Marketing Strategy Report: ASICS

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marketing strategy report marketing strategy report

THREE YEAR STRATEGY & COMMUNICATION PLAN


02 03 05 07

introduction

methodology

market size & drivers

macro trends

13 25 33 39

internal brand info

three year strategy

communication plan

conclusion


introduction ethical declaration 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. Signed (Student N0827963) ...........................................................

The purpose of this report is to understand the situational analysis of Asics as a company. As a result of that situational analysis, a three-year strategic plan will be suggested to increase Asics brand awareness within the UK and improve their stake in the UK trainer market. In addition to this, this report will detail a one year communication plan to assist the strategic plan.

Ella Swanson N0827963 WORD COUNT: 3984

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methodology

12% 55% In order to gather rounded and insightful information both primary and secondary research was conducted. Secondary research, such as online reports, were used to gain knowledge in regards to the athleisure market, current consumer trends and the history of Asics SportStyle. In terms of primary research both quantitive and qualitative methods were used to discover consumer opinions on the athleisure market and Asics.

PRIMARY RESEARCH: Two focus groups were carried out to gather more in-depth information on specific subjects of interest. The first focus group concentrated on website design. The front pages of competitor websites as well as Asics were printed out and shown to a focus group of four target consumers. They were asked what they liked and disliked about the websites as well as to categorise their favourite and least favourite of the pack.

The second focus group concentrated on consumer opinions in regards to the trainer market as well as their loyalty to brands. There were six participants who were asked a series of questions in an informal manner to encourage open discussion.

style? comfort? both?

11%

33%

18%

Once these focus groups were transcribed they were analysed for common responses as well as responses that sparked an interesting question in regards to Asics current strategy.

11%

INSTAGRAM? TWITTER? FACEBOOK? youTUBE?

85%

PRIMARY RESEARCH: An online survey was conducted with 99 respondents between the ages of 18-34. This survey was conducted in order to understand the target demographics opinions on the general athleisure market on a larger scale. There was no mention of Asics during this survey in order to receive unbiased answers from the respondents. In order to analyse these findings, charts were created to see the data in a clear manner.

37%

MORE LIKELY TO BUY FROM A BRAND SUPPORTING CHARITY?

63% 3

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‘will continue to outperform the total clothing and footwear market beyond 2023’

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market size Asics SportStyle is in the athleisure footwear market. Lifestyle footwear accounts for 58% of footwear sales by the ‘big five’ in the sports market (Wilson, 2019). Within the UK, the market is predicted to grow ’20.9% between 2018 and 2023’ to a sum of 6.7 billion. It is not showing ‘any signs of slowing down’ as athleisure has become ‘embedded into modern lifestyles’ for UK consumers. As the athleisure market grows consumers are becoming more demanding than ever as they expect ‘technical, detail-focused and stylish performance products’ (Drapers, 2019). Athleisure has been born out of many wider trends but ultimately it describes the change in consumer behaviour as consumers are buying shoes that ‘are athletically inspired but not intended for a particular sport’ rather than purchasing them for their original purpose (BBC, 2019).

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market drivers 7

01

The work environment has taken a turn in how it operates as many companies have moved from the rigid professional workspace to a more creative, free and laid back atmosphere. This new way of working includes an increase in ‘home working’ as well as ‘dress down days’. As they have made this change the work dress code has adapted alongside it. Employers are more ‘comfortable with workers expressing their individuality through style’ which has led to an increase of employees integrating athleisure into their work wardrobe (Klarna, 2019).

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Consumers are less likely to be happy to suffer to make a fashion statement. They are demanding that their clothes have a ‘comfortable feel and fit’ and are more likely to be drawn to a brand that delivers that. Athleisure fits their ideals of full comfort as the ‘high-tech materials … perform better [and] can be more comfortable’ than traditional clothing items (Klarna, 2019).

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As well as being a macro consumer trend, wellness is a one of the ‘principle growth drivers for athleisure’. The wellness trend has increased the need for products and services that will enhance life as well as take care of physical and mental health. As the wellness trend has evolved the athleisure trend and market has adapted alongside it. There are more people wearing athleisure on a daily basis as it allows people the freedom to go from gym and excercise classes to coffee with their friends. Social media allows people to share ‘experiences and wellness regimes’ which has resulted in younger consumers adopting these trends to be seen as having a ‘share-worthy lifestyle’ (Klarna, 2019).

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Celebrities sharing their lives via the media has happened for over two decades but its become more consistent with the rise of social media. People are influenced by the choices that they make and aspire to their ‘laidback, fitness-focused and casual way of living’. As well as helping to drive the trend through sharing their outfits and collaborating with brands celebrities have also created their own athleisure brands (Klarna, 2019).

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live A rising trend among younger consumers is watching and engaging with live content. Although streaming live has happened on TV for years the ability to post live content on social media is reasonably new technology. This enables people to see things in real time and connect, share and interact with these experiences more than ever. Brands are beginning to use live to share different parts of their company for example behind the scenes and sneak peaks of new products. This allows the brand to enhance the connection between them and their consumer. Live taps into the idea of ‘FOMO’ (Fear of missing out) as the consumer feels involved in every part of the process as well as not missing coverage from events that were either exclusive or they were unable to attend. They believe that live content feels more organic and real in comparison to social content that has been curated. This is mostly adopted in the capital as Londoners are the most likely to engage with live viewing compared to the rest of the UK (Mindshareworld, 2019).

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identity This is a trend that has been discussed heavily in the past few years. People are looking at identities in a different and less conventional way which is affecting the way that consumers shop. They are moving away from ‘rigid definitions of gender, race and ethnicity’. Consumers are looking for brands that are more inclusive and fluid with the way they connect with them (Mintel, 2019).

wellbeing As mentioned earlier in the report, Wellbeing is a macro consumer trend. Society is changing to be able to discuss topics such as mental health as openly as physical health which is allowing the wellness trend to flourish. As these barriers are breaking, wellness is being incorporated into ‘busy lifestyles’ to allow people to understand themselves and be more open with others (Mintel, 2019).

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p e s

Brexit hits consumer confidence and could impact consumer spending habits ‘latest data shows that concerns over the impact consumers think [Brexit] will have on the economy is more severe than any other time Mintel has started tracking sentiment’ (Dover, 2019). Despite negativity, financial confidence has risen after pay rises and low unemployment.

Economic growth in the United Kingdom has slowed towards the end of 2019. GDP was ‘flat in the three months to October’ with further ‘stagnation’ predicted in November and December. The main reasons that the UK economy is being held back is due to ‘weak productivity growth’ and ‘low investment due to chronic levels of uncertainty’. Garry Young, director of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has responded to this morning’s GDP figures (BBC).

There is a growing demand for products that ‘enhance life rather than … making superficial changes’. Consumers are looking for this to assist with their ‘busy lifestyles’ and allow them to ‘talk about and understand emotional and mental wellbeing’ (Mintel, 2019).

t l e

Technology is allowing people to ‘connect, share and interact around … experiences more than ever’. The growing use of live technology is fulfilling customer demands of having immediate knowledge and experiences. In addition to this, apps are becoming more complex and are allowing a more seamless experience across channels (Mindshareworld). H&M are offering an app update that allows consumers to check stock levels whilst in store on their mobile device (H&M).

Uncertainty around potential law changes as a result of Brexit negotiations makes hard for brands to put plans in place. These changes could increase production costs, minimum wages for employees and affect global trade (Voxeu).

