Archive for the ‘Jeannie’ Category

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Reflection

June 14, 2010

I want to go back. Now!

I learned so much from this class. Fashion/shopping in London, fashion/shopping in Prague, and different cultural norms. Although we were only abroad for three weeks, I feel like I learned an endless amount about Europe.

Fashion and shopping in London was all about status, name brands, social interaction, uniqueness, and individuality. People shopped to spend time with their friends, add to their own unique wardrobe, and make an event out of shopping for the day. Londoners love getting together with friends and walking around the streets and shops. They also love to be their own person. Outfits range from basic and conservative to eccentric and bold. Even the most plain outfits were spiced-up with colorful accessories or unique pieces. People were concerned with name brands but made the pieces their own. Our culture code for London shopping was “Martini” because it represented the fun, social aspect, and variety of shopping.

Fashion and shopping in Prague was a whole different story. The city is still deeply rooted in its history – meaning the buildings, traditions, and fashion are still much the same as they used to be. Our culture code – “Fuctionality” – perfectly described Czech people’s perception on fashion and shopping. They shop for specific occasions and specific purposes. The weather and their travel plans affect their clothing choices. Name brands are not important. Megamalls and hypermarkets are slowly becoming popular, but many people still shop at local markets and shops. The old generation vs. new generation of shoppers is very defined. “Functionality” is what Czech people consider when shopping.

Besides specifically learning about fashion and shopping, I learned a great deal about different cultures in general. The food was vastly different in both places – in my opinion, London’s fish and chips were no match for Prague’s goulash and schnitzle. Londoners were friendly and bubbly, while Czech people were more reserved and quiet. Public transportation was big in both cities, as was the importance of a great beer.

I’ve never been to Europe before, so this experience was unreal. I truly had an amazing time and will never forget the places I went to, the things I experienced, and the people I spent the three weeks with.

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Group Cultural Code for Czech Republic

June 4, 2010

We started our group cultural code from puppets, goulash, cartoons, etc. Rather than figuring out the cultural code with metaphor, in the end, we came to functionality.

The functionality in fashion world is rooted in Czech people’s daily lives two decades ago. Before the revolution in 1989, under the rule of Communism, people dressed according to clothes’ practicality. Communism supports the core value of “being equal” and everything should be cheap. In other words, brands and to be good-looking are not their most important concerns during clothes purchasing, because everyone should dress according to what they need and where they work.

Men's Overall

For example, men rarely wore T-shirt and jacket in the past. However, they usually just wore overall, which is easier for them to work in the factory or farm. Also, for women, they often wore scarves, which helps to prevent dirts during working. So, before the revolution, on the one hand, Czech people didn’t have a lot of choices for clothes. On the other hand, their mindset and the culture indicated them to dress functionally and practically.

With the twenty-one years development till now, people have gained a lot of freedom for purchasing clothes and other fashion products. But it’s hard for them to change their shopping habits and mindsets immediately, especially for old generations. Most Czech people still live in small towns. It’s not that convenient to reach a lot of international brands. Also, according to the average income in Czech, a large number of people can’t really afford them. So they are loyal to local brands, markets and independent shops and functionality is still the key factor they will take into account during purchasing. In some sense, international fashion brands are just a symbolism of free market after revolution.

Everyone we’ve talked to has stressed the divide between the old generation and the new generation. Not only do these two groups of Czech people have different memories of the change in the country, but they have vastly different perceptions on fashion and shopping. The older generation is very traditional. They are loyal to local markets and shops. They don’t see the need to change their habits and don’t have an enormous desire to buy expensive fashion. The younger generation, however, is slowly but surely adapting to the new shopping experience. Hypermarkets and mega-malls are attracting more and more people as the younger Czech generation is becoming more interested in name-brand clothing. Young girls enjoy getting together with their friends and going shopping for a day, while the older generation still prefers shopping in local markets by their homes.

