands is their ability to serve extremely narrow audiences and still survive. Niche magazines offer intimate, focused and thoroughly vetted brands because—via specialized content, design and brand promise—they appeal to the specific values of limited segments of people. This sense of exclusivity creates a tight bond—more so than with larger, more generalized magazine brands. In fact, the Publishers Information Bureau indicated a nearly 12 percent decline in US magazine ad pages in 2008—but niche magazines such as Organic Gardening and Technology Review had ad page increases of more than 25 percent each.”

As I construct my customer profile and as I move forward with my major project work, the idea of my publication as this niche magazine, is something that is so important going forward.

There IS a market for it.

It’s just about tailoring the publication to suit that target market and ensure that it fills the void in the market that customers feel.

Until next time…

♥ Bec

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Customer Profiling

Over the past week in class, we have been given the task of Customer Profiling. The aim of this exercise is to clearly communicate who our customer is for our project, based on evidenced research of the market we are positioning our work in.

I started jotting down some characteristics of the type of customer I think would want to buy my publication. The trick to nutting out who my customer is, is to really be able to get into the mindset of this person, remembering that you need to realistic in doing so. The ideal customer is NOT the muse for my publication but rather, someone who would also be INSPIRED by my muse or aspects of her being.

Here are a few key points that I have come up with, in relation to who I believe would be the main customer for my publication:

  • My customer is intellectual
  • My customer is tertiary educated
  • My customer likes to read – primarily intellectual/theoretical works.
  • My customer interested is in being challenged
  • My customer is interested in visually captivating material
  • My customer is knowledgeable about theoretical works and conceptual understandings
  • My customer is artistic and has a love of the art world
  • My customer is willing to explore and push the boundaries
  • My customer is interested in the body and its transformative capabilities
  • Financially, my customer has a single income of more that $60,000 year

The above points are just initial ideas in relation to placing my ideal customer in a context, but there are a lot more issues surrounding WHO this person is and WHY this specific person would be inclined to buy my publication.

Whilst I collate all my research, I thought I’d post a few links to a couple of different websites/blogs that I think my customer would frequent. The following are more pictorial related than written content related. Take a look below….

I came across this blog – High Heels and Hangovers – whilst in my quest for the type of style and aesthetic I wanted to portray throughout my blog and I think it has some really great imagery, from all over the globe, and with a slight sense of grunge attitude attached to it. This sort of tumblr blog is a site I think the younger demographic of my target market would frequent regarding visual imagery.

A peer showed me this blog – Baldauf – which documents the works of German photographer Joachim Baldauf. His works are more than just fashion photography and culture. The images shown present the human being in a very subjective way and the vulnerability of the body portrayed throughout this blog is something I believe my customer would be intrigued by.

Here are a compilation of some of my favourite images from the above mentioned blogs.

 

There is a lot more research regarding my ideal customer, but I thought I’d give you all a little taste of what’s to come by showing you the above stages of my customer profiling.

INITIAL DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH:
Gender
: My publication is not gender specific. The themes relating to the relationships amongst fashion, the body, art and the construction of the Self are applicable to both genders. The theoretical basis of the publication is also widely received by both genders. In saying this, I would assume a 70% female to 30% male ratio readership, based on my research.

Age: My publication is targeted towards those aged been 22-60 with the greatest readership age lying between 22-40.

Education: As the publication is founded upon theoretical viewpoints, the reader is intellectual in their approach to fashion yet excited to explore conceptual understandings regarding the connections between fashion and art. The reader is well educated in the art world, willing to push boundaries in the fashion world and eager to uncover the intangible force inextricably linking the two. As the project is an intellectual publication, it is assumed that those who have completed a tertiary level of education undertake the majority of readership.

Generation: Generation X is commonly associated with creating a self-sufficient culture as they balance their personal wellbeing with wider social concerns of family, community and work whilst Generation Y experienced pressure from parents to succeed and overachieve, resulting in an abundance of money being spent on their education. Both Gen X and Gen Y would be the main consumers of my publication as they understand new media and are willing to branch out to uncover new meanings associated with complex ideas.

