Fashion Marketing and Communication
eBook - ePub

Fashion Marketing and Communication

Theory and Practice Across the Fashion Industry

Olga Mitterfellner

  1. 196 pagine
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Fashion Marketing and Communication

Theory and Practice Across the Fashion Industry

Olga Mitterfellner

Dettagli del libro
Anteprima del libro
Indice dei contenuti

Informazioni sul libro

Some of the usual obstacles to modern teachings of marketing are ethnocentricity, the limitation of creative thought by conformity to existing theories, lack of questioning of ethics, and a disconnection from historic events or sociological discourse. This book, in contrast, draws together interdisciplinary approaches from marketing, branding, promotion and critical media studies as tools for understanding the way in which fashion works today, and re-evaluates what makes certain fashion marketing tactics fashionable.

Offering a combination of theory and practice, Fashion Marketing and Communication is full of international case studies, practice-based examples and interviews with scholars and practitioners in the fashion and communications industry. Covering subjects including the history of consumerism, fashion marketing, the creative direction of the fashion brand and the use of bloggers and celebrities as marketing tools, this book delineates the opportunities and challenges facing the future of fashion media in the twenty-first century.

Examining the last 100 years of marketing and communications, current theory and practice, as well as questions on the ethics of the fashion industry, this broad-ranging and critical text is perfect for undergraduate and postgraduate students of fashion marketing, branding and communication.

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Fashion marketing from a historical perspective

Early days of advertising and consumerism

Chapter topics

How to define fashion marketing?
The history of advertising, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
How the industrial revolution led to present marketing practices
The origin of modern-day consumerism and brands
Case example: Yiddish Radio advertising
Case example: DeBeers
Ethical considerations
Further reading

How to define fashion marketing?

Marketing, and specifically fashion marketing, is part of a large industry – the fashion system – and it has a long-standing history dating back hundreds of years as well as practices which are just a few decades old. The fashion system can be seen as a ‘Fashion Carousel’ because it is a cyclical system which is ever changing whilst it recycles ideas from the past. It consists of elements such as textiles, design, production, retail, marketing, media, culture and history, but also trends and future forecasts. (The Carousel here will be revisited in the last chapter of the book.)
Fashion marketing in particular can take many forms and many expressions, so in order to understand the place where marketing sits within the fashion system, it is necessary to look at a few definitions that try to accurately describe it.
One such definition states:
The fashion system offers a “structure, organisation and processes employed to conceive, create, produce, distribute, communicate, retail and consume fashion. [It] embodies the full supply chain of fashion and includes not only the individual components, (what the action is) but also the methods adopted to enable and realise each activity (how it is being done)”.
(Vecchi and Buckley, 2016)
This is a modern definition which describes the design and production of fashion, sourcing of materials, distribution and retailing (both offline and online) and consumption of fashion with all its methodology, such as marketing, advertising and PR. The marketing of fashion specifically takes care of taking the product and getting it to the consumers, at the right price, in the right place and by successfully promoting. These consumers – existing and potential ones – are essentially “the market”.
It ties in with the “Marketing Mix”, which is explored in Chapter 3 in more detail. Originally it was McCarthy who separated Marketing Mix activities into four broad categories or elements, which he called the 4Ps of marketing: product, price, place and promotion. Later, the four Marketing Mix elements were expanded to 7Ps, which included process, physical evidence and people (Kotler et al. 2009, p.17).
An alternative definition adds a cultural and sociological aspect to the fashion system: “The fashion industry forms part of a larger social and cultural phenomenon known as the ‘fashion system,’ a concept that embraces not only the business of fashion but also the art and craft of fashion, and not only production but also consumption” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018).
The rather complex sociological aspects of fashion theory have been written about by authors such as Roland Barthes, Bourdieu, Lipovetsy, Simmel, Veblen, Baudrillard, just to name a few. A perhaps more accessible author for fashion students is Yuniya Kawamura who wrote about the phenomenon of “Fashion-ology” in a modern context. Fashion-ology, according to Kawamura, is a study of fashion but it does not focus on the apparel or process as such. Her intent is the sociological investigation of fashion (Kawamura, 2005).
In order to understand the historical setting that brought us fashion marketing and the relevant communications practice, in this book we look at marketing as it initially emerged, moving on to modern practice. There is a focus on the way marketing is used to communicate with consumers, methods used and their implications.