Issues of global warming are becoming a large social issue with many protests occurring to raise awareness. Extinction rebellion are a group that are demanding change from the government to help save the environment. They are a highly influential group which has led to consumers being more conscious about their purchase habits (Extinction Rebellion, 2019).

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Asics SportStyle has a different set of competitors from the performance side of Asics. Their competitors include New Balance, Salomon, Under Armour, Converse, Nike, Vans and Adidas. After analysing my primary research I found that Nike and Adidas were the most popular competitors however this is as to be expected because they are the top two brands in the athleisure market. After these brands, Vans and Converse came out as the next most popular with an average of 42.5% of respondents stating them as one of their favourite brands. Vans are a key competitor with Asics SportStyle as they are popular among their mutual target demographic. Vans use their USP waffle textured soles to differentiate themselves from other skater shoes. They have utilised this within their marketing as they use waffles to promote themselves and their products (Foodbeast, 2019). They appeal to their target demographic by having a fun reputation as they use graphics online, in store and on some of their products. They have also tapped into the personalisation trend by allowing customers to customise products in selected stores as well as online (Vans, 2019).

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Although New Balance was not one of the most popular brands among the respondents of my survey it is a key competitor to Asics Sportstyle. They also started with running shoes and then extended their product lines into other sport shoes and the athleisure market. They use marketing to get a competitive advantage over other brands. They target younger consumers by displaying their shoes being worn in an everyday fashion. They have also collaborated with ASOS to create an exclusive collection of clothing that fits the style of clothing their target athleisure consumers wear (ASOS, 2019).

Asics hold a market share of 1.6% of the athleisure market where as Nike holds 28.5%. Apart from the two main competitors (Nike and Adidas) all other brands have a much smaller market percentage ranging from 4.9% - 1.6%. This means that Asics may be able to change their market share by enhancing their athleisure strategy. The UK market counts for the third strongest market for ASICS within Europe with a value of $94 million. 85% of sales come from their running shoes which shows that the brand in the UK is known for sports and performance shoes rather than athleisure. In terms of athleisure, the UK only has a 7% lifestyle share which is the lowest in Europe (Wilson, 2019). This supports my primary research that found only 3 respondents who listed Asics as a favourite athleisure brand.

HIGH UK MARKET PRESENCE

budget

LUXURY

LOW UK MARKET PRESENCE

This is the current position of Asics in comparison to it’s competitors. At the end of the three year strategy, the aim is to have moved where indicated by the yellow arrow. 14


key issues facing the market A key issue that Asics will have as they try to increase their brand awareness in the UK is that the athleisure market is saturated. Primary research shows that there is such a wide variety of brands to already choose from it may make it difficult for Asics to get themselves into the market place. Sustainability is a key issue facing all fashion markets currently as textiles is one of the most polluting industries. Asics doesn’t have an issue with sustainability as they already have many things in place such as the use of sustainable materials. However, as the issue of sustainability becomes more important to consumers Asics need to ensure that these messages are communicated.

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Ultimately, Asics need to ensure that they stay true to their brand story and not stray away by getting influenced by other popular brands succeeding in the market place. You ‘have to stay true to [your] brand … and try not to be everything to everyone’ (Footwear news). By doing this, Asics are ensuring that they stay unique within the market and remain true to their loyal consumers.

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STRENGTHS

swot 17

Asics are known as an innovative and creative trainer brand (Sneakerfreaker, 2019). They are a key player in the performance sector as they host athletic events across the world e.g. London 10K 2019 (virginsport, 2019). Asics sponsor events such as the ‘sporting goods’ category of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. This leads to more brand awareness that may lead to brand advocacy.

WEAKNESSES

OPPORTUNITIES

THREATS

Asics Sportstyle has a low brand awareness in the UK.

Develop online presence e.g. social media platforms, apps and the official website.

The market is saturated which means that there is a lot of competition for the same consumer loyalty.

Connect with charities and collaborate on projects together. This will reinforce Asics main company values.

The availability of cheaper alternatives may affect demand.

Associated with an older demographic which will make it more difficult to alter younger consumer opinions. Some consumers can not imagine wearing Asics trainers in their day-to-day outfits. This perception needs to be changed in order to have a successful Sportstyle range.

An opportunity in London is to open an exclusive Sportstyle store.

Brands that flaunt their sustainable values may appear more attractive to consumers.

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core competencies Asics main core competency is their consistent approach to innovation. They use their unique sport technology in order to create trainers that are not only fashionable but promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition to this, Asics heritage is a core competency as it sets them apart from their competitors. Their Japanese heritage which started with Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka ‘dedication to making athletic shoes with the aim of nurturing healthy young people through sports’ (Asics, 2020). Asics USP is their innovative range of athleisure and performance based trainers created through a use of unique technology.

gel quantum 360 5 success Asics Gel Quantum 360 5 was launched in May 2019 (Hypebeast, 2019). According to reports by Sneaker Freaker, the Gel Quantum 360 5 ‘disappeared off shelves as quickly as it landed’ (Sneakerfreaker, 2019). Reviews on the Asics website for the Gel Quantum 360 5 show customer satisfaction as all give five stars for the shoe. They highlight that the comfort of the shoe is a top seller along with their durability and design. These reviews give an insight into consumer opinions however is not fully reliable as there was a small sample to analyse (Asics, 2019). According to google reviews, after analysing 212 reviews the Gel Quantum 360 5 has been rated 4.3 stars. This shows that the opinions of those who reviewed the shoe on the Asics website is felt by others (Googlereview, 2019). 20


bag essentials

?

FASHION BAE

who is the consumer 21

AGE: Mid 20s LOCATION: London

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alpha-lete - Is into global and local music - attends gigs in his home town - looks for validation from peers

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AGE: Mid 20s LOCATION: London

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three year strategy

where do we want to be? Within the UK, Asics is aiming to gain more brand awareness in the athleisure market. The ultimate aim is to move up the ranks and become the number 3 brand in this sector. This is a realistic goal as they have achieved this within Paris after using various marketing strategies there. Asics launched the Gel Quantum franchise in the UK in early 2019 and are planning to use their launch of Gel Quantum 360 6 to further brand awareness. Asics can use the new Gel Quantum 360 6 franchise to create a buzz about entering into the athleisure market. They can target trendsetters who are interested in new products on the market by showing off their unique gel technology. The proposed three year marketing strategy is an outline of how to drive growth within the UK athleisure market.

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smart objectives

1 2

To make Asics SportStyle one of the preferred trainer brands of 19-26 year old fashion focused individuals in the UK by February 2023.

To increase brand engagement by 30% with our target market via social media and in-store experiences by December 2022.

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2 3

online refresh app development make them gel campaign mental health awareness

app launch unisex campaign sportstyle exclusive in store

store opening: london

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online refresh The first part of the strategy is to look at all social media platforms and the Asics website. The aim of this refresh is to create a more seamless omnichannel experience for consumers. In terms of social media, there will only be one account for sportstyle and make this flow across all platforms. The website needs to be altered to be more attractive to the new target market as well as being suitable to the existing one. In order to do this, it is essential to combine Asics performance and SportStyle on the front page so that both sides of Asics can be identified immediately. It was highlighted in my primary research that it would be more engaging to have an exclusive webpage for SportStyle that is unique, cool and fun to navigate. This website needs to be a seamless transition to and from the sportstyle social media accounts. The newly revamped website will be released in February 2020 with a sign up section for notifications on new launches.

