Marketing Research Process for Funky Threads

Marketing Research Process for Funky Threads

The Internet has undergone a spectacular development. It is a means of communication, a huge data base, the place where people believe that they can find anything. Its numerous advantages include interactivity, a huge offer, an international opening, saving time, the possibility of saving money, etc. The consequences of the popularity that the Internet has leads to the following conclusion: if you want to be successful when your success depends on the others, you need to be on the Internet.

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It has become essential for companies to have their own web sites. The more attractive, the better. E-markets and e-hubs are the present trend in sales. But just like in the case of any medium, even the Internet requires certain adaptations.

Companies that sell fashion items and accessories may find that the Internet is the ideal market for them. Such is the case of Funky Threads. Its marketing techniques are adapted to the Internet and the adaptation will have to continue as technology will develop causing cultural and social changes and challenges at the same time. And one of the most important methods through which a proper adaptation can be made is research.

Funky Threads” is a website designed to sell clothes and fashion accessories. It offers people the chance to see what a large number of stores in Los Angeles are selling and choose their favorite item. The offer includes clothes as well as fashion accessories and bags or lingerie.

The website is well organized into nine sections, as it follows: “About us” (a short description of the website, the people who created it and their purpose, the philosophy behind the functioning of the business), “Sale items” (you are presented with the products that are on sale at the time you are doing the shopping), “Boutiques” (a section where you can see all the items that can be purchased). The “Customer service” section includes references to issues such as the order processing, shipping and shipping rates, the return policy, security and privacy. The site also tries to provide “Technical help.”

The website addresses not only to people who enjoy doing their shopping online, but also to the stores and companies that are interested in using the Internet in order to sale their fashion products. Thus, another included section refers to the potential “Affiliates.” The “Shopping bag” part allows the customer to see the description of the objects that he or she has selected for acquisition.

Another interesting section of the website is the one called “Earn $$$.” It presents two programs through which one can earn different amounts of money: the “Funky friend program” and the “Funky girl program.” The “Funky friend program” allows you to earn 5$ for each of your friends whose acquisitions on this site are worth at least 50$, while the “Funky girl program” makes girls gain 75$ for each 10 first time customers that they bring and who buy merchandise worth 50$. The two programs are part of a marketing technique called “viral marketing” which is based on stimulating one’s customers to spread the word about the quality and attractiveness of the products and/or services that they provide.

There is a “Contact us” section as well, including contact data (phone number, mail and e-mail address). When accessing the website, one can also shop by category (accessories, dresses, jackets/coats, lingerie, pants/shorts, skirts, sweaters, tanks, tops and Skimpies brand items).

The Funky Threads Company uses the Internet as a medium for the services it offers. The main advantage it presents is that it allows customers to spare time and effort, reuniting the products of numerous shops that are to be found all over the territory of Los Angeles. The main advantage it gets by using the Internet as a marketing means is the large number of people it reaches all over the world. By using the Internet, its target audience becomes international and so do its sales.

The Funky Threads uses several marketing activities in order to have its services done properly. First of all, it has a key word web address www.funkythreads.com (the word “funky” is used to define the style of the sold items and at the same time describes the preferences and of a certain target audience). Secondly, the site is easy to use. It is well organized enabling customers to have fast access to the data that they need. The site is easy to navigate and the graphics reflects a funky attitude, in accordance to the motto of the company and the style philosophy it is trying to sell. Thirdly, the site is submitted at search engines and very easy to be found.

The use of viral marketing is very important since it uses the already existing social networks (friends, family and acquaintances) in order to increase the brand awareness. At the same time, the site could use other techniques such as online games and images in order to become more interactive and more appealing as well.

Furthermore, the use of gift certificates is an important technique that tempts the clients to use the service again. One of the most ingenious marketing techniques that Funky Threads is using is the Funky Threads dollars. They are in fact equivalent with the regular dollars, but their name creates the feeling that the customer is part of a small and special community that is well organized, has its own rules and uses certain techniques. Obviously, using these techniques and playing by these rules makes the customer just as special as the community he is part of (in this case, the community of the people who like to wear funky clothes, expressing a funky attitude). This aspect gives the client a feeling of satisfaction and may also favor the viral marketing technique.

