As fashion stylist Rachel Zoe once said, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” When meeting people for the very first time, one of the first few things they learn about you is your physical features and the way you dress. Fashion allows individuals to be creative in what they choose to wear and may allow them to gain confidence. There are many different types of styles that are used for different occasions or depending on the individual’s mood. Fashion influences society and the people behind the fashion process are fashion marketers. There is valuable information to be gained about what fashion marketing is, what the responsibilities are, and the process of becoming a fashion marketer.
Many people may know what marketing is, but what exactly is fashion marketing? “At its most basic. fashion marketing is the strategic art of pushing product. Market research launches a marketing strategy, answering those must-know questions such as information to develop a marketing program with coordinated elements such as advertising, special events, public and media relations…” A fashion marketer is responsible for the entire product development process. This ranges from predicting trends, deciding what kind of product to develop, and creating a marketing plan.
The term fashion marketing is a vague term where there are many job opportunities that are offered with a fashion marketing degree. One of them would be a fashion buyer, who is responsible for deciding what products are to be purchased and sold in stores. Another job opportunity would be a visual merchandiser. It’s responsibilities include developing a three-dimensional floor plan of the retail outlet and in product placement in order to gain customers’ attention and in highlighting each product’s features. Another career would be public relations. Someone in public relations would be the middle person communicating back and forth with retailers and consumers and making a brand appeal to the consumers.
It wasn’t until the sixteenth and seventeenth century that fashion began to be interesting and where fashion communications were used. First came fashion plates which were illustrations of the product, then came the magazine articles, and then social media. Patricia Rigia, a Fashion Merchandising major at University of Bridgeport, once said, “The glitz at fashion shows and on the fashion shows and on the pages of fashion magazines is the culmination of many creative and analytical activities, market research, and hard work.” (Shaw & Jackson, 2008). With fashion world being more exposed and accessible to the public, more interest is gained, and with that, communication between consumers and marketers is created.
One of the many responsibilities of a fashion marketer would be marketing research. According to the book, Mastering Fashion Marketing “The term ‘marketing research’ refers to the process of gathering and analysing a wide range of different types of information in order to assist decision-making” (Shaw & Jackson, 2008). Marketing research gives a better understanding for fashion marketers and companies as to whether the products made will be successful in satisfying consumer needs. Examples of marketing research would be surveying consumers, and accessing primary or secondary data from National Purchase Diary (NPD). Another responsibility would be developing a market plan. In the article “MARKETING PLAN” by Stan Fridstein, it states, “The essence of most profitable direct marketing models is the relationship between the cost of acquiring a customer, the lifetime value of a buyer, and the resulting return on investment (Fridstein, 2000). In a marketing plan there are the distribution channels or the “4 Ps,” which include product, promotion, price, and placement. Each channel represents a different aspect regarding consumers’ attitudes, their needs, and costs. Narrowing down the target market is essential in a marketing plan as you will have the guide to how you should promote the product towards the specific group of people. Another duty would be managing the supply chain management. As shown in the book, Fashion Marketing Contemporary Issues, “Supply chains are dynamic, efficient, effective, response networks delivering customer requirements flexibly and on time” (Hines & Bruce, 2002). Fashion marketers are also responsible for the flow of raw materials, inventory, and the finished product up until the product reaches the point of consumption.
What is the process of becoming a fashion marketer? The prerequisites would be satisfying the education requirements. In order to be enlisted into an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program, a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) is required. There are many colleges offering associate and bachelor degrees for fashion marketing. Associate degrees in fashion marketing will allow you to pursue careers in fields such as becoming a fashion buyer, visual merchandiser, and fashion sales supervisor. Having a bachelor’s degree will allow you to pursue a career such as an advertising strategist or marketing manager. A master’s degree is also available for people pursuing a career in the fashion business world. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) can be obtained and used towards a career in becoming a fashion show manager, or retail manager.
Throughout the process of becoming a fashion marketer, education is the prerequisite, but experience is also required. Interning would be the ideal way to gain industry experience. Networking is crucial in fashion marketing. Developing contacts with fashion business insiders may land you a job offer later on in the future. Having the actual work experience would also be helpful. Applying to job offers in the marketing or public relations department will be beneficial. Every career has their own beginning and base, and working as an assistant manager or store associate is the foundation of working in the fashion industry. Landing an internship may not be easy, but it will be worth it when you may be offered a permanent position in the company. Interning for a small company would be more beneficial as a first step rather than for a bigger, and more recognized company. New companies will rely on interns much more than leading companies, and your input and voice would be heard and considered more. Social media is also an essential way to gain a job opportunity. Many fashion companies will have a “jobs” page on their websites and accessibility to send a resume and set up an interview. Finding the internship would be the first step, and making the most out of the experience would be second. Researching what the skills and experiences needed for your future job would be essential in the long run. Asking would be the easiest way to gain more knowledge and answers to questions you’ve had ever since you made the decision to pursue a career in fashion marketing. Having your own blog, or fashion platform will be a way to show employers what you’ve accomplished. It will aid in building a network, and recognition in the fashion world. Lastly, being up to date with trends in the fashion industry is important. Knowledge is key when making any marketing decisions.
Knowing what fashion marketing is, what its daily tasks are, and what is the process of being a fashion marketer is key. There are many different job opportunities under fashion marketing whether it be as a fashion buyer, visual merchandiser, or even in entrepreneurship. Some tasks would be forecasting trends, determining store inventory, pricing, and managing the supply chain. The process of becoming a fashion marketer would be gaining an education, whether it be a associates’, bachelors’, or master’s degree. Experience and putting yourself out there in the fashion world is also important in gaining a network group. Learning about fashion marketing would be beneficial to those both interested in fashion and business. There may be a lot of individuals interested, but are not informed that such a major exists.
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Fridstein, Stan. “MARKETING PLAN.” Catalog Age July 2000: 161. Academic OneFile. Web.