Get With the Trends

It is no secret that social media has changed the fashion industry forever – that being said, it has changed consumerism forever. Regarding social media in the fashion industry, people are far more likely to share content and photos of clothes and models than they are with other sorts of products. Fashion is a very social industry that is heavily embedded into our society, which is one of the reasons it is so prominent in social media. People are able to share their opinions online about certain brands or items of clothing that they have had experiences with, giving reviews and ratings for these products. This is another reason social media has become so powerful; interpersonal communication between fellow customers has become probably the biggest influencer when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

Social media has become an extremely powerful marketing tool. Companies are able to engage with consumers, build brand awareness and make it easier than ever for customers to buy what they want. It has also been found that companies with higher customer engagement through social media have higher sales than companies that are behind with the times; traditional, luxury brands might be in trouble if they don’t start to follow the trend soon.

One of the reasons the fashion industry is also very prominent in the social media world is because famous fashion designers are able to instantly share events that are happening in their lives with their fan base. They can use apps such as Snapchat to preview their new clothing lines, as well as film their fashion events from their perspective which gives consumers a personal, intimate, inside-look into their lives.

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Victoria Secret gives an inside-look on their 2015 Fashion Show

It is undeniably true that fashion is now everywhere, with social media being its biggest facilitator. Nowadays, the influence of someone with a large social media following is enormous. In fact, some marketing agencies for fashion campaigns will only hire people with a large online fan-base: models, photographers, make-up artists etc. It would seem that the amount of experience one has isn’t as relevant nowadays. Everywhere we look, fashion is a part of our culture, and can now be taken with us everywhere due to the advent of mobile phones.

By: Kirsten Matthewman

The Future of Fads

Over the past couple weeks, we as a group have looked at different related topics on how the fashion industry uses social media. We analyzed demographics, designer brands, and celebrities and their interaction within the fashion industry and what type of impact they have on social media. A common trend that was seen across all three different topics covered was that content must be updated frequently and be effective. The fashion industry uses specific social media outlets such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram to reach the audience. Fashion companies such as Nike will endorse a celebrity in exchange for them representing their clothes/brand on social media. This is effective for Nike because more millennials will see the clothing on the celebrity and want to buy it. This works with designer brands as well. When designers get new clothes or want a new look they will use Instagram to post the outfit or twitter.

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Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere.

A new emphasis on honesty, trust, and loyalty through social media from the fashion industry has helped it acquire a new taste.  The use of live streaming allows a more personal experience with fashion week going on in New York City as well as Paris, two of the biggest places for fashion. Designer brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana controlled live streaming by giving an inside look of what is behind the scenes. It also allowed the viewers to get a more personal experience with the models associating it with the brand. It widens the audience, allowing thousands of views from anywhere. Social media apps such as snapchat also has live streaming by posting stories. It again allows people from all over the world to check in and watch what is going on in fashion. The last topic I talked about, which was how fashion deals with race on social media and how it rarely shows models of color. When showing models of color on social media they are photoshopped to have lighter skin or shown in a stereotypical way that doesn’t help normalizing race in everyday culture. The purpose of social media in fashion is to promote. By including models of color on social media builds a stronger community  in fashion and while doing that will reach  as  a new audience and viewers. The key take away between demographics, celebrity endorsements, and race is that it all ties together and leads to the same point that fashion needs social media to keep their audience attentive and to make business successful.

Companies that are in fashion need to be growing with technologies and internet by adapting to it. Right now the biggest fashion industries are following 4 common social media trends to help raise sales. These are:  1. recognizing that your customer’s are telling the story, not you. Let them help with the brand image and this will help drive sales. 2. Make influencers a big part of marketing. The consumers trust other consumers more then they trust the company.  3. Work with other brands or companies to help promote each others brand and products. 4. Allow up-selling to occur on social media. Allowing fashion companies to follow these techniques for social media and incorporating it into the industry drives business.

Fashion industries have started to ask their customers what they want, and they reach them by social media. By asking them what they want out of the company, this allows them to promote the items through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media vehicles. This proved to have the consumer spend more on websites if they are more likely to get free shipping or something else out of it. Since online shopping is becoming more popular this puts a bigger emphasis on links on social media that will take you directly to a certain site or clothing piece.

Blogging is highly used in fashion industry and has become one of the biggest trends in the industry. The consumers go to blogs to get more knowledge about a brand, or a product as well as reviews. Now these blogs are used as research for fashion industries to know more about their brand and hear all the buzz that people are making. This gives fashion media research to use to set objectives and evaluation their company.  The main purpose of this is to allow the public to be the leaders of fashion-making instead of the designers or celebrities.

