How fashion companies are managing their visual content and selling during the crisis
It’s a hectic and frustrating time around the world and for good reason: many companies find themselves reinventing the way they work, having to adjust to working from home and trying to organize a regular work schedule in the midst of uncertainty... Trying to maintain production as much as possible is crucial to avoid problems in the future.
While it may come as a surprise to those who aren’t in the fashion and accessory business, many fashion companies are supposed to shoot their Pre-Fall collection around now, and so the current situation poses a major challenge for their lines for the foreseeable future. What’s more, many brands are multiplying their social media and digital marketing posts as there has been a push towards online marketing due to a third of the world being on lockdown. While the number of posts has skyrocketed, their shoot possibilities are extremely reduced.
So we turned to our clients to ask them what they are doing right now, and how they are managing their visual content. Perhaps an idea or two may spark some inspiration if your team is looking for solutions. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Focusing on packshots and flat lay photos
2. Editing prototypes visuals they already have
3. Turning to User Generated Content
4. Shooting before lockdown in anticipation
5. Shooting as usual in other geographies
6. Collaborating with influencers
The lockdown packshot
Innovative companies can get creative with their product photography. By adopting a flat lay packshot style, the right creative mind can shoot their products in complete security and with a reduced team. Using only a few materials relevant to your fashion line, you can alternate the background and angle and create an entire photoshoot in the same space. Just check out Jimmy Fairly’s website: by mixing up former lifestyle and model visuals with newer trendy glasses on a unified background, they are able to create a homogeneous universe around their products. For some brands, not having new lifestyle photography will impact their brand image, but this remains a realistic option for many websites and fashion lines.
Get creative with post-production
The second technique is by no means new to the quarantine, but it is definitely something to consider for those who haven’t tried it out yet. Some companies are producing new content by relying on the prototype visuals they have in one color and editing them in post-production to present all the available colors directly or going even further and adding or removing details. For example, with the right team of editors, you can add a pocket to a jacket or remove one for a new pair of jeans. In the end, you’ll have an entirely new product on your hands!
The image above, for example, was shot before the lockdown, but could easily be edited to change the background to have it match the right theme for an editorial line. Adding a lifestyle background would make it right for social media, no new shoots required!
One word of warning for those who have never gone down this road... This should be done by an expert photo editor because when this technique is poorly implemented, your photos can end up looking cheap, or worst, dishonest and untrustworthy.
Lean on the support and UGC of your customers
You’ve spent years building up your public and fostering a community around your brand! Now is the time to call them in! For your additional social media posts, ask your fans to contribute, they buy your brand because they are proud to be wearing it and they are already posting it online themselves.
For a great example of a brand that was doing this even before the lockdown, take a look at Fabletics. Their UGC is proudly on display right below their product photography. Their mix of influencer and regular customer shows a dynamic example of fans that are happy to support a brand they love. Users and fans could use the hashtag #MyFabletics to be featured on the Instagram account long before the lockdown period started.
Anticipating the lockdown
When speaking to our clients, we learned that some were able to get a leg up on their visual content production by anticipating the quarantine. These clients prepared everything as fast as they could and upped their visual content output, putting their newly minted photos in stock for later on. While it may be too late for many markets, it’s certainly commendable for those who were able to plan in advance!
Shooting as usual, just elsewhere
Another solution to making sure your products are photographed safely and correctly is shooting in other geographies less impacted by the virus. Some companies have decided to ship their products (safely and cleanly of course) and to shoot their product visuals remotely. This solution is safe and qualitative, but also will certainly impact a product’s time to market and drive up costs.
A brand that has mastered this type of content is REVOLVE. In addition to promoting their products through their own visual content, they also routinely set up Instagram takeovers with influencers. For a specific example, just check out the collaboration between REVOLVE and Katrina Scott here. In April, she posted on her personal Instagram account a photo of her in her Revolve clothing announcing that she was going to be hosting a Live Instagram video to motivate everyone at home. Those who follow REVOLVE will know that it was one of many collaborations between influencers and the REVOLVE Instagram account that was mutually beneficial! And that’s just the beginning, many influencers are called upon to create content in the confines of their own home, so you are sure to create some stunning visuals. Take a look at Julia Hengel’s post on Instagram where she promotes Olay’s Deep Hydration cream. Her photos are natural, light, airy and really promote Olay in a positive way.
So what about you? Has your fashion brand implemented one or all of these techniques?
If you are interested to know more about the solutions we have been able to implement for our clients, learn more about what Meero can do for you here!