Utilising the Power of Influencers to Grow Your Niche Fashion Brand

By Mash Bonigala

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Fast Fashion and the Desire for More Style

Once upon a time, there used to be four seasons of fashion, a mid-summer and January sale period, and that was your lot. Now, for reasons such as Influencer and affiliate marketing, social media, and technological advances (drop shipping, digital platforms for creating fashion lines etc.) there are more and more niche fashion brands coming to market.

Online shops like ASOS and FarFetch too have also contributed to a growing number of start-up fashion retailers over the last five years. ASOS alone makes 52% from the 1000 brands it stocks, and 48% from its own sub-brands. ASOS’s product strategy led to a 32% profit increase in 2017, while also giving sub-brands a marketplace to stock, sell their products and raise their profile to a wider audience.

 

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Social Media and Influencer Marketing’s Impact on Fast Fashion

It’s not only the marketplaces that have given start-up brands and entrepreneurs an opportunity to grow, either. Social media has arguably become the hottest platform to advertise and find more style.

81% of audiences are influenced by friend’s posts, while 85% of audiences are influenced by celeb endorsements. (Source) This has given influencers the baseline to recognize two things:

The result is aspiring influencers, and now affiliate marketing utilizing the power of influencer marketing to generate mass sales from social media platforms. It’s the golden ticket affiliate marketing needed to sustain itself after plateauing, and it’s the new market from which audiences from millennial and younger are using to find style inspiration and the latest up-and-coming brand they can shop with.

These are the foundations in which Oh Polly, Pretty Little Thing, and more have built their social marketing strategies around, and it’s paying off! These brands have soared recently combining both a product strategy in fast fashion, with a social strategy in influencer marketing and maximizing 10x growth as a result.

 

But it is a strategical approach to fast-fashion and influencer marketing

Make no mistake, there is a methodology in what might look like the madness. When you take a deeper look at Oh Polly, and Pretty Little Thing, it might look like your general standard of clothing and influencers wearing them, but there’s more than meets the eye here.

This is their target audience, they have identified that millennial, social native audiences wish to look like your Jess Hunt’s, Stacey Amber Ward’s etc. and these are the product lines that suit the curvy, revealing and ‘sexy’ image they’re trying to portray to their target audience.

You can see the same with brands like vegan fashion accessory designer, Kuma Design. Their influencer strategy targets natural, holistic and more up-and-coming fashion influencers who are more intertwined with nature, rather than high-street fashion, due to their target audience being different. These influencers reflect the brand’s image, and identity, just like the above reflect Oh Polly and PLT.

By utilizing your brand with the correct influencers, you’ll reach more relative audiences, who are more likely to be interested in purchasing your products. Seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of brands with no coherent influencer strategy.

And the same can be said regarding the products. Especially for SMEs, who are young and agile enough within the growth to produce product lines within a fast fashion market that suit not only their brand style, but the influencers they’re working with.

By styling products and items for these influencers, they’re building fast-fashion relationships and long-term ambassadors with the people who have the voice and reach they need to grow their brand. The return to the influencer? The latest fashion styles given to them regularly, financial reward (if warranted), and the feeling of value – which is ultimately what we all want; customers, employees and influencers alike.

So, for the next product line think to yourself ‘who do I want to use/wear this? Which influencers reflect this, and how can this piece of fast-fashion make its biggest impact?

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