trade show green showroom that describes itself with the following choice of words “GREENshowroom is an un-conventional trade-fair/showroom with a new refreshing concept, conceived to enrich the fashion world. The future of the high-end lifestyle sector lies in the combination of luxury and sustainability. With our concept we redefine the meaning of luxury in an exciting and contemporary way. Luxury means experiencing and enjoying high quality in calm, knowing the products are conceived in a social responsible way with ecological materials. The showroom offers a selection of brands from fashion, accessories, beauty and gourmet, as well as a presentation of innovative ecological materials – an opportunity to present and sell their high end products.” Moreover, several criteria have to be fulfilled in order to be allowed to exhibit: “Participation in GREENshowroom requires a high level of design, quality and innovation. The brand shall clearly be positioned in one the upper segments. Besides, brands have to be able to prove at least 60% or more of their product is sustainable which will be proofed through a questionnaire. Sustainability means for example:
- Certified organic material or
- Recycled materials
Standards such as Cradle to Cradle®, bluesign or Lifecycle analysis
- According to Fairtrade or other accepted social standards produced or traded products
- Support of social projects and traditional textile skills”
This post concerns itself with the BREAD & BUTTER Berlin and sets a focus on history, the last fair and exhibitor’s point of view.
The BREAD & BUTTER is a fashion trade show, that started out in 2001 as an offshow for selected brands in Cologne. In summer 2011, its ten-year anniversary under the motto ‘THE BREAD & BUTTER SUPERSHOW’ was celebrated hugely. At the last BREAD & BUTTER around 580 exhibitors, the leading, market-relevant brands, labels and designers of the Street and Urbanwear market, attended the leading international tradeshow, where they presented their new collections for the Spring/Summer 2012 season to the professional (and semi-professional ;)) audience.
Last week in Berlin, everything was touched by fashion. From wednesday to friday, the three main fashion tradeshows were hosted in Berlin. Namely the Mercedes Benz fashion week, the BREAD & BUTTER and the PREMIUM order Berlin.
The BREAD & BUTTER (varying its slogan each time) followed the motto “HIGH FIDELITY”. View the BBB preview video to get a better idea!
Exhibitor’s aim / Targets
So why is it so important so exhibit at fairs? The prices for booth rent, staff etc. for a fair like the BBB are enormous. Is it all about showing off ? Apparently it is. The brands don’t make any profit AT the fair. Few write their orders there, but that can’t hardly cover costs. So due to the high density of press people and potential new clients (purchasing agents) no brand can afford to miss an exhibition. If one brand isn’t presents, rumors about financial worries are spoken out loud rapidly. And especially for new brands it’s important to arise attention in front of such great publicity. However their booth is designed, stays in visitors’ minds for long. Often you can find a real competition concerning the best give-away shirts or bags. The turkish brand mavi for
examples has the slogan “fashion kitchen- we cook the perfect jeans” and allows the booth’s visitors to design their own shirts and jeans in a kindergarden-like handicrafts station. Obviously, this is much for for the visitors and an excellent marketing tool.
In order to review and analyze their appearance at the fair, exhibitors are nowadays
equipped with scanners, that collect information stored on the entrance cards. The newest policies are pretty much ” everybody who wants to enter the booth, has to be scanned upfront”. At the end of the fair, exhibitors pass their scanners with 2000 to 4000 (average) datas back to the fair and receive meaningful excel spreadsheets. Information stored on entrance card include personal and professional information and can also be used to contact visitors after the fair. Also statistics are created about how many people of which profession (e.g. press, other exhibitors, purchasers, visitors….) visited the booth.
So right now, most exhibitors are on their way back home, packed with orders, and data, rushing to produce to their client’s confidents and analyzing their collected data to improve their appearance for the next fair in July. Apparently, the whole fashion industry consists of a tight vicious circle of designing, producing prototypes, exhibiting and producing orders…
I dedicate this post to my latest acknowledgement in the blogging and marketing scene. Apparently, the latest success is transferring existing (written) fashion blogs into fancy videos to gain more attention. And as you can see on the picture below, these video channels are more popular than ever (notice the red boxes!) Moreover, apart from the blogging, it has become unavoidable for all firms to connect their online
presents with videos. This post will give an overview over the general developments and advantages of video marketing of bloggers and fashion labels. The popularity of video marketing Today, the range of Internet marketing strategies that can foster product awareness among the target market is huge. And since it is additionally considered the most cost-efficient method of promotion, video marketing remains one of the favorite policy by online business owners.It has been said that this audio visual scheme of advertisement is one of the best medium of reaching the right attention of the target audience.
