Monday, 24 March 2014

PRIMARY RESEARCH - LUXURY BRANDING

Today I carried out primary research in Leeds City Centre to gain a sense of luxury branding which is accessible in terms of affordability for a luxury fashion line.

I visited the following stores in hope of gaining promotional materials for further analysis, such as Look Books, whilst taking the opportunity to talk to the staff about the brand, location, and target audience. I felt this was important in regards to aiming at a similar height of luxury in terms of a brand and cost.

- Mulberry
- Vivienne Westwood
- Reiss
- Harvey Nichols - Nicole Fahri
- YSL Beauty
- Beaverbrooks Jewelers

I made notes whilst out researching and was lucky enough to be able to spend a considerable amount of time discussing my project and the brand at hand in depth. In Vivienne Westwood I was liaising with the store manager and regional PR manager which led to a job interview. I feel confident talking to anyone who I come across and felt this opportunity allowed me to express my knowledge on the brand whilst learning valuable information which will help with the brief. 

I also spoke to staff in Mulberry and Reiss regarding their target audience and costings. Notes were also made throughout the primary research trip and can be seen below.




Overall Analysis:

From the primary research trip I gained valuable information and a large range of promotional material given to me from the staff members to help aid my research and the brief in general. I found overall that the direction luxury brands are now taking is in the form of digital or interactive media, bordering on augmented reality. The PR Manager in Vivienne Westwood, Morgan was most insightful regarding the topic and showed me how he films/photographs promotional material and collections for instagram which helps promote and sell the products to customers in China and America primarily. The jacket he was photographing along with trousers, shirt and shoes, was worth 2,500 pounds alone. This gave me great insight into the enormity of the brand and the power of social media in the fashion industry. Both Vivienne Westwood and Reiss said that their printed promotional material in terms of look books are being phased out due to not working as well as a portfolio and guide to a collection. Stephen the manager, stated the staff think "they are awfully designed, and wonders if you could do a better job!". This proved that sometimes additional printed collateral isn't needed and if not designed effectively to communicate a message to a chosen audience it is pointless. I also had the opportunity to discuss the cost differences between Vivienne Westwood and the likes of Chanel with Morgan and the differences between bespoke luxury and accessible luxury. He also directed me to Tom Fords work which he claimed was "snobbery in terms of the execution of a luxury brand". In response I have taken the Tom Ford manifesto book out of the library at college and plan on researching into extreme luxury for additional and contrasting contextual information. In terms of location, the shopping arcade features Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, Reiss, Harvey Nichols, Agent Provocateur, Louis Vuitton, Links of London and Flannels (in close vicinity). Each shop is a different luxury brand which are accessible in some ways to some target audiences which all differ slightly from store to store, however being surrounded by prestigious and well-established and recognisable brands, is said to ensure the customer they are shopping in a luxury area, buying luxury products, giving a sense of pride and personification with the brand. I am hoping to relay this invaluable primary research into my own womenswear line, MONO.

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