Retail and Media Research

As part of the customer profile research for Assessment 3, we are required to look into the areas of interest of our main customers. The idea behind who our main customer is and why they are targeted as our main customer has more to do with his/her beliefs, values, opinions, behaviours and lifestyle choices than merely just where they live or what they wear.

As I’m compiling my media kit for Assessment 3 of Research and Conceptualisation, I’ve been looking at competitors and nutting out my target market together with my demographics and main reader. Through this process, I have been able to really understand who my customer is and WHY, which has then helped me in writing the customer profile for this Professional Practice subject. This task asks us to really try and nail the MAIN customer for our projects based on evidenced research of the market.

I have been researching various media kits for different publications and have been going through various blogs, international and local magazines, online stores and media outlets that my customer would frequent.

In terms of Australian Stores I believe my customer would visit, I’ve chosen

  • Capital L: According to it’s website, ‘for the past 10 years Capital L has been a pioneer of boutique Australian fashion, selecting the most amazing creations from the best of our emerging designers, alongside an array of well established Australian and New Zealand labels’. I think my customer would frequent Capital L because my customer is interested in supporting new Australian talent, doesn’t care for following trends and would rather wear garments that are individual and can be styled according to their aesthetic.
  • Magnation: According to Magnation’s website, they are the ‘magazine specialists…also serv[ing] amazing coffee as part of our browse and relax philosophy.’. The store stocks over 4,000 magazines from around the world and are dedicated to showcasing niche magazines as part of their collection of mags. I know my customer would be interested in frequenting Magnation has it is a haven for the magazine addict!
  • Alice Euphemia: On Melbourne’s Swanston Street lies the one and only Alice Euphemia. Stocking only products made AND designed in Australian and New Zealand, Alice Euphema ‘prides itself on bringing you the best of  the local scene.  The jewellery is made in limited production – handmade and often a one off piece. Fashion labels are sourced from all over Oz.’ Like Capital L, I know my customer will relish the delight of home-grown Aussie talent and be inclined to support these emerging artists and designers in whatever way possible.

Regarding International/Online stores I believe my customer would visit:

  • The Strand Book Store, New York: The Strand Book store is New York City’s legendary home of 18 Miles of new, used and rare books, since 1927. I believe my customer would visit this international store because of its authenticity and unbelievable amount of resources. It is a joy to visit in the flesh, but no doubt that my customer will be perusing the online store.
  • The Museum of Modern Art in New York: I think my customer would frequent art museums any chance they had, but particularly the Museum of Modern Art. At the moment, there is a Cindy Sherman exhibition showing, and I know that my customer would be wanting to see this exhibition. According to its website, ‘The Museum of Modern Art seeks to create a dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, in an environment that is responsive to the issues of modern and contemporary art, while being accessible to a public that ranges from scholars to young children’.
  • The Tate Modern in London: As with the MoMA, I believe my customer would visit modern art galleries regularly. The Tate Modern in London is currently showing the first major Damien Hirst exhibition in the UK, (I’ve featured Hirst on my blog before) –  an incredible artist and photographer who has been an inspiration to me and my work. I think my customer would thoroughly enjoy the Tate Modern and viewing exhibitions from artists of such a caliber.

Regarding media my main customer would read, I believe they’d purchase:

  • Purple Fashion Magazine: Purple may be a competitor of mine, but I believe that my customer would read the bi-annual French magazine which was launched in 1992, because the publication targets individuals who are not interested in mainstream and commercial ventures, but rather, those who are excited by new and artistic visions of creative innovators. Since its inception, the magazine has continued to support new artists, photographers and designers and editor Olivier Zahm constantly pushes the boundaries, creates an artistic standpoint and aims to present an edgy view of contemporary fashion with a non-commercial approach. My main customer would view this magazine as a source of inspiration and as a new and innovative expression of fashion in an industry that has been taken over my many mainstream alternatives.
  • A Magazine: Whilst A MAGAZINE may be another competitor of mine, this biannual publication has become seen as more of a collector’s art book than a magazine. Each issue explores the creative mind of a designer as they are asked to ‘curate’ the publication. Each issue is in line with the chosen designer’s style and aesthetic, as personalised content celebrates the foundation of their practice. A MAGAZINE is a unique niche product where artistic content is fused with opportunities for collaborators, as their website concurs, ‘enabling the production of site-specific content that goes beyond common commercial restrictions’. Targeted towards individuals who are interested in art, culture and fashion, A MAGAZINE presents personal accounts from artistic and inspiring minds, in response to society’s rapid descent towards becoming part of ‘an increasingly homogenous industry’, and this is an area of interest that I believe my customer would be interested in.
  • The Fashion Theory Journal: I wouldn’t place The Fashion Theory Journal as one of my competitors, but I do feel as though my customer would look to this journal as an intellectual source of fashion-related information. According to its website, Fashion Theory ‘takes as its starting point a definition of ‘fashion’ as the cultural construction of the embodied identity…Fashion Theory provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena…’. I think my main customer would look to Fashion Theory as a really interesting and thought-provoking publication, and one that can be seen as a resource for many years to come.

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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