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The best ways to communicate brand values

The head of global marketing at Dorothy Perkins and Burton, Stephanie Bamsey, and head of localisation solutions at Translate Media, Daniel Lawrence, revealed how to stand out from the crowd when communicating brand values at the Drapers Digital Festival. 

Retailers now have more touchpoints than ever before to talk to customers. What makes for effective communications between fashion businesses and their customers?

Stephanie Bamsey Consistency is key – how you remain consistent across all of those touchpoints. You want to avoid a siloed approach to retail and digital. When I came into the role at Arcadia Group, I set up a new way of managing our campaigns. We have an omnichannel hierarchy that goes through all different touchpoints, with a “golden thread” that runs entirely through that.

Another point is relevance: that’s ultimately about listening to the customer. Very few brands are doing that very well. 

Daniel Lawrence You do need to be honest, and now it is more and more about having a conversation with your customer. Hashtags are great at opening a conversation with clientele.

Also, a campaign doesn’t have to be set in stone. It can be a living thing and it can change. It’s about adapting and thinking on your feet.

It’s key to not overwhelm customers as well. If you hyper-personalise using data, they don’t like it. You need to find the middle ground to not become a peeping Tom in the bushes.

How can retailers use social media channels to gain a better understanding of their customer? 

SB We use social as a road test. We post imagery from the campaigns on social to get a read of what works best. We’ll post two different images, see the reaction on social and then, depending on what works, we’ll put that imagery into different forms of media.

A number of years ago we launched “Be the Buyer” on Facebook to gauge what was going to sell better. We’d have a dress in three colourways, and would upload images on to the app. Customers would choose which one they would want to go into production. It was a great way to get a read on products without committing to a buy and worrying about how it was going to sell.

DL The key thing to remember is your brand image is not how you envisage yourself – it’s the public perception. A great example of this is H&M, which has very emotive and engaged customers. In Mexico, it received a lot of negative feedback, as Mexicans saw it as creating a fashion hegemony rather than supporting individuality. It was able to change its marketing to focus on the individual in response to this.

What should content be used for – driving brand awareness, engagement or sales? How do you measure its ROI? 

DL It should be used for all three. There are a lot of data points retailers look at, but they’re all quite disconnected. It’s about pulling that together and using that to determine how you can tailor content. That’s the most important thing.

SB Content has to be used for everything, but it starts with the inspiration. You have to inspire a customer through content to want to shop your brand for the simple reason that you’re creating a desirable product. We’ve done a lot of work on where content should sit in the customer journey.

Retail has massively stepped back in its inspiring content. Our customer wants to be inspired in store still, so where everyone is stripping that back, we’re putting it back in.



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