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Clue

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I recently purchased a fashion accessory without the assistance of my trusted personal shopper.
This was a bold move, and I was nervous about my solo selection. I told the salesperson, “If this doesn’t pass inspection by my 13-year-old daughter, it will be returned.”

I’m clueless about cuteness, as said daughter frequently points out. “People just don’t wear things like that anymore, Mom,” she explains. I’m slowly catching on. Sometimes all it takes to send me back to the closet is her not-so-subtle eye roll or exasperated sigh. (Other times, I wear unapproved goods just to tick her off!)

I am never going to have the flair of a teenage fashionista. And you know what? That’s okay. Unless, of course, it’s my job to make teenagers buy fashion… then I need all the help I can get.

What do you do when you need a clue about Ms. Jones’ heart, mind and soul? Who’s your advisor about her lifestyle, her passion, what she loves, what she hates, what makes her buy, what makes her cringe? We’d be remiss not to mention Meet Ms. Jones™ demographic studies and customer personas, but you don’t have to spend a cent to get a glimpse into Ms. Jones’ world.

Start by taking your team on a field trip to your local bookstore. Ask for the 15 top selling magazines. As you flip through the glossy pages, make note of the topics in the cover articles, the predominant colors, the angle of photography, advertising layouts, fonts and decorative elements, language and idioms.

Now watch television. Google the top shows, and set your DVR or rent an entire season on DVD. How do the characters talk? What do their homes look like? What do they wear? Who’s advertising during prime time? What do they talk about? Take advantage of the millions of dollars and mindboggling research that’s already being spent to woo Ms. Jones.

Unlike wearing my favorite t-shirt to the grocery store in spite of daughter’s scorn, Ms. Jones won’t excuse your faux pas—fashion or otherwise.

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