BEYOND THE BRAND
studio204. An informative strategy explaining the business and marketing plan behind every aspect of creating the brand, Studio 204.
alicia jones. ALICIA JONES IS A FASHION MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
GRADUATING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER IN
SHE EXCELS IN BRAND DEVELOPMENT
AND MARKETING, BY THINKING IN AN ANALYTICAL
BEYOND THE BRAND: VOLUME ONE, TWO AND
THREE ARE A TRILOGY OF VISUAL, INFORMATIVE
AND ADVERTORIAL EXHIBITION BOOKS WHICH ARE
PARTICULARLY PASSIONATE ABOUT BOTH DIGITAL
BASED ON UNRAVELLING THE NARRATIVE OF THE
MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, AND
NEW STUDIO 204 BRAND, THEIR MAGAZINE TWNTY
HER LONG TERM AMBITION IS TO PLAY A PIVOTAL
AND ALL OF THEIR ADDITIONAL MARKETING
ROLE IN THE FUTURE WITHIN THIS DISCIPLINE
MATERIAL WHICH HAS BEEN CREATED TO HELP
BROADEN THEIR BRAND AWARENESS.
THE INTENT OF ALICIAâ€™S WORK IS TO DEVELOP
THE BOOKS WILL LEAD YOU THROUGH THE ENTIRE
IMPACTFUL BRANDING WHICH GENERATES AN
PROCEDURE OF WHAT STEPS ARE TAKEN TO
INCREASE IN BRAND AWARENESS AND TARGETS
SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTE THE LAUNCH OF A NEW
THE RELEVANT AUDIENCES. THROUGH STRONG
BRAND, ITS MARKETING AND ITS MEDIA PRESENCE.
THE THREE VOLUMES FOCUS ON THE BREAK DOWN
AND THE DOCUMENTATION OF BOTH HOW AND WHY
CERTAIN DECISIONS WERE MADE, WITH TOPICS
WAY, SHE HOPES TO MAKE A WIDE NUMBER OF
ON SOCIAL MEDIA, DEMOGRAPHICS AND FUTURE
INDIVIDUALS MORE RECEPTIVE TOWARDS THE
FORECASTING STATISTICS. AS A COLLECTION,
EDUCATIONAL STUDY OF FASHION MARKETING &
BEYOND THE BRAND AIMS TO INFORM, INSPIRE AND
TWNTY : Fashion Mar-Comms, is an original publication by Studio 204 at Kingsway, which has been curated as a way to visually communicate the creative study of fashion education. For the first edition of twnty, Studio 204 are celebrating both the emerging and the established, with the magazine being fully comprised of the workings from both the past and the present students from the newly established Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, as well as offering a number of insightful conversations with professionals who are already working within in the fashion industry. Throughout the pages of twnty, Alicia Jones has depicted the narrative of not only the Studio 204 brand, but also the individual students who represent the brand. She presents the community of the course, shows the possibilities of where fashion studies could lead you to, celebrates the visionary work from talented fledgling students and tells the untold story of a rising new brand.
volume one. To accompany twnty, Alicia has also produced a three-part collection of informative exhibition books, to document the entire process of creating the magazine and the brand from start to finish. The making of Studio 204, is volume one of the collection. It is the first in the series to outline the entire basis of the concept and the visionary ideas which Alicia proposes to create for the new re-branding of the Fashion Marketing and Communication course. This volume underpins each aspect of the Studio 204 branding strategy, with a business focus on the topics of social media channels and generational demographics.
20. 32. 44. 56. 72. 118. 134. 142.
introduction. Introducing the new brand, Studio 204 with insight to its inception and what it is comprised of.
from the beginning. A discussion about the original branding, 72b Chester, and a critical thinking response to it.
creating studio 204. Coming up with an effective strategy for how the new brand will be managed and marketed throughout.
branding strategy. The process of designing the aesthetic for the new branding and what the vision is behind Studio 204.
social media. An in-depth overview of each social media platform and how they are being used as a form of communication.
the website. A digital space to promote the zine online, with the aim of creating more brand awareness for the course.
the launch night. On June 17th 2020, Studio 204 will launch its entire branding globally, by being published and promoted.
conclusion. Reflecting on the making of Studio 204, responding to the entire process and forecasting how it will move forward.
Imagery by Rebecca Mann. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
Imagery by Emma Clarke. Studio 204 Graduate; 2019.
NTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCING . INTRODUCI DIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDI
Hello, and welcome to Studio 204. Studio 204 are a thriving Fashion Marketing and Communication course based at the Kingsway Campus within The University of Chester. They have a current NSS rating of 100%, with full student satisfaction, proved from a survey which was carried out in 2019. This past year, they have had an incredibly high success rate, with getting 85% of Graduates into graduate job roles within the first twelve months of them finishing. Some of the companiesâ€™ students have entered into working for include; House of Sunny, Tally Weijl, Matty Bovan, End Clothing, and some even gaining interviews at Dior, GQ, The Future Laboratory, just to name a few. For being a brand-new course and 2019 being the first class of Graduates for them, this is really amazing results. Creativity, Communication and Collaboration and Contemporary forward-thinking are four of the fundamental elements that make up the heart of this course, and that have made Studio 204 so unique. Here at the University of Chester, the students are taught to engage with the changing demands of the global fashion market, by providing innovative, future-proof branding and communicative solutions, through the mediums of Digital Communication, Fashion Film, Photography,
Theoretical Marketing, Trend Forecasting, Styling, Branding, Journalism, Case Studies and Presentations. Learning this vast range of disciplines and skills enables the students to not only flourish in one specific area of the industry, but to also gain the transferable skills and knowledge to aid in employment within a broader scope of the industry. From the off, the students are always encouraged to think one step ahead of the curve, to make sure they have the awareness of what is happening next in the fashion industry. To ensure the future-proofing of the brand Studio 204 and its students, there has recently been a huge push towards establishing a strong digital presence, across multiple medias online. In this volume of the â€œBeyond the Brandâ€? collection books, is the journey of the Making of Studio 204 from start to finish, including how it come about, what has gone into the creation, how and why different media channels have been used and also the importance of having a digital footprint in the current climate and how we hope this new branding and new online market will carry the brand forward.
Imagery by Alicia Jones. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
The Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester was not established until 2016, meaning thus far, there has only been one set of Graduates. As a new course, it is important to show our audience that we are just as driven, hard-working and successful as the other larger and more well-known Universities. To do this, it was decided that the course needed to adopt an innovative approach to marketing and branding itself. With this realisation of knowing that the course needs to increase its brand awareness and get recognised more within the industry, it helped initiate a concept for my Final Major Project.
Throughout the last three years of being on this course, I have had the opportunity to take on a number of different projects and refine my skills in a number of different disciplines. However, for my Final Major Project, I needed to carefully consider where my strengths are most prominent in order for me to create a highly successful piece of work which fully represents myself and my career aspirations. Throughout the beginning stages of the Concept Direction and Development module, one of the most pivotal moments for me was when I started to understand that I am more of a marketer than I am a creative. This realisation really helped to guide me in the right direction, which is Marketing and Branding.