January

website redesign social media design

launch new website countdown sign up

app development Between August and December 2020, developers will be put on a project to create an app before the launch in the second year of the strategy plan. The app needs to be easy to use and navigate as well as becoming a part of the omnichannel experience. Features such as, making wish-to-buy lists and being able to jump to and from social media will make the app an essential part of a consumers journey to purchase. The app will show live behind the scenes footage as well as giving discounts for loyal users and first time downloads. An important part this development is to be seen as different from other shopping apps. In order to differentiate itself, it needs to be able to show the availability of products in stores and give the consumer the ability to reserve items that you are interested in to try on before purchase. This should enhance the customers experience.

‘make them gel’ campaign This is the campaign that will launch the Gel Quantum 360 6 franchise into the UK. This campaign will be executed with different styles of communication techniques which will be described later in this report. The campaign will spread throughout the year starting with a prelaunch exclusive event.

mental health day

This is an opportunity to show support for world mental health day in October as this aligns with Asics core values. Giving a proportion of sales on that day to a mental health charity (e.g. MIND) would encourage consumers to purchase. This is an insight gained from primary research. If successful, this will be repeated every year through the strategy.

gel quantum 360 6 launch ‘make them gel’ campaign

app development starts mental health awareness day

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sportstyle sections At the beginning of 2021, between January and February, Asics will create sections of their stores that are exclusive for SportStyle. In order to allocate an equal amount of space in each store, there will be a requirement to give 10% of their floorspace to SportStyle. This will allow for consumers to experiment with Asics athleisure in an inviting environment. This allowance will be used to assess how well SportStyle will sell in store locations as well as gaining an insight into who is purchasing the athleisure products. In order to try and gain free PR press releases will be sent out as well as sending exclusive messages to those who signed up to the website.

January

exclusive sections of store to sportstyle

app testing

app testing & launch Initial testing of the app will launch in March 2021. The app will be shown to different focus groups to gain opinions on the app look, feel and functions. Once this is completed, any recommendations will be discussed between the internal marketing team and the app development team. If changes need to be made, these will be done immediately in order to be ready for the app launch at the end of July 2021. This will be marketed across all social media channels and advised to be used in store. This will be the start of the full omnichannel experience as people will be able to use the app to get a great in-store and online experience.

app launch

unisex range In mid November 2021, release unisex range which allows the most popular mens styles to be available in smaller sizes for women. Just in time for christmas.

mental health awareness day unisex range

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store launch Within the final year of the strategy an exclusive SportStyle store will be opened within London. This will be opened if the SportStyle sections within the current stores was a success. This will be measured through follow up consumer satisfaction emails/surveys as well as analysing sales. The store will be located within London’s Soho district. This area of London already boasts a combination of vintage, independent stores and more alternative brands. As Asics sportstyle is new to the UK trainer market it will be seen as a unique athleisure trainer whilst sneakerheads adopt them. This means that Soho will be a great location for the shop as the area attracts people looking for items that will make them feel unique.

January In order to make the store a success it needs to focus on the experience as well as the visual merchandising. There will be features such as gel surrounding quirky mirrors with Asics branding in order to make a mundane thing exciting. There will also be a QR code in the corner of the mirror so when scanned on the Asics app the mirror and gel comes to life. There will be options of different filters so customers can get the perfect instagrammable picture. It is essential also to create a comfortable environment for consumers so seating areas with wireless charging spots will be supplied. Technology will be integrated into the way that the shop functions so that all customer facing processes such as paying, ordering, new suggestions etc are seamless.

store preparation

sustainability This is a world-wide environmental issue that is extremely important to Asics consumers. Asics already have many sustainable processes in place however these are not communicated well to their target audience. Part of the three year strategy is to ensure that consumers are well informed these processes as it will encourage them to purchase. This will run through all three years of the strategy as it will be integrated into all social communications, the new website, the app as well as mentioned in the design of all store launches.

store launch

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communication plan

make them gel

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The communication plan that is in place for the first year of the marketing strategy is focused on the launch of the Gel Quantum 360 6. The main campaign is named, ‘make them gel’ which is meant to differentiate Asics as a prestigious and unique brand in the UK trainer market. The slogan uses a pun about making people jealous to engage potential consumers to try a different trainer as well as making them aware about the technology used within the shoe.

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guerilla marketing Guerrilla marketing will be used to create a buzz around the launch of the new shoe. This will appear on the streets of London a week before the launch to build up brand awareness and engagement. The marketing will be placed on bus stops around central London in order to be seen by the most people. The traditional advertisement poster will be replaced with a mirror that is coated in an advert with a slot left for a persons head. This will allow people to find themselves immersed within the new ‘make them gel’ campaign images where they will be wearing the new quantum 360 6 shoes in a new outfit. Bright yellow, ‘gel-like’ footsteps will be placed on the floor walking towards the advert to encourage people to go and look at it. Ideally, this will be posted over social media by passers by and create a real excitement over the new launch.

pop-up event A pop-up event will take place the day before the launch of the new quantum shoe and will have an exclusive guest list made up of sneakerheads, Asics enthusiasts and influencers. The event will take place in London Soho. This location has been chosen as it is an easily accessible central area of London that is known for its creativity and unique brands. The event will be focused around gel technology with the walls being covered in a gel texture; making for a great instagram spot. The gel theme will continue through to the cocktails as they will contain edible ‘gel bubbles’ and activities for guests to create their own ‘gel’ creations. Once this event has taken place it will then be open to the public to come in and look at the new shoe launch and get involved in different activities daily with a coffee bar on offer.

sneakerness To raise brand awareness, Asics will appear at the Sneakerness event in London. This is an event for sneakerheads and will give Asics an opportunity to flaunt their launch into the athleisure market. It is a great place to get people interested in their new products as well as being able to meet potential influencers to work with in the future. Affiliate links and sponsored instagram posts will be used throughout the communication plan to support all parts of the campaign.

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January sneakerness

communication timeline

guerilla marketing

pop-up event

mental health communication

budgeting The budget for the communication plan is £150,000 £200,000. The cost of the proposed communication plan is £132,120 which includes the price for the event, guerrilla marketing, Sneakerness and the use of influencers. The expected revenue from this plan is £780,000 with a profit of £434,380 (See Appendix D).

rise in paid influencer posts

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december

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conclusion The primary and secondary research conducted raised the main point that Asics needed to improve their brand awareness with their target consumer in the UK. The three year strategic plan is set to tackle this issue. The online refresh and app launch taps into technological trends such as live and the omnichannel experience. Having an in-store presence will encourage consumers to try out new products and engage more with the brand and the chosen communication plan should create an exciting buzz around the brand as it appears on the UK athleisure trainer market. Both of these strategic moves should help assist to complete the SMART objectives set.

make them gel

As well as this, the mental health and unisex campaigns will show that Asics cares about its consumers by showing its slogan, ‘sound body, sound mind’ in action. The success of this strategy will be measured by analysing statistics showing engagement both online and in-store. As well as this, surveys will be sent to customers who have either given their email address in-store or on the website to get an insight into their opinions on the brand. 39

