Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My search for the perfect bag...

I have several addictions... obsessions... hobbies... whatever you want to call them!  One of them is most certainly bags & purses.  I think the reason is I can easily find items in this category that fit.  My feet need hard to find wide shoes and I'm a curvy girl with weird short-waistedness going on, so clothes are sometimes a challenge to find as well, but purses - ahhh... those I can find that fit just right... and unfortunately, I find them often!  Add to this my gadget loving -and there is a lethal pay-check stealing love.

I promise to work this around to marketing, eventually, but first I'm going to mention some of the bags that have my interests.  My current obsession deals with finding good everyday bags to carry my iPad or my camera in (and sometimes both).  Here we go with what I've found:

Vera Bradley Laptop Travel Tote
The laptop travel tote by Vera Bradley was irresistible when I saw it in the KSU bookstore.  It has a padded compartment that fits both an iPad or a 17" laptop without being big and bulky.  I ended up purchasing it in the new Camellia print - and I love it!  My one complaint is that the length that allows for a 17" laptop to fit, also allows me to loose stuff and have to go on "take everything out" digging expeditions.  There is also a tablet sleeve at Vera Bradley that I'm considering and I love my tech organizer so much I may get a second one.

Now, for the first marketing bit.  There's a new social media platform in town that is drawing women like mad - Pinterest.  I'm going to talk more about Pinterest in the near future, but the SocialMediaToday blog already wrote a short post on why companies - especially those targeting women - need to figure out this trendy social media now.

Pinterest allows you to 'pin' things you are interested in on a 'board.'  I think of it as an electronic design or inspiration board that you can share with others.  Vera Bradley should be all over this because a lot of women 'pin' fashion items or looks that they like and want to remember.  I wanted to pin the bag I talked about above - but it was no easy feat.  Websites may have to be redesigned to accommodate easy pinning of product photos.  And Vera wants me to pin from her site instead of copying the photo to my computer and posting it.  If I 'pin' from her site - it will link to the bag when someone clicks on it.  Not so much if I have to copy and pin it.  Actually, truth be told, I didn't even bother pinning the bag after fighting with it for a few minutes.  I moved on...

Speaking of moving or more specifically traveling - I have found my dream camera bag thanks to my friend, Nat.  Kelly Moore has designed camera bags that are functional, fun and feminine (she does have some guy bags too).  There are several things about her marketing efforts that I think are smart (and a few I would improve upon), but first - the bags!!

Kelly Moore B-Hobo Bag
Kelly Moore Libby Bag
There are two bags that I really like the design, function and look of that I think fit my needs.  A big reason I was able to narrow it down was how Kelly markets her products on her website.  The B-Hobo bag I want for when I'm out and about shooting.  It's a great bag to hold your gear while your sightseeing or working on a shoot (at least for me).  The Libby is the bag I want to use for travel.  This bag is perfect for a carry on that can hold my camera equipment plus other stuff!  The Libby bag will also hold a 17" laptop and they both have compartments that securely hold an iPad as well.  I did have a bit of sticker-shock when I saw how much they are, but I may have to save my pennies and get me one before the Ireland trip in May.

Now, back to marketing.  Kelly Moore does several things really right in her marketing plan.  Her website is clean and easy to navigate.  She has a link that takes you to a "find your perfect bag" page that helps you locate the bags that fit your needs.  I love this tool and used it to find the Libby bag pictured above.

There is also a link to her blog from the home page.  The blog is fun to look at and very cleanly designed.  First-up you see her monthly contest - where to enter you need to like her on Facebook and/or follow her on Twitter.  A great way to draw more attention to either of those vehicles.  Now, here comes one of my 'needs improvement' sections for her marketing - the blog is (at least at first glance) nothing more than posting winners and information about the latest bags.  I want more than that from her.  I want to read about her photography - how her bag worked for her in this situation and in that.  I want a guest blog from a bag user.  I want more.  And hopefully she'll follow her name and give us Moore.

Just like Vera Bradley, her site is very unfriendly to easily pinning for Pinterest.  I did take the time to copy and pin my favorite bag -but the direct link has been lost.  I hope she finds a way to incorporate photos that can be pinned into her site, because I really want to pin more of them and share them with others.
The aspect of her marketing plan that I love the most is her use of video and the vimeo service.  Vimeo is an alternative video sharing place that is used particularly in the artistic community.  All of Kelly's promotional and tutorial videos are hosted here.

She has one video that is just a commercial for her bags that shows them in action.  Honestly, it's nice, but not inspiring.  I thought the actors/models were off - but that is probably a personal preference thing-because they didn't look like me or any of my photog friends.  The production quality is great and the music nice as well - and this wasn't an expensive shoot - so a very doable marketing tool for a small business.  I would just like to have seen more of the product in action and less of the actors.

Kelly Moore Bag Promo Film 2010 from Joshua Smith on Vimeo.

Here's another promo video from two years ago that features Kelly Moore as one of the actors/models.  I actually like this one much better because I get more of how to use the bags.

Kelly Moore Bag - Promo Film from Joshua Smith on Vimeo.
produced by Joshua Smith Films

She could easily combine the promo video with a contest to have consumers share the video in various social media platforms, and possibly she did when they were first released.

When you go to the video page of her site you will see some of her videos for her bags listed, but not all of them.  I would list them all in one place so people could find them.  There were many other videos through out the site on product pages that needed to be here as well.  What I really loved about her marketing was that she included videos of how each bag can be used.  I watched the videos for every bag (I started watching just the B-Hobo bag because I liked the look best, then decided I needed to check them all out to be sure about my choice).  I really got a much better sense of what each bag would hold from the videos.  Awesome way to connect with consumers, help to prevent returns and demo the bags.  I close with the video tutorials for the bags I'm hoping to purchase.

Libby Bag from Kelly Moore Clark on Vimeo.

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