For my BCM302 digital artefact (DA), I decided to venture away from my music journalism at Eject Music and AUD’$ that I completed earlier in my course. I’ve always wanted to have a clothing brand but it was never something I was passionate or brave enough to start. However, as my final goodbye to BCM and in the iterative spirit of ‘Fail Early, Fail Often‘ (the quicker you learn it, the sooner you’ll succeed), I’d like to present my last DA for the University of Wollongong (Rosman, 2018).
Moriboys is a Wollongong-based brand dedicated to Australia’s streetwear and hip-hop culture. The brand can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest and Spotify, as well as on our Squarespace website. From my experiences of interviewing and collaborating with different people in the music industry, the main issues I’ve identified is the lack of high-quality merchandise and alternative income streams for artists.
To create meaningful innovations, I continue to work with AUD’$ as a way of understanding and emphasizing with my users and their audience (Plattner, 2010). My obsession with providing service to Australia’s hip-hop culture is what compelled me to find even more ways I can do that and combined with my passion for creating and experimenting with new skills, this is where the social utility of my DA lies.
Vincō, Street X and No1.Network are three Australian brands that I have taken inspiration from in regards to their contributions to the Hip-hop scene. The three of them support the local culture by hosting events and selling their own products including collaborative pieces with artists. There are a few other brands like this across the country but I’d argue they’re the biggest three for the scene. What I feel sets me apart from these guys is that when I do start collaborative work, it’ll be ideally more consistent and with a wider variety of different artists, designers and creators.
The target audience of Moriboys is largely male-dominated, typically aged between 18-25 with interests in Australia’s unique hip-hop scene and fashion style. I’ve found that the majority of my audience is based in Wollongong and Bathurst, where I currently live and my hometown. However, I am starting to build an organic following from people who have come across my account. Here’s how each social media is tracking:
Instagram: 195 followers
Facebook: 159 followers
Twitter: 31 followers
TikTok: 25 followers
There’s a direct correlation between the social media I was most active on and what platform has become my most engaged. Instagram averages 30 likes per post and has been my primary platform, allowing me to share mock-up designs, samples, stickers and posts about the regularly-updated Spotify playlist, Moriboys Music. The playlist has been an opportunity to showcase the diverse hip-hop/R&B talent from across the country, soundtrack the release of Summer I Collection and network with artists I hope to collaborate with. It also gave me a chance to repurpose content across platforms and maintain a more consistent posting routine, which has been one of the major flaws in growing my DA.
Due to time constraints and being overly posting precious, I haven’t been able to produce the desired quantity of content. In response to the feedback loops from the peer reviews, I have started to solve this issue by:
Refining Brand Aesthetic:
Pinterest was one of the earlier iterations I made to my project and has inspired me with clothing designs, content, aesthetic and brand positioning ideas and brand positioning that will “occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market” (Branding Journal, 2016). This was my first time using the platform and I’ve really enjoyed scrolling it even more than Facebook or Instagram. I found Pinterest useful to also routinely do a bit of market research on the brands I’m interested in and the ones I find, and also keep up to date with overseas fashion scenes.
Creating Short-Form Videos:
According to a 2016 study, the average human attention span is now eight seconds and one of the biggest contributors to the decline is the increased consumption of information (Sandikar, 2021). People share videos at twice the rate of any other form of content and 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brands’ video (Wyzwol, 2020). With TikTok’s domination over the social media space in the last few years, it’s a no brainer that I should be posting more video content. Since the DA pitch, the number one advice I’ve received from peers has been to start utilising TikTok and Instagram Reels. I had little to no experience in TikTok and was simultaneously wildly inspired and terrified at the thought of prototyping video content. The biggest setback for this has been the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic but with the right attention to planning and prototyping, I can create a stronger community by posting video content.
Recently, I posted a first look at the embroidered logo tees and posted it to Tik Tok and Reels. While Tik Tok felt like a bit of a void and didn’t gain much momentum, the same Reel reached an unexpected amount of potential users and in a couple of days after, I gained 30 new followers.
Plan, Prototype & Post:
For past digital artefacts, planning a production timeline has been pretty straightforward with the weekly job of curating, writing and posting an article. This semester has been more chaotic than most with Moriboys easily being my most labour-intensive and least FIST (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple & Tiny) implemented DA. While I had anticipated this would be the case, I’m only just now starting to receive the final products and properly plan content in the lead up to the release of Moriboys’ Summer I Collection. If you can’t tell already, I’ll be continuing my DA past the end of the semester so I’ve recently created a weekly schedule, along with an ideation list of various content. According to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, posting 2 feed posts per week and 2 stories each day is ideal for building a following on the app (McLachlan, 2021). This is what I’m going to start working towards and when orders are shipped out it will allow me to repost people sharing their deliveries. So before the end of the year, I’d like to be adhering to this and if not, exceeding it.