Region: Richard Floria, an American urban studies theorist, coined the term “creative class”. His theory asserts that there are creative areas around the world where creative people live. With this theory in mind, it is hoped that my publication will appeal to many creative cities worldwide. Within these cities, “pockets” of creative individuals will look to my publication as an innovative, unorthodox and provocative magazine, both exploratory in its approach to presenting theoretical fashion viewpoints in a contemporary and engaging way, and, in engaging with artistic visions and 20th century sociological ideas.

Stay tuned for more customer profiling!

♥ Bec

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Interview with Gabriel Lee for On The Streets Of Sydney

Hey Everyone,

As the semester draws to a close, we’ve been speaking a lot in class about what jobs await us after graduating university. To be able to have a portfolio, rich in content and portraying who we are in the fashion world, is just so important.

I know I want to be a part of the fashion media world so I continue to work as hard as I can and I inch towards this dream, each and every day.

For the past few months, I’ve been the Junior Features Editor for On The Streets of Sydney and here is the latest feature article by moi! I sat down one-on-one with fashion designer newcomer, Gabriel Lee.

Photography: Jessi White

Hope you enjoy!

♥ Bec

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Whitney Eve at MBFWA

Hey Guys,

Check out my latest feature article here for PAPERDOLLS STYLE INTERNATIONAL.

This is my first piece of published work on an international fashion website, so I’m pretty thrilled!

Whitney Port’s debut at MBFWA had all the media in a frenzy! Calm, cool and collected, Port showed off her two signature lines – her feminine and flirty aesthetic definitely shining through.

So please take a look – would love to hear your comments!

♥ Bec

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Model-Morphosis

Morphosis – The manner in which an organism or any of its parts changes form or undergoes development.

My research for my publication is continuing to grow and, with each burst of new creative energy, innovative ideas are brought to the fore.

Thinking about make-up as a commonplace, everyday item, I began to dig deeper into uncovering what it is that makeup seeks to achieve. I started thinking about makeup as a masquerade; how individuals adorn themselves as beauty works, to transform, remake and re-present their bodies and faces as new representations of the Self start to form.

I came across this fantastic blog for the New York times, where models were photographed before the makeup had been adored on their faces for the runway shows and then photographed again, once the look had been complete. Showing this transformation on ONE person has further inspired me to look deeper into cosmetics as a way in which to transform the body and how the surface of one’s body has now become a canvas within the realms of our varied notions of beauty.

Take a look for yourself below…masquerades on display?

♥ Bec

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Miss Unkon MBFWA Review

Hey Guys,

Check out my latest feature article here for On The Streets of Sydney.

Last week, the team and I at On The Streets Of Sydney (I’m the Junior Features Editor), covered all the glam and goss that is Fashion Week!

The Miss Unkon show was beautiful and I wrote a review of the Spring Summer 2012/13 collection.

So please take a look – would love to hear your comments!

♥ Bec

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Branding and Aesthetic

When I was researching for Assessment Task 2: Professional Practice, it became evident that every designer, brand and company has its own style and aesthetic which is then shown to the customer in various ways. When I was profiling the 6 emerging designers, it was interesting to note their differing style aesthetics which were prominent throughout each of their individual collections. Though their inspirations changed for each season, their brand aesthetic and narrative remained the same as the foundation upon which the ethos of the brand is built.

AESTHETIC: EDGY CONTEMPORARY

Christopher Esber Spring Summer 2010
Source: http://www.christopheresber.com.au/

AESTHETIC: DECONSTRUCTED WITH ELEMENTS OF EXQUISITE FEMININITY AND MINIMALISTIC BEAUTY

Lui Hon Estherian Collection
Source: http://luihon.com.au/

AESTHETIC: ENCAPSULATES THE JOY IN FASHION, CHALLENGING CONVENTIONS OF THE TRADITIONAL MASCULINE AND FEMININE FORMS

Limedrop AW12 Collection The Adventure
Source: http://www.limedrop.com.au/pages/aw12-the-adventure-collection

AESTHETIC: INFLUENCED BY THE ROCKABILITY SUBCULTURE, ‘SIMPLISTIC THROWN TOGETHER STYLE’ (Friend of Mine 2012)