Nevertheless, there are several aspects regarding the marketing techniques that could still be improved. For example, the graphics of the website and its overall aspect. At present it seems to be a bit simplistic. Furthermore, there is no apparent concern for the community. No part of the profit is given in order to help the community that the affiliated companies come from. There is no proof of social involvement, which is important not only from a “moral” point-of-view, but also for building an identity and also for rendering the brand stronger and better known. The site does not use the “pay per click” technique, which would make it more interactive. Furthermore, it is not very well positioned in the search engines (the www.google.com search engine does not include the URL of the company among the first six displayed pages when the key words “funky” and ‘fashion” are used).

Another marketing technique that the Funky Threads Company could use in order to become more popular is the podcasting. A media file representative for the company, which the site users could download for free could represent a nice surprise for the customers and it would make the site more popular, helping the viral marketing technique intensify.

If the Funky Threads Company were to aim at selling its services in the Asia Pacific region, several considerations should be kept in mind. First of all, the Asia Pacific area may represent a huge market for the fashion industry, since it could be argued that the people who live here are fashion conscious. However it is important for the company to be able to understand the people living in this region. And understanding people means knowing the way they think, the meaning that they give to certain words, images and concepts, their preferences and desires, their attitudes, concerns and beliefs. The truth is that the company does not sell products first and foremost. What it really sells is a concept, a mentality, a philosophy, a life style, a way of being (in this particular case, “funky” is a key word).

The image of a person reflects who the person is as well as whom and how the person thinks she is. In other words, fashion deals with image. Therefore, in order to be successful, a company such as Funky Threads must be able to create an image (of itself and of its products and services) that can best respond to the image of its target audience. The process is extremely complex and it involves deep knowledge and understanding of the potential customers, since it is their values and perspectives that the selling company must adapt to. In order for this process to be successful, the company must do a lot of serious research.

Research is defined as “an active, diligent, systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising facts” (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia). The process is an intellectual one and it allows the formulation of general principles. Furthermore, it enables the one doing the research to have a deeper understanding of the analyzed subject. There are two types of research: basic (also called fundamental or pure research) and applied. While the former one has the purpose of enriching knowledge about a certain specific subject, the latter one is meant to find the answer to clearly formulated problems. As far as the research methods are concerned, they can be grouped in three categories: exploratory (it identifies a new problem), constructive (it creates a new solution) and empirical (it tests the efficacy of a solution that already exists) (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia).

There are two types of research that best suit the purpose of Funky Threads: the constructive and the empirical ones. The empirical research has the advantage of providing methods that have already been used. Furthermore, it saves time and money. On the other hand, the constructive research may lead to the discovery of an ingenious solution that will boost the sales of the company. The Asia Pacific region market is a huge one and it represents a very big sale potential. An innovative or at least a different approach to marketing fashion items on this market, with the help of the Internet might turn Funky Threads into a very big success. Nevertheless, the research process oriented towards the creation of a new sale / promotion method is costly and presents the risk of not succeeding.

Interactivity plays an extremely important role in marketing over the Internet. In order to develop this aspect, Funky Threads could appeal to desktop research. Desktop research allows the improvement of the desktop features and it may also lead to the discovery of new components and relations between the existing elements. Graphics and sound can also be improved and better adapted with the help of desktop research results.

Taking into consideration the medium where its activity takes place, Funky Threads can use the tracking method in order to observe the frequency of the visits paid by people to the site, as well as their habits in gathering information.

