Moving on from user-generated content, what is the next step for brands using digital content to better engage with consumers, which are currently not connecting online?
Moving on from user-generated content, what is the next step for brands using digital content to better engage with consumers, which are currently not connecting online?
Anna Heaton N0299726 Fash30001
Word count: 7,677 (+ 982 quotes)
I confirm that this work has gained ethical approval and that I have faithfully observed the terms of the approval in the conduct of this project. This submission is the result of my own work. All help and advice other than that received from tutors has been acknowledged and primary and secondary sources of information have been properly attributed. Should this statement prove to be untrue I recognise the right and duty of the board of examiners to recommend what action should be taken in line with the Universityâ€™s regulations on assessment contained in its handbook.
List of Illustrations
List of References
INTRODUCTION ‘Like’ is the buzzword of the last two years. If you’re still under the false impression that ‘like’ is a written and verbal acknowledgement of something we approve of, one might ask, “Where have you been?” 2013 finds us in the midst of an ongoing global revolution: the Digital Age. People have flocked to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest alike in search of connections; sparking the race for the ultimate consumer engagement experience. Encouraging users to be their friend, be their fan and engage in their conversation. So, if the word of the last two years has been, ‘Like’, then the question is, ‘Do you really like that brand? Or do you really just ‘like’ it?’
Whilst it has become clear that these social networks generate significant traffic to e-commerce sites, the question as to whether it directly translates to return on investment is still on everyoneâ€™s lips. Godin believes that, â€˜Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow themâ€™ (Godin, 2008: page 20). One agrees that online communities are becoming an increasingly important part of the consumer purchasing decision. Devising your own portal for this to occur may be a more effective way of targeting consumers than attempting to gain more likes, fans and followers on social media. The rise of F-commerce has been tried and failed and so I challenge marketers to answer this: why bring commerce to social, when you can bring social to commerce? Instead of trying to launch a store on a platform where consumers are in a leisurely mind-set, why not launch a platform that allows users to make connections, and interact with your brand in the place of purchase? This question has driven the research behind this report. I aim to identify a relevant opportunity for a brand to market itself using a digital content platform, targeting consumers currently not engaging with digital. I will identify the barriers consumers who are not engaged are facing, and will establish how brands should be using the next phase of digital to target them. Ultimately, I will recommend a viable way for a brand to apply my findings and implement a strategy that will meet my aims and objectives.
69 people from the age of 16 and above.
1a & 1b
5 people between the ages of 35 and 55.
Online email conversation and interview with industry professional Sedge Beswick
3a & 3b
Interview with industry professional James Hart
PURPOSE & EVALUATION To gain an initial insight into peopleâ€™s views on digital and their online habits. This enabled me to establish where the gaps in the market were, and to focus on these within the project. 18.8% of the respondents were male and 81.2% female. Whilst it would have been more beneficial to have a more even number for each gender, I believe this does say something about the difference between male and female intentions in the online environment. Additionally this has largely informed my research as it allowed me to acquire such a wide range of opinions. The purpose of the focus group was to look at a more specific age range, and to hear what they thought about different ways in which brands engage with their consumers online. Because they were in a group it meant that they bounced off each other, and the nature of the discussion meant that it revealed a lot of different opinions. This allowed me to understand some of the barriers that particular individuals face with online, for a particular group of consumers. Both conversations helped me to build my Asos case study, but also gave me some industry perspective on the trends and consumers that I was researching into.
Again, meeting James allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the way industry tackle difficulties in engaging with their consumer. The insight gained varied from launching digital platforms, to how he feels the consumer wishes to be approached. Again this informed my research as it was another opinion from someone in the professional world dealing with digital. 9
Email conversations with shift workers
5 people of varying ages working in different fields that require shift work.
Time Budget Diaries
10 people of varying ages.
2 male, 1 female of different ages.
19a, 19c & 19e
Post-Silverback interviews. Inc. ethnographic research
5 people of varying ages.
19b, 19d, 19f, 19g & 19h
Fashion Finder users interviews
10 members of the Fashion Finder community, all in their twenties.
PURPOSE & EVALUATION The individual conversations with each of the individuals allowed me to gauge their usage of the internet and to see where more of the barriers were to yet another consumer group. The lateral commonalities between these people meant that a number of different barriers came up related to lifestyle. This was successful in helping me build my consumer profile. The insights gained through the time budget diaries was invaluable, as it allowed me to see how a range of people with different habits and lifestyles interacted online on a daily basis. It allowed me to determine what sites different consumers were using and their reasons for using them. Understandably there is a risk of inaccuracy when people are filling these out, as there is room for human error e.g. forgetting. However, there was still a range of information for me to analyse. Silverback tracks and records peopleâ€™s facial expressions, clicks and sounds whilst they are interacting with different sites. The reason for this study was to see how people interacted with certain sites that incorporated elements of different digital trends I had been researching. However, I did not find this study all that helpful, as there was very limited information to be gained from each of the recordings. Therefore I discontinued the study after three people to use my time more effectively. The interviews after the individuals had used the three different sites were much more informative as it allowed me to hear their opinions on reflection of using the sites. I also tested the sites which allowed me to understand how they worked. The responses from users on Fashion Finder were very helpful in assessing what users want from online communities, and how they engage with brands. They also helped to build my case study for Asos. The secondary research consisted of a range of sources including books, journals, online articles and websites such as TechCrunch, Mashable and Business of Fashion. The variety of sources used enabled this report to give an educated voice and allows me to form opinions on what route brands need to take to move forward. Infographics have also largely informed certain aspects of this report. 11
SO, WHAT’S THE HYPE? In 1999, when the Internet was the most ground breaking technology we had seen since the mobile phone, customer engagement meant capturing the consumer’s attention whilst they were watching the television, and delivering superb in-store service. As the Internet has grown and developed, potential has been unlocked in unimaginable ways, that has allowed brands to interact with their consumer throughout the purchasing journey. Social media has driven brands to offer an exclusive, personal experience and has enabled them to do it for free. Once consumers began to demand more from brands, they supplied it, and the more they supplied the greater our expectations became. Expectations of brands are so high in fact, that campaigns that would have driven consumers wild two years ago would not withstand the current market.
Engagement has become the most important aspect of a brands aims and objectives. In 2006 Peterson defined customer engagement; ‘Engagement is an estimate of the degree of visitor interaction against a clearly defined set of goals’ (2006). This is not untrue, in basic terms Peterson was spot on with his definition. However, the level to which consumer interaction has grown, and the number of consumer touch points available to us now, only six years later, means that this covers only a very minute percentage of what consumer engagement had the potential to be. In an interview just one year later, Sedley adapted Shevlin’s definition, ‘Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand.’ (Chaffey, 2007) The growth represented by these two definitions shows how quickly the consumer is developing and in turn how the relationship between the brand and consumer must consequently grow. 12
‘Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological or physical investment a customer has in a brand.’ (Chaffey, 2007)
Now I know you’re bored of hearing it, but the recession has played a large part in where we are now. When hard times strike, people shed their brand loyalty in favour of cheaper, more-for-your-money items. So the only way to avoid the former is to increase your brand offering, and give people more for their money by adding experiential elements. An experience is memorable; it persuades your customers that you are their go-to for whatever service you provide. They don’t want invasive experiences, just something that shows you’re going the extra mile to offer them exclusivity. Digital is a very obvious and easy way to do this and maximize your outreach at the same time. ‘In 2010 75% of households in the UK possessed an internet-enabled computer and the number of Internet subscribers stood at 20.7 million’ (GMID, 2012). This is an incredible number of people and yet there are still plenty that avoid engaging online. This number is proof that location and access are no longer to blame for lack of engagement. 13
‘There is so much overwhelming information…We no longer get that choice and so social channels are becoming cluttered. Lots of sites have too much information to make them useful.’ (Gordhamer, 2011) Gordhamer iterates the point that ‘Information Overload’ is upon us, and brands are not doing enough to cut through it all and stand out from the crowd. Further to this ‘4 billion things are shared globally everyday on Facebook.’ (Jacobsen, 2011) This amount of information sharing is now a common factor in why many choose to stay offline. Brands have fed this social phenomenon and now its time for them to really exploit it, to add convenience to the user experience and focus on strengthening the bond with them, rather than return on investment.
‘THERE IS SO MUCH
INFORMATION...WE NO LONGER GET THAT CHOICE AND SOCIAL CHANNELS ARE BECOMING CLUTTERED’ (Gordhamer, 2011)
WHAT’S GOING ON NOW? The market.
The biggest trend erupting out of 2012 is Newism (Trendwatching, 2012). Newism is all about creating new products, services and experiences on a daily basis, to feed the hunger in the market for new commodities. Consumers today are fleeting, the rate at which new technologies are developed and reach market is astounding, but they are abandoned just as quickly. Whilst it is positive that consumers’ needs and wants are evolving, there are also negatives that goincide with it. It is a worry for many companies developing within digital that whilst a lot of money is invested, their platforms do not have longevity in this disposable market. One predicts that not too far in the future, we will see a demand for digital content with real meaning that consumers will rely on, and stay loyal to after Newism depletes. Products will need to be adaptable to change as users’ wants do. It could be argued that the rise of the ‘disconnect’ trend will be the key to generating engagement, although offline, in the next phase of marketing. However, I think that there is enough evidence to support that the direction technology is moving in, means that consumers will not go backwards to a world without digital. Whilst it may be prevalent currently, the two should exist together, brands must use both to create a 360° experience.
‘Consumerating’ is what I am calling a combination of new trends surrounding the theme of customers’ partnerships with brands. Increasingly, corporations are creating services and experiences in close cooperation with creative consumers. This is a key trend that is driving online communities, where thWWe consumer feels that they contribute to what the brand produces and what it is about. Because co-creation facilitates an ongoing exchange between the brand and consumer, it is a good way to overcome barriers and encourage online engagement. Brands want consumers’ input, as ultimately that is who will buy the product, but in order to win consumers over, they need to show that they are implementing some of the feedback. Generation Content, categorised by the younger end of the Millennials, (Trendwatching, 2004) contribute content and want something in return for it. Whilst this is currently a big part of buying behaviour, coupons and vouchers are not the only way to show gratitude and reward the customer. Offering exclusivity in return for contribution is one way to advance this, be it in early access to new releases or invites to product launches. Vouchers and codes might save the consumer money, but the exclusive experience would prove much more memorable.
More and more brands are proving their ability to create as well as engage; online is the catalyst for this and so they need to exploit it to its full advantages. According to a study carried out by MPG, ‘retailers should concentrate on building social features into their own websites rather than trying to encourage consumers to make transactions on Facebook.’ (O’Reilly, 2012) One strongly agrees that this is the case. Although F-commerce is supposedly taking off in 2013, it has been tried and failed with brands such as Asos, Gap and Nordstrom, all of whom removed their Facebook store fronts within weeks of opening. A platform of your own is going to draw a stronger association with your brand, as well as placing customers in the place of purchase when interacting, instead of trying to encourage purchases in a social environment. Expense is one reason brands avoid moving forward with their own platform. However as Director of e-commerce and digital at Asos said during our interview (Appendix 4a), ‘it always comes back to the experience, at the end of the day enjoyment drives sales.’ (Hart, 2012) If you focus on meeting the consumer’s needs, then they will want to engage with your brand, connection leads to brand loyalty and consequently purchase.
USER-GENERATED CONTENT It’s nothing new, but where is it going?
WOM Fig 4.
‘Up to 90% of spend goes to advertising and retail promotions. Yet the single most powerful impetus to buy is often someone else’s advocacy.’ (Edelman, 2010: page 68)
User-generated content is defined by content that is contributed to the web by users, not by brands or site developers, for example: comments or posts on a blog; photos uploaded to Instagram or Facebook and reviews. There has always been an element of stigma surrounding user-generated content, because it forces your brand to relinquish control. People can say good things about you, or they can say bad things about you, and this can really impact on your business. Negative feedback on user-generated content can provide considerable barriers for other users. If review sites are not carefully monitored, it is easy to let one bad review slip through and remain in the public domain, all the while deterring customers who would be none-the-wiser without it. However, the transparency that brands have to portray now means that ‘badvocacy’ is not always a bad thing. As long as it is dealt with in the right way, negative comments about your brand provide spokespersons with a chance to make it right, in a way that is not always achievable offline. Whilst there is plenty that indicates users see user-generated content positively, there are a lot of consumers that avoid looking online altogether because of it. Cognitive overload theory suggests that ‘consumers can absorb so much information that they’re then incapable of mentally sorting it all and making an optimal decision’ (Mull, 2012). This prevents many consumers from making purchases online and participating in communities, as the overload prohibits their ability to filter information. This leaves them feeling indecisive and confused, which is the opposite of what user-generated content aims to achieve.
‘51% of Millenials say consumer opinions found on a company’s website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from family or friends’ (Bazaarvoice A, 2012) This shows that the demand for user-generated content does still exist, but for many consumers facing cognitive overload it must be in a way that is easy to navigate, and suggested by a group they trust. Users need a trusted source where they can access all the information they need in clear format to enable them to make clear decisions. At this stage of the Digital Age, the majority of brands are now moving onto user-curated content. Most will have a Pinterest, or a Polyvore and some will have had success encouraging users to contribute to their ‘worlds’. WGSN agrees,
‘image-based sites have provided the most exciting areas for brands to engage and research how they are being received.’ (WGSN A: 2012) However, the nature of sites like Pinterest and The Fancy mean that it can be difficult for brands to gauge the success of their engagement. One could comment that although these sites are successful in building brand image, they do not encourage two-way engagement, which is what leads to emotional connection to the brand. Although a strategy should not focus all aspects around driving sales, it should be part of the overall aims. The limited amount of data gauged from a repin does not allow for measurement of these goals, and does not combat barriers as it is again targeting users already engaged in the social space.
