Friday, 27 March 2009

Style Insider: inside the brand

Fashionista is impressed by the initiatives that brands are taking to reach wider audiences and, ultimately, attract customers at a time when consumers are watching their spending and brand loyalty is being threatened as a result.

Fashionista has read reports that buoyant high street brands - whose primary targets are teens and young twenty some-things - are relatively unaffected by the economic downturn, but is impressed by brands that are not complacent. In particular, Fashionista loves high street favourite River Island's recently launched "Style Insider" website.
Style Insider is a community site and a blog aimed at encouraging interaction between the brand and consumers. It has a "we're friends - lets talk about fashion" feel to it, and features River Island employees who write about their personal style and what's hot in fashion. This sense of familiarity with brand "insiders" will no doubt cement the foundations for brand loyalty amongst visitors to the website.

Fashionista thinks this is a clever marketing strategy. The string of consecutive Christmas No.1 singles for the last 4 years by X Factor winners illustrates the rewards of such interactive initiatives only too clearly. Allow the audience to interact and "get to know" the people behind a product - and with a bit of luck and a measure of talent - the audience will be drawn to the product more than it might otherwise have been which, irrespective of whether or not times are tough, can only be a good thing.