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1. Introduction:

Creative economy has played an increasingly important position in the development of economy, creating the creative business has become more and more popular in many countries. As Pratt & Jeffcutt (2009) notes, the new competition is focusing on creativity and innovation by creating the creative, novel and good quality products. This essay will focus on how to create creative business, which is divided into two parts, in the first part, it will be based on the theory about how to create business and create a recycled bag project, the second part is connecting it to future business.

2.The theory of creating a creative business and launching a recycled bag project:

The customer is most important in business, everything should be based on customer’s requirement. As Shaw & Jackson (2009, p.9) maintained, “the term  ‘customer insight’ refers to a deep level of understanding about customers’ needs and wants. Marketing research studies are important sources of information about how consumers behave and their values, attitudes, lifestyles and opinions.” So the designers should act as a researcher to discover the needs of customer, and then create some creative products and service to meet their needs. In other words, user is customer, designer just like researcher,  it should be based on the community of targeted customer when doing a research, as Shaw & Jackson (2009) suggests, the family, friends, colleagues have a significant influence on customer’s purchasing behavior. Besides, roles, objects and rules in this process also is important.

Based on the user and researcher theory, at the beginning of creating  team project about recycled bag, the team member started to provide the idea of recycled bag by the way of researching the needs of customer segment. The members of team discussed the targeted customer in the group meeting by storytelling. According to Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010, p.172), good stories engage listeners, so the story is the ideal tool to prepare for an in-depth discussion of a business model and its underlying logic. The project look targeted customer as a 20s years girl, who study in university and is keen on environmentally-friendly idea so she will be interested in everything recycled, Besides, she also enjoys fashionable, special and unique products but she can not pay it if the product is very expensive. In the whole process of operating this project, every member of the team put the customer’s needs on the top position, all of work was aiming to meet their needs. Overall, storytelling is a good way to create a clear image for targeted customer, it will help the business have a much clear idea to create the products and service.

Another useful way is prototyping, as Osterwalder & Pigneur (2010, p.162) wrote, “prototyping is a powerful tool for developing new, innovative business models. like visual thinking, it makes abstract concepts tangible and facilitates the exploration of new ideas. Prototypes can be very rough but it is a useful way to communicate with each other.” The team started to prototype when having an idea and clear marketing positioning, every member collected some discarded material and re-designed, re-made them so the concept became more tangible and it was easy for team members to discuss with each other because the team  had product although it was rough product. The manger could calculate the time every member had spent on making them,  find the problem the team members met, for  example, every member felt difficult to collect enough recycled material in the Uk in the early stage of this project.

Besides, the members of team also could do market research because  the team could show the products to interviewee when team members did a research. It was easy to get many useful feedback, for instance, how much will you buy this bag? Do you like this style? Based on the discussion and marketing research, the team could improve products but costing less money because it just is prototyping rather than a real product.

Every team had chance to show idea and products in the fair, the business is recycled bag so our team should show every items made by recycled material, including label, package bag, business card and so on. The color, style and material should be uniform, everything should base on the same topic which is recycled, green and environmentally-friendly. Every member found many problems  in the process, for example , finding recycled material was most important problem the team should overcome because the recycled bag business should design and make business card, package bag using recycled card, and the other one was using limited capital, so the business should make every item and solve every problem based on the least money.

In the fair, the team members could show and communicate with each group together, having a clear picture to other group’s idea and getting many useful information, for example, many teams opened their business  on website, which is a wonderful way to help some new and small companies operate their creative business by limited investment. Some teams showed their innovative design product, which is focus on creative design. Some teams had perfect introduction and display, that also was a key part in the fair. Besides, other groups provided some objective advices to recycled bag business. After the fair the recycled bag project  found many problems , for example, the business should edit website better,  price the products more reasonable, advertise products better.