Sitting outside of Tesco, Lisa noticed something that contributed specifically to the culture code we chose. The Czech consumer’s process of leaving the Tesco was pretty unique. As many people exited the store, they immediately reorganized their purchases, and analyzed everything they had bought that day. We thought this routine action was really interesting because Czech people spend so much time choosing products pre-purchase, and now they were still analyzing those purchases even after they had been made. The shoppers would come out, look at their receipt, and refer back to the things that they bought one by one. One older man even stopped, took his glasses out of his case, looked over his receipt for about ten minutes, took them off, put them in the case, and then carried on with his day. This man probably brought those glasses along with him for exactly that purpose, which means that he does it every time he goes shopping. From these observations, we came up with the subject of Czechs as very price sensitive and interested in quality. Czech people will only buy something if the product’s inherent value is worth just as much, if not more, than the price that they are paying. It’s not that Czechs won’t pay a lot of money for something, but when they do, they will be sure that what they are buying is worth every crown it costs. As we learned through conversation with some of the staff at Garp, once a year, there is a huge sale for designer labels that Czech fashion magazines create special issues for. In these magazines are coupons for these sales. Czech consumers interesting in buying high-end brands will often wait all year for this sales period because it is when they will get the best deal.

It was interesting to understand Czech’s without knowing the language, but we used our resources with the English-speaking people at the agencies we visited and our assistant Honsa. Through our discussions with those people we realized a huge difference in American culture and Czech culture when it comes to brands. In the suburban America we know well it is common for people to buy a North Face just to buy a North Face. When it comes to Czech culture they care more about the price, quality and functions a jacket would perform for them. If it happens that North Face fits all the things they are looking for then so be it, but brand is not a primary part of their choices.

Czech people dress for the specific occasion they will be in. First and foremost, the weather condition and the amount of time they will be outside affects what they’re going to wear. Comfortable shoes are necessary if the walk to work is a long one. They’ll put on a coat if it’s cold, and not worry about whether or not it 100% matches their ensemble. Men don’t wear nice jackets, blazers, or shirts unless they’re going to a wedding, funeral, or other dressy occasion. Since many Czech people own cottages for weekend excursions, mountaineering clothing stores are very popular. Therefore, the ridiculously expensive pieces of clothing that don’t really serve a purpose are disregarded. This might be why there are not a lot of fashion ads. The Czech people don’t need to purchase the clothing, so they won’t appreciate the ad. They dress for a very specific, functional purpose.

Another one of the major points we observed was that practicality if very important to Czechs. Practicality goes hand in had with functionality because Czechs want to purchase clothing that is not only functional in the sense that it works best for them but also what they buy and where they shop needs to be practical and convenient for them as well. Clothes that make day-to-day life easier and comfortable are essential, since walking and public transportation are popular in the Czech Republic, residents are going to want clothes and shoes that are comfortable for walking and traveling. It doesn’t make sense for Czechs to wear some of the trends that may be popular in other parts of the world because they are not practical for them.

However, just because the Czechs may not be following all the latest cutting edge fashions and trends, it doesn’t mean that they are not concerned with how they look. Czechs still want to look good and look put together. While we observed that Czechs walking down the street may not have been as chic and sophisticated as the trend setters in London, they still looked like they thought about what they put on in the morning. The main point to take away about Czechs and looking good is that they go about looking stylish in a different way than other cultures. Czechs are not going to follow trends that are not practical and functional in their day-to-day lives activities. Also they are not going to splurge on trends that are overly expensive either because spending a large portion of their income is not practical either. Czechs are concerned with being practical in their clothing choices but also concerned with looking and feeling good about what they wear.

Overall, our cultural code for fashion in Czech is functionality. In some sense, the role of functionality also explains why there is almost no fashion advertising in Czech Republic. In this small market, for Czech people, fashion doesn’t stands for brands, but functions.

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Last Sector Post for Prague

June 4, 2010

I really can’t believe this is my last day in Prague/Europe. Feels like just yesterday we got to London.

The whole group just met to wrap up our impressions of Czech ads. The adjectives/phrases we came up with were

  • Lots of “brand speakers” or mascots
  • Lots of copy on the ads
  • Humor is based on irony, laughing at people in unfortunate situations
  • Indirect – it’s not the norm to say “this is the best beer” like it is in America
  • Humble, playful, less politically correct

Fashion is a lot different here. We’ve really gotten a good grip on how Czech people perceive shopping, fashion, and brands. The past few days we went to two agencies and did a lot of extra ethnographic research to attempt to sum it all up.

Leagas Delaney

Leagas Delaney is a huge international agency with offices in London, Hamburg, Milan, Rome, Prague, Paris, and Shanghai. They manage a number of big-name brands and work by the motto “Substance in the Age of the 1 Second Ad.” The rep from this agency talked extensively about the struggles/obstacles/benefits of marketing to a number of different countries. Not only are there language barriers, but troubles with meaning-translation, humor, and cultural norms/taboos/values. I thought it was interesting that certain countries would want Leagas Delaney to change an ad based on someone’s physical appearance or tone of voice because it would not apply to their culture. Didn’t really learn anything specifically applicable to fashion, but it was still a really interesting agency visit.