I have a business-focused way of thinking, which means I have the ability to research and understand the needs of a business, to come up with a strategic plan of how they can increase their presence within a competitive industry space. Skills of mine which I can bring forward for this include Brand Development, Project Marketing, Digital Content Creation, Copy-writing, Communication, Website Building and Social Media Content Production. In addition to this I also display organisation skilfulness, interpersonal expertise and a keenness to take lead in situations to ensure the best results; I like to take control of a brief and deliver high-quality end results.
All of these attributes put together are what have combined and fully shaped the fundamental basis of the idea of my Final Major Project. My concept is focused around Project Management, as well as incorporating Marketing and Branding, to really exhibit my extensive abilities for these more Business-like disciplines in the fashion industry. With this in mind, for my Final Major Project, I have taken on the role of assisting in the new re-branding of the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, where I will also have the opportunity to market the course and the students to our target audience.
Imagery by Alicia Jones. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
Within this re-brand, my proposal is that we put a primary focus on creating an empowering online space and successfully bring the course into a digital realm. Social media and interactive platforms are an evergrowing form of Marketing, and with a digital future in sight, it is only going to gain even more traction over the years to come. In recent reports it has shown that now, â€œ70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43% of employers use social media to check on current employeesâ€? (Driver, S. 2018). This is why it is important to us to make a strong branding and a powerful digital footprint for Studio 204 and the students on and from the course. Employers will use Social Media to not only view the work that an individual can produce, but to also gage whether or not a person is the most suitable candidate for them as a business and the available role. By ensuring our fledgling graduates have a presence online across every platform, it will put them at an advantageous position within such a saturated and competitive market to launch into.
On the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester, the students are always encouraged to not only practice their creative tactile skills through the medium of sketchbook production, but they are also encouraged to continuously expand on their digital skills too. As much as we are aware of the importance of hand-crafted tangible work, we fully understand the direction that the fashion industry is taking in the current climate, and in order to future-proof us and our brand, we need to ensure every student has skills which are adaptable. The fashion industry is known for its dynamic nature, where new ideas and innovative concepts are altering the scene every season. One of the largest dynamics which is actively shaping the future of the fashion industry right now is Digital Technology, and over the following years, we can expect to see a huge shift in brands and businesses adjusting to this way of working. It is predicted that the future of the fashion industry is going to be digital-orientated, re-imagining the entire industry as it has always been known before. It will no longer be enough for them to just be physical anymore. Within this digital transformation, we are already seeing brands and businesses take on a digital approach to production and design, and so it is essential for the fashion marketers to also ensure they are ahead of the curve and adopting the same strategy. Because, not only does digital dependency have the capability to switch up the creation of fashion, but it may completely reset how people consume it as well. Marketers need to be within this setting and they need to know how to communicate and how to sell to a virtual digitalised audience to gain a positive reception. For these reasons, it has been decided that Studio 204 are really going to prioritise their digital platforms. Being able to do this will add a unique offering to the brand for them to market themselves and gain more recognition within the fashion educational system, as well as future-proof the brand for the years to come. As a new course it is vital to implement strategies like this, as the target audience need to be able to see what makes us stand out above the rest and what makes us different. It is a guaranteed effective selling point for the course if carried out successfully.
Imagery by Ellie Preston Studio 204 Graduate; 2019.
From the beginning. As it stands currently, before this re-brand of Studio 204 has launched, The Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester has been known as 72.b Chester. This name was chosen as this used to be the old room which housed the course at Kingsway Campus. 72.b Chester have a presence online where over the last few years they have managed to build up a fair following of students, parents, industry professionals and other university fashion courses too. They are only present publicly on one platform, which is Instagram, as this is believed to be the best one to be able to show any visual communicative work, and it is also a great one for the target audience they are aiming to reach. Although this Social Media channel is really strong for the current branding and it is attracting others to follow us, we are becoming increasingly aware that as a brand, we could push this even further and reach out to a much wider audience, if we utilise more digital platforms. Seeing first-hand what the course and its students are capable of producing, I believe it is so important to ensure they are marketed right and gain the recognition they deserve.
At the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, The University of Chester held a meeting where the course representative council and the vice presidents from each department in every year group were asked to attend and discuss any issues they believed there are within their area of study which maybe need to be evaluated. The feedback given from this meeting indicated that students from Fashion Marketing and Communication thought that the course was not marketed in a way which represented it to its full potential. The general consensus received from more recently enrolled students was that upon starting the course, they have quickly come to notice that it is actually a lot better and provides a lot more that they perhaps originally expected. They believe that by outreaching and having a stronger marketing strategy in place, we could change the view of future students and encourage them to want to come and study at The University of Chester, above the other surrounding universities. This is an opportunity to show that even though we are a smaller, newer course, we are still just as good as the more well-known Universities in terms of skills we are taught and work we produce.
72B FMC CHESTER
After this feedback was given and discussions of how we can move forward with a marketing strategy took place, was when it was decided that I could take this project on board for my Final Major Project. The evidence was there that justified the need for change, and with the branding and marketing skills that I have advanced over the years, it was the perfect opportunity for not only the course to grow its digital presence, but for me to further my skills and experience ready for industry.
swot. My first stage was to look at the marketing and the digital space of the brand right now, as 72.b and analyse what changes need to be made in order to make some improvements. To do this, I started off by doing a SWOT analysis to determine how to move forward. For a project like this, identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities are threats is the best way to initiate putting a plan into action. â€œA SWOT analysis is a simple but useful tool that marketers use to better understand the business environment. Through findings made in SWOT, a business can effectively penetrate the marketplace and quickly capitalise on opportunitiesâ€? (Bryant, M. 2020). It is one of the most valuable forms of research to determine the objectives of your brand and gain an understanding of what is working well, what you need to improve, how you are going to improve and where you need to focus your marketing strategy to receive the more desired results. Reviewing this SWOT analysis, it put me in a good place to be able to put together an organised and strategic plan for how I can take the Fashion Marketing and Communication course as it is at this stage and transform its brand awareness. This was a crucial part of my research in order for me to fully reflect on how we can turn the weaknesses into strengths and the threats into opportunities to really gain some positive results moving forward.
strengths. - The work is very varied, and you get taught about all aspects of fashion marketing; including, creative communication and business communications. - Digital skills are a key feature in our learning curriculum, putting our students ahead of the curve and future-proofing their skills for the dynamic fashion industry. - We already have a good online presence, where people are taking an interest in our work and want to interact with what we are doing. - The work produced by all students is extremely strong, meaning we are confidently able to share them with the public following that we have. - The teaching team includes reputable lecturers who have extensive experience of working successfully within the fashion industry. - Chester university has a lot of facilities to offer students, meaning there is plenty of opportunity for growth and advancements. - There are regular guest lecturers who work in the fashion industry to come in to talk to us, who are able to share insight in the latest desired skills for employment.
weaknesses. - We do not have a presence on every Social Media channel or online platform. - On the one platform which we do use, Instagram, it is not used to its highest potential because not all functions are fully utilised; For example, stories and IGTV. - The Instagram page has not been continuously kept upto-date over the years. The best results come from being consistent. - The course is only very new, with currently only one group of students who have graduated, meaning our social media presence has only been growing properly over the last 1220 months, in comparison to others whoâ€™s date back many years. - The course is not marketed as strongly as it could be; student feedback tells us that the majority of people believe the course is a lot better than they originally thought it would be, because the extent of what it has to offer is not talked about enough. - Even though Chester University gets very good feedback and is ranked well against others, it is still not the most wellknown University across the country. Especially for fashion.
