7 Reasons Fashion Brands Should Be Nice to Bloggers

In the fashion world bloggers are rising to prominence as a force to be reckoned with. For some reason many new and established fashion brands still seem to treat them as second class citizens. We think this is a mistake, and here are a few reasons why we think so.

1. 40% of the press at New York Fashion Week are bloggers.

According to Reuters the presence of online media at fashion week has grown more than 20% over the last six months. This means that of the 3, 600 members of press present, nearly 40% are fashion bloggers.

2. Major fashion brands are inviting them to shows.

Designers like Carl Lagerfeld and John Galliano are inviting bloggers to their shows. In some cases they are even paying all costs to fly the bloggers to the show. If top end designers are doing this, don’t you think it’s time you start being nice to your local fashion blogger?

3. In the USA fashion bloggers are becoming very popular.

Blogs like Style Bubble are getting up to 25 000 hits a day. While some bloggers have tens of thousands of twitter followers. If this isn’t enough to make you sit up and notice then I don’t know what is.

4. Bloggers are now judges for CFDA

For the first time ever bloggers have been invited to be judges for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is a landmark event for the fashion blogging industry. It is an indicator of the power and influence that is moving into the hands of fashion bloggers.

5. Traditional fashion editors are losing control.

Just like the film and music industry is struggling to come to grips with the fact that the internet has made them largely irrelevant; the fashion editorial industry is losing much of it’s power. In the good (or bad depending on your point of view) old days fashion editors could control what and who the public sees. With the advent of the internet and growth of fashion blogs this power is now gone.

6. Enthusiasm = Influence

Everybody knows that the thing that sells clothes is enthusiasm and passion; not knowledge. The average person out there doesn’t care about technical details and high-brow descriptions of the “silhouette” and “architectural lines” of a garment. On the other hand, having somebody who clearly loves clothes recommend an item they love carries much more weight. Bloggers mostly do this because they love clothes and fashion, yes some of them make money from their blogs, but they only make money because they are passionate about what they do.

7. The rest of the world lags behind the USA

If you are based outside the USE this might be the most important reason to start building relationships with local bloggers. The developing world runs 3-4 years behind the states when it comes to the adoption of internet trends. This means that before long all the major local brands will be beating a path to the door of your favorite blogger. Shouldn’t you be there first?

Fashion Brands That Understand Women’s Fashion Offer a Variety of Selections for Different Women

Women’s fashion is a diverse and ever-changing force in the clothing industry. The hottest trend this season could be passé by the same time next year. Or what was once considered a fashion faux pas can make its way to the covers of the industry’s top magazines. Women who aren’t well versed in the language of style or those who simply don’t have the time to keep up with the trends can turn to reliable labels that offer something for every woman regardless of budget, age, size and style.

There are some brands that carry a number of fashion lines which cater to different women. These names may carry a moderately priced selection – articles of clothing that retail for less than $100. Thanks to them, budget-conscious women can look good in quality, chic apparel without having to burn a hole in their wallets. From print coordinates to dresses to pants, these lines offer various articles of clothing that can easily be mixed and matched.

For those with more refined tastes when it comes to women’s fashion, some brands offer better and bridge categories. The former goes for around $500 and come in excellent quality and styles, while the latter is in between the better and designer categories, known for plush fabrics and cutting-edge style. With apparel for the career woman or the hip mom for work or weekends, women will have a lot to choose from.

As these fashion bigwigs cater to a variety of women, the different clothing lines offer sizes from 4 to 24 and can have something for women in their mid-twenties to those in their more mature years.

Define Your Fashion Brand’s Uniqueness and Sell More Product

Most fashion designers plan the online sales of their designs in a bit of a backward manner, meaning that they never properly develop an idea of what truly separates them in the marketplace from their competitors. However, if they did, they could guarantee sales and thereby assure the success of their brand.

The way to attract online customers who want and need your designs is by clearly defining what sets you apart from the rest of the fashion industry, which in marketing is called defining the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

In a nutshell, the USP is a quick-but-intense analysis of your competitors, your target customer, and you…and how they all interlock (or don’t). By understanding where your competition succeeds and where they fail, as well as what motivates your target customer to buy, you can become the safety net to catch everyone who your competition cannot serve. In addition, you will differentiate yourself by doing all the same basics your competition does, except one better.

Let me try to illustrate via a simplistic-but-hypothetical scenario of three hypothetical t-shirt designer/retailers. Let’s assume that you’ve already figured out what makes your target customer happy. Let’s say you figured out that your target customers are green-minded, so they want tees in organic cotton. They’re also a bit glam, so they like flashy designs. They don’t really trust ordering online because they’ve had a bad experience before, so they look for a no-hassle return policy. Finally, this target customer is looking for plus sizing.

You’ve also been the smart independent fashion designer with marketing savvy, and your competitive analysis has garnered some key information about what your competition offers as well. You have found out that you each offer tees in organic cotton, as well as metallic embellishments. But you found out that you and Store 2 are the only designers that offer plus sizing. And…eureka! Store 1 is the only one of the bunch that offers a no-hassle return policy.

So what does this analysis tell us?

  • You are just as strong as the majority of the field.
  • You offer one benefit more than one competitor.
  • Only one competitor offers one benefit that you don’t.

So, you go back to your marketing drawing board, and you add on the no-hassle return policy if it makes business sense to you, and you make a big marketing deal out of the plus sizing, since you’re one of the very few that offer that flexibility to your customers.

Suddenly, you’re a designer that offers flashy, attention-getting designs printed on soft, organic cotton especially for the plus-sized t-shirt connoisseur. Oh, and by the way, never be afraid to buy from your favorite retailer or online, because regardless of where you purchased our t-shirt, we’ll exchange it for something that works better for you.

Congratulations! You’ve just created your USP.

So now what? Well, very simply, this message should invade all your marketing materials…your website content, your line sheets, your banner ads, your pay-per-click ads, just to name a few. You are now offering the market something completely different, something that no one else has (of course, assuming you did your competitive research thoroughly). Why wouldn’t online-wary, plus-sized, glam-but-green folks want to buy from you?

Your research will suggest that the market is being underserved in one particular aspect upon which you can capitalize. In this very simplistic example, it was the plus-sized market. The flip side of developing your USP, however, is that it indicates to you how your business should change to be able to meet that demand. It requires some out-of-the-box thinking in choosing which segment of the market that deserves your attention. In this case, even if you, the designer, are rail thin, you’ll now be faced with a decision: to go after the low-hanging fruit in the form of the plus-sized consumer, or continuing to swim upstream and offer what everyone else does. If you choose the latter (say, because you’re not plus-sized), then the only real message you’ll be communicating to the marketplace is “I have t-shirts too!” In that scenario, you could then consider your brand officially “watered down.”

As long as you always concentrate on what your customers want, as well as what your competition is doing, you will never go wrong. You have then developed a captive audience out of a marketing niche, and they will never stop buying your next big thing.

I’m rooting for your success!