Archive for January, 2012

Hey Girl, Have you seen that new Google+ Feature?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In what seems like an attempt to increase their social relevance, Google+ has introduced a new feature that allows users to create their very own memes with the images that they share.  For those who are not familiar with the term, a “meme” is a shared idea or concept or idea that is represented throughout a cultural network. Internet memes gained notoriety on sharing sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest using pop culture themes to drive their creation. If you frequent any of these sharing/blogging websites, it’s hard not to stumble across these creatures – Ryan Gosling: “Hey Girl” anyone? Marketers and PR professionals have also started to use these images for their campaigns as they maintain a high likelihood of going viral.

Well it looks as if Google is trying to make a name for themselves in the meme field. Every time a user uploads a photo they have the choice to add text and make their own, personalized internet meme. One can only assume this is created to draw bloggers and meme fans away from Tumblr and sites of that nature. They’re incredibly simple to make with the new feature, allowing users to create them more frequently and without the added stress of using photo editing software.

Now I’m not saying that they will gain all sorts of users from this feature alone, but the fact that Google+ even has it, gives a first-time user a reason to stay active while simultaneously providing them something to tell their friends.  If Google can keep rolling out these attractive features, I can see them finally being something that people enjoy using.

Be sure to add JB Chicago to your Circles

Fashion for the Masses

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Jason Wu recently announced that he is the latest fashion designer to join the ranks of main-stream collaborators. Following the likes of Karl Lagerfeld for Macy’s, Missoni for Target, and Versace for H&M, Jason Wu is bringing his fashion efforts to Super Targets everywhere.

In this economy, there is a select group of people who can afford the garments found in traditional fashion lines. To combat this, designers have begun to expand their vision and influence by taking their creations and giving them to the masses. The method has proven to be very successful with fashion fanatics lining up early to get their hands on the limited collections. I have a friend who lined up at Target for the Missoni release, only to fight of a middle-aged man to get a coveted bedroom throw. The throw later sold for more than $500 on eBay (originally under $75).

From a branding standpoint, this is a win-win strategy. The fashion houses now have a new way to maximize their awareness by drawing in the fashionably clueless to their lines. It also makes their brand more approachable and seemingly cost-conscious in times of economic turmoil. On the other hand, these stores such as Target and H&M are simply elevating their brand equity by giving their consumers the chance to experience luxurious designs at affordable prices. This makes them source for fashion expertise, drawing customers to their own collections as well as making them an influencer in the fashion industry.

While some may think that this type of designer collaboration cheapens the designer’s brand, I see it from a different perspective. I think it’s a smart way to keep people interested in your designs, gain awareness and most importantly, make some extra cash. The fashion industry took a big hit with the recession. If commercial lines of this nature are what it takes to keep these fashion houses afloat, I can’t help but encourage more designers to jump on the collaboration bandwagon.

Here are some examples of the designs featured in these campaigns:

Karl Lagerfeld for Impulse at Macy's

Missoni for Target

Versace for H&M