Advertising plays a significant influence on the success of a new product. As White and Griffiths (2004) notes, advertising is the necessary method to convey innovative and creative idea because it will make the novel items sell better. So the recycled bag business should create a vivid vedio to show idea, promote the products better. Although the project did not have a great deal of money to get a professional advertisement form external company and the team should create it by itself, it was a good chance for every member to get a good experience in advertising, to get to know what the advertising should like, which part is most important in an advertisement, interesting, clear idea, professional skill, the fee of making or background music. Overall,  advertising is a good one if it can help the products sell better, otherwise, it is failure.

3.  Business in the future:

I want to open concept fashion store with my friends together in China in the future. In the past, I just wanted to introduce some special and fashionable collection to attract customers, I think that is most useful way to attract customer, but as Jackson & Shaw (2009) suggests, fashion marketing should be customer-led rather than design-led, product – led. So based on the theory of user,  the fashion store should do a research of customer’s needs,  for example, their attitude, lifestyle, social circle, consuming capability and so on. User’s requirement is most important part in the operation of one business, storytelling  and prototyping are ideal ways  to do market research, describe the needs of consumer. It will help the business have a much clear and detailed picture to business idea.

Special and creative products is a key factor for creating a special image to  targeted customer. For example, the concept fashion store can introduce the team’s recycled bag project to China, the environmentally-friendly idea and fashionable style are uniform with the concept fashion store’s image. The concept fashion store can improve the international image if it introduces some projects from UK, So finding some foreign fashion designer’s collection also is necessary. For example, there are many excellent designer’s collection in the london fashion week, which is a good chance to find new designer’s collection, because the collection coming from different countries have different styles, it will make the commodity in concept fashion store more colorful.  I was interested in several brands and discussed with them about detailed content, although the product is excellent,  it is really difficult to develop this kind of brands  in China. The main reason is almost every brand have a very expensive price,  therefore the other way of introducing the novel products is having a cooperation with Chinese local designer studio, many Chinese fashion studios also have excellent design, the designers studied in different countries, such as UK, Italy, Paris, so the style is various and the price is more reasonable.

I got many useful skills from the team project which can be used in the future business. For example, if the concept fashion store want to take part in a fair in the future, the store should know what it should prepare. For example,  every items must be uniform for building a brand image. The business cannot only focus on product design, it should design everything, including website, poster,display,brand image,package and so on. All of these elements are necessary parts for a creative business. As White and Griffiths (2004) states, creative and innovative design should include creative and uniform image package design  and display design of products.

The new and small creative business usually has limited financial capability, so developing the business on line is a ideal way to cut the cost, the team project in the class has a limited capital so many teams open their business online. As Bilton (2007)suggests, old retailing style has been replaced by new ways, such as online selling.  So in the future the concept fashion store also can open fashion store online based a special and creative way, for example, the store can combine the fashion store and online store together or connect the website to designer’s studio directly.

We always think it is not important for a fashion store to publicize its store image and products, the products should be advertised by the fashion brand company and the fee of advertising is so expensive. However,  advertising definitely has a significant meaning on promoting the store reputation. As Tungate (2005) maintains, fashion is a publicizing activity, the business can build brand image, attract customer and fashion buyer rapidly by advertising and showing the products in the press, but the small businesses usually have not enough money to do it. Therefore, the fashion store also can copy the way that the team project has used, specifically, fashion store can make the advertising by itself, maybe the skill is not very professional but the idea can be interesting and creative, then  putting  it on some websites that are popular but free, for example, Sinaweibo in China.

I never realize that team cooperation is so important, as Hennessey and  Amabile (2009) says, the team work will be more successful than individual work. I had a operation with my friends to open the fashion store but the team did not assign the task clearly for every one, something  was done by two people in the same time, but no one dealed with another thing so the team member of fashion store always had a confused situation. In the recycled bag team project, every member learns that having a clear task  assignment for every one is so important, the business not only can solve the problems better, but can increase everyone’s responsibility if the team have a good cooperation between every member.

4.Conclusion:

Based on the theory learned from design thinking class, for example, user, storying ,prototyping, building the uniform brand image, advertising, team cooperation and so on, the team created a creative business project, recycled bag. The team got a good experience by combining the theory with the practice together, learning many useful creative and innovative business skills, which will do a great contribution when I create my own business of opening a concept fashion store in China.

