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What Fashion Week Can Teach Every Business About Branding | The Resource Guild Blog

What Fashion Week Can Teach Every Business About Branding

by / September 25, 2017

If you work in a field like finance, technology or insurance, Fashion Week—which is currently taking place in Milan—may be the last thing on your radar. What happens there probably seems irrelevant to your business.

That was once true, but today, if you’re looking to build “brand fame” and move at the speed of culture, you should be paying attention to what is happening on the runways.

 Because of the transformation to digital, we now live in a time when every business has to change its offerings on a nearly constant basis. For brands that want to stay relevant, Fashion Week is an ideal classroom—especially for entrepreneurially-minded companies. To learn from the success of fashion brands, here are some key questions every business leader should be asking.

How can we create the urge to buy—often? 

One of the major goals of the glitz and glam of Fashion Week’s runway shows is to encourage consumers to buy new clothing every time the seasons change.

Throughout the year, brands like H&M take this thinking a step further.  H&M connects with customers on a regular basis through fast-paced social media marketing and stays close with them by releasing designs frequently—sometimes more than once a week. This keeps customers inspired and curious and gives them a reason to visit stores and websites.

This approach can work for companies far outside of the fashion industry. For example, if you sell insurance, think about how to make buying it seasonal. How can your insurance company respond to what is going on in the world instead of offering the same packages customers have seen for years?

You also could help visualize the types of insurance you sell and create an Instagram-able moment – from people skydiving to traveling to exotic places. “Less glamorous” businesses are seldom visualized in the way that fashion is on social media—but that is all the more reason for marketers in these fields to study what fashion brands are doing right.

How can we own who we are even more? 

With the spotlight on major brands during Fashion Week, designers know they can’t just make the same clothes as everyone else or they’ll lose their brand appeal.

Today, that rule applies just as much to other industries. Difference is your biggest asset.  Even if your product or service is similar to others, it’s up to you to figure out what’s different about it—and own that.  If your product is boring, then own the boringness—if it isn’t already taken. Shape your space in the universe of boringness and make it trendy.

Dollar Shave Club is a good example. Few products are more mundane than razors. Yet the company made a name for itself through video ads that captured the absurdities of shopping for them. This video, which put the brand on the map, has gotten over 23 million page views for a reason. Unilever wisely snapped up the brand in 2016.

What is the best way for us to sell without selling? 

On the runways, fashion brands are very good at giving you a world to dive into and aspire to be a part of—without an overt sales message. They know how to separate inspiration from sales by playing on the surface of our consciousness.

 One example of a brand outside the fashion industry that has embraced this approach is Airbnb.  The booking service invites you into a world of unique homes and experiences, where you can live in a tree house, a mansion or a shed. A little more adventurous than a hotel, Airbnb makes you want to explore. But isn’t that why you traveled in the first place? Airbnb has also made travel more visual, thanks to its interesting inventory — that’s why its customers are always posting fun images on social media.

The bottom line:

There’s no reason your customers, no matter what industry you are in, can’t feel the same excitement about your products as fashionistas will for Gucci on the runway.  By taking a cue from leaders in fashion, any company can ensure an ongoing connection with their customers and secure long-term success.

By: Pelle Sjoenell

See more: www.forbes.com

 

 

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