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Fashion experts’ top 3 pieces of advice on how to make your brand grow

Marketing, Research

Digitalization is at the forefront of the conversation about what is changing in the fashion industry. The need for brands to have an online presence and operate business digitally has been continuously rising, especially over the past few seasons. 

We have summed up our findings from our talks with 6 fashion industry experts working in different essential fields that can make or break your brand: buyers, trade shows, and PR. Read their 3 important pieces of advice for brands’ growth.

1. The internet has more control over your brand’s success:

The internet has fragmented the media landscape, creating thousands of new niche channels to reach your markets. Where brands used to rely on only a few influential editors, they now have a global community of stylists, influencers as well as retailers that all have substantial reach in their SoMe, newsletters, websites, and other digital platforms.

It also induced a shift in the role of the consumer. People are no longer simply buying fashion items, clothing, and accessories since the use of social media and the internet has empowered them. Consumers want to be part of a community, interact with brands, and influence what they buy. They are in charge, more informed, and selective and care about how they are perceived on social media, putting importance on the perception of the goods they buy and own. Most consumers also use several digital channels before, during, and/or after making their purchases. Buyers echo this, their brand discovery is mainly happening online:

 

“My brand discovery is a cross combination of Instagram and media coverage online. It’s intuitive and organic. Every morning I refresh online media such as Hypebeast, Complex, and High Snobiety, figure out brands from their Instagram, and search for information about the fabrics and their production.”

 
– Kevin Kafesu – Head of Buying at Norse Projects

 

Fashion is the number one e-commerce section in the world, in 2021 the global market value was at $759.5 billion. This number is predicted to grow in the next five years as online fashion’s annual growth rate will put the industry at +$1.0 trillion (source).

As brands are using the internet and social media to inspire and get their message across, it also has created difficulties because of the tough competition and a saturated market. This was emphasized during our talk with the Danish strategic and creative agency, Mørch & Rohde:

“Today it’s more democratic, there’s a large crowd that can actually make a brand successful. It’s somehow good for the industry but also difficult for a brand because there are many touch points and people have to be convinced about a brand’s uniqueness.”

 
– Lotte Mørch Monchamp – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mørch & Rohde

 

This means that becoming a digitally-savvy brand can no longer just be an option. Instead, it becomes a fundamental pillar to not only satisfy consumers but also partners alike.

2. Your digital game needs to match your brand’s standards 

This fragmented media landscape makes it a very delicate path to navigate. The brands’ heritage, identity, and story are at stake. Any digital manifestation of the brand, from social media platforms to third-party distributors, must go hand in hand with the refined brand values and must be tailored to the consumer’s needs. Misaligned digital services may actually pose a threat to the brand’s reputation and growth:

 

“In our screening process, before we accept any brands into our shows, we’re looking at their lookbooks, their line sheets, we’re looking at their Instagram…We have a team that’s looking at multiple digital ways for brands to tell their stories.

Sometimes if brands aren’t able to do it in an efficient way or if it’s not cohesive, we may miss the mark on a great brand. We are digitally accepting brands into our shows and that becomes an important part of the process.”

 
– Edwina Kulego – Vice President of International and Business Development at Informa Markets

3. Keep control over your brand’s messaging by sharing quality content

With all this competition, buyers need to calculate their return on investment, tradeshows have started to filter between brands to offer a great selection each season, and consumers need to be fed with purposeful stories about your brand to advocate for you and have the brand on top of mind. 

All this leads to one thing, content. But not just any content, content with a purpose. Content for buyers to push certain key styles, and collections and feed their e-commerce, content for a tradeshow to complement the physical showings of the brand, and content for the consumer to keep getting enticed and know that the brand still has that cool factor or sustainable approach.

“Instagram, YouTube, web-shop, retailers, wholesalers, print/online magazines, and content creators all need a brief which translates in different ways. A tendency we see a lot is to also prioritize the budget to different channels and a lot of brands are spending or allocating more budget to content shoots.”

 

– Lotte Mørch Monchamp – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mørch & Rohde
 

 

“We have a small team, on a lot of the products that have a lot of turnover for instance: limited edition sneakers, we use the content directly from the supplier because the turnout is so fast (…)

We rely on assets provided by the brands directly: pack-shots, product descriptions, etc…Which we then obviously amend to our tone of voice, but all that stuff is important. When you are working six months ahead, we want these assets already so when the product arrives it’s just plug-in and play.”

 
– Kevin Kafesu – Head of Buying at Norse Projects

What you need to remember

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Ines is the Research and Marketing Manager at VOCAST.  She previously worked in the beauty industry and is now an expert in social media and digital marketing. Every day she helps design-driven brands navigate digital trends and carry out their marketing and brand strategies effortlessly.

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