Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Sydney Romantics Branding, Design, and Marketing Course: Brand & Authenticity

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I am currently completing the Sydney Romantics online design, branding, and marketing course, which I have accessed through InsideSherpa. You can access this course 
here, or if you would like to browse other courses offered by InsideSherpa, click here. The course is comprised of four modules, with the first two exploring brand and design, and the third and fourth modules focusing on developing social media marketing and community engagement skills.

This blog post is the final piece of module #1, ‘Brand and Authenticity’, which focuses on three main areas; brand positioning, brand analysis, and brand communication. Task brief: ‘Choose a brand that you identify with, and create a YouTube video or blog article reviewing your nominated brand. Discuss the work that they do, and why they inspire you’.

For this task, I have selected ASOS, which is an online British company selling clothes, accessories, and shoes – as well as homewares and cosmetic products. One of the reasons why I love ASOS, and why I have selected it for this task, is because there is something for everybody; ASOS has a huge range of clothing styles and designs, qualities, materials, and a brilliant range of price options, from affordable collections to more luxury brands. ASOS kind of functions like an online department store in that they sell over 850 brands, several of which include their own: Collusion, ASOS Edition, ASOS Made In Kenya, ASOS White, ASOS 4505, and ASOS Design - ASOS Design is my favourite of them all.

I chose ASOS for a number of reasons, and in this post I will consider both my personal reasons, in terms of the way I like to shop, as well as reasons surrounding global impact, sustainability, and ASOS's support of smaller brands. Starting personally, the main reason why I chose ASOS is simply that it is my favourite place to shop, and pretty much the only place I shop! I even end up buying things from ASOS when I am not intending to :) I also have to shop primarily in the tall section, particularly when it comes to the jeans/trouser/skirts department. At 6"2, I have much more limited clothing options, so I rarely ever buy clothes from a physical shop, hence why ASOS is my go-to. I know that more and more brands are focusing on developing tall ranges, but many brands still have yet to actually get it right. Too many times, I have ordered tall range trousers from other brands, only to find that they are still coming up as a pair of ankle swingers, or if they are long enough, then they disappoint in other areas, such as the rise not being high enough to button up the trousers properly without pinching. But 99% of the time, ASOS gets it right, so I know that without this brand, I would really struggle to buy affordable clothes that fit me properly!

On a wider level, I really love that ASOS stocks a lot of smaller and more unique brands, rather than focusing on just other big brands. One of my favourites is Regal Rose, which is an online jewellery store that produces very different but very beautiful, often edgier pieces of jewellery. After discovering the brand a year ago, I have purchased Regal Rose on ASOS, and since purchasing through ASOS, I have gone on to buy more jewellery directly through the Regal Rose website. I definitely don't think I would have found this business if it wasn’t for the fact that it was stocked by ASOS, which I think says a lot about the importance of large companies supporting and stocking smaller brands.

There is no denying that ASOS is a fast fashion brand, but I think it's important to acknowledge the work that they are doing to improve their sustainability and their environmental impact. Recent work includes ASOS’s new responsible edit, which allows you to shop more sustainably by featuring clothes that are ‘environmentally conscious’. You can now also filter clothes by 'responsibility', which I think is a brilliant addition to the site's filtering system. This gives customers the opportunity to shop for clothes containing sustainable fabrics, or for clothes that are made entirely of recycled materials.

In 2018, ASOS also announced a ban on the selling of mohair, silk, cashmere, and feathers in all of their products by the end of January 2019, in order to rid animal cruelty from their brands. Following this, ASOS also launched a sustainable fashion training programme, which provided their designers with training that considered the whole life cycle of the product, in a bid to reduce the drive of creating more products constantly. The fashion industry, ASOS included, still has a long way to go, but I thought that these developments were a really important step towards improving ASOS's ethical and global concerns. Read more about ASOS’s moves towards creating cruelty free, environmentally conscious fashion, as featured in Vogue: ASOS-ban-sale-of-mohair-silk-cashmere-feathers & ASOS-sustainable-fashion-training-programme.

This sums up the central reasons why I love the ASOS brand, and why I have chosen it for this task. This blog post completes the end of the first module, 'Brand and Authenticity', for the design, branding, and marketing course hosted by Sydney Romantics. 

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