Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sporting Life Launches Speaking Series To Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday

Sporting Life Launches Speaking Series To Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday

Canadian retailer Sporting Life has launched a 1pm in-store speaking series in Calgary’s South Centre Mall to commemorate Canada’s 150th Birthday this year.  The company, originally founded in Toronto in 1979, maintains its Canadian root and authenticity where at present is still managed by co-owners and co-founders Patti and David Russell, as well as many of the long-term original store employees.

The first of four speaking series began on April 8th hosted by friend Julie Remond of style by jr where she touched on styling tips and shared her favorite Canadian designers. The following speaking series include: May 6th with YYC Cycle’s Andrew Obrecht on “Motivation”, June 10th with Matt Mosteller from Powder Matt to show you where to go and what you need to know about for mountain biking, and July 8th with Leigh McAdam of HikeBikeTravel to hear her amazing stories about discovering the best places in Canada.

The intent of Sporting Life’s speaking series is to teach and encourage audience to embrace the beauty and opportunities in Canada, in addition to featuring and highlighting some of the top Canadian designers brands they carry in store.

“We really are a deeply proud Canadian company and we recognize the privilege and position we have as a national retailer to connect with people from all walks of life.” said Sporting Life Marketing Director Jean Paul Corbeil. “We’ve carefully crafted an inspiring range of speakers to appeal to numerous interest sets and our hope is that our guests will walk away with new ideas and a zest to try something different.”

Attendees are encouraged to register in advance if they want to participate in these talks. You can visit www.mysportinglifeourcanada.eventbrite.ca for registration.


xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Monday, April 10, 2017

An Interview With Stan Rector, The Creator Of Rex Rector Apparel Inc.

An Interview With Stan Rector
The Creator Of Rex Rector Apparel Inc.
(photos: Rex Rector)
Recently I attended the annual Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) in Toronto - An important night to acknowledge Canadians who have made spectacular achievements in the fashion industry over the past year. It’s an honor to be invited again by CAFA as one of the nominating committee members, and like every other Canadian fashion event, it’s my mission to #WearCanadaProud. This year I had Vancouver-based fashion duo Laurence & Chico to dress me for the second time at the red carpet. But I wouldn’t forget to mention my black tie, which was by fellow Calgarian-label Rex Rector. The brand was launched in 2016. Currently the ties come in four main colors: black, red, blue and purple, each packaged beautifully in Rex Rector box. The creator of the company, Stan Rector has a huge passion for fashion retail business. Though living in Florida now, I felt wearing his tie brought a little piece of home with me. Before departing to Toronto, I had an opportunity to listen to his story about how Rex Rector was born.

my piece at the CAFA 2017


What brought you to start a men's apparel business?

“I have always loved nice clothes from an early age. My parents couldn't afford to dress me in brand name, so I think the fact that I couldn’t have them made me want them so much more. Something about how they make you look and feel, is comforting to me.  It has always been a dream of mine to start my own clothing line. I tried starting a line called Rex Wear when I was in my early 20's.  I was not happy with the sweatshirts that I had originally made, unfortunately I felt defeated and unprepared so I decided to put it on the back burner.   Now fifteen years later I am ready to give it a second go, and I understand now the grind it takes to get a company off the ground.  I'm more prepared and determined to make it work.”

Tell us a little bit about the Rex Rector Apparel Inc. What is your mission and how is it unique?

“I think I'm different because I am writing stories with each article of clothing that we are going to make.  I want there to be meaning behind the clothing.  So when people put on something I have made, there is an Idea behind it. For example when they put on a red tie, they don’t just think its a red tie that looks nice, they know is a power tie.  I want it to make them feel like there more powerful, when they walk in to a sales pitch or a boardroom meeting. On top of this we have a great product and our packaging kicks ass.” 

There are currently four colors available - Will you be launching more? How about other men's fashion accessories?

