Duration

09/2020 – 12/2020

Role

Branding and Marketing Consultant, Lead Designer

Work

Market Research, Competitor Analysis, Customer Acquisition Strategy, Branding, Visual Design, Social Media Marketing

Origin of Mind: ideating and drafting new marketing and branding strategies with a newfound focus on digital in 2020.

As part of Imagical, Berkeley’s creative consulting organization, we worked with Origin of Mind clothing company to ideate new customer acquisition strategies to increase growth and social media presence while still abiding to the brand’s core message. This was especially important due to the brand’s prior reliance on in-person sales being halted due to the COVID-19 crisis, thus highlighting the importance of their digital strategy. 

Problem

Origin of Mind saw a significant decrease in sales following the transition to only e-commerce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their prior reliance on B2B and in-person sales led to a small social media presence and unassured brand identity, customer acquisition strategy, and allocation of marketing and advertising resources. 

Over the course of 5 months, we worked to develop a social media strategy, renewed visual and communicative brand identity, and paid media strategy to implemented in 2022. 

Work

We conducted extensive competitive analysis and consumer research to highlight a new target demographic and ideate new customer acquisition strategies. This was followed by recommendations and creative executions regarding brand identity and social media cadence.

Research

To further inform our solutions and garner a better understanding of the extremely competitive high-end fashion market, we utilized a variety of research methods to better inform our solution. This included 140+ user surveys, 15+ user interviews, competitive analyses, and a variety of secondary research. These delivered us some key insights to take forward with us into our ideation process.

Surveys

Our over 140 surveys further quantified appropriate channels and gave us insight into Origin of Mind’s core consumers:

Instagram is overwhelmingly the most popular platform (70.2%)
– Brand awareness among fashion brands is reached primarily through personal recommendations (69%), influencers (50.7%), and traditional paid media advertisements (43%)
Cost and product aesthetic are the most important factors throughout the process of discovering a piece of clothing to purchasing it
Similar distribution of online / offline shopping preference amongst our user survey participants

Interviews

Our over 140 surveys further quantified appropriate channels and gave us insight into Origin of Mind’s core consumers:

Users primarily discover new brands through Instagram ads, word-of-mouth, and influencers; particularly a strong aesthetic and messaging
Consumers are incentivized to support a brand due to an appealing story, value-add to the social media experience, and if they are local
Customer service: clear categories and filters + prompters; product specifications  
Platforms to branch out into: Instagram most effective; can improve presence on Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat     

The only fashion brands I follow are ones that bring value, not just promote their products. For instance, I follow Ami because they post lifestyle photos along with product photos.
- Fashion Student

Competitors

We also delivered a comprehensive overview of the state of the fashion industry, as well as a look into the business models and ideologies of certain direct Origin of Mind competitors and indirect brand models.

A brief look into one our 6 competitor analyses

Key Insights

1. Consumers Crave Community

Our target users don’t just want a piece of clothing or even a brand name, but a community that comes with the product. Engaging consumers on social media especially relies on community-building around a cause, not just a product.

2. Micro-Influencers Are In

Quantitatively and qualitatively, micro-influencers provide immense value for brands by providing a touchpoint and closer relationship to the consumer.

3. Own the Narrative

Brands must own their narrative and story, and be upfront with their messaging and social causes. Appealing stories and value amongst timelines is what keeps consumers coming back.

Synthesis

Following our research, we synthesized our findings in three user personas. Grace and Kai were already identified by the client. Additionally, we identified older consumers who care more about the brand’s message regarding sustainability and social justice, and are a more loyal customer base, as a promising target demographic.

We then mapped out a typical user journey for each of these personas when purchasing clothing. This process helped recognize the importance of social relationships and brand consistency throughout the user experience and at every consumer touchpoint.

Our Goal

Create a compelling brand identity and digital presence that engages their community and encourages earned media and natural growth.

Ideation

These insights led us to develop a variety of strategies to target these consumer demographics.

We continued by researching proof-of-concept and industry examples regarding marketing and advertising strategy and the best allocation of marketing funds among media channels (analyzing CRM, ability to target key demographics, etc.). Our recommendation led to targeted executions on multiple platforms and storyboards for conceptual direction. Lastly, we devised what each execution would look like for Origin of Mind on the ground-level (logistics specifics, etc.) This culminated in a presentation to our client which then provided further feedback before we worked on a concise go-to-market strategy and finalized recommendation for Origin of Mind.

Concepts Ideated and Researched

Details omitted to abide by NDA restrictions

1. Micro-Influencer Strategy

2. Affiliate Blog Program

3. Virtual Fashion Shows

4. Lookbooks

5. Social Media Campaigns

6. Out-of-Home Experiential Executions

Go-to-Market Strategy

We continued by researching proof-of-concept and industry examples regarding marketing and advertising strategy and the best allocation of marketing funds among media channels, before applying those concepts towards a broad application for Origin of Mind. Lastly, we devised what each execution would look like for Origin of Mind on the ground-level (logistics specifics, etc.)

A brief look into one our 6 competitor analyses

Branding and Social Media

Lastly, I worked to draft a new brand identity, visual style, and social media strategy to align with the selected target demographics and customer acquisition strategies identified. This cumulated in my new brand book for the company and recommendations regarding social media cadence.

A brief look into one our 6 competitor analyses

Our Recommendation

Due to NDA restrictions, I cannot provide the full details of our recommendation. However, it involved a mix of both influencer marketing tactics and social media advertisements across a number of platforms within distinct, fully integrated campaigns that immersed their community and built a connection to the brand and their core message. We attached a recommended timeline, logistical framework, cadence, and details for each execution. Please reach out to me for more information!

Brand Guidelines

Reflection

Overall, this was an immensely valuable experience in working for a gritty, fast-paced startup trying to break into an extremely difficult market. It taught me strategies in growth hacking and analyzing and comparing media vehicles to gain the best return on investment for our client, as well as the importance of tying a brand’s core values and message back to each execution throughout the ideation and development process.

This project also gave me valuable experience working on a project that was to be implemented ASAP and had direct impact and communication with the company’s CEO at the time. In the future, I would spend more time coming up with more creative executions and testing their feasibility with longitudinal study to test their viability and encourage vitality amongst our executions!

This is just a brief glimpse into my work with Origin of Mind. Our work involved over 100 hours of research, development and creative work, and over 150 slides/pages worth of content and insight for our client. For more information about our full recommendation, our team, and my research and creative process, please contact me!