Madison Militello Capstone

Screenshot 2018-05-10 at 12.33.57 PM
Screenshot 2018-05-10 at 12.33.57 PM
     In college, I plan to study marketing. Marketing is the research, promotion, selling, and distribution of a product or service. I wanted my capstone to relate to marketing, so I decided to create new SLA merch. My goal was to create school spirit, but also have a piece of merchandise that can be sold in the school store later on. Many students like to carry blankets around school to keep them cozy. With this in mind, I decided to make an SLA blanket. I contacted Home and School President, Diana, to help me with this. She led me to Liz, who handles some of the SLA merchandise. Liz gave me a catalog that I can search through, and there I found a blue fleece blanket. Liz also gave me a stitched design that I could use, which is the picture above. The blue fleece blanket has “SLA” with the rocket logo stitched in the right corner. Liz and I coordinated shipping costs and dates. Students needed to pre order their blanket for $13 each. From there, I started to advertise around school with posters, and advisory memo appearances. I collected students’ $13, and gave Liz my order. I learned that there is a lot more to creating and selling a product than you think. Every detail is important, and to get the consumers to like and want your product, it must be appealing.

Capstone Annotated Bibliography

Austin Community College. Fashion Merchandising. 2000. 
This source is reliable because it is from the curriculum at Austin Community College. When I go to college, I am hoping to minor in fashion merchandising. This was a step inside what I will be learning in the future. This book consisted of an overview of 11 units that are taught there. Unit 1: Merchandise Sales helped me to see a plan of how I should be conducting my capstone. It reminded me that I will need to identity trends, make a sales goal, and analyze the history of my buyers. I will apply this by understanding what students at SLA tend to buy more of and how much. 

Baker, Michael J, and Susan Hart, editors. The Marketing Book. 7th ed., Routledge, 2016. 
The Marketing Book consists of 25 chapters that are each written by experts. I read the fourth chapter, The basics of marketing strategy by Robin Wensley. It provided a brief history of marketing and the people who influenced it. The section “Customers, competitors, and channels” informed me about product-market space and patient perspective. Understanding certain terms and the history of marketing has helped me grasp the concept of marketing better. This chapter also discussed analysis and interpretation in marketing strategies. Since I want to study marketing in college, and my capstone also relates to marketing, I believe this was a helpful source to educate myself more. 

Close, Angeline, editor. Online Consumer Behavior: Theory and Research in Social Media, Advertising, and E-Tail. Routledge, 2012. 
The title “Online Consumer Behavior: Theory and Research in Social Media, Advertising, and E-Tail” interested me by its title. In the modern age, especially with teenagers, social media is a vital part to everyday life. If I can integrate a modern way of thinking with incorporating social media, I believe this could help my capstone. Section III opened my eyes about the importance of word-of-mouth advertising. Yes, something can be seen online, but then the more the topic is discussed online, it will become a well-known public topic. I hope my capstone will be discussed through word-of-mouth through social media or even in person. 

Donaldson, Bill. Sales Management. Third edition. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. 
Bill Donaldson is a credible author because he is a Research Professor of Marketing at Aberdeen Business School at Robert Gordon University. In chapter 1.5, Marketing and sales strategy, I learned to identify the needs of the customers I am trying to reach. It also taught me that I need to keep consistent communications with my prospective customers. I have already applied part of this to my capstone. I sent out a Google Form asking SLA students what kind of SLA apparel would they want sold. Towards the end of my process, I will repeatedly remind my peers at SLA that new school apparel is coming. 

Egan, John. Marketing Communications. 2nd ed., SAGE, 2014. 
The author of Marketing Communications, John Egan, is a celebrated marketer with many achievements. The sections “Hierarchy of Effects Models”, “Rational VS. Emotional Appeals”, and “Digital Marketing Theory” connected to my capstone. “Rational VS. Emotional Appeals” helps me understand what the consumer thinks. Sometimes the purchaser buys the “best deal” instead of what’s best for them in the long term situation. I felt like this applied to me in the decision making of picking out certain apparel. For example, a shirt may be cheap, but I have to consider whether or not the consumer would get the best use out of it. Sometimes quality over price will apply to what I have to choose.

Lea-Greenwood, Gaynor. Fashion Marketing Communications. John Wiley & Sons, 2013 
Gaynor Lea-Greenwood is a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Marketing and Buying at Manchester Metropolitan University, which makes this book extremely reliable since she is well educated on this topic. I closely read the section titled “How do we get there?”. The title attracted me because this a question I repeatedly ask myself about my capstone. “How do we get there?” focused on getting the word out about a product and how to do so. It suggested using blogger/celebrity endorsement, increased product placement, or sponsoring an event. This helped me with the question of: “How can I promote my capstone?”

Lake, Laura. Consumer Behavior for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, 2009. 
I believe a “for Dummies” book was probably what I should have been reading all along. I chose to read the chapter “Supplying Information and Influencing Perception”. The consumer is a big part of my project. Without the SLA students, my project would not have any basis. I learned from this book that the way that consumers process information is important. Also, the way that I give meaning to my project is also important. If I fail to prove why having new merchandise is important, then no one will be motivated to spend their money buying it and supporting me.
Schnaars, Steven P. Marketing Strategy. Simon and Schuster, 1998. 
This source is credible because Steven Schnaars is an author, professor, and the department chair in the Department of Marketing at Baruch College. One problem I have come across during my capstone process is the issue of pricing. My big question is: How can I compete with the prices of the old merchandise but also keep the pricing reasonable so the store makes profit to buy more? I decided to read the chapter “Competing on Price” to help with this. While a lot of this chapter was based on large brands with bigger problems than I will faced, Schnaars focused on how consumers care about quality. I know this already, but I will have to keep in it mind for my capstone when choosing the quality of apparel. 

Sethna, Zubin, and Jim Blythe. Consumer Behavior . 3rd ed., SAGE, 2016. 
Consumer Behavior contained a lot of basic information on a lot of topics that will apply to me. I already learned about consumers and the theories on how they make decisions of purchasing, so I decided to read the chapter “Promotion”. After I make the apparel, I want to advertise it around school with posters. I feel only making posters might not be the most effective, so I am open to other ad options. This section brought to my attention that I can either nudge my audience in the right direction or persuade. I realized that I need to persuade the SLA students to buy my apparel instead of just pushing them towards it. 

Singh, Ankit. Dhayal, Neetu. Shamim, Amir. Consumer Buying Behavior. “International Research Journal of Management Sociology & Humanity”. Vol. 5 no. 12. 2014. 
Consumer Buying Behavior was a generalization of the concept of consumer behavior. This was my first source, so it was a helpful starting point to introduce consumer behavior. This source is credible because the author and co-authors are employed at the University of Delhi. It discussed the factors of the consumer’s buying decision: cultural, social, personal, and physiological. I hope to reach SLA students on social and personal levels. There was also a chart that described the consumer buying process. I found the “information search” step the most important. I realized that I need some students to buy my clothing in order for a good word to spread. Once a good view of my apparel is going around, then the students are more likely to buy my products because their friends believe it is worth it.