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appendix a


appendix a

appendix b

Focus group re. Website design Leader: Ella Swanson Attendees: Tash Dale, Rachel Lea, Heather Spenceley, Jess de Heer. 25/11/2019 Ella: Hi all, My name is Ella Swanson and as part of my degree, Fashion Marketing and Branding, I am undertaking research into website design for fashion and sport websites. I have asked you to participate in this focus group for your honest opinions in response to the questions that I am going to ask you. The focus group will be taped and transcribed, and should you want a copy of the transcription then please ask me and I’d be happy to arrange for one to be sent to you. The information you give me will be used to support my work and will be written up in my project. Anything you say will be treated with the strictest confidence and your contribution to the discussion will not be attributed to you as an individual, what you said will be used for illustration online; to reinforce a point that I am making. The recording and transcripts will be stored on a private file on my computer. Both will be destroyed one I have completed my degree and graduate. [Hands out the first website which is Adidas] Ella: What do you like about this? Jess: It’s quite clean (Nods and agreement) Heather: There’s not too much going on. Jess: Yeah, it’s well presented. Rachel: I like that you can see the products pretty clearly. Tash: As well as that I like that they’ve got the Stan smiths and the continentals- like quite popular shoes- they’ve got them on the front page. Where people can see. As well they have the email address box to sign up which stops you from faffing around if you want to do it. Ella: Okay thanks, what is it that you don’t like? Rachel: It’s plain. Tash: yeah it’s plain (agreeing noises) Tash: Just using all the same colours int’ it. All shoes are black and white could have used different cool colours. Ella: Do you think it’s like engaging? Tash/Rach: no Heather: not really no Tash: this bits cool (points to top of the page) Jess: all the shoes look the same. Ella: Just to clarify on the website that bit that tash mentioned actually moves like a GIF but that’s not possible to show when it’s printed out.


appendix b Tash/Rachel/Heather: ahhhh right okay that’s cool Tash: yeah that’s different. Rachel: I just don’t like that the backgrounds white because… Heather: Yeah it would look cool if it was black Rachel: Yeah it just like.. I don’t know.. Jess: It’s just looks too white. Tash: ‘originals all day every day’ that’s good. Rachel: I know I said that I liked that the pictures of the products are clear but there’s no kind of like fashiony feel to it.. like they’re just all pictures of the shoes Heather: Yeah! And they all just look the same.. Rachel: like there’s not a lot of them. Jess: It’s because they’ve chosen all the similar shoe models. Heather: but I guess they’re the popular ones… but still Jess: could have showed them in different colours. (All agree). Ella: Would you click on another one of these pages? So like would you delve further into the website or would you click immediately off? Rachel: only if I was planning on buying some specific I wouldn’t just do it for fun. Ella: so you wouldn’t browse it? All: hmmm Heather: No I wouldn’t. Rachel: If I was going to browse trainers I’d go on like JD I wouldn’t look on the Adidas website. Tash: Maybe, I might look for a price. Ella: Okay, so it doesn’t intrigue you and make you think oooh? Rachel: I don’t want to buy from it no. Tash: they’re just showing white shoes really aren’t they. Heather: I don’t really buy from a brands website either I do like JD or somewhere. I don’t know why. Jess: I go wherever they’re offering student discount. All: yeah haha [Hands out the next website which is New Balance] Ella: Okay so this is the next sheet. Again it’s a website front page. Have a look and I’ll ask you the same questions again. Ella: ready? Okay so what did you like about this one. Jess: I like that its more colourful than the Adidas one. All: agree

Rachel: there’s just a bit more going on Heather: they’ve got their 15% offer on quite boldly on the front page which I really like. It makes me want to look. Rachel: this is very specific to me but there’s a photo of Liverpool on there so I’m like yeahhh. Ella: okay so it shows like locality? It’s relatable? Rachel: yeah, like it’s got me engaged because it’s like getting to me personally. Making a position in my mind. Jess: they show different types of shoes as well not just the same one or the same colour. Rachel: yeah they’ve shown a diverse amount of shoes. Heather: they’ve shown all the shoes in different formats and environments. (Agree) Jess: yeah, a shoe for every occasion. Tash: haha love that. It looks quite easy to navigate. Rachel: and they’ve made it obvious that it’s their best sellers so like you can see what the most popular styles are… Tash: That’s like the Adidas one though isn’t it. Rachel: yeah but Adidas never said that they were best sellers Ella: so they made it more obvious? Rachel/Tash: yeah yeah definitely Ella: okay, so what don’t you like about this one? Jess: looks a bit boyish Tash agrees Rachel: yeah very masculine Tash: I thought that new balance was quite a casual shoe but they’ve shown it like sporty. Rachel: like performance Tash: yeah there is like hiking and Ella: so in terms of like fashion? If you were looking on here for a fashion shoe would you be.. Tash: No. I wouldn’t look at this for fashion whereas Adidas screams fashion. Heather: It’s not overly branded either like I would’t know that It was new balance. It took me a while to realise Jess: there are a lot more nice looking new balance shoes than this but they’ve got all the dad shoes on the front Tash: yeah I was gonna say that.. they’re all butters Rachel: yeah Ella: so you think they’ve gone more down their sports route? Rachel: yeah because new balance do have some really nice shoes. I was going to buy a pair but these ones I wouldn’t buy any of these Tash: no I wouldn’t buy any of these either Jess: maybe the 574 Rachel: yeah… Jess: not in those colours though Ella: okay thanks. Do you find this engaging?


appendix b Jess/Rachel: yeah Tash: I think it’s because of the colours- the yellow is quite nice. Ella: okay so if you clicked onto this website would you think ooh this is a nice website. Tash: yeah I’d say so Rachel: I’d say it was alright.. but nothing special. I’m not like omg this is the best website I’m like it’s alright its a website it does the job. Ella: and if you clicked onto this page would you be enticed to carry on browsing? Rachel: I’d click off. Jess: yeah the shoes look ugly so I would click off too. Tash: yeah true. [Hands out the next website which is Asics] Tash: oh my god I just hate it. It’s just very messy. Rachel: yeah it’s so blue. Ella: Right okay, let’s start with the things you don’t like then. Ella: As you’ve done with the other two try to look at it from a fashion perspective. Rachel: from a fashion perspective its a no Heather: the colours, I think just the colours.. Tash: yeah Heather: they’re just not fashionable Tash: is this the front page this one? Ella: yeah everything that I pass out is from the front page. Tash: they could have easily put more on there, they’ve put one, two shoes on there Rachel: in terms of fashion there is nothing on there that says anything on there. There’s which road running shoe is right for you, there’s people running - where does that say they have anything to do with fashion? Heather: I just think like it all blurs into one- nothing stands out to me at all. Ella: okay so tell me your opinions on the colour scheme. Rachel: so much blue! Heather: yeah its really lacking something… Jess: is that not their brand colour though? Heather: I think it is but Rachel: but even if it is it’s like blue on blue- do white on blue or Tash: yeah that would look sick Rachel: or a different colour on blue.