opportunities. - Social Media platforms are all free to sign up to and use as you wish, meaning there is no added cost to raising our online brand awareness. - The university and the course both support a diverse environment, meaning students from all walks of life are fully welcomed. - The fashion industry sees a growing trend in hiring graduates from an academic background, so it is ideal for us to really push the marketing of the course. - The university has the potential to gain a stronger reputation for fashion than local competing universities. - Employers now take to Social Media to seek information on people applying for jobs, offering them a strong presence within our branding will be highly advantageous. - Our course has an amazing lecturer who has a number of yearsâ€™ experience working in the professional industry, so she is very aware of what is expected.
threats. - For this year in particular, the recent global pandemic from Covid-2019 is a threat to all Universities as they have had to close early for the unforeseen events and many people have not been able to attend open days or interviews. - For the most part, Social Media platforms are a lot about creative communication, which means it may be difficult for our students who are more project management and business minded to market themselves fully in this online space. - Higher education is a very competitive landscape, meaning it is getting increasingly difficult to attract new students. - There are many other Universities across the UK who are more recognised for their fashion courses, so they may gain more attraction just on the basis that they are more well known.
Once I had completed the SWOT analysis, I then did some indepth research into effective branding and marketing, and what a brand needs to be successful in over-crowded markets. I wanted to gage a real understanding of not only how to market a brand and a university course in particular, but I also wanted to expand my knowledge of re-branding a business, specifically in a social media and online space.
â€œBranding is all about getting people to accept or believe that you are providing the best product or service for them, right at the moment that they come into contact with one of your products, services or marketing materialsâ€? (Hardy, T. 2020). For Fashion Marketing and Communication at Chester, which is such a new course, this is something which needed to be carefully considered. How can we prove to our audience that we offer just as good of a service as the more established Universities? We needed to ensure that we created a strong branding which fully distinguishes us and the service which we provide as well as the work which we produce. Our branding will be our original identifier which sets us apart from the competition and allows our audience to recognise and experience our brand; so, not only does it need to be memorable, but it also needs to be a true representation of who we are. It should completely reflect what our brand stands for by expressing unique qualities, strengths and personality.
With this being a re-brand for the course, it is vital that the branding is perfect. My research told me that business’s often find it difficult to re-brand because whilst you are making the changes to adjust and reach a wider demographic, it needs to be done so that you don’t lose current audience demographics in the process. Being a smaller-brand, it does make this a little easier, but it is still something which needs to be carefully considered.
Advice which I was able to take away from my research around how to create successful branding included; • • • • • • • •
Research your consumers and your target audience Define the market place you want to be present in Develop a clear, well-thought out, strategic plan Create an empowering brand story Optimize your new aesthetic for social media Show sneak previews to get an idea of the audience response prior Engage your audience at all times Test and gain feedback
Taking all of this research into consideration, I had to closely assess every key part and think about how we can successfully adopt each to ensure we are perceived in the industry exactly how we want to be. Moving forward throughout ‘The Making of Studio 204’, you will be able to read about the process and see how I have taken each of these points on board to assist in the new re-brand of Fashion Marketing and Communication at The University of Chester.
“DEFINE WHAT YOUR BRAND STANDS FOR, ITS CORE VALUES AND ITS TONE OF VOICE, AND THEN COMMUNICATE CONSISTENTLY IN THOSE TERMS”
COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLABORATION . COLLA DIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDIO 204 . STUDI
Once all of this initial research was finalised, I was able to really focus on the making of the new brand and taking it forward ready for its launch. Even though I am taking on the marketing and re-brand of the course as my final major project, I will not be doing it all alone. This is a collaborative project between myself, and 2019 Graduate Ellie Preston and course lecturer Tracey Hall. We all have different roles within the project and with the three of us having an input we knew that we would be able to create something special and memorable.
During the first stages, it was vital for us to have weekly meetings together, so we were in constant communication and we could share our thoughts and ideas with one another. It was in these meetings where we decided on everything from colours, to names, to logos, what was going to be included, who are target audience was and who was going to be in charge of what. These meetings were extremely beneficial as they gave us the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other and help us come up with a strong plan which we knew we could move forward with successfully.
Imagery by Emma Clarke. Studio 204 Graduate; 2019.
Imagery by Alicia Jones. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
We want to ensure that the new branding, Studio 204, has the potential to reach a vast audience, so with that in mind, it was obvious to us that we needed to ensure we were going to be present in many different places, and a number of different mediums. The final decision made was that Studio 204 would take place in the format of a physical zine, a digital zine, multiple social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok and also in the format of Podcasts and YouTube videos too. Each of these elements will be completely branded to cohere with the Fashion Marketing and Communication course; they will be professional, working based environments, which market the course in the right way and to its full potential. We believe that by being accessible on each of these platforms, we can make sure that Studio 204 is able to reach every individual of the intended target market. Between us, we have chosen this selection of medias for a number of different reasons. First and foremost, we wanted the branding to be heavily digital focused because we are currently living in a digital era, where this form of communication is continuing to increase at a rapid rate. We believe that this will cause online platforms and social media platforms to become key spaces in which students will research their University choices and gather any information which they require on the courses and what they have to offer. As well as students, as previously mentioned, employers are also going to be using them as a form of recruitment; before hiring people for positions, they will be searching them online to see if they can find out more about them. In this day and age, online platforms play a crucial role in the research and decision making of these two processes, for all individuals, so we thought it was of the up-most importance to ensure that Studio 204 has a very strong digital footprint.
My personal roles and responsibilities within this strategy include designing and producing the physical zine, filming and editing interview content for YouTube, IGTV and Podcasts and creating promotional content for the social media channels. Although I have built up skills over the years which are predominantly marketing and branding based, I also really enjoy pushing my boundaries and taking on creative challenges as well, and with each of these tasks, I believe that I am able to incorporate both. Whilst I am creating the physical zine, Ellie will be working on creating the digital copy of it which will be available on the Studio 204 website. Once Ellie and I have both produced the work which we are responsible for, course Lecturer Tracey Hall then gets the final edit overall before everything is published ready for the launch of, Studio 204.
The Physical Zine. Produced by Alicia Jones.
Behind the Scenes of Content Creation Interviews by Alicia Jones.
BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . BRAND NAME . B NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO . NEW LOGO .
When choosing a new name for the re-brand of the course, I knew that it had to be something short and catchy that people would find memorable. The name is the first thing that people hear when you tell them about your brand and typically it is the last thing they remember as well, so it is vital to make it something which resonates with them. For businesses, a name is how the brand is going to be recognised by its audience, how it is going to be differentiated from competitors and how people can connect with your unique identity. It is arguably, one of the most important parts of your branding. Taking the same approach as what we did with the last brand name, Studio 204 was inspired from the room which is home to the course at Kingsway campus at The University of Chester. At the start of the academic year for 2019/2020, the Fashion Marketing and Communication course was moved from room 72.b on the bottom floor of the building, to room 204 on the top floor. Our room has always been considered as our â€˜studioâ€™ because it is a creative space where we work, within an arts and media campus. Combining the two, Studio 204 was created. It is simple, it is catchy, and it has full representation of the course. Studio 204 is how the brand will be identified and remembered for the future, and we are all working hard to ensure that the brand name is strong.
