Opinion

7 fashion experts predict the future of fashion branding

By Nikki Chapman | 22 June 2016

We asked some of the industry's leading trendsetters to give us insights on why fashion brands will need to step up to their game this year. In this fast-paced and dynamic environment, omni-channel marketing is on the rise and appears to be the most popular approach for promoting fashion brands.

How will fashion branding evolve in 2016?

Pim Rutgers, General Manager at Raafh

“More than in any other business, fashion branding needs to convey a story, a message that hits the viewer, a feeling that he or she can identify with. 2016 will be the year of multi-layered, multi-platform branding, where brands need to be persuasive and convincing without intruding the viewer’s privacy."

Maria Kucheryavaya, CEO & Co-founder at Dapper Nine

"Similar to street style blogs taking over fashion magazines in 2011, street style branding will take over traditional fashion branding in 2016. Customers are immune to well-orchestrated ad campaigns and celebrity endorsements, so to be effective companies need to master the art of lifestyle branding and create a more authentic and consistent omni-channel customer experience. With more and more companies adopting digital and technology, personalisation in relation to branding will be taken to the next level as well."

Mariel Noortman, CEO at Mon Style

“We believe 2016 will be the year of authenticity and curated content. It will be paramount for fashion brands to deliver a message about values and attitudes; they will focus more on the lifestyle they convey than on the product itself. Shopping will become more personal in 2016 as brands will go into a new direction to earn engagement with their customers. Cross-device videos and a personal approach will be the driving forces for success.”

Giulia Carri, Feature Editor at suchamagazine.com

“The physical store will become the actual stage of the brand, where the brand identity is performed at its best, showing all its features through store design, merchandise, customer service and most of all events to grow footfall. The store is no longer just the sales floor, but the place where actual PR happens, inviting customers to come back again. As for the digital store, that's where the brand message is simpler yet extremely relevant. It's online that a brand can offer a richer stock in matter of size, style and colours, delivering to a wider audience, giving customers the freedom to shop anytime and anywhere.

Last but not least, digital marketing analysis is one of the most powerful tools the internet era has given to retailers. Now they can understand their customers needs and product appreciation as never before, while building on more ways of targeting consumers, making for a much more effective marketing strategy. I think that creating and living in this kind of multidimensional retail reality is the win-win solution for brands to play the game at their optimum and survive in the digital marketing era."

Natasja, Fashion Blogger at Eyes Painted Black

“Companies and PR agencies are understanding the power of bloggers and social influencers (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat). Brand awareness and advertisements are done more and more via informal and social communication tools. Traditional mediums (such as magazines) have to keep up with these tools. Cosmopolitan magazine is doing a good job by using its online site, social media and especially Snapchat to inform its readers. That's how they're still staying relevant in our digital world.”

Carina Muriel Conradsen, Graphic Designer Ichi / Blendshe at DK Company

“The digital channels keep developing to become stronger and faster than ever and this makes it crucial to be ahead of the game in terms of giving the consumers what they expect. We will be engaging with consumers a lot more while being more personal and more human. While the consumers are becoming a lot more agile and wanting to interact with brands on social media, we need to be more agile too to satisfy their needs and keep their trust.

Fashion brands need to stand more out telling their own story as the consumers are switching between brands more easily because of the fast way of finding alternatives on the web. So, storytelling will be key. We also see a lot of potential in video marketing as video content creates more engagement while being an effective way of showcasing products.”

Mark Reiff, CFO at ikhebeenbril.nl

“Digital channels will become more and more important for fashion branding in 2016. As they become more important they will become more competitive. To stay ahead of your competition, marketeers should be aware of the following: Know your audience and know how to reach them. Targeting is already a very important aspect of marketing and will become more important in 2016. Your audience should be able to identify with your campaign quicker than ever, especially as social media is an attention game. The less time it takes for someone to understand your message the more effective it will be. If this message is consistent throughout your campaigns, then you are building a “brand”.”

Nikki Chapman
Amsterdam