“We started with a few ties mainly because that is how Ralph Lauren started his empire, and was a huge inspiration behind this venture. On that note absolutely we plan to come up with more,  we are looking at ties with different patterns and pocket squares.  However our next products, that we are prototyping right now are the made to measure suit and shirts.  Were working on suits that are going to have splashes of color in them that will match are ties.  I think it will really pop and be a little different than what’s out there. Don't get me wrong things are great when they contrast, but I love when they match.”   

Currently where are you selling your products?

“Currently we are selling online on our website at rexrector.ca and mostly in Canada. However we will accept orders from anywhere. We are trying to get in with some retailers, however those plans are just in the works.”  

How do you promote the community to support local businesses?

“As of now we promote the community by using local models, photographers and media companies. Also we have teamed up with the local prostate research centre, who we have committed 5% percent of our profits to.”   


xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Monday, April 3, 2017

Alljackedup Brings Awareness Of TDoV and Support Transgender Community By Special Video And Limited Edition Pin

Alljackedup Brings Awareness Of TDoV To Communities By Special Video And Limited Edition Pin
March 31st was the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), a special day recognizing the boldness and courage of trans people, and their voices in our communities. For this specific occasion, The founder and designer of Toronto-based bow-tie company Alljackedup, Jack Jackson produced a video asking trans people to step in front of the camera and read a letter to their younger self. How is life different years later? What would you tell your younger self? Or what does life look like when you can be seen for who you really are?

Using the #tiestolove the video celebrates the trans community, and offeres a hand to those just coming out. It provides a space for trans people to support each other across generations, telling them that they are not alone, and we are only stronger if we only ‘love’.


Jackson knows first hand how important visibility is for the trans community: “Growing up in a small island, I didn’t know any transgender people, all that I knew was that transgender was something bad. When I was questioning gender, I felt a huge amount of shame. Today I feel none. Today the trans community is stepping to define ourselves, to tell our own stories and to be seen and accepted for who we are. If we can reach one single trans person who is struggling with their identity to let them know that they are not alone, to give them the strength to carry on, then we’ve done our job.”

For the month of April, alljackedup via their Ties to Love™Campaign will donate $1 for every “Tiesto Love™” lapel pin sold to the TransgenderYouth Clinic at the world famous Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx

Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Return On Investment For Brands, Why Bigger Influencers Aren't Necessarily Better

Return On Investment For Brands
Why Bigger Influencers Aren't Necessarily Better
It’s nothing new when major brands nowadays use ‘influencers’ to promote and advertise their products. These influencers are selected based on their connection with their targeted audience and perhaps specific niches. But when companies pay these people to advertise their products, what exactly is the return on investment (ROI), and how is it measured? The influencer marketing space exploded with such velocity that arguably it was a question that couldn’t be answered immediately. Here’s a recent summary report by Fashion and Beauty Monitor, which I came across sharing their insight.

While many ‘new’ influencers emerge and trying to establish themselves they command far less the way of fees, it’s not unheard of for a top tier influencer could charge from $1K up to $100K for a single Instagram post. Many of them, if not all, have at least 100K+ followers on their account to help justify why these brands should invest such an amount.

Surely, initially it was a game of numbers, with brands being most focused on reach and the number of followers, but nowadays marketers are recognizing the myriad factors that come into play when determining the success and ROI of an influencer-marketing program.

For example, a recent study by Markedly analyzing over 800K Instagram users, went some way towards proving that size isn’t necessarily everything when it comes to working with influencers, demonstrating that as follower total rises, the rate of engagement (likes and comments) with followers decreases, resulting in diminishing returns in terms of influence and engagement.

Within the study, those with less than 1K followers generally receive an 8% rate of engagement, while users with more than 10M demonstrated a 1.6% rate of engagement, showering a clear downward correlation between follower size and post likes. Moreover, in this year’s Marketing Week Live, one of the largest marketing events held annually in London, the buzzword was micro-influencers with discussions centering on the ‘sweet spot for engagement’ that micro-influencers bring to marketers with their truly engaged audience of 3K – 100K followers.

