Fashion Technology Accelerator and BIP organized a dedicated workshop to investigate the topic.
The importance of having a brand community has taken many fashion brands by storm.
In Fashion Technology Accelerator, we are so passionate about this topic that we organized a workshop for fashion industry professionals in collaboration with BIP, a leading management consulting company.
Participants coming from leading brands and startups had to develop a plan for a brand community dedicated to two different buyer personas.
This task was achieved using various methodologies, including design thinking and rapid prototyping using Legos.
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Now, let’s discover more about the fashion brand community world with real examples and tactics coming from the industry.
As social media gets deeper into society, more fashionistas use different platforms and activities to share their passion for a specific brand.
According to Wikipedia:
A brand community is a community formed on the basis of attachment to a product or marque.
It is a pretty broad definition, but you could ask yourself some questions. The aim is to create a bond with your network.
What about your brand? Are you communicating with your buyer personas and creating a real sense of belonging? What could you improve?
Let’s see why fashion brands and startups need to rely on communities. What is the added value from such connections and what you can do to improve?
Madewell encourages its customers to share user-generated content about their products for a reward, using the hashtag #everydaymadewell.
By receiving and analyzing those reviews, Madewell learns about its customers’ preferences and spot potential improvements for future designs.
Another valuable example is Everlane, as its Instagram account expands a strong brand identity focused on transparency and ethics.
Everlane blends proprietary content and those that are sent by clients, adding social proof to their communication.
Stitch Fix maintains a popular Pinterest board, where it is possible to browse different fans’ styles. This creates additional opportunities to discover the brand and its relationship with the most active customers. Adding value to its unique selling proposition in a relaxed environment.
Supreme is able to communicate a sense of belonging to their clients, going beyond design and collaborations. Their strategy has brought streetwear fans to crave for any news about the brand, creating high expectations and a growing attachment to the brand.
Customers of Supreme perceive to be part of a tribe with shared values and mission. While they mix their style with other brands, such as Gucci or Balenciaga, they don’t actively look for alternatives when it comes to streetwear.
Interestingly enough, the brand even allows external websites to keep track of drops and restockings, which testify the incredible attention given to their products.
The Giving Keys
For example, the Giving Keys is very active on Instagram. The jewelry company has created a variety of popular hashtags, such as #Giftsthatgiveback, which strengthens the brand identity and their touchpoints.
In the Nike Run Club, users can join a group in a nearby location, receive dedicated coaching and optimize their performance. All this happens inside a branded environment, strengthening Nike’s value fo these customers and reducing reasons to buy from any competitor.
North Face is famous for product quality, style and close ties with athletes coming from different worlds.
The brand appeals to numerous personas by employing specific testimonials. Think of sub-categories such as rock climbing, snowboarding or running.
Glossier claims to be treating every customer as their influencers. They talk about honesty and transparency in their communication. They rely more on their most active fans on Instagram instead of famous testimonials.
This is paired with an effective referral program that strengthens its brand image. Thanks to a refreshing communication strategy emphasizing real people instead of celebrities.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider community exists solely to discuss and review the latest cosmetic products from the company, creating a active space to discuss their ideas on make-up and about the brand.
As we have seen, impactful communities are a powerful resource for any brand. Underestimating the phenomenon could be detrimental in the long run.
A recap for your startup or fashion brand:
– Maximize how you leverage social media
– Attract community members through tailored activities, online and offline
– Employ the right influencers
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