Strike A Pose

An Emerging Communication Tool

Summary

Pose is an app that makes use of the growing importance of mobile apps, increasing trend of online shopping and popularity of social networking to position itself the ultimate platform for tracking the latest fashion trends, sharing their own styles with others and purchasing items. Pose itself does not process any transactions and the online shopping are done in the company’s website. With its sleek, stylish and minimalistic layout, marketers will be able to use it to attract users by the use of visually appealing aesthetics. The fashion brands will then be able to create stronger desire for their products, increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to their official websites. Pose will also be able to help brands achieve more accurate segmentation and targeting. Thus, we feel that Pose is an emerging communication tool to look out for in the near future.


What is Pose?

Pose is a free photo sharing app for outfits that is available for iPhone  IPad and Android and was launched on November 19, 2010. Since then, Pose has grown immensely in popularity and attracted more than one million users. Its success is attributed to the unique and unprecedented combination of photo sharing and online shopping on one platform. Users can also make use of this app to keep track of the latest fashion trends. Like Twitter and Facebook, they are able to share photos, comments and ideas as interaction between users forms an important part of Pose. A distinct feature that differentiates Pose from other social media is the “E-tail”.  When users upload photos, they will also share product information about their outfits such as brand and price. This enables users who are interested in the outfit to be connected directly to the website selling it without having the go through the hassle of finding it themselves online. 



External Trends and Market Factors

           According to Nielsen’s Social Media Report in 2012, consumers are continuing to spend more time on social networks than any other category of sites, with 20% of the time they spent on PCs and 30% of their mobile time. This reflects the growing importance of social media as a tool in marketing communication, as people continue to use it to share their thoughts and gain information. Pose thus makes use of this trend and positions itself as a social media platform to connect users to each other as well as to the brands through user-generated content. Furthermore, this culture of sharing is also incorporated into the website. Consumers are able to share with others their opinion on styles and trends they fancy like by liking and sharing posts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.          Additionally, users can access the Pose through downloadable apps on their mobile devices as well as tablet computers. This is especially crucial given that mobile communications has become prevalent in accessing social content. Statistically, it can be proven given that consumers have in fact increased their social app time by 76% from 2011 to 2012. They are also spending seven times more minutes on apps than the mobile web, suggesting that users are more deeply engaged. 


         Another important market trend that Pose has also accommodated is the booming popularity of image sharing sites such as Pinterest. With its sleek, minimalistic designs and wide range of collections and boards, Pinterest has experienced exponential growth, with a year on year increase of unique visitors of 1047% and total minutes by 6056% from 2011 to 2012. With a similar layout and purpose to that of Pinterest as well as the additional function of linking users to the brands, Pose’s focus on playing up the fashion angle has allowed it to target an extremely important demographic – fashionable working women in their late 20s to early 30s Through the billion dollar Internet retail industry, it can be inferred that choice and convenience still remain a main draw for consumers. Thus, with the ability to peruse fashion and style trends then purchase them all on one platform being the main selling point of the website, they will be able to meet the needs of the demographic.


         Combined, these factors will therefore allow them to becoming a major communication tool in the future given the current external trends and market factors.

Communication Objectives

The main communication objective that Pose can provide for a company is by creating a desire for their products through attractive and aesthetically pleasing visuals. They will also be able to fulfil a second objective, which is to drive traffic to their websites through linking their online stores to the products in the pictures that consumers like.

Target Audience

The target audience will be young, technologically savvy consumers who enjoy using social media to connect with their peers and who also like to share their fashion choices with others. Due to their busy lifestyles, they will also enjoy the convenience of having a single platform where they will be able to browse fashion styles and influences, and then purchase an item directly from the company should they see something they like.

Synergies with other tools

Due to the massive popularity of other social networking sites, the company will not be able to rely on Pose alone. Instead, it will need to synergies its marketing efforts on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and its own official website to present a cohesive brand image to the consumer. For example, the consumer will be able to share images they like on their Facebook feed, tweet about the latest fashion trends they discovered on Pose on Twitter or even ‘pin’ the pictures they feel are attractive on their boards on Pinterest. This will thus enable the company to promote itself to a wider range of audiences due to the sheer extent of the reach of the platforms combined.

