- With disrupted supply chains and sales and delivery halted temporarily due to strict lockdown restrictions, hard sales are off the table for most fashion brands.
- Every brand’s priority is to connect authentically with their patrons. Fashion brands have turned to social media channels to engage with their customers and ensure they remain loyal to their products.
- With people all over the globe at home, there’s no better time than now for retailers and brands to drive meaningful, long-term customer engagement via social media.
Livestreams, virtual runways, musical performances, styling challenges, and more — fashion businesses are finding unique ways to connect virtually with their customers in the middle of this pandemic. Engaging with patrons on social media channels has become the top priority for fashion brands across the globe.
Speaking to the Social Media Community
Running a fun fashion challenge is H&M’s way to stay connected. The high-street brand floated the #AtHomeWithHM challenge in April encouraging its followers to create an at-home look with themes like, Stripe Up Your Life and Kitchen Catwalk. The challenge has morphed into an opportunity for H&M and its customers to communicate with each other. The brand and its followers exchange notes on what they are missing during the lockdown, their current reads, their attempts at baking banana bread and their DIY yoga studios.
Other fashion labels like Alexander McQueen, Ganni, and Shrimps are running social media challenges too. Alexander McQueen, for instance, is giving people tasks with instructions and deadlines, helping its users kill lockdown boredom and keeping people hooked to their creations. By asking followers to create artwork that might get featured on the brand’s pop-up exhibition in August along with cash prizes, Ganni is encouraging people to stay hopeful about the future and look ahead.
By getting people to create and share work-from-home looks on their profiles, these social media challenges boost organic growth and visibility for brands. Besides being super engaging and fun, challenges are also a very smart strategy to cash in on the biggest fashion trends during lockdown— loungewear, sleepwear and activewear.
Livestreaming To The Rescue
Fashion designers Maria Grazia Chiuri, Virgil Abloh, Alexander Wang and others presented a 30-minute digital runway show on Youtube. The designers were joined by some of the top names from the fashion industry.
Digital live concerts, and virtual runway shows offer a slice of normalcy and community experience in these times. Live streams and video calls are also used to connect directly with consumers. Take Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty line, for instance. The brand that was launched this year had to cancel its promotional event because of the pandemic. Instead, they hosted a community video call on Zoom where selected participants and Rare Beauty employees connected with each other. The video call struck a chord with its users and today Rare Beauty Chats has become an essential part of their brand story.
Like how Rare Beauty had to think on its feet to drive customer engagement, Levi’s too had to reallocate its resources. The American denim giant had a whole campaign planned with annual music festival Coachella in mind. With the cancellation of Coachella, Levi’s launched 5:01 Live, an online concert series on Instagram to connect with fans and promote a sense of community.
Similarly, french fashion brand Chloe is using the live feature to curate a series of events for its 8.5 million followers — from live DJ to musical performances to Q&As. Hermes is sharing mini stories and Prada is hosting deep conversations about love, life and beyond.
Virtual Clothing Meets Video Game
As we know, seasonal collections of most of the fashion houses and designers are not going to be launched in the traditional way — at fashion week — owing to the pandemic. But Pierpaolo Piccioli-led Valentino is all set to launch SS20/PF20, with a twist.
The collection comprises of virtual clothing created by fashion photographer Kara Chung for Animal Crossing video game avatars! This is the lockdown-favourite video game that everyone is playing in their free time.
According to the photographer, people will soon get access to codes via Instagram stories that will allow them to dress their avatars in Valentino fluorescent dresses, puffer jackets, logo hats and other designs.