2016.06.22 - Marketing , All

Reading the ‘real’ changes in consumer activity during ever-changing uncertain times

Reading the ‘real’ changes in consumer activity during ever-changing uncertain times

The Fashion Aspect Club

‘The Fashion Aspect Club (the Club, hereafter)’, a members’ only marketing organization, which shoulders the knowledge base of Itochu Fashion System, co., ltd., was formed in 1990 to read and understand fashion collections through trend keywords. Over the years, their role has extended into widely researching consumption trends, and dispersing information based on their research. With a deep understanding of ‘real people who live real everyday lives’, they probe deeper into latent needs, not only to grasp slight signs of new consumption trends, but also to evaluate how such signs are effecting the present market. The Club’s main activities include, issuing of periodical reports to members(*), lectures and workshops, brainstorming and cooperative research. It may seem like a one-way flow of information, but the aim of the Club is to create a network in which information flows both ways, stimulating both sides.

*Members are privileged to receiving a “Report Commentary” (3 times a year), “Seminars & social get-togethers with leaders and well-informed persons” and/or “Field-work” (2~3 times a year), “Honorary Research Attendance” (Once a year), as part of the basic menu, and other option menus if they wish.


Reading signs of the future through the moods of ‘real’ people

In reading “the moods of ‘real’ people (ordinary people living everyday lives), the “Fashion Aspect Club (the Club, hereafter)” utilizes both fixed quantity research and qualitative research to conduct an effective research into lifestyle trends, consumption potentials, etc.. These researches have the ability to guide members a step forward into the future (“Future Aspect”). In July, the Club puts into effect a research to evaluate actual consumption patterns through ‘real’ values/actions of ‘real’ people, using both fixed quantity and qualitative research (“Real Aspect”). In addition, the Club sets 1 theme, and conducts a pin-point research into specific targets, such as age groups, which the Club feels the need to capture (“Target Aspect”), allowing a more diverse look into the reality of ‘real’ people’s trends.



Solution 01 – Capture the mood

Based on the Fashion Aspect Club’s (the Club, hereafter) idea of

The mood of ‘real’ people = The values of the time,

the Club has conducted on-going yearly research in order to grasp changes in consumption patterns, since 2004.

By watching how moods change during the year, they evaluate trend changes in lifestyles needs and consumption patterns of ‘real’ people.

In the research, the Club makes a list of words that express “the mood” of ‘real’ people. Then, from the results of fixed quantity research, the Club carefully selects words such as “stable”, “exciting/happy”, “connections”, to evaluate the relationship and background of why such ‘mood words’ have arisen. From there, the trends of the time are deducted. Furthermore, through qualitative research, the Club fleshes out the result with social phenomena, to grasp a broader view of the flow of times.




Solution 02 – Capturing by generation

Itochu Fashion System, co., ltd. has kept a close eye on the changes in the market from a fashion point of view, for approximately 20 years.

At the core of this point of view, is our original ‘classification by generation’.

We carefully observe the fashion imprinting people go through in their early 20’s.

People who have lived through the same era at around the same age, share common experiences, and therefore, share common standards of value in their judgement. But of course, grouping by ‘generation’ is merely one ruler that helps us understand ‘real’ people, and the speed at which taste/preference segmentation is spreading, is accelerating. Even so, the characteristics of ‘generation’ certainly exists at the basis of ‘real’ people’s preferences. “It is merely a generation theory, but generation theory surely exists”.

The “Fashion Aspect Club” places the evaluation of ‘real’ people by “generation” as a basic focal point, and continuously up-dates yearly changes in their understanding of each generation.


●- ifs’ classification by generation and characteristics of each generation –●

◇Post-LINE generation <born between 1997 ~ 2001>
Digital native, and possesses a unique sense of information processing, not seen in any of the previous generation. Very realistic and practical in their consumption and lifestyle. A generation that attaches importance to life-size values befitting oneself.


◇LINE generation <born between 1992 ~ 96>
Has an optimization tendency due to growing up in the post economic bubble collapse known as the “lost 20 years”. And, as a result of growing up in a digital native society, overly conscious of other peoples’ eyes, and has a sense of “do not stick-out from the common ground shared = do not overly accomplish” in everything they do. Value harmonizing with their surroundings, with a tendency to consume to make memories with friends and colleagues.


◇Hanako-junior generation <born between 1987 ~ 92>
Cool towards the lowbrow-ness of their parents’ Hanako generation. Makes the best of the situation they are in, but consumption patterns show a dislike towards feeling cheated.


◇Lower print-club generation <born between 1982 ~ 86>
‘Depending on others’ type. Follows the trends created by upper print-club generations. Objective and ‘no-waste’ consumption pattern.


◇Upper print-club generation <born between 1977 ~ 81>
Strong will to enjoy the “now”, and values ‘buddy’ groups. The generation that created the ‘gal’ culture. Also the generation of the extreme employment ice-age.


◇Baby-boomer-junior generation <born between 1971 ~ 76>
Born into a plentiful lifestyle, and therefore not avaricious towards consumption, but a generation with strong preferences towards what they buy.


◇Banana generation <born between 1965 ~ 70>
Did not directly experience nor enjoy the fruits of the Japanese economic bubble, and therefore objective. Consumption and lifestyle patterns are both flexible and sound.


◇Hanako generation <born between 1959 ~ 64>
Baptized by DC brands, and still follows these values. Strongly influenced by the Japanese bubble economy. Lowbrow generation that strikingly values “differentiation from others”.


◇DC baptized generation <born between 1952 ~ 58>
The first generation that placed value on displaying individuality through objects/possessions, and differentiation from others.


◇Baby-boomer generation <born between 1946 ~ 51>
Self-assertive and argumentative. The generation that cultivated post-war culture, such as jeans and new-family.



Solution 03 – Capturing values

With the infiltration of the internet and developments of digital tools, living surroundings have changed greatly, leading to the diversification and complication of consumption preferences. Due to such diversification, we must admit, it is becoming increasingly difficult to grasp the full figure of the ‘real’ people through “mood” and “generation” only.

With a strong foothold in the changes in time and lifestyle, as a result of years of continuous research, “the Fashion Aspect Club” also conducts evaluations focused on “values” that extend age, gender, or life-stage. Especially in order to understand and grasp values and consumption patterns of ‘real’ people in fashion, the Club forms groups from a unique point-of-view, to conduct follow-up projects to stay in-tuned with trend changes in each group.



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