PERSONALISATION Now a key value, not just a feature.
‘Companies that win are the ones making personalisation a key company value – not just a feature’ (Brave, 2012). Whilst personalisation is not a new feature online, it is becoming a necessity that it is a core value. It will play a large part in winning over some of those anti-online consumers who miss the interaction gained through online experiences. Whereas personalisation before now has been about the types of products and services provided, it is being used in new ways to help bring convenience to the consumer, along with an individual experience. The same source continues, ‘Personalisation is the practice of tailoring information to people based on what they’re looking for, what they have found interesting in the past, what their friends have engaged with.’ As one example, this describes product recommendations on ecommerce sites. Although respondents in the focus group (Appendix 2a) commented that they found these annoying, one could argue that they are an effective way to combat information overload. These recommendations are also an effective way to bring a familiar aspect of the offline purchasing decision online. Privacy is considered to be one of the largest barriers in online engagement, and one study done by Accenture stated that, 61% of those surveyed (2000 UK and US adults) said that they are comfortable with their favourite retailers using some of their personal data, in order to personalise their future purchases and better their individual experience (Fiegerman, 2012) (see figure 4 for reference).
These participants do not mind giving up information for greater personalisation, but they want it to be their choice. If consumers do not want personalised recommendations, then they should not have to have it. Whilst I recognise that these 2000 individuals across two national markets cannot account for a broader demographic, this does show how big the want for personalisation is becoming. The competitive digital market strives to repeatedly engage on deeper levels than before. Personalisation is an effective way to achieve this, meaning consumers will remember the exclusive service they received.
COMMUNITIES Let’s get together.
‘Promoting peer networks is an excellent way to jumpstart engagement and help people feel supported by and invested in your mission.’ (Evans in Drell 2012). Etsy’s mission is to ‘build relationships in a marketplace that reconnects producers and consumers.’ (Etsy, 2012). It brings users together through a shared love of products and ‘makes commerce meaningful’ (Etsy, 2012) by caring about the people behind it all. Communities like this create a high level of engagement, because the relationship formed between peers evokes emotional attachment. This ‘often provides the best opportunity for differentiation and loyalty.’ (Hudson, Roth, Madden, 2012: page 18) which are both attributes that brands strive towards for customer retention. Instagram’s community manager advises; ‘Give the community a voice’ (Riedel in Drell, 2012). Without the means for online communities the conversation continues to exist in an offline environment, where brands cannot measure the feedback. Further, although social networks act as catalysts for these conversations, brands can face certain limitations due to the nature of these sites. Under the Consumerating trend, one feels that brands need to move on to develop their own platforms for customers to talk about them, a collaborative project mutually beneficial to both them and the consumer. Generation Y are about being connected (King, 2012), and they care about what their peers are saying, so it is important for them to be given the platforms to fulfil these needs.
The online versus offline debate is still underway and communities exist prevalently in both entities. The Marketing Distillery (Appendix 22) found that ‘70% strongly agree that conversations with small groups are richer when they occur in person’, (Berkman, 2012) which shows that offline is still a strong means of communication for consumers. While this is the case, only 10% of respondents in the conducted questionnaire said that they were not a member of a social network, proving that these conversations can be equally as strong online. The communication may be richer offline, but it is not always more convenient, and does not always allow the consumer to view a broad range of opinions from those they don’t know. Esceptics (referred to in the ‘Consumer’ chapter), who struggle with believing brand content, may be attracted by these elements that the online community can offer. Fig 6.
WHOâ€™S DOING IT WELL? Asos.com
UK Conversion (based on UK site visits)
In the March 2012 annual report Asos revealed that they had invested over ÂŁ35 million to ensure that their technology is of the highest standard, and that they know the value in breadth of choice that online operations can offer (Asos, 2012). This has secured Asos a spot at the top of the digital game and consequently they have evolved into an ecommerce powerhouse. The debate as to whether digital directly converts into return on investment is ongoing, but it is unlikely that a brand so prevalent in the retail market would not invest if they did not believe it would prove successful. 2011/12 has seen the highest conversions based on UK site visits in three years and with 5 million active customers (Asos, 2012) Asosâ€™ innovative online strategy is obviously proving successful. Asos incorporate three key areas to motivate users to engage with their brand: gamification, sharing incentives and cross-pollination across social platforms.
One campaign used all three to create a memorable online experience during their summer sale in 2011. The same campaign built anticipation over a two-week period using gamification. Participating fans gained points that allowed early access to the sale. The more consumers played, and for every new user that they involved, the more points they acquired. This encouraged repeat engagement and incorporated sharing incentives. Another feature called ‘confessions of an Asos queue jumper’ saw users share what they would do to get to the front of the ‘queue’, adding a comedic value. This ‘organic activity’ (WGSN B, 2012) was what led to the success of the campaign: more than 174,000 joined the queue, and the company’s online fan base grew by 32% with 211,000 new likes. Alongside this, ComScore’s measurements found that there was a 67% increase in consumers’ intent to purchase, and that Asos.com had its biggest day of trading since they launched in 2001 (WGSN B, 2012).
This is proof of the power that digital can have, especially because it facilitates immediate word of mouth. This campaign was very effective for obvious reasons: it gave Asos’ customers a reason to join the queue, and a reason to participate. It offered exclusivity and provided consumers with something memorable whilst encouraging new customers. However, one thing that they could have considered is the post-purchase effect of the campaign. It is important to continue the conversation with the consumer, as this generates an even stronger sense of brand loyalty. That stage of the conversation should therefore be considered equally as important as the pre-purchase in order to ensure customer retention. Asos Marketplace and Fashion Finder are the online communities that Asos have developed to connect consumers, through a medium that they enjoy using in association with the brand. ‘Think about offline’ Hart says, which appears to be inked into the Asos philosophy; the idea of finding ways to replicate and improve upon offline experiences. He expands, ‘Customers don’t know what they want’ (Hart 2012) from this, one could interpret that the best way to provide something attractive to the consumer, is to improve on what they already know. Customers have been talking to friends about brands and recommending their favourite products for decades. This is exactly what an online community enables, only in a public forum where anyone can join and be a part of it. In support of this point, Sedge Beswick said, ‘Shopping has always been social – that’s why it goes hand in hand with the development of these new sites‘ (Beswick, 2012). E-commerce is no longer purely about retail; it is about building social elements into the experience to increase engagement.
Fashion Finder uses visual components to facilitate conversations, and with 170,000 products listed and 260,000 items of user-generated content (Asos 2012: online), the platform is still growing. Two over-arching reasons that members of Fashion Finder chose to engage were: ‘It’s become a hobby, I like how you can interact with other people and get inspiration’ (Brown, 2012) and ‘I can enter amazing competitions’ (Anonb, 2012). These reiterate the point made about Generation C and their motivations for using online. They create content in a space Asos have formulated and in return can win merchandise and form relationships. The most frequent interview response however, was, ‘I grew fond of the community here, the users are wonderful, supporting and very talented’ (All appendix 20b). This demonstrates that the main motivation for using the site is to be a part of a community, and the respondent uses words such as ‘fond’ and ‘supporting’ showing their emotional response to the community. When undertaking the Silverback experiment, users that experimented with the Fashion Finder tool only tested it for 8 minutes and found that it was easy to navigate and use but, “I didn’t really know what to do after I’d done the board” (Appendix 19d). This shows that there needs to be more to encourage repeat engagement, as they did in their aforementioned campaign. This being said, the experiment was carried out on a variety of age ranges, and therefore the negative opinions of those out of Asos’ target spectrum would not be valid to their brand. Although this is all doing an effective job one might suggest that Asos need to be doing more to enhance Fashion Finder’s longevity. What other brands can build upon from this example are the methods that Asos use to increase engagement and specifically their focus on growing a community around their brand that supports it and vice versa.
items of UGC Fashion Finder
HOW ARE THEY BEHAVING? These days, consumers get around. They look for deals, talk to friends and trust multiple sources with providing them information before they even think about parting with their hard-earned cash. A recent survey by Edelman found that ‘87% of people born between 1980 and 1995 go to multiple sources before buying a new product. They’re not afraid to shop around and actively contemplate purchases.’ (Parish, 2010) The consumer of 2013 is empowered, they aren’t afraid to break brand loyalty in search of a better deal, and that is why it is so important that brands go the extra mile in order to secure loyalty. The customer engagement journey is key in contemporary consumer culture. The Internet connects us regardless of our location, meaning that retail faces competition beyond the imaginable. According to Jonny Ross, Social and Digital Marketing Specialist, ‘the customer engagement journey can refer to these stages: awareness, consideration, inquiry, purchase and retention’ (Ross, 2012). In terms of e-commerce, these can be related to the awareness of products from different brands, consideration of the different products available to them, inquiries for further information, purchase and customer retention, and ensuring that they were happy with their purchase. Engagement must be present in every step of this process and whilst one observes it happening during the pre-purchase stage, it is during postpurchase that brands are lacking.
Take for example the Skittles website. Now of course most people are not going to write a review on a packet of skittles, but what Skittles engineered to encourage interaction postpurchase, is an interactive blog. The blog is successful in terms of engagement via social media channels, but one can indentify missed opportunities for people to publicly share their feelings. The blog aesthetic reflects their brand personality impeccably and initiates an interactive journey, but how successful can it be if there is no room for a response? â€˜After purchase, consumers may remain aggressively engaged, actively promoting or assailing the products they have bought, and collaborating in the brandâ€™s development. The touch points when consumers are most open to influence have changed.â€™ (Edelman, 2010). This highlights what brands need to capitalise on. Pre-purchase might be the step that consumers are most heavily immersed in now, but this is arguably because they have been provided with the platforms to do so.
SO, WHO ARE THE DIGITALLY CHALLENGED?
When initially researching into this subject one set quite a large task in attempting to uncover one consumer group in particular that were lacking engagement. I began by looking at a broad range of consumers in an attempt to discover the grey areas. What I found was that the reasons for engagement and lack of engagement are mostly lateral, they are down to lifestyle or personal choices. Because of this, it has been a challenge to establish the most obtrusive barriers. However, primary research, in particular the sample of time budget diaries, have furthered my knowledge of how these consumers do spend their time online, if at all. Additional secondary research has been conducted to underpin the following inferences. From this research, one has identified six different profiles that describe the largest barriers for consumer engagement. These profiles do not apply to every consumer and should not be taken as the only existing barriers, and some do share commonalities.
‘Brands may not see seniors as their most profitable group, but products and messages tailored towards this sector could be highly rewarding, especially in product categories that are still evolving’ (Mintel, 2013). Although the Technophobes in previous years have largely accounted for the older generation, this is no longer an assumption that one can make. You may have had someone tell you before, “You’ll get square eyes if you look at all those screens for too long!” If so, then this person may well be a Technophobe, and if you’ve ever said this yourself, then so could you. Beswick describes these people as the Laggards: “Those who are still understanding and getting comfortable with the handles.” (Beswick, 2012) They are the users who choose not to engage with online, because they don’t like the idea of having to get to grips with using technology, or believe that they won’t be able to. This could be down to age, simply being slower to adopt new technologies that they believe have now grown to heights beyond their capabilities. But it could also be down to other lifestyle traits, some have not had the means to technology and so grow accustomed to life without, and some experience the cognitive overload mentioned previously.
The Vintage Users share some commonalities with The Technophobes, in that again a large portion are represented by the older generation, but they mostly avoid online by choice. They are the consumers that prefer to use ‘traditional’ methods rather than online ones to communicate, shop, and generally interact. ‘The proportion of people connected on the Internet drops suddenly above the age of 65, an effect sometimes known as ‘the communications cliff’ (Trott, 2012). In addition, an overwhelming 56% of those over the communications cliff voluntarily exclude themselves from using the Internet, in comparison to the national average, which is 22%. A lot of this generation have lived their whole lives without the help of the Internet, and so they don’t see how it will improve their lifestyle. Although users in this demographic connected with online open up to the benefits, the Vintage Users feel that it is ‘not genuine’ (Bowlby, 2009) and prefer offline as a more personal approach. Aside from age, there are a number of factors that mean the Vintage Users stick to offline methods. ‘51% [of surveyed consumers] need to see or touch the product’ (Amy, 2009), this comment refers to online retail. Many customers feel that the inability to fully experience the products online, means it is less convenient than one might make out. This was echoed in the focus group, with one participant commenting that she preferred to just go shopping because she could better judge the quality of the clothes, and didn’t like the hassle of having to wait and then send it back if it wasn’t appropriate (Thomas, 2012). The preference of using offline for shopping, and as a means of communication, over online is the main factor for the Vintage Users. However, perseverance of simplifying tools and bringing offline habits to online can overcome these difficulties and offer them something new. If brands use both in harmony, then the user is more likely to try a mixture of both. Online shopping isn’t for everyone; again this is where the post-purchase stage can come in to take the user on a journey from store to online.
THE VINTAGE USERS
‘Today’s Millennials are not just good for figuring out what’s authentic, they can also spot what is inauthentic from a mile away.’ (Buckingham, 2012). The eSceptics are particularly good at spotting what is inauthentic, and this leads them to question the intentions of all other brand content. One questionnaire respondent (Appendix 1) said that she found highlighted products ‘annoying’ and that she is ‘sceptical, as they [the brand] may have paid a lot of money to promote this product’ (Anona, 2012). The 21st Century consumer is very sceptical. Due to the approach of ‘pushing products’ in marketing in the past, many consumers have wisened up to this way of brands selling to them. As Buckingham says, brands can no longer get away with being inauthentic, they have to be transparent and they have to be human.
In one survey conducted, ‘36% of consumers said that hidden charges deterred them from shopping online’ (Anon, 2008: page 6). This is the sort of activity that fuels the cynicism in the eSceptics minds. Brands need to undertake a more transparent attitude in order to convert the eSceptics into their consumers. The first step has already happened for this group, they are already online. The barrier comes in when faced with connecting with brands and making purchases. Akin to the respondent previously quoted, a further 23.1% that completed the questionnaire said that they were sceptical about product recommendations for several different reasons. Although it does have certain pitfalls, a way to overcome this is the implementation of user-generated content. One report states that ‘over half of Millennials trust the opinions of strangers online over those of friends and family.’ (Bazaarvoice B, 2012: page 10). This suggests that user-generated content is a good way to help banish scepticism, as it presents information from ‘real’ sources. This was again reflected in the questionnaire responses, with a massive 79.7% preferring to read users reviews and comments to brand copy. The negatives associated with user-generated content, mentioned in the market section of this report, mean that brands should think about using it not just in the form of reviews. Incorporating personalised features with recommendations specifically from other users would overcome the issues, and abolish the eSceptics criticisms of brand content.
Millenimales refers predominately to males in their twenties or thirties. Similarly to the eSceptics, this category describes a barrier to online engagement, as opposed to using online altogether. Of the Millenimales that completed time budget diaries, the most common Internet usage seen was on Internet banking, news and sports sites, and social media. One male shift worker, aged 21, stated, “I use Facebook but that’s just to keep up with friends or family.” (Britton, 2012) Millenimales use the Internet for social purposes, and for convenience. They shop online because it’s a no-fuss way for them to get what they need without the hassle of a shopping trip. ‘Data suggests that men only take the lead in online purchasing when play and gadgetry are part of the mix.’ (Mintel, 2011). Although referring to men of all ages, the Millenimales are included. This combined with the overtones of scepticism from males witnessed in the primary research, suggests that the Millenimales are not committing to buying online. The limited amount of male responses from the online questionnaire itself conveys some information on men’s online habits. Although a portion of the male respondents did claim to contribute to user-generated content. ‘[of] 43% of consumers who use price comparison websites, 46% [are] men’ (Mintel, 2011). This does not just refer to reading reviews, but contributing to them as well. Millenimales have potential to be good brand advocates, but as many also fit into the eSceptics category, brands should be savvy in their attempt to use user-generated content to engage them. They are important to have as your consumer as ‘by 2017 Milliennials will have more spending power than any generation’ (Bazaarvoice C, 2012).
The biggest barrier for The Anti-Sharers is privacy. One of the largest barriers to online usage, nervousness about privacy can stem from a number of areas. One being the amount of details that consumers have to trade in to become a member of a site. Consumers worry about where their information is going, and the e-mail spamming that will undoubtedly follow. 59% of respondents in a CyberSource study were uncomfortable with the idea of retailers storing their details (GMID, 2012). Not only do they not want to be bothered by streams of product pushing and advertising once brands have got their details, but a fear of identity fraud is also massive. Privacy is still a noteworthy deterrent to potential online shoppers. In the same CyberSource study, 71% of respondents claimed they were concerned about their security online, up from 66% in 2008. 41% of respondents cited concerns specifically about fraud and theft (GMID, 2012). These fears and concerns are difficult to overcome, due to the nature of online shopping. On the other hand, ensuring users that privacy is a priority and increased brand loyalty, could act as persuasive techniques. Consumers would be more likely to part with their details if it was a brand they trusted and were familiar with. One might counter with the fact that ecommerce does not always equal consumer engagement. However, with the key step of the online consumer purchasing journey missing, the consumer would have little reason to further engage with the brand in this way. Finally, coming back to Accentureâ€™s survey referenced earlier within this report (Fiegerman, 2012), 61% of those surveyed said they are comfortable with sharing their personal data in return for a more personalised experience. Accentureâ€™s results suggest that if brands can prove that consumersâ€™ data is being used in order to improve their experience, this would be a big step in encouraging engagement with the Anti-Sharers.
One observed that the most frequently mentioned barrier was time; down to lifestyle choices such as a job. People with a busy lifestyle find it hard to imagine how they could fit in the Internet without simply wasting time. (Bowlby, 2009) The rise of the smartphone is now beginning to tackle the problems experienced with a busy lifestyle, including an increase in apps focusing on simplifying said lifestyles. If it targets something specific that users are struggling with, and is more convenient than the offline alternative, mobile technology will continue to erase issues faced by those with time constraints. Those with unusual or lengthy working hours, for example shift workers, are limited to when they can go online. Many work in conditions where computers and smartphones cannot be accessed, and when work ends they suffer from tiredness which can prevent them from accessing at home. One Air Steward said, “Majority of the time its for convenience purposes. I access Virgin’s website as much as possible to keep up to date with the business.” (Hemmant, 2012). He also stressed that his long hours, and being 30,000 feet in the air when working, meant that he was unable to access online that often. One has observed that the motivations of the Chronologically Challenged are one of two. As a form of escapism, to socialise with friends and peruse sites, or to get something done that would take more time offline. Further evidence that supports this, according to a nurse, “I don’t get signal on my phone [at the hospital] and not allowed to use it at work anyway” (Lamb, 2012). Aside from time constraints, an added factor is the use of social networks. Employees in all lines of work have to monitor what they post as it could be ‘incriminating’ (Britton, 2012) and seen as inappropriate by an employer, which may discourage some from using them at all.
THE CHRONOLOGICALLY CHALLENGED
The crucial information to help the Chronologically Challenged with their online access is to cut out unnecessary information and remove complications from their offline life. In adding online convenience to offline necessities, the limited time the consumer is able to spend connecting will be more productive.
SO, WHATâ€™S THE HYPE? Throughout the research section of this report, one has identified a number of consumers not connecting online. A number of online trends have been analysed that aim to ultimately generate a high level of consumer engagement. Some important elements to take forward into the recommendation are personalization, community building and transparency. Offering choice will help bring these elements together and show that you appreciate consumers as individuals. Do not force them to share on Facebook and Twitter, give them the option to. Do not automatically connect with friends on your brand channels; give them the option to. Most importantly, do not force them to give away their details. Think carefully about the most important pockets of information for you to gauge, and develop a strategy that allows you to gain this information through the use of the platform. Consumers have their own minds, and they want a channel that they can easily browse and use at leisure, but that offers convenience and eases the requirements of everyday life. Furthermore, they want all of these things in one place.
WHAT IS IT? Taking all these points into consideration, one will propose an online platform that can be taken forward within the market and used to effectively target unconnected consumers. The concept is to create an app and associated online site that focuses on a few key areas to assist the user in their everyday life. A range of sections could include ‘News’, ‘Groceries’, ‘Brands’ and ‘Destinations’. As an example, the ‘News’ section would list different news items that were breaking, and based on what the user is reading it can tailor his/her feed so that the items of interest to her will be filtered to the top. Alternatively, there would be an option to tailor your feed, so that it would show what users similar to yourself are looking at. Its function is to find information for the user, so that they don’t have to search for it. This incorporates personalization and minimizes risk of cognitive overload, as the users can filter what they see on their feed, as well as the app doing it for them. As a second example, within ‘Groceries’ as well as operating in the same way as the ‘News’ section, there could be additional functions available. Here, recipes or ingredients will be highlighted for added convenience to the busy individual. This part of the app could also price compare when asked, and formulate shopping lists with saved or suggested items. This would enable the user to find all the information based on their shop in one place, and purchase it at the end of their browse.
The platform will give the user the option to allow personalised suggestions based on their interests, or to share their recommendations across social media. Smart technology could be used, to pick up on things they are looking at on Facebook or Twitter etc. and filter it on the app (should they opt to connect it to their social media profile). Mull advises, ‘Strive to help consumers simplify their noisy lives, facilitate honest consumer-to-consumer advice and making the purchase as simple as possible will net you more goodwill than a million ‘engaging’ FB posts’’ (Mull, 2012). This is exactly what the platform should aim to do, create a penetrative engaging experience that resonates with the consumer much more than one Facebook post would, whilst taking some of the complications out of daily web browsing.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? In building recommendations and sharing into the platform, users will be enabled to form relationships with other consumers that they can then associate with the brand. This would aim to increase conversion rates and boost sales with the consumer already in the place of purchase when socializing. It creates positive emotions around the brand, and would increase social media engagement should the user choose to cross-pollinate between his/her social channels. ‘A tribe that communicates more quickly with alacrity and emotion is a tribe that wins’ (Godin, 2008: page 44) According to Godin, a community built in this way should stand in good stead and be successful. Incorporating the element of community means that usergenerated can be trusted not to have come from the brand. The Brandhouse Emotion 100 Report supports Godin’s comment, ‘Interestingly, when respondents were asked about the importance of each emotional principle, contentment, belonging and compassion took the top three spots. While generating desire and excitement is often the key aim of advertising campaigns, those surveyed ranked these two attributes as least important.’ (Hudson, Roth and Madden, 2012: page 18). This platform would tap into these relatable emotions using the community aspect, it is not aiming to create desire and a buzz for a product but simply fulfill consumers’ wants.
A platform such as this has great potential to be adapted over time, so that it can stay relevant in a market with fleeting interests, and take away certain sections or add them on if necessary. It would act as a beneficial marketing tool, portraying the brand as a human one, that really cares about they way in which it benefits its consumers. It would also be a way for brands to collect necessary information from its consumers without asking unnecessary questions. It has the potential to collect real data in real time, without the user feeling as though their privacy has been invaded.
WHO WOULD THIS WORK FOR? The company adopting the platform needs to already have a loyal consumer base to work with. It must be a human brand with complete transparency and no ulterior motives. If this is not the case, then the eSceptics will stay cynical about these types of ventures. The platform aims to earn the consumers’ trust but to launch such an experience; there must be a level of trust already established. Without this there is no ground to stand on and the platform would no longer be viable. ‘Customers like using the products and services of a company but they fall in love with the person who is the face and soul of it’ (Jacobsen, 2012). Becoming a human brand can take time, but one thing that can help is a face to put to the brand and a personality to go with it. This is one of the several reasons that Virgin is a strong viable candidate for this platform. Richard Branson is a driving force behind Virgin, he is a reliable figure that Virgin’s consumers’ recognize and trust. His character as an outgoing, down-to-earth leader has emphasized The Virgin Group’s relatable image as a brand that people feel they know, and have a relationship with. Virgin is known for breaking into new markets as the underdog (Paharia, Keinan and Avery, 2012). They already have the basis of a strong digital communications strategy, including ‘Virgin Tribe’ and the interactive online magazine ‘Roger’. They have also developed apps for many of their brands, for example; Virgin Holidays app allows the user to book holidays and check in before their flight, and one of Virgin Media’s apps is a TV guide. The group is already showing promising movement within the realms of digital, yet there is huge potential that they are yet to tap into.
The group and its brands are present on social networking sites and their communications via Facebook and Twitter in particular are very regular. However, they have not managed to attract a very significant number of followers compared with other brands on the social landscape, something that they could aim to grow with the addition of the proposed digital platform. Some of the Groupâ€™s brands are active on Pinterest, showing that they are tapping into the curated content trend, but this does not seem to be that effective for many of their brands. One has observed that Virgin Media in particular has not found the best fit with Pinterest, which is not surprising due to the purpose of the brand. The limited content that they can produce with imagery means that it is not the most appropriate social outlet for it, which is evidenced in its lack of boards, pins and consequently followers. Virgin Atlantic on the other hand, has a much stronger following on its Pinterest, as the lifestyle associated with Virgin Atlantic and their flyers is a strong one, with a strong aesthetic that can be mirrored in Pinterest boards.
STRENGTHS Virgin has a basis of digital communications to build upon. The mission statement aims to take care of consumers and staff alike, something this platform will cater to. Strong brand identity to follow through. They encourage team mentality and wellbeing amongst employees. They are not scared to try new things. Richard Branson as an icon.
OPPORTUNITIES To become prevalent in a market that they currently donâ€™t have much presence in. To deliver a wide range of digital services. A diverse consumer group means they have a varied demographic to target. Their staff would act as a perfect audience to test the product on. To really encourage the ultimate consumer engagement experience.
WEAKNESSES As a group with many different brands under its name, it could be confusing to launch the platform under the entire group. They do not have that much experience in digital communications and so it could be risky to lead with something so adventurous. Requires a large amount of investment. They would enter the market as underdogs.
THREATS Competitors building similar digital platforms and apps to this may have a wider range of expertise and experience in the digital market. With the fast moving nature of digital, there is a great potential that other brands will launch before Virgin are able to. They would enter the market as the underdog.
BENEFITS FOR THE CONSUMER Virgin’s brand manual says, ‘Our people come first’ (Sheys, 2012). The Virgin Atlantic Airways customer promise is ‘innovation, fun, informality, honesty, value and a caring attitude,’ (Hudson, Roth and Madden, 2012: page 20) which is evidence to suggest that Virgin largely base their business around the consumer experience. This promise is appreciated in their consumer following and has now become expected from the brand as a given. One could question Virgin’s integrity after the introduction of Virgin Credit Card and Virgin Trains (Sheys, 2012), which have arguably transpired into moneymaking schemes. This having been said, other schemes including their non-profit organisation Virgin Money Giving, has once again raised their profile and overall The Group are trusted. The most read section of the VAA Facebook page includes travel tips from crew members which is in some ways a type of usergenerated content, and although it does come from members of the brand this communication comes across ‘as honest, informal, and caring’ (Hudson, Roth and Madden, 2012: page 20). This is good evidence to suggest that the Virgin Atlantic Airways consumer would be receptive to the proposed platform and this type of content. It shows their interest to hear others opinions and find out information in a stripped-back environment. The Virgin Group targets a vast range of consumers with a vast range of different lifestyles. Therefore those who are struggling with online access would be included in their consumer group.
