Secrets of Marketing Magnets: Folded & Hung

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  • Friday, August 24, 2012
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  • Jennifer C. Jimenez
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  • Last August 17, I attended the first installment of this year’s Entrep Series, organized by the University of the Philippines’ Circle of Entrepreneurs. It was entitled “Secrets of Marketing Magnets”. Learning about marketing theories is a good thing, but hearing how these were put into practice is another thing.
    Mr. Ronald Pineda, founder of Folded & Hung
    My excitement for the talk was worth it. It was one of those rare chances of hearing marketing insights from the expert fashion retailers. Fashion merchandising has always thrilled me (who would not be?) as they connect the science of intricacies to real-life business models. The set of speakers was from the brands Folded & Hung and Jellybean. Folded & Hung was established by Ronald Pineda. Its unique selling proposition is to provide trendy fashion apparels at affordable prices. What started out as 10 employees currently have more than 211 staffs in 25 stores, 21 of which are company owned. The dedication of this brand’s young entrepreneur is worthy of admiration and so are its marketing managers, Mr. Mikko Araneta and Ms. Cleo David.

    About the Brand
    Folded & Hung features garments that are European-fit, designed for sleek women (those who love to dress up their boyfriends) hooked in day-to-night fashion and are trendy, colorful and vibrant. The brand’s product lines range from the basic (every day wear), graphics (highlights personality), street (edgy look), designer label (premium), blue label(American-feel), denim(jeans, pants) to underwear and swimwear.

    Marketing

    In-store Marketing
    So how does the brand live up to its thrust of business excellence from the marketing perspective? Let’s start with the in-store marketing. 

    “Store experience must be consistent everywhere,” said Sir Mikko. As a rule of thumb, a store only has 5 seconds to catch the shopper’s attention. Those who love to be in retail marketing must also consider studying about the different tactics for virtual merchandising. The types vary and can be applied depending on the location, the brand image, the consumers’ demographics and the theme prevalent in the store.

    How the staffs present themselves is also an important factor. Have you ever spotted a fashionable Folded & Hung staffs assisting you while shopping? Surely, there are a lot of them. Folded & Hung’s staffs are not only good-looking men and women wearing trendy uniforms. They can also be instant fashion consultants!

                    The right selection of music and scent contributes to the store’s ambiance. In Folded & Hung, they change music every quarter to keep up with their trendy customers’ hip music preference. A spray is also carefully chosen and used in every store to ensure comfortable shopping and good product smell.

                    The science of displaying products is also vital in in-store marketing. Fixtures must be scrutinized from the racks used to the mannequins, dressing rooms and counters. Did you know that certain types of mirrors can actually make you look slimmer? Indeed, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but nowadays, there are a lot of ways to influence the beholder.

                    One good way to influence their purchasing habits is the store promotions and collaboration. Store promotions must be executed with the right timing and adequate planning.To reward their loyal customers, Folded & Hung, in coordination with Wade and Jellybeans, give out privilege cards.

    External Marketing

    This is where digital marketing, PR and 360-degree-advertising come into play. Currently, Folded & Hung has 153,086 fans (if you want to increase that figure, like their Facebook page here). Digital media considerations include exposures, content, new releases (of fashion items) and look book (to suggest possible styles). Online promos are also done to encourage interaction between the brand and the customers along with the campaign pictures that gives a preview of the whole collection.

    Aside from the fun gimmicks, it is important for the digital media (FB, Twitter and Tumblr) to have pieces of information, such as store locators, announcements and video components. Twitter provided the brand an outlet to connect with its customers daily (e.g. through Instagram-integrated Look of the Day). Folded & Hung also has an official website, which is a must for all the brands having online marketing channels. The speakers shared that there is never a good substitute for an official website no matter how engaging the other digital channels are. A good official website allows easy navigation, has organized content and updated photos. Other digital media are Style Blogs.
    Last April 27, 2012, F&H had a marketing campaign where these guys were asked to move their top off and  hand coupons to shoppers
    It was an instant hit as crowds swarm near the shop and take photos of these guys.
    Shoppers of different ages were thrilled..
    Folded & Hung also initiates customer interaction, not just through gimmicks but through relevant touch points. They keep in touch with their customers on “moments that count”. For instance, the staffs personally send flowers with a handwritten note to a customer who had just given birth. How? Go figure.
    The brand also organizes events for the fashion socialites in schools and malls. Fashion shows in malls help generate sales and enhance the brand image, along with the corporate events and publishing them in magazines and circulation papers. Brand ambassadors should also be chosen according to the type of lifestyle that they promote, especially for a lifestyle brand.
    Anne Curtis, the celebrity whose fashion taste exalts brands
    Fashion and lifestyle often go together, and marketing them requires an understanding of both. For my next blog entry, I will feature Jellybeans, which caters to a different market. 

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