ShootNYC 2013

October 19 2013

For the third year in a row, Beth will be speaking at Hasselblad Bron's annual ShootNYC on Friday, October 25th from 12:15pm to 1:45pm. She is really excited to be part of this prestigious photo world event. This year, Beth’s seminar will cover How to Discover your Brand, and How to Create all of your Marketing and Communications Materials for Maximum Impact. The event is super fun and free!! Love to see you there! xo

Click here for more info. and click here to register.

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(Free!) Branding Tip Sheet for Photographers

October 18 2013

With the New Year just around the corner, fall is a great time to be thinking about your branding and marketing! Here's a branding tip sheet that all photographers will find to be super useful!

Click this link to download my Branding Tips for Photographers, print it out, hang it up, and memorize the tips! It will only be available for a week, so hurry and get your copy! Thanks to all who downloaded! Go forth! xo beth

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Shopping the High Street with Kate Moss

October 16 2013

Oh, Kate, you know I love you and have been faithful to you. I love seeing you in David Yurman’s evocative supermodels wearing super jewelry ads, and you are still doing worlds of good for Rimmel. I even bought the Kate Red lipstick, and it was my dear friend all last summer.

We all know that you are a girl from post-war Croydon (south of London), and that you ushered in the waif look of the 1990s, and that no matter WHAT YOU DO, all is forgiven. And that you were the model for the eighteen-carat gold statue entitled “Siren” that was shown in 2008 at the British Museum. The artist, Marc Quinn, described you as "the ideal beauty of the moment". So there you are, Kate, installed at the pinnacle of respectability and at the height of your beauty, much like Christy Turlington and the Met, whose faceless face lived on through many of the Costume Institute exhibitions, because it was “so perfect.”

But Kate! What about your collaboration on a fashion “accessories” collection for Carphone Warehouse, the massive UK discount cellphone chain? Really? iPhone and Android cell phone cases? We know you believe strongly in the high street, or you wouldn’t be doing yet another collection for Topshop. Even though haters call you “old model” in their disdain for you, we know that the over thirty-fives will care a lot about your skinny jeans and vintage inspired dresses. And it seems that China loves you, Kate, because to them you are RIGHT NOW, not 1990s or so last decade at all, and that your association with Topshop will help to provide entrée and a shopping option for the growing Chinese middle-class and their appetite for certified Western, high street fashion and beauty as embodied by Kate Moss.

I feel a little split, Kate, although I’ll always be true. I love you in Yurman, and Dior, and wearing that spikey Rimmel mascara, and I’ll even make a trip over to Topshop to see your togs next year. But Carphone Warehouse? Kate, that’s just not good for your brand – it’s only good for your wallet.

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Upcoming Event: Branding Basics for PPA

October 11 2013

We are pleased to announce that Beth is going to be presenting Branding Basics, a webinar for the Professional Photographers of America next Thursday, October 17th from 2-3pm. If you are a member please sign on. It is great for photographers or those in related industries at any level. Hope to “see” you then!

Click here for more information about the event.

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American Apparel: When Simplicity isn’t So Simple

October 09 2013

American Apparel is a brand well known for its’ pared down, comfortable aesthetic, one that appeals to the young. urban, hipster-chic teens and 20s of America and across the World. Long known for simple basic unisex t-shirts, hoodies and jeans, they have moved into the territory of vintage-inspired disco pants, chiffon blouses and palazzo pants. By bringing more “design” into their clothing, American Apparel has attempted to set themselves apart from their competition -- Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Urban Outfitters. They have been so effective in branding themselves in the mind of the consumer that it will be interesting to see what happens as they move forward in this new vein.

On a political level, American Apparel’s heart has been in the right place (at least from my leftie perspective). The brand is a strongly voiced advocate of LGBT rights, it is committed to environmental protection, and is known for having all of their clothing made in the U.S. without the use of underpaid sweatshops in other countries. That is a big one, as more and more ethical issues arise regarding how the fashion we love and wear is made. American Apparel’s company website also has a list of other ethical causes that they support.


via americanapparel.tumblr.com

This is a brand with some major disconnects despite its success and good heartedness. Despite their ethical chops, the brand has been scrutinized in the past for having overtly provocative advertisements, for not being plus-size friendly, and for their inflated price point, given the quality and lack of originality in the merchandise. In addition, if American Apparel is going to claim a more constructed, designed sensibility, they will need to pull other elements of their brand communications in line. Their window design frequently looks like a cheap mall brand that sells five-dollar T-shirts and ten-dollar parkas. The store merchandising is decidedly barebones as well. It’s certainly not an issue to expand upon a brand’s sensibilities, as Juicy Couture moved very successfully from coveted velour tracksuits into much more cultivated pieces that still retained a high level of comfort. American Apparel might benefit from studying Juicy more closely, as that brand has had all of the elements working in sync since the beginning, and was just sold to Authentic Brands Group for $185 million. Get it together, AA!!

However, American Apparel has come a long way in the message it gives through its brand. What makes American Apparel such a strong brand is their exuberant, precise, and edgy advertisements. American Apparel speaks volumes through their fashion photography. Each advertisement exudes a feeling of the American dream through clothing, in other words the emotion of living your life through these clothes.

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Aerie, American Eagle, and the Building of a Retail Brand

October 01 2013

How many of you know about or shop at Aerie, a growing intimates brand established by American Eagle? Their demographic is for girls aged fifteen–twenty-five. Since the line was launched in 2006, it has only gained in popularity. However, right now, they are functioning more like a sub-brand, rather than as the sister- brand they want to be.


via ae.com/blog

The majority of Aerie’s current departments are situated inside larger American Eagle stores, but there is a definite difference in vibe between the two. Aerie is set up to function more of a store within a store, much like you would find DKNY or Ralph Lauren at Bloomingdales. Aerie has their own female sales staff. The atmosphere is brighter, lighter, and almost ethereal, while American Eagle is darker and more masculine – more about an All-American, casual, worn vibe. American Eagle’s merchandise, advertising, store design and marketing communicate a broad sense of vintage authenticity, even though the brand was born in 1977. On the other hand, Aerie projects a voice that is new and youthful. The brand is not rooted in Dad’s old memorabilia. Aerie’s wants to make girls feel pretty inside and out. They are the “girl-next-door” of intimates, and they aspire to be in every girl’s closet.

Aerie has definitely benefitted from being under American Eagle’s roof and brand umbrella. Being situated both physically and digitally in the American Eagle retail experience has helped bring them traffic and brand awareness. However, they have cultivated a different kind of aesthetic, both in their products and retail presence, one that differentiates from their parent brand. They have the potential to be a big competitor in intimates, but to do so, they need to continue to expand beyond such a close consumer alliance with American Eagle and add more stand-alone stores. If not, they will be forever overshadowed—a sub-brand, not a sister brand. It is definitely time for them to move out of their parent’s house.

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