Furthermore, qualitative research can be used by the Funky Threads Company in order to support its development. Taking into consideration the medium that it uses, it is of high importance to have information about the attitude that customers have towards this kind of acquisitions as well as their expectations. Knowing how people think is fundamental because not only does it allow you to create a message (an image) that will correspond to their needs and desires, but it also creates the possibility of presenting the offer (the company, the brand, the identity of the company) in a special manner, adapted to the social and cultural context in which the company functions. It must be kept in mind that the Internet brings together millions of companies offering similar products and services. One must know how to make itself appear different and more appealing than the others in order to attract more clients.

Funky Threads could use the interpretive research. This allows the access to deep perspectives including a variety of social and cultural implications. When it comes to the acquisition of fashion items, people do not think about a physiological need that they have to fulfill first, but about a social one. Image plays an essential role in the contemporary society. People judge and are judged by their appearance, by their image. Clothes and accessories contribute to the creation of this image. Therefore, the cultural aspects that contribute to the creation of the desire for fashion items (this desire is perceived more like a need) need to be known and understood. And the research that will best perform this task is the interpretive one. Funky Threads could make use in this regard of case studies, each of them on a specific issue included in a determined context.

Another research method that Funky Threads should use is represented by interviews. They are costly, but they present the advantage of obtaining deep insight on how the company, its products / services and activity are perceived. Even more, Funky Threads could adapt its presentation and offers in accordance to the cultural differences of various geographical areas. In order for the adaptation to be correct and efficient, the company could appeal to ethnographic research. Ethnographic research is also costly as it involves participant observation and it is a bit unusual to make a connection between business and this anthropological field. Nevertheless, a successful business on an international market can not afford to ignore the problems as well as the opportunities that different cultural spaces provide.

At the same time, the ethnographic research is a highly complex and difficult process, because the researchers must always be careful to distinguish between observation and interpretation. Every act has a social meaning which can be interpreted in various ways. The difficulty consists in finding an interpretation as accurate and profound as possible. It must be stated that this type of research takes time. However, the long-term results that it can provide may lead to substantial benefits, especially if we take into consideration the fact that the Internet will undergo a strong development as means of communication and satisfying various needs in the shortest time possible. It will play an important part upon mentalities just like different mentalities will influence its use.

Last, but not least, Funky Threads could use action research. Its main advantage is that the conclusions drawn in the first stages help develop more profound perspectives and methods later. Therefore, it can be stated that it would provide a continuous development for research issues as well as for the development of the business. The Internet has numerous advantages, but its rapid development rhythm imposes the capacity of quickly adapting to the occurring novelties. For example, blogs were not very well-known a year ago, whereas now they represent an excellent PR instrument, with the possibility of contributing to the marketing techniques as well.

All in all, Funky Threads uses marketing techniques that well adapted to the used medium, the Internet. Nevertheless these techniques could be updated and developed. As far as their development is concerned, it is important to underline the fundamental help that research provides. Taking into consideration the globalization tendency and its consequences from an economical but also from a cultural point-of-view, the type of research that would best suit Funky Threads is the qualitative one, including case studies, ethnographic research and even action research for strong long-term benefits.

Bibliography

Action Research, July 27, 2006 http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/drugfree/sa3act.htm

ECnow.com List of 37 Marketing Activities, July 27, 2006 http://ecnow.com/Internet_Marketing.htm#basics

Funky Threads, July 27, 2006 www.funkythreads.com

Herreid, Freeman Clyde, “Case studies in Science, a novel method of education in Science,” July 27, 2006 http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/teaching/novel.html

Myers, Michael, Qualitative Research, July 27, 2006 http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz/index.htm

Podcasting, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting

Research, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research

The Gentoo Desktop Research Project, July 27, 2006 http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/desktop/research/index.xml

Vicziany, Marika, “Opportunities in information Technology,” Monash Asia Institute, May 2007, Case studies and surveys data base, July 27, 2006 http://www.monash.edu.au/casestudies/css/651_it.htm

Viral Marketing, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing

Williams, Dan, What is tracking? July 27, 2006 www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=804&Itemid=64″ http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=804&Itemid=64

What is action research? July 27, 2006 http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/whatisar.html


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Marketing Research Process for Funky Threads

Marketing Research Process for Funky Threads

The Internet has undergone a spectacular development. It is a means of communication, a huge data base, the place where people believe that they can find anything. Its numerous advantages include interactivity, a huge offer, an international opening, saving time, the possibility of saving money, etc. The consequences of the popularity that the Internet has leads to the following conclusion: if you want to be successful when your success depends on the others, you need to be on the Internet.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Marketing Research Process for Funky Threads
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

It has become essential for companies to have their own web sites. The more attractive, the better. E-markets and e-hubs are the present trend in sales. But just like in the case of any medium, even the Internet requires certain adaptations.

