Knit on Demand-Customized knitwear reaching new dimensions
Abstract: The fashion market has since the very beginning been characterized by high variety, emotions and desires. The development of the industry however has arrived at a present reality where an overflow of such characteristics has resulted in a challenging volatility and fragmentation. The companies on this playground are facing hard competition, time and costs pressure and an ever informed and demanding end customer. In addition to the nature of the fashion industry itself, there are a presence of further external variables that affects both individuals as the companies; financial crises, un-employment, natural catastrophes and terror, to mention a few. New trends indicate an increasing desire of authentic products that are produced in a sustainable way by respecting both human resources as natural. Whether this fact is a concrete result from the external realities may be discussed. What is more certain however is that mass production and “short time for low cost” is getting questioned as individuals are increasingly caring for what stands behind a brand name and a product. In this context, the strategic approach of customisation finds it relevance and opportunity in gaining market space. By producing more precisely or exactly what each customer desires, such strategic implementation enables to respond to each individuals whilst presenting competitive advantages on the challenging market situation. No un-necessary production and efficient and lean supply and demand chain management, results in a win-win situation where company and customer together creates what is worth and only what is needed. This strategic approach lies as a foundation concept behind Knit on Demand: a project that was initiated at the Swedish School of Textiles in spring 2006. A group of students were challenged to study the feasibility behind the commercialisation of customized knitwear. Already in an early stage two parties got involved in the project; the knitwear producer Ivanhoe AB in Gällstad and the retailer Som Concept in Stockholm. After attentive researches and analyzes, the partners arrived at the intended launch in early 2009, from which phase sales started to run in the store Som Concept. Knit on Demand had now reached a more concrete level of a business idea and is per today prepared to face new dimensions as a player on the Swedish fashion market. In order to do so successively, a solid marketing concept is required as not only the external reality is fierce but the end customers are concerned of those variables and there through more demanding than ever. The purpose of this specific thesis project was to develop a marketing concept to be implemented in the creation of a Knit on Demand web site. Literature studies, interviews with involved parties and benchmark analysis, contributed with concrete and valuable information, from which the thesis framework was carried out.By considering above mentioned external realities and by analyzing more closely the strategic approach of customisation, of fashion marketing and of Knit on Demand itself, a marketing concept was build up. From such foundation, creative solutions were developed and are presented in the final part of this very report.
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