Reference:

Bilton, C. (2007) Management and creativity, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Hennessey, B. and  Amabile, T. (2010). ‘Creativity’ , Annual review of psychology, 61,569-598, Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews.

Jackson, T. & Shaw, D.(2009) Fashion marketing, UK: Palgrave Macmilan.

Osterwalder, A.& Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business model generation, Canada: John Wiley& Sons, Inc.,Hoboken, New Jersey

Pratt, A. and Jeffcutt, P. (2009) Creativity, innovation and cultural economy. dawsonera. [Online] Available at http://www.dawsonera.com/depp/reader/protected/external/AbstractView/S9780203880012 (Accessed 28 April 2011)

Tungate, M. (2005) Fashion brands. UK: Kogan Page Limited.

White, N. and Griffiths, I. (2004) The fashion business: theory, practice,image. 2th edn. UK: Berg.

My own fashion store in China:

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Last night I telephoned my friend , who open the fashion store with me together in China,  talking about how to develop the fashion designer personal collection in our fashion store to build our store’s uniqe image. I find this is a chance to develop our recycled bag project in China, I can sell it in my own fashion store, on the one hand, it is beneficial to make the items of fashion store more colorful, on the other hand, it is a chance for our recycled bag project to show its products in China.

If I want to develop the recycled bag project in China, there are so many useful resources I can use, for example, firstly, because I am familiar with many chinese fashion designers, I can have a cooperation with them, they can design and produce recycled bag based on our  recycled, fashionable idea,  selling in our website and our own fashion store, using 3J+Z brand. All of cost is provided by themselves, if we sell the bag, they can get 60% profit, we can get 40%. Because our brand has registered in UK, it is easy to build an international reputation and advertise it in fashion store or internet

Secondly, the cost of making bags is cheaper in China than UK, besides, it is easy to find enough material for me in China than UK. Thirdly, I have opened the fashion stores in China for four years, we have many our own customers, the style of recycled bag is uniform with our fashion store’s style, so we can public and sell our bags to our customers easily.

We needn’t spend any money on developing our project in China, if it is successful, we also can develop it in other country, such as Korea, because Jinyoung and Lee come from Korea. Overall, developing our business in our own country is easier than Uk, and registering our brand in UK also can help us build international brand image.

Last monday, I went to london fashion week . The most attractive point  for me is personal designer’s collection besides catwalk. Because I really want to find some suitable personal designer’s collection in the london fashion week , I can sell it in my fashion store when I come back my country. I visited about 20 designer’s collection in the showroom,  they come from different countries, having a different style ,different market positioning. Besides, all of collection have my detailed design , handmade  manufacturing and good quality. I was interested in several brands and discussed with them about detailed content about selling their collection. I find it is really difficult to develop this kind of brands  in China, the main reason is almost every brand have a very expensive price.

For example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the wholesale price is:

jacket: 380-590 pounds  coat: 560-960 pounds

shorts:285-325 pounds leggings: 200- 290 pounds  skirt:290-390pounds

All of brands almost have the similar price, if I order the retail price based on the 50%, it will be very expensive, the price  will be similar with some famous brand just like prada, burberry  and so on. Although the personal designer’s collection quality is excellent , they still cannot compare with prada and burberry. Besides, the transportation fee should pay by myself, it is not convenient to change items. In China ,personal designer’s collection is becoming popular, but so expensive price is still difficult to get targeted customer, I think it will be more reasonable if the price can be cut 30%. Maybe it is difficult for them to lower price, because they produce a small number of collection, the cost of making the same collection is higher than big company. Therefore, personally, I think the best way for them is to find a sponsor in this london fashion week developing their collection based on a really business style rather than just depend on the unique product.