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Screenshot of Kylie Jenner promoting her new lip gloss

By analyzing all this information it is  notable that social media is a huge influencer on the fashion industry. Whether it is Dolce&Gabbana’s social media live stream of fashion week, Kylie Jenner’s Instagram of her nee lip gloss, or an African American model on a Facebook campaign for a clothing brand,  all these reach various constituents and continue to grow. The transition from traditional media to new media is adapting the industry and shows the grow of the industry as a whole by making these changes.

By: Corinne Schmidt

Professional Athletes: The New Fashion Icons

Around the world companies have used athletes to promote their brands since the 1930s, when baseball legend Babe Ruth endorsed a soft drink brand called Red Rock Cola.  Since then, the times have changed and social media has taken over in brand marketing and brand promotion.  The key for fashion brands is choosing the right athlete to endorse your product. These athletes need to seem like they would be an authentic customer of the product, fashion line, or service that they promote.  Trustworthiness and credibility for the brand are most important.  They need to be believed in the eyes of the public.  This results in fans and consumers buying the EleVen athletic wear that Serena Williams promotes on Instagram and the striving ballers purchasing the newest LeBron James Collection basketball shoes because LeBron states he is an all-around better player while wearing them.

Brands reaching into the social communities of these athletes is the smartest thing they can do.  Even an announcement from a brand signing a celebrity or athlete will make the stock prices of the company rise.  Just one endorsement can increase sales by 4%. Brands utilizing Usain Bolts social media accounts create a personal interest in his fans and followers.  TV commercials and billboards are easy to classify as staged productions, whereas Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profiles make the promotion significant and much more attractive to viewers.

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Follow @mariasharapova on Instagram to see how she promotes Nike

Maria Sharapova partnered with Nike to promote their brand.  Not only did she build a successful tennis career, but also a large number of followers across her social media profiles.  With 1.8 million followers on Twitter, over 15 million fans on Facebook, and 164,000 on Instagram, she is one of the most desirable athletes for endorsements. 

The Nike Jordan shoe brand has become one of the most successful athlete endorsement campaigns in history. In 2009, statistics showed that Jordan continued to boost Nike’s bottom line with the Jordan Brand taking 75% of the basketball shoe market, and a 10.8% share of the overall shoe market in the United States. Brands must pay more than $10 million dollars just to use his imagery!  The Nike Jordan fashion line now boasts clothing from athletic shirts and shorts to accessories that include socks, wristbands, headbands, hats, backpacks and of course basketballs. Air Jordan shoes are still one of the mostly highly coveted and highest selling items in Nike’s existence.  The iconography of the “Jumpman” logo combined with innovative designs and Michael Jordan himself revolutionized the Air Jordan brand and the look of basketball footwear forever.

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@kingjames endorsing Nike Air Jordan’s

Professional athletes have been endorsing products for years, but in the last decade athletes have started endorsing brands that have nothing to do with the sports they play.  Professional athletes such as Tom Brady and David Beckham have moved to endorsing brands that are trendy and fashion centric on their social media accounts.

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David Beckham modeling for H&M’s ‘BODYWEAR’ collection

Tom Brady is known for endorsing UGG boots.  This eventually skyrocketed the launch of UGG for Men with the help of a giant spread of him sitting against a wall in GQ magazine wearing the furry boots.  David Beckham is a big endorser of fashion lines for H&M clothing.  Bodywear by H&M suddenly became more desiring.  Both Brady and Beckham are not representing themselves as professional football and soccer players on social media but rather presenting themselves as models of desire in the fashion world.  This contrasts with the Michael Jordan brand because as models they are relying on sex appeal to endorse these products instead of athletic talent.        

By: Shannon Quinlan

Celebrity Benefits: Accessibility and Trust

When walking through a store, or checking certain fashion social media, you typically see familiar celebrities modeling for a particular brand. This is no accident.  When  you like, admire, or value a celebrity you also value what type of outfit they wear and want to replicate it, and the fashion industry has picked up on this. This type of endorsement gives fashion industries a huge advantage because of the exposure it gives to the company, corporation or brand. The use of social media that each celebrity uses promotes the brand and gives the followers a direct click to go straight to that brand’s page. This makes the company more accessible to consumers allowing them to be linked directly with the fashion site. Nowadays no one remembers a fashion campaign that doesn’t have a celebrity in it. The fashion industry thrives on using social media with celebrities to get consumer loyalty as well as product purchases.