COMMUNICATION STRATEGY The original launch of the platform, to be named ‘Virgin Lifestyle’, will be available to Virgin workers only. The Virgin Atlantic mission statement says, ‘To grow a profitable airline, that people love to fly and where people love to work’ (Virgin, 2004). The pride with which The Virgin Group regards their staff is a significant part of the business and they look after their employees as they do their consumers. In response to this, the platform needs to have as much relevance to the lives of the Virgin employee as it does the Virgin follower. Launching in this way will have added convenience for the workers, and could even include special features such as access to their rotas, or a device for swapping shifts with other members of staff. It has the additional benefit of allowing Virgin to test the capabilities and success rate of the app/platform before launching it to the public. As mentioned in one interview (Hart, 2012) it is important to figure out a way to test services before launching them, by releasing a small set of features first, and work out any kinks in the experience. Making it freely available to The Virgin Group employees would provide incentives for people to trial the platform, and have feedback readily available.
If successful once trialled, the platform would launch within the market. One would recommend that the app version of the platform be sold at a cost of £0.69 to account for the expense of the app itself. This is a competitive price that large numbers of apps are being sold for at a one off charge. One recognises that this could be detrimental to the launch of the app, being that it’s the first at a cost from the company. However, with the number of features it will offer, one believes that it would still appeal to the consumer. Furthermore, the free online site offering the same functions would aim to generate loyalty to the platform, which users may then prefer to purchase and have on their smartphone. The social fan base that Virgin’s brands have already acquired would be used as a promotional platform for the app/site, crosspollinating the functions as well as the marketing. A countdown could be implemented across different social networks with daily reveals in the form of pictures or text, generating a buzz around the product and word of mouth. This would be a different technique to what Virgin usually use, as the majority of their marketing is done with credited TV adverts, magazines, outdoor posters and taxis (Virgin, 2004). Whilst this would be good for those already engaging in digital, the focus is obviously to engage with those who find there are barriers in their lives preventing engagement. Although some of these barriers mean that the consumer may still be using social networks, other barriers such as the Technophobe or the Vintage Users will have to be targeted through alternate means. A company of this stature should have a generous advertising budget, so one believes that the investment into pushing forward within the digital market would prove rewarding. If this is not a viable proposal then the existing advertising that the group’s brands already run could feature icons referring to the launch.
CONCLUSION Through an in depth study and critical analysis of trends within the digital market, one believes that the identified consumer profiles could be targeted and their barriers overcome. One believes that the trends discussed throughout the market chapter of this report, represent the next step to take for brands using digital. The highlighted trends have all included ideas and solutions in tackling individual barriers that different consumers face when connecting online, and should be taken into consideration when developing new communication strategies. The increasing popularisation of Newism means that brands must stay on top of what they are developing, and integrate longevity in order to withstand the fickle market. A platform has been proposed incorporating appropriate consideration of dominant, relevant trends, as well as the brandâ€™s key values. The viability of this platform rests on the ability of the brand to communicate clearly and transparently, in a market where certain consumers are experiencing an inability to trust brands. In conclusion, the future is promising for consumer engagement online. One believes that this and the combination of offline features will enable brands to convert consumers to the online experience, and better their relationships as a result.
a – Blank questionnaire b – Filled in questionnaire
a – Focus group transcript b – Focus group consent forms
a – Sedge Beswick online Interview b – Sedge Beswick spoken Interview c - Consent Form
a – James Hart interview b – Consent form
Online interviews with shift workers
Time Budget Diaries
a – Silverback experiment b – Post-Silverback interview c – Silverback experiment d – Post-Silverback interview e – Silverback experiment f – Post-Silverback interview g – Post-experiment interview h – Post-experiment interview i – Consent forms
20 Fashion Finder Interviews
21 Marketing Distillery infographic
22 Critical path
23 Tutorial record sheets
Appendix 1a - Blank questionnaire
appendices Appendix 1b - Questionnaire stats
appendices Appendix 2a - Focus group transcript A: Ok, so the first question is, what sorts of things do you use online for? So do you go online shopping… L: Yep A: …grocery shopping… J: Yeah B: Yeah L: Yep J: Information L: Yep, all of them J: Google maps, particularly L: Directions J: Directions and maps definitely L: Wikipedia S: News H: Yeah news, weather, information A: Ok, and do any of you, erm, look at reviews online for products and things? B: Yeah L: Yeah, I do S: Mmhmm yeah J: Medications A: Yeah S: Well if you’re buying a product on Amazon you… B: Yeah I do on all of them, yeah S…can search through all of the reviews. L: Yeah and I go on Which? Sometimes if I’m buying some electronic thing H: Mmm L: Like my iron J: I’ve done that S: Also internet banking J: Checker trade B: Yeah S: Anna, internet banking is another one I would use a lot A: Ok L: Yep B: I use it for work as well A: Ok, erm, and why do you like doing these things online? So for instance with shopping would you prefer to go online… L: Yeah A: Or in the shop? Is it because it’s quicker? 68
appendices J: Quicker, yeah B: The shops seem empty because everyone is doing it online L: Yeah A: Would you prefer to go online or would you prefer to go into the shop, if you could choose? H: I don’t like shopping online L: It depends what you’re buying B: Yeah, if you’re buying clothes… J: I get an idea online. And then… L: Yeah, yeah B: Yeah exactly J: …and then go buy it in the shop B: Yeah you can research it, I like to know where the best… L: Yeah B: ones to buy are or… L: Well sometimes I will go and look at things in a shop and then I’ll buy it online because it’s cheaper. B: Yeah L: But if it was something like a settee that I’d have to sit in I wouldn’t buy that online, or clothes, I don’t generally buy online. Unless they’re a free return ‘cause then I can try it on at home and send it back A: Ok, [pause] so for what reasons would you choose not to engage with certain aspects of online? So things like Facebook, Twitter, if you don’t have them, why don’t you? What puts you off? L: I don’t agree with it A: But why? L: I don’t like the way that people have to put everything out for everyone else to see; I’m more private than that. J: Especially intrusion L: I don’t need to say, “I’ve sneezed.” B: My daughters won’t let me… [Laughter] J: I discovered something last night if you ask to be your friend, generally, all the people that were there, all their kids had said “Yes” … L: Yeah… J: Not really thinking about it that much, but they find out more about what they’re doing through there than they do through anything else. I’m not going on Facebook, I have no wish - . And it’s the time, I don’t want to spend all my time inputting information.. B: I have recently joined because of Spain, ‘cause Spain, there’s like a Facebook group, thing for Spain, so I have joined… A: And what have you found are the benefits of that? 69
appendices B: Well, none at the moment… [Laughter] B: To be honest! S: I do Facebook a little bit an that’s only because some of my friends do it and its interesting to see what they’re up to. L: It’s useful if you’ve got friends in Australia or somewhere I suppose you can keep up with them… S: But… B: Yeah ‘cause of distance and things… L: ‘Cause like you keep up with Neil don’t you… S: Yeah, but on the whole, I find that most people that post things on Facebook, they, they post just a load of rubbish. B: Mmm. S: Like, Mandy will sort of say, “I’m watching TV”, well so bloody what, you know… L: Yeah, I don’t understand that need to let people know what you’re doing all the time. S: See I… J: No I don’t. H: It’s a younger thing isn’t it S: Some people just give a running commentary of their life and I don’t understand that. J: There’s a thing that every time you take loads of pictures. H: Like the old fashioned thing where… L: Yeah and post them H: People don’t want to actually talk to each other L: And yeah, that annoys me too Jane, that people put pictures up there of me and I haven’t said they could. J: Yeah A: So it’s a privacy thing? J: Yeah L: Yeah B: Mmm H: Yeah, I think its umm, it’s…means that people don’t talk to each other, don’t pick the phone up to each other, I think it’s a shame really. It’s a very different way of communicating isn’t because I know lots of girls at work do, so you’re looking at their photos and they’re always uploading photos saying ‘here I am, this is what I’m doing’ so you can see what people are doing but it doesn’t mean you’re having a conversation’. L: What about the business side? Like do you use LinkedIn? Do you use that anybody? S: I am on linked in but I, I don’t use it other than the fact that I, if someone asked me to be their LinkedIn friend. 70
appendices L: But that’s how our friend Kath heard of her job and that, on LinkedIn. H: Mmm. S: Yeah B: Yeah S: LinkedIn is supposed to be quite good actually, I must admit if you use it properly. B: My husband and daughter are both on it. L: Yeah S: Yeah but see the thing is if you don’t, you know I, if I was starting to network more with people then I’d probably use that more. A: You have to pay though for the full site… S: Yeah you do, for professional services you have to pay. A: Which is really where the benefits are L: How much is it then? A: Erm, I’m not sure S: It’s not a lot A: It’s like, monthly you pay monthly for it S: But you see the thing is about Facebook its like, you see somebody on Facebook and they say I’ve got 1500 friends, well nobody’s got 1500 friends. L: Yeah S: You know the fact that they’ve just said ‘will you be my friend’… L: Yeah they know somebody who knows somebody… B: But I think that Facebook’s moved on from that, it’s more advertising, I mean that’s what my daughter’s been doing… S: Oh yeah, it is now… B: its her job isn’t it, I mean its basically Twitter… S: Yeah L: Twitter’s more, Twitter’s taken over a bit hasn’t it… S: Its much more commercial than it used to be… B: You know you get these likes don’t you, you have to like something and you, it’s, it’s the advertising aspect of it really I think that’s… S: I was really excited that I got three likes to something on my Facebook page… [Laughter] J: My boss was convinced into going on Facebook by someone in Career, who then set him up, as the Finance Director, within 3 minutes, he had hundreds of emails of people wanting to be his friend, and I thought ‘Of course they want to be his friend!’ inbox was full of emails people wanting to be his friend, until I managed to get him off of it again. It was a complete nightmare! [Laughter] A: Do you think you’d be more likely to use social media if brands said ‘we’re only going to give certain discounts and rewards to people that like us on Facebook’… J: No H: No A: …would that motivate you? 71
appendices J: No B: Yeah S: Well, yeah I would do L: Yeah I suppose it might make me join… B: Yeah L: …but then I wouldn’t use it, I would just use…you know its like having a reward card in a shop isn’t it, it doesn’t make me use it more but if I’m gunna buy something then it might as well have the reward card. B: Yeah if I was gunna get £50 off something… L: Yeah B: …if I just go on Facebook and say I like something, well maybe not £50 but like £10 or something but yeah I would S: What was that thing you were saying about that buying…cashback thing… L: Cashback? S: I mean I haven’t really looked at it you know, but it’s… L: That’s like a Groupon, voucher type thing. S: Yeah but it’s the same sort of thing isn’t it, there’s a website there that’s offering deals… L: Yeah, it’s not social media though… S: …its not social media in the same way but its still something online that’s erm… L: Just a way of getting discounts on things. S: Giving you a, you know, an opportunity to save money. A: Erm, so would you like it if some brands could use information about you or your previous purchase, so to suggest new things you would like? So like on Amazon they have product suggestions, would you like that? J: No A: Or do you find that… H: Irritating L: No, I don’t really like it J: No, I never like anything they show me H: Well they don’t know me, how can they suggest… B: I quite like it, yeah but they do know you because of the cookies, they… S: They do understand what you’re looking at… B: …they look at, they get so much information from you. L: Thing is I buy so many things for other people… B: Yeah L: …and they come up with things and I think, ‘no I don’t like that’ I bought it for someone’s son or something, I dunno… H: Mmm B: It doesn’t bother me though really, it might be… L: Well its not intrusive on Amazon, its just there isn’t it S: Well you get an email everyday from Amazon saying these are your 72
appendices recommendations, don’t you? Does anybody get those? B: No, no I don’t S: I get an email every day and… A: You can choose not to have those though. B: Yeah S: …and anything it recommends I just delete it. L: Yeah, that’s what I do H: But I do only use it once a year for Christmas shopping B: The worst one is Groupon, that I get every day. A: You can unsubscribe to those emails though B: Yeah, I really need to do that L: Yeah, I went for about two weeks unsubscribing all those things on my phone J: It doesn’t always have the option though L: Well it did on a lot of them, but see then you go on another website and it rejoins you to something else again. Some of them it just says “Yes you have unsubscribed”, some of them it said “You need to put in your email if you want to unsubscribe”, some of them it says, “it will take three days to unsubscribe” or whatever, but on the whole most of them did, but then I found, over the next couple of weeks as I was shopping still, online, I’d get…I’d be rejoining, because I hadn’t unticked a box on there… J: Yeah L: …to say I didn’t want anymore emails so then you’d have to do it again periodically. B: I think one of the worst, I don’t know if this is relevant to your project, but [travel company name], but if you’re looking at hotels or something, and you keep looking at it…because of the cookie in there…the price goes up… L: Oh yeah B: …so I have to leave it a day, now I know, I leave it and then go back later and hope its still there and book it for the original price. Which I think is really wrong. L: Yeah, it is H: I think its supply and demand isn’t it, if they see that people are looking at it… B: Oh and you think oh well oh it’s gone up, I better book it ‘cause its going, same with the flights, that happens with flights as well the price goes up. I think that’s really naughty I think [travel company]’s not the only one. H: I do find that, I don’t use the sites for shopping very much, but I do find, say I was looking for a thing on Amazon and you get all the things on the side and at the bottom – its too much information that I just blank out and just look at the bits that I want to, I don’t take any notice of anything else. J: No I can’t… A: So you’d prefer it if you could select, sort of, what they were showing you? Say they gave you options of… H: Yeah maybe 73