Once the name was confirmed, Ellie Preston then designed a logo which we would be able to use across all platforms. To show her digital skill-set, Ellie created the logo from scratch using Adobe software. It is creative, effective and eye-catching, meaning that it will stand out and get noticed by the audience. Having a unique logo which differs in style to other brands was of high importance to us, as we want to be known for being ahead of the curve and being forward-thinking. Ellie has also created a 3D motion version of the logo as well, which will be used on Social Media and the website for the digital zine.
The name, Studio 204, was nominated by third year student, Lucy Cartwright.
BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WHITE . BLACK & WH POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COLOUR . POP OF COL
As part of our branding, we wanted to include a colour scheme which could be used across each platform to ensure that they are all consistent and visually link to one another. The colour scheme which we chose to move forward with is black and white. Although it is dark, the colour of black is a symbol of power, strength, confidence and authority, and we believed that it would be a real representation of the message behind the brand. White is known as the colour of re-birth and new beginnings, which is ideally matched to the re-brand and the launch of Studio 204, as this is considered as a new start for our branding and marketing. Paired together, the shades offer a contrast which works perfectly and that has been around for generations. Even though they are two of the most extreme ends of the colour spectrums, they complement each other so well, and there is also a lot of versatility with black and white. It is a colour scheme which can be used alone to be impactful, or it can have pops of colour added to it to draw more attention. This is really great because it means if we wanted to do any campaigns or adverts for our branding further down the line, we are able to bring in other colour elements, whilst keeping the initial concept remaining the same at all times.
brand colours. Another reason why black was chosen as one of the main brand colours is because it was the original colour of my own personal branding, and I needed to bring something forward from Brand Alicia and progress with it into my Final Major Project. When I took on this task, I was given the challenge of having to brand the course and the students within my personal branding. Because, although this project is mainly about marketing and promoting the course and the students, it is also about promoting myself and showing the type of work which I can create and what I am interested in doing as a career after graduating. The correlation of the black, is what links this project to Brand Alicia and it is used as a symbol to show the journey of how I progressed from what I learnt in the initial stages, to what I have created during the final stage. The black and white colour scheme will be apparent throughout the zine and the website as well as on the logo which will be used as the display image on each digital platform.
TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIENCE . TARGET AUDIE ENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERATIONS . GENERAT
target audience. Where most brands will typically have one specific target audience which they want to reach out to, the audience for our brand of Studio 204 is incredibly vast. Due to the nature of what is included and how the different elements are all pieced together, it has the potential to be of high interest to a wide variety of people, which really broadens the scope of the audience being reached. To fully understand the extent of the possible target audience, I undertook an abundance of market consumer research in the initial stages of this project. This research helped me to expand my knowledge on what demographics are present on each different platform, which in turn increased my understanding of the type of content which I should be putting out there to reach out to them properly and effectively. Each platform will be used in a strategically tactical manner to resonate with the audience who are predominately present on them.
Throughout the rest of this book of â€œThe Making of Studio 204â€?, I will be going into further detail on each platform and its individual demographic to build more context on how and why each one has been utilised in a specific way. An overview of the target audience which we are aiming to attract includes; Generation Z, Millennials, Studentsâ€™ Parents (Baby boomers / Gen X), Industry Professionals and to really future-proof it, Generation Alpha as well. It is a very large audience to cater for, with most generations being included, but if it is successfully achieved, then it will be highly advantageous for the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester.
When creating Studio 204 and deciding where we were going to be present and promote ourselves as a brand, one of the first things I did was research into potential competition brands. Doing this, I was able to get an understanding of where other brands within the same market are promoting themselves and their students, and how they are utilising the different platforms available. Obviously, there are a lot of Universities throughout the UK, making it a fairly competitive industry to get noticed in, so it was vital for us to come up with a strategic plan on what we can do to make ourselves stand out amongst the rest. To do this research, I went onto the UCAS website and I searched specifically for Fashion Marketing and Communication courses, or similar courses which relate; such as Fashion Business or Fashion Promotion.
I found 32 courses across different Universities over the Country which were all BA(Hons) and all corresponded with our course in one way or another. Once I had found each of these courses, I researched even further to see more about the online platforms they use (if any) to promote themselves. I was shocked to discover that roughly only half of them actually have a presence online. It seemed apparent that not all of them utilise social media as a way of promoting themselves, and the ones which do, mainly just have a course Instagram where they post students work on to. There are a couple which also use Facebook and YouTube, but they do not have much work published on them. This told me that Instagram was the main platform where it was important for us to increase our brand presence, to ensure that we are identified with the others. I believe that Instagram is the most used platform because typically fashion is known to be a visually creative course, and with Instagram being a space to share imagery, it is where you can achieve the largest visual impact. However, I want to challenge that stigma and prove that fashion can be about more than just the visual elements and show that there is a business and marketing aspect to it as well. Not everyone communicates fashion in the same way, and that is okay. I feel that it is important for us to be able to highlight the versatility that comes with our course at Studio 204, by using both visual and written forms of communication with our audience, as it shows the number of diverse routes that Fashion Marketing and Communication can take you in. Automatically, my competitors research told me that if we can successfully build a presence across all online channels and utilise all of them to the fullest, then it already puts us one step ahead of our competition and shows that we are determined to share our talents and get recognised. Some of these other Universities have had Fashion courses running for many years now, so for us as a brand-new course in comparison, we really have to push our boundaries to make sure that people understand that even though we are new, we are just as good as the competition. Promoting Studio 204 on each platform is an opportunity to get ourselves noticed, and to do that, we need to make sure we are not only in the same spaces as our competition, but also everywhere else as well.
Visuals by Natalie Osgood. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
Visuals by Lucy Cartwright. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
We are going to be including all of the mainstream and most popular online social media platforms as a way of marketing Studio 204. This will include Instagram, IGTV, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, YouTube, Podcasts and a Brand Website too. Although, we expect that some of these platforms will attract more traction than what others will, we wanted to be sure that we were utilising all of them and opening ourselves up to the opportunity of gaining brand awareness from every digital avenue. Some of these platforms will be used more for visual communication, where others will be used for more marketing material, depending on the statistics and demographics of them. To get the best result out of this social media marketing, each social media channel will have to be used in a way which speaks to the unique audience on that specific platform. For instance, Instagram will be a more creative audience, Facebook will possibly be an older age group audience in comparison to those on TikTok, and the Twitter audience will be more business-based individuals, who want to find out information and possibly curate a conversation. These audience dynamics between platforms are something that I have had to carefully consider when it has come to creating content for them.
