CAN A SMOOTHY FEED FASHION MARKETING EDUCATION?
Dr. Marco Mossinkoff, Senior lecturer Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Already since the late eighties scholars from the fields of cultural studies, but also from branding and consumer behavior have recognized the growing importance of the intangible, emotional part of a value proposition as a main source of differentiation and competitive advantage. Nowadays for a product to be fashionable is the only way to survive (Apple products sell because they are ‘fashion items’). But what does that mean exactly? And are the fashion principles applicable to every product? And what are the implications of a “fashionable” strategy for marketing?
In this paper I try to give an answer to these questions by analyzing the case of Innocent drinks, a smoothy brand that managed to gain and retain a considerable market share for at least a decade, while e.g. private labels where offering the same good for one third of the price. Arguably, Innocent drink was not as innocent as it seems, as it was quite aware of its fashionable status. At the same time though, like with most popular fashion brands, the founders of the company where, despite the many praising articles and book written about their marketing, more lucky than anything else. Allegiance to the zeitgeist is one of the main determinants of meaning for a fashion brand, that can happen also by happenstance.
This case though clearly shows how for a fashion brand in particular becoming popular is not so difficult. The “next step” is what counts, as the Innocent founders had to find out themselves.
Which lessons can be learned from this case that inform the understanding and teaching of fashion marketing?
He holds a master in general economics and a bachelor in economics and statistics from the University Of Florence, Italy.
His work experience is both academic (as a research fellow at UVA, lecturer at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and at Nijenrode Business School) and managerial (management training at De Baak and start-ups consultancy).
His has published in marketing and fashion related conferences and journals. From august 2014 he is also lecturer and research fellow at the School of Arts and Economics, Utrecht University of the Arts.