Companies that sell fashion items and accessories may find that the Internet is the ideal market for them. Such is the case of Funky Threads. Its marketing techniques are adapted to the Internet and the adaptation will have to continue as technology will develop causing cultural and social changes and challenges at the same time. And one of the most important methods through which a proper adaptation can be made is research.

Funky Threads” is a website designed to sell clothes and fashion accessories. It offers people the chance to see what a large number of stores in Los Angeles are selling and choose their favorite item. The offer includes clothes as well as fashion accessories and bags or lingerie.

The website is well organized into nine sections, as it follows: “About us” (a short description of the website, the people who created it and their purpose, the philosophy behind the functioning of the business), “Sale items” (you are presented with the products that are on sale at the time you are doing the shopping), “Boutiques” (a section where you can see all the items that can be purchased). The “Customer service” section includes references to issues such as the order processing, shipping and shipping rates, the return policy, security and privacy. The site also tries to provide “Technical help.”

The website addresses not only to people who enjoy doing their shopping online, but also to the stores and companies that are interested in using the Internet in order to sale their fashion products. Thus, another included section refers to the potential “Affiliates.” The “Shopping bag” part allows the customer to see the description of the objects that he or she has selected for acquisition.

Another interesting section of the website is the one called “Earn $$$.” It presents two programs through which one can earn different amounts of money: the “Funky friend program” and the “Funky girl program.” The “Funky friend program” allows you to earn 5$ for each of your friends whose acquisitions on this site are worth at least 50$, while the “Funky girl program” makes girls gain 75$ for each 10 first time customers that they bring and who buy merchandise worth 50$. The two programs are part of a marketing technique called “viral marketing” which is based on stimulating one’s customers to spread the word about the quality and attractiveness of the products and/or services that they provide.

There is a “Contact us” section as well, including contact data (phone number, mail and e-mail address). When accessing the website, one can also shop by category (accessories, dresses, jackets/coats, lingerie, pants/shorts, skirts, sweaters, tanks, tops and Skimpies brand items).

The Funky Threads Company uses the Internet as a medium for the services it offers. The main advantage it presents is that it allows customers to spare time and effort, reuniting the products of numerous shops that are to be found all over the territory of Los Angeles. The main advantage it gets by using the Internet as a marketing means is the large number of people it reaches all over the world. By using the Internet, its target audience becomes international and so do its sales.

The Funky Threads uses several marketing activities in order to have its services done properly. First of all, it has a key word web address www.funkythreads.com (the word “funky” is used to define the style of the sold items and at the same time describes the preferences and of a certain target audience). Secondly, the site is easy to use. It is well organized enabling customers to have fast access to the data that they need. The site is easy to navigate and the graphics reflects a funky attitude, in accordance to the motto of the company and the style philosophy it is trying to sell. Thirdly, the site is submitted at search engines and very easy to be found.

The use of viral marketing is very important since it uses the already existing social networks (friends, family and acquaintances) in order to increase the brand awareness. At the same time, the site could use other techniques such as online games and images in order to become more interactive and more appealing as well.

Furthermore, the use of gift certificates is an important technique that tempts the clients to use the service again. One of the most ingenious marketing techniques that Funky Threads is using is the Funky Threads dollars. They are in fact equivalent with the regular dollars, but their name creates the feeling that the customer is part of a small and special community that is well organized, has its own rules and uses certain techniques. Obviously, using these techniques and playing by these rules makes the customer just as special as the community he is part of (in this case, the community of the people who like to wear funky clothes, expressing a funky attitude). This aspect gives the client a feeling of satisfaction and may also favor the viral marketing technique.