One of the recent iterations I’ve made to my content has been the introduction of my Friends & Family list. Using the ‘close friends’ option on Instagram, I’ve decided I’ll share an early access link and discount code with my close friends and biggest supporters prior to the collection’s official launch. This creates a deeper and exclusive relationship with the Moriboys community that allows the brand to grow in demand before even the first collection.
Now, back to what I was saying regarding my DA’s biggest setbacks. Due to the postage delays and multiple lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, saving for, ordering and awaiting the arrival of the blanks has taken almost the whole semester. The main objective for my DA has been to release the first collection that includes the embroidered logo tee in black and purple colourways and a screen-printed matching tee and shorts set.
While delivering artists with an alternative income stream through high-quality merchandise is a key objective for Moriboys, it wasn’t achievable during the BCM302 semester. I wanted to release an exclusively Moriboys collection before beginning to work with someone else as it would help establish my brand identity and build my confidence in the production process before committing to a Moriboys collaboration. That being said, I’d like the collaborations and contributions to the Australian hip-hop culture to be the salience of the brand. I have spoken with a handful of different artists about potential collaborations and there’s one Melbourne artist in particular that I’m looking to work with next year.
“Salience involves making a piece of information more noticeable, meaningful, or memorable to audiences. An increase in salience enhances the probability that receivers will perceive the information, discern meaning and thus process it, and store it in memory,” (Entman, 1993).
I’m not limiting my collaborations solely to artists but also just general collaborators that I’m interested in. For example, I’d like the Winter I Collection to include a collaboration with my Opa, Benedictus Mirande, a revered and retired Dutch artist who worked at C&A as the Art Director and freelanced through his company, Kangaroo Productions.
I’ve brought the idea forward to him and he’s finished up a couple of other projects so he’s itching for something else. This is something deeply personal to me and will test my photoshop skills but I’m excited to have more free time over the Christmas break to develop these further. Regardless, I’m getting ahead of myself because I still need to complete the website.
I have prototyped a range of different Squarespace templates before arriving at the current final iteration. The website features a clean white aesthetic with three tabs titled About, Shop and Sizing. The About page was initially only a couple of sentences about the brand’s conception and objectives but has evolved to include more context, a ‘Contact Us’ form and interactable social media widgets. The Shop needs the most attention as I have to take product shots and make the clothes available on the website. Lastly, the Sizing tab has been updated to include in-depth details regarding the products. Recently, I added a password screen over the website so I can add the finishing touches before officially launching the website. I’ve also created a discount code for free shipping on all orders over $100 and I’ll reveal the password on the F&F story as exclusive early access to the Summer I Collection.
In Dan Ward’s ‘Simplicity Cycle’, he states “the journey of design involves both learning and unlearning.” This has been the most challenging part of my digital artefact – to forget what I thought I knew about online marketing, social media presences and creating experiences for users (Plattner, 2010). I feel as though I’m stuck in the Region of Complicated where I’ve added unnecessary complexity caused by non-value-added parts (Ward, 2010). Not everything has been void of value because a lot of the work I’ve done this semester was behind the scenes work of starting my own company and clothing brand. Now that I’ve spent the semester getting everything ready and prototyping different designs, I’m now ready to start transitioning Moriboys into the Region of the Simple. By reducing the complexity of my DA, the reliability and simplicity of it will grow and further adhere to the FIST elements (Ward, 2010).
The best is yet to come – I’m excited for the future of Moriboys and Australia’s hip-hop culture so if you’d like to stay connected, all the socials have been littered throughout with hyperlinks, but here are they are one last time because I’m trying to get this word count up and repetition encourages and reminds users of the call to action (Assemblo, 2017).
Assemblo, 2017, ‘Repetition is Key: Why Frequency Makes Your Marketing Effective’, Assemblo, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://assemblo.com/blog/repetition-is-key-why-frequency-makes-your-marketing-effective/>.
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McLachlan, S. 2021, ‘How Often to Post to Social Media in 2021’, Hootsuite, accessed 28 October 2021, available at <https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-often-to-post-on-social-media/>.
Plattner, H. 2010, ‘An Introduction to Design Thinking – Process Guide’, Stanford University, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://web.stanford.edu/~mshanks/MichaelShanks/files/509554.pdf>.
Rosman, M. 2021, ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often: What It Really Means’, RevelX, accessed 27 October 2021, available at <https://www.revelx.co/blog/fail-fast-fail-often/>.
Sandikar, A. 2021, ‘Why are reels and Tik Toks so addictive?’, The Bridge Chronicle, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/tech/apps/why-are-reels-and-tik-toks-so-addictive>.
Ward, D. 2010, ‘The FIST Manifesto’, Defense AT&L, accessed 30 October 2021, available at <https://www.acqnotes.com/Attachments/The%20FIST%20Manifesto.pdf>.
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