You’ll often hear President Obama talk about his attempts to get outside “the bubble,” referring to the excessive amount of time presidents spend in the White House and surrounded by Beltway insiders. Living such an insular life, he recognizes, gives one a skewed view of reality. Similarly, the New York Times On the Runway blog featured a post two weeks ago entitled “Bursting the Nutty Bubble” about the fashion bubble that makes those who work in designer and luxury markets forget that the real rainmakers in the garment industry are popularly priced goods, not the $15,000 handbags and $3,000 shoes to which they’ve become accustomed.
By Jeremy Richardson - Tuesday, September 20th 2011
Sometimes well-known trademarks are so familiar to us that they become synonymous with the products themselves. Brand names like Band-Aid, Kleenex, Spandex, Xerox and many more have entered our vocabulary, so much so that we use them to describe generic products other than the originals. When was the last time you asked for a facial tissue? While it’s not illegal for consumers to do this in everyday speech, it can be a big problem for companies who use a well-known trademark, perhaps without realizing that it is a registered trademark, to describe their own products. I think the most commonly misused trademark in the children’s apparel industry is ONESIES®.
By Insights Discovered - Thursday, September 8th 2011
If I mention Groupon®, what comes to mind? For me, I think I’m getting a deep discount off of something. I just love a good deal! The idea of getting something at half price or better is tough to resist, even if I don’t necessarily need it. Groupon and the countless other daily deal sites are banking on the irresistible temptation of getting that “good deal.” Despite its relative newness in the marketplace, this category is evolving, with more specialized children’s products sites such as Zulily, BabySteals® and Totsy appearing. What does this mean for manufacturers who are contemplating a daily deal or are already selling through these sites?
Trade shows are great places to get revved up. Surrounded by new and familiar faces, fresh designs and a positive vibe, my creative juices always start racing. No, I’m not driving toward a disclosure about hidden design aspirations. Rather, my mind fills with business ideas and growth opportunities on behalf of the exhibiting companies. For the newbies who have just left the starting line, I can already envision ways they could expand on their concepts, protect their proprietary ideas and boost their visibility. And for the more established brands, I imagine a myriad of ways for them to shift into a higher gear.
As if Facebook®, Twitter® and Linkedin® weren’t enough to keep us busy, Google® recently launched its own version of a Facebook-type site called, Google Plus (Google+). Yes, you read correctly, search engine giant Google has officially entered the social media realm. Why care about this site and not the countless others that also exist? Simply put, because this one is from Google. The world’s largest search engine, combined with the communication capabilities of its own social media site, can only serve to offer more efficient marketing efforts for those trying to bolster their online presence.
Do you believe that someone has copied your designs? Legally, a copycat may not be necessarily guilty of copyright infringement. A recent case involving a comic book character and a movie character, both with hairdryers in hand, provides a valuable reminder of what is and what is not protected by copyright law. It’s a battle over whether a comic book creator can protect his hairdryer-toting, terrorist-fighting figure from being copied by big-time Hollywood studios. Although this copyright case did not involve the children’s industry directly, fashion and product design similarities are a common problem for many in the juvenile business.
Having just returned from a round of paper craft-related trade shows where I was a buyer for once, I must say, vendors of the world, we need to talk. Ah, there they are, the four most dreaded words in the dating dictionary. Drop that phrase on a spouse or a loved one today and watch them cringe in response. Maybe it’s too soon in our Giggle Guide relationship for such a heavy conversation, but given that we’re on the brink of another show season, the time has to be now for some straight talk aimed at vendors.
Staying fresh and relevant is a constant challenge for any business. A struggling economy doesn’t help much. How do you maintain your growth momentum or possibly kick-start a business experiencing a plateau? The answer is to look at your brand (your business) with fresh eyes. When doing so, you will discover new opportunities to pursue and uncover options you may have never thought you had. Of course, there are countless ways to revitalize a brand, but here are 5 universal strategies that most, if not all, in the children’s business can employ.
If you ever watched an Afterschool Special when you were a kid, you were no doubt brainwashed into believing that allowing your friends to talk you into anything could only lead to disaster. Every installment of this television staple was basically a sermon about how following the crowd would surely end with you living on skid row or being extracted from a car by the Jaws of Life. And all because you didn’t obey your mother’s warning against the evils of outside influences. But, despite what you’ve heard, all peer pressure isn’t bad — especially if you’ve got a product to sell.