Nevertheless, there are several aspects regarding the marketing techniques that could still be improved. For example, the graphics of the website and its overall aspect. At present it seems to be a bit simplistic. Furthermore, there is no apparent concern for the community. No part of the profit is given in order to help the community that the affiliated companies come from. There is no proof of social involvement, which is important not only from a “moral” point-of-view, but also for building an identity and also for rendering the brand stronger and better known. The site does not use the “pay per click” technique, which would make it more interactive. Furthermore, it is not very well positioned in the search engines (the www.google.com search engine does not include the URL of the company among the first six displayed pages when the key words “funky” and ‘fashion” are used).

Another marketing technique that the Funky Threads Company could use in order to become more popular is the podcasting. A media file representative for the company, which the site users could download for free could represent a nice surprise for the customers and it would make the site more popular, helping the viral marketing technique intensify.

If the Funky Threads Company were to aim at selling its services in the Asia Pacific region, several considerations should be kept in mind. First of all, the Asia Pacific area may represent a huge market for the fashion industry, since it could be argued that the people who live here are fashion conscious. However it is important for the company to be able to understand the people living in this region. And understanding people means knowing the way they think, the meaning that they give to certain words, images and concepts, their preferences and desires, their attitudes, concerns and beliefs. The truth is that the company does not sell products first and foremost. What it really sells is a concept, a mentality, a philosophy, a life style, a way of being (in this particular case, “funky” is a key word).

The image of a person reflects who the person is as well as whom and how the person thinks she is. In other words, fashion deals with image. Therefore, in order to be successful, a company such as Funky Threads must be able to create an image (of itself and of its products and services) that can best respond to the image of its target audience. The process is extremely complex and it involves deep knowledge and understanding of the potential customers, since it is their values and perspectives that the selling company must adapt to. In order for this process to be successful, the company must do a lot of serious research.

Research is defined as “an active, diligent, systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising facts” (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia). The process is an intellectual one and it allows the formulation of general principles. Furthermore, it enables the one doing the research to have a deeper understanding of the analyzed subject. There are two types of research: basic (also called fundamental or pure research) and applied. While the former one has the purpose of enriching knowledge about a certain specific subject, the latter one is meant to find the answer to clearly formulated problems. As far as the research methods are concerned, they can be grouped in three categories: exploratory (it identifies a new problem), constructive (it creates a new solution) and empirical (it tests the efficacy of a solution that already exists) (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia).

There are two types of research that best suit the purpose of Funky Threads: the constructive and the empirical ones. The empirical research has the advantage of providing methods that have already been used. Furthermore, it saves time and money. On the other hand, the constructive research may lead to the discovery of an ingenious solution that will boost the sales of the company. The Asia Pacific region market is a huge one and it represents a very big sale potential. An innovative or at least a different approach to marketing fashion items on this market, with the help of the Internet might turn Funky Threads into a very big success. Nevertheless, the research process oriented towards the creation of a new sale / promotion method is costly and presents the risk of not succeeding.

Interactivity plays an extremely important role in marketing over the Internet. In order to develop this aspect, Funky Threads could appeal to desktop research. Desktop research allows the improvement of the desktop features and it may also lead to the discovery of new components and relations between the existing elements. Graphics and sound can also be improved and better adapted with the help of desktop research results.

Taking into consideration the medium where its activity takes place, Funky Threads can use the tracking method in order to observe the frequency of the visits paid by people to the site, as well as their habits in gathering information.

