Traditional retail is dying and the research work is dire for small independent design houses. With the speeding global competition from e-commerce big shots like Alibaba, retailers dealing with traditional methods find it a struggle to stay on-board.
With the ease of return, product variety and convenience, persuasive e-commerce stores have a top edge over design houses.
Consumers have become so accustomed to the “everyday low price” model of online shopping that they will go out and about their comfort area only when there is an irresistible deal or price-drop at a brick and mortar store.
This has impacted the business of fashion apparel and other retailers unfavourably, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Is it all gloom and doom for independent apparel retailers and boutiques?
Call it luck, there is light at the end of every tunnel.
Independent design houses have tarred and feathered because of swarming clothing deals and apparel ads online. With the sole vision of selling their creations, these independent designers fail to establish the needs of fashion apparel customers. Expectations of the consumers have changed from buying clothes once in a while to buying budget friendly clothes every now and then.
THIS IS WHERE CONTENT MARKETING COMES IN.
Content marketing is defined by the Content Marketing Institute as a“marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
It involves the creation, organisation and dissemination of content that provides value to customers throughout their entire life cycle.
As a result, every brand should develop a marketing strategy to solve problems, reduce load and increase value of the customers.
How can these independent, Small and Medium Enterprises embark on content marketing?
I. STRIKE A PERSUASIVE BRAND STORY
The first thing on the list is publicising about your story. In involves painting a bigger picture of what your brand is about, its history and the beliefs it abides by. As an aesthetically focused brand, fashion boutiques need to spin an enchanting brand story infused with their unique heritage, traditions, design inspiration and craftsmanship.
Ted Baker is an example in the history of innovative and inspiring campaigns, including experiments with Instagram stories and a shoppable video directed by Guy Ritchie.
Taking marketing to another level, Ted Baker launched a Spring/Summer campaign in 2017 with ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’ – a sitcom of 8 episodes over Instagram. Users were encouraged to come back daily to partake in challenges that were released with each episode.
Alongside the episodes, Baker’s items for purchase were browsable and shoppable through a 360° video, making it so engaging.
II. ADAPT A RECONCILED BRAND LOOK
To complement your brand story, your boutique needs to have a specialised look and feel. In the fashion industry, jo dikhta hai who bikta hai...
Engross a graphic designer (or be one) to create a classified yet memorable brand identity. Ascertain that the same look is used over all your marketing, distribution and retail channels.
Using right imagery and designs is not rocket science. Also, consider your brand’s undertone – Urban chic or Sophisticated, Raw or Refined? Choose the one which suits your brand identity.
An outstanding example of reconciled brand aesthetics is Etsy. You can tell an Etsy product from far with just a glance, needless to look at the shop signage or logo.
III. BE A STYLE GUIDE
IV. CURATE LATEST FASHION TRENDS
V. HIGHLIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS
VI.USE AUGMENTED REALITY FOR A BETTER OUTLOOK
VII. ENGAGE FASHION INFLUENCERS
VIII. SHOW WHAT GOES INTO PRODUCTION
IX. EMBRACE PINTERST AND INSTAGRAM
X. HIRE AN EXQUISITE PHOTGRAPHER (or become one yourself)