Our team in the fair


There is a fair on 10th February. Our business is about recycled bags, therefore we should show every items made by recycled material including label ,package bag, business card and so on. The colour, style and material should be uniform , everything should base on the same topic which is recycled , green and envirment- friendly. Although this is not a real fair just practicing it, we find many problems we should solve in the process. Firstly, finding recycled material is most important problem we should overcome,and the other one is using limited capital ( our team leader, jinyoung, always ask us we should cut the cost,so we almost don’t cost any money in the whole process. so ,thank you, jinyoung).

Although we meet many problems in this process, I get many useful skills I can use in my own business in the future. For example , if I want to take part in a fair in the future, I know what I should prepare. I know every items must be uniform for building a brand image. How to finish everything  but only costing a little money.

After the fair we also find many problems we should solve further, learning many useful way from other teams .For example,we should edit our website better, we should price our product more reasonable, advertise our business, improve our products based other classmate’ s advise and so on. I hope we can do better at next fair.

Fair

We have a fair  in the restaurant of penphy Road campus on 10th February. All of business teams in our class will show their ideas there. Although this is not a really business fair , it  just is a practice in the university, all of teams have a professional performance in this experience. Some of them are showed below:

Because the capital is limited,  many teams open their business based on website ,this is a wonderful and useful way to help some new and small companies to operate their business.For example :

Kingston University social network:

kingston pub culture:

Some teams show their innovative design product:

For instance:

Some teams have perfect  introduction and display:

I really learn a lot from this fair, I want to open a unique and creative fashion store when I come back my hometown. The idea and the information I collect from this fair is very helpful to develop my own business in the future because different teams have different ideas. Specifically,

1.I know there are so many creative idea to open the internet market, and it will cost less capital, maybe I also can open fashion store online based a special and creative way.

2.Speical and creative products also is very important to one creative business, so I can introduce some unique collection and innovative products to my fashion store attracting customer, creating a special image to our targeted customer.

3.Learning how to co-operate with other organization , which will create the benefits for both two businesses.

4.You cannot only focus on product design, you should design everything ,including website ,poster,display,brand image,package and so on. All of these elements is a necessary part for a creative business.

 

A SUCCESSFUL CLUB

I want to talk about a club which is very popular in my hometown, called old-fashioned style. All of things in this club are old-fashioned, including music, decoration, instrument and so on.Every customer can carry everything to this club.For example, your mother’s clothes, your grandmother’s sunglasses, your grandfather’s tape and so on.The designer of this club will help you redesign it ,reorganize it . dressing up for you ,making up for you. Therefore you have the chance to show the special, old-fashioned style by yourself on this club catwalk. So this club attracts a lot of customers, although the cost is very expensive.

team project

This week, Jean and mine task is investigating targeted customers to get useful feedback,our targeted customer is young girl ranging from 18 to28 and they are keen on enviornmental protection, buying special bags but she hasn’t much money to buy expensive bag.

1.  Q: How many bags do you own?  

      A: <2 (1people)    3-5( 7people)     >5(2pp)

2. Q:  How much do you usually pay for a bag?

      A: < £10 (5pp)     £10-50(3pp)         >£50(2pp)

3.  Q: What type of bag do you prefer?

      A: Light( 5pp)    Leather(8pp)   Big(3pp)    Small( 4pp)   Functional(9pp)

4.  Q: Have you seen bags made of recycled material?

      A:  Yes( 1pp)   No(9pp)

5.  Q: Would you purchase a bag made of recycled material?

     A: Yes, if i like it. ( 8pp)      No, I can not accept recycled( 2pp)

6. Q:  What do you think of these bag?

     A:  They looks beautiful and special    (9pp)   

            They looks weird,i dont like them (1pp)

7.  Q: How much woud you pay for this bag?

       A : < £5 (3pp)     £5-10(5pp)    > £10 (2pp)

8.  Q: What functions would you like to add to this bag to make it better?

      A: Accessories(3pp)  Hardiness materials(5pp)  Pragmatic interlayer(2pp)

 

I talked about more details with two of my flatmates when I came back my accomodation, because I think they are our project’s aimed customers. Firstly, I provided them with four bags made of recycled materical. Both them thinked they can accept old material , special  and useful bag is most importmant . They choosed the same one which were made of yellow carpet and the strange thing was they gave the same price 25 pounds but I interviewed them seperately. They thinked the material is special and they can carry books and even vergetables as the materical is carpet rather than clothing or leather. The reason of the left girl choosing white wallet was she feeled the wallet is so soft. The another girl choosing another wallet was because the spcial style. The last one bag was too nomal for them.

