Guest Post: Inspiring Marketing
Fashion and retail are two of the most-democratic industries; insofar as they target themselves at every level of consumer. From the budget discount buyer to the high-end luxury type, everyone is catered to by these two sectors – and online marketers can learn a lot from how they sell themselves to customers. For example, Burberry managed to make itself the high-end brand of choice for the working class in the 2000s, before orchestrating an impressive reverse to re-establish itself as a luxury brand ten years later. They did this thanks to a huge number of advertising campaigns that dramatically shifted the brand’s image without ever alienating the public, something many brands in many sectors aspire to achieve.
However, it’s not just in rewriting brand history that we can learn from fashion. Simply getting new punters to their sites and through the doors is something the industry tends to excel at; investing in David Beckham has boosted H&M, Topshop with Kate Moss and with creative innovative campaigns that would be unimaginable elsewhere the industry brands lead the way. Here we look at some of the very best out now, and what marketers can learn from them.
Pick of the Best
From a strictly online perspective, it doesn’t matter who you have fronting your campaign or how dramatic it is if that isn’t translated into your social media and online strategy. When Topman teamed up with Radio One DJ Huw Stephens, they did so with social media specifically in mind. The result was CTRL – a sort of cross between Spotify and BBC’s iplayer – that became a monster hit for the company. By bringing a new twist to the traditional online marketing model, the company generated new revenue as well as creating a truly innovative campaign.
But that’s just one example. Others such as Diesel have located the heart of their strategy in their website itself, with campaigns like the current ‘days to live’ one. Essentially a 2013 update of those ‘death-date calculators’ that were so popular online around 2003, the software claims to predict the exact number of days you have to live. But really this is just a pretext for flashy graphics and ‘subversive’ questions that reinforce the brand’s image. By drawing visitors in with a simple ploy, they engage with them in a way unthinkable even five years ago – encouraging them to ‘open up’ to the brand and come to trust it, thanks to its cheeky style of humor. It’s the sort of cutting-edge campaign the fashion industry does so well online, and the results speak for themselves.
What We Can Learn
The point of all this isn’t simply to sing the fashion industry’s praises though, so much as point out the clear lesson that marketers in even wholly-unrelated industries can learn. Foremost among those is the value of interaction. Both the Diesel faux-questionnaire and Topman’s modern day pirate radio station encourage their audience to open up to and become involved with the brand’s social media output through a medium users are significantly less-savvy about. Twitter and Facebook may still hold sway, but they’re so deeply ingrained in marketing culture that it takes a significant effort to encourage punters to drop their mental shields and engage openly. By contrast, Diesel’s effort manages to get such personal information as your favorite color out of you in less than 3 minutes. That creates a strong, personal bond with the brand in the mind of the user, something that can later be capitalized on for financial gain.
The other great lesson to take away is: innovation. Predictably, fashion leads the global marketing game in this respect, but there are lessons to be learned from it and applied elsewhere. Simply keep your eyes and ears open for the best new campaigns, and remember to keep your mind open too.
Author: Jenn is a freelance writer who loves fashion and styling. She currently works alongside the Vouchercloud Topshop vouchers team and keeps up to date with industry news in fashion and retail. How has creative marketing influenced your fashion choice? We look forward to hearing from you.
image credit: stoonn/freedigitalphotos.net