• VINSIGHTS

    The evolution of brand awareness and marketing in Retail.

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    August 2019

    The evolution of brand awareness and marketing in Retail.

    How times have changed.

    It was only 5 years ago that we could shop in major towns across the UK and walk into department stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser, Beales and many more independents, and find brands that no longer exist - to go one step further some the departments stores that we used to shop in no longer exist.
    Are the days of marketing your branded products via in store concessions with 3rd party partners over?
    Moreover and strikingly, dare we suggest that the days of marketing and selling your brand with 3rd party websites such as ASOS, FarFetch, Zalando, Net-a -Porter amongst others have lost their appeal?
    Why fuel their own private label designs with a brands intellectual design ideas?
    Why give them the Intel on customer shopping behaviour?
    Is the kudos now about gaining a credible CRM than the having your brand affiliated with these websites perhaps?

    These are the questions that many of the smaller brands today that we consult with ask themselves, as we all become aware of the power of internet shopping and not fully understanding the backend algorithms that make it happen we have relied on these 3rd part sites with the big market budgets, customer databases and know how to sell our brands, but is this a short term solution?

    Social media influencing is paving the way forward, with clever brand positioning and targeted campaigns you can just as easily make sure your brand is in front of the right eyes with only one click away from a sale. Facebook and Instagram is much more than a ‘Voyeurs’ journey in what ones friends are up to, where they are and what they eat! They are a means to adapting to a different type of selling. These social media platforms know more about us than we think, but in a positive way so that you the audience, are presented with products that you actually want. If you are a user of these platforms, you will no doubt have purchased from seeing a product first on social media and then buying via direct or a link. These platforms engage with their audience differently, we are a nation with less patience; thanks to Amazon when we see something, we want it now. It’s clear that the offline marketing days of print don’t allow instant buy in contrast to when you are 35,000 miles in the air browsing Facebook and Instagram you can buy instantaneously, better still if you have purchased at the airport and about to board a long haul flight there is a good chance that it will be waiting for you when you get home! Crazy but true.

    Notwithstanding the above, the clever brand that exploits these platforms gain benefits of building a rapport and loyalty with their customers in a newer more effective way, whilst the brand continues to drive campaigns and content it delivers what we call the ‘halo effect’ with their customers, by implanting brand awareness subconsciously in the customers mind that proves invaluable, more importantly it allows the brand to understand
    1. What your customers purchase
    2. When they purchase
    3. How often they purchase
    4. What products are selling
    5. The rate of sale

    Leading back to the all-important function within retail - Merchandising.
    This vital information allows you to plan your range and OTB, gain better insight into introducing new lines crucial to the growth of a young brand and understand what their customers like as well as manage returns and calculate margin more effectively.

    V&C Digital Marketing Services have successfully delivered Paid Social and PPC campaigns to our brands, working closely with them on strategy and getting their campaigns exactly right.
    With over 20 years of analytical and brand experience we can deliver measurable growth via your online presence buy having strong knowledge in the fashion retail sector partnering up with your digital team giving you un-apparelled level of service navigating in this challenging and exciting arena.

    Additionally we are excited to be hosting our next V&C event/workshop in October together with the Head of Retail from Facebook/Instagram, date and time to be announced...

    To register your interest in our Facebook/Instagram event or for further information on case study's and how we can help your brand, please feel free to contact us on 02036681466.

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    V&C Drapers Interview on FLEXING and the importance of Consulting in our industry.

    Following the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion retail industry will likely turn to temporary employees more than ever, says Matthew Vohs, chief executive of fashion retail recruitment agency V&C. Covid-19 has seen many retailers and brands either closing stores or arranging pre-pack administrations. The by-product of businesses evaluating their store portfolios is an impact on headcount, as executives question whether the organisation requires all its current staff. The furlough route may however have had a detrimental effect on the industry in forcing businesses to streamline and subsequently realise that they can accommodate their workload without the furloughed staff. This could leave many experienced employees a victim of redundancy.  Many retailers have already announced job cuts. British luxury brand Mulberry is to axe up to a quarter of its global workforce as a result of coronavirus, White Stuff has entered redundancy consultations within its head office and UK retail teams. Debenhams has cut hundreds of head office roles after placing them on to the furlough scheme during the crisis. Staff culling like this will, of course, reduce a business’s overheads, but also leaves an abundance of redundant skilled workforce across the sector in buying and merchandising, retail operations, design and technical roles. These candidates will now need to adapt to their situation by being more dynamic and entrepreneurial in their job search, as new, developing and emerging companies look to tap into their expertise via a freelancing route. Going forward, contracting across multiple organisations could very well be the norm for fixed or short term positions. It will allow variety of work for employees but also allow businesses to access skilled workers without the need for long-term investment.  Businesses will also need to change their mind-set. They will need set clear objectives for contracted or freelance staff and establishing tangible KPI’s that measure their output. However, they also run the risk that the employee may find full-term work or a more lucrative contract. The world is changing and retail is among the sectors that are changing the most, with more and more of us needing a flexible work solution.  Freelancing and contracting means a retailer could employ a team of buyers for one season, a merchandise director on a three day week, perhaps a designer for one collection or an ecommerce social media expert for a fixed 12 months. These roles are not traditionally temporary, however, with this new approach, retailers get fresh concepts and diversity without the burden of long-term employment issues. Retailers can also change their teams with regularity, introducing new ideas and responding with incredible speed to what the consumer wants. Post coronavirus, there are going to be lots of highly in demand skills and great talent available but those people will also be considering how they want to work, wanting flexibility. If companies don’t take note, they will miss out on the best staff and lose out to competitors.   