The history of advertising, particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

The marketing methods in order to reach the consumers, such as the promotion of products through advertising and public relations, can arguably be traced back many centuries, if not millennia into human history.
Ever since people went to market they engaged in marketing their goods and communicating with potential and actual consumers.
About 2000–1000 BC, written advertising was recorded in places such as ancient Rome and Greece on clay boards or on artefacts. In many cultures around the world, there was a primal form of advertising (especially where literacy was absent) and this might have meant shouting loudly at the market to get shoppers’ attention for one’s produce. This would of course only reach people in the immediate vicinity of the market and was far from the global marketing we know today with large billboards, branded goods, jingles and digital channels.
Europe’s development in particular was held up by the Dark Ages, where for the duration of nearly 1000 years, all but the clergy and aristocracy had forgotten literacy once acquired from ancient Greece and Rome. Any significant development pertaining to marketing was practically frozen during this millennium.
Then came the re-birth of Europe: The Renaissance. Early modern Europe began with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the fifteenth century and gave way for mass-printed text which could be circulated to a broader audience. There is some evidence of so-called “Flyposting” in Europe in the fifteenth century which is somewhat similar to posters or billboards with text on it. However, in Europe the people who could actually read were still very scarce and so only in the nineteenth century was literacy integrated into the educational system and spread wide enough for most people to be able to read printed text and the subsequent ads (Kloss, 2012). This means that despite the mechanical invention of creating print, advertising in written form could only begin much later as the communicator of the message and recipient first had to be on a similar level of literacy. (The communications theory will be discussed further in Chapter 6.)
Table 1.1 History of advertising
Dating back to*
Still in use today?
Magazines (Print)
18th century
Newspapers (Print)
18th century
Billboards and Posters
From 1850s (Flyposting from 15th century in Europe)
From 1920
Silent Film (Cinema)
End of 19th century
Sound Film (Cinema)
From 1920s
Illuminated Advertising (later neon signs)
End of 19th century
From 1920s
From 1920s
Internet and Digital
From 1990s onwards
Up to the nineteenth century however, one might argue that advertising was not a necessity anyway as consumption of goods was restricted to the essentials which means that people only bought what they needed and in small quantities. In this respect, local and limited scope advertising sufficed because consumers were personally acquainted with the butcher, the baker or the grocer, and the hat maker chose their place of purchase based on what was available in proximity, how good the product was, and how much they liked and trusted the producer of the goods.
As for fashion, people either made garments themselves if they knew how to weave or knit, or they purchased expensive cloth from someone who did and then made a garment which would hopefully last them most of their life so that they could pass it on to the next person. The sartorial consumption was of course different for aristocracy and upper class citizens who had more choice and more garments than most of the other citizens.

How the industrial revolution led to present marketing practices

Then, at the end of the eighteenth century until the middle of the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution happened: When the UK and US started to make great inventions such as the steam engine or textile weaving machines and found the right type of fuel to power the machines (steam, coal, electricity etc.) the production of many goods became mechanized.
Replacing human labour with machines meant that the output could be increased ...

Indice dei contenuti

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Endorsements
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright Page
  6. Dedication
  7. Contents
  8. About this book
  9. Preface
  10. 1 Fashion marketing from a historical perspective: early days of advertising and consumerism
  11. 2 Fashion promotion and public relations
  12. 3 The Marketing Mix and communications tools
  13. 4 Creating the marketing message: branding and marketing communications
  14. 5 Social media, blogs and opinion-leaders: who is leading your opinion?
  15. 6 Target market and segmentation
  16. 7 Target marketing and the international consumer: coding and decoding brand messages
  17. 8 Brand communication at the point-of-sale: sensory branding
  18. 9 A critical look at advertising: brands selling hopes, dreams and objectification
  19. 10 The future of fashion marketing: trends and opportunities
  20. Bibliography and further reading
  21. Index