September 14, 2011

Gettin' My Missoni On

Well, I don't have any of my purchases on yet, but Tuesday morning at 5:30am, I 'got my Missoni on' at Target.com. I logged on in my bathroom, hair still wet, teeth not yet brushed. I nervously and excitedly clicked away and chose a dress, swimsuit, and four scarves. The last time I felt such Internet excitement was when, again from my bathroom at 6:00am, I finally got Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way'? video premiere to load. Minutes later, after updating my Facebook status to share the news of my purchases, I was even swapping texts with a fellow fashion-obsessed friend. I was telling her what I scored online, and she was sending me pictures of the pre-opening scene outside a local Target store.

I was one of the lucky hundreds of thousands of self-proclaimed fashionistas to snag some of the Italian designer's mass-market goodies before the site crashed later that morning. 'We are suddenly extremely popular,'? was the unfortunate message shoppers were met with as they were made aware of the site's unexpectedly high traffic.

Although the collection was sold at mass retail, Missoni was able to maintain its high-class, designer status by keeping the event fairly secret, and very separate from the main designer brand. It was teased in a blog called 'All The Way Up Here'? where the author described herself as an elementary-school-aged porcelain doll. There were no actual mentions of the brands' collaboration by Target or Missoni in the blog, only a doodle in the margin reading, 'I love these guys! Target and Missoni. I can't believe I'm working for them and they're sending me to New York Fashion Week! So Cool!'? Weeks later she blogged, 'The Target and Missoni partnership wants me, yes, your doll, to take my blog to NYC and continue blogging everything Missoni, Target, and fashion from the style frontlines.'? The collaboration seemed official and on August 10th, the blog posted sneak peeks of merchandise, confirming the rumors.

I should share that I was a little skeptical of this overdone, designer-at-mass-retailer concept. Shallow as it may sound, I believe that designer fashion is a status symbol. Why would I spend even a little more on something that isn't easily recognized as 'designer'? without checking the tag? Collections from Paul & Joe, Isaac Mizrahi and others at Target have been barely recognizable as pieces by the designers. Missoni patterns, however, are recognizable and timeless. A print from 1960 is still relevant and fashionable today. This identifiable look and timeless value is what appealed to me. In an economy where labels have become less important to the once label-conscious, Target made me care again. The excitement continues as I eagerly await the arrival of my fabulous purchases!

March 30, 2011

Say What? There is a New American Idol in Town?

I was always an avid viewer of American Idol ' I watched every season from Kelly Clarkson to Lee DeWyze. But with each passing season, I felt American Idol lost some its charm; while the performance themes and contestants were always different, the show's format had become so predictable. It seemed as if the rest of America had a similar outlook, as the show experienced a steady decline in viewership starting in Season 6 through Season 9. When Season 10 debuted in January, I had no interest in tuning in and I didn't.

But recently, my interest in American Idol peaked. So, I started thinking about why.

There has been a lot of buzz on the web through social media communities about American Idol's reinvention ' starting with fresh program content to a new judging panel. In addition to all the positive commentary on blog sites, my friends and family have been preaching how the show is much better than previous seasons. Based on everything I have been reading and hearing, I decided that this week, I will be giving American Idol another chance to reel me back in.

We hear all the time how powerful social media and word of mouth marketing are. As marketers, we know this is no joke. The impact of today's empowered social media consumer is game-changing. Consumer opinion is in demand, and we listen, trust, and value other consumers' feedback more than ever. Consumer conversation has the power to influence the success of a brand, as well as the failure of one. In addition, recommendations from our most trusted sources of information, friends and family, carry incredible weight. It is important that brands are visible on social media communities and leverage word of mouth marketing, as consumers have the power to evolve brands.

While American Idol is a TV show, it is a brand. If I had not read other consumer's opinions about this season or heard such positive feedback from my friends and family, I would not be tuning in this week. But now, because of everything I did hear, I will be.

With that said, AI, let's see what you got.

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