Ogilvy

This agency is fairly new. It specializes in analyzing people’s shopping behaviors and habits and then customizing campaigns to fit to the consumers’ mindsets. The reps from Ogilvy talked for a while about the agency, but then gave us time to ask questions regarding our sectors. I got a lot of fashion information from this meeting.

First of all, the rep was clear in saying that “Prague is not the Czech Republic,” meaning that whatever we see around our hotel is not necessarily how Czech people act as a whole. People in Prague do not dress the same as the rest of the country because it’s a big, busy city and most Czech people live in diverse, small areas. A big trend is shopping in mountaineering stores. Going on weekend excursions is popular – a lot of people have cottages – so quality, rugged, durable clothing is popular.

Another big theme here is quality/price. Czech people are extremely concerned with getting as much “bang for their buck” as possible. When my group first started brainstorming about what the culture code for shopping is here, we circled around the term “price sensitive.” While this is true, there is another dimension as to how they are price sensitive. Czech people are willing to buy expensive things (if they can afford them), but what they are “sensitive” about is whether or not the price matches the quality of the clothing.

The rep at Ogilvy laughed when we kept drilling him with fashion questions. “I’m a guy! I hate shopping!” He said that deals/discounts/markdown prices are big and always attract a lot of customers. This goes along with the quality vs. price fixation. He also said, almost as a disclaimer, that Czech people are not very fashionable. It just simply isn’t a concern here. Huge difference from London and America where brand names are so important. According to the rep, Czech people look poorer than they actually are because they do not feel the need to wear extremely expensive clothing. The standard is low here, and men especially do not care about how they look. In fact, if a man here looks perfect – perfect suit, perfect hair, manicured nails, expensive jewelry – he’s going to be perceived as outside the norm.

Basically, fashion isn’t as prominent/vital in the Czech Republic as it is in other countries. Men don’t wear nice jackets and shirts unless they’re going to a funeral or wedding. It’s not practical or necessary to dress up unless there’s a reason to. Price, value, and functionality is what fashion’s all about here.

Palladium

Yesterday, a few of us went to a 200-store mega-mall called the Palladium. Besides the traditional Czech meal that we got there (probably our ninety-eighth chicken schnitzle and potato dumpling meal of the trip), my experience in the Palladium completely transported me back to my hometown mall in Chicago. American music was blasting throughout the speakers, the stores were all stores that I shop at regularly, and there was a lot of American being spoken. This is what all the agencies were talking about when they compared old-fashioned Czech markets to the new-age hypermarket culture. It was busy, crowded, loud, and hurried. The shoppers in H&M were bustling around a lot more than the shoppers I saw at the markets. It was mostly girls and women shopping, usually with a friend or two. There weren’t a lot of people in the dressing rooms. I felt almost at home in the Palladium because it felt so familiar, but at the same time I was surprised at how different the new-shopping vs old-shopping cultures are in Prague.

Firsthand Experience

The representatives from Garp took the entire group to two pubs the other night. Besides it being a great time – after the beer tasting, I’m sold on blueberry beer – I learned a lot about fashion on a more personal level by talking to one of the reps named Linda. She gave me two fashion magazines – “lovestar” and “Marianne” – flipped through them with me, and talked to me about the ads, consumer perceptions, and shopping in general.

There’s a big difference between the old generation and new generation here. We’ve heard this time and time again, and it’s definitely obvious. Old markets vs. huge malls. Local shops vs. high-end stores (Pariska street with Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.) Traditional people vs. trend-setters. The younger generation is slowly becoming more and more interested in fashion. Once a year, there’s a big discount fair that attracts a ton of people. Girls get together with their friends and make a shopping day out of it. The magazine “Marianne” gives out coupons for this event to promote the brand name items. So while the older generation is not really concerned with fashion, the younger crowd is becoming more aware.

Sidenote – Lisa and Linda have been emailing each other pictures of their cats. Just goes to show how friendly and fun the people here have been.

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Five Senses in Tesco

June 4, 2010

Tesco, we meet again.

The whole group did an ethnography exercise in everybody’s favorite hypermarket. We had 30 minutes to walk around and record 30 things we observed – only 15 of which could be visual. It was tough but a good learning experience. I had to force myself to notice more details about the atmosphere and not just comment on things that I saw. Here’s some of what I came up with.