appendices A: …of what you can see? H: Except I don’t look at it anyway… L: So do you just go in there specifically to buy…. H: Specifically to buy one thing. L: …the one thing? H: So I don’t tend to browse. L: See if I do browse, if I was to say buy something for my Mum, or my Dad, I might go look at the top, it says all the bestsellers in music or something, I would then look through that and browse… H: Mmm L: …rather than things they’ve recommended . S: But that’s why I think the recommendations on Amazon are good, because if you, like when you go into a regular shop and you, you’re obviously using your eyes you’re browsing, when you’re online, you have to physically click something to actually look at a product, so you’re not seeing everything that’s behind it. So having these recommendations is good because it knows that anybody that’s interested in that is also interested in other things… B: Maybe, yeah S: So, and it does, so then you click on that one and they know that the people that are interested in that one, are also interested in other things, so you actually….so that is what browsing actually is… L: I just find myself going… S: …but online L: … well I’ve already got that but I bought it on another site… S: But it is frustrating when… L: ….you know because they’re recommending something that I got somewhere else, and I go well but you don’t know that S: ….sometimes I just go online just to look if there’s anything on there, and I don’t, I come away thinking well there’s nothing, because I actually don’t really know what I’m looking for, and because of that I can’t find it. Whereas if you’re in a shop, you might just sort of think I’ll go up there, and walk up a random aisle and just see something and think ‘Oh wow, yeah that’s really good’ but you would never really find anything on Amazon like that. Well, that’s the difficulty with it. B: But that’s why Amazon’s good for CDs and things that you know… L: Yeah S: Well yeah if its things you know you want… B: Yeah… L: But … B: …that’s what I use it for… L: …that’s how I browse, then within that I’ll look at all the top 100 sellers… B: I think, I think music’s quite good… L: Yeah and films… 74
appendices B: ….you know, ‘the person who bought this also bought that’ that gives you, well especially people like me who don’t know very much about it… L: Yeah B:…it gives you some ideas. A: What about, if sites were going to do that sort of thing but with information, or not information but things like online recipes, or things that you might find useful, so if a site was gunna say ‘Oh, you’ve looked at these recipes this month, this is similar maybe you should try this.’ Like, not with products but more with information. B: Well, I think I would like it because I think its not harming, you’ve still got that choice to look… H: Yes L: Yeah to look at it J: and then if its not telling you anything… B: I mean its not telling you “You’ve got to buy that” so… L: No…. B: its there decision… H: Is that not what, when you Google something you put in perhaps, I dunno, if I was just watching Nigel Slater and he’s had his Hot Banana, and you cook that and you get lots of different sites, is that not what a browser’s doing for you anyway, and you choose which one you want, so you’re saying if you looking at something then it would pop up with something else, from another site. A: Yeah, Google does that but they also have Search Engine Optimization which is where they can pay for ads, but not pay, basically where they put, key, like a load of key words into it, so that whatever you’re gunna type in they’re right at the top. S: Yeah and then you get the sponsored links as well don’t you. A: Well yeah but then they tell you which ones are sponsored on Google. They’re on the right hand side or with a coloured background at the top. So with regards to, like, personalisation, Asos are bringing out a platform at the minute, where you can sign up and you have an online profile, similar to Facebook but instead of information about you know your email, your name, blah blah blah, you just put in your size, your age and your body shape so that they can find clothes that they think will suit you, and recommend that. How would you feel about that? L: Yeah…. J: Yes I think that would be useful L: Yeah B: Yeah A: So you wouldn’t mind sharing information if it was like, anonymous? B: Mmm J: Mmm H: Mmm J: I’ve always wanted one of those places that’s like a, you know personal shopper. 75
appendices [laughter] H: Will they just do that on the Asos site though, or will they, would they do it as a browser so you would go to lots of different stores? A: Well it will be on Asos, but they’re not, they’ve not launched it yet. S: Could be upsetting if it comes back saying, ‘we have nothing for you.’ [laughter] A: I don’t think they’d do that… B: I think, I was gunna say actually you’ll be struggling… H: Is that thing, is that an issue, that unless you’ve got a young daughter you might not be on Asos. J: Mmm. But do they cater for older people? H: Well I was gunna say, so I don’t know. B: But maybe they would if they did that…. L: They do brands, they do brands… A: Well Asos target the 20 somethings but obviously once they bring that out a load of other brands are going to say, ‘Oh, we should do that,’ Or, ‘We’re going to do something like that,’ Or… L: Boden do a, not quite the same, but they do a thing where you can choose bits within the website and put them on this, its like a cut out doll in a way? B: Oh yeah, I’ve seen something like that. L: and you can put, make outfits together of all their stuff which I think that’s really good…. S: See I think that’s a great idea… J: Yeah, I think that’s a great idea B: Yeah S: You that’s a really good, that’s an extension of when you’re buying a car you can cherry pick…. B: Mmm L: Yeah S: …on that and it builds it for you. L: Yeah, they do that in that big Audi garage… S: I think that’s really B: Like one of those paper dolls isn’t it…. L: Yeah, yeah it is, yeah. S: Yeah I think that’s a really good idea B: Yeah L: And then it will say on the side, you know ‘we have this, this would go with this or this would go with this’… B: Yeah, yeah L: …you know, you should try that. A: They’ve also got a thing coming out, you know obviously this is more of a younger generation thing, ‘cause people at the minute are taking street style photos at the 76
appendices minute or whatever, but say I could go up to someone and say, “Oh I really like what you’re wearing can I take a photo?”, take the photo, upload it to Asos and they have photo recognition, and they can look at products from all different sites and say, ‘this jumper is like one from here, you can buy it from this site.’ J: Ohh L: Mmm J: That’s a clever idea, but how people would like walking across Waterloo station … B: Everyone’s wearing the same jumper! J: …yeah if I then take a picture of them because I often see people with a bag I like or… S: Well yeah that happens all the time. L: Yeah, but see we wouldn’t do that, but younger people do, I mean we’ve been out and people have come up to my daughter and my son, you know in America it happened. “Someone come over and said, “I really like your shorts where did you get them?”” You know, I would never do that… J: I’ve been very tempted. B: Oh but people do do that I think, I thought you meant like taking pictures. A: Yeah L: Well yeah, they do that as well yeah… A: A lot of people…. L: But I don’t think our age group generally do…. B: Not as much maybe. L: …but they don’t seem to mind doing it A: I mean, I don’t like asking people to take a photo, but… H: But I think, I mean I don’t shop online for presents but I think that that would be really useful when you’ve found a dress that you liked and then you could use it and it would take you to different sites where you can get it from other shops so that it wasn’t just the same… J: I like that idea. H: The idea of putting everything together, if it was just one brand or one, that might be a bit… L: But Asos do other brands don’t they, I can’t think of them… A: Yeah they do, but Asos… L: ….like they’ll do River Island at Asos or whatever… A: They’re technology picks from other sites too, so its not just things that they sell, I think that’s to make you trust it though, its like look we’re not just all about Asos. L: Yeah B: Mmm A: But that’s particular to them S: See I don’t really know, I don’t know, I know you buy stuff on Asos but I don’t really know anything about Asos. B: As seen on seen that’s how it started wasn’t it… 77
appendices L: Yeah. S: As seen on? B + L: Screen S: Oh screen right ok. B: They started copying celebs L: So they would see people like Victoria Beckham they could go on there and find something like she was wearing…. S: Oh right ok B: Yeah A: Well when I went to meet with the guy earlier in the week that work there he was saying that they are now a lot more about erm, sort of making connections with their customer instead of sales because ultimately that’s what’s gunna drive sales. So they say, they’re saying now because consumers are a lot more aware, they know when you’re trying to get them to buy things, they said they, there’s no point, their aim isn’t to go out there with the intention of trying to drive sales because there is no point, they just want to create a community and that’s gunna in turn drive sales. S: Well, by doing it the way you’re suggesting though is, they are keeping absolutely in tune with what’s actually happening on the high street there and then whereas they had to…fashion people in the past have had to predict you know six months, a year ahead or whatever it is and you’re almost taking a punt on that. Even if people will wear it, by actually being in tune with what’s out there now you can drive, you can drive sales really quickly. That’s the thing that’s really good about that. H: Well Asos do sort of manufacture or do source their own clothes and brands but they also… A: Yeah B: Yeah like they sell Lipsy don’t they…. A: Yeah they’ve got…. B: Yeah the girls like it. A: they’ve gone through a bit of a change they now sell like over 400 brands excluding their own, they’ve got like six of their own lines, like Asos, Asos Collection and different price points and things… H: Yes. A: …they sell like 400 other brands H: So how are they gunna get the money back though for the service… A: Yeah but… H: Its very nice but I have to say… A: Well they buy stock off brands and then they sell it, its just like another layer of distribution… H: Yeah L: I didn’t know they had one. A: Erm, ok so my next question is with regards to like advice on products on things are you more likely to ask friends for advice or would you just search on the internet 78
appendices for reviews? J: Both L: For clothing? Or anything? A: Anything, absolutely anything. L: Erm, A: Holidays, food…. L: Bit of both really… H: Yeah a bit of both. L: You chat to people but you know you also go online, generally I suppose originally you go online and look and then you might say to someone ‘Have you been here?” or “have you bought that?” B: Yeah. I do, like Trip Advisor, I read it but then I wouldn’t take, ‘cause you get really a lot of negative stuff on there, I wouldn’t necessarily… L: Well I think a lot of people put stuff up there falsely as well. B: Yeah, well and people complain more than they do, you know if you’re really angry about something, you might go…you make the effort to go on and complain, but its quite hard to, its harder to go on and say somethings good I think. L: Mmm. B: Its easier to complain than give a compliment. L: Yeah. B: Trip Advisor I do read it, I usually book and then I’ll read it and I think, ‘oh god’. H: But if you think the majority are good, you think ‘go for it’ because you know everybody has an off day don’t they. B: Well and I suppose anybody can complain about something can’t they so. L: The good thing about being at work is that you know, is that well especially people in my office buy things online and they’re always talking about what they’re buying and you hear, you know, if somethings good or a site’s good or… J: Same here, a girl that I work with calls herself a professional shopper and she’s great. Anything you want, you just say “Oh, I’m looking for this I’m looking for that.” And she’ll go, [click] “I know!”. She’ll just come up with something, you know she’s brilliant. And she travels to the US quite a lot so she picks things up there and you know, anything to help she loves shopping. L: Does she use online shops as well? J: Mostly online, erm but she does go to other places as well. She just has this knowledge. H: See I just tend to go to the shops and go round, I don’t tend to, if I buy something I would never think to look online first. A: But would you maybe ask a friend for advice… J: I do A: Or if you’re shopping with a friend, would you, sort of, buy something on their recommendation or, not just clothes but maybe a new brand of food product, or… H: I was gunna say technology or something like that… 79
appendices A: Yeah or… L: Yeah H: Yeah you do don’t you… L: Yeah H: I suppose cameras or something like that you might see… L: Well once my friend Vicky said to me, she was getting a new iron, and she said, and I know ‘cause I am like that, if I’m getting an iron I’ll look at all sorts and find out what’s good….but I want to research and…. J: Well you wanna a feel them, feel the weight and… L: …but I want to research it as well. And she said, and she knew I’d not long bought one and she said, “Ooh, I’ll get that one then ‘cause I know you delve into it.” You know, she just sort of trusted my opinion. If you think its good I’ll get that one. J: Which one was it? B: Yeah! [Laughter] L: Just a Bosch one H: Well in the old days, well before the internet, we used to go look in the Freeman’s catalogue and we used to look and think ‘oh I want that’ and I didn’t like that and I was so disappointed because everytime you got something, you like the picture you like what the model looks like in it, but when you get it, its usually, you can’t…the fabric doesn’t feel right or… B: I think clothes are hard… H: …or the finish or...yeah they are… B: Although the girls, although Asos is quite good, you know its quick and its… L: Well, I like Boden and I buy things from the Next Directory… B: Yeah Next as well is another one isn’t it. L: …because to me its convenient, I know the… B: Yeah… L: …shops quite well, I know what suits me from there and I know what sizes will suit me… B: Mmm L: …and I know…so I know it’ll come quickly, I can try it on in the leisure of my own home… B: Yeah which is a bonus isn’t it… L: …without having to go…and I don’t have to pay to send it back if I don’t want it. They… B: Mmm L: …come and get it. H: See that’d put me off, the thought that if I don’t like it, if you’re in the store you can just hang it back again…whereas I don’t really know… L: But I’ve got to go to the store and try it on, whereas if I have it delivered here I can just try it on in my own home, I can try it on with things I’ve got… 80
