FASHION CONNECT: Engaging with Celebrity Fashion Fans

posted by Marie Dalton - Head of European Marketing14 Mar 2013

Recent research into the fashion habits of online shoppers found that 67% of people in their twenties followed a celebrity ‘fashion crush’ via social media, compared to 25% of people in their thirties. This trend appeared to impact the following of any fashion brands worn by the celebrity, with 73% of those under 30 using social networks to engage with the associated brands.

Our current Zoo resident Chris Perrett from iLikeOffers.co.uk, who conducted the study, believes there is a real opportunity for brands to engage with potential fans. “With people taking direct inspiration from celebrities on their wardrobe choices, fashion brands should be developing engagement strategies for the fan base of celebrities to identify key influencers.

“Twitter is the key in doing this – the research showed that people in their twenties use Facebook and Twitter equally to monitor brands, but are more likely to use Twitter to follow celebrities. ”

Some famous labels are engaging with their fans’ through potential celebrity style icons: Done mostly on Facebook, they will post images of celebrities wearing a piece from the latest collection accompanied by a link to the item in the online store.

It’s a great step forward but more could still be done; especially since 33% of respondents said they’d admire something their ‘fashion crush’ wore but do ultimately do nothing. Only 15% said they would hunt the item down and buy it no matter the cost.

One easy progression would be to add in a further link for a less expensive product by the brand, or from the same collection. This may help to reduce the risk of the consumer searching for a cheaper alternative from a competitor. Brands very rarely include any price information, which could turn off potential customers since 10% of those surveyed said they’d instantly think something a celebrity was wearing wasn’t within their price range and not investigate further.

It’s a similar story across Twitter, with many of the larger brands often posting photos of pieces snapped, but with no link to the product page, and without using hashtags when discussing the celebrity in question. This limits the potential reach, especially for trending topics such as award nights. For maximum impact the right product or brand needs to be put in front of the most engaged fans, simplifying the user journey and helping to initiate a conversion.

To help brands achieve this, iLikeOffers.co.uk uses a personalisation system to provide recommended offers to users in order to improve the relevancy. As Chris Perrett explains, “We are able to match an offer to a brand or product that a user has engaged with on Facebook, for example matching an offer for Rag & Bone leggings on sale at Bloomingdales to a fan of the designer.”

 This type of targeting is an industry first and is most successful for members of the site that are heavy users of social networks.

It is also evident from the survey results that celebrity icons are influencing more than just fashion, with respondents claiming it not only inspired hair and beauty ideas, but also their holiday destinations and the restaurants they eat at.

With celebrities always in the public eye, it’s now essential for associated brands to understand how fans are looking to emulate their icons across all aspects of their lifestyle. With this, comes a requirement for some serious data analysis of how these new potential target audiences can be reached across a variety of channels.

In this instance it may be the product, rather than the brand that’s important, which means businesses will have to work harder to get potential new customers to engage with them on a brand level as well. How many times have you seen a travel operator tweeting a link to a holiday that is currently hot gossip based on it being a celebrity holiday destination? Or even simpler, running a competition to capitalise on a trend that may only last a few days?

The celebrity culture is re-defining prospective customer bases; brands now need to be smarter with social media tools in order to enhance targeting capabilities and benefit from the increased segmentation.

Tags: The Zoo Project (22), Fashion (57), Publishers (37)

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