  • Sight – open fish tanks, lots of older people shopping in couples, pictures of food on the price signs, most younger adults shopping alone or with their children, shoppers slowly walking around, not a lot in the carts, 3 floors, digital signs, wide variety of clothing styles and brands
  • Hear – quiet music downstairs, people talking calmly (all in Czech), 2nd floor playing louder American music in the clothing aisle (Czech people LOVE Lady Gaga), nobody talking to anyone besides their shopping partner
  • Smell – bread smelled warm and fresh, meat smelled really salty and fresh, cleaning solution smelled really strong, laundry detergent smelled heavenly, and the old women were wearing a LOT of perfume
  • Touch – the temperature wasn’t too hot or cold, the frozen sections were very cold, the clothes felt like a medium quality, the escalator was at a comfortable speed and incline
  • Taste – cookie that someone bought

This Tesco was a lot different than the ones in London. First of all, the London ones were smaller. This Tesco had three stories and was packed with millions of items. A big difference was the clothing section. I felt like I was in a WalMart or any department store junior section. The clothes were pretty good quality and there were a ton of styles to choose from. Second, there were a lot more Tesco Express stores in London, which is mostly where we went when we needed food. Third, this Tesco seemed a lot busier than London’s. Maybe it was because it was bigger, but I felt like there were a lot more people in this one. Finally, it was harder to completely understand how the shoppers felt about their shopping experience because everyone in this Tesco was speaking Czech.

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Group Culture Code Wrap-Up of the UK

June 1, 2010

Yiting: Mixture

The mixture of fashion world in UK reflects its variety of products, brands, shopping environments, consumers’ different attitudes toward fashion, as well as their shopping and consumption habits. British people are quite comfortable to embrace various trends and styles in fashion. Even though they might not like all of them, they choose to embrace them rather than judge. So in some sense, it is the openness of the embracing in fashion that make British people to dress and do shopping more confidently. Moreover, they enjoy the re-designing their own pieces with out-of-dated fabrics and accessories.

Besides, as an island country in Europe, in UK, the mixed culture originated from the immigrants and tourists from different cultures drives brands in fashion industry to mix the British vintage styles with the modern trends, which plays a vital role in reaching more audiences.  Moreover, in UK, there’s a wide choices of shopping environment, including high-end department store, middle-level stores and flea market. Especially, the flea market provides more opportunities for the communication between salesperson and consumers about products and brands.

Lauren: Individuality

My culture code for the UK is individuality. While there were drastic differences between Manchester and London in styles, trends, and shopping habits I felt that both cultures placed a heavy weight on the individual  and being true to who you are. In London people followed the trends but added their own twists to the trends. They weren’t afraid to mix it up and try something new and different. Also people stayed true to themselves regardless of class. People that could afford nice things would defiantly splurge and buy high end designers and brands. Even those in the lower and middle class stayed true to themselves. You didn’t see any lower cost brands trying to emulate higher end brands. The stores themselves also stayed true to what they were and were all very individual and unique. Each store gave the shopper an individual shopping experience different from other stores and brands. I think in both London and Manchester individuality was an important quality to the people, fashions, and stores.

Suz: Confidence

If I could describe UK Fashion in one word I would pick confidence. There is a vibrant blend of colors and styles represented in London fashion.  I saw confidence in women 40+ shopping in the same stores I like to shop in, and from what I gathered by the numbers, shopping for themselves.

There was a confidence in the pieces that people chose to put together.  As mixed as they may have been, they always looked great because they wore their outfits with confidence.  I have never seen a guy with a zip up hoodie under a blazer…but it looked great.

The other strong notion of confidence i saw was in terms of body.  There was a sense of beauty within each person because I saw people rocking outfits that showed off their curves.  There was a comfort with their own bodies that you don’t normally see and it made them even more beautiful.

There were subtle hints towards the fact that people chose their outfits because they liked what they were wearing…and if they were the only people that agreed with it, it was ok.  I’m not saying people were poorly dressed because that is exact opposite of what we saw in London.

