The fashion industry is perhaps one of the most appealing in the world – and in terms of eCommerce stores, is certainly one where other verticals look to for inspiration.
Branding for online shopping — especially for fashion — is everything. You don’t need million-pound budgets, mainstream celebrities, or the top creative agency’s involvement to brand yourself online, either, but you do need more than just a logo.
In determining your brand story, you need to ask:
- Who are you? How did your company come to exist? What are your vision, mission, values, and what is your working culture?
- What do you do? What’s the product you provide? Why’s it different/better?
- Who are you doing this for? Who is your audience? (This is huge, so much more on this below)
- Why do you do it? What are your larger goals? Not just what product/service you provide but how that benefits your customer – e.g. “our clothes make women feel empowered”
- Where are you going? How are you evolving and working to create the best product for your customers?
In the “winner takes all” fashion vertical, competition is fierce and so games are raised. Creating a brand that people love, and look forward to hearing from is essentially the battle.
Know your audience
To tell your brand story, first and foremost, you must know your audience. The more detail you can get about who and where they are, the better. In particular, ask internally what we know of:
- The hobbies and interests they have
- The circumstances they relate to
- Their lives and responsibilities
- The media they read
Continue to ask questions around these until you can all envision your ideal customer in your mind. Be as specific as possible when it comes to describing this ideal person, write down the details and display them.
Take our client, The Essential One, a high-quality baby and children’s wear company. They know that their customer often first comes to them when they’re either pregnant or have just had a first baby. This customer has a clear set of unique needs. They tend to be:
- Time poor
- Going through a life-changing milestone
- Looking for quality products
- Shopping in a market that’s saturated with an abundance of items they’re told they need
Their brand ethos is clear. They’re committed to an understanding of their customer’s needs – they wanted to be supportive and advisory to the ‘New Mum’ group, knowing how overwhelming this customer’s point-in-time can be. In fact, the whole concept – The Essential One – is hoped to be a sanctuary from the majority of this marketplace, where new parents are sold many non-essentials in the guise of ‘must-haves’
This ethos is clearly visible on every page of their site. This was a clear objective of theirs from the outset, to reflect their brand values across the site: Shown in the About Us section – Our Family – which was leveraged with a Magento static block. Giving their audience the ‘personal touch’ family-esque values their brand entails.
Tell your brand story on social
In the world of fashion on social, the bland will be ignored. Our client Simmi uses their Twitter feed not only to drive sales, but also to show who they are: fun, on-trend, young, and sociable.
monday mood ☕ pic.twitter.com/ZCBT0kNkCR
— SIMMI (@SimmiShoes) November 19, 2018
Simmi’s brand is unapologetically female, and for those that have big nights out, worthy of their dressy heels. The brand allows for “girly” to be strong and independent too.
all things girly 💕 pic.twitter.com/lTC1NUb02N
— SIMMI (@SimmiShoes) November 18, 2018
Through Simmi’s use of social, they also create a sense of urgency with discounted shoes, totally aligned with their fast-fashion brand story.
— SIMMI (@SimmiShoes) January 2, 2019
How can you tell your brand story on social?
- Be personal, always remember: people want to connect with people, not brands
- Use original images that tell your brand story in your voice
- Empower your community to tell your story through their eyes – encourage social sharing of products