Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Engaging Influencers for your brand

Many marketing experts have predicted influencer marketing to skyrocket in 2017. This trend which scaled up in 2016 is tipped to be the next big thing for many brands as social media is growing a new breed of influencers whose following across several media platforms have become useful for Public Relations and marketing campaigns. Ghanaian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands should consider exploring this trend this year if it hasn’t been started yet.

Firstly, understand what influencer marketing is and how useful it will be to your brand strategy. Social media influencers have come about as a result of individuals taking advantage of the enormous opportunities abound on the social media to position themselves as influencers or thought leaders in their niche area. While some may start off as just posting and creating personal profiles online, others have activated business opportunities for such achievements.

Based on a brand’s marketing and PR strategy, these social media influencers have become very useful in fulfilling their campaign goals. In a recent survey by Schlesinger Associates for Augure, 84% of marketing and communications professionals worldwide said they plan on launching at least one influencer campaign within the next 12 months. Marketers and PR experts are taking advantage of this trend to give their brands utmost mileage for their products and campaigns.

So the next guiding questions are; which influencers will they be targeting? Why will they be targeting them? What do these influencers bring on board to these brands?

Who will they be targeting?

Depending on which industry you are in, brands look out for personalities that don’t just have huge following based on numbers on their social media pages. What they look out for is the extent of engagement they gain on their posts. Personalities whose following and exposure is targeted at their very same kind of consumer; one they intend to reach with their product or service.

For instance, a clothing brand could engage the likes of a style and fashion blogger, similarly, sports brands could also engage footballers with good social media following. Social media influencers are known to have created personal brand profiles in their niche or area of expertise and are using various techniques, tools and platforms on social media to gain advantage over many million others. Once an influencer is identified, the terms of engagement are agreed upon to get the influencer to incorporate the brands value and offerings into their own social media strategy.

Why will they be targeting them?

In recent times, such personalities have proven to have the kind of target market that PR professionals and marketers are looking to reach with their product or services. Companies engage these known personalities who have lovely personalities that they can tap into for their product or services and who have become influencers/thought leaders in their specific field or industry. It is believed that when consumers see their favorite personalities with such brands, it resonates better with them and they are able to identify with these products.

The good thing with this is that, it is done subtly without it looking like an advertising. Brands have gain significant inroads to their target consumers as a result of influencer marketing campaigns.

What do these influencers bring on board?

This trend is gaining grounds and as such fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands should be ready to maximize these engagements they make with their influencers and thought leaders. They need to adopt strategies that organically feeds their products or services into the influencer’s way of doing things on their platforms. They just need to ensure that the right messaging is shared with the influencers in order to properly and effectively communicate the product’s proposition.  In the end, companies can benefit by reaching specific consumers and add some practicality to how consumers see their product or service.

Engaging influencers and thought leaders for campaigns are going to get more popular, more profitable and more competitive hence there is the need to join in and cash in for your brand.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Monday, 30 January 2017

The Power of Collaboration - Papa Oppong x Lawdin “For the Birds” Collection

Collaboration among business ventures have yielded great rewards and influence. The fashion space here in Ghana rarely see collaborations among designers and other creatives however the concept store at Untamed Empire recently saw one of the remarkable fashion event when a team of young talented designers and artistes came together to produce “For the Birds” Collection presentation.

Papa Oppong, a fashion designer and illustrator saw his illustrations come to live when he teamed up with Lawdin (Nathaniel Adjei Bio and Shim Ziorkley) both designers and visual artists respectively to showcase one of the beautiful fashion presentations event to have hit our city.

The concept which was extracted from the warped mind of visionary Papa Oppong in collaboration with Lawdin was written by Gene Adu and had Mikey Ashkar and Princess Nkrumah as narrators.

Called “For the Birds”, the concept was presented in a theatrical and poetic fashion where the narrators (male and female) voices portrayed the collection in a representation of one crime, 6 feathered suspects (birds) and a vindictive witness.

The 6 birds were each distinctively described as they stepped out one after the other from the bird cage designed by Kojo Kagyah. The birds portrayed each iconic coat made in Robin (Nylla), Dove (Gifty Sackey), Sparrow (Karen Abiba), Flamingo (Herty), Canary (Fame), and Raven (Julee).  

The result of this presentation is offering fashion enthusiasts an experience of a collision of fashion, cinema, design and technology in “For The birds”, an indelible collection accompanied by a breathtakingly creative presentation.

