Nationwide lockdowns have forced fashion brands to go digital to grow sales. According to HRC Retail Advisory, two major global trends have happened during the pandemic: increase in media consumption and a decrease in advertising spending. Facebook has seen a 70% increase in usage on all of its apps as consumers have turned to social media to keep them entertained, connected and informed.
In response, rather than simply promoting new arrivals, fashion brands are creating space for online conversations, styling sessions, and even tutorials for homemade cocktails. Marketing methods are now focused on creating a sense of community, and encouraging followers to join in on the fun. Once the pandemic has ended, with social restrictions lifted, consumers will be most loyal to the brands they found vital during this time. The connections and relationships built during this time are critical and expected to last.
Have fun with virtual hangouts
Virtual is all the rage right now, literally! Taking your brand experience virtual provides a source of entertainment for consumers during this crazy time. It also gives consumers access to the brand’s world without having to directly buy products. Whether it is a movie night with Poppy Row, a virtual picnic with FabFitFun, or an online exhibition like Dior’s Designer of Dreams, consumers are eagerly jumping in on the fun! Here’s a couple fun ideas to engage and entertain your customers virtually:
Create a space to connect
In today’s environment, feeling a part of something can go a long way. It can be a community, a cause, part of the brand or even just the space a brand creates. When customers feel connected to brands, about 57% will increase their spending with that brand specifically, and 76% will choose them over their competition.
Not only do we want to connect to the brand, but to other consumers who also engage with that brand. Customers want brands to help them build lasting connections. 62% of consumers believe social media can unify people of different backgrounds and beliefs, and 49% of consumers actually expect brands to bring people together towards a common goal or mutual interest. A few more ways to engage with followers and create the communities they are searching for:
17. Exclusive Facebook groups for your fans
18. Host a book club
19. Shop your closet styling nights
20. Hosting regular networking events (zoom has breakout rooms)
Engage with your followers
Authentic relationships are the key to success right now. Here’s a chance to avoid being sales-ey and show your customers you care. In a time where many of us feel alone, an authentic connection via social media can go a long way and make your brand feel more attainable. American Eagle, for example, includes real customers in their marketing campaigns. What’s more fun than seeing your own face on your favorite brand’s ad?
21. Reach out to consumers for their personal, at-home content
22. Respond to comments, questions and DMs in a timely manner
23. Be interactive! Use polls, voting, or simply ask your customer’s input on IG Stories
24. Host a customer contest or challenge
Get clear on your cause and make it your rally cry
We talk about clearly defining your target customer in our marketing course because by doing so you know intimately which causes your customer cares about that you can also help solve and you can meet them there. In today’s world there are a myriad of injustices to solve, pick one and make this your rally cry. Without a clearly defined messaging strategy, you risk looking like you are simply hopping on the bandwagon to catch the virality of the latest news. This lack of focus can weaken your customer connection. Alternatively, when you define the cause you care about, you attract that person, and consumers are more prone to reward a brand that they believe shares their values.