What do brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gucci all have in common? They all have die-hard brand loyal fans. But why? A recent study conducted by Ello Media in the UK concluded that 3 in 5 people feel loyalty towards a particular fashion brand. With 60% of people indicating loyalty to brands, it is clear that customer loyalty is particularly strong in the fashion industry.
There are several factors mitigating loyalty in the fashion market, such as accessibility, types of brands, and environmental impact. Here are some keys to building customer loyalty in the fashion, first is identifying the right audience.
There is a huge audience for designer fashion brands, which often feature high-end materials with a distinguishing marquee or label. These businesses tend to promote a high level of brand loyalty. Customers are not just purchasing these brand items for the products themselves, but for the prestige and unique customer experience.
Many of these luxury brands opt for a more curated, hands on approach as they tend to appeal to more affluent consumers. However, to appeal to varying income levels some of these designer brands offer mass market, more affordable versions of their high-end designer clothes. A great example of this Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Brands like H&M, Zara, and Topshop fall under the category of fast-fashion. These are companies that mass produce affordable versions of designer brands with cheaper materials. There is fierce loyalty to these brands because of their ability to provide top trends for an affordable price.
Loyalty programs are very prevalent among fast-fashion brands. H&M is often considered the reigning champion of fast fashion, offering a basic points-for-purchase customer loyalty program. These points can be used to redeem discounts, special offers, and specials on shipping and returns. This customer loyalty program appeals to the consumers of theses items who typically do not fall under the affluent category. Although fast-fashion is very popular it does come at an environmental cost.
Fashion is not only about what people are wearing but the lifestyle the clothing promotes. Back in 1998 Chip Wilson opened a dual design and yoga space. This endeavor has morphed into the activewear lifestyle brand known worldwide as Lululemon. Chip wanted to create not only a clothing company but a community. In tandem with it’s elite workout gear Lululemon participates in community outreach, offers yoga classes, and a network of inspiring ambassadors. No wonder this brand boasted $1.17 billion in revenue this past quarter!
Many brands are turning to sustainable transparent practices in their manufacturing processes. One such company making an impact is Toad and Co. According to Toad & Co’s website, the apparel industry is the fourth largest polluter of air and water on the Earth. Which is why they offer 100% sustainable clothing that is not only environmentally friendly but also fashionable.
They also offer reusable shipping. Customers can choose to have their packages delivered in a reusable pouch that can be easily returned and used to ship other orders. We were proud to work with Toad and Co. on their customer loyalty solution, helping this company reward loyal customers who support a great sustainable brand.
As environmental concerns increase consumers are looking for ways to purchase clothing in a more ethical manner. One of the best ways to do that is to buy second hand. Thanks to ecommerce buying second hand does not have be a trip to the local thrift shop. Companies like ThredUp offer consumers affordable access to gently used name brands. Users of the site can send their old clothes to Thredup and earn cash for their clothing. Thredup even carries luxury brands.
It is essential that fashion brands use omni-channel marketing strategies and increase their presence across social media platforms. Everlane is a brand that has gained a strong following on Instagram. Their page boasts sleek posts showing their sustainable ethical clothing line in varying global settings along with fashion and cooking tips.
American Eagle’s lingerie offshoot Aerie’s account features positive body image and photos of diverse women of varying sizes and ethnicities. This allows Aerie to resonate with a larger more diverse audience and do so directly.
Consumers have more access to fashion today than ever before with the growth of ecommerce. Many longstanding fashion brands have created ecommerce strategies that allow consumers to purchase fashion items and experience their brand. Some brands have even shifted from brick and mortar to exclusively digital platforms such as American Apparel.
Other brands like lingerie company Thirdlove and vintage inspired retailer Modcloth were conceived and only exist in digital format. Although purchasing clothing online may seem like a bad idea to those worried about size and fit, many of these brands have taken on that challenge and offer hassle free returns and exchanges.
Apps are an integral piece to the ecommerce puzzle. Many fashion brands offer easy to use applications for mobile devices. These applications alert users of upcoming sales, exclusive offers, and the arrival of new goods.
Many of these apps are integrated with loyalty rewards programs for the brand. Express allows users to take a photo of any outfit they see and then offers suggestions of pieces by Express that closest match the trend in the photo. Interesting tech integrations like these are an integral part to the growth of ecommerce and loyalty world.
There are several different approaches to customer loyalty in the fashion world. There is the staple points program such as the one used by H&M. Victoria’s Secret has the Angel’s Card; a credit card that doubles as a loyalty card and gives customers access to exclusive deals and points. TOMS has a socially motivated reward program. For each pair of shoes purchased a pair is given to a child in need. It’s brands like these with innovative loyalty strategies that make the difference in the fashion industry.
In order two promote customer loyalty for your fashion brand, it is important to make sure your products are accessible by utilizing apps, social media, and ecommerce platforms. It is also crucial to understand what type of fashion you are promoting and how consumers react to varying types of fashion.
In addition, be sure to consider environmental factors and how your brand can create and ethical and sustainable impact. Annex Cloud can help you take your fashion brand to the next level! Allow us to create a loyalty program suited for your fashion brand’s specific needs with your consumers in mind. Talk to us today!