Jess: and more white would have made it look cleaner as well. (Agree) Heather: I think it just looks a little bit old fashioned Tash: not sure about the models like what are they doing Ella: well, have we got any things that we do like about this website? Jess: the purple shoe is cute I like the colour. Ella: okay! Do you like the way that the shoe is photographed or is it the shoe? Jess: it’s the shoe- I don’t like how she is blurred out in the background it doesn’t really make any sense. Rachel: I’d rather it was just in studio lights then have her blurry face in the background but I do like the shoe. Ella: so you like the product placement? Rachel nods. Jess: I like how they’ve shown the shoe in motion because Asics are performance shoes like sportswear. You see people running in them and think that this fits. Ella: So if Asics were to bring out fashionable shoes- would you think that or not? Jess: god forbid. I just can’t see anyone wearing these shoes with their jeans All nod and agree Rachel: I do like though that there is free standard delivery over orders of £50 because Asics shoes are like £150 so you’re definitely getting free delivery. And free returns as well. Jess: I think that’s the key difference between Asics and the other websites so far this is the first one that’s been all sportswear and no fashion element. You don’t see them with normal everyday wear on with the shoes which we have had in others. Ella: are you enticed by this website? All: no Rachel: the only thing that engages me is the ‘about Asics’ bit like If if wanted to know more about them then I’d click on that which I haven’t seen on the other pages. But I wouldn’t click further to shop. Ella: okay so you wouldn’t click past the first page of this website? All: no Tash: probably not no Heather: one good thing I have just noticed is they’ve kind of personalised it with the ‘your perfect shoe finder’ bit. Tash: oh yeah I didn’t see that. Heather: but that’s kind of it. [Hands out the next website which is Converse] Jess: this is cool Rachel: yeah I like this Jess: properly jazzy Tash: ooh I like that photo


appendix b Ella: okay, so what do you guys like about this one? Heather: it’s more interesting in terms of style Rachel: at the bottom its very like young young girl Tash: yeah that’s true Rachel: and then the keep it classic one is like for everyone Heather: and they’ve got their discount right at the top so you’d just click on that straight away.. well I would anyway All: agree Tash: I feel like they’ve shown a wide range of their product portfolio. Like it’s a bit different each one heather: yeah Rachel: I also like that in the top thingy bar it says customise so like again you can customise. There’s personalisation Ella: so when you look at this website do you think fashion or sport or? Rachel: fashion Tash: fashion definitely Jess/Heather: agree Ella: why? Rachel: there is just no kind of incentive to do any exercise in them Tash: on the actual shoe its clear Rachel: are they baseball shoes? Jess: they were originally basketball shoes but no one uses them for that because there’s just no support in these shoes at all Ella: so even though you know that you still.. so you all know that converse are actually not very comfortable at all really to walk in.. you’d still buy them because you’re enticed by this? Why would you still buy them? Jess: I love my chucks hahaha Rachel: it’s the brand All: yeah it is Heather: its just quite cool I love the logo as well Ella: so you’ve bought into the brand rather than the comfort? All: yeah Tash: because like everyone has had a pair of converse just because of the brand.] Jess: yeah its a good shoe Rachel: but even now like I’ve got a pair that I bought like two years ago and my feet obviously haven’t grown in that time so I know they’re going to last me Heather: yeah you know they’re gonna last Ella: okay Jess: its pretty clear that they’re very style focused as well Jess: also something pretty good on the website is like the gift guide which because its Christmas time is pretty good

Heather: yeah they’ve literally got like the discount too Ella: and they’re the only website that I looked at that had this feature too Jess: nah it’s good Rachel: they know who they’re appealing to Jess: you can tell they’ve got a good marketing team or designer who’s put this together Heather: yeah Tash: hmmmmm agree Ella: and so after that do we have anything we dislike? (delay) (ummms) Jess: theres no people wearing the shoes Tash: it’s quite text heavy on the first bit but then it’s not to text heavy throughout. I like how its so minimal and then its text heavy there Heather: I can’t really think of anything Rachel: maybe like them in an outfit. Like as a part of a whole outfit but I don’t know if they sell clothes? Ella: yeah they do sell some clothes Rachel: ah okay well maybe that then! Rachel: bit strange that there are no clothes on their front page like I know they’re known for shoes but if they sell that then Heather: even if it was like subtle Tash: I feel like they have a big culture around them .. I swear I’ve seen a video about it so they could think about including that Jess: yeah like more about their brand story Rachel: yeah like you don’t rlly know anything about them… we only know stuff about converse because we know the brand … we’ve known it our whole lives Ella: do you think that they don’t put that on there because they expect people to know that when they go on their website? Rachel: maybe, but if you don’t know that then you’re at a disadvantage.. well not a disadvantage but you just wouldn’t know Tash: It could entice people in if they did that Jess: aren’t they one of the best selling shoes in the world or something like that? Rachel: I would assume so Ella: I think they’re number 4 in the UK Jess: that surprises me I thought they’d be higher??? Rachel: well you’ve got Nike and Adidas Jess: I guess so Ella: do you guys feel engaged by this page? All: yeah Rachel: I wanna see the gift guide Heather/Jess: yeah Tash: uhhhh I wouldn’t click on just because I don’t like the shoes like they’re not for me


appendix b Ella: okay well if you were shopping for someone else so take the shoes out of the equation and you were going through websites if you stumbled across this one would you click on? Tash: Yeah for sure if you take away the actual shoes then this one is the most intriguing website [Hands out the next website which is Puma] Jess: can I start? Ella: yeah of course you can, we can start with what you like Jess: oh Ella: you can go for what you don’t like if you want? Jess: it looks boojie.. the way that the model is stood you know that it’s meant to be like… Rachel: … editorial? Jess: yeah Ella: okay so you don’t think that fits with the brand? Rachel: it’s not a nice shoe Jess: I feel like they’ve gone down the editorial route to sell like a fashion shoe to the average person but it doesn’t work Ella: so it’s not relatable? All: yeah Rachel: yeah, I think that it’s very confusing because obviously Balmain is a fashion brand and like you wouldn’t wear that for performance but she’s there wearing boxing gloves on her tippy toes and it just is a bit like what is it actually for? If that makes sense Tash: you’d never wear those for sport Rachel: yeah like what’s the purpose it doesn’t make it clear Ella: so I don’t know if you have realised but this is actually the brand Puma’s website All: yeah Jess: oh! Ella: so the Balmain bit is a collaboration Ella: so what do you think of this collaboration? Rachel: it just doesn’t make sense Heather: no.. I feel like it’s random Jess: yeah its definitely random Tash: Balmain is a weird brand for them to collab with Heather: yeah Tash: like what demographic is this aimed at I’m confused Ella: in terms of the actual look and feel of the website and the colours; what do you guys think of that?

Heather: I think its quite cool! Tash: I like the picture its cool Heather: yeah I like it Rachel: its cool but I think that Puma sells so many different shoes this is the only thing on their front page Heather: is this the same shoe? Rachel: yeah Tash: I don’t know why they put that little insert picture into it Heather: yeah it would be more striking without Tash: it’s weird Jess: the page looks dark to me Ella: any more positives if we have any? Jess: I like Cara Tash: good choice of model Heather: I like the bit where it says shop the collection and I guess the use of Cara is good because a lot of people would know her Rachel: I agree though with that about the images like either one of those would have been a good image you didn’t need to add the insert it just looks out of place Ella: so you recon they’ve been indecisive? Rachel: yeah I just don’t get it Tash: I just think the picture looks out of place there Rachel: maybe below but you don’t need it on top of it? Ella: do you think that without knowing that you would click onto the website and immediately know what brand it is? Tash: I would have got Puma because of the little logo Rachel: yeah and she’s dressed in puma Heather: I think if you quickly looked you wouldn’t know who’s it was like you need to see the tiny details to know Jess: I had no idea until you said Rachel: If there weren’t the little logos on her outfit I would have had no idea Ella: do you feel engaged by this? Rachel: no Heather: no Jess: it’s just dark and dingy really Rachel: hmm and it’s not convincing either like Cara isn’t a sports person she’s a model, an actress. Heather: they’ve made her the focus point rather than the shoes Rachel: I wouldn’t yeah.. Tash: she isn’t a rep either is she? Rachel: yeah she wouldn’t convince me to buy the shoes Jess: but maybe that puma trying to push the fashion sense of their shoes because she is a fashion model


