I attended the inaugural State of Style Summit yesterday, hosted by fashion and style platform, StyleCaster. The event included some of the fashion industry’s biggest influencers and tastemakers, who discussed fashion and beauty’s changing trends in the digital age. Speakers at the event included Doug Zarkin, VP of Marketing at Kellwood Company (owner of Kaplow clients XOXO, Zobha and Baby Phat), accessories and clothing designer Rebecca Minkoff and Ann Shoket, Editor in Chief of Seventeen.
Here are some key takeaways:
Listen to Your Target Audience on Brand Social Pages:
One of the reasons social media users follow, like, or view brand pages is to be heard by the brand. Consumers regularly share their thoughts about what they like and don’t like about certain products or brand initiatives. Therefore, it is important for brands to listen and respond to these comments. For example, Rebecca Minkoff said she listens to consumer feedback from her social media pages when designing accessories. She once put up on Facebook a photo of a handbag she was working on and asked if it was too tough-looking. Based on consumer-response, she revised the design. Minkoff relishes the opinions of her brand advocates, because at the end of the day, they end up purchasing her products.
Accessible Aspiration – Style Experts, Models, Fashion Blogger Engagement:
When a brand partners with a well-known spokesperson to represent it, it’s important that the spokesperson engages in conversation with consumers via social media. Conversation, tips and tidbits from a style expert, celebrity, model, or blogger are considered a reward to the consumer. They appreciate the connection to these fashion figures because they are now on the same level and platform as they are, where before, these figures were inaccessible.
Consumer Experiences Help Shape a Brand’s Products:
Rebecca Minkoff discussed how the life experiences of her target audience shape the accessories she designs. For example, her best-selling “Morning After” handbag is based on the lives of women ages 20-29 who may be single, dating, or adjusting to life changes. Inside this purse is a faux business card with an image of a good-looking man and a number which connects to the Minkoff headquarters. By adding this personal touch and relating this bag to the experiences of her target audience, Minkoff adds a layer of authenticity.