There’s something to be said about a great storyteller—someone who draws you in from the very first word and keeps you on your toes until the last moment, leaving you begging for more. Believe it or not, marketing and storytelling go hand in hand. Similar to how a storyteller connects with his or her audience through interesting characters and unpredictable twists and turns, brands today are creating creative, engaging content that speaks to their customers. The art of telling a great story is no easy task, but no one does it better than the fashion industry.
It’s a common question designers often hear, “What kind of woman/man is wearing your clothing?” “What’s his or her story and where are they going?” Is it the uptown girl who’s lunching on Park Avenue or is it the free-spirited, laid back festival-goer? As a brand, determining who your target customer is and then delivering custom, interesting, engaging content that matters to them is the foundation of content marketing.
While the fashion industry has become notorious for creating an unattainable and desirable type of culture, companies are starting to bring high fashion into reality with content that tells a story. Instead of purchasing a dress or pair of shoes that collects dust on the closet floor, customers want to know how, where, when and why they should purchase a product. And brands like Free People and ShopBop are great examples of how companies can make a product in a magazine or website come to life.
Free People recently released a genius marketing video featured on its website titled “Free People Presents: Neighbor,” starring the lovable model/ actress Daisy Lowe. In the video, Lowe is seen vying for the attention of a neighbor throughout the four seasons. During the short film, the model is filmed wearing Free People’s Neighbor Collection from the moment she wakes up to the moment she falls asleep.
Instead of shamelessly shoving merchandise into customer faces, Free People created an engaging, heart-warming video with an actual person wearing the clothing. Not only are customers given creative content, but they are able to see how, where and when they should wear the collection, brining the clothing on the screen to real-life.
With wedding season in full swing, designer retail website ShopBop recently gave customers a lesson on the perfect wedding clutches. On its blog Shoptalk, readers were given expert advice and suggestions on what clutch to bring and what essentials to stock up on. The blog addressed the four main points customers really care about – who, what, where and why. Whether readers were going to a beach wedding or a blacktie event, ShopBop gave them every reason to explore the site’s options. Similar to Free People, the retailer provided engaging, interesting real-world advice that their consumers care about and can actually use. Customers may breeze by a product, but if you give them a reason to buy it they won’t be able to resist.
If there’s one thing that other companies can learn from the fashion industry, it’s that creating an engaging, informative story is the key to retaining customers and expanding your brand awareness. Try making a short film featuring your flagship product or showcase how other customers have soared to success using your service or product. The possibilities are endless when you tell a great story.