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Most popular celebrity endorsements

Fashion is always changing. What is the “in” outfit one fall will be the “out” outfit next fall, and this is usually conveyed through social media. A celebrity’s social media account is where the newest trends of clothing are shown. When a celebrity shows off the first piece of clothing that is just released consumers go crazy and want to buy it. The consumers trust celebrities more than the company and this shows how  the groundswell works in the fashion industry. When the celebrity posts an attention grabbing instagram that gives off something appealing to the eye, it is more than likely people will buy the product being featured. This tends to happen at a higher rate when the celebrity happens to be attractive allowing the consumer to positively think about the company even before actually looking  at the clothing during this time. This type of endorsement through social media builds trustworthiness for the consumers and gives more of a humanizing factor to the celebrity because it is more reachable to the average person. The outcomes are more favorable if the celebrity is likable and ultimately increases the appeal of a certain clothing type or brand.

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Rihanna’s Instagram where she is showing off her new Puma sneakers

Brands of the fashion industry pay money and give lots of benefits to the celebrities that sign contracts with them. A typical endorsement, specifically for male athletes, make a clothing company millions of dollars depending on how many people ‘like,’ share or expose the post.The fashion industry has noticed that the traditional ways of shopping have changed, which has only put more of an emphasis of selling through social media. The fashion industry is tailored to celebrities to make it easier to promote their brands by the constant spread of information. As much as the consumer thinks the celebrity is raving about a brand on twitter, it usually is linked to that company. The horizontal revolution has actually helped the fashion industry because it allows consumers to actively see and be involved with fashion through social media.

By: Corinne Schmidt

Traditional vs. New Media

Social media has spread to millions of different users and is rapidly changing the ways that corporate communication, advertising and marketing reach their constituent groups. Consumers are waiting for companies to interact with them and use different social media platforms to do so. Before looking directly into the fashion industry, we need to recognize the role social media plays in corporate communication, advertising and marketing as a whole.

The concept of branding includes the association of a company or organization through the use of identity, reputation, and image. Companies have little affect on what their brand image can be, because it comes from the constituent groups. Social media has helped create this brand communication by a feedback loop that allows communication from these constituent groups directly to companies. Corporate communication, advertising, and marketing use the social media platforms to create a positive brand image, reputation, and identity for a company. The companies benefit from using social media for customer responses and brand promotion. Companies can no longer control word of mouth and this puts more emphasis on the importance of social media marketing. The most effective uses of social media are achieved through knowing your audience and using the right social media channels. An effective message through social media needs to use a single voice across channels that gives a clear image of your company. To have an effective social media strategy the company needs to know whom they are trying to reach. This falls along the lines of audience groups, and by using different channels, companies are able to reach a wider audience.

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A graphic of Old Media vs. New Media

Brand’s are at the center of the company, meaning that a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility must also revolve around the key objectives of the company. Corporate communication, advertising, and marketing promote the company’s impact on the external environment. They analyze what the current trends are, what the people are talking about, and then incorporate this into the company. By staying on track with the buzz of there company on social media they are able to keep this conversation going and evaluate their company from what is being said about them. This feedback stage allows them to evaluate themselves on where they want their objectives to be as well as allowing them for growth in the company.

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Social media is becoming a top influencer 

In the end, corporate communication, marketing, and advertising departments want sales to increase and more consumers to buy into a company or organization, all by promoting the value of a company. By implementing a strategic plan for social media and mass communication, the company can have a conversation with their consumers. This allows the consumers to engage on a personal level and allow a better understanding of what a company is all about.

By: Corinne Schmidt

Ready, Aim, Fire: Targeting Consumers

In recent years, social media has globally taken over and has become an extremely effective communication platform for companies to interact with and market to their consumers and potential consumers.

Social media has enabled people to have plentiful access to huge amounts of information, as well as being able to share it with others. This has therefore made it possible for consumers to avoid marketplace exploitation, meaning they are a lot less likely to simply believe traditional advertisements and are more likely to look into whether or not a product or service is actually worth their time and money. Other than this, social media

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Companies are able to highly target consumers through social media

has also made it possible to highly target consumers. Nowadays, companies are able to track a person’s online activities and use that information to determine their lifestyle, their demographics, and other factors that could influence what they are most likely to buy/use. Companies are then able to send their advertising messages to the exact type of customer they are targeting.

Using social media as a marketing tool also means that a brand has the potential to build its awareness among the public. Nowadays, a huge amount and variety of people are currently using the Internet in their everyday lives, meaning that it is easier for a brand to make themselves known amongst the public. By having large followings on social media sites, a brand is able to reach thousands, if not millions, of potential customers everyday.

There are two types of social media communication, in terms of marketing. One is paid. This is where the company pays for advertisements to show up online and on social networks, and the other is organic. Organic content is created by the company itself, and can often lead to something called earned media. Earned media is what happens when consumers share their opinions and promote the company with others, either online or by word-of-mouth.

By: Kirsten Matthewman