Organization Name: Amazing Canadian Fashion
Name of contact if available: Hikaru Kiyonaga
Description of How Social Media is used for Business Performance
Amazing Canadian Fashion is a fashion based magazine that highlights local talent and celebrates the diversity of Canadian design. With a focus on crafted handmade items with an avant-garde twist, Amazing Canadian Fashion brings a unique Canadian experience to life. ACF changes the scope and perspective of the Canadian design world. We aren’t talking kitschy moose patterned sweaters and maple syrup amber earrings but unique one of a kind art…sorry for squashing the stereotype.
The intricately created pocket magazine boasts stunning content with images spanning its 10×14 format, which captivates each story and design with visual vibrancy and even translates on the iTunes APP. A glimpse at ACF‘s media kit illustrates the dexterity and intimate nuances of the publication. The glossy pages and high production value of the magazine looks elegant and effortless, however, the production of the publication is an intricate web of interconnected collaborations and supply chains.
Before we get the polished version of any publication, it runs through various hands sopping with talent. Each page is literally crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail. What makes it work? Collaboration and communication. A simplified list of people that make this work is the editor, a whole bunch of support staff, fashion designers, photographers, models, agencies, makeup artists, graphic designers, set designers, writers, printing houses, and retailers.
To the average person, this daunting collaborative task seems like a huge headache, but somehow editor and founder of Amazing Canadian Fashion, Hikaru Kiyonaga effectively manages each element and produces a spectacular finished product creating a collectable piece of literature rather than a throw-away publication. ACF is a labour of love and goes to measures other magazines would never consider. When asked about the process involved in each publication Hikaru explains:
“The creation process…well no one produces this many shoots per issue. We have over 30 full shoots. Meaning the location has to be sourced, contacted, an agreement has to be made to use their location, and sometimes we need to exchange a page space for them. This is a lengthy process, with a lot of work!”
ACF is different in the way it approaches interacting with supply chain. The first thing that makes a difference is that the people who contribute, whether a photographer or make-up artist, is a local talent. Not outsourced to a large American company but rather they find amazing Canadian talent who understand the vision of the magazine. Embracing exploration and experimentation with the medium. Hikaru reminisces, “ACF has more heart because of our process and our humbleness and it’s why it works…it’s relatable, loved, not synthetic…it’s authentic.”
ACF is based in Toronto, however, the talent they feature spans the vast Canadian landscape. ACF sources folk art, artisan foods, and jewelry from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and every small town in between. There’s no doubt that social media and technological interaction is paramount to maintain open lines of communication. Social media allows all of the people who are apart of the ACF supply chain to come together into one community. It gives them resources to see what is new and the next steps. It allows any link in the chain maintain a relationship with the brand and create new relationships with other parts of the same chain making the connections that much stronger and persevering. The fact that ACF uses local talent and provides a social media outlet allowing a free exchange of creative conversion.
One of the biggest benefits of integrating social media with the supply chain is the active participation of the end of the chain, the consumer. The sharing of information, in this case, ACF’s Facebook page, allows them to see what is upcoming in the next issue. ACF lets their readers see the nitty-gritty behind the scenes footage to keep them in the loop. Hikaru agrees, “…with social media, the power lies in our images and Behind the Scenes content for our ongoing promotion.” This use of social media also informs readers of upcoming release dates and allows them to share other points of interest.
Lessons for Others
- Social Media Bridges the Gaps: Coordinating a project with multiple loose ends needs to have various forms of communication. Using social media outlets allows a company to reach out to all team members to illustrate progress and even deadlines or releases.
- Connecting the Consumer to the Process: ACF is a quarterly magazine. With the publication only released 4 times a year, it is important to keep them involved in the process of the supply chain. Social media allows the consumer to see what is in the works and holds their interest until the next product is available. It demystifies the process. Behind the scenes pictures on Facebook or updates on Twitter make sure that the consumer always has a source of engagement and entry point.
- Create a Community: Providing social media outlets to members of your supply chain, regardless of how big or small, enables open communication of goals, vision, and progress. It also creates loyalty from readers or consumers as they can actively contribute their ideas and feedback on the posted content. Connecting with the reader with behind the scene footage makes their experience seem exclusive.
Submitted By: Constance Adams, University of Waterloo
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