Have you ever heard the old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, neither are successful fashion brands. Building a successful fashion brand takes time… no matter what you may hear on social media. It also requires an awareness of fashion marketing trends, and the ability to customize campaigns in a way that feels authentic.
Fashion industry revenue decreased by a whole third in 2020. The industry is making a comeback and we’re almost back to pre pandemic numbers, but consumer expectations for fashion retailers are forever changed.
The result? Many retail brands have had to redefine their brand identity to pave the way for redefined customer priorities. These aren’t just retail marketing trends. They’re the future direction of retail as a whole. Let’s delve in.
5 fashion marketing trends that will become requirements
What’s changed with fashion retail marketing in the past three years? Consumers’ shopping habits have shifted to an extreme degree in a few core areas:
1. Sustainability & ethical labor: Customers have had a lot of time to redefine their shopping priorities. 93% of consumers say the pandemic has influenced their opinions on sustainability issues. The result? Humanitarian and eco conscious purchasing behavior to a never before seen degree in retail.
2. Products over brands: There are a few reasons for this. An upsurge in counterfeit products and rising customer awareness about greenwashing has consumers less willing to emotionally invest in brands. Add that to the rising rate of inflation and jobs lost from the pandemic and it starts to make sense why customers are now more interested in the functions of the product itself, rather than the brand that’s allegedly behind the product.
3. Spiritual meaning: In extreme circumstances, people turn to spirituality and religion. Spiritual and devotional product sales are on the rise. With brands touting slogans like “these products are infused with magic,” and everything from good luck bracelets to books for bible studies flying off shelves, it makes sense that spiritual and devotional product sales are forecasted to grow significantly between 2022 and 2029. This is a trend that I’m watching carefully as the impacts of global warming become more pervasive and extreme.
4. Mental health oriented messaging: Retail shopping and tending to your mental health aren’t an oxymoron anymore. Mental health awareness is a lot more than just a pervasive hashtag. It’s also quickly becoming table stakes for retailers that cater to next gen consumers. Whether it’s hosting a concert where the proceeds go to mental health awareness, or building an entire brand around mental health oriented messaging, retailers will need to find authentic ways to bring attention and funding to mental health awareness.
5. Finding the right niche: The old adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” is never more true than in retail. In the same way, the person who buys a book with gold leaf Christian inscription probably isn’t the same person who is going to buy a “screaming into the void” possum tee. It’s incredibly important for modern retailers to go a step further than just customizing their message by identifying the right inventory that resonates with their core customer base. Supplier diversity is key to retailers’ ability to source the right products.
The secret to fashion retail marketing? Agility
As we look forward towards the new year, it’s important to note that the above “fashion marketing trends” will soon become gold standards. However, as 2020 proved, even the most seasoned retailer has no concrete way to plan for every single variable. That’s why agility is the cornerstone of any successful retail marketing campaign — or business at large.
Remember how surreal it was to see retail ads with people attending concerts, maskless during the height of the pandemic? It makes sense that it happened… cash strapped marketing teams didn’t have the time, staff, or revenue to remake their ads in time to air. But how much more relevant did advertising feel that reflected the actual state of the world?
That’s why retail and supplier marketing teams need the ability to adjust their message at the drop of a hat. In the past, it was easy for retailers to manage their marketing message with paper and emails. Inventory was sparse, the supply chain was dependable, and things had been relatively the same for a very long time. This is no longer the case. The world is changing quickly –– as is customers’ mindset. Just look at how legacy retailers have had to pivot and scramble to recover from their (once popular) whitewashed, upper crust, unrealistically perfect advertising imagery. Times change and so do customer expectations.
The right fashion PLM is key to successful marketing
There’s a common misconception that product lifecycle management solutions have little impact on frontline marketing initiatives. Marketing teams often rely on customer data to find the right message and automation to share that message in a targeted way. But we often fail to see how internal communication, supplier diversity, and inventory visibility inform successful campaigns. So let’s be clear. The right fashion PLM solution can help suppliers and retailers communicate product attributes to create value for their customers. In a time where the product itself matters more than the brand producing it, the ability to clearly share what makes every single product amazing is key. But this isn’t easy for retailers and suppliers that work with hundreds or even thousands of unique items.
The right fashion PLM software can help retailers communicate with a diverse array of suppliers in seconds. Surefront’s product lifecycle management solution helps retailers and suppliers communicate the unique value proposition of every single product. Surefront’s fashion PLM solution has a SmartCatalog feature that lets you work right from the product image, where you can make notes, adjust parameters, and export data. Communication that used to take weeks takes just seconds and marketing teams always have the right product information. So, they can focus on customizing their message for unique audiences and hitting all of the sustainability and humanitarian touchpoints that modern retail customers demand.
It’s not a pipe dream. It’s just that supplier diversity, inventory visibility and swift communication becomes intuitive when you adopt the right product lifecycle management solution. Supply chain transparency can help your company ace fashion retail marketing trends in 2022… and beyond.
Jasmine Glasheen is Content Marketing Manager at Surefront. Glasheen is also a retail thought leader with a special focus on generational purchasing behavior. She has presented her thought leadership at industry events such as: The Ohio State Digital Solutions Gallery, ASD, The Perry Ellis International Sales Conference, Shop.org, the classrooms of NYIT, and many others. Find more of Glasheen’s unique insights at the Surefront Blog or on The Robin Report.
Ready to experience the difference of a retail PLM solution that allows you to swiftly interface with external suppliers? Surefront’s product lifecycle management solution was built by a retailer to service the retail industry’s unique needs. It’s time we got better acquainted. Book a custom demo with one of our product lifecycle management experts today!
Product lifecycle management is a quickly evolving industry with a lot of moving parts. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to. Stay ahead of news & trends by subscribing to our Product Lifecycle Management Blog.
You May Also Like
These Related Stories