Social Media Marketing is an essential part of any Business marketing strategy now, as we are living in a digital era where people connect with not only each other online but also with brands as well. These platforms give your brand the chance to not only be where the target audience is, but they are also the tools which drive traffic, gain brand recognition, increase brand loyalty and tell your brand story. Social media has changed the way which we as a society are now living our lives. It is such a powerful form of communication these days, and so there was absolutely no question of whether it was going to be used as part of my marketing plan for this Fashion Marketing and Communications course. Since 2004, social media has been growing exponentially and it is believed that it has not yet reached the peak of its popularity. Not only is it used as a major source of news, research and information, but the platforms are also a great way of interacting with an audience and sharing user-generated content such as photos and videos. With that in mind, I believe it to be absolutely imperative that we have a strong presence across all social media if I want to market this creative fashion course effectively. According to statistics from a recent survey taken this year, there are 3.2 billion social media users worldwide who are active daily, and on average, they are spending 2 hours and 23 minutes just on social media per day. In this same survey, 54% of consumers admitted to using social media to research products, and 73% of marketeers also stated that social media marketing has had a very positive impact on their business (EnnisOâ€™Connor, M. 2019). With statistics like these, the power of social media marketing is undeniable.
Visuals by Courtney Glover. Studio 204 Graduate; 2020.
IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGR NSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGTV . INSTAGRAM . IGT
Instagram is arguably going to be the media channel which we have decided to put the biggest focus on. The Fashion Marketing and Communication course already has an audience on there currently, and this re-brand is a way for us to expand on that by ensuring that the platform and its features are being used to their full potential to reach out to even more people.
Instagram has grown immensely over the years, and it continues to broaden its horizons more every day. Currently, it is the second most downloaded app and has 1 billion active users, 500 million of which use the platform every day (Mohsin, M. 2020). After Facebook, it is the most engaged network. Amongst all of the active users, a massive 71% of them are aged under 35, with the highest age range being between 25 and 34, followed by 18 to 24 year olds. With a demographic that matches our main target audience as perfectly as this, it is unquestionable as to why Instagram is going to be the primary focus for the new Studio 204 marketing strategy. These figures make it easier to understand why brands and business alike are utilising Instagram above any other online network; Not only is our audience on Instagram, but the majority of our competitors are as well, which means that in order for us to compete successfully and show that we deserve just as much recognition, we need be in the same online spaces as they are; For us, it is essential that we utilise Instagram to the best of our abilities and use every feature that it has to offer to increase traffic and views to our page, so people can see the amazing work that is produced from the students at Studio 204. As well as individual user demographics, 98% of fashion brands use Instagram (Ahlgren, M. 2020) as a way to engage with their audience. With the fashion industry having such a prominent present on there, it reassures me even more that creating content and increasing a brand awareness on this network in particular is the best way to market Studio 204 into such a saturated industry.
The Studio 204 Instagram is going to be a visually impactful online space for us to share everyoneâ€™s work and give an insight into what it is that they are producing during the modules they are undertaking on the course. This is a great way for us to be able to show the skills which are being taught as well as the innovative ways in which we communicate as a digital-orientated, forward-thinking community of Fashion Marketers. In addition to this, our new strategy includes the use of IGTV as a way of sharing video content and adding an immersive experience for viewers. Statistics show that video posts have the highest overall engagement rate (38% higher than images), so it seems like an opportunistic element to add into our brand presence within the channel. For the launch of IGTV, I have created and edited a number of interview videos with Level 6 students who are graduating in 2020, and Ellie Preston has also filmed and edited some behind the scenes and event videos too. From the June 17th, these videos will start to be published on our IGTV for our audience to enjoy. Another feature of Instagram which we will be using is the stories. Stories are a great way for a brand like us to be able to promote not just the work, but our feed as well. We will be using them to post sneak previews or snippets of work which then link to the real post on our feed page, where people will have to click through to in order to see the entire post; this is a way for Studio 204 to increase page views and encourage higher interactivity.
â€œAlicia Asks is an interview-docu series that I have curated as part of both twnty and Studio 204 for my Final Major Project. It is a new and exciting video series for YouTube and IGTV, where I get the opportunity to speak to the Graduating Class of 2020 from the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester. During these interviews, each of the individuals answer my questions and talk to me about their experiences throughout studying Fashion Marketing and Communication at The University of Chester and they also offer their advice for anyone who is thinking about studying Fashion in the futureâ€?. All video content has been produced, filmed and edited by myself, Alicia Jones.
EBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FA FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK . FACEBOOK
Even though many people do not realise it, Facebook is actually “the biggest social network worldwide, by a very wide margin” (Clement, J. 2020), with their demographics reaching farther and wider than any other platform. Facebook is used by people of all ages, yet it generates the largest number of users aged between 13 and 17.
For us to fully future-proof the Studio 204 branding and to ensure that we are attracting the younger generations for years to come, statistics show me that Facebook is a key place to be active. In contrast to this, seniors are the smallest but also the fastest growing Facebook demographic, with it being their preferred platform amongst all other social medias. (Sehl, K. 2020). This is also something important to note as it means Facebook can be utilised as a place to reach out to an older generation of parents and even grandparents too. If they have family members on the course, this will be their way of interacting and engaging with the work that they are creating. This scope of audience demographic on Facebook, opens up an opportunity for us to reach our entire audience in just one place. On the brand Facebook page, all students will have access to comment and share their work and their progress. This is an interactive way to engage with an audience and let them view what everyone is working on in real time. As well as sharing images and promotional write ups to promote the narrative behind the images, the Facebook will also have live links to the Studio 204 Instagram and the YouTube as well, where people can access the video content. This means that if viewers are active on any of these other media channels, then they may be encouraged to also check out our work on multiple platforms, which will in turn help increase traffic and brand awareness. Although many brands and business disregard Facebook as being an effective marketing network, there is no denying that it has the capability to reach more consumers than any other social media platform. And, with us being able to tailor our posts to a specific audience which is desired for us, it is considered as one of the fundamental online spaces for Studio 204 to makes themselves present.
“As a third year student graduating in June 2020 these are a few developments for my Final Major Project at the University of Chester. Being a part of the Fashion Marketing and communication course over the last 3 years has been life changing. During my time at university I have attended Masterclasses in London with Charles Jeffrey and secured a collaboration with London based Production company ‘Hue Media’. A forward thinking and innovative course that has given be the tools to confidently enter the industry with skills in Content Creation, Visual Communication, Creative Direction and so much more. Coming in to university with a background in Art and Business, I have been able to grow my skills massively. Learning softwares such as Photoshop, Premier Pro and Indesign as well as being supported during my first industry internship. For my final year I was able to combine all the skills I have learnt during my first and second year to create a brand campaign”.
- Post by Rebecca Mann on the Studio 204 Facebook page
TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER TER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TWITTER . TW
Out of all of the Social Media channels being utilised as part of this marketing strategy, I believe that Twitter will take more of a ‘background’ presence. However, I still wanted to include it as I am aware that is a platform which does have a large number of users who interact daily and who do use Twitter as their main source of Media engagement. Even though we are marketing Studio 204 in a more visual communicative way, some consumers are more inclined to interact through verbal communications than they are the visual, and for that audience, I believe Twitter needs to be utilised as a way of reaching out to them and showing that we are catering for everybody and their needs.
