“The global popularity of marketing as a subject for study might suggest that those studying and teaching the subject know what it is athat they are studying and how this study should be undertaken. But […] marketing as a subject has proved almost impossible to pin down, and there is little consesus about what it means to study marketing.”
This is the beginning of a wonderful book entitled “Marketing: A Critical Textbook” by Nick Ellis, James Fitchett, Matthew Higgins, Gavin Jack, Ming Lim, Michael Saren and Mark Tadajewski who are all Lecturers of marketing and with the excption of Professor Jack, all part of the Leicester school of Critical Marketing Studies.
How very true those opening words are, and even more important if you are a lecturer in marketing or fashion marketing. Nothing is set in stone and only a ctitical and lively mind can develop interesting ideas for the future, if it appraises the information handed down from scholars and practicioners. When I lecture on fashion marketing subjects (but also history of of culture, costume and design theory!) my aim is not only to first educate students with the elementary basics of the subject matter, but to almost immediately try and engage them in critical evaluation. At first it does not matter, if they are right or wrong (which is another discussion in itself), what matters is that they are taking a step away from what is presented and searching for their own interpretation. Every time I see the minds of my students turning like a fine watch mechanism, I get enthusiastic! And once they learn the skill, they cannot unlearn it. It can be a companion throughout life and a very valuable one. Personally, I can recommend being critical about many situations, in work, life and with oneself.
But let me speak about this interesting book once more. The critical marketing book looks at the history of marketing, theory, customer surveillance, marketing research, consumer rights and resistance, consumer society and the production of identity, globalisation and ethics and many more topics. (Interestingly, sometimes we are marketing something, whilst at other times we are the consumer.)
Even if you are studying the creative side of fashion, you will enter a world of commerce once you graduate. Perhaps you will run your own label, you will be a freelancer taking orders or you will work at a fashion label (or lecturing!) – but in all cases you will be marketing yourself and your unique set of skills, your product or the product which your company produces, making the subject of marketing more important than you might perhaps think now.
I highly recommend taking a peek at this fantastic book, even if you just pick out a few interesting pages, to engage in a bit of critical thinking. You can take a look at fragments of it on google books and if you are a lectuer, wishing to find out more, there is companion website.
Whatever you do, keep your brain sharp and shiny and feel free to tell your story of critical thinking here on Worn Through!