Dress up kids' campaigns by ProQuest


"You're lucky if a customer shops with you more than once, there aren't many repeat customers," he says of the infant apparel industry. He says about 80% of the site's traffic is new mothers, which means it's a constant struggle to find customers.

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        Dress up kids’ campaigns                                                                                                                 CAMPAIGNS
        The market for children’s clothing is still holding steady, but it
        carries its own challenges: competition and changing customers
        By Bryan Yurcan                                           Web sites through methods such as creating inter-
        : Unlike many other retail categories, children’s         active games and online video. Further, licensed       Top trends
        apparel has not been hit as hard by the reces-            apparel is another good way to engage a teen           The recession has
        sion as clothing sectors targeting adults. After          audience. For example, kids are eager to snatch        driven many parents
        all, buying clothing for growing little ones is not       up most apparel tied in with the popular High          to seek out less
        a luxury purchase — so unless a parent wants to           School Musical franchise, Howard says.                 expensive clothes for
        outfit their child in a burlap sack, they still must         He says Kmart was very effective in doing this       their children
        buy clothing for their kids, though they may be           during a back-to-school campaign last fall. As one
        more cost-conscious about their purchases.                aspect of the campaign, Kiwibox created a High         Using social media
           Clark McNaught, SVP of children’s apparel at           School Musical microsite for Kmart that featured       to reach mothers with
        JCPenney, agrees that the category is competitive         such interactive features as games and contests.       messaging about their
        and that consumers will be looking for more value                                                                offerings has proven
        with their purchases.                                     Howard also believes that more affordable cloth-       successful for some
           “With the four largest US market share owners          ing retailers like Kmart are smart to engage the       marketers
        in kids apparel – Wal-Mart, Target, JCPenney, and         teen audience during these economic times.
        Kohls – there is a lot of price-based competition,”          “The recession is the one thing on everybody’s      Some companies
        he says. “Most major retailers are starting to focus      mind,” he says. “These brands provide a good           also target teens and
        more on value as a differentiator.”                       product, but at a low price point. And people          other youth directly    Kmart launched a back-to-school clothing
           Still, children’s apparel sales have so far remained   who used to purchase at a higher-end store, like a     by partnering with      campaign last fall on Kiwibox.com, an online teen-
        about the same as last year, according to the NPD         Banana Republic, a lot of them are floating down        popular media brands    centered magazine, tied into the release of the highly
        Group. For the first two months of 2009, total             into the mid-tier range. These guys are thinking                               popular High School Musical 3 DVD. Kiwibox created
        estimated US spending on boy’s apparel was                ahead, and looking to reach the teen audience.”        Word-of-mouth and       a campaign microsite that included games users
                                                                                                                         guerilla marketing      could play to win prizes, such as a memory game
                                                                                                                         helps spread the        where players had to turn over cards with images
                                                                                                                         word about niche        on them and match the image where they had seen
                                                                                                                         companies               it on another card. “The images were things like a
             There is a lot of price-based competition. Most                                                                                     character from High School Musical, or the Kmart
             major retailers are starting to focus more on value                                                                                 logo, so it reinforced the brand, but in a fun way,” says
             as a differentiator.                  Clark McNaught, SVP of
                                                                                                                                                 Mike Howard, co-founder and COO of Kiwibox. Other
                                                                                                                                                 interactive elements of the campaign included trivia
                                                                                  children’s apparel, JCPenney                                   contests on the site and online video. The Web site
                                                                                                                                                 also does monthly photo shoots and, during Kmart’s
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