The Era of the Fashionable Face Mask

So far the year 2020 has drastically altered lives around the world in every way possible. Think about it – since this past March, there has been a significant shift in consumer spending patterns. Globally, consumers have changed what they buy and where they buy it. Stores and restaurants closed. Online shopping boomed. And more.

Just consider what happened during the toilet paper shortage of 2020 to see how consumer behavior changed. And it’s not just toilet paper or flour; the global coronavirus pandemic has made changes not only in our households, work, education, transportation, social groups, but also in fashion. Fashion? Yes, fashion.

As recently as March (only five months ago!) it was doubtful that the average U.S. household had a supply of face masks. Think about it. Did your household stock any face masks prior to 2020? Now compare that with the number of face masks you have today in your home, car, briefcase, purse, bike bag, and office. It’s quite a big change and has created an entirely new product category for fashionable face masks.

There is a lot of variety and of course price variations. Some companies are giving away face masks branded with their logo. Other companies are creating new patterns and designs that let people express their personalities. They can be as inexpensive as cloth masks for a dollar or two, all the way up to a $1.5 million jeweled mask!b

Stay safe – and fashionable.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What industries do they think are affected by the coronavirus? (Did any list fashion?)
  2. Discuss the impacts of the coronavirus on companies.
  3. Poll students: How many face masks did they have at the beginning of the year? How many do they have now?
  4. Show video of world’s most expensive mask: https://www.impomag.com/home/video/21160288/the-worlds-most-expensive-mask?lt.usr=71617211&utm_source=IMPO+Insider_08142020&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=115163&utm_term=600946
  5. In groups or individually, have students do an Internet search for masks. Suggest they try their favorite brands, Amazon, Etsy, and more.
  6. Have students examine the different brands and determine the target market for that mask.
  7. Select several target market segments: have student develop a mask for the market segment considering the four Ps.

Source:  Associated Press; CNET; IMPO; other news sources

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