Brand Image and Communication
in the Fashion Industry
Few things speak as loudly without saying one audible word as fashion. However, in the fashion industry, where communication and brand identity are conveyed through tangible and intangible features, functionality matters far less than brand symbolism.
Making new concepts desirable in the eyes of consumers can only be done with effective communication that makes the audience feel informed and like they have an influence on current trends. According to the Fashion CEO Agenda 2021, ‘traceability’ is an internal enabler that advocates for transparent communication to stakeholders as well as the public.
There has been a global shift towards inclusive storytelling within the fashion industry to help promote clear communication and boost brand image. Even practices like interpreting at Fashion Week have changed to include these shifts. But how and why have communication strategies shifted within the fashion industry? Read on to learn more about the new age of brand identity and communication for fashion brands!
McKinsey & Company refers to a type of ‘radical transparency’ that’s bound to become more pertinent for fashion brands as the demand from the public grows. Fashion brands like the H&M Group-owned Arket, which offers detailed information about their supply chain policy and suppliers, are paving the way toward a transparent communication strategy success story to boost brand image in the long run.
Facts, stats, and numbers do paint an accurate brand image story, but it rarely tells the entire story when it comes to the fashion market. Fashion designers that use compelling stories and narratives bring their brand image to life through communication efforts. Storytelling should be deployed in the social and environmental space where audiences can be engaged at each step of the value chain.
Mea Culpa marketing, which is a brand image strategy that sees brands acknowledging their own shortcomings, takes things a notch up from ultimate transparency. Danish label GANNI partially pioneered this strategy when they shared their ‘Good on You’ sustainability rating in 2020. The campaign admitted that GANNI’s offerings weren’t always ‘good enough’. Public honesty in the fashion business on this level can boost brand image and cultivate a new sense of trust in a carefully curated and polished brand image.
Employ Strategic Communication to Boost Brand Image
As with any other project, you can't hope to see any tangible results or changes in your brand image if you don't have a clear goal. If you don't know what kind of content to create for your fashion communication strategy, you can always draw a little inspiration from other brands in the fashion industry. Essentially, you need to determine where to start building your presence and brand image, where you'll share your content with your audience, and how you'll engage with them on these platforms. As a master in fashion creative direction nicely explains, professionals in this field should take care of steering a brand through the conceptual universe guided by its values, messages and personality.
Pick the Perfect Platform
Keep in mind that your fashion communication strategy will only enhance and build brand image if you're using your audience's preferred channels to share it. Have a look at the latest fashion industry statistics to help you gauge your typical audience profile. These metrics will help you better understand whether you need to promote your brand image and content on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram and on just how many of these platforms you need to establish a presence. Remember that every social media platform has perks and drawbacks, and it's essential to weigh these up when creating a content strategy for your brand.
Localize Your Communication
Although a fashion designer caters to a specific niche of the global audience, they don't speak the same language, and their cultural expectations can have a significant impact on how they perceive your brand. In order to engage audiences from different regions across the world, fashion companies need to localize their content. Localizing your marketing communication will make it feel like your audience isn’t just reading a translated version of an English marketing campaign, but instead, an article that was crafted with their specific expectations in mind.
According to the Ultimate Guide to Localization, the vast majority of consumers prefer supporting and engaging with brands that provide content in their native language, centered around their culture. You should work with a language services provider that specializes in localization for this since it goes way beyond the mere traditional concept of translation. When done correctly, your localized content will engage a target audience from a variety of demographic areas with content relevant to their cultural and linguistic expectations.
Consider Influencers to Boost Brand Identity
By reviewing and recommending your products, influencers can help drive sales. Similar to celebrity advertising, it's also a great way to promote your brand image to a different group of potential customers outside of your target market. Some of the best fashion marketing strategies combine the power of social media communications and influencers. And as we all know, having the right people on your team is one of the best ways to boost your own reputation.
Any fashion brand that wants to market its products in the global market needs excellent communication strategies to engage audiences from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. But without smart strategies for that content and brand identity expansion, it's pointless.
In this post, we've listed a few of the basic (yet most effective) communication strategies that you can harness to boost brand identity in the eyes of your target audience, promote your products on the international stage, and boost brand loyalty.
With a little careful planning, an external hand or two, and a dash of creative juices, structuring your communication efforts to promote brand image isn’t that hard after all!