Last week I shared with you an event hosted by a new networking group called Open Source Fashion here in New York. Created as a way for fashion pros to connect and exchange ideas and information through open networking and relevent keynote panelists, I was excited to attend.
The event did not disappoint. The two guest speakers, Vivian Weng of FashionStake.com and Robin Kassner of Haute PR, shared their thoughts and recommendations for everything from product packaging to store and press pitching.
In this first video each speaker shares a bit about themselves and their respective companies; which is important for you as designers to know. Remember, understanding your audience whether consumers, retail buyers, or possible reps, is absolutely key.
One question asked to both Vivian and Robin, was about the importance of product packaging. Here are a few key points shared by both:
- Great packaging is integral to brand success
- Make your package feel like a treat to the person who is purchasing it
- Having a great logo and overall branding is important when deciding on how to package your product
- Excellent packaging adds to the perceived value of your product; you can step up the packaging and work that into production costs
- Your packaging can be unique and still be affordable
- Consider the environmental impact of your packaging; consumers appreciate light weight and low impact
- Think about some of the packages you have received in the mail. What about the packages have you liked and disliked
- A handwritten note speaks to wonders to your customer; there’s no better way to make them feel special
Here each speaker talks about what she looks for when deciding to take on a new designer.
Last, Vivian and Robin made a few points on how to approach a prospective buyer or PR rep:
- Know who you are emailing. This goes back to understanding your audience. Take some time and do the research. Pitching to someone who is not the right match for your work is a waste of everyone’s time not to mention it starts you off on the wrong foot with someone you may have reason to work with the future.
- Convey passion; not only for your work but for the work of the person you’re pitching too. Vivian made a point to say that it is always so flattering and exciting to hear from someone who has been following Fashion Stake for a while and is thrilled by the concept and the work they do. It shows that the designer will be just as integral in marketing Fashion Stake as Fashion Stake will be in marketing the designer
- Differentiate your work. How are you different? What is your unique story/perspective? Why should this company pay attention to you?
- Keep it short and sweet. These people are busy and are pitched to constantly. If you can express your uniqueness and capture attention quickly, you have a leg up on the competition.
The first Open Source Fashion event was a success and I look forward to attending more in the future.