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    Flexing made easy!

    We’re Thinking Differently – Are You? We have been thinking about new ways of working and have something new to tell you about.  Something that we think is going to change the way you work, offering you exciting career opportunities or improved work/life balance – or both! It’s Called Flexing. The world is changing and retail is one of the sectors that is probably changing the most.  The past few months has seen most people review how they work more flexibly. It is just the start, going forward, this flexibility will be paramount for employees as well as employers. Why not consider your Flexing model? We still want to offer you new roles but in a different way.  Instead of being employed by one retail or supply business on a full-time basis, we can also offer you fixed term contracts or fixed term part-time contracts.  We can even offer you Flex to Perm and V&C Associates will effectively be your employer. We will guide you through the process on setting up an umbrella company or helping you register your company It might not sound different yet but read on – it is different.  It’s exciting, it’s new and importantly, it’s flexible. Flexing allows you to work for more than one retailer or supplier for as long as you want, for as many days a week as you want giving that flexible work /life balance if that what you are looking for. As an example; You might Be a buyer but only want to work twice a week without long-term ties? Think about working as a merchandiser but for a short term contract ? Want to do a special, one-off design job? Work as a Merchandise Manager, but part-time? Want to have the opportunity of working on a multiple assignments with a different retailer or brand? Flexing Makes it Possible We will find you the role you want on a short, medium or long-term fixed contract basis (minimum 6 months).  It gives you tremendous flexibility.  Imagine – you could work somewhere as a product developer for two days a week and for the other three days, work as a selector for a different business. You might want to work two days as an Account Manager, have a day off in the middle of the week and work the rest of the week for another retailer, in the same or similar role. There are retailers and suppliers looking for this type of arrangement. It suits both of your needs.   Huge Benefits for Candidates There’s a reason it’s called Flexing. It’s more than temporary roles or part-time contracts.  It’s more than fixed long-term contracts.  It allows you to work for two different organisations at once.  You get the benefits of two different companies, get to grips with different cultures, gain more experience and use your own experience to add a new dimension to another retailer or supplier.  It makes work life more interesting, variable and exciting – there’s no room for boredom!  Alternatively, use Flexing to create better work/life balance and work when you want to. Effectively, V&C Associates (with our FCSA affiliated Umbrella partners)  would employ you and take care of NICS, PAYE and holidays. We believe this is a new beginning, a new way of working for everyone.   We cover: Digital Design & Technical Buying & Merchandising Sustainability Sourcing Human Resources Sales/Account Managers Retail Operations Flex with us - let V&C Associates get it absolutely right for you. Click here to discuss your Flexing employment solution.

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    Your Flexible workforce!

    We’re Thinking Differently – Are You? We have been thinking about new ways of working and have something new to tell you about.  Something that we think is going to change the way you recruit, offering you an exciting opportunity that will save you time, money and give you fresh expertise. It’s Called Flexing. The world is changing and retail is one of the sectors that is probably changing the most.  The past few months has seen most people review how they work more flexibly. It is just the start, going forward, this flexibility will be paramount for employers as well as employees. Why not consider our Flexing model? We want to offer you a variety of roles at all levels but in a different way.  Instead of employing a candidate on a full-time basis, we can offer you fixed term contracts or as a fixed term part time contracts.  We can even offer you Flex to Perm and V&C Associates will effectively employ your Flex contractor. It might not sound different yet but read on – it is different.  It’s exciting, it’s new and importantly, it’s flexible. Flexing allows you to employ a candidate for as long as you want for as many days a week as you want.  As an example; You might Want a buyer twice a week  Need a fixed short term merchandising team Want a designer for one season only Be considering a Merchandise Manager but not on a full-time salary Flexing Makes it Possible We will find you the role or the resource you need on a short, medium or long-term fixed contract basis (minimum 6 months).  It gives you and your candidate flexibility.  You might employ a product developer for two days a week and for the other three days they work somewhere else.  You may want an operations manager for a fixed term three days a week and they want to secure another position somewhere else for the other two days a week.  It suits both of your needs.   Huge Benefits for Retailers and Suppliers.  We have thought of everything. We will invoice you direct, taking the onus away by organising the payment structure, taking care of NICS and PAYE and even holidays.   For you that means there is no long-term commitment, no need to pay bonuses, pension schemes or even supply staff benefits. There’s more too. You save on salaries (PAYE, NI, Holidays, Pension)  but still have the expertise You get knowledge and experience from someone working for a similar organisation Your new Flex employee brings a fresh dimension to your business You don’t need to do anything – we do it all for you acting as your Flexing partner Our pricing model is flexible too.  We know you need your business costs kept at an affordable level, so every project is carefully costed out individually.  This is a new beginning, a new way of working for everyone.   We cover: Digital Design & Technical Buying & Merchandising Sustainability Sourcing Human Resources Sales/Account Managers Retail Operations Flex with us - let V&C Associates get it absolutely right for you. Click here to discuss your Flexing recruitment solution.

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