The Fashion Channel

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1. Interpretation of consumer and market data.
From its inception in 1996 until recently, The Fashion Channel (TFC) enjoyed great success by appealing to as a broad an audience as possible. Overall viewer numbers were the main focus, and so long as TFC had no significant competition in terms of the fashion-specific content it offered, this “something for everyone” approach was a winner. But competitors such as CNN and Lifetime made note of TFC’s success. They began to offer fashion-specific programming. Consumers now have a choice, and the ratings show that non-loyal consumers are starting to choose alternatives to TFC. Reasons for this can be found in the recent Alpha research study on customer satisfaction, which shows that when it comes to consumer interest, awareness and perceived value, both CNN and Lifetime outscore TFC. TFC’s 2 main revenue streams—cable affiliate fees and advertising—are threatened by the attraction of CNN’s and Lifetime’s fashion programming to an audience formally exclusive to TFC, and the inability of TFC currently to adequately differentiate itself from its competitors. So who are TFC’s viewers? A detailed demographic breakdown shows a 39%-61% split in favor of women, with 33% of viewers aged 18-34 and 45% aged 35-54. A survey of consumers by GFE Associates identifies four groups that make up potential viewers: Fashionistas (the fashion devoted, who comprise 18% of those surveyed); Planners and Shoppers (enjoyers of fashion, 35%); Situationalists (occasionally interested in fashion for specific purposes, 30%) and Basics (generally uninterested in fashion, 20%). Attitudinal research by GFE indicates that male consumers tend to fall into the Basics group, while 61% of Fashionistas are women. Also, 50% of Fashionistas are aged 18 to 34—a demographic highly desirable to advertisers. 2. What is the expected outcome of each of the targeting scenarios? TFC’s senior vice president of marketing, Dana Wheeler, believes increasing...
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