5 Marketing Lessons From The Fashion World
Although the fashion world appears as a glamorous sphere created for insiders only, its recent marketing successes are hidden with many lessons. The industry has been very smart in evolving with the trends and creating online communities. Techniques applied have varied from multiple channels of communication to collaborating with players from the opposite end of the industry.
To make things easier for you, we have created a list of 7 simple marketing lessons we can learn from the fashion industry.
1. Know your demographic and act accordingly
The first and foremost important lesson we can learn is to *know* your demographic. Of course, by this, we mean to be aware of the technical makeup of your customers, for example, age, gender, etc. However, to further strengthen your connection with your customers, take your understanding a step further.
Learn and become aware of the likes and dislikes of your customer. Most importantly, understand their beliefs and values. By doing so, you can create a connection that goes beyond tangibility. If done correctly, the perception of your brand can also positively improve.
In the case of Nike, this translated into a political stance. Albeit, Nike’s support of Kapernick was a risky move. Despite the controversy surrounding the politically charged campaign, the bets paid off. The Guardian reported a 31% sales surge days after the launch of the campaign. Moreover, The advert ‘Dream Crazy’ also went on to win the award for outstanding commercial at the Creative Arts Emmys. Nike shed light upon a social issue that very much mattered to its community. A highly appreciated and acknowledged move.
The essence here is not to necessarily make a political statement. Rather, to discuss topics that are of significance to your customers. However, it must be noted that the tone and purpose of the brand must be kept in mind.
2. Fashion marketing = aesthetic + purpose
High-quality visual language and content are not exclusive to the creative industry. What does not appeal to the eye, will never catch the customer’s attention. Attention to detail is apparent when a brand has a strong and consistent visual language across products and social media platforms. We recommend creating high-quality images and content for a refined brand image. Especially when it comes to social media, a well-curated feed goes a long way.
Many fashion brands have hacked the technique to drive up Instagram activity. Brands such as Glossier, The Row, and LuluLemon have created aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds to drive traffic towards their social media channels. However, each strategy feeds the purpose of the brand. Maintaining a consistent, authentic, and balanced Instagram is often undervalued outside of the fashion industry.
Glossier built its brand on minimalism and a specific brand code of returning to basics. This theme is consistent throughout campaigns, store layouts, product branding, and social media. Remarkably, the success is embedded within its ability to deliver a beautiful yet minimal brand with a consistent language. The aesthetics initially attracted the customers. However, the continuity turned them into returning customers.
Similarly, Lululemon has created its Instagram feed around motivational quotes and home workouts. Yet again, fulfilling the purpose of the brand whilst being relatable to the customer. Not only does this create an appealing feed but it carries further the purpose behind the brand. Instead, Lululemon uses Instagram to deliver a purpose to the customer rather than a product. Consequently, the brand becomes the means to an end.
These are some examples of fashion brands which have invested time and effort into creating high quality and consistent content. The key benefit of such an investment is to increase brand awareness, expand its network and emphasise brand perception.
3. Narrate your story
Your brand history can be 50 years old or a little under a year. Turning that journey into a story is what fashion brands do well. This essentially turns a company’s history into an asset. Engaging in such storytelling gives the brand dimension and depth. Once customers understand the beginning, it can provoke an emotional response. Additionally, it simplifies information and transports people into the brand world. All of which makes the brand more memorable and real.
Two examples from the fashion world are particularly remarkable. First of all, Inside Chanel which is a platform dedicated to the timeline and events behind the iconic brand. It is divided into 12 chapters that scroll through the multiple phases and inspirations of the brand. This is a great example of rich content brought to life through narration.
Similarly, Lacoste created a short movie called, Timeless, which is a visual journey through the past of the brand. By doing so, Lacoste was able to leverage its existing heritage and turn that into authentic communication.
Collaborations are a great way to expand your brand’s network and reach. A collaboration with another brand or influencer can open you to new and complementary markets. Often resulting in exposure to potential customers. Collaborations can be a smart way of testing new markets before making a substantial investment. Notably, collaborations help create networks with stakeholders that may enhance your product offering. Interestingly, they also benefit existing customers as it offers exclusive deals and products.
The fashion industry has witnessed many collaborations in recent years. However, some efforts stand out more than others. H&M, also known as the industry veteran for collaborations. In 2004, H&M launched its first designer collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld. Since H&M has done 19 spectacular designer collaborations, which almost always sell out. The key to the success of H&M is that it offers a sweet compromise between fast fashion and luxury fashion.
5. Create an online community
What do we mean by creating an online community? Members of your online community could identify with the brand and hold similar notions towards the brand. They can then effectively evolve from customers to ambassadors, who play a major role in its promotion. The online community can help your brand differentiate itself from other competitors. Ultimately, this fuels brand loyalty, and trust ultimately creates a sense of pride once they join the community.
In 2015, models styled in Ganni simply captioned their posts with #GanniGirls. Fast forward 4 years and now there are more than 28k posts using the very hashtag.
This helped the brand develop a natural community, bound together by common. values. By giving your stakeholders a sense of belonging, it can deepen their relationship and attachment to your brand.
The successes of the fashion industry are hard to ignore because of its ability to evolve with recent trends and remain relevant. These are simple marketing strategies that are easy to use for any business. If you are feeling inspired and need help in taking your marketing to the next level get in touch with us.
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