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Marketing research processes in fashion

Understanding how existing customers would like to see a brand evolve and gaining insight into consumer spending on fashion needs and wants.

Understanding how existing customers would like to see your brand evolve, and gaining insight into consumer spending when it comes to fashion needs and wants is crucial information in the fashion business.

With the overall goal of understanding the marketplace for fashion products, including all aspects of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place), marketing research follows a systematic process.

  1. Articulate the research question—that is, identify the issue, problem, or opportunity for which data are needed in order to make an informed business decision. For example, a fashion brand company may want to know how their target customer might respond to a new technology integrated into their shopping experience.
  2. Determine what is already known about the issue, problem, or opportunity through analysis of secondary data (data that have already been collected and are available to the company or in the public domain). For example, using the research question identified above, the fashion company would examine available information about the new technology and how it has been used. In some cases, secondary data is sufficient to address the research question. In other cases, the collection of data unique to the specific research question is necessary.
  3. Plan the research that needs to be conducted to collect new and/or additional data regarding the issue, problem, or opportunity. The research design will include an outline of the sampling procedures, data collection methods, and data analysis and interpretation methods. For example, the fashion company may decide to conduct focus groups with a sample of customers to watch how they interact with the new technology. The focus groups would be planned to address the research question.
  4. Conduct the research, collecting primary data (original data), and analyzing the data following the research design. For example, the focus groups would then be conducted and most likely be both video- and audiotaped. Once the focus groups are conducted, the marketing researchers would analyze the video and audio tapes.
  5. Interpret the data analysis, drawing conclusions that will be beneficial to decision makers and report findings in an effective manner for decision makers. For example, the analyses of the video and audio tapes would be interpreted to determine any patterns of behavior or themes that emerged from the customers in the focus groups. A report of the research and conclusions drawn would then be provided to decision-makers in the fashion company.
  6. Document further questions, issues, or next steps that resulted from the research process. For example, during the focus groups, the researchers may have observed behavior that, although unrelated to the research question being addressed, they may want to follow up with as another research project.

Fashion company executives, merchandisers, designers, and other decision-makers rely on the results of marketing research and this course explores four main types of research conducted.

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Introduction to Fashion Marketing and Research

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