It is no surprise that with increased living standards and wages, more and more people are getting hooked on to fashion. However, fashion has become far more flexible too. From being a luxury revolving around the upper classes to now being consumer-centric, it has started catering to people and their personal choices. Customization, the term for accommodating personal choices, is taking over and combining fashion with the marketing world. Customized marketing involves tailoring the messages of the brand according to the audience. This way, a brand tries to get closer to the customer and occupies the top of the mind recall during the buying decision. Usually, customization is directed toward high net-worth customers i.e those people who are likely to buy big-ticket products.
Customization is the King
With so many luxury brands around, even luxury now isn’t exclusive, the customer is spoilt for options. So, how would a brand please them? Many companies realise that customization is the key to success in the fashion world.
As the world of fashion evolved, industry leaders realized that each customer is different from the other. A corollary of this theory is that there are diverse customer subsets.
Let’s take the case of a popular clothing brand targeted toward teenagers living in big cities, who like going outdoors and exploring things.
One way to target this group is to send a uniform message hoping to get good results.
This strategy works but is quite expensive. Messaging could be improved if it could be tailored according to a common taste, attitude or belief of a subset of the above-mentioned group.
Let’s step backward and identify one single trait that unifies a large number of teenagers among this target audience.
Could it be linked to Rihanna’s new makeup line in a way? or a take on the new Gillette ad? Teenagers are up-to-date with everything viral!
So, a smart fashion brand crafts a message around the trends and targets this subset. This messaging could be in the form of an event or airing radio shows centred around the viral trend.
Many companies who are budget conscious do an even more micro-targeting.
Fashion and apparel companies often market their branded tote bags through custom gear. This kind of messaging is sharp, is mobile and talks to the consumers directly. This form of communication has the zing and takes the brand directly to the customer. Often, it fetches results, particularly in peer groups.
Benefits of customized fashion
- As seen earlier, a tailored message brings the brand closer to the customer. This needs to be the focus for fashion since fashion is often perceived as a luxury and to increase the market, fashion needs to appeal to more people on a personal note.
This form of messaging is increasingly being adopted by fashion companies using digital campaigns.
Normally, a mass email campaign has a very less open rate and most of the messages in this campaign end up going into the spam folder.
However, when a campaign is personalized, its click/ open rate increases dramatically. People are more likely to not just read your message but act upon that too.
- Saves money
Advertising is often regarded as a wasteful exercise and it is difficult to predict numbers. In the case of the fashion industry, the jobs become even more difficult. Fashion isn’t a cheap industry anyway. Luxury brands only have a small target group, and clothing, despite being a need, remains pricey!
But marketers want results in a tangible form. They want to know how many units of a given product would be sold at the end of a particular campaign. Marketers want ROI in tangible terms.
A tailored communication burst tells us real time about the results. In the customized tote bags example, it is very easy to track how many of them were sold and to whom. Now, this has multiplied gains.
- Working on the database
Now that the youngsters have bought those wonderfully designed tote bags, they become potential customers of future products and services of the same company.
The tote bag company can send mailers and other promotional material to the buyers of new product launches, brand extensions and other activities. Various marketing experts say that this form of follow-up marketing often fetches great results.
Customization focuses on an extremely narrow set of customers in the fashion world. It is cost-effective and brings the customer closer to the brand. Makers of fashion apparels often use this form of advertising to sell their products. Buyers acquired through customized marketing are more likely to buy new products and services from the same company in the future. In short, fashion industry and customization go hand in hand.