Cheap-Chic, High Demand

Fashion is a 1.2 trillion dollar global industry, with more than 250 dollars spent annually on fashion in the United States, according to industry analysts.  With that being said, fashion labels need to be reaching audiences of all incomes across their social media platforms.  Fashion will always be important and present in society, it is how the designers work to make their mark in the social media field that will help get their name out and respected while still being an affordable product.

Value-seekers who do not want to sacrifice style in the equation, are shopping at fast-fashion chains such as H&M, Forever 21 and even Target.  The reality is that these cheap-chic brands are picking up more shoppers and have more traction.  Not only does their high-quality for low-price ratio keep buyers happy, but also their constant engagement on social media.  With Twitter and Instagram at the top of the charts for all three fashion lines,  followers have said that posting online links and coupon codes on the brands social media accounts makes them eager to check out the latest trends.  Frequent buyers have also stated that when they are notified about an upcoming sale on either Twitter or Instagram, they are more likely to purchase clothing right away.

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An  example of a fashion blog promoting cheaper, imitation products

 

Nowadays, why purchase one shirt for 50 dollars at a high-fashion store when you can buy a pair of business casual pants, a nice blouse and ballet flats at H&M all for the same total price? It’s all about shopping the looks for less!  The media, such as a number of fashion blogs, are constantly offering suggestions for discount and imitation products that are very similar to designer brands, but half the cost.  While this is good for average income and lower income consumers, high-fashion designers are losing money on their products and losing their importance in our society.

By: Shannon Quinlan

Social Media Demands Models of Color

In the past, fashion would strictly use white people in ads. There was no diversity in social media and the industry only portrayed whites. Racial tension increased due to only white models being portrayed within the fashion industry, and a bigger divide between the races was created. Now, fashion companies have incorporated more diverse models into their media and campaigns. The fashion industry uses social media as an outlet to incorporate different races into the industry and are now able to reach out to new audiences. The effect of this allowed for a greater following as well as more consumers interested in certain fashion brands. There have been fashion campaigns such as TotallyHer that gives females the opportunity to look at certain companies who offer more opportunities to women in the fashion industry as well as reaching different races. This site allows users to learn more about how different fashion groups are trying to use more non caucasion models.

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Zac Posen’s Instram, showing how he designs dresses for different demographics.

Designer Zac Posen started using models of color to show-off certain collections he designed. Consumers are able to see that Posen is using different models to embrace his collection and that will paint the brand in a positive light.

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Jourdan Dunn, Vogue covergirl.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are heavily portrayed when depicting native americans on social media. The fashion industry uses stereotypes which limits racial groups and encourages them to conform to fit into the ideals of today’s fashion culture. It doesn’t help that there has been so much racial tension in the past couple of years, only creating a bigger racial gap. There has been progress in the right direction, but it isn’t enough.

The use of social media is fast and effective and quickens the pace of impact. Social media is the best place to campaign for diversity in the fashion industry and has the ability to reach many different constituent groups.

By: Corinne Schmidt

Age is but a Number

Age is one of the most important demographics when it comes to social media marketing. A person’s generation affects how they think, what they value, and all in all how they live their lives. The Baby Boomer generation for example bases their purchasing decisions on the features a product has; they want to know about the product and how it functions. Millennials on the other hand, have a distrust of salespeople and traditional marketing and will base their purchasing decisions on what experiences and benefits the product can bring them. They will also do more research on a product before buying it, for example, reading reviews written by other customers online. This post will discuss the different methods used in social media marketing to reach the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation Y (Millennials).

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Infographic comparing Baby Boomers and Millennials’ purchasing decisions

Baby Boomers are currently the fastest growing constituency group with social media use. In 2011, their online use increased by 60%, proving that this is not a group social media marketers should ignore. Research has shown that Facebook is the platform that has the largest percentage of Baby Boomer presence and usage, with 84.9% stating that they belong to/use Facebook on a regular basis, showing that Facebook marketing is a key element when trying to reach Boomers. When marketing to this demographic, it is important to remember that even though they are active on social media, Boomers do not use it in the same way as other generations (such as Millennials). They mainly use it to keep in touch with family and stay updated on current events, so it is vital to keep their content relevant. Advertisements and such should avoid the use of current slang and fads that younger generations are into.

When it comes to targeting Millennials, social media is probably the most important element to include in a marketing strategy. This age group is more or less constantly on their phones, and continuously taking in information on the go. Active on more platforms than any other age group, practically every social media site can be used when pursuing this demographic. Having access to a mobile phone almost 24/7 means that they are able to find information immediately, therefore, content should be quick and easy to access. If this component is ignored, then millennials will get bored and impatient with the site or ad and find something better to do.

Social media can be used in a variety of ways to target virtually any age group. When targeting a certain generation, it is important to consider what they value most and how they spend their time in order for a campaign to be successful. Fashion companies especially should research their demographic thoroughly to find out how they use social media platforms.

By: Kirsten Matthewman

Hourglass Figure No More

Hashtags (#) have become a mainstream way for people to see what trending topics are popular at the moment, and also a way for people to click on their own hashtag and see who else is talking about the same thing. Consumers using peer-to-peer communication to talk about brands on social media is vital for a company’s success, since peers trust each other more than any other source. Lately, trends have been created more-so by bloggers and peer influencers than through traditional advertising.

Aerie (an underwear company) has effectively used hashtags to create conversation amongst their targeted demographic of younger women (teens through twenties) mainly through their chosen medium of Twitter. The hashtag #AerieREAL represents their campaign which has targeted average-sized girls who want to see their own body type reflected in models as opposed to the stereotypically beautiful size zero models. Their slogan “The Real You Is Sexy,” is showcased by getting everyday girls to model for them and not retouching their imperfections. They brilliantly appeal to most young women because the majority don’t have “perfect” bodies and want to wear Aerie’s underwear because they are inspired by so many women embracing their true selves. Aerie has created a lot of brand association with this hashtag and even encouraged girls to post untouched photos of themselves on Instagram using their hashtag. Sales went skyrocketing after this campaign and they even saw a 13% increase in new customers.

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This is an ad from the #AerieReal campaign on American Eagle’s website, showing women of many different body types.

On the flip side, some companies want to appeal to a fitter body type. While using women of all shapes and sizes works very well for Aerie, companies like Under Armour, or Nike for example, prefer to attract a fitter body type for both men and women. They often use Instagram to post pictures and videos of really slim or fit (and often well known) athletes to show that if you buy their shoes or other products, you can look like them too. Nike also has hashtags such as #justdoit and #nikewomen so when people post pictures with those hashtags, they can see others who have been inspired by the Nike lifestyle so much so that they promote the brand of their own free will. Nike actively uses Twitter and Facebook too to keep an ongoing conversation with their targeted demographic: athletes and aspiring athletes.

It doesn’t matter what body type a given company wants to target; what really matters is that they know where their audience is, what they want to see, and how they can reach them.

By: Alanna Goodman