As the influencer marketing industry reaches the next stage of maturity this year, and as new social talent and trends emerge, it’s critical that brands have the ability to measure the ROI of each collaboration and have a clear visibility on who’s having the most impact on the sales funnel.

There’s little doubt that tracking ROI on influencer marketing is still in its infancy and some way from reaching a standardized industry framework. Considering the broader picture for a moment, social media marketing alone has created significant issues when it comes to measurement and ROI, and according to a recent survey by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) of over 100 agencies, it was revealed that 50% of them “make no attempt to measure the financial return”, while a further 33% said they did not believe it was important to measure ROI at all.

To consider the influencer perspective, within The Voice Of The Influencer Report published by Fashion and Beauty Monitor in October 2016, 57% of influencer respondents said that being judged on their number of followers, over and above context and content, was their greatest challenge. A further 30% admitted that measuring the ROI of an initiative was a significant problem.

So what benchmarks are currently available to measure ROI? Quite frankly, it is still fairly scarce, but a recent study by influencer marketing agency BillionDollarBoy.com attempted to benchmark the ROI of influencer marketing compared to paid advertising, through its proprietary software. Within the findings, YouTube stood at around $75 to $100 cost per thousand views (CPM) for paid advertising and fell $62 to $68 CPM for influencer marketing. Facebook saw a similar drop with the average CPM of paid at around $37 to $50, falling to $12 to $19 CPM with influencers.

Instagram comparisons were much closer, with CPM for paid advertising costing around $10 to $19 CPM, falling down to $9 to $18 CPM for influencer marketing.

Ed East, CEO of BillionDollarBoy.com, writing for MarketingTech explains some of the rationale for the differences the study uncovered. “The truth is, production costs are lowering. In fact, the influencer is largely replacing the role of the model and photoshoot for product campaigns. Influencers have become so advanced in their production skills that brands no longer need to hire professional photographers, models and locations to create beautiful content for their brand as they would with a traditional advertorial shoot. Influencers include all production costs with their fees, which are impressively lower than a traditional production. This is coupled with the fact that average CPMS are falling across the board. There are figures all over the Internet looking at specifics but on average social media advertising is three times more expensive than influencer marketing.”

Reach and engagement remain critical metrics in determining ROI. However one of the biggest challenges that many brands face when running an influencer marketing program is trying to differentiate between the influencers they work with, as while a high number of followers may seem attractive, it does not necessarily guarantee the best results.

Furthermore, reach can be particularly tricky to measure through Facebook owing to its newsfeed algorithm. From Amy Jackson at Lipsy: “You could have two influencers of the same caliber posting at different times on different days. One of them in another situation might get a better reach than the other, but it’s the timing of our collaboration that becomes a big factor on Facebook. So it’s hard to determine when one has 20% more organic reach, whether that’s purely dependent on the time of posting”.

Due to these limitations, it is important brands focus on the reactions that an influencer receives during collaboration, as the true gauge of success.

Fashion chain Mango has its own way of calculating the engagement of an influencer post. It adds up the number of likes it has together with the number of comments divides that by the total number of followers. For example, a girl with 100 followers who has 10 likes and 10 comments equals to 20 out of 100, so the engagement rate is 20%. “It isn’t scientific, but it’s a ratio to see if you’re going up or down’ we can see that anything with a #Mangogirls hashtag has a big engagement rate. It means we’re doing the right thing,” explains Guillermo Corominas, communications director at Mango, speaking in an interview with Vogue.

Ultimately, most marketers want to know whether their marketing efforts are driving leads, sales, or other conversions. But is this the point of influencer marketing, and should this be the focus of ROI measurement? Despite industry consensus that influencer marketing works, there’s no guarantee it will show revenue-based results instantly, and opinions are dispersed over whether it’s a form of marketing that should be focused on conversions. While sale results may be achieved, not all brands agree that this is the priority.

References:
Fashion and Beauty Monitor: The Rise Of Influencer Report
 
 
xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog