Marketing has changed a lot since the evolution of the internet. Given that people now spend a lot of time browsing through the internet or referring to it in case they want to find out something, digital advertising has become very popular. And many people even think that digital advertising is much more effective than traditional advertising. Do you ever wonder what are some classic fashion marketing tactics that still work?
In the fashion world, there's still something to be said for classic fashion marketing techniques such as sending out catalogs, organizing fashion shows and advertising in glossy magazines. Regarding fashion, these marketing techniques have not yet lost their charm.
There is immediacy in seeing fashion up front at a fashion show. And an advertisement in a glossy magazine naturally has more brilliant colors than an online advertisement. People still look forward to seeing glossy catalogs in their mailboxes. These traditional marketing methods and digital marketing methods can be used for maximum effectiveness.
1. The Timelessness of Storytelling
Stories are immediately appealing to the human psyche. We read stories in books and watch them in movies. But we appreciate stories no matter what the source. This is why marketing techniques have always included storytelling, that fashion marketing also needs. They may be simple stories, such as how a young girl got her confidence back by using a face care product. Or they may be exotic stories involving faraway lands where the product was grown and harvested.
When it comes to fashion, it's important to use stories in advertising so that people can gauge the impact of the product. It's also important to include diversity in your fashion marketing message. Not only does this expand your audience, but it also makes your brand look more up-to-date. If you have a great genesis story—the story of how your company or your brand was born, then it makes sense to use it in your marketing campaign.
No matter what kind of storytelling you use, keep in mind that it should have the ring of authenticity because that will help it to resonate with your audience.
2. Word-of-Mouth Fashion Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is, perhaps, the earliest form of marketing that should also be done in fashion marketing. One satisfied customer tells another, who tells another, about your product. And before you know it, the word has spread. Word-of-mouth marketing is still very effective because people trust the people they know when they give them recommendations.
The best way to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing in the fashion industry is to make sure that your customer gets the best possible experience with your company or product. You'll need to make sure that they have a smooth customer journey, and even after they buy the product, it makes sense to keep in touch with them to make sure they are happy with it.
You can also encourage customers to tell others about your product by offering them discounts when they bring in someone new. Getting good reviews and endorsements which you can post on your website or include in your catalogs, also helps a lot in fashion marketing.
3. Print Advertising and Editorials For Fashion Marketing
Advertising in a glossy magazine or having your product featured in its editorials can really help in launching a new product or popularizing an existing one. Remember that print advertising can tell a story in which a person wears a particular clothing item or carries a specific accessory to a party, a romantic date, a fun vacation or a wedding. Often, the story that the advertisement tells is even more important than the model featured in the advertisement. So it's important to plan your advertising shoot with care.
It's also a good idea to have relationships with fashion editors who can feature your products in their editorials. Fashion magazines have tremendous influence over what people wear and what they accessorize it with.
4. Fashion Shows and Events
As a marketing technique, a fashion show is uniquely effective. People who work in fashion and celebrities vie to be seen at fashion shows. Fashion shows are also covered by magazines and newspapers which serves to popularize them further.
Other marketing events such as fundraisers, informal fashion shows and product launches can also be very effective at getting the word out there about your product. And keep in mind that fashion shows and events can be great for networking with others in the industry.
5. Celebrity Partnerships
Celebrity partnerships and endorsements have been around since the 19th century when they were invented by Charles Worth in the high fashion world of Paris. Throughout the twentieth century, it was commonplace to associate certain celebrities—actors, models, sportsmen etc.—with certain brands. And nowadays, brands often work with social media influencers.
It's important to get the right celebrity or influencer to endorse your brand. You'll have to make sure that the demographic that that celebrity/influencer speaks to is one that is actually interested in buying your product. Plus, the style and voice of the influencer should also be in keeping with your brand.
At times, celebrity endorsements can also turn into collaborations or partnerships because many celebrities now have their own clothing/accessory/makeup lines.
6. Direct Mail Campaigns
Direct mail refers to sending marketing materials directly to a potential customer's mailbox. You can use direct mail to let customers know about a new store in their area or to offer them discounts. You can inform them about upcoming sales and new products you are introducing. Direct mail can be very effective because everyone has to check their mailbox, so they will inevitably end up seeing your mailer.
It helps to design your direct mail in such a way that it will catch the eye of your customer. Use bright colors and make sure your punchline is in a large, readable font. At the same time, try not to make your mailer too "busy" and use the words "free," "zero," and "sale" sparingly if you want customers to take you seriously.
7. Utilizing Fashion Catalogs
Fashion catalogs, with their glossy photos, can be very appealing to potential customers. There's something more visually appealing about a glossy fashion catalog as opposed to an online image. So it can prompt a customer to make a purchase, especially if the catalog has a discount code as well.
At the same time, keep in mind that you can use both—fashion catalogs and ecommerce. The idea is to give your customer the option to purchase your product in more than one way. That way, if they do decide to buy it, they'll see the option to do so right away.
Shooting a catalog can be like shooting for a print advertisement—you can tell a story with the photos you use. The models you use, the way in which you combine pieces, and the backgrounds against which you shoot are all important in a catalog, as are your descriptions of your product.
8. In-Store Customer Experience
The way a customer feels when they are in your store is going to determine whether they make a purchase and whether they come back. So the décor of your store matters. Keep your target demographic in mind when you decorate your store. A younger demographic will prefer a brighter, louder store experience whereas an older demographic might prefer muted, tranquil colors and lots of space.
It's really important to train your salespeople well if you want your customer to end up buying something they will be satisfied with. Salespeople should be helpful but not intrusive. After all, selling someone a piece of clothing or an accessory is an art. You have to be able to read the customer well and understand what they need.
There are also many ways to introduce digital elements into the store. QR codes can be scanned to give your customer more information about a product. Digital signage can provide information or fashion tips. You can even give your customers virtual reality experiences in which they can try on clothes or accessories.
9. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are great for bringing your customers back again and again. You can do this by rewarding them for shopping (collecting points), giving an online review or even recycling clothes. Some brands give their customers birthday discounts while others give free shipping.
It's best to consider your target demographic and what they're likely to do when setting up a loyalty program. For example, if you're targeting a demographic that is concerned about the environment, then a recycling program would be a good fit.
H&M is a fashion brand with a great loyalty program which customers can access by downloading their app. H&M customers collect points by shopping, reviewing and recycling.
10. Collaborations and Limited Editions
Fashion is one of those industries where there is a demarcation between haute couture and ready-to-wear. Haute couture is more exclusive and more expensive whereas ready-to-wear is more affordable.
However, there are often collaborations between brands that bring an element of exclusivity even to ready-to-wear collections. Consider the Isaac Mizrahi and Target collaboration or the Dior and Nike collaboration, both of which combine two different aesthetics.
These types of collaborations can benefit the haute couture line by making it more approachable for regular people. They can also benefit the ready-to-wear line by giving it an aura of exclusivity. Releasing limited editions can also benefit a ready-to-wear brand by creating greater demand, especially among collectors and other fashion enthusiasts.
When it comes to fashion, classic marketing tactics, such as direct mail marketing, fashion shows, catalogs and collaborations, are still relevant. Even with the advent of digital marketing, these classic marketing methods are unlikely to go out of style. The up-close-and-personal feel of a fashion show, the glossy pages of magazines and the rush one gets when shopping in a brick-and-mortar store are likely to keep customers engaged.
At the same time, digital marketing is here to stay, and setting up a digital presence can also help you to reach out to customers. As a fashion brand, it makes sense for you to use both types of marketing—classic and digital.
If you've been focusing more on the digital aspect, then it makes sense to consider some classic techniques that have worked well for brands since before the internet. After all, reaching out to customers in more than one way can expand your presence and build brand awareness.