Fashion has long been a shining beacon of the marketing industry providing us with some of the most innovative ideas of any vertical. There’s no doubt the past 18 months have hit the fashion industry as hard as any other and challenged retailers, shoppers and designers in ways not seen before.
Fashion, style and self expression took a backseat while the world battled COVID-19 & we all stayed home to stay safe. Similarly, retailers & fashion brands changed direction in an instant to combat a massive shift from the physical world to digital. Things like virtual fittings, video styling sessions & runway shows by Zoom all became the norm.
Now as the world emerges from the pandemic & normality begins to resume, so too does the fashion hibernation come to a close. With that, brands now look to ramp up their marketing and deploy new strategies to attract the attention of the fashion starved consumer and respond to what we are seeing as the death of the dress code.
Recent research conducted by Klarna* discovered that 63% of consumers globally plan to dress up more frequently than before the pandemic, suggesting that people will be itching to update their closets. Specifically, 1 in 4 (25%) Australians will wear more colour than ever before and nearly the same amount (23%) will be more creative and try out different styles. For example, 23% are hoping for a revival of the ‘vibing 2000s’ fashion decade and 24% are hoping to see the ‘baggy pants’ trend return.
While our clothes might be cool and casual, Aussies take the lead when it comes to shopping expressive make-up essentials, such as colourful eyeshadow, with Australians (7%) more than twice as likely to have these items at the top of their shopping list compared to many European countries including Austria (2%), the Netherlands (2%) and Sweden (3%).
Klarna’s latest global marketing campaign addresses the shift in fashion sense and partners with global style icon A$AP Rocky to encourage consumers to shake up their look and embrace the fashion re-birth. Tapping into trends and consumers desire to express themselves but remain comfortable, the campaign collaborates with Australian retailers like SurfStitch, Adore Beauty, Aje, Spell, Esther & Co, Cotton On, Kookaï, General Pants, Sheike and many others to feed the demand for a new look. Klarna’s unique and immersive shopping experience, curated collections, deals and editorial content provide inspiration and personalised recommendations for every shopper’s wardrobe, making Klarna so much more than just pay in 4.
This type of campaign is nothing new for Klarna – we’ve spent the last 15 years pioneering innovative marketing strategies to reach and connect with consumers. The common thread throughout all of these is the focus on retailers and our ability to make them part of the wild ride we are on. Giving our retailers prime position in a campaign starring A$AP Rocky is a branding strategy that allows them to leverage the star power of a global celebrity, seamlessly integrate their own influencers and ambassadors into a multi faceted campaign and have their brand feature as part of an international movement. While awareness elements create a groundswell of interest, performance marketing strategies are deployed to drive consumers directly to retailers and encourage conversion. Co-marketing approaches like this are the hallmark of disruptive and challenging brands like Klarna who believe in hand-in-glove partnerships with retailers to drive growth and strive to connect and elevate the traditional marketing campaign.
Global brand campaigns starring superstar celebrities is not the only way fashion retailers can engage, stay relevant and personalise their experiences for shoppers. New tools and technologies like AI-powered Dynamic Ads help retailers keep pace and reach the right customers, without the retailer having to resource and create specialised content. These technologies use AI to take a product feed from any retailer, recognise the product, categorise, classify and then create bespoke and beautiful images delivered in products feeds in social media and display advertising which results in dramatic increases in click-through and conversion rates. Recently, Klarna announced an expanded suite of marketing products and services designed to provide retailers with even more tools to drive consumer demand, and acquire, convert, and retain customers. This newly enhanced suite, Dynamic Ads, enables retailers and publishers to offer nearly unlimited shoppable content in native formats, on their own digital properties, through the Klarna ecosystem, and across the wider internet, including social channels.
The competition for eyeballs and attention never ceases. Consumers are more savvy than ever and their demands for convenience, personalised recommendations and flexibility are ones that now are well established as must-haves. So any brand looking to reach consumers and make an impression needs to think big and bold to create experiences and opportunities for engagement that are unique and immersive. Our CMO, David Sandstrom, shared his thoughts on that topic recently when he said “I do believe that the winners are going to be the ones who actually cater to a bigger and richer consumer experience.”
*The survey was conducted in collaboration with the research agency Dynata during May 2021 and surveyed 15 930 consumers across 3 continents and 15 countries; the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.