Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fashion Involves Marketing Research too!

Who thought marketing research could apply to fashion week?

As reinforced in my complete article on the topic, Fashion Weeks off late have astounded me with the level of social media acceptance and usage that has been a catalyst in making fashion so much more accessible. Retailers and designers alike have truly harnessed this power to create nothing short of a racing phenomenon.


Fashion week shows today consist of a construction of minutely segmented moments of a collection, a speech, a look, a sentiment, an accolade and much more, all of which are instantaneously photographed, retweeted, shared on a social media platform, and bulge up to relay a magnanimous sense of real-time brand equity.

To think fashion week is classically an event for media and buyers, who often forget that the ultimate wearer is the consumer. To that benefit alone, social media can take credit for bringing fashion glitz and glamour straight into the lap of its owner. The mainstream consumer can now scratch the surface of fashion week, and even indulge into wholesome bites of the world of haute.

And this has been more the case this year than any other. While fascinating to recap the measures taken by designers and brands alike, my thoughts with the upcoming shopping season is this: how much brand loyalty has it really created?

Fashion week is a glittering example of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenburg’s economics-class-driven idea to boost consumer spending by engaging customer interaction with their favorite brands and brand endorsers, namely drool-worthy and idolized celebrities who grace the streets in the flesh to share the air with their fans. While shared across 700 countries, it is now an excuse to have a party, with stores carding at entrances and serving cocktails and offering live performances amidst littered clothing and accessories. From Armani Exchange’s tee distressing bargains to Kenneth Cole’s personal kick off amidst paraphernalia, brands lure and endure simultaneously.

In an upcoming post I'll speak of specifically how social media and consumer behavior marry to fashion in order to bring truly research based insights into the world of haute.

Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.

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