appendices B: Well to be honest even if you pay postage… H: But then how do you do that though… B: …parking is so expensive isn’t it you know in Woking… L: Yeah…but I’ve a bee in my bonnet about postage it annoys me. I don’t like paying postage. H: So how do you send things back? J: It’s free L: It’s free! H: Its free is it? So they come and collect it do they? L: No they send a free returns, you know you can either take it to the post office or… H: Yeah see that’d put me off, I’d rather just go to the shops, than queue at the post office… L: And you just get a cer, a certificate of postage, or sometimes you can take it back to the shop, but Next they come and collect it from your door. H: Do they? L: But if I don’t want it I just phone them up and they come and collect it. H: But then you’ve got to be in and… L: So… J: But the only time I will order anything online is if I go somewhere and they haven’t got my size. Then if I can find it and I know its going to fit and its one I want, S: Mmm J: …then I will do it online ‘cause I’m pretty sure I’m gunna get it. L: Mmm J: You know rather than have to go to Guildford to get it, or go somewhere that I don’t want to go, and I haven’t got time. Then its quick, that’s, that’s the one time I do… S: I would definitely buy stuff, I don’t generally buy many clothes anyway but if I buy, if I was, if I find something I liked and it was an expensive item I would probably look and see if I could get it like, reduced online but… A: Do you prefer to look at reviews that are all sort of in one place than search online? Would you prefer it if it was just sort of, you knew you could look, like on Amazon, you know you can look and the reviews will be there on the page so you just scroll through to have a look? L: Mmm S: Yeah I’d be a bit lazy like that… L: Yeah it depends what it is really. B: I always spend too much time on it to be honest… S: Yeah some people do…. B: It’s a time waster I think. S: Yeah it depends ‘cause some reviews are… J: You just, you can spend a whole half a day or longer… L: Mmm 81
appendices J: …you just, you just get to the point where you leep looking for something, and then you go somewhere else, oh and that’s, yeah its just a time waster… S: Yeah but some reviews are actually dangerous as well because if you go to Trip Advisor for instance and you look at their reviews, you know somebody whose had a fantastic, you know…have you just said all this? A: yeah [laughter] S: You know I’m the same, you get swayed by people that have had crap but you know it might be a really nice place. B: Yeah we said that… H: See I don’t really know because I don’t look but do you get reviews about, like Asos clothes and that. A: Erm, I don’t know about Asos, but a lot of clothes sites do but… H: Do they? L: I get emails from Boden saying, ‘you’ve recently bought this would you put a review up and tell us what you think.’ H: Mmm S: Amazon do that L: And Amazon have a box at the bottom don’t they where you can give it a star rating. L: I mean I’ve never done the reviews but… B: No I haven’t H: I’ve never done or read them L: …majority of the time I can’t be bothered to do that. A: Most sites of like any kind now, like absolutely anything have a review, even if its just like an article. ‘Did you like this article? What do you think about it?’ L: Yeah H: Ah, I skip that and the little pictures, yeah I dunno what they mean… L: They have those things telling you you can Twitter it, Facebook it or email it… H: Yeah, ignore it. L: …do you want to tell them about it. Its like if I buy things on Amazon then it comes up doesn’t it, ‘would you like to tell a friend you’ve just bought this?’ J: Yeah… L: No? Why would I wanna do that? [laughter] L: But obviously some people do. H: So its all linked to social media… S: Well they must do otherwise people wouldn’t... L: Yeah… H: Well I wouldn’t do that then I don’t use all that… L: No. And its advertising for them obviously but… J: But things like Square Meal, which is all the restaurant in London and roundabout… 82
appendices L: Oh yeah… J: …and there, you can see reviews there I do read those. B: Mmm L: Yeah J: In fact I was thinking about booking, I was thinking of booking one, and it, not far from work, I’d been there before its changed hands and its funny this review, it was really funny, and this woman had obviously hated every minute. And she went on and on, it was just like a rant and she called the manager a little toad of a man, and everything else and by the time I’d read that I thought, ‘actually I don’t think I will go there.’ [laughter] J: Umm, and how it was so expensive and they’d ripped them off for this and they’d ripped them off for that, but that sat there for days, and some people had seen it and, so that did put me off. S: Well, it would put a lot of people off B: Well that’s it and it might not even be that bad. H: I think the difference for me with reviews, is if its on Which? and they’ve done some tests and they’re professionals, then yeah I would look, but just lame reviews for things I’m not sure… L: Well you have gotta be careful. J: yeah L: And I think generally when you read a few of them on one product you can tell which people are being pathetic and which people are being genuine. S: And also… L: You just get used to it… B: Trip Advisor do a rating too, like when we went to Sydney we did that, like you know we didn’t go to the top hotel, we couldn’t afford it but we went for like number 6 you know? L: Yeah B: …as a guide, just as a guide really. L: Yeah, yeah B: Rather than reading the individual. L: Yeah S: But the thing is also reviews can be dangerous because if you read a really good one, like you were saying, you don’t know if they’ve put it up there to sound really favourable… L: But you can’t do it yourself can you… S: You could get around that though. B: You could probably ask other people to… L: Yeah that’s what they do H: I was gunna say I think the TV’s more powerful actually. You know if you watch those sorts of programs, I mean I don’t watch many of them but. 83
appendices L: But it depends on the age bracket that you’re aiming at, you know like the young, you know Anna’s age, they don’t watch a lot of telly, but they do go on Facebook all the time and that sort of thing you know… B: Yeah H: Mmm L: …whereas we might watch more telly and not do that. A: Ok, erm, do you find that time constraints in your life restrict when you can go online? J: Definitely B: Yes L: Yeah H: Yes A: How? L: Work really B: Work, yeah H: Well I don’t have a computer in front of me all day and so I only really go on in the evening… L: Well there’s lots of things to do. I tend to go on it in my lunch hour. J: We’re not allowed to go on any social sites at work, Facebook and everything’s banned. H: Well I’m not supposed to have a Facebook account at work, when you work with children you’re not supposed to have a Facebook account either. I have got one just to see what the girls (her daughters) are doing but. So… L: I mean I might do internet shopping in my lunch hour, ‘cause I’m just in front of my computer anyway, I very rarely come home in the evening and switch it on here. But then I do it on the weekend… J: If I’m stuck for a present for somebody I dunno, S: Well I’m online loads. B: Well Dean…my husband wants to get me an iPad but I don’t know… S: Well you probably be on it, but you’ll be on it when you’re watching the telly instead. Rather than in the other room. L: I do go online for my work, so I have to go, you know and research products and I have to, I download, erm drawings that I can use as well, or adapt or you know to redesign things or, you know if I want to use a different bath I can use in my drawings so I don’t know. But I don’t go on anything I shouldn’t do and then in my lunch hour if I need to get something from Amazon then I go on Amazon. ‘Cause someone’s sitting behind me so they can see my screen all the time. A: So does that mean, so Bev, you say when you come on, go on it when you come back from work, do you sort of go on it for things of convenience like grocery shopping that you might not have had the time to do, or is it just for leisure? B: Leisure really…. H: What do you look at then? 84
appendices B: I dunno, S: Well I’m a bit different ‘cause I can look at anything whenever I want. B: My peak time is sort of like 2-5, and then 3 hours have gone and I sort of think [gasp]… H: 3 hours?! B: Yeah but its so easy! L: Yeah but that’s lucky for you because now everyone comes home at like 7[pm] and goes on and that’s when its slow isn’t it? So at least you can use it when its quite good speed and… B: That’s probably an exaggeration 3 hours but I dunno what I do on it. I have to look for work, and I have to go and look at my roster and stuff so I go and like turn it on, and at 7 to see, in case I’ve been moved. But we keep fighting over it, that’s why Dean wants to get me an iPad so I’m not on it all the time. [Laughter] S: I look at YouTube. L: All day long. S: Well not all day but a few, well yeah I always ook at YouTube, there’s always stuff on there that’s funny. H: I just come home, turn it on, check my email and turn it off again. J: …Otherwise I’ve got iPhone for work email, so and I never look at the internet on that. H: I can’t get onto that on my phone again, its crashed I don’t know why. J: I can’t see it properly. A: So do you go on the internet on your mobile quite a lot? H: No J: Not at all L: I do use it on my phone yeah, I do that’s where I’ll go on Wikipedia when if we’re talking about something and we’re…or you’ll say “Oh erm, Meryl Streep is on the telly how old is she?” I dunno, oh so Wikipedia… H: Mmm L: …things like that. A: Do you use many apps on your phone? L: Erm, I do use apps, some for my work, conversion factors and things like that. J: Same work wise and umm, a few like the weather. L: Yeah I use that one B: Yeah S: Oh yeah that’s true, and the weather. J: Not for shops. L: I use the Google Map one, directions. J: Yes L: Photo, erm, manipulation I use one of those sometimes. S: The er, the what these apps you’re talking about? 85
appendices L: Yeah A: Or just any internet on your mobile, do you ever use it? B: No S: I do, I actually look at almost the exact same… L: Football result. S: …as I would do on my regular computer. Or if I’m going somewhere, and I’m late you might not have the…I might look at the telephone number for a restaurant or something like that. You know all those sort of things, just for convenience things really. B: That map thing is good on the iPhone. L: Yeah S: Which one? B: There’s a…I was with a friend and she had an iPhone and she was driving and it… S: Oh yeah the normal map one? Yeah, yeah that is good. Very accurate as well. L: Yeah its really good. A: So you all prefer using your computer to your phone? S: Yeah well it’s the size of the screen really. B: Yeah, like in Australia we were trying to check in and you’re having to go like that [zoom in action] and its not very easy. S: Yeah, well especially when your eyes are getting not as good. Big screen is much better… B: Mmm… S: …but obviously not as convenient. B: But, its… J: As you get older you can’t see the small screen. H: I did used to have it, but I stopped it and I don’t miss it. Now I’m pay as you go. That’s probably my lifestyle though. A: Ok, this is the last question but it’s a bit tricky. J: Oh dear. A: Erm, basically if you could design like, an app, or an online site, that would help you with your daily life, for anything aspect of your daily life, like, what would it be? What would help you the most? J: Ooh L: I dunno… A: Would it be something like related to I dunno like cooking, or… J: I just don’t know S: God, that’s a very good question but I… B: If I knew that I’d probably be rich because I’d make it. [laughter] J: Ideas from what’s in the freezer, what could I have for dinner. L: Well that’s good ‘cause, you know, new home automation your fridge would register… 86
appendices B: Isn’t there an app where you put like your ingredients whats in your cupboard or your fridge and it’ll come up with a dish? L: Yeah there is, I’ve heard of that where itll think of a recipe, and it will buy it for you. Like Ocado, you tell it the recipe and it will put it in your shopping basket. S: Well the guy that was on The Apprentice was doing a similar thing to that. He did it. B: The only trouble is with that, mind you could delete them I suppose, ‘cause you might have a few of the ingredients… L: Yeah, yeah then you just untick what you’ve got B: …Yeah S: I’d find it quite useful if, it probably wouldn’t work, if it was on my computer, so it wouldn’t be an app as such. But if I had a bit of software that whenever I was working on a job based on the fact that the job number was on the file I was working on, if the file automatically updated a time sheet, for me. That would be really quite useful. J: Mmhmm. S: Yeah, so that it actually logged precisely how long I’d worked on that individual job. And it, it would tell me where I was undercharging or overcharging, erm, you know… L: But then if it was on your computer it would also say you’ve spent, 11 hours on YouTube today. S: Well yeah, that as well. Because if somebody said to you, if you…
appendices Appendix 2b - Focus group consent forms
last consent form
Appendix 3a - Email exchange with Sedge Beswick, a member of the Asos Social Media Team
1. Why do you feel that it is important for brands to engage with consumers on social media? As the good old saying goes ‘fish are where the fishes are’ – if that’s where your customers are/where they’re talking/sharing their experiences… brands should be too, not all brands are right for social but the majority are. If brands are in that space then they’ll get a really timely and accurate response from their peers so they know what works and doesn’t for them – ultimately it has the power to change their entire approach to customers. 2. What are the main benefits for brands using digital platforms to engage with consumers? Real time, accurate feedback. Advocacy building. WOM. 3. In your experience, which social media platforms have been the most effective in engaging the consumer? And why? This isn’t as simple as it sounds… it completely depends on the brand, the region, the campaign. For example, Frenchies love long conversational copy so a platform like blogs work for them, For the Germans they’re very direct and blunt so they like to just be told (but don’t really use Twitter), for the US it’s all about Pinterest and Tumblr, for global brands a lot of focus is on Facebook… it really does vary! 4. What types of consumer would you say are the most engaged with brands digitally? Again, this really depends. In my experience the technology sector are hugely supportive and engaged across social channels and are really supportive of mobile optimisation and development. At ASOS, it’s all about the 20 something’s as they’re in this space already… engaging and fostering their own relationships. 5. How would you describe the group of consumers that are least engaged with brands digitally? The laggards. Those that are still understanding and getting comfortable with the handles. They are still thinking friends first. 6. At Asos, how high is the level of engagement on social media platforms, in comparison to the level of engagement on your own platforms such as Fashion Finder? I can’t discuss direct brand details I’m afraid. It’s also completely different as Fashion Finder use our social channels to promote/ engage/create awareness. FF is a community rather than a social channel due to the way it’s built into the site.
7. In your opinion, why are consumers engaging with Fashion Finder? Sorry, I can’t say things about the brands in case stuff gets out. 8. Why do you think certain consumers choose not to connect with brands on online platforms?
9. What is your opinion on the rise of user-curated platforms such as Pinterest and The Fancy? Shopping has always been social – that’s why it goes hand in hand with the development of these new sites. I’m intrigued by the Fancy as it’s rumoured to be bought out by Apple, which will really help amplify the message and awareness encouraging and growing the channel users. For us, they’re a huge revenue driver simply down to the audience and nature.
Appendix 3b - Sedge Beswick Interview 1. - -
What do you think the future holds for brands developing user- created content? Content – I am Levis competition – images, Asos Loves, new platform launching at Asos – global map that maps images linked with Asos on a map. If a talent tweets about us it leaves an authentic legacy.
