Agencies give them so much gravitas, that there are whole teams devoted to working on copy, making sure that it is as effective as possible and that it conveys the personality of the brand. So on returning back to the brand-side of fashion, I noticed that in this land of outfits, aspirations and imagery, words often seem to end up last on the priority list. Rarely is a professional copywriter, as skilled in the voice of the brand and the nuances of language as the designers are in the cuts of their garments, ever recruited.
Of course when we sell fashion, we sell a dream, an attitude and a fantasy. We are trying to evoke a feeling, then consequently a desire and historically it’s been down to the advertising images to conjure up all that. But now, as marketing communications have evolved, so must fashion brands. Everyone knows how difficult is it to be heard and create a point of difference, with image and message overload everywhere. As we search for ways to cut through, perhaps it’s right under our noses, as in other industries. The drinks industry has a few good examples of brilliant and inspired copy writing. Next time you drink a Vitamin Water or Innocent smoothie read the label and you will see how the use of language can be maximised and tactically used as our edge-giving differentiator. After all a T-shirt is pretty much a T-shirt at the end of the day. Something else really needs to ‘speak’ to the customer to draw them in.
The web has come to the rescue. As many retailers have branched out online, they have needed to employ a team that create content and by default these online marketeers are multi-taskers, copywriting is just one of their skills. In order to create newsletters, blogs and the like, they need to be able to write effectively in the brand style. In fact, it’s made many now think about what that style might be. Brands are being forced to consider, who is my customer and how do they want to be talked to? Now copywriting has found a way into fashion through the online back door and is slowly being given the respect it deserves. One only has to look at the brand communications from ASOS to see how a distinct and recognisable voice, matched exactly to its listener, can be a defining contributor to a brand’s success.