Naturally, the videos are hitting the market like that because most target users don’t have much time to go through reading the descriptions of the products or services. Watching a video will make things simpler as well as it poses an entertaining effect. Because of this, most users prefer websites that have video references along with the product description. It is also pointed out that Websites that don’t have videos in it will most likely turn the visitors away from it. Online (Video) Blogging Moreover, Internet Marketing such as online video blogging, has increased rapidly within the last 2 years as numerous video ads appearing all throughout the net confirm. Obviously, video blogging is a more inter-activ form of blogging, offering new advantages to all bloggers, viewers and fashion enterprises. See an example of really popular online video blogs here and here. Videos used by enterprises As I said in the beginning, videos are vital for today’s (fashion) enterprises. Nearly all of Inditex subdivisions have their own video channel on youtube. Zara, massimo dutti, pull & bear and bershka have a remarkable number of followers on their video portfolio. This post has hopefully shown, how video marketing is applied in the fashion and blogging industry. If you are seeking for advice how to optimize your personal (enterprize’s) video performance, see this interesting blog (german) oder for a english version, see here.
Since this is a rather critical than “blingbling” kind of fashion blog, I’d like to go a little bit deeper into the field of EXPLOITATION in the fashion industry. Depending on your attitude, this is probably a never ending story, but I want to point out two aspects that I find exceptionally striking.
This video shows how miserably the animals bred for fur are treaded. I believe, seeing this has a significantly bigger impact than simply reading about it. So for those of you who want to know more, especially on the processing of reptiles: see here
So Zara and its mother company Inditex has been critized by fur activist for selling real fur in their stores several times in the last years and claimed 2009 to no longer use fur, but actually they still do like many others. In response to a demonstration in Cologne against fur production verbally attacking INDITEX, the company replied: “All animal products used in those articles supplied to the Group shall come from animal reared in farms to obtain meat.” Apart from this fact being irrelevant, we can also see how the consumers were tricked on purpose and how INDITEX broke it’s word. Though I have to admit, I’ve seen A LOT of faux fur in the stores which is in my opinion a step in the right direction, but I also think that such a big and influencing company should show some more commitment and consistency. Reflecting the number of items, a company like Zara produces, it is quite obvious how even a few pieces with real fur sum up to thousands of tortured animals.
Personally, I’ve never been big of a fur fan, but those videos cleared my mind once more. It’s really depressing, how nowadays you can shop hardy anything in good conscience. I really hope, that’s going to change soon.
What else would a “Ministerium für Verbraucherschutz” be good for..?!
Most of us (students/young ppl) like cheap clothes and we all noticed the “made in vietnam/china/india/turkey…..” signs in our stuff. Obviously, the people working there to sew clothes for Europe or the US don’t get paid in our standards… But still, no one would really think that working conditions are AS bad, as they turned out to be.
August 2011. HUGE scandal. Zara is accused of alleged slave labor and child labor in Brazil. The press was full of it! Apparently, Inditex has approximately 50 suppliers in Brazil, which employ more than 7,000 workers.There are hundreds of factories in Sao Paulo state, producing garments for Brazil’s booming market. According to a BBC article, many of the workers are smuggled into Brazil from Bolivia and Peru. I found on a different blog information that, in search of a better life.
The “workers” left their countries in search of the “Brazilian dream.”
When they arrived in Brazil, they had to work long hours over a number of months just to pay off the cost of transportation to Brazil. During the operation, inspectors seized two notebooks filled with debt related to “pass” and “documents”, and “valleys” that caused employees to further increase their debt. The specific details show some of the wages received by employees: from $274 to $460, much less than the minimum wage in the country, which is $545.
15 people including a 14 year old teenager were released from slavery in two workshops – one located in the centre of Sao Paulo and another in the north. The investigation culminated in an inspection conducted at the end of June when 52 workers were found working under conditions similar to slavery in Americana, where the group sewed pants for Zara…
Turns out, Zara received accusations including illegal child labour, degrading, exhausting journeys of up to 16 hours daily and curtailment of freedom (prohibition of leaving the workplace without permission!!!).
According to Inditex, there will be an increase in the review of the production system to ensure there is not another case like this, but I highly doubt that since supervision of all the productions in Latin America would be WAY to costly. So I’ll keep my eyes open for any other cases like that because I think that if anything like this was to happen AGAIN, Zara will be in BIG trouble….
The Inditex Group is a Spanish enterprise that is one of the biggest global players of today. Just recently Inditex biggest subsidiary company Zara outstraped the swedish giant H&M in terms of sale. With eight sales concepts Zara, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Kiddy’s Class Inditex had (2006) 3,701 stores in 68 countries. The company claims that „Inditex’s philosophy -creativity and quality design together with a rapid response to market demands- has resulted in fast international expansion and excellent response to their sales concepts.”