“According to recent social media industry figures, Twitter currently ranks as one of the leading social networks in the world based on active users. As of the end of 2019, Twitter had 152 million daily active users worldwide” (Clement, J. 2020). Finding out these statistics in my initial research made me realise that there is definitely a need for Studio 204 to utilise this platform in one way or another, to help grow the brand following. As well as this, research also shows that “63% of Twitters users are aged between 35 and 65” (Lin, Y. 2020), meaning that this is the ideal platform to reach parents, business and professionals and in general, the older generations that we are aiming to target. The way in which I am adapting Twitter for Studio 204, is that it is going to be a place to share our posts from Instagram, Facebook and YouTube which will link across to each of these channels. This way, we are utilising Twitter to reach a certain audience and show our work, but we are also promoting and sharing our key media platforms, in the hopes to encourage the audience to interact with us over on them as well. In addition to this, I will also use Twitter as a way of interacting with people who engage with the posts via the App specifically. Twitter is an undeniably powerful platform to increase a brand’s online reach. Linking back to my previous research about Studio 204’s competition, it was obvious that Twitter is a platform in which none of them utilise; so, this will give us a huge advantage on standing out and getting recognised. As long as we communicate effectively, actively take part in engaging with others and stay consistent with posting, Twitter will be a really beneficial pert of our new marketing strategy.
TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK OK. TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK TOK . TIK
Tik Tok is a short-form, video-sharing platform that allows users to share videos on any topic, and it is “one of the world’s fastest growing social media platforms to date” (Mohsin, M. 2020). Tik Tok offers a brand the chance to interact with their audience in a unique way that you do not necessarily do to connect with them on any other platform.
Yes, we will be using other platforms such as IGTV and YouTube to share video content, however, Tik Tok is going to be less formal and is a space to have fun and not take yourself overly seriously. I think that it is really important to show that side of a brand; particularly one which is primarily focused on targeting a younger audience. As much as it is vital to show the hard-work, dedication and motivation that is needed to succeed on this course, it is also good to show people that we do have fun and keep spirits high amongst the craziness of it all. I have incorporated Tik Tok into our marketing strategy as I think it is the ideal way to increase momentum around Studio 204 from a younger audience. â€œOver 800 million people have active accounts on Tik Tok worldwide, with 41% of them being aged between 16 and 24â€? (Mohsin, M. 2020). Meaning that for Generation Z who are getting ready to go to make choices on their future careers and education or even Millennials who have taken time out to decide on what they want to study at University, this is the perfect place to promote ourselves. In order to market the brand and what we do, Studio 204â€™s Tik Tok is a place to share fashion related content by following the latest Tik Tok trends, a space to release any 3D design teasers which have been made by the students to promote their work and also somewhere to share behind the scenes footage of work that has been produced. Although I have seen many fashion brands incorporating Tik Tok into their Social Media Marketing, such as GymShark, ASOS and River Island, I have not yet seen any Fashion University courses on there, so once again, this is a way of showing that we are ahead of the curve and always ensuring we are a step ahead to getting noticed and future-proofing the Studio 204 brand.
YOTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YO BE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTUBE . YOUTU
“With over a billion hours of videos watched every day, YouTube is an ideal place to build your presence” (Daneghyan, R. 2020). It is one of the most interacted with channels every day, and is now the World’s second most trafficked website, behind Google. For any business creating a marketing strategy and wanting to raise their brand awareness, having a YouTube platform is unquestionable; the growth that YouTube has to offer is one which cannot be ignored. Although, to make it work successfully, it is of course crucial to create content which is tailored towards the needs of the desired viewers, and to optimize each video to reach them.
There is a general mis-conception where people believe that YouTube watchers are mainly of the younger generation, when in fact “YouTube is used by 96% of the users in the 18-24 age group” and “Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers are the fastest-growing user segment on YouTube” (99 Firms, 2020). This research tells me that whilst I can utilise IGTV to show video content to Generation Z, YouTube is the best place to share it for the attention on Millennials and older generations. Of course, Generation Z are active on YouTube as well, with “71% of them watching more than 3 hours of video content every day” (99 Firms, 2020). This is what makes YouTube the perfect online space to promote Studio 204; Because it is somewhere which houses each of our target audience classifications, in one place. For the Studio 204 YouTube, the video content that I have created mainly consists of interviews with our class of 2020 graduates, where they answer my questions and offer their thoughts, experience and advice on what they have encountered over their last three years of University education. The interviews are enthusiastic and really showcase what it means to be a part of the Fashion Marketing and Communication community at The University of Chester. They offer insight into the course as well as acting as a marketing tool for each individual and the work they create; this combination is what will make them appealing to a wide spread audience. I envisage the YouTube channel moving forward as a really creative space for the brand, where they will be able to increase their audience by sharing a variety of video content, including behind the scenes footage from educational trips and days out and also online virtual lectures for people to learn from too.
As well as being present on IGTV, my interview docuseries for Studio 204, Alicia Asks, will also be available to watch on the brand YouTube channel as well. The content will be consistent across each platform, to ensure that every viewer is seeing the same interviews, however, they have been edited slightly different and filmed on different angles as a way of differentiating and adapting to each consumer platform. Doing this and ensuring a presence on both platforms was an opportunity for me to reach out to an audience who maybe do not use Instagram, but do engage on YouTube. All video content has been Produced, filmed and edited by myself, Alicia Jones.
_Studio.204 playlist on youtube. Alicia Asks : Studio 204
With two billion active users, I truly believe that creating a YouTube space for Studio 204 will be hugely advantageous for the brand and their growth. It is opportunity for them to reach out to a vast number of people and really shine a light on who we are and what we do.
ST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST DCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODCAST . PODC
In a similar way to how I have used YouTube as being and interactive space for the audience to experience, I also decided to offer a brand Podcast which will do the same but in a slightly different way, and for possibly a differing audience. The reason behind doing this was to broaden our reach even further by offering something new and exciting which not many other University Fashion Brands are currently doing. I believe that by incorporating a Podcast, it gives Studio 204 the chance to be set apart from other surrounding Universities and show a different element that they are utilising.
Pod-casting has been around now for over a decade, but in more recent years they have increased hugely in popularity; not just with people consuming but them, but also with businessâ€™ and people creating them too. â€œ2019 was the fastest growing year for Podcasts, with listeners going up by around 30% in just one year, just in the United States aloneâ€? (Bartlett, S. 2020). In 2018, there were 48 million weekly podcast listeners, and it is predicted that by 2021, this is going to increase up to 115 million. These statistics really show the growth that has already happened, and the possibility of its growth moving forward too. There is such a huge opportunity on this platform for brands to gain more awareness. One of the biggest opportunities that comes with Pod-casting, is that it is open to such a large demographic. With the abundance of different topics on there, there is something suitable for all ages, all interests, all cultures, and this is something which really is an advantage of podcasts; it is not just tailored to one specific audience type.
For the Studio 204 Podcast channel, I have created content in the form of compelling interviews with students, graduates and industry workers where we talk about University experiences, progression in the industry, different opportunities and any advice they might have to offer. Although the podcast will be accessible for everyone to listen to, I believe that it will mostly beneficial to those who are interested in studying fashion, working in the industry or people just wanting to know what University life is like in general. All of the podcast talks have been done in a formal, interview manner as I wanted to ensure it was a space which was professional and reflected our brand successfully. Living in a digital era, where are lives are changing and we are becoming more accustomed to voice activation, I believe taking the step into podcasting is perfect for Studio 204. It is a space where we are able to tell our brand narrative and offer something unique that people want to listen to and engage with.
Podcast host : Alicia Jones
To listen to the podcast episodes, you can find them on spotify by searching for Alicia Asks or Studio 204.
WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBSITES . WEBS IGITAL SPACE . STUDIO 204 . DIGITAL SPACE . STUDIO 204 . DIGITAL SPACE . STUDIO 204 . DIGITAL SPACE . STUDIO 204 . DIGITAL SPACE . S
my website. As part of the marketing for this re-brand, I have produced a physical zine, which will be printed and used as a marketing tool to send out to press and industry. Even though the zine has been created to be physical, I have also chosen to create a website to go alongside of it, as this will give me the opportunity to make it accessible to more people around the country. The website will be personal for myself and twnty rather than being for Studio 204, as it will be for a way for me to share the work that I have done, all in one place, on a digital platform. As nice as it is to have a tangible zine to look through, I think it is important to ensure that it can be seen digitally too, as this is a space which will have more reach. This will also go on to be a link which I can send to people in the industry who would like to see examples of my work for future job prospects; because of this, the website will be attached to my personal portfolio website. Studio 204 will have its own separate website to market the Final Major Projects of each 2020 graduate.
For me, the website for twnty is going to be a place that is targeted to the entire audience group, as it is going to include the work from every platform; meaning, there is something for everyone to see and take interest in. The way I envisage the website is that there is going to be a main home page which has a picture for each person involved within the zine and Studio 204. Each picture will be a clickable link which will take the viewer onto a new page with just that individuals work on. On these individual pages, people will be able to view the zine pages, that particular personâ€™s IGTV (or YouTube) interview video or Podcast audio and any other examples of their work which are necessary to share. I believe that having a digital website like this will be beneficial to me because it is a place where I can store everything together and showcase all of the work that I have done for my Final Major Project. It will almost be an extension of my personal portfolio, purposefully for this project. The aim for the website is that it will generate more views to my zine, engage more of an audience with people who like to interact digitally, and it will promote my work to its fullest potential.
To find out more about the physical zine, twnty, you can read about my process of creating it from start to finish in volume two of this book collection, â€œbeyond the brandâ€?.
The Website s available to view at : TWNTY.CO
The Website s available to view at : TWNTY.CO
Although I am creating a website for my zine, Studio 204 will also have its own website, where the official digital zine of the brand will be shared; the two are going to be kept completely separate. The purpose of my personal website is for me to show to future employers, but the brands website is the one which will be shared nationally for the entire audience to see. This is the website which will be talked about on our social media channels and will have a shared link to in the bio for people to click on to and view. Reflecting on the initial research that I did on branding and marketing, it was clear to me that we needed a niche; something to really be the “selling point” of our brand. This was when the digital aspect come in. In addition to just being accessible on digital platforms, we also wanted to show that we are a course who specialise in integrating digital learning into our curriculum. This is when the concept of a digital zine was presented.
Over the last few months, it has been noticeable that many magazine companies have started introducing their magazines in digital forms as well as physical. To show that we are a forwardthinking course, we thought that this would be a great opportunity to show that we are aware with what is happening within the area of print media and how it is adapting and changing in the current times of being in a digital era. My creative collaborator, Ellie Preston, is a digital content creator and is incredibly talented when it comes to producing digital design work. Ellie will be taking on the role within this project of creating the digital zine for Studio 204 and also producing the website which it is to be housed on. Where the physical zine is a place to show the development and the journey that each of the class of 2020 graduates have been on and the skills which they have learnt throughout all of the different modules over the last three years, Ellie’s digital zine and website will be a place to share only the workings from each person’s Final Major Project. It will be a place to publish the best work and celebrate the end results of three years of hard-work. Everyone’s Final Major Project has been created from the skills which they have gained and the direction of career which they want to go in after graduating, so having a website to display this is going to be really beneficial for them as fledgling graduates, to share with industry employers.
Visuals by Ellie Preston. Studio 204 Graduate; 2019.
It is noticeable from the statistics that I have gathered from my research that each of these separate platforms have their own individual advantages; with them all having differing demographics being the most important factor. As we wanted to increase brand awareness and make ourselves and our brand engage with such a large target audience, it was of most importance for me to ensure that we are positioned in the exact places in the market that the audience is. The research I did aided in confirming to me where we needed to make sure we have a presence in order to reach out to certain demographics and generation classifications. By incorporating each platform, there is no denying that we are catering for everyone and ensuring that we are staying ahead of the curve by going above and beyond for everyone to be able to find us on every platform. I want to know that if someone is invested in the work we are sharing and they want to see more, that they are able to search for us on every digital platform and find us there. Doing this is the best way to raise brand following and is also something which will add value to our brand.
Unlike the printed 2D zine which will be reading material mainly and heavily marketing focused, I want the majority of the social media channels to be highly interactive spaces which really engage an audience through its creativeness and visuals. I want these to be spaces where we can communicate what our course is about, what we are currently working on and what guest speakers we have got coming in. As well as this, I want them to also be a fun environment, which really sends a message of how enjoyable this course is. I want to show that balance that you are expected to work hard, but it all exciting work. By marketing via social media and reaching all age groups, I am hoping to be able to radiate an influential stance, and really future proof this course by proving to future students in younger generations that this is the course and the university for them. I do not only want to think for a short-term marketing fix now, I want to think for 5-10 years down the line.
Visuals by Ellie Preston and Courtney Glover
Once the content has all been created for each of the platforms, we will then take the next step of gathering it all together in the specific places and getting it ready to publish on Launch Night. Each year, the graduating class from the course have the opportunity to host their own launch night for press, peers and industry. This is a celebratory event where each individual is able to showcase their Final Major Project work for others to enjoy. For the class of 2020, the launch night is scheduled to be held on Wednesday 17th June. It has been decided by everyone that this would be the day that we would set everything live and we would launch the new physical zine, the digital zine and each of the new Social Media channels. On the lead up to the launch, we want to ensure that we are not only continuing to post work on the current pages, but also, we want to share previews and sneak peaks of what the audience can expect to see in the coming months. This will be like little teasers which we can use to build up some momentum around the launch and get our audience excited about something new coming up for them. Hopefully, this will be captivating for everyone and will encourage new audiences, as people will be intrigued to see what it is that we are launching, making them want to interact and engage with us and our media channels.
One of the things that I learnt about launching a product or a service into the industry throughout my initial research was that effective timing is so important. You need to ensure that you are launching â€œduring a window of time with the most opportunity, meaning it should launch when there is the most need for its featuresâ€? (The Mezzanine Group, 2020). With us launching the new branding and marketing for the course in June, it means that students starting in September 2020 are able to see ahead of time the different workings that both graduates and current students have been and are producing, so they can get an early insight of what they will be learning when they start. Hopefully this will really captivate them and leave them feeling eager to get started, which will in turn motivate them and give them determination to succeed. Launching at this time of year also means that for students who will be starting to complete their UCAS forms at the end of the year and make their University choices for enrolment in 2021, they can see the brand and what we produce. With a strong brand image across all of our digital platforms, this may encourage more people to consider choosing Fashion Marketing and Communication at The University of Chester as one of their options. As well as these reasons, June is also the time of year when the Class of 2020 will be finishing University and starting up in the industry, so it seemed like ideal time to introduce the re-launch on their celebratory launch night and be able to send the fledgling graduates into the professional working industry with a strong branding that they have worked hard to be a part of. To us, June felt like the perfect time to be announcing Studio 204.