appendix b Rachel: they just needed to dress her a bit better if that’s what they were going for Rachel: its not a nice outfit Ella: would you guys delve further into this page? Would you look more into it All: no Rachel: I think pumas a bit like old and out of it. They used to be with Rihanna but now she’s got her own stuff going on they’re just a bit .. I don’t care about them anymore [Hands out the next website which is Nike] Rachel: I quite like it Tash: I didn’t expect it from them Heather: yeah I quite like it Tash: the green is sick Rachel: I like it because you’ve kind of got your fashion like editorial vibe and then it goes into like the actual product and being able to see it but its still got the fashion and the shoes and the performance. Its well rounded Heather: and they’ve used a black Friday thing without actually saying its black Friday. Tash: they’ve not been obvious Heather: yeah they’re not just like ooh look at our discounts Rachel: what does it say? Level up your play? Heather: yeah Rachel: it says students get 13% off that’s such a weird percentage Heather: they’ve put really small that its 50% off certain products and like you’d think that would be bigger Jess: it’s not very obvious Ella: what do you think of the colours they’ve used? Jess: I like it Tash: like it Heather: yeah I like it I think Rachel: and neon is obviously a trend at the minute so they’ve tapped into that Jess: I think its good they’ve shown a variety of products in a stylish way Heather: yeah like they’ve got the shoes then the editorial bit but they’ve made the sports clothes fashionable in a really clever way Heather: that’s all sportswear in the middle picture she looks like she could walk down the street in that and look cool Rachel: yeah she has big earrings in Ella: so you think they’ve done well at mixing the sport and the fashion Heather: yeah Rachel: they’ve got a good mix and the models are diverse too which I like.

Rachel: they just needed to dress her a bit better if that’s what they were going for Rachel: its not a nice outfit Ella: would you guys delve further into this page? Would you look more into it All: no Rachel: I think pumas a bit like old and out of it. They used to be with Rihanna but now she’s got her own stuff going on they’re just a bit .. I don’t care about them anymore [Hands out the next website which is Nike] Rachel: I quite like it Tash: I didn’t expect it from them Heather: yeah I quite like it Tash: the green is sick Rachel: I like it because you’ve kind of got your fashion like editorial vibe and then it goes into like the actual product and being able to see it but its still got the fashion and the shoes and the performance. Its well rounded Heather: and they’ve used a black Friday thing without actually saying its black Friday. Tash: they’ve not been obvious Heather: yeah they’re not just like ooh look at our discounts Rachel: what does it say? Level up your play? Heather: yeah Rachel: it says students get 13% off that’s such a weird percentage Heather: they’ve put really small that its 50% off certain products and like you’d think that would be bigger Jess: it’s not very obvious Ella: what do you think of the colours they’ve used? Jess: I like it Tash: like it Heather: yeah I like it I think Rachel: and neon is obviously a trend at the minute so they’ve tapped into that Jess: I think its good they’ve shown a variety of products in a stylish way Heather: yeah like they’ve got the shoes then the editorial bit but they’ve made the sports clothes fashionable in a really clever way Heather: that’s all sportswear in the middle picture she looks like she could walk down the street in that and look cool Rachel: yeah she has big earrings in Ella: so you think they’ve done well at mixing the sport and the fashion Heather: yeah Rachel: they’ve got a good mix and the models are diverse too which I like.


appendix b Ella: okay fabulous, have you got any cons of the website? Anything you don’t like? Heather: just the fact that the writing is really small on the bit about the discount like I think it should be much bigger Rachel: I think the font is a bit small on the navigation bar Tash: yeah It could be bigger Rachel: compared the title it doesn’t look right -but that could be them trying to be minimal Ella: is that all of the negatives? Tash: I feel like they could have done more at the bottom like the top part is really cool but that’s quite basic Ella: okay, so you don’t think that they merge together very well? Tash: no not at all. I wouldn’t know that they the same page. Jess: also there is white font over a white shoe which isn’t a good idea. Tash: the models are in some pretty cool poses as well to be fair Jess: it’s pretty innovative Tash: I’ve never seen another brand use the colours that this has and it looks really striking Rachel: I would never have expected this from Nike Tash: yeah that’s why I was surprised Ella: so you like the fact that it was unexpected? Heather, Tash, Rachel: Yeah Jess: I thought it was Schuh at the beginning Ella: because of the green? Jess: Yeah, it seems like their kind of colours. Ella: So do you guys find this engaging? all: yeah Tash: the green bit yeah but the other bit no Ella: okay so since the green bit will be the first thing that you see would you continue to scroll down because you like it? Tash: yeah Rachel: I think I would click to see more of the edit at the beginning because I like the photos they’re pretty engaging Ella: so leading on from that if you were browsing for shoes would you continue shopping into this website? Rachel, Heather, Jess: yeah Tash: definitely yeah Ella: okay thank you all for that I just have a few more questions that I want to ask. The reason that I have asked you all to keep your handouts is because I want you to pick out your favourite and your least favourite. Tash: is it from a fashion perspective? Ella: yeah it will be from a fashion perspective but just go with what you personally most like.

Rachel: I quite like the Adidas one now. the thing is I feel like I had a lot to say about the first one but now I’ve looked at the others I like it. Ella: do you feel like your opinion has changed because of seeing the others? Rachel: now I have seen them all I like it Ella: what does that one remind you of [adidas]? Because it reminds me of something and I don’t know if it reminds you guys? Tash: no not really Ella: it reminds me of instagram the way they’ve laid it out I don’t know if they were going for that vibe- what’s your thoughts? Heather: yeah like insta stories a bit Rachel: I think it looks more like a Pinterest Jess: yeah like a storyboard almost Ella: okay so if you guys want to come up with your favourite and your least favourite ones and then we will discuss. Ella: Rachel, shall we start with you. Rachel: okay, so my favourite one is Adidas which is funny due to my first opinions of them. My least favourite was tied between Asics and New Balance. Which is also strange because after I saw NB after Adidas I thought it was so much better but as I’ve gone through and seen the others I’ve realised that its not. Wait no. Asics is my least favourite New Balance is alright. Because if that was big on my screen then I would be really overwhelmed [discussing Asics] Jess: I couldn’t decide on one so I’m just going to say my top and bottom. My top two are Adidas and converse. They appeal to the age range better. Those capture me both definitely. My least favourite is New Balance because it reminds me of my dad. These two you can tell they’re aimed at boys and girls kind of. They are a lot more diverse and will appeal to more people. Tash: I also couldn’t decide between mine. My top are Nike and Adidas. It would be pure Nike but I feel like they’ve let themselves down with the creativity in terms of when you go further down in the page. Bottom two are Asics and New Balance. Asics is awful, I hate it and I know that is dramatic but I just would click off straight away. New Balance I just think is too… looks like you’re going to go hiking. Its not fashion like at all even though I see people walking around in New Balance. Heather: My top one is converse and my bottom two are Asics and new balance but I think its because they’re both set out in blocks. Converse uses different patterns and different shapes but these are just boring and old fashioned. I just think it’s ugly. Ella: okay, thank you guys. I have one last question for you. What do you think after looking at all of these what do you think is essential on the front page of a website if you were going to create the perfect one? Aimed at us. Heather: advertising discounts, definitely. And put seasonal things on it such as the converse gift guide because that entices me in more. Jess: keep it clean, bright and use multiple colours that compliment each other.