I find that especially interesting after I realized that although addressing pretty much the same target group, both companies follow entirely different marketing strategies. Zara and H&M are both huge European clothing retailers and each others’ biggest competitors. Meanwhile it’s publish knowledge that Zara’s secret to success is it’s short response time in terms of fashion moods. It implements fashion trends the fastest in the whole industry since the factories are located relatively close by. They forbear from cheap eastern Asian salaries to produce faster in Europe. The price for that kind of customer convenience is more expensive cloths. This sometimes cuts of the rather price-conscious H&M clients from the Zara followers. Personally, I was wondering when I read some of the numbers, which IT systems a retailer like Zara, or rather its mother company Inditex would use to keep track of all the customer needs, design specification, delivery and so on. There will be more things to consider than I can think of as an outsider.
I found information that Zara for example currently uses POS systems in its retailer. POS means point-of-sale. I found the following Wikipedia definition the most helpful, so please: The retailing industry is one of the predominant users of POS terminals.
A Retail Point of Sales system typically includes a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner, and the majority of retail POS systems also include a debit/credit card reader. It can also include a weight scale, integrated credit card processing system, a signature capture device and a customer pin pad device. More and more POS monitors use touch-screen technology for ease of use and a computer is built in to the monitor chassis for what is referred to as an all-in-one unit. All-in-one POS units save valuable counter space for the retailer. The POS system software can typically handle a myriad of customer based functions such as sales, returns, exchanges, layaways, gift cards, gift registries, customer loyalty programs, BOGO (buy one get one), quantity discounts and much more. POS software can also allow for functions such as pre-planned promotional sales, manufacturer coupon validation, foreign currency handling and multiple payment types.
The POS unit handles the sales to the consumer but it is only one part of the entire POS system used in a retail business. “Back-office” computers typically handle other functions of the POS system such as inventory control, purchasing, receiving and transferring of products to and from other locations. Other typical functions of a POS system are to store sales information for reporting purposes, sales trends and cost/price/profit analysis. Customer information may be stored for receivables management, marketing purposes and specific buying analysis. Many retail POS systems include an accounting interface that “feeds” sales and cost of goods information to independent accounting applications“
In addition to the POS system, an (rumors say OUTDATED) DOS system is also used by Zara. Vital information on the DOS system are as follows: „DOS Stands for “Disk Operating System. DOS was the first operating system used by IBM-compatible computers. It was originally available in two versions that were essentially the same, but marketed under two different names. “PC-DOS” was the version developed by IBM and sold to the first IBM-compatible manufacturers. “MS-DOS” was the version that Microsoft bought the rights to, and was bundled with the first versions of Windows.
DOS uses a command line, or text-based interface, that allows the user to type commands. By typing simple instructions such as pwd (print working directory) and cd (change directory), the user can browse the files on the hard drive, open files, and run programs. While the commands are simple to type, the user must know the basic commands in order to use DOS effectively (similar to Unix). This made the operating system difficult for novices to use, which is why Microsoft later bundled the graphic-based Windows operating system with DOS“
So knowing that Zara apparently uses an outdated IT system and STILL records enormous sales, makes me either doubt the theory of new IT systems being super-important for a company’s succes, OR makes me take into consideration that even a bigger range of sales for Zara. Either way, further investigation might be interesting….
by Inga Z.
Today in class I discussed my issues of writing my first blog post with Bruce.
My main concern was that I felt like reading for hours and not really knowing how to put it into a blogpost. And more important, I felt like my outcome didn’t reflect my efforts (which is obviously depressing). Moreover, it took me forever to find a topic to right about, but that kind of solved itself while writing.
So I talked with Bruce about it and he showed me again how to use evernote properly to collect interesting homepages/blogs I want to refer to in my post. I already used evernote for my post, but somehow I didn’t use it as efficiently as I could have. So apparently (so those of you who haven’t figured out, the others can quit reading here…) you start a new notebook and save a bunch of links in there. THEN you start scanning each link and point out the most interesting aspects in the space for notes underneath the link. After you did that for a few (let’s say at least 3) links, look at your summarizing notes and pick the one that appeals to you the most. PROBABLY, you will find it relatively easy to write your post about it. Within your blogpost, compare 3 or 4 different opinions you just researched on other webpages (preferably blogs, cause they are more recent) and eventually add your own opinion.
For your second blogpost, you can either refer to your 1st post, or write a post on someone else’s post. I hope that helped. Maybe I can explain it better in person, if you have further questions…