Getting Personal: Fashion Experiential Marketing and Other Trends Changing Retail
Clothing allows us to express ourselves, to reflect our cultures, to stand out, and to blend in. Our appearances affect how we feel about ourselves — if we look good, we feel good. For fashion brands to stand out, their marketing strategies need to tap into this psychology and make a personal connection with audiences.
Since clothing is so tied to our personal identities, it should come as no surprise that there is a huge market opportunity for fashion brands who can take a high-touch approach to their marketing strategy. According to Shopify, 75% of consumers prefer brands to personalize messaging, offers, and experiences…and 33% of customers will stop shopping with a brand if they don’t. However, it can be difficult to offer personalized service online, and that’s where the industry is heading. In fact, from 2000 to 2018, online retailers saw a 300% increase in sales, while department stores’ sales decreased by 50%. By 2021, global ecommerce retail sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion.
A saturated online market has created intense competition and a sea of products that often don’t stand out from each other on the screen. This will increasingly become a challenge as analysts estimate that 95% of purchases will be made online by 2020 – meaning your brand will have to cut through the noise with less time working directly with customers in traditional retail stores. Many brands are testing innovative, personal approaches to inspire consumers. Where are we seeing the most activity and success? Fashion experiential marketing, influencer campaigns, and branded events.
Ready to get started on your own fashion experiential marketing campaign? Download our Experiential Marketing Tactics Checklist.
FASHION EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING EVENTS
Experiential marketing events are interactive events that introduce media and influencers to brands in environments that fit the brand. Editors are able to fully experience the product because they’re using it the way they would in their own lives.
Fashion Experiential Marketing Example: Stitch Fix
Earlier this year, CerconeBrownCompany helped Stitch Fix, a fashion website that curates clothing based on your personal style, create an unforgettable experiential marketing campaign to promote their service. Stitch Fix invited a group of lifestyle and fashion editors to a winter retreat in Connecticut.
During the brand’s trip, editors wore their Stitch Fix apparel to wine tastings, private yoga classes, and spa treatments. This fashion experiential marketing campaign was tailored to fully immerse editors in the Stitch Fix brand, and the reaction was positive, to say the least.
The experiential campaign helped forge personal relationships between key media and Stitch Fix. The retreat brought an online brand to life by perfectly pairing Stitch Fix’s fashion products with lifestyle experiences. In turn, the media conveyed their enthusiasm to their social media audiences, allowing those experiences to be felt by thousands. Which leads us to our next tactic: influencer campaigns!
Influencer campaigns have quickly become a key retail marketing strategy. An influencer is someone with a large social media following, like a model, singer, or blogger. An influencer campaign is when a brand partners with an influencer to post or make content with or for the brand. Influencer marketing is a powerful way for brands to showcase their products directly to target audiences.
For fashion brands looking to stand out, influencer campaigns can be especially impactful. Recent research has found that 74% of consumers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions. As social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook continue to optimize their platforms for in-app shopping, it’s unlikely this trend will slow down anytime soon.
For brands, the appeal of influencers is that they have strong fan bases with whom they’ve built trust. When influencers post about a new product, followers may be more inclined to buy it because they admire and trust the influencer’s recommendations. Because of this personal connection, a post from an influencer is much more effective than an advertisement featuring someone your audience doesn’t know or care about. You’re more likely to listen to a friend’s recommendation than a flashing billboard ad, right?
Fashion Influencer Marketing Example: Garnet Hill
CBC has worked with a plethora of fashion industry influencers with a track record of successfully engaging consumers. In 2018, we developed an integrated digital campaign to engage customers and drive sales for retailer Garnet Hill. For the influencer component of the campaign, we sent travel and lifestyle blogger Lauren Wells and her family to The Beach Club Charleston Resort.
During her trip, Lauren documented her experience on social media while wearing Garnet Hill apparel in the brand-right setting of the beach resort. This social activation campaign created beautiful lifestyle content for the brand and expanded Garnet Hill’s reach with over 1 million influencer impressions.
Individual branded events–experiences promoting a specific product, program, or service–can be another great tactic for bringing a brand’s lifestyle to life. These one-off, localized events are perfect for product launches, collection launches, or even special collaborations.
Fashion Branded Event Example: Primark and the Boston Ballet
CBC recently worked with fast fashion retailer Primark on an event to promote their holiday collection during the cluttered holiday season. Primark partnered with the Boston Ballet to do an event in their local Boston retail store, and they teamed up with 12 fashion and lifestyle micro-influencers to show off their Primark clothing at the Boston Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.
During the event, influencers shared their behind-the-scenes experience on social media, tagging their Primark outfits with the backdrop of an extremely popular local event. The goal? Inspire viewers to purchase holiday pieces from Primark for their own upcoming holiday events. The campaign saw a fantastic response, reaching over 776,000 people and earning 12,700 engagements.
Clothing is personal, so the way we market it should be, too. Amidst an ever-changing digital landscape and emerging market trends, fashion retailers must stay ahead of the curve by engaging more closely with customers. Featuring products and services as part of a real person’s experience allows consumers to imagine themselves using and enjoying those products. Experiential marketing events, influencer campaigns, and branded events are three key ways to forge that personal connection with customers and make your fashion brand stand out.
Need someone to help you market your products or services? Look no further than CBC. We’re experts in event planning, content creation, and influencer marketing. Reach out for more information about how we can help your brand succeed.
Ready to get started on your own fashion experiential marketing campaign? Download our Experiential Marketing Tactics Checklist and find success using our proven formula for creating memorable brand events.