Risks and Barriers

As majority of the content on the website is user generated, the company will largely be unable to control what users post. Thus, there is the risk that the brand image that the company wants to portray to may not be what other users perceive.

Another barrier to discuss is that market penetration is limited as Pose targets a very specific part of the population due to the nature of the website and its focus on the fashion industry. Thus, it does not make it an ideal communication tool for businesses that have a different target audience or who operate in an entirely different field, such as the food and beverage industry.

How a brand can use Pose?

There are many social media platforms which provide channels for promotional and distribution. Due to its nature, the fashion industry will find Pose an especially useful marketing tool which helps them communicate with their target groups.
Firstly, when the brands introduce new products, Pose can serve as a channel for promotion where they are able to showcase their new collections. Additionally, when users upload their snapshots, they will provide the product details of the products such as brand, price and location. This will thus help to increase the brand recognition among the consumers.

Secondly, first time users are asked to choose their preferred fashion styles when they first sign in. This helps the brands to tailor personalized messages for them. Also, users can create themed collections with their photos, much like a photo album. This thus helps the brand to know the tastes and preferences of the users. The brands can also further understand the opinions of potential customers through their feedback on selected photos.  

Thirdly, the brand can use Pose to generate sales leads. This can be done through the ‘E-tail’ function mentioned above, which gives the user the function of “shop” for them to do online shopping immediately. Taking Asos as an example.

By clicking the items, users will be taken to the brand’s website to purchase the product. When the user clicks on the Asos Shirt on the photo, the “Shop This” option will appear and the user can connect to official website of Asos. This also helps to increase the click-through rate of the official website.

Not only does Pose provide a better way for Asos to interact the customers, it also helps Asos with segmentation and targeting.  The first time user will be asked to choose their preferred fashion styles and influences upon first logging in. This will thus help brands to understand the consumer’s preferences and tailor their offerings according to their likes and dislikes.

Pose also functions much like a fashion magazine, exposing the user to different brands.  This thus helps users to receive messages that the brand wishes to convey more easily as many people are reluctant to receive direct advertising and sponsorship links. Like other social media such as Facebook and Twitter, users can follow the featured users, which in Pose’s case are called ‘Posers’. The brands like Asos can then sponsor the featured users to increase the brand exposure and presence in the Pose.

Pose also functions much like a fashion magazine, exposing the user to different brands.  This thus helps users to receive messages that the brand wishes to convey more easily as many people are reluctant to receive direct advertising and sponsorship links. Like other social media such as Facebook and Twitter, users can follow the featured users, which in Pose’s case are called ‘Posers’. The brands like Asos can then sponsor the featured users to increase the brand exposure and presence in the Pose.

Brands, like Asos can also utilize Pose to share tutorial videos for fashion advice such as mix and match tips. Asos can also organize competition, asking the ‘Posers’ and users to vote for the “Look of the  Month” on their website and then having a fashion show for the winning outfits. Pose can thus serve as a platform for promoting this fashion show. Through these initiatives, the brand can then gain more awareness and strengthen its brand image in the user’s mind.

Due to the nature of the industry, where the most attractive and eye-catching get the attention, companies should use Pose with creativity.  As all content is user generated, Asos may choose to sponsor featured users with different outfits and perhaps even direct the photoshoot to present their clothes in an appealing and striking way. This can be in the form of extravagant photos. The design of the picture and the theme of the snapshot is very important to attract users. As Pose can provide better segmentation and targeting information, Asos can then design different themed snapshots to attract their desired audiences. This will be more likely to attract users to like and share the photos and thus increase the brand awareness for Asos.

Social media will continue to be a crucial part of the marketing communications space. It can be predicted that due to its nature, design and function, Pose will grow in popularity and become a major social platform. With its comprehensive reward system for users who upload, like and share photos, it provide the perfect incentive for users to visit the app more frequently, this ensuring increased traffic and growth of Pose.

Happy Posing!

Comment Stream