Communication depends a lot on the brands positioning and on the different objectives the company may have.

There are different levels of communication: 

  • the Product: in fashion and luxury it is seasonal collections
  • the Brand: that is the personality, the essence that goes beyond the single collection and makes the company recognizable and identifiable
  • the Company: the corporate level

Communication is a building sense: brand has to Transfer its value, to Tell its story and by selecting particular codes to Represent a dream lifestyle for a consumer…

Companies may have different objectives they want to pursue through communication. They have to create:

  • Brand Awareness, to be well known among consumers. Consumers have to associate the brands name with the product they are selling. To be known alone is necessary but not sufficient.
  • Brand Image, companies have to build relevance. They have to speak to those that are able to understand and willing to share the lifestyle they propose. They have to communicate to trendsetters and to the pool of aspirational customers that can understand the company’s value proposition.
  • Reputation, its mainly about communication at a corporate level with all the stakeholders (employees, clients, suppliers, investors, banks, local community, etc…) to inform their corporate strategies, about the numbers and what they do for profit; but as well for the planet and people. It becomes more and more important as a Corporate Social Responsibility.

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There are 3 Key Areas of Fashion Communication:

  1. Business and Trade
  2. Promotions and Publicity
  3. Representation in Mainstream Media

…that means is a complex set of activities with different levels of communication required and different competencies and attitudes required.

If we talk about Brand Awareness, we should review channels of Sell-in (wholesale) and Sell-out (retail). Brand Awareness is provided set of activities and Tools in fashion:

  • Advertising
  • Editorials
  • Catalogues
  • Pop material
  • Fashion show & events
  • Videos about seasonal products
  • Websites and social media apps

Brand Image is about developing Image Identity by another tools:

  • Logo
  • Heritage
  • Celebrity Marketing
  • Designer/Entrepreneur Spokesperson
  • Videos about craftsmanship, heritage,iconic products
  • Websites and social media apps

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Reputation of the brand gets created according to such important tools like:

  • Internal Communication
  • Investor relations
  • Charity and Foundations
  • Exhibitions
  • Eco-friendly and environment-friendly positioning
  • Websites and social media apps

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What makes Fashion’s Communication different from any other industry?

  1. The importance of images. Fashion is about visuals.
  2.  For designer brands images show only the seasonal products, the models and the logo, they dont have the pay-off.
  3. Thanks to the use of images fashion is a very direct and universal language.
  4. The fashion product is a communication code in and of itself. Through the product the designer represents the evolution of brand style.
  5. Images let customers interpret the communication and in turn give them freedom to give their own personal interpretation.
  6. Fashion companies do not only want to be informative, they also want to be emotional and inspirational.
  7. Non-verbal communication is much more effective and memorable than verbal communication.
  8. The role of designer is fundamental for fashion communication. Is the ultimate decision maker because the products will convey his or her own name.
  9. Celebrity connections are key.
  10. Companies sometimes need to be disruptive and innovate the language to create the buzz.
  11. Through direct control, fashion companies ensure total consistency of all the messages they convey and can guarantee the attention to details that makes all the difference.
  12. In-house control over a number of activities, from developing the advertising campaign to shooting; from planning media to the press office and organizing events. Fashion companies prefer to work only with single external professionals such as art directors, stylists, casting directors; rather than traditional advertising agencies.

Communication in fashion is different than in other industries.

Fashion VS Consumer Goods Communication

For Fashion Brands

Objective        → Brand image
Major Target → Opinion leaders
Planning        →  Seasonal
Focus              → Product, Emotional associations, Visual
Tools               → PR (editorials and ward of mouth)

Adv Media     → Printed magazines/videos
Events            → Fashion shows
Celebrities     → Endorsement
Budgets         → High as relative % on sales
Key Decision
makers          → Designer, art director, press office
External
Players          → Free-lancers (photographers,
stylists, fashion editors
Measure-
ments            → Press return


For Consumer Goods Brands

Objective        → Brand Awareness
Major Target →End users
Planning        →Yearly
Focus              → Story, Attributes, Benefits, Copy
Tools               →Promotions (trade discounts)
Adv Media     → “Classic” and interactive media
Events            → Sponsorships
Celebrities     → Testimonials/product placement
Budgets         → High as share of voice

Key Decision
makers          → Marketing or brand manager
External
Players          → Advertising agencies, media and research centers
Measure-
ments            → GRP (Gross Rating Points) and Sales

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