When pioneering fashion designer and boutique-owner Jennifer Glasgow approached me last spring about collaborating on marketing strategies for her shop General 54, I was super excited! Not only is Jen a good friend, but the shop was the first of its kind in the Mile End, selling high-quality locally-made women’s apparel and accessories. Here is a little bit more about the mandate and project results.
General 54 has been at the core the Mile End fashion scene since it’s opening in 2006. It has built up a reputation over the years as a destination for locally-designed clothes and accessories with a warm and accessible vibe. The transition to a new location in the fall of 2013 had a significant influence on the Glasgow collections, as well as the General 54 brand. Having graduated from its original retail space on St-Viateur, in the new location Jennifer was able to fully express her creative vision, in a more prestigious and roomy space. So there was a desire to create a visual identity and digital presence that fully reflected the evolution in the store ambiance and collections.
The first step was to do a thorough assessment of the existing brand, so we carried out:
- Audit of current communications tools
- Definition of target clientele
- Competitive analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Brand positioning / value proposition development
Once this first research and strategy phase was complete, we defined General 54’s as a destination classically-tailored, colourful, locally-produced designs. With this new brand positioning, we were able to move forward with key tactics, such as a visual identity refresh and new website. Working with local graphic designer Thaïla Khampo for and web developer extraordinaire Ned Zimmerman, and lots of hands-on input from Jennifer, we workshopped ideas and came up with a new logo and website that reflect the quality of the shop and the many talented designers it represents. Throughout this process, I provided strategic advice, copywriting and project coordination.
The website just launched and comments have been very positive to date, specifically regarding the improved navigation and increased visibility for all the local designers that the store represents. The new visual identity is also being rolled-out in-store and on all printed material, keeping the brand consistent both online and off. It was a pleasure working with such a creative team on the refresh of a brand with such strong community roots.