As the fashion industry moves through a period of transformation, user-generated trends and labels are giving way to styles that echo classic glamour and luxury. As a result, fast-fashion houses have been experiencing a decline in brand value, leaving luxury labels and formal collections to take the lead. This article with explore the effects that this change has on the fashion industry, and consider how fashion-forward consumers are reshaping brands to meet their needs.
1. A Changing Landscape: The Impact of Fast-Fashion on Brand Image
The world of fashion is shifting. The impact of innate consumer demand for constant freshness in apparel is driving the fast-fashion market forward.
It brings with it a challenge to brands who must stay on-trend and up to date with the latest fashion styles. For some, it’s business as usual, developing their signature styles to cater to their devoted following. For others, they are forced to change their approach. Brands now have to be able to rapidly respond to the expectations of the consumer, create new iterations of their own designs, and provide variation to keep their offerings fresh and exciting.
- Quick Turnaround: Fast-fashion companies can bring new trends to the market in as little as three weeks compared to traditional fashion houses which generally take 6 months.
- Broader Audience: Fast-fashion relies heavily on marketing to gain the attention of a much wider audience than traditional fashion houses.
- Higher Volume: While traditional fashion houses commonly create limited releases and make them available to a niche clientele, fast-fashion seeks to create higher volume sales.
2. High End Perks: Rethinking Luxury Brands
For years, luxury brands have relied on the same upscale offerings to entice shoppers and keep them coming back for more. But the growing diversity in the global citizenry has meant that brands have had to rethink traditional concepts of luxury. High end perks have become the new way of delighting customers and reaffirming your brand values.
To truly hit the mark with high end perks, start with the basics: exceptional customer service. Ensure front line staff receive the knowledge and training they need to deliver personalized and authentic service. Show customers you value their business with generous discounts on special days, exclusive and invite-only events, or special promotions throughout the year. These small gestures demonstrate that customers are being valued for more than just buying products.
- Personalized customer service
- Generous discounts on special days
- Exclusive and invite-only events
- Special promotions throughout the year
And if you’re looking to go a step further, immerse shoppers in an experience that resonates with the values of your brand. Make luxury tangible with ‘experiences’ such as master classes, workshops hosted by national celebrities, gifting services, or takeaway kits. These unique offerings ensure customers are truly immersed in an intimate and memorable brand experience.
3. Beyond Brand Value: Why Fast-Fashion Needs a Change of Perception
When talking about the importance of sustainable fashion, the debate tends to focus on the environmental impact of production. While this is paramount, it overlooks the wider issue of how this often fast-paced fashion industry is affecting our views on clothing. It is having an increasingly negative influence on our perception of what is valued when it comes to fashion.
Fast-fashion has lowered our expectations of what clothing represents. Its low prices mean we view clothing differently to the way we used to – products goes in and out of fashion at a rapid rate, and we no longer see garments as something to treasure for a long time. It has become a disposable commodity, with people no longer caring where it came from and who is creating it. Furthermore, the constant availability of new trends means there is now an emphasis on buying something new for every occasion, rather than trying to innovate with what already exists in our wardrobes.
- Brand Value: fast-fashion industry is affecting our views on clothing, and lowering our expectations of what it represents
- Disposable Commodities:clothing has become a disposable commodity, with people no longer caring where it came from and who is creating it
- New Trends: constant flow of trends has resulted in an emphasis on buying something new for every occasion, rather than trying to innovate with what exists
4. Securing Success: Investing in Sustainable Practices for Long-Term Brand Value
As businesses grow, investing in sustainable practices is integral to success. For long-term brand value and longevity, understanding the importance of sustainability is key. Here are a few of the best practices that companies should be incorporating:
- Educate team members on sustainability best practices. Dedicate team meetings to discussing initiatives that foster sustainable behavior.
- Maximize efficiency in the workplace by implementing workflow automation that creates time and resources for sustainability programs.
- Develop an external communication plan to raise awareness of sustainable efforts and initiatives.
- Create digital marketing campaigns to target potential and existing customers who are sustainability-focused.
- Partner with nonprofit organizations or volunteer with projects that create value for all stakeholders.
Sustainability is no longer a trend, it’s becoming essential to staying competitive. Leveraging sustainable practices to differentiate your organization will not only bring long-term value to your branding, but also benefit the environment and community around you. Investing in sustainability is a key action businesses can take to ensure success in the ever-changing economic climate.
The impact that luxury and ethical fashion brands are having on the traditional fast-fashion industry is undeniable, as more people are becoming conscious of the environmental and ethical consequences of their clothing purchases. As the distinction between luxury and fast-fashion becomes more clear, the trend of luxury and ethical brands over fast-fashion houses is expected to continue in the coming years. With the demand for more sustainable and ethical clothing on the rise, it’s clear that these brands will be the ones on everyone’s radar.