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Who has the biggest influence on a woman’s fashion style?  According to the results of a recent study by CheapToday.com, an online shopping network, best friends, moms and siblings hold way more clout than celebrities.  Asked “Who has been the person(s) in your life that has the most influenced your fashion style?”, the responses broke down as follows:

  • 32% responded that their best friends most influenced their fashion style. These included friends developed while growing up and current relationships.
  • 22% responded that the parents (mother and/or father) most influenced their fashion style. Most respondents indicated that their mother played a larger role in influencing their style.
  • 11% responded that their siblings (sisters and/or brothers) most influenced their fashion style. In particular, older siblings played a major influence in their fashion sense.
  • 9% responded that their favorite entertainers most influenced their fashion style. These included current celebrities such as Rihanna and Jennifer Aniston as well as classic looks represented by Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • 26% responded that an influence other than those listed above was most responsible for influencing their fashion style. These included their spouses, teenage children, and co-workers.

“It’s interesting to see that the historical and current influences on women’s fashion and style remain primarily within their friends and family relationships, with media and entertainment influences less of an impact than perhaps generally thought”, said Chris Hill, president & CEO of CheapToday, Inc.

iVillage has partnered with Fotobabble to launch the ‘iVillage, I love my…’ Talking Photo contest, celebrating their newly re-launched Beauty & Style site.  The contest, which is currently underway and will run through midnight of June 30, 2010, encourages users to create Fotobabble-powered Talking Photos to start a community dialogue around the products and clothing they love, and express their personal style.  Once contest participants upload their photos and record their voice messages, they can share the ‘Talking Photos’ with friends and family through email, Facebook or Twitter.  Nada Arnot, director of audience development, iVillage, said: “In Fotobabble, we found a partner that provides a social media platform to drive engagement and easily integrates with our user experience. We are literally bringing to life the age old expression, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ in a fun and modern way that deepens connections within our community and provides great word-of-mouth product recommendations.”

Recent research from Mintel suggests that Hispanic women feel underrepresented in the beauty and personal care aisle.  Over half of survey respondents said they would like to see more personal care products designed just for them and 64 percent would like more hair care products created specifically for Latinas.  “It can be a very daunting task for companies to hone in on the specific needs of their Hispanic customers,” says Leylha Ahuile, senior multicultural analyst at Mintel. “Latinas come in a variety of shades, so a wide range of products must be developed to cater to every pigment and hair type.”

One important change brands can make is with product packaging–81 percent of Latinas surveyed report they would like to see more personal care products with bilingual packaging.  “Hispanic consumers often look at bilingual packaging as a way of being acknowledged and respected by a brand, not because they are unable to read English,” notes Leylha Ahuile. “The lack of Spanish-language packaging has the potential to make these women feel ignored by manufacturers.”

The female voice in the digital gaming industry will be heard loud and clear during the 3G Summit:  The Future of Girls, Gaming, and Gender, a four-day initiative to be held August 12-15 at Columbia College Chicago, where female game designers and scholars will come together with young women gamers to foster professional mentorship and ignite exchange about their place in the gaming culture.  The 50 ‘girl gamers’ from Chicago-area high schools will develop concepts for their own games over the course of the weekend under the mentorship of the five professional female game designers as the final deliverable for the summit. Senior Columbia College Interactive Arts and Media students will develop the concepts into games as a fall semester project.   “The summit engages girls as future game designers and powerful technology users, not just as an untapped consumer market,” says Mindy Faber, co-organizer and director of Open Youth Networks in Columbia College’s Interactive Arts and Media Department. “Ultimately, bringing more women to the table in the gaming field changes what gets made, how it is made, and to what purpose.”

During this year’s M2W® “The Latina Goldmine” panel, Ford Motor Company’s Alba Contreras Rodriguez showed us that women are an important part of Ford’s multicultural initiatives—a fact that seems to be apparent in their latest urban marketing campaign for the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta.  In this campaign, we find the Fiesta gracing the pages of a custom fashion e-zine that is designed to appeal to the interests of consumers—especially women.  “The team really looked at the target consumer and the activities they are engaged in within their daily lives when creating this publication,” said Shawn Lollie, multicultural marketing manager, Ford.  “We knew they were online and we also knew they were predominately female and very interested in fashion.  Inside the publication you really get to see how the Fiesta inspires and what sort of reactions the vehicle generates.”  The custom “Inspired by Color” fashion e-zine, which can be found at www.fordurban.com, was created to highlight the entire program while incorporating key features of the vehicle in a format that is highly interactive.

The “Inspired by Color” e-zine is part of a larger urban marketing campaign that includes a TV spot to air on BET as well as radio and print.

Hyperion and Glamour magazine have entered into a strategic publishing partnership that draws on each company’s promotional and marketing strengths to reach and cater to women readers.  This collaboration begins with three books to be published in 2011 and 2012—both Hyperion and Glamour will support the books with multi-tiered publicity and marketing campaigns.  “I’m excited to be launching Glamour‘s first multi-book partnership, and even more excited to be doing it with Ellen Archer and her smart, fast-moving Hyperion team,” says Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief, Glamour.  “We see real potential in our partnership — and with the range of these three books, which cover food, love, relationships, self-esteem, and so many of the other building blocks of young women’s lives.”

Hyperion and Glamour plan to promote the books with targeted campaigns, utilizing both traditional and new media and marketing methods including national media, regional tours, strategic partnerships, advertising, contests, videos, social networking, and other digital initiatives.

Middle Sister family of wines is doing more than just introducing two new varietals to its portfolio (Goody Two Shoes Pinot Noir and Surfer Chick Sauvignon Blanc)—it’s also introducing a new female-focused charitable campaign.  “Help a Sister Out” pledges one dollar per case of Middle Sister wine to Dress For Success, a national organization empowering underprivileged women to achieve financial independence through professional development.  “We’re thrilled to launch our new wines with the announcement of the ‘Help a Sister Out,'” campaign explains Canopy Management founder and chief marketing officer Terry Wheatley.  “As a wine company with female ownership and partners, we believe it is important to give back to other women.” Middle Sister Wines also supports other charitable organizations dedicated to helping women and children including ‘Wine, Women and Shoes’, a fundraising event founded by Napa Valley’s female vintners

Middle Sister Wines were created by Canopy Management in June, 2008.  The wines were inspired by the quirky middle sister of one of the founding partners and the team developed unique names, appearances and personalities for each wine.  Rebel Red, the unofficial “spokesister” of the clan, hosts her own Face Book fan page, Twitter site and monthly newsletter.  Rebel has gained a cult following for her snarky comments and off-the-wall wit and wisdom, and makes frequent guest appearances at tastings and events.  She also presides over all the action at www.middlesisterwine.com.

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