Storytelling in Fashion: Crafting a Narrative That Sells

A piece of clothing is never just a simple garment. If there weren’t some kind of emotional bond between the individual purchasing a piece of clothing and the item itself, then all clothing would be the same. We all know that isn’t true. We have favorite outfits and brands, and much of the way that these become our favorites have to do with brands telling us their story. Those involved in fashion marketing understand that they must capitalize on telling their story to customers.

The Elements of a Compelling Fashion Marketing

What makes a brand’s story so compelling in the first place? There are certain elements used by fashion brands to create the compelling story that they want to tell about themselves. These elements include:

  • Authenticity – The story must feel real and true to the brand itself. This is to say that the company cannot appear to be forcing anything. If the story feels too forced or unnatural, then customers will react negatively. It is best to keep things as authentic as possible.
  • Emotion – Human beings react to emotion, and brands can play into this. The story of a brand should be emotionally compelling. This is the best way to attract the kind of attention that you require. It doesn’t matter exactly what kind of emotion one is playing on. The most important thing is that the emotion is genuine and creates a bond between the customer and the brand.
  • Uniqueness – The story must be something that customers haven’t heard before. They need to have a reason to make the connection between the story and the brand.
  • Visual Appeal – Customers will react better to marketing appeals that appeal to the eyes. Experts in fashion marketing will hire individuals who know how to create something that is truly visually appealing for every campaign they create. 

These elements, when strung together properly, will create the ideal kind of fashion marketing campaign.

Understanding Your Audience

Targeting the kind of customers that have a genuine interest in potentially purchasing your products is necessary to continue to grow your revenues. Think about the different categories of shoppers who might be on the hunt for some new fashions. You must then think about which version of those customers most likely have a desire to purchase your specific products. Once you have narrowed that down, you can learn everything that you can possibly find out about those types of customers and pitch to them based on what you learn.

Brand Origin Stories

Popular movies such as “The Social Network” tell the origin stories of popular brands. These movies are well-known because people like to hear about the dramatic origin stories behind the companies that they interact with on a regular basis. There might be some debate about the accuracy of certain details related to the origin story of Facebook or many other brands, but the official origin stories are told and retold over and over again to the point that they become part of the lore of the brand.

Fashion companies should highlight their own origin stories as well. Customers want to know how the companies they interact with got started. Therefore, you should offer them the opportunity to learn more about your origin story. Give them what they want, and include your origin story in your fashion marketing materials.

Integrating Storytelling into Product Design

It is possible to directly tie storytelling elements into the products themselves based on their design. Some clothing items are considered collectibles, and the story that these items tell is what makes people want to collect them in the first place. That is a big deal in fashion marketing because it means that you can use the product itself to help tell the story of the brand itself. Weaving those stories into the products can make it possible to keep people interested in the product.

Social Media and Storytelling

Seemingly every brand today wants to use social media to tell their stories. This is a particularly useful way to reach out to a broad audience of customers. The University of Brighton reports the following about the importance of digital storytelling:

Before a company attempts to communicate its story digitally, it must remember that ‘people don’t buy into brands — they buy into the story behind brands’ (Mallon, 2016). Digital storytelling, combined with the power of social media, allows the brand to tap into the consumers’ emotional aspects of engagement and create a direct link, which ideally leads to brand awareness (Juozaponyte, 2015).

When working on a social media strategy, it is important to consider who the best ambassadors to tell a company’s story are. It is likely the case that a company will work with social media influencers to help get their messages out. Influencers carry a significant amount of influence on various social media platforms. However, it is best to work with those who already have a foothold within the network itself. Partner with relevant influencers to help tell your story more effectively and get people to listen.

Storytelling Through Packaging and In-Store Experience

It is great to have powerful storytelling elements online, but you can’t neglect the work that must be performed to tell a brand’s story when someone visits your stores in person. There are design elements to the building itself that can be leveraged to help you create a physical space that tells the story of your brand.

Don’t forget to incorporate your company logo, colors, and designs throughout the story as much as possible. You want those elements to become connected with the quality products that you release to the public. The more that you pump out these elements to the public, the more likely you are to tell an effective fashion marketing story to the public.

Measuring the Impact of Storytelling on Sales

The only way to truly determine the effectiveness of any storytelling effort is to measure the data related to any given approach. Understand that there are certain pieces of information that you should focus on in particular. These are known as key performance indicators or KPIs.

Some of the KPIs that you want to focus on in fashion marketing include:

  • Website Traffic – The number of people who visit the company website is extremely important to keep tabs on. You clearly want to see your traffic numbers increase. Focus on the trends in website traffic instead of just the day-to-day fluctuations. People might be more likely to view your website on the weekend and near holidays. Therefore, you should try to rely on trends more so than an individual day’s performance.
  • Average Order Value – How much is the average customer spending when they finish their checkout process? This figure is known as your average order value. This is another thing that you want to see as high of a number as you possibly can. The more that the average customer is spending, the higher your revenues will be.
  • Conversion Rate – Getting someone to convert from being just a visitor to your website to being a customer who makes a purchase is known as your conversion rate. You simply won’t get everyone to convert to becoming a customer. However, you should aim to get as many visitors to your website as possible to become a customer of yours if possible.

These pieces of data and many other statistics can best help you determine how well your marketing efforts are going. Monitor all of this so that you know for certain if you need to make some changes to your fashion marketing strategy or not.

Common Pitfalls in Fashion Marketing Storytelling

There are some common mistakes that have been made by fashion marketers when they are performing a storytelling campaign. A few of the pitfalls that you want to avoid at all costs include:

  • Overcomplication – Making your story too complex or hard to follow will end up causing people to lose the thread at some point. Therefore, you should try your best to keep the story clear, crisp, and easy to understand.
  • Lack of Connection – Not connecting with the audience is something that can be a major hurdle to get over as well. If you don’t relate to the people who are supposed to purchase products from you, then you will quickly find that they just don’t bother to follow along with the story you are trying to tell.
  • Inconsistency – Some marketers don’t keep their messages clear and easy to understand. That will also deter customers from shopping with a specific brand as well.

Create a Storytelling Strategy

It is imperative that all fashion brands start working on a storytelling strategy today. Focusing on a narrative that sells products to customers is the way to go. It will take a significant amount of time to figure out precisely which narratives your target customers want to hear. Keep that in mind as you figure out what needs to be done to reach the people who must be reached.

In the long run, the storytelling strategy that you craft now will help you create the kind of recurring revenue that is necessary to keep a fashion company growing.

Additional Resources

A few additional resources that might be useful to you include:

  • Shopify – Examples of fashion company storytelling
  • Hashtag Paid – Information about how fashion brands can work on storytelling marketing efforts
  • Printful – A comprehensive guide to brand storytelling

Consider all of these resources and any others that can help you create the storytelling fashion marketing campaign that you need. 

Want help scaling your fashion brand? Work with a specialized fashion marketing agency to help grow your brand. Talk to one of our paid media strategists today. 

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