Changing shopping behaviours continue to rip through the fashion industry at speed, bringing both challenges and opportunities for retailers.
Today’s consumer is more digitally and socially connected than ever before. They expect relevant, engaging content to help them through each step of their purchasing journey, and the opportunity to interact with and gain inspiration from the brands they follow.
At the Drapers Fashion Forum in London last week, we heard about the vital importance of forging an emotional connection with the modern consumer.
Linzi Boyd, founder of consultancy Business of Brand Group, argued that the 1990s were about understanding why your business did certain things, but now we’re in the era of understanding who your business is for (Read: Three essential tips for building a brand. This means that you should not talk about your product, but rather focus on who the customer is and their emotional journey.
We heard several examples of how consumer-facing businesses are doing this. Levi’s, for example, has kept customisation at the centre of everything it does, enabling a high level of engagement with customers (Read: Levi’s ‘change-it-up consumer journey’). The brand introduced print studios into stores last year, enabling it to learn more about people’s logo preferences.
Beauty brand Avon, meanwhile, created an algorithm that captured and analysed millions of social media comments to create the “ultimate mascara”, called Lash Genius (Read: Avon’s five methods of connecting with consumers).
Another innovation that stood out for me was Barbour’s “Way of Life” campaign, which features real-world scenarios that evoke the joy of stomping around the British countryside (Read: The secrets to customer-centric business). The campaign is relatable, and makes it easier for a wider audience to understand and interact with the brand.
Finding that emotional connection is more possible now than ever before. Rather than devising one or two customer profiles – “Dave, 40, drives a Mondeo, wears Superdry T-shirts at the weekend” – fashion retailers can access a wealth of data about the people buying their products. If properly analysed, this enables a much more personalised experience.
As customers are bombarded with more advertising across more channels, retailers will have to fight even harder for their attention. Social shopping will continue to grow, so creating an emotional connection with the customer will only become more important.
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