5 Strategies to Cultivate a Strong Fashion Community

Brand communities: Propelling growth

Today’s social media and digital marketing enable brands to reach out to a broader class of audience, dissect it, and create a following in sync with their priorities and vision. This following, or “brand community”, stands for a group of people engrossed in a particular label, going beyond a transaction, and playing a vital role in building and establishing brand recognition and loyalty.[1]

Leverage to lead

Just like any relationship, that with your audience must have strong foundations so that it can support your growth, and your community’s ambition.

Step 1: Stay relevant

People rarely invest their time in something that fails to add value to their lives. No matter what brand community you create, make sure your value proposition is useful, practical, and relatable to your end consumers.

Step 2: Engage through rewards

Brand communities are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Effectively engaging your band of followers will require talking to the variety of reasons they buy into your mission — whether this may be simply to contribute to the greater good, cultivate interests and skills, or even deeper, to find emotional support and encouragement.[9]

Step 3: Share real stories

The quickest way to the heart of your members is to tell your own, personal narrative — through client and employee-led perspectives — in an authentic way. Your followers will appreciate that you celebrate their accomplishments and often respond positively to such recognitions.[11]

Step 4: Use a more human approach

In the highly competitive fashion market, brands are looking to in-person, physical events, often with an educational or community-building tilt. The reason: they see it as an opportunity to forge long-lasting connections with shoppers.

Step 5: Eavesdrop on dialogue

Brand communities embody a symbiotic relationship. It forms a two-way communication and requires fashion firms to listen to feedback, observing conversations between fans. Today’s generation of shoppers, particularly Millennial and Gen Z consumers, are active, vocal and involved.

Case Study: Matter Prints

Singapore-based Matter Prints — a sustainable clothing brand reimagining classical design techniques such as woodblock printing and Batik — has been putting all five steps to good use (Figure 1).[18],[19],[20]

Authors: Naomy Gmyrek & Pietro Moro

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