The show ended with all the 6 birds representing the 6 iconic coats stepping out of the cage in a high fashion regal and commandeering manner amidst beautiful lighting, architecture and great music. The artistic scenery created by all these elements was one outstanding one.
Photo Credit: Vine Imagery
Having attended the event myself, I was proud and excited to watch how these young team have challenged the status quo of what we typically see at fashion shows and presentations. From the venue, which was the iconic concept store, Untamed Empire to the concept of playing with visuals, sound, architecture, art and theatre, the team indeed showed the essence of working together.

They have re-echoed the agenda of encouraging collaborations among the creative industry. One that clearly spells out the possibility of exploring each other’s uniqueness while at the same time showing their strength. Papa Oppong explicitly explains this goal when he said that “collaboration is everything, It’s such a necessary part of creativity that simply cannot be ignored… the process of sharing ideas and getting into each other’s minds is so fascinating to me because it creates room for the discovery of more and more”. The message was clear “collaboration means unity and Unity is Strength”.

Other team members worth noting for this amazing presentation are Hamid Vijay, who styled the girls up to look strikingly purposeful for the concept, IAmAdinkra for providing the lights with the smashing effects around the cage and on the venue ground and the art direction by Wilhelm Hesse and Phoebe Yoda.
I applaud “For the Birds” collection concept and presentation and look forward to seeing more collaborations from designers and other disciplines within the creative industry. This will definitely see a new growth and d that we will all gladly benefit from.
Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 27 January 2017

New Year Trends in repositioning your Fashion Brand

It is a new year and I know many of us have already written down our personal goals for the year. It is also important to renew or set new goals to build and expand our fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. This year will see more new brands emerging in the industry to match up existing and established ones. It is prudent to position your brand advantageously for opportunities that will not just create visibility for your brand but drive sales as well. Here are few trends to guide us in the New Year as we set out to grow and expand our brand.

Invest in developing your brand

Whether it’s a new business or an existing one, you need to start investing in developing the brand from its current state. One of the many challenges our Ghanaian fashion brands have had is the likes of new and emerging brands churning out every day and stay up only for a few number of years and then suddenly disappear. If you want to see your brand grow, then you should start growing your customer base and improving your customer experience, your brand presence both online and offline, improve the quality and finishing of your garments and expanding to other markets. This will position your brand advantageously against your competitors.

Take advantage of social media opportunities

Social media has become one of the ideal platforms to promote multiple brands to a wide a varied customer base. In this era, it is evident that there are enormous advantages that abound on the internet as a result of technology which plays a major role in helping brands stay relevant all time. There will continue to be an increased usage of these platforms by several other competing brands. Identify which of these platforms better works for your brand be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc. See how you can maximize these platforms to engage your potential and existing clients to gain some traction for your brand.

Engage your stakeholders

Every individual your product or brand comes into contact with is very important to how your brand will be perceived. Going into 2017, try as much as possible not to be laid back in your dealings with your existing and potential clients, staff, vendors, influencers etc. Engage them in the best way to maintain mutual relationships and obtain feedback. Also, their encounter with your brand should give them an experience that they can relate to and one that resonates their emotional connection with your brand.

Earn your spot in the media

Media placement in whichever form could serve a great deal for your brand in 2017. Pitch your new products, events, initiatives to the right fashion editors and bloggers in order to gain publicity and press coverage for your event. Several mentions in the media can serve as a leverage point to gain and access several new and potential clients. Earn your spot by engaging in activities or initiatives that are newsworthy.

Just like previous years, this year will see several other new and emerging brands and names entering the market targeting the same clients as you are. Fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands are going to get very aggressive this year. It will serve your own interest and that of your business to position your brand in a position that will offer maximum opportunities for your brand growth and advancement.  With all these in place, I know 2017 will see significant growth in your brand. Let’s have a fashionably prosperous New Year.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Better Late Than Never -Happy New Year!

Well, yeah it's a New Year again. 

I haven't shared my New Year wishes yet. First, I am thankful to God for seeing me through 2016 and I wish this year will bring good tidings and achievements and fulfilment to us all.

In 2017, I see the projects I manage/handle PR for soar to greater heights. From Totally Ethnik, Evangel Magazine, Accra Men's Fashion Week, Daily PR Africa and Women in PR Ghana. I am looking forward to signing up new brands this year as well. So don't forget to contact me for all your PR and communication needs (for a cool fee) J

I am also glad to have 2 new enthusiastic individuals (Martin and Etornam) joining me and supporting my projects throughout the year. Glad to have you guys!

I feel it within me that this year is gonna be a good year.

Let's make it together. Happy New Year! 

Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts