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Fashion, finance get some help from market research

OCTOBER 10, 2011 – A pair of fashion-minded mobile marketers are realizing the value of market research, and are now helping others in advertising and design make better guesses about what consumers want.

Inc. magazine reports that Rohan Deuskar and Zach Davis have formed a new company, Stylitics, that tracks the “virtual closets” users maintain and calculates which items they wear most often, and where. In return, the people who share their daily wardrobe choices get rewards and discounts.

Previously, the best way for someone in the fashion sector to know what kinds of trends were emerging was to send out scouts who would record different styles around the world and use economics, pop culture and consumer behavior, among other factors, to figure out the next hot outfit, according to the news source.

Deuskar told the magazine that in addition to helping designers look two years to the future of fashion, marketers can use the trends to build daily promotional offers, such as running a sale on a particular clothing item after seeing how many people have worn one in the past two weeks.

Consumer analyst Constance Dunn said the company was satisfying what the marketing industry and the consumer want.

“Their entire business is premised upon delivering two of the market’s needs,” she said. “On the consumer side, a growing desire for individuals to parlay something unique about their identity to the outside world and on the business end, real-time market research data.”

Advertisers and businesses in other sectors can also benefit from the insight market research provides. Equifax and FICO recently teamed up to create a new analytics system to assess how economic conditions affect consumer behavior in the United Kingdom.

“The sluggish economic recovery has put additional pressure on British consumers and their debt obligations,” stated Mike Gordon, FICO’s vice president and managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The companies will have two new metrics. One demonstrates how a person’s financial risk changes as macroeconomic conditions shift, which can help financial institutions set new credit score cutoffs. The other one – the FICO Credit Capacity Index – will let banks and other companies determine an individual’s ability to take on more credit.

Shawn Holtzclaw, managing director of Equifax U.K., added that the new analytics would “be a breakthrough for the U.K., facilitating responsible lending and helping lenders to sustain profitable growth.”