Friend of Mine – The Charmers Collection
Source: http://www.madebyafriendofmine.com.au/shop/index.php

AESTHETIC: CENTERED AROUND THE BASICS WITH A TWIST


Above. Label AW 2012 – A Study in Collaging Structures
Source:  http://www.abovelabel.com/2012/03/a-study-in-collaging-structures/

AESTHETIC: ‘PARED-BACK’ INTERTWINED WITH A ‘FUNCTIONAL, CLEAN AND STRUCTURAL’ LOOK

Magdalena Velevska Spring Summer 2012/13 Collection
Source: http://www.penylane.com/archives/10863/cover-mag

In class this week, we looked at the importance of a strong CV, portfolio and overall brand aesthetic. For Assessment 3, we will be asked to present a mini-folio presenting a compilation of works which best highlight our abilities in our fields of expertise. For me, I want my portfolio to really highlight my strong point of differentiation which are my fashion journalism and writing skills intertwined with my innovative styling work, my digital capabilities in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, as well as my fashion design, illustration and drawing techniques which will showcase my skills in a variety of areas.

Here’s a little flashback of my Dress, Body Couture dress which was photographed in a shoot. I might just include some of this…

Photography: by Jennifer Chua
Model: Adele Thiel
Designer: Rebecca Glaser

Whatever I choose to include will be presented in line with my individual design and brand aesthetic so as to create cohesion and a definitive idea of what I have to offer.

♥ Bec

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Update!

The last week and a bit has been quite hectic! With MBFWA (see our wrap-ups and coverage with On The Streets of Sydney here), dissertation hand in and Assessment 2 hand in for Professional Practice, it has all been a little crazy!

But, that didn’t mean that my research and inspiration stopped – in fact, it was quite the opposite. In the 2-week break, all my ideas were culminating, progressing forwards and really starting to take shape and form. This was partly due to my focus on my theoretical ideas and research which was heavily informing my course of action for my major work, but the break also gave me time to fully actualise my ideas and work in refining them in a way that was innovative, exceptionally creative and NEW.

Right now, I am working on finalising my shoots, getting together my written components, liaising with talent and basically just working on creating the best body of work that is true to my style and aesthetic…I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say, it’s gonna be great!

As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, inspiration comes to you in a variety of ways…I was researching for a particular shoot of mine and came across the poem below, which I think is really beautiful and powerful in its language. When reading it, I was further influenced to explore this avenue of writing and how I could use different written forms to create my publication.

So, for some late-afternoon Sunday inspiration…if not for you, then definitely for me!

For My Skin, Needs Your Skin
A poem by Gratiana Lovelace

What is this power of skin that delights us so,
Long after our delights have ebbed?
We lay abed with each other for some time after
Languorously, lovingly, lustfully.
Needing still, to feel each other near.

I stroke your chest beneath your just right few hairs.
Your skin is smooth like mine, yet different.
Warm to my touch, supple and sinewy,
Your skin is mine to feel whenever I want,
Especially after my wants are fulfilled.

Lying together as we are,
With not even a whisper able to pass between us,
The lengths of our bodies not parted,
Our skin on skin contact begets
Our skin on skin feeling and feelings.

My place is cuddling in the crook of your left arm.
I minimize myself such that lying on my side,
I do not seem to lie taller than your broad chest.
It is an illusion of cushioned mattress padding,
That I sink into, which levels our bodies.

But no matter, it is our skin on skin contact that is vital.
Our heads and our shoulders, our chests and our arms,
Our hips and our thighs, my knee slightly bent over yours.
My lower leg and foot leaning on yours, seeking yours,
An unbroken pathway of touch.

Our lips kiss sweetly as we cuddle.
Our tongues seek each other a little,
But not as urgently as we kissed,
When our loving was before us.
Now spent, our kisses are slow and tender.

We must arise soon from our bed,
To tend to our daily needs of meals and such.
But let us not part ourselves and our bodies,
Oh please, not yet.  For my skin, needs your skin,
Our contact a loving connection through touch

♥ Bec

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