We saw a warped sophistication, with a twist of their own style, and with that I say Londoners are a confident bunch.
Lisa: Contrast

My individual culture code for UK fashion was contrast. The two most common types of contrast were between mixing old vintage with new and mixing different prints and textures of fabrics together. One way that the Brits differ from consumers in the US is that they have a lot less room to put their “stuff”. Accessories are a great way to tie two contrasting pieces together, and they play a huge role in UK fashion. It is not a part of UK culture to accumulate huge amounts of clothing generally, or large amounts of anything for that matter. Think about the amount of money people spend hiring organizers for their closets or buying storage units for their extra things; this is not a phenomenon that typically exists in the UK. For example, instead of buying a whole new spring wardrobe, someone from the UK would go out shopping looking for a few newer, trendy things that would go with something that they already have in an interesting way, or maybe that person would go to a thrift store looking for these pieces.

Here are a few examples I found of contrasts in UK fashoion:

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“That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live. ” – Gianni Versace

Jeannie: Embracing and Loving the Unique

London was a great place to observe styles and trends because almost everyone had their own distinct style. While there were some patterns, I noticed that everyone had their own spin on the idea. Uniqueness is key. The mannequins in the store windows featured layers and mixtures of clothing, the stores themselves had wide varieties of trends, and I never saw an outfit repeated twice. Even if someone was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, they would add a piece of flair (brightly colored shoes, an interesting necklace, a colorful bag, etc) to spice up the outfit. Shoppers only carried a few items around with them and purchased what was true to their style because they were comfortable and true to their own unique fashion sense. They didn’t shop in large, busy groups – they were calm, collected, and accustomed to shopping for pieces that they wanted. London shoppers embrace not only their own unique style, but also everyone else’s.

Group Culture Code: Gin Martini

After brainstorming and bouncing ideas around, our group decided that the culture code for fashion in UK was Gin Martini. We were inspired by our visit to Vinopolis. We learned about Bombay Sapphire Gin and how London Gin, mixology, and bar tending were such a huge part of London’s culture and history. Therefore, we believe that Martini is the perfect cultural code to reflect fashion in the UK for several reasons.

The stores, consumers’ shopping behaviors and attitudes towards products, and the dressing styles in UK possess Martini’s most important features: the versatility, variety and uniqueness. A Martini can be customized and made in a million different ways but always begins with the basics of gin, vermouth, and shake or stir in some ice.

For example, the fashion market in London could be compared to a martini up with any added flavor such as a pom-pom martini, choco-tini, blueberry martini, etc. These martinis are specialized and have some added flare to a classic drink. Just as Londoners try to add their own spin to classic looks and trends. Martini is a very trendy drink and people in London were all pretty trendy and cutting edge with their looks. Not only were the people trendy, but the stores were trendy as well. The stores are like the glass of martini, creative, changeable and various. Martini is trying to find the best fit glass to reflect and strengthen its personality, which is the same with the shopping environment in UK. The cheaper vintage stores also aimed to be “the place to be.”

With Manchester on the other hand, one could say it is more of a dirty gin martini on the rocks. This drink is the same basic cocktail without the extra garnishes, flavors, and fancy glass. This drink looks pretty generic and yet when you taste it, there is a powerful kick with the potent olive juice. Manchester is a working-class city. The people, fashions, and stores there are like dirty gin martini as well. They are nearly as upscale and trendy as those in London. People prefer to buy what is comfortable and what they like and keep it traditional.  However what the fashion lacks, they made up for it with spunky personalities and sense of humor. Ever the stores in Manchester are not what they appear to be. For instance, Affleck’s Palace looks like a big warehouse. But once you are inside the store, you will have an impressive memory of the unexpected interior and shopping experience there because of its uniqueness with vintage, goth, and trendy clothing along with eclectic accessories and gifts.

More generally, the experience of shopping in London is very similar to the experience of enjoying a martini. Going out for a martini is a calm and sophisticated social experience where a person can enjoy the company of their friends. It is a special event and a memorable one as well. Londoners go shopping for the social experience.

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First Post in Prague

June 1, 2010

Talk about a huge culture shock. Prague is so different from London/Manchester.

We’ve been here for a couple days and have already seen so many things.  Castles, towers, monuments. The streets and buildings are  beautiful. I find myself taking a picture of every block we walk down.

Because everything here is so picturesque, we’ve been walking around and exploring as much as we can. A couple of us rented a rowboat the other day and, after getting laughed at by the rental girl for 20 minutes because we couldn’t get the hang of rowing a boat (should’ve just gotten paddle boats), we traveled around the Vltava River to get an even cooler view of the city. We visited the John Lennon peace wall… amazing.