appendix b Rachel: I like an editorial esque image. When I looked at the Nike one it reminded me of Pretty Little Thing almost but not in a bad way in a way that means they’re targeting my demographic. I like to see how it looks in a full outfit not just on a white background. I liked it on the Adidas and the nike one. Tash: I would say like know how you’re trying to come across. Use images that are appropriate to that and make sure that they portray it properly. Ella: okay so if a brand is half sport half fashion should they have one website or two separate? One for fashion and then one for sport? Or should they merge it onto one? All: merge on one definitely. Rachel: see now I kind of think different. On the navigation bar link to the other one. Tash: but if you start using two different websites it could get really confusing for people Rachel: not like completely different websites but the homepage would look so weird if it was merged badly on the front page. Jess: I think it can work merged together. Because if you think about it a lot of sport shoes are made for performance but are also worn with jeans. Like nike shoes they are running but you see people wearing them with jeans. Jess: you need to pick the right shoes and the right collection of products on the front page so that it works for both. Also makes it seem better because it shows that you can go from the gym to the streets looking fashionable Rachel: Yeah and make sure that they are portrayed properly. Ella: Okay thank you. That is all from me does anyone have any other comments or questions for me? No? Okay thank you very much for helping me out today. -END OF RECORDING-

appendix b


appendix b

appendix C Focus group re. Consumer opinions Leader: Rachel Lea, Ella Swanson, Natasha Dale, Heather Spencely Attendees: Grace Geary, Sophie Evans, Maddy Stevens, Joshua Mallarthy 27/11/2019 R: Okay what shoes do you wear on a day to day basis? Like what type of shoes? M: Trainers R: But what brand? M: Depends. These were just from TK Maxx because they were cheap. If I have branded trainers then I’ll wear branded trainers, but I’m not fussy. S: Tends to be Adidas Stan Smiths or Converse J: Nike or Adidas. Something I can play sports in. G: Nike or Vans. R: Have you got any shoes in mind at the moment that you’re looking to buy in the future? Like any you’ve seen on Instagram? M: No, not really. S: I just bought a pair of Adidas trainers because my sister had them and I liked them. E: Which ones? S: I don’t know, the one’s with the stripes on them. R: Superstars? S: Maybe? I’m really bad with names. J: New pair of Air Jordan 1’s. Like something for when I go out clubbing. M: Would you not be worried about ruining them? R: Yeah, they’re quite expensive. J: I’d get a dark pair. M: Oh, fair enough. G: I don’t have any. R: For people that don’t have a shoe in mind, why not? M: Um. I’m not really that fussy about my clothes. I literally wear the same pair of shoes for six months and then get new ones. E: So when you are looking for a pair of shoes you want them to be durable? M: Yeah. R: And what about you Grace? G: Well, I just bought some, so. R: Which ones did you just buy? G: Nike Air Force 1.


appendix C E: Why did you buy them? G: Because they’re cool. They’ve got all different colours on them. I found them on an Instagram page called Sole Woman. R: Okay. Are you more likely to buy a pair of shoes if they’re more unique or less mainstream? Like if you saw a pair of shoes that you had never seen anyone wear before, would you want to buy them because they’re more unique? M: It depends what they look like. Like say for instance they were like just as nice but not branded and I knew no one had them then I’d still buy them. Because the shoes I’m wearing now, I just knew I wanted them and then I bought them. S: It wouldn’t incline me more to buy them just because no one else was wearing them. But if I liked them and they were a bit different then sure. E: Would you be more inclined to buy a shoe that everyone else was wearing? S: No… But then I’m wearing Stan Smith’s. J: For me, 100% the less popular a shoe is the more attractive it is to me. Because you standout more. People will actually ask you what’s on your feet and it creates a discussion about it. E: Would you say you look at upcoming brands then? Like do you look specifically for obscure brands? J: Yeah, I’m always on the lookout for new shoes. I want to know what’s coming out and when. G: I think I’d like to buy shoes that no one else has but I think it’s a lot harder nowadays. Everyone has the same shoes. They’re also more expensive when they’re a bit different. R: But would you say that they’re worth the money? Like are they worth paying a bit extra to be unique? G: No, not really. I don’t like spending a lot of money on shoes. R: Right, what brands are you loyal to? In terms of shoe brands? M: Nike? I’ve had Nike shoes. I’m not really loyal, I don’t know. I’m not really fussed about brands. Just if they look nice. S: I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that I’m loyal, but I just like the style of Converse or Superga’s. E: Would you say because you’ve bought Converse for years that you’re loyal to them in a sense of: you know what you’re getting? S: Yeah. I know the quality, I know they’re going to last me a long time. E: So would you be more likely to choose a pair of Converse over another pair of shoes that are a similar style? S: Yeah. R: What about you guys? Are you loyal to any brands? J: Not at all, no. G: I wouldn’t say I was loyal, I just buy them because they look cool. But then, if I was buying gym shoes, I’d just buy Nike. I guess I’d just say Nike, if anyone. R: Okay this one’s a bit different, but have you ever been to a pop up store? And if you have what was your experience like? For reference a pop up store is when a store is opened but for a very limited amount of time E:It can be an actual shop or it could just be like a little stall. A lot of the time they offer experiences and things.

R: Like when Missguided came to Uni to do a Sample Sale. M: I don’t think I have. I don’t remember going to one. R: Okay, so even if you’ve been to one, it wasn’t a memorable experience? M: Potentially, yes. S: I don’t think I’ve ever been to one, no. J: No, neither. G: I’ve been to ones in Bicester Village, but they’re not like experiences. Like it’s tiny. E: If a brand that you liked came to Nottingham and had a pop up shop in Market Square and they had things going on, like competitions and stuff, would you be likely to go? S: Yeah. J: Yeah. M: Yeah, probably. E: And how would you want to find out about it if something like that was going on? J: Probably through Instagram. M: Yeah. E: And like word of mouth? M: Yeah, like the same way we find out about the kilo sales, through uni. R: Okay, are you more likely to go into a shop, if you know that they have some element of experience within them? For instance, personalisation. Something interactive. Like in John Lewis in the Intu Centre you can get personalised tubs of quality street. Would you be more likely to go into a shop if they offered something like that? M: I’m more of a person that will only go into a shop with something in mind that I need to buy, or like the aesthetic. R: But if you saw on Instagram, for example, that they had this really cool experience going on, would you go out of your way to go and see it M: I’d probably be inclined to check it out, if it was massively talked about, but not if it was just a small part of the shop. For me it would depend on the shop as well, like if it was Urban Outfitters I’d definitely go and check it out because I like their clothes, but if it was a brand that I couldn’t relate to then I wouldn’t. R: What if you could relate to the experience? M: For me, I go into shops for the product. I mean if it was a really cool experience, then alright I’ll give it a go. But I probably wouldn’t go in unless the aesthetic appealed to me as well. R: Okay, what about you? S: Yeah, I’d go in a and check it out, but more so if I was walking past and I saw a sign and had 5 minutes to spare. I’m the same though, If it was somewhere that I shop regularly then I’d go out of my way to check it out. J: I’m not really fussed about the experience, just the product. G: I’d probably say the same as everyone else.


