4 Ways Social Media Has Changed The Fashion Industry

16 09 2010
by Sara Hansson

Fashion weeks have past by all over the world. High heals have stepped on runways, the new collections have been featured on famous models and the exclusive group of high fashion characters have been catched on front-row.

Is there any difference between the fashion week procedure now and some years ago? Is there really any change on how the world’s luxury brands are marketing themselves?

1. New influencers
There is a difference. Lets start on front-row. On runway seats, in the middle of glamorous celebrities and fashion influencers with titles as ‘Creative Director at Elle Magazine’ or ‘Editor-in-Chief of Vogue’ – you find people with the title ‘Blogger’. Why? Because brands have understood that it’s the most natural thing to do – since these people nowadays have more influence than celebrities, presidents and world famous artists, when it comes to style.

One of the fashion industry’s greatest blogger is 13-year-old Tavi (who has already been to a number of the greatest fashion shows and is referred to as one in the “frontline of fashion”). Add that and about 200,000 unique readers a month and it’s a fact that a positive review from this girl is something an advertising budget cannot buy. The brands that close their doors for these successful bloggers make with other words a great loss.

2. On the minute
The reason behind the great success that these bloggers have achieved, is not only the fact that people can relate to them – they also hand us content in no time. You don’t have to wait a month for a new magazine to update you on the latest trends and spots from the runways. You can get the latest report directly from their blog. This is something many designers and brands have catched up upon. The fashion designers Tory Burchand Rachel Roy are just two of many that updates their Twitter followers on what’s happing around them. Live streaming and mobile castings are also a utilized medium for brands to reach a wider audience. For example, Louis Vuitton live-streamed its show on their Facebook Page. I think we will continue to see more of fashion live streaming through our mobile devices and it may be the future way of communicate in this industry.

3. Humanized brands
Social media has given us the possibility to reach a much higher amount of people. But it’s become harder to achieve the real transparency and true loyalty from people. Especially fashion retailers – the superficial industry for many ways.

Transparency is very much about being real and honest. And you can’t sneak away with or hide the tricks and retouch-work. Dove’s Evolution video shows prove of that.

Being more human is to show many sides of yourself. One way fashion brands have done this, is to show behind the scenes videos. Not only can we see the perfect runways – we can also see how it was all put together. This is one step of building trust and interest.

When Burberry created their ‘Art of The Trench’ campaign – an online gallery of people wearing trench coats – they had their costumers in mind. The photographer and blogger of The Satorialist took pictures of people on the street wearing trench coats, and they also encouraged people to upload their own trench-picture to the site. The gallery is filled with pictures of ordinary people on the street as it promotes the love of a classic trench (which is a signature for Burberry themselves). It allowed them to communicate to the customers at a new and real level. The campaign was the first of its kind to not use a large budget for hair, makeup and models.

4. User-generated content
The Burberry campaign is also a great example of interactive communication with the customers, letting them contribute to the gallery and share their own passion for fashion. Gap is another brand that shows great use of co-creation as they encourage people to upload their outfits to their Facebook Page to be featured on their cool microsite Gap 1969Victoria’s Secret asked their fans which print they liked the most on a pair of panties– and the winning pair is now part of their collection.

Increase online traffic and sales
How has social media changed the fashion industry? It gave them a playground to be even more successful. The mysterious and exclusive fashion industry has opened the doors and made people feel connected. People want to feel connected. People are connected. And how about making 50 million people see and share your runway for a cost of 50,000 USD instead of an audience of 700 people for a cost of 1,5 million USD?

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