PR and Marketing plays a support role to sales. It takes the cake when it comes to brand awareness which eventually translate to sales.
A fundamental principle of PR and marketing is establishing and nurturing relationships that is long standing with various players in the industry. For example the fashion industry has players such as buyers ( Consumers), Fashion experts, Government, media ( Traditional and New Media :- Bloggers, influencers, celebrities). Therefore it is important to leverage these relationships when developing your marketing strategy and executing.
Another core function of PR and marketing is to generate awareness of a brand to the right target using the right channels of communications. Without awareness no one will know your brand and will not buy or interact with it. Therefore it is important to distribute information and generate awareness among large audiences which will leave the impression that the brand is credible and trustworthy. This is where Publicist, bloggers and influencers come in.
Choosing an influencer, blogger or celebrity to be your Brand Ambassador plays an integral part of your business and it is very important to choose carefully and wisely depending with the message you want to channel out about the brand and how the target will react. It is important to have a plan that both of you win, however it is hard to measure sales results through PR and Marketing, the only measurable tool is the awareness, how many people saw the product? How many people reacted to the product? How many people show some interest whether they will buy or not? This is where digital media buying comes in and is taken into consideration so that your target can interact with your brand.
An individual will see an outfit outfit and will like it hence remember when they need an outfit made, another will see the outfit and buy it immediately or place an order, another will see the outfit and be the point of reference. All these are outcomes of PR and Marketing hence a bit tricky to measure tangible results unless your work is to aggressively sell through events and exhibitions.
It is very fundamental to identify your target hence be in a position to create key messages. A target can be gender based or lifestyle based depending with how you want to reach to your market. For example as a fashion designer what is your area of expertise? You need to identify a niche and capitalize on that. It can be Bridal wear or Men’s wear or Bespoke. Once you identify the target, you need to know their drivers hence come up with key messages that will be tailored to resonate with each target’s desired action. For example if your target spends time online shopping for products or specific brands then social media will be ideal place to position your brand. If your target relies on endorsement then the influencers come to play so that you reach out to your target. There is also a target that believe on having their own unique designs and will shy away from checking online since they do not want imitation. This is a target that need to be approached with a well thought out strategy instead of splashing everything online.
As a fashion designer you need to have goals and objectives that you want to drive your business. Once this is clear you will be able to position your products well in the market through use of social media influencers that best suit your needs, objectives and goals. Digital media space has become an integral communication channel that should not be ignored and the influencers are play a big part in showcasing fashion items.
Lastly let us not ignore the 4 Ps model of marketing
• Product – A product can be either a tangible good or an intangible service that fulfills a need or want of consumers. It is important that you have an idea of what product you are positioning in the market and what makes it unique from the rest before positioning it in the market. This will great influence who to use as your Brand Ambassador be it an influencer, media personality or celebrity.
• Price – This is the reason why everyone is in the business, to make profits right? This is where man hour, production cost, material sourcing etc come into play and determines how you are going to market your product as a fashion designer. Brands may need to be positioned differently based on varying price points, while price elasticity considerations may influence Do you prefer walk in customers or do you prefer using any influencer that comes your way it doesn’t matter who she targets? All these are fundamentals that should not be overlooked.
• Promotion – We’ve got a product and a price now it’s time to promote it. Promotion includes elements like: advertising, public relations, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, video marketing and more. Each touch point must be supported by a well positioned brand to truly maximize return on investment. Do not promote your product blindly ensure you have a strategy.
• Place – Do you position your product in the right place? At the right time? This is almost similar to promotion, you have to have a well thought out plan on this to ensure you reach your right target who will eventually translate to sales or referrals.
So what is the way forward
As a fashion designer when approaching an influencer or a celebrity ensure you are clear on what your objectives and goals are.
• Ensure you have a budget that is good enough to reach your target. You do not necessarily have to attend all fashion events as a vendor or use all influencers since other people have used them. Pick someone who you know will resonate with your brand, don’t choose based on the number of followers but based on how well they will interact with your target using your brand.
• How do you come up with messaging on your social media platforms or when you sign an agreement with an influencer to use your image? It is very important to create a content calendar with the influencer and use it as a bible of reference for a specific period of time. You as the designer need to take lead on this since you understand your product better than the influencer. It can be weekly or monthly depending with the campaign.
• Lastly ensure you have a contract with terms of engagement with the influencers you are using online. E.g The influencer needs to post an image with details of the product they are selling that is well thought out without sounding vague.