Rishi Sharma, Assistant Vice President Marketing, Birla Cellulose and Head Digital, Brand Liva highlights key strategies that fashion brands should adopt when designing a marketing plan
As the pandemic brought the world to a pause, fashion was one of the most affected industries. As fashion purchases became low on consumer priority, there were other challenges due to the lock downs which resulted in store closures and supply restrictions impacting demands. This led to a dilemma as it was unprecedented, unexpected and the worst of it, with no reference from the past what-so-ever.
We were going to face a new world order. It is said, it takes 21 days for a change in behavior; we were locked down for 60 days.
As it is said every cloud comes with a silver lining, this time period gave us an opportunity to think radically. We observed that consumers found innovative ways to keep themselves engaged and social media, OTT platforms, health apps etc. saw a surge in consumption.
At Liva, we kept ourselves away from product communication during this period and went big on digital with social media campaigns like, #WFH campaign, World Earth Day or celebrating Mother’s Day. We also used technology for virtual web series with designers. We maintained the positivity for the brand and kept engagement high.
The objective was to engage with the audiences in a meaningful way, and not push the agenda of business. With fashion weeks going online, and physical interactions coming to a standstill, we’re making our way through the new normal.
To ensure our strategy remains relevant and evolves basis the need of the hour, Liva conducted a nationwide consumer study. We released a research report, “A Brave New World,” detailing these findings and inferences for brands and industries at large. The marketing plan is based on the report’s observations and recommendations. A few of the highlights are
Content And Communication
While we all know content is the king, breaking the clutter is difficult. The consumer was already consuming enough content from different sources. Hence, we used search trends to keep ourselves relevant. We observed searches for quarantine style and work from home fashion had gone up, we formulated our content around the same. We found that when content is positive and purposeful, it gets picked up well.
Social Media Channels – Facebook & Instagram
Social media is the biggest channel in the world of connections right now. Through a consumer survey conducted by Liva, it was found that 49% of the consumer’s go-to solution for boredom during quarantine was social media and 23% of consumers looked up stories around quarantine styling and fashion.
Social media platforms have proved to be effective for fashion brands to building awareness and attract the attention of the consumers. An effort has been made by brands to retain their loyal audience while also striking a chord with consumers, partners, etc. Brands have expressed their support in these difficult times, thus spread the love and goodwill via interactive posts and social media campaigns.
When it comes down to connecting with the audiences, there are new rules of engagement – webinars, webcast, VR etc. have proved to be more engaging for the audience. We leveraged this trend and launched a web series, In Conversation with Designers, to engage with brands, partners and even the student fraternity.
Future & The New Normal
Marketing will see a lot more use of newer technologies and will have to embrace the virtual world. We’re going to see a revolution of the digital age, where social commerce, video commerce, AR & VR will be the new reality. Offline shopping will take some time to return and online experiences will define customer purchases. Wish list option on websites, online preview sales for loyal customers, technology for online trails is going to be the future of the fashion and retail business.