appendix C M: I don’t think I ever have you know. Not like a physical product anyway. E: What about discount? Like Black Friday sales? M: I mean probably in Boxing Day sales and stuff, but never for a new product. I’d rather get it when it’s cheaper. R: Have you? S: No, never. J: I have plenty of times, yeah. Especially on Air Max Day. Usually I’ll go down to Nike on Oxford Street and there’ll be a new exclusive Nike shoe being released. The longest I’ve waited in line was like… 6 hours, I think. M: That’s a very long time. S: There’s no shoe that I like that much. J: I’ve waited overnight for a shoe, with my friends. That was for Nike. E: When you do that do the have anything to keep you entertained in the queue? J: No! No. It’s just the demand of the customer. E: Do you think they should? J: No. The brand is under no obligation to do that for us. We put ourselves there willingly. R: But would you like it if they did? For instance free food and hot drinks. J: Yeah, of course. But again, it’s the demand of the customer. They don’t need to do that to get people to wait outside. It’s quite a fun experience, though. Even though you’re just stood waiting in the freezing cold, like you get to meet new people and most of the people there are from the same community as you. You get to talk about things. M: I guess it’s similar to queueing up outside a gig. J; Yeah. R: Would you say as well that that’s kind of biased to where you live? For instance, Maddy lives in Guildford and she doesn’t really have many shops there that have big product launches where she could queue, but in London there is. I mean like if you had to travel an hour away to do it, would you still do it? J: Yeah, I travel 40 minutes to get there normally. But I’m with my friends. G: I’ve never queued. R: Do you guys ever see yourself queueing for anything? M: I don’t think I would for a product. I don’t know. I would for a gig. S: I wouldn’t. R: Would you queue on a website? S: Yeah, for like Glastonbury tickets. M: Yeah, for Glastonbury tickets. R: Right, so if a brand has a cause or a message, some sort of activism behind them, would you say that they are more memorable to you. Would you remember them more because they have this cause behind them? M: I think it does. It’s nice to know that you’re giving back when you buy from somewhere. It’s a similar concept to charity shops as well. It’s a big attractor I think.

R: Would you be more likely to pick a brand with a cause over a competitor, just because you know that they have that activism behind them? M: Yeah, say for instance I normally go for an unbranded shoe, if Nike had more of a cause then I’d be inclined to pay a bit more knowing that it’s giving back, rather than going for a cheaper option. S: Yeah, I’m the exact same. J: I disagree. I don’t really care about that. It sounds selfish but I’d prefer the product to have a good concept behind the design rather than it just being for a good cause. R: Yeah, you don;t want to compromise quality for activism? J: Yeah. R: What about you? G: I think that I’d like to think I would, but I don’t think it bothers me. With buying shoes not at all. When you’re buying a shoe you’re not thinking about that. But maybe if you knew then it would change your mind. It’s more of a bonus, like if you were already buying a shoe and then they said that, I’d be like “oh that’s nice.” R: Okay. Next I’m going to show you a picture of shoes. They’re the same shoe but just in 2 different colours.

R: So have a look at them and anyone can start. What’s your general opinion of the design of the shoe? Do you like them or not? M: Um, it’s not my. It’s sort of just a black shoe isn’t it. R: This is for street style, not running. This is athleisure. *Everyone laughs* M: I don’t know, I feel like the black ones are nicer. I wouldn’t buy them. They’re not horrendous, but I think they’re just a basic shoe. T: How much money do you think that they cost? M: Probably quite a lot. J: I don’t know, about £60? S: Yeah, same. M: I reckon, yeah. Maybe £70. J: I quite like the midsole layer. R: The gel bit? J: Yeah. It reminds me of an Air Max 97. R; So do you like this design? The visible technology kind of thing?


appendix C R: You like it, but would you wear it? J: Would I wear it? Uhm, yeah I’d wear it. In the black, yeah. M: I think I’d wear the black ones. For me, the white ones look a bit yellow. Maybe if they were pure white, but then they could be in real life. But I don’t know if I like the gel bit. R: In a different colour as well? M: Maybe in a grey? I don’t like the gel bits though. They’re not really my cup of tea. S: To me, the middle bit (gel) looks like mayonnaise that’s been left out. When it goes a bit translucent and gross. T: Grace you said they were boyish? G: Yeah, both of them. I’d see a boy wearing them more than a girl. R: Would you say in a different colour they could be more girly or is it just the general design of them? G: No, the general design. They seem quite clunky. R: Would you wear them? G: No. S: No. M: I’d wear the black ones. R: Okay. What do you think their purpose is for? When you see them? J: Sportswear, running. M: Yeah, I agree. T: Looking at them would you know that they were ASICS? J: Yeah. M: I wouldn’t because I don’t really know ASICS. G: I know the little line thing because my brother used to have a pair. S: I had no idea. M: They kind of look like when Primark do the fake version of branded shoes. R: Another question, if you couldn’t see yourself wearing them, could you see your friends wearing them? And if you saw your friends wearing them what would you think? M: Uh, I can see people wearing these. They’re quite basic. I wouldn’t really think anything, I’d just see shoes. R: What about you guys? J: I’d wear it, but couldn’t see any of my friends wearing it. G: I could see people wearing it. E: What kind of person could you see wearing these shoes? J: My dad. R: What if I told you guys that these shoes cost £150? *Everyone gasps*

M: Right… Well… I wouldn’t be in that queue waiting for them. J: I wouldn’t pay that much for them. Maximum I’d pay is like £60. G: I wouldn’t want them at £60. M: Maybe like £20 on discount. R: That’s another thing. If somewhere has student discount are you more likely to shop from them? ASICS have 15% student discount. M: Well 15% isn’t really a lot in the grand scheme of things. That would only take them down to like £130. I won’t actively buy things for student discount, I’ll just get to the till in a shop and be like “ Do you guys do student discount?” I guess yes, but it’s not a main priority for me. S: I’d rather they had a student discount. E: Where do you guys buy your shoes from? Do you buy them directly from the brand or through wholesalers like JD? S: I’d go into schuh or Office, but I’d look for them online first. If I wanted a new pair of Stan Smith’s I’d look on the Adidas website but I woulnd’t buy them from there. G: It depends really. Because all of the cool shoes are online. The ones in store are the ones that everyone is going to have because obviosuly they’re the ones that everyone sees. J: Yeah, there’s a lot more choice online. G: I do like to try them on first, I think ordering them online can be a bit scary. M; Mine depends on my budget. Like last Christmas I got some Air Force and I got them online because it’s just a bit easier. But then recently I just went into TK Maxx and grabbed some shoes because I didn’t have as much money. H: If you buy online, do you care about them being comfortable or is it just the style? J: Mostly, I care about how they look, but I tend to spend more than the average person on shoes, they’re likely high quality. I expect them to be comfortable as well. M: I agree with that. I think with trainers as well you sort of have the preexpectation that they will be comfy. Like with heels, you know they’re going to be uncomfortable. With trainers you assume they’re going to be comfortable. H: So even if you were paying like £20/30, you’d still expect them to be comfy? M: Yeah, even Primark trainers I’d expect to be comfy. S: If they were considerably uncomfortable then I would return them. Regardless of price. If they’re not comfortable then I’m not wearing them. E: What about the design of the shoe would you change if you could? J: There’s too many different textures. There’s lines everywhere. S: So many lines. M: I agree with that. They’re also just a very basic shape. E: Do you feel like they’re trying to copy other brands? J: They’re kind of like Air Max 97. G: Kind of like Vapor Max as well at the bottom bit. - END OF RECORDING-


appendix C


appendix d