2. - -
Why do you think certain consumers are put off using digital to connect with brands? Privacy, nervous of what’s exposed, ‘brand stalking’, apprehensive about this. It’s about striking a balance,
3. Do you think in the future we’ll see a lot more brands developing their own platforms, like Asos have with Fashion Finder, or continue to just use existing platforms like Pinterest etc.? - Neither Pinterest/Instagram have digital strategies, I think a lot of brands will go the same way. - Benefits are visibility, word of mouth, awareness. There’s a bigtime change happening which is led by social in the way brands communicate. Things to look at: Giffgaff – really up on the game of communities. Vincent Boom – really understands communities. Cadbury’s are really great. 95
Appendix 3c - Sedge Beswick consent form
appendices Appendix 4a - James Hart Interview 1. What do you feel is the next step for brands to take on digital? - Don’t think customers think about offline - It’s about being connected - Asos is about fulfilling the wants and needs of its consumers. - Content is important because it means everything is in the same place. - It’s about experience, consumers don’t think about it. A seamless/connected experience. Filling in the gaps. 2. Do you think that brands developing their own online communities is more effective than using social media? - From an industry point of view its about getting the right levels. - There is room for everything, not about one or the other. - To do it just to drive sales is wrong. 3. How do you feel about digital and return on investment versus the consumer relationship? - At Asos it’s about being true to who we are. Asos is inspiration, a fashion community not just a shop. - Engagement is what everyone’s thinking about. - How do you get a perfect product for the consumer, think about how to make consumers feel great not return on investment. - Always come back to experience, enjoyment is what will drive sales. 4. What do you feel are the biggest barriers to onine? - I don’t think there are barriers, it’s a choice. If people don’t want to engage with you then they aren’t going to. - We offer ability, and they use it as little or as much as they want. 5. What do you think are consumers’ main motivations for engaging with brands on these platforms? - Building a sense of online identity. - Seeking trust and authenticity. - More to find out about the brand, - Choice - For brands its seeking value, they are value conscious, think about 5 years +. 97
6. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve found when launching digital innovations such as Fashion Finder? - For them to work you have to think about who/why you’re doing it, find those gaps and slot the platform into this. - Think about why you’re building it and surface this inbetween. - Think about will people use it. - The culture in the company needs to understand the community you’re building. Gives customers value. If you’re open you have to have open channels. 7. What about the launch process? - Release a small set of features first as a tester. - Work out the plan, how will you communicate it? - Don’t be afraid to not progress something. - Small steps, and keep improving the product along the way. 8. Transition from fashion brands to lifestyle brands. - It’s all related to emotion, its an emotional/creative thing. - Fashion like to talk about stuff, they have more engaged consumers. - Like Asos Marketplace. - Clever brands create around the product. - Redbull is a brand doing it really well.
appendices Appendix 4b - James Hart consent form
appendices Appendix 5 - Email exchange with with James Britton, a shift worker
appendices Appendix 6 - Email exchange with with Penny Lamb, a shift worker (Via her daughterâ€™s email)
appendices Appendix 7 - Email exchange with Mandy Woodward, a shift worker
appendices Appendix 8 - Email exchange with with Ryan Hemmant, a shift worker
appendices Appendix 9 - Email exchange with Katy Burn, a shift worker
appendices Appendix 10 - Time budget Diary, Lynn Heaton, 49
Appendix 11 - Time budget Diary, Angela Bull, 52
appendices Appendix 12 - Time budget diary, Nina Bull, 19
appendices Appendix 13 - Time Budget Diary, Andrew Heaton, 48
appendices Appendix 14 - Time budget Diary, Stephanie Bull, 20
Time Budget Diary Internet Usage I am researching consumersâ€™ interaction with brands online through user-
generated content and social platforms. As part of this project am interested in your views about this. The information you provide will be collated with others and analyzed so that I can develop ideas for my current university project. The information provided will be treated in strictest confidence and you will not be individually identified in any presentations of the results. All diaries will be kept in accordance with the data protection act and destroyed at the end of the project. If you wish to ask any further questions on this project do not hesitate to contact Anna Heaton at firstname.lastname@example.org **For those who do not know, user-generated content is anything that is uploaded by an online user onto a site. E.g. photos, comments (excluding social media sites), reviews, blogs, or sites like Pinterest and Instagram. This diary is to be filled out accurately and in answer to the questions provided. You must answer this truthfully so that the results can be analysed and interpreted accurately for an academic study. Thank you for your participation.
Name: _Stephanie Bull__________________ D.O.B: __07/07/92___________________ Signature___________________________
appendices Day 1 Please record today: - How many times you accessed the Internet. - How long you spent online in total. - Which sites you visited and on which device. (smartphone/tablet/computer) - How long you spent on each site visited. - How many times you visited each site. - What your reasons were for visiting each site. - If you visited any social media sites, which brandsâ€™ pages did you view (if any)?
Times accessed: 5 Total time: 3 hours 25 mins
http://www.everyoneactive.com information about gym membership (computer) (1 x 10 mins)
www.facebook.com â€“ checking account (comp/phone) (2 mins on phone, 1 hour in background on computer)
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od/catchup (1 x 2 hour) http://www.allsaints.com browsing clothes (phone) (1 x 10 mins)
http://du114w.dub114.mail.live.com/mail/home - checking Hotmail (1 x 3 minutes computer)
appendices Day 2 Please record today: - How many times you accessed the Internet. - How long you spent online in total. - Which sites you visited and on which device. (smartphone/tablet/computer) - How long you spent on each site visited. - How many times you visited each site. - What your reasons were for visiting each site. - If you visited any social media sites, which brandsâ€™ pages did you view (if any)?
Times accessed: 4 Total time: 1 hour 18 mins
www.facebook.com â€“ checking account (comp/phone) (1 x 3 mins on phone, 1 x 30 minutes on computer ) http://du114w.dub114.mail.live.com/mail/home - checking Hotmail (1 x 10 minutes computer) https://webmail.bris.ac.uk/webmail/src/webmail.php checking university email ( 1 x 2 minutes computer) https://twitter.com/ checking updates (1 x 3 minute computer)
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od/catchup (1 x 30 mins)
appendices Day 3 Please record today: - How many times you accessed the Internet. - How long you spent online in total. - Which sites you visited and on which device. (smartphone/tablet/computer) - How long you spent on each site visited. - How many times you visited each site. - What your reasons were for visiting each site. - If you visited any social media sites, which brands’ pages did you view (if any)?
Times accessed: 3 Total time: 42 mins
www.facebook.com – general use (2 x 2 mins phone)
http://go.sky.com – downloading film (1 x 20 mins computer)
http://www.showcasecinemas.co.uk – cinema listings (1 x 5 mins phone) www.sporcle.com – quizzes (1 x 15 mins)
appendices Day 4 Please record today: - How many times you accessed the Internet. - How long you spent online in total. - Which sites you visited and on which device. (smartphone/tablet/computer) - How long you spent on each site visited. - How many times you visited each site. - What your reasons were for visiting each site. - If you visited any social media sites, which brands’ pages did you view (if any)?
Times accessed: 6 Total time: 4 hours 12 mins
www.facebook.com – general use (2 x 10 mins on phone, 1 x 20, 1 x 10, 1 x 45 minutes on computer) http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od/catchup (1 x 1 hour computer) www.natwest.com – internet banking (1 x 10 mins computer) www.youtube.com – ukulele tutorials (1 x 30 mins computer)
http://ukulelehunt.com – ukulele chords (1 x 30 mins computer)
http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk – browsing clothes ( 1 x10 mins computer) http://www.ebay.co.uk – browsing clothes (1x 5 mins computer)
http://www.topshop.com – browsing clothes (1 x 2 mins computer) https://www.asos.com – buying clothes (1 x 10 mins computer)
appendices Day 5 Please record today: - How many times you accessed the Internet. - How long you spent online in total. - Which sites you visited and on which device. (smartphone/tablet/computer) - How long you spent on each site visited. - How many times you visited each site. - What your reasons were for visiting each site. - If you visited any social media sites, which brandsâ€™ pages did you view (if any)?
Times accessed: 2 Total time: 40 mins
www.facebook.com â€“ general use (1 x 10 mins on computer)
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od/catchup (1 x 30 mins computer)
appendices Appendix 15 - Time budget Diary, Harry Heaton, 16
appendices Appendix 16 - Time budget diary, Fred Abbott, 74
appendices Appendix 17 - Time budget diary, Jade Barltrop, 21
appendices Appendix 18 - Time budget diary, Sam Buckell, 20
appendices Appendix 19a - Silverback recording, Lynn Heaton, 49
appendices Appendix 19b - Post-Silverback interview, Lynn Heaton, 49 1. Trapit A: Ok so how useful did you find the site? L: The Trapit site, yeah it was fine, just as a search engine thing its ok. A: And how was it to navigate? L: Easy, its fairly easy to navigate but it did take me to things that I didn’t necessarily intend, I had to be quite specific on what I was asking. A: Ok, and was there anything that you found annoying or difficult about the site? L: Erm, erm not really, as I say it took me to a few things that I didn’t really want and I had to go back then and re-search to erm, make sure I got specifically what I wanted. A: Ok, and what would be the reasons for you not using it? L: Erm, out of habit, I think you just tend to use the same search engine that you’ve always used, I think it takes a lot to change to a new search engine. You know, things sometimes keep coming up on the internet, telling you to try this one try this one try that one, download this task bar, I tend to just go for the same one that I always use which is Google. A: Ok, and what are the benefits of it? L: Well, that’s probably another reason for not changing because I didn’t see that there were any particular benefits to that that there aren’t on the one that I already use. 2. Fashion Finder A: Erm what did you find useful about the site? L: Erm, well being able to plan an outfit is quite useful. A: And err how was it to use or navigate? L: Err it was quite easy to navigate? Errm, because you could search for specific colours and things, styles. A: And did you find anything annoying or difficult about it? L: Erm I would rather the things were all in proportion with each other, its like the bag was big and the trousers were small and the shirt was large, and if they were all, so that you could actually put them together and overlap the shirt over the trousers so you could see what it would actually look like on a person, or you could put it on a body. That would be more useful, to see how the things really look 152
together. A: Ok, do you think its something that you would use? L: Yeah A: And what would be the reasons for not using it? What would put you off? L: Erm, just that really, what I just said, the fact that you can’t see it as a complete outfit, its just a selection of items, rather than putting it all together on the person in the same proportions. A: Ok. 3. Allrecipes a: Ok so how useful did you find the site? L: I found it very useful, because I didn’t know what to cook tonight, but I knew I had some prawns and I know what I’m gunna do now. A: And how was it to navigate the site? L: Err, very easy. A: Er, was there anything that would put you off using it in the future? L: Erm, no not particularly I would use that I think, ‘cause it was good that you could put in an ingredient and it would give you lots of different recipes for that one ingredient. The one thing that I wouldhave liked would be if you could then put accompaniments to that, I did ask it to search for any accompaniments for that dish that I chose earlier and it just comes up with nothing. A: Ok, what are the benefits of it? L: Erm, well I like the way you can save your favourite recipes as well so that if you’re browsing you can put it into a little folder and then you can go back in time. A: Ok, you’re done.
appendices Appendix 19c - Silverback recording, Sam Buckell, 20
appendices Appendix 19d - Post-Silverback interview, Sam Buckell, 20 1. Trapit A: Ok, so what did you find useful about the site? S: Err, Very little. A: Why? S: Erm, because it had stuff, ok it was useful in the sense that it, pulled together a load of err, different information from different websites and stuff like that. It’s like a place to get it from, but other than that I could just go looking for what I wanted anyway, so. A: Ok. And how did you find it to use? Like to navigate around the site? S: Erm, yeah it was pretty straightforward, pretty logical, erm just yeah. A: Erm, ok, did you find anything annoying about it? S: Errrm, not that comes to mind. A: And what would be the benefits? Just finding it all on one place? S: What on the website? A: Mmhmm S: Obviously its useful because you can find everything in one place if that’s what you need, but for me personally its not. 2. Fashion Finder A: Erm, so how do you feel about the site? S: Erm, indifferent generally. A: Why? S: Erm I thought that the thing was useful although I thought it was a bit misleading, drag your outfit to, like to put your outfit in unless you are specifically making an outfit for it, just thought it was a bit misleading, maybe that’s just me being too cynical but the idea is simple and useful. A: So how is it to use and navigate? S: Yeah pretty straightforward, categorised everything appropriately. A: Did you find it easy to make the boards? S: Err, yes and no. Erm, on the face of it its quite straightforward but then I didn’t really know what to do after that so… A: Ok. And what was annoying or difficult about the site? S: Erm, other than the price of some things, what was annoying about it? Not much, really. Pretty straightforward, and I dunno. A: What would put you off using it? 155
S: Erm, time, the fact that I don’t tend to use online, er, online shopping – for clothes anyway so… A: Why do you choose not to? S: …its not really applicable to me…Erm, I like to go out and if I’m specifically going for clothes, I like to go out and er, like see see what I actually want to buy as opposed to look online ‘cause I might not trust it, or it might be different A: Ok. 3. Allrecipes A: Ok, so what did you find useful about the site? S: Erm, it has pretty much everything you’d want, culinary-wise, erm, its ordered, categorised in a certain way that makes it useful, so you if you want menus, recipes whatever you can, and also you can save things that you’ve looked at so that obviously makes life easier. A: And was it to use and navigate? S: Er, it was a little bit confusing, I thought, at first just ‘cause there’s a lot going on the page. Erm, different things on the page er, but, and it’s a bit small, but when you actually sort of realised it’s kind of simple to use. Its pretty straightforward if you know what you’re looking for. A: Do you think it’s the kind of sight you look at to browse or if you’re looking for something? S: Errr, I’d say its more of a browsing thing, ‘cause its contributed to by users, so you’re not necessarily gunna get exactly what you’re looking for I would imagine. A: Ok. And was there anything annoying or difficult to use about the site? S: Erm, Only that it was American really and you’d get really stupid food suggestions, erm and like I said before I think it was a bit sort of all over the place – not all over the place – but just sort of, a lot going on really. You know a bit confusing, mostly not very erm, not very aesthetically pleasing. A: Is it something you would use or not? S: Errrm, probably not to be honest with you. A: Ok, what would be your reasons for not using it? S: I don’t know, time constraints I guess, the fact that again its not really my sort of, the sort of thing I go looking for anyway. A: Ok.
appendices Appendix 19e - Silverback recording, Harry Heaton, 16
appendices Appendix 19f - Post-Silverback interview, Harry Heaton, 16 1. Trapit A: Ok, erm so what did you find useful about this site? H: Erm, it was easy to find what I was looking for, you just type in a keyword and it’ll come up with different topics. A: Ok, and did you find anything annoying or difficult to use about the site? H: Erm, I didn’t know how to save or bookmark the sites that I was on.That was kind of annoying. A: Erm, would you ever use it? H: Yeah, probably. A: Why would you use it? H: Erm, because its quite interesting you can get like lots of different information about topics that I’m interested in. A: Would there be any reason that you wouldn’t use it? That would put you off? H: Erm, well its quite hard to get to grips with what I was doing. A: Ok. 2. Fashion Finder A: Erm, so what was useful about the site? H: Erm, it let you if you wanted to see what an outfit look like, its easy to see what it would look like altogether, see if it suited each other. A: Ok, was it easy to navigate and use? H: Yeah. A: Ok, was there anything annoying or difficult about the site? H: Erm, no I thought it was all quite easy to use, there’s nothing that;s particularly difficult about it. A: Is there anything that would put you off using it? H: No, no not really. A: And what are the benefits of it do you think? Other than putting outfits together? H: Erm, its quite erm, its fit into categories so its quite easy to find what you want. A: And do you think it would make you buy from Asos? H: Yeah probably, I would think.
