Black Friday: Massacre

Just a follow up on my previous black friday post.  A friend showed me this video from a live instagramer in Walmart in the United States on Friday.  Looks like the police were of great effect in this situation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/28/walmart-fight-black-friday_n_4357939.html?ir=Canada&ref=topbar

 

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Black Friday: Massacre or Mission

As I have been surfing the web this past week Black Friday posts have caught my attention everywhere. An article states that many people lately first look up products they would like to purchase online first before they hit the stores on Black Friday.  Social media has once again taken advantage of this change in trend and are targeting perspective customers through different platforms. For more insight from the article see this link: http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/mornings/Social-media-targeting-you-for-Black-Friday-deals-233438561.html

I have personally already seen many examples of this targeting:

BrandyMelville on Instagram announced their deals in a post on Monday so that shoppers could prepare themselves early enough.

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Karmaloop another online clothing retailer has been sending out emails and appearing in pushed advertisings on Facebook, in order to attract people to their website for the big day.

These are just two companies in the retail sector that will be participating in the craziness, once upon a time Black Friday was strictly only in the United States it has become so huge that Canadian retailers do not want to miss out on the business so there are now Black Friday deals in Canada too.  Not only are deals in store but they are also online.

Amazon for example is even preparing for Black Friday

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What I am wondering is have the retail markets gone too far? This event use to be exciting and full of great deals, I feel that so many companies are trying to get involved in the least possible way that deals are not even deals and people are willing to buy things that are not even on sale anymore. Has this day turned into just another day to shop but with an excuse?

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lululemon Bites a Sour One

So I am sure everyone has heard about the recent issues with lululemon, from their sheer pants, to the founder Chip Wilson, to their questionable window signs.  It seems that the once powerful brand that couldn’t do anything wrong other than have sold out of the product you wanted due to popularity has hit a road block.

The comments area on their website where you can rate their products and leave comments, so that other can learn something they may not have known about a product have blown up.  I have witnessed a few of the quality issues addressed in these comments myself.  For one there was a lime green jacket I was looking at and in the comments were warnings about getting the lime green jacket because if you sweat, areas such as the armpits turn orange…not exactly what I was looking for.  As well in the ‘we made to much’ area there was a pair of red capris I was looking at, under the comments for those was, “completely see through,” again not what I am looking for.  The company has realized some of these issues and has created a new luon material (Full on Luon) that is tighter knit to get rid of these issues around the sheerness of the fabric.  Here is an example from their website of a product description of a pant with the new material:

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 10.35.24 AM

The next main issue the company ran into was the founder of the company Chip Wilson making statements that the pants just weren’t for every women’s body.  This was his way of addressing the sheerness issue, and then stated that the rubbing of women’s thighs was the issue. A once huge fan of lululemon products blogs on her experience with Chip Wilson’s statements.

http://catesays.com/2013/11/07/an-open-letter-to-chip-wilson-of-lululemon/

Chip has since been featured making apologies for his statement through platforms such as youtube.

My question becomes; with such an importance on social media today and how quickly word spreads and people can then judge a product or service, is poor customer service or quality something a company can afford or not make of utmost importance?

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Nasty Gal Does it Right

If you haven’t already heard of Nasty Gal I suggest you check it out, this online trendy female clothing site offers a great variety of product.http://www.nastygal.com/

The Nasty Gal brand was started by one girl who would go to used clothing or thrift stores or look on the web for brand name products that people didn’t realize the value off.  Through ebay she would look up brands like Louis Vuitton, she would find real products for 75% of the price or cheaper by looking up the brand with spelling mistakes.  Most of the time people didn’t realize what they had and other people didn’t either, and this is how she started.  She then branched out to creating some of her own designs, and created the online store, which became increasingly popular.  She was able to start this traction through a vast array of social media marketing platforms, giving her the awareness she needed.

Just the other day I was looking at the Nasty Gal site, and then BAM today I have a suggested advertisement on my Facebook for the Nasty Gal site.  In my opinion this is a very smart advertising tactic, as it is reminding me of the brand again, and may even bring me back to the page and instigate a sale.  If say you were looking at a specific item or two and then saw the add you may click on it and go back to the site any buy.  This could bring the customer through to the last phase of consumer purchasing, where they actually buy the product.

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Brandy Melville

The latest teen girl clothing store fad.  The first time I ever heard of/saw a Brandy Melville store was when I was in Amsterdam this summer.  A friend and I were walking and decided to take a look.  This store has a trendy comfy vibe, where most of their products are a one size fits all.  Upon arriving back in Canada we realized that the company was opening stores all over Europe and North America.  It was as if in that month of arriving back the brand had exploded. I saw friends on instagram following the brand, so I followed it too.  The instagram account announces store opening, new products coming in, ‘brandiers’ in their outfits,  and even special sales at certain locations.

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I found this post a great use of social media for this demonstrates and displays the trendy feel of the clothing right through its advertising.  While also giving its followers a heads up and benefit of finding out about the sales before others, creating a relationship and incentive with its customers.

@brandymelvillecanada

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AMERICA”S NEXT TOP MODEL

The television show America’s Next Top Model has began changing the way voting has previously been done.  The shows producers anticipated the trend in the importance of social media and incorporated it into the show.  Each model is now judged by each of the three judges and given a score out of one to ten, they are then also awarded a social media score also out of one to ten, and sometime a challenge score out of one to ten, depending on if there was a challenge that week.  The highest scores will continue to the next week.

What I find very interesting is the introduction of the social media score.  This is where ‘Brian Boy’ the relayer of the social media score shares the models news of the week. Thus, fans are able to vote through the CW network at: http://www.cwtv.com/thecw/antmvoting here fans are able to log in and leave comments and even video comments for the models each week to let them know how they think that model is doing.

I really think this was a smart move by the producer as ANTM was becoming a little repetitive as it had come out with many seasons, this was a way to add a little excitement back to the show. Viewers would become more invested in the show and would most likely continue watching the show through to the final episode. This is because after watching a few episodes and voting for your favourite model you are more likely to feel a bond to them and want to help that model to the end. Since the models social media score accounts for 10 out of a possible 50 points it becomes very important in the show to be perceived well by the views for a high social media score.

This begs the question though:

Are views voting for the right reasons, how well their photo was that week, or what they are like as a person?

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