Throughout the planning and creating of the new re-brand, Studio 204, we have constantly had to consider everything carefully to ensure that it is fully future-proofed for years to come. This is a brand which we want to continue to grow and develop as the course and its students do, so it has been crucial for us to execute a marketing strategy which embeds different elements that will still be utilised in many years to come. The fundamental aim for the future of the brand is that with the right branding and marketing, we are able to raise brand awareness and allow the Fashion Marketing and Communication course at The University of Chester to get the recognition that it deserves. Experiencing first-hand what the course can offer and what skills the students are able to learn, I truly understand that even though it is a newer course and a smaller University, that the things you are capable of achieving from it are amazing, and everyone else who is considering studying Fashion Marketing at University should have the opportunity to see that.
We believe that this re-brand is a powerful way of us putting our name out there and showing our audience that we are a brand worth acknowledging. It is particularly important for our graduates and our students alike that the brand image is strong, because The University of Chester and this course are places which will always be associated with each of us personally, and we need to showcase how much of an impressive brand it really is. The new branding is the set-up for not only the future of the course, but also the future of the students too, and we need to know that it is reaching its full potential.
Visuals by Ellie Preston and Courtney Glover
We have now got to the stage where Studio 204 has been finalised, the content has been created ready to share with the audience and the brand is ready to be launched publicly, with all of the marketing material needed to be able to start promoting it on a wider scale. Reflecting back on the process of taking Studio 204 from a concept and making it into a recognisable brand has been a really good way for me to analyse my development. I am able to reflect on what went well, what could have gone better, what problem solving I have had to do and also what skills and strengths I have advanced on throughout which are going to help aid me in taking my next steps into the industry.
Analysing the process from start to finish, I believe that it has actually gone incredibly well for me and nothing major has come in between Ellie and I working together to successfully produce the final product of the Studio 204 brand ready to launch. By working together well as a team and staying in constant communication with not only each other but with each person involved in contributing towards the brand, we have been able to design, create and prepare to execute a full re-brand and multi-media channel re-launch for Studio 204 on the original arranged date of the 17th of June 2020. For the success of this process, organisation and communication were two of the fundamental skills which I had to personally utilise in order to ensure that I was keeping up to date with completing my role and responsibilities as and when they were required to be finished by. To do this, I set myself up a timeline on Monday.com, which is a custom workflow operating system used to manage projects. On this timeline, I outlined every task that needed to be completed for this process, no matter how big or small, and I also noted who was needed in order for each task to be completed; If it was a collaborative task. I then kept track and updated my timeline every week, by giving my-self a precise but realistic time frame of when I needed to have each section of this process completed by.
I perceived Monday.com as being like a virtual to-do list for me, where I could tick off each item as and when I had finalised it. Not only did this make it easier for me to track my progress, but it was also a way for me to see what I needed from other people and who I needed to communicate with in order to finalise multiple elements.
Reflecting back, I believe that I have been fortunate to have such a successful process through-out this project, and that for any issues which I have faced along the way, I have had the ability to utilise my problem solving skills to continue progressing and ensuring the successful launch of Studio 204.
Although the process of making Studio 204 has been one with minimal obstacles, it is always expected that with any project like this, you will have some aspect of problem solving to do at different stages throughout. I would say that the first obstacle for me during the making of Studio 204 was to do with over-coming my doubts and building on my self-confidence. During my time at University I have always put a lot of pressure on myself and I have always second questioned the work that I am producing and whether it is good enoughâ€ŚMy confidence within myself and my own work has never been as high as maybe it should be, and when I was first offered to take on the role of Assistant Creator for the rebrand of the course, I really questioned whether or not I could do it to the standard which it deserves to be. However, throughout my tutorials with Tracey, my meetings with Ellie and my discussions with the rest of the Class of 2020 Fashion Marketing and Communications group, I was fully encouraged to take on this opportunity, all of which gave me the courage to make me realise that I was capable and that I needed to stop doubting myself. Even though this was a difficult stage for me, looking back to the beginning of this process now, I can see just how much my confidence has grown; Not only in my ability to create the work that I now see I am capable of, but also in my own person self-confidence with communicating with others too.
Another challenging element for me has been the need of relying on other people for me to be able to complete my work in the time frame that I had given myself. To make the re-brand come together successfully, it has relied on the involvement of a number of different people being generous enough to offer their time to help create the content. In order for me to produce the docuseries for Alicia Asks to be shared on the Studio 204 IGTV, YouTube and other Social Media channels, I had to arrange days and times with everyone to come in for an interview with me. As well as this, I needed everyone to keep up to date with sending me examples of their work which I was able to include into the video edits that I was creating for each individual person. For the most part, everyone was extremely accommodating throughout and got their work to me within the deadlines which I set, however, I have had to follow up on a few people to remind them to send me different pieces over. I understand that everyone has their own workload, so if people have not been responding or sending in their work, I have tried where I can to take captures off of their websites and personal social media pages that I can include in the promotional work I am producing.
Lastly, a problem which I have had to work around with the entire Fashion Marketing and Communication group has been based around the unprecedented times which we have faced during these tough months at the beginning of 2020. We are currently working within circumstances which no one could have predicted, and because of this fact, the Studio 204 launch night has unfortunately been affected; It can no longer go ahead in June as planned, and is going to be postponed until either October 2020 or early in 2021. After some deliberation, it has been agreed that although the launch night cannot go ahead physically, Studio 204 is still going to launch digitally, with an online presence, until further notice. As we had already put out a number of promotional materials stating that the brand would be launching on June 17th 2020, we did not want to cause any disruption to this or add confusion to our audience. It was a unanimous decision to keep this as the date for the re-brand the multi-media channel launch. In order to reach this conclusion, Tracey, Ellie and Myself have been in constant communication and have held regular video meetings where we could continue to discuss how the launch of the media channels and the zines would go ahead within these times. We adapted to the times with a positive approach and communicated digitally to maintain continuity and continue to plan. Upon reflection, I can confidently say that I believe I have approached each problem I have faced with a positive attitude, knowing that I had the ability and the skills to be able to resolve any issues head on, and offer an alternative way of getting the same positive results, maybe just in a different way or different format that originally anticipated.
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Throughout the process of assisting on the branding and marketing of Studio 204, I have had the opportunity to develop a vast number of skills which will all be extremely beneficial for me to be able to transfer to industry work; whether that be broadcast journalism, digital marketing, project management or brand development. The making of Studio 204 has been a project where I have been able to not only utilise my skills in each of these areas, but I have also been able to push my creativity and build on my more creative communicative skills, which was something that was highly important to me as I want to be going into industry with as much of a vast skillset as I possibly can. As someone who has an inquisitive nature and is always willing to take on new challenges in order to progress, I am not wanting to limit myself to just one avenue that I would want to work within. Because of this, it is good for me to have a selection of different skills which cover all elements and can be transferable to multiple different disciplines. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to take on this role with the creation and the launch of the new re-brand for Studio 204, and I truly believe that it has set me up with the skills and the determination which I need to move forward into working within the industry which I am wanting to succeed in.
BEYOND THE BRAND
An informative strategy explaining the business and marketing plan behind every aspect of creating the brand, Studio 204.
Published on May 24, 2020
An informative strategy explaining the business and marketing plan behind every aspect of creating the brand, Studio 204.