My another task is that I should calculate the cost of making these bags, because all of materials are recycled material and all of them made by myself , I almost cost nothing . Therefore, the price is based on investigating the targeted customers.

 

price list: 25 pounds , 9 pounds

                  5 pounds,   7 pounds

my business idea

I want to open a fashion store which is located in the south part of china. The targeted customer is 25 to 35 years old white-collar lady. The range of the price is 30-190 pounds. This store consists of several parts. The most special part is local fashion designer part selling fashionable clothes produced by china fashion designer. The biggest part is selling several garment brands which are suitable for the customer to have a work, have a shopping and so on. The last one is second-hand part where you not only can find second-hand clothes but can change and re-made clothes. 

storytelling about a person

  • I want to give a story about a targeted customer based on the topic of how to find and match fashion style.

  • Sandy is 39 years old housewife,her son is 15 years old and studies in high school. Sandy’s husband is a white-collar worker working from monday to friday.There are less communication between sandy and her husband. Life becomes very monotonous and dull, sandy always misses her youth days dressing up ,shopping with boy friend together but she finds she cann’t keep up with trendency now , she doesn’t  know how to find and match suitable style for herself to attractive her husband attention . She feels confusing whenever she cames into a fashion shop facing so many styles.
  • Sandy has enough time to have a window shopping and  eager to buy new clothes to make herself beautiful, She was  envy of others with a refined and special style, but she always feels  she cann’t match it as well as others. Therefore, she must be keen on shopping in this kind of fashion store if the store can provide a automatic system which will give professional advice to customer about how to find and match the clothes easily in this store. 

reflect on the video by IDEO frontman, Tim Brown

  • fristly,I know from video  is that design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation,  solving  the problem from the People perspective,so all of things I think about are based on one targeted customer e.g sandy

  • secondly,Great designers are great observers of life. They get out there to look, listen, and try. I will try my best to observe customer’s life, looking ,listening what they think to get inspiration.

  • thirdly,Prototypes can be very rough but they should always enable engagement & discussion.prototyping is very important step which can help me show my idea tangibly.

  • Storytelling helps develop & express ideas to get them through organizations. for instance, I choose sandy’s story as a basement showing my idea attracting this kind of customers. Good storytelling is very useful  methord to help you move other one.

 I went to Frieze fair in Friday, I tried  to spy a customer and observed how money was transfered, but I can not find anyone who had a trade with dealer finally. So I just want to describe a system which I observed about how to transfer money in food booth in fair. Everything was so expensive sold in the fair, the price of the food was  almost twice than ordinary shops. You hadn’t any other chioce so you must pay the money for your meal here. It will be showed below:

user:a customer in the fair

designer: the company of selling food/the organization of Frieze fair

objects:drink/food/props to help show/receipt/payment machine/price list/the place provided by food booth to have a rest ,drink and eat for customer

community:all of staff in the shop/all of staff in Frieze fair/all of customers in Frieze fair/other food booths in the Frieze/the same food booth in other location /all of art stands in the frieze fair/the decoration the shop and fair/the atmosphere of the shop and fair

role:the staff of food booth should serve customer/all of staff and customers in this fair are the potenial customer who will influence the user’ chioce/the other food booth in the fair will make user campare the price and products . For instance, its chain store is located in central london and it is very popular ,so the user will put it on the first chioce/the same food booth in other location will help the shop win a good image /the atmosphere, art stands and decoration in the fair have a significant influence to the price of the food booth. For example,the user will accept the nearly double price of food  because this is an art fair.

rule:the customer should choose food by himself ,order a drink and then give his own name to cashier. the customer should pay by cash or by credit card. the customer can get the drink when the shop staff call his name.