Besides sightseeing and walking around the city, we’ve been busy visiting agencies and learning an entirely new culture and style of advertising. The three places that we’ve been to so far – The University of Economics, Remmark, and Garp – have all been extremely insightful as to the mentality behind Czech shopper.

The University of Economics

The two professors that spoke told us about the Communist rule and the new wave of freedom that the Czech people experienced . They’ve realized that sustainability and brand responsibility is becoming increasingly important to both companies and consumers. According to them, the quality of goods is becoming more important than their prices, and they frequently refer to a quote by Unilever’s chairman – “Doing more with less.”

As for fashion, they didn’t touch much on the subject. They did mention that Tesco is introducing several new name brands into their clothing selection, and that Czech people are concerned with prices and quality more than name brands.

Remmark

Remmark is a mid-size agency that employs about 28-30 people. There’s about 2,500 ad agencies in the country, so some of them are smaller than others. We learned more about the changes in The Czech Republic and how they affected advertising. In 1989, the markets went up and the need for top-notch ads fell. The ad agencies slacked a bit and were given a reality check in 2008 when the markets went down. They suddenly needed to step up their game and have been creating great ads ever since. Czech people are big on skepticism and irony, and these traits are reflected in their ads. Their sense of humor is very similar to that of Americans.

I got a lot of information about shopping here. Czech people desire nice clothes, but they only buy what they can safely afford. There is no real distinction of fashion styles between towns and cities in the Czech Republic unless you’re looking at very rural vs. very urban. Fashion is always on people’s minds and they always want to look their best.

A couple decades ago, the ability to purchase things as freely as one wanted to was limited because of the country’s economic and political situation. The shopping experience in general was unpleasant and was perceived as more of a obligation rather than an enjoyed activity. After the political reform, people became more free to spend their money. Enormous hypermarkets were created. The typical Czech markets and small stores became more and more obsolete as people jumped on the new bandwagon.

There’s been a decline of hypermarket frenzy recently because people are starting to miss the intimate feel of shopping at a boutique or a market. This doesn’t mean that people don’t still shop at hypermarkets – I asked about the hypermarket shopping experience and was told that families plan all-day excursions to these giant stores. The stores are set up specifically to keep people entertained all day with all the amenities, services, restaurants, etc. As nice and convenient as these hypermarkets are, Czech people are missing the nicer places – less crowded, less running around, and more of a relationship with the salespeople. The average Czech person still shops mostly at markets and small stores that are located around their houses.

Something that really stuck with me that I learned here was about the cultural norms of Czech behavior. When an American is asked “How are you?” they respond – no matter how horrible their day has been – with a “I’m good, how are you?” Czech people, on the other hand, would get annoyed and almost offended if they heard that response. It is the norm here in the Czech Republic to answer a “How are you?” with something like “My day has been ok/bad, but I’m trying to get by.” It comes off as fake and insincere to a Czech person if one answers that they’re great when they’re probably not great. The rep from Remmark who spoke to us at the agency said that if a Czech person said “I’m great!” they would come off as arrogant.

This led me to ask, “Is it really taboo to brag here in the Czech Republic? And how would that apply to buying nice clothes as a status symbol?” Apparently, Czech people love having nice things and showing them off, but it’s taboo to verbally brag. Drive all around town in your new car, or shove your new watch in your friends’ faces all you want, but do not actually talk about it. I thought that was interesting because I know one too many people from America who talk about their expensive possessions.

Garp

This morning we went to Garp CZ. This ad agency focuses on Integrated Communications and is especially interested in the Czech beer market. We did a few exercises and came up with our own ideas for promotional gifts. Although the presentation was mainly about beer, the fashion group asked the reps a few questions about their perception of a typical shopping experience here. I agreed with the reps when they started off with the fact that there are barely any clothing ads around Prague, with the exception of H&M ads. Most advertisements, if any, are for new stores or malls opening. Brand names rely on word-of-mouth among loyal customers and their friends to spread the word. The reps from Garp said that people in the Czech Republic are very price sensitive, so most people still shop in markets and small stores. Brand names are considered luxury items, and there are not many competing clothing store chains. The final insight that they had was that online shopping is very common here. People go to the stores, try on clothing, then return to their home to purchase the items online for cheaper prices.

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Mix ‘n Match Windows

May 27, 2010

Some window displays / ads I saw around London. The windows are so much cooler than stores in America. I loved the bright colors and combinations of clothing pieces. London definitely marketed fashion and clothes as exciting, fun, trendy, and able to be mixed and matching in a million different ways.

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