“Market like the year you are in!” - Gary Vaynerchuck
A versatile field like marketing doesn’t always work according to a set of norms. There is extensive room for manoeuvre which can be brought about by social situations, trends and even a global crisis such as COVID-19. The uncertainty created by the pandemic has led to innovation and new approaches that completely re-defined marketing, communication and promotions.
Over the last few months, we have seen many fashion companies taking an empathetic approach to the pandemic, putting their target audiences first which helped in building trust and creating a positive brand image. For instance, the sister company to Louis Vuitton, VMH, used their production facility to make hand sanitiser and Zara ditched designer wear to stitch gowns for medical staff.
A fashion promotion degree teaches you about brand placement and how to respond quickly to changing situations; a skill which is crucial for marketing. The ‘we care’ attitude displayed by major fashion brands is a great example of how a business should conduct itself during a crisis. As the situation steadily transformed, fashion too changed the curve to promote itself in newer ways. Read on to better understand these new effective promotion tactics.
Putting safety first
Fashion promotion courses emphasise on strengthening consumer interaction and this becomes especially vital during a crisis. Providing protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic was a fantastic gesture by brands which also ensured they connected with their audience. Offering moral support, sharing government directives and taking precautionary measures became a form of subtle promotion that gave out the right message.
Notable brands understand the impact that they can make and how it can be leveraged for the good of society. Many companies like Nike understood that steering clear of traditional marketing was crucial during the pandemic. Instead of pitching their new shoes, for instance, the brand shifted focus on the importance of staying home, setting an example for others to follow.
Fashion is a dynamic industry that gives people something to look forward to. It is entertaining and fun, two essential ingredients that were missing in people’s lives during the initial crisis phase.
Keeping this in mind, many brands including Alexander McQueen came up with various ways to engage their audience. From posing in their favourite outfit while doing chores to making fashionista TikTok videos, the brands came up with all sort of fun fashion activities to boost morale during the COVID pandemic.
Another important lesson of fashion media and promotion is designing products that fit consumers’ needs. During the pandemic, the major demand in the market was for comfort wear and fashion brands certainly rose to this challenge.
Since most people were working remotely, formal work attire was replaced by loungewear and brands focused on creating trendy pieces that were both appealing and cosy.
Fashion brands like Gap, US Polo, Aeropostale and Flying Machine went the extra mile and created apparels that had pandemic awareness slogans. Emphasis was put on tops which were sold as ‘Zoom-ready’ clothes since people had to attend virtual meetings as part of the work from home setup. There was and still remains an upsurge in fashionable masks that have become a part of daily outdoor wear.
Selling through hashtag
Social media plays an important part in marketing as it invokes customer interest and makes them feel involved. In the first phase of lockdown, internet usage went up to 71%. According to brand strategy consulting agency Kantar, 77% of consumers expected brands to engage with them on social media platforms during such time. This meant all fashion brands had to use social media for fashion communication and promotion.
Hashtags played an important role with major brands like Lagerfeld coming up with the #Stayathomewithkarl hashtag for promotion. Other hashtags like #WFHfashion, #Quarantinewithstyle or #Safeandstylish was continuously trending on Instagram and Facebook. For many, this was a chance to use their free time in participating and producing fashion content.
Fashion industry certainly did not disappoint and found new ways to show their solidarity with front line warriors, engage audiences and giving back to society. While streetwear label John Elliot shared their music playlist, Nike started the “You can’t stop us” campaign, encouraging customers to stay active at home.
All this has gone on to prove that promotion, done the right way, can help a brand transform itself to reach its target audience. During the pandemic, fashion paved the way for a closer, valuable and more heartfelt way to reach out and connect with its consumer base. It also showcased that media and promotion is an interesting field that will continue to adapt and expand to new heights in the future.
If you are looking for a fashion media course that will help you progress in this field then you should consider the undergraduate BA (HONS) Fashion Media and Promotion provided by London College of Contemporary Arts. The programme will be pivotal in helping you understand the fashion business and its various promotional platforms.