Furthermore, qualitative research can be used by the Funky Threads Company in order to support its development. Taking into consideration the medium that it uses, it is of high importance to have information about the attitude that customers have towards this kind of acquisitions as well as their expectations. Knowing how people think is fundamental because not only does it allow you to create a message (an image) that will correspond to their needs and desires, but it also creates the possibility of presenting the offer (the company, the brand, the identity of the company) in a special manner, adapted to the social and cultural context in which the company functions. It must be kept in mind that the Internet brings together millions of companies offering similar products and services. One must know how to make itself appear different and more appealing than the others in order to attract more clients.

Funky Threads could use the interpretive research. This allows the access to deep perspectives including a variety of social and cultural implications. When it comes to the acquisition of fashion items, people do not think about a physiological need that they have to fulfill first, but about a social one. Image plays an essential role in the contemporary society. People judge and are judged by their appearance, by their image. Clothes and accessories contribute to the creation of this image. Therefore, the cultural aspects that contribute to the creation of the desire for fashion items (this desire is perceived more like a need) need to be known and understood. And the research that will best perform this task is the interpretive one. Funky Threads could make use in this regard of case studies, each of them on a specific issue included in a determined context.

Another research method that Funky Threads should use is represented by interviews. They are costly, but they present the advantage of obtaining deep insight on how the company, its products / services and activity are perceived. Even more, Funky Threads could adapt its presentation and offers in accordance to the cultural differences of various geographical areas. In order for the adaptation to be correct and efficient, the company could appeal to ethnographic research. Ethnographic research is also costly as it involves participant observation and it is a bit unusual to make a connection between business and this anthropological field. Nevertheless, a successful business on an international market can not afford to ignore the problems as well as the opportunities that different cultural spaces provide.

At the same time, the ethnographic research is a highly complex and difficult process, because the researchers must always be careful to distinguish between observation and interpretation. Every act has a social meaning which can be interpreted in various ways. The difficulty consists in finding an interpretation as accurate and profound as possible. It must be stated that this type of research takes time. However, the long-term results that it can provide may lead to substantial benefits, especially if we take into consideration the fact that the Internet will undergo a strong development as means of communication and satisfying various needs in the shortest time possible. It will play an important part upon mentalities just like different mentalities will influence its use.

Last, but not least, Funky Threads could use action research. Its main advantage is that the conclusions drawn in the first stages help develop more profound perspectives and methods later. Therefore, it can be stated that it would provide a continuous development for research issues as well as for the development of the business. The Internet has numerous advantages, but its rapid development rhythm imposes the capacity of quickly adapting to the occurring novelties. For example, blogs were not very well-known a year ago, whereas now they represent an excellent PR instrument, with the possibility of contributing to the marketing techniques as well.

All in all, Funky Threads uses marketing techniques that well adapted to the used medium, the Internet. Nevertheless these techniques could be updated and developed. As far as their development is concerned, it is important to underline the fundamental help that research provides. Taking into consideration the globalization tendency and its consequences from an economical but also from a cultural point-of-view, the type of research that would best suit Funky Threads is the qualitative one, including case studies, ethnographic research and even action research for strong long-term benefits.

Bibliography

Action Research, July 27, 2006 http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/drugfree/sa3act.htm

ECnow.com List of 37 Marketing Activities, July 27, 2006 http://ecnow.com/Internet_Marketing.htm#basics

Funky Threads, July 27, 2006 www.funkythreads.com

Herreid, Freeman Clyde, “Case studies in Science, a novel method of education in Science,” July 27, 2006 http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/projects/cases/teaching/novel.html

Myers, Michael, Qualitative Research, July 27, 2006 http://www.qual.auckland.ac.nz/index.htm

Podcasting, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcasting

Research, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research

The Gentoo Desktop Research Project, July 27, 2006 http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/desktop/research/index.xml

Vicziany, Marika, “Opportunities in information Technology,” Monash Asia Institute, May 2007, Case studies and surveys data base, July 27, 2006 http://www.monash.edu.au/casestudies/css/651_it.htm

Viral Marketing, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, July 27, 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing

Williams, Dan, What is tracking? July 27, 2006 www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=804&Itemid=64″ http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=804&Itemid=64

What is action research? July 27, 2006 http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/whatisar.html


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