3. Allrecipes A: What did you find useful about the site? H: Erm, it had a lot of useful videos on how to make err and make different, like different food. A: And how was it to use and navigate? H: Erm, Yeah I thought it was quite easy to use, there were a lot of different categories you could use. A: And what was annoying or difficult about the site? H: Erm…nothing really, just erm, nothing really. A: Err what would your reasons be for not using it. H: I’m not really interested in cooking. And umm, that’s the only reason!
appendices Appendix 19g - Interview, Becca Lewis, 21 1. Trapit A: Erm so what did you find useful about this site? B: I thought it was quite erm, interesting? Like, I liked that you could look at loads of different stuff but like, I probably wouldn’t bother saving that much stuff. And erm, I thought it was, ermmm….like I thought it was good you could ‘trap’ stuff and it would recommend other articles based on what you’d read, but erm, I prefer to sort of like, have a look and browse what’s gone on before I read. A: Ok, and did you find anything annoying or difficult to use about the site? B: Not really. A: Erm, would you ever use it? B: Umm, maybe occasionally. But would probs just use like Daily Mail still or something. A: Why would you prefer that? B: Er, just ‘cause its what I’m used to using really, I’d say. A: Ok, cool. Thanks. 2. Fashion Finder A: Erm, so what was useful about the site? B: I loved how you could put outfits together and stuff. A: Ok, was it easy to navigate and use? B: Yeah err, pretty much. A: Ok, was there anything annoying or difficult about the site? B: Sometimes it would freeze and stuff, or…errm…dragging the items didn’t always work. I think it was a glitch or something. A: Is there anything that would put you off using it? B: No, no not really. A: And what are the benefits of it do you think? Other than putting outfits together? B: I loved seeing how things go together before I buy them. Erm, also its nice just to have a play around and stuff. I’m not that creative so its cool to have a place to do that. 3. Allrecipes A: What did you find useful about the site? B: I loved it! I love cooking and that so I think I could spend a while
on it. Errm, yeah just cool to find a range of recipes and save lists etc would be handy for like my mum or when I’m at uni etc. A: Ok great. How did you find it to navigate around? B: Yeah ok I think. A: And what was annoying or difficult about the site? B: Errr…ummm nothing I can really think of? A: Err what would your reasons be for not using it. B: Just that I’d probs forget [laughter].
appendices Appendix 19h - Interview, Dara O’Shea, 23 1. Trapit A: Ok so how useful did you find the site? L: The Trapit site, yeah it was fine, just as a search engine thing its ok. A: And how was it to navigate? L: Easy, its fairly easy to navigate but it did take me to things that I didn’t necessarily intend, I had to be quite specific on what I was asking. A: Ok, and was there anything that you found annoying or difficult about the site? L: Erm, erm not really, as I say it took me to a few things that I didn’t really want and I had to go back then and re-search to erm, make sure I got specifically what I wanted. A: Ok, and what would be the reasons for you not using it? L: Erm, out of habit, I think you just tend to use the same search engine that you’ve always used, I think it takes a lot to change to a new search engine. You know, things sometimes keep coming up on the internet, telling you to try this one try this one try that one, download this task bar, I tend to just go for the same one that I always use which is Google. A: Ok, and what are the benefits of it? L: Well, that’s probably another reason for not changing because I didn’t see that there were any particular benefits to that that there aren’t on the one that I already use. 2. Fashion Finder A: Erm what did you find useful about the site? L: Erm, well being able to plan an outfit is quite useful. A: And err how was it to use or navigate? L: Err it was quite easy to navigate? Errm, because you could search for specific colours and things, styles. A: And did you find anything annoying or difficult about it? L: Erm I would rather the things were all in proportion with each other, its like the bag was big and the trousers were small and the shirt was large, and if they were all, so that you could actually put them together and overlap the shirt over the trousers so you could see what it would actually look like on a person, or you could put it on a body. That would be more useful, to see how the things really look 162
together. A: Ok, do you think its something that you would use? L: Yeah A: And what would be the reasons for not using it? What would put you off? L: Erm, just that really, what I just said, the fact that you can’t see it as a complete outfit, its just a selection of items, rather than putting it all together on the person in the same proportions. A: Ok. 3. Allrecipes a: Ok so how useful did you find the site? L: I found it very useful, because I didn’t know what to cook tonight, but I knew I had some prawns and I know what I’m gunna do now. A: And how was it to navigate the site? L: Err, very easy. A: Er, was there anything that would put you off using it in the future? L: Erm, no not particularly I would use that I think, ‘cause it was good that you could put in an ingredient and it would give you lots of different recipes for that one ingredient. The one thing that I wouldhave liked would be if you could then put accompaniments to that, I did ask it to search for any accompaniments for that dish that I chose earlier and it just comes up with nothing. A: Ok, what are the benefits of it? L: Erm, well I like the way you can save your favourite recipes as well so that if you’re browsing you can put it into a little folder and then you can go back in time. A: Ok, you’re done.
appendices Appendix 19i - Consent forms
appendices Appendix 20 - Fashion Finder email exchanges Hey, My name is Anna and I am a student currently in my last year of study at University in Nottingham. My dissertation subject is based around user-curated platforms online (Fashion Finder, Pinterest, The Fancy etc.) and how brands can use them. I was wondering if you wouldnâ€™t mind answering a couple of questions about why you like using Fashion Finder and what you get out of it? 1. What age are you? 2. Why do you like to connect with Asos online? 3. Do you connect with any other brands on digital platforms? 4. What do you like about Fashion Finder? 5. Would you like to see more brands creating communities like Fashion Finder on their sites? I would really appreciate any help you could give me! Thanks, Anna
appendices Appendix 21 - Infographic from The Marketing Distillery (via Berkman, 2012)
appendices Appendix 22 - Critical path
appendices Appendix 23 - Tutorial record sheets School of Art & Design
Tutorial Record Sheet 2012/13 Module: Research Project Stage 1 Ref. no: FASH30001 Date: 5/11/12 Name : Anna Heaton
Learning outcomes § Produce a self determined body of work that demonstrates cultural and global discourses around theories and ideas in relation to fashion, communication and promotion § Use appropriate levels of research and methods of analysis relevant to the production of your proposal § Make informed selections and develop appropriate and creative solutions in relation to the application of visual communication § Question assumptions within the area of study through the ability to formulate independent judgment, contribute to discussions and articulate reasoned arguments Tutorial / Seminar Record Sheet Work to bring / prepare for session:
Learning issues to discuss in session: Where I’m at so far. Why/how brands connect with consumers on digital platforms.
Feedback from session: Argue your case and provide evidence for points. Think about the market potential, what is there to play for? Think about how saturated the market already is. Need to tackle barriers.
Tasks for next session: Look at case studies of brands using digital. Look at thefancy.com Look at ROI on social commerce – brands using Pinterest etc. Why should brands invest in it?
Please indicate progress to hand in (1 = Not ready / 5 = Ready and Prepared) 1 2 3 4 5 Signed (Tutor) Signed (student)
School of Art & Design
Tutorial Record Sheet 2012/13
Module: Research Project Stage 1 Ref. no: FASH30001 Date: 15/11/12 Name : Anna Heaton
Learning outcomes § Produce a self determined body of work that demonstrates cultural and global discourses around theories and ideas in relation to fashion, communication and promotion § Use appropriate levels of research and methods of analysis relevant to the production of your proposal § Make informed selections and develop appropriate and creative solutions in relation to the application of visual communication § Question assumptions within the area of study through the ability to formulate independent judgment, contribute to discussions and articulate reasoned arguments Tutorial / Seminar Record Sheet Work to bring / prepare for session: Evidence of case studies. What is there to play for? Research on ROI and social commerce.
Learning issues to discuss in session: Struggling to find information on Return on investment because brands don’t always want to give away those figure, any advice? Still a bit confused on my title, do I need to alter it slightly?
Feedback from session: Mashable, Techcrunch to look at. Don’t change title but could maybe adapt to fit the new direction of my research. Do a plan working back from Feb 1st (deadline). Contain subject matter. Social changes every 2 months at least so have to be commercially current.
Tasks for next session: Look at social media week. Still keep looking at customers not engaging yet. What can online do that offline can’t? Could build report as a marketing strategy. Write a pros and cons list of barriers – why and why not are people engaging? 5 most important things that I’m trying to say. Please indicate progress to hand in (1 = Not ready / 5 = Ready and Prepared) 1 2 3 4 5 Signed (Tutor) Signed (student)
School of Art & Design
Tutorial Record Sheet 2012/13
Module: Research Project Stage 1 Ref. no: FASH30001 Date: 27/11/12 Name : Anna Heaton
Learning outcomes § Produce a self determined body of work that demonstrates cultural and global discourses around theories and ideas in relation to fashion, communication and promotion § Use appropriate levels of research and methods of analysis relevant to the production of your proposal § Make informed selections and develop appropriate and creative solutions in relation to the application of visual communication § Question assumptions within the area of study through the ability to formulate independent judgment, contribute to discussions and articulate reasoned arguments Tutorial / Seminar Record Sheet Work to bring / prepare for session: List of factors to do with engaging/not engaging. Pros/cons list. 5 most important things to say.
Learning issues to discuss in session: Chapter plan. Struggling to find barriers because they are so personal, also hard to contact people that aren’t online – where do you find them?
Feedback from session: Do a chapter plan with 200 words per paragraph. Why is it timely? Make sure to make this clear. Look for words in interviews and primary research that are gateways to insight. Don’t make assumptions.
Tasks for next session: Challenge yourself to write 300 word intro. Make your writing feel ‘you’. Mintel – gaps as to why people haven’t converted. Interim presentation.
Please indicate progress to hand in (1 = Not ready / 5 = Ready and Prepared) 1 2 3 4 5 Signed (Tutor) Signed (student)
School of Art & Design
Tutorial Record Sheet 2012/13 Module: Research Project Stage 1 Ref. no: FASH30001 Date: 10/01/13 Name : Anna Heaton
Learning outcomes § Produce a self determined body of work that demonstrates cultural and global discourses around theories and ideas in relation to fashion, communication and promotion § Use appropriate levels of research and methods of analysis relevant to the production of your proposal § Make informed selections and develop appropriate and creative solutions in relation to the application of visual communication § Question assumptions within the area of study through the ability to formulate independent judgment, contribute to discussions and articulate reasoned arguments Tutorial / Seminar Record Sheet Work to bring / prepare for session: N/A
Learning issues to discuss in session: Ask to read over intro. Ask about referencing.
Feedback from session: Make sure you aren’t making sweeping statements. Reference the Harvard way. Make it feel like you’ve written it, put your stamp on it.
Tasks for next session: N/A
Please indicate progress to hand in (1 = Not ready / 5 = Ready and Prepared) 1 2 3 4 5 Signed (Tutor) Signed (student)
I wanted my visual aesthetic to be quite graphical. Iâ€™ve taken inspiration from a range of sources including online and the book Information is Beautiful by David McCandless. The look I was going for encompasses a feel of the subject of digital, itâ€™s based around basic shapes and blocks of colour that I found were on trend and relevant.
List of Illustrations Fig 1, 2013. HEATON, A., Facebook likes [own image]. Fig 2, 2013. HEATON, A., Methodology table [own image]. Fig 3, 2013. HEATON, A., Facebook connections [own image]. Fig 4, 2013. HEATON, A., Advertising spend infographic [own image]. Fig 5, 2013. HEATON, A., Personalised experience infographic [own image]. Fig 6, 2013. HEATON, A., Online communities infographic [own image]. Fig 7, 2013. HEATON, A., Asos UK site conversions infographic [own image]. Fig 8, 2011. ASOS, Asos summer sale 2011 promo. She Finds [online]. Available at: http://www.shefinds.com/2011/the-asos-summer-sale-makes-it-easy-andcheap-to-try-all-of-those-summer-trends/ [accessed 18 January 2013] Fig 9, 2013. HEATON, A., The customer engagement journey infographic [own image]. Fig 10, 2013. SKITTLES, Skittles homepage. Skittles [online]. Available at: http://www.skittles.com [accessed on 19 January 2013] Fig 11, 2013. HEATON, A., The vintage users consumer profile [own image]. Fig 12, 2013. HEATON, A., The millenimales consumer profile [own image]. Fig 13, 2013. HEATON, A., The chronologically challenged consumer profile [own image]. Fig 14, 2013. HEATON, A., Emotional principles infographic [own image]. Fig 15, 2013. HEATON, A., App mock up [own image]. Fig 16, 2013. HEATON, A., Full app mock up [own image]. Fig 17, 2013. HEATON A., SWOT analysis table [own image]. 177
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