Video marketing in the fashion industry is effective, which is likely to become increasingly important in the coming months and, in general, in a post-pandemic world.
After all, fashion, like many other sectors, has had to adapt and will increasingly have to adapt to the changes imposed by this health emergency.
In fact, if we look closely, fashion is one of the areas that will have to be radically rethought: no longer able to exploit events as the central moment for proposing a new collection, companies will be forced to find alternative ways. Some of them will be decidedly disruptive.
The year of the fashion revolution
Although 2020 was a difficult year in general, it has nevertheless stimulated a reflection by many fashion brands on the timing and mode of operation of their business.
It is in this context that Giorgio Armani has given voice to this phase of transformation, writing that the crisis is instead a wonderful opportunity to slow everything down, to realign everything, to draw a more authentic and true horizon (ilfattoquotidiano.it).
Rethinking production and distribution times, therefore.
Echoing the great Italian designer were other important names in the sector, such as Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, who declared that they would reduce the number of annual fashion shows down to two (tgcom24.mediaset.it).
Many other fashion houses have followed suit, choosing to suspend their events in order to rethink a new and alternative way of doing fashion.
What started from the need for security and safety has completely revolutionized the industry as we all know it, bringing even an event as iconic as the fashion show into question.
Can fashion exist without fashion shows?
Before COVID-19, it would be difficult to imagine that the fashion industry could exist without fashion shows. However, faced with the emergency, we realized that this alternative is not only feasible, but sometimes even necessary.
For this reason, over the past few months, companies have experimented with different solutions in order to try to convey the same experience.
One of these solutions has been to organize digital fashion shows. In the first Digital Fashion Week in history, all the major fashion brands showed their collections through images, videos, or streaming events. Despite the good intentions and the positive response to it, detractors have mercilessly criticized the initiative, branding it as Netflix Style.
According to many critics, the videos were “naïve” and, except for a few cases, they were all too similar.
The point, of course, does not concern the collections presented, but the way in which they were presented. For us, the way that the video was used is of most interest. In fact, it’s necessary to reflect on the effectiveness of these tools when we talk about conveying fashion industry content, which by definition should be impactful.
Fashion video marketing
In addition to the criticism, there are instances where fashion video marketing has been seen as “genius” or, in any case, truly distinctive.
One example comes from John Galliano, who made a 50-minute YouTube film showing a “behind the scenes” view of the creative process that led to the conception of the collection.
“In fact, a succession of calls via Zoom and FaceTime, messages, emails, images made by a thermal camera with the support of AI and an X-ray app, creating poetic and powerful visuals. The result is bewitching: a reflection on the revenge of creativity in a time of total chaos, with an emphasis on clothing production.”
In another example, Loewe created a “show-in-a-box” by delivering a time capsule that contained a pattern and reproduction of the iconic elements of the collection so that the recipient could personally compose the new looks, transforming the desk into an atelier and bringing a “coffee table version” of the fashion show to each individual.
Two additional components – the digital and audio – completed the package. It included a soundtrack on vinyl combined with a paper record player and performances, conversations, and music were live-streamed by creative director Jonathan Anderson over a 24-hour period.
These two examples demonstrate that video can be an effective format for communication in the fashion industry as long as we know how to use it – in other words, as long as it’s used creatively.
For this reason, it is essential to imagine innovative uses that can effectively convey an immersive and exciting experience like a fashion show.
One of these is undoubtedly the use of personalized videos.
Personalized video for the fashion industry: talking to each person to reach everyone
If we think of traditional video, one downside is that, created for the masses, a video can be seen as impersonal since it works according to a broadcasting logic: one person speaks and transmits while many passively watch.
By nature, this “one-to-many” modality does not allow the viewer to actively participate in the content; at the most, viewers can be reached on an emotional level depending on the narrative or the theme.
The same marketing trends of 2021 indicate that companies must be able to put the individual with his needs and interests at the center of their strategy in order to make them feel like an active and relevant part of the relationship with the brand.
For this reason, the simple logic of showing one’s own collection in a video is not enough; users want more, they are looking for something different and personalized videos can be an innovative and effective solution for enhancing the business and providing a memorable experience.
What does it mean to create a personalized video?
To understand the benefits that personalized videos offer, it is first necessary to understand what we mean by personalized video.
To personalize a video, it is no longer enough for it to directly address the user or call them by name: in fact, this is ” level zero” of personalization. Expectations from users are higher and much more sophisticated than this.
A personalized video is, first of all, a video whose content changes in almost all its parts depending on who is watching it, which means that not everyone sees the same scenes. But you can go even further: maximum personalization is achieved when you give the user the ability to interact with the content, so that they actively choose what to see.
This is exactly what you can do by using Doxee Pvideo®, a product created to create and distribute personalized and interactive videos.
Doxee Pvideo® allows you to create videos composed of scenes that are selected according to the data of each recipient. To this, you can add text and custom banners, as well as ad-hoc chosen images and even a custom voice, thanks to the Doxee text-to-speech and audio library.
And that’s not all.
Thanks to the User-Directed-Storytelling (UDS) feature in Doxee PVideo® each user can independently choose the narrative path and navigation, moving horizontally and vertically within the video, actively building it right before their eyes. This process clearly involves the user, who is the protagonist of a real experience that is more than personalized, and, well, personal.
How to use a personalized video in the fashion industry
The kind of bi-directional storytelling that can be built with this type of video lends itself to so many different uses, as long as you’re creative. In this sense, the examples that were seen above can be inspiring.
One use can be to show your pieces as in a fashion show, but leaving the user to choose which garment they’d like to focus on. For example, a specific video could be created for each model, and the viewer could then decide to see it by clicking on it.
In the same way, just like in the Loew time capsule, one can imagine creating videos where the user directly interacts to “compose” the various models of the collection, thus participating directly in the creative process behind each fashion show.
All of this makes the simple viewing of a video much more immersive and able to emotionally involve the user, who has the feeling of a real event experience, even if through a digital medium.
However, the fashion industry doesn’t live only on fashion shows–there are opportunities to use personalized videos in many other ways.
Personalization boosts conversion
Perhaps one of the most important ways is related to apparel purchases, especially at a time like this when physical stores are suffering greatly and often find themselves with a large amount of unsold merchandise.
Although sales through digital platforms also remain a small percentage compared to the whole business, it is now clear that in order to survive, the sector will have to start exploiting all the main digital solutions, if only for future growth prospects. In fact, for some time now, the sale of clothing products online has been on the rise: already in 2019, the sector was scoring a +16%, totaling about €3.3 billion (ilsole24ore.com).
And this is just the beginning, considering that growth projections give the online fashion sector over 20% for the next few years, to the point that brands are starting to think about creating capsule collections designed specifically for the online market (www.agi.it).
In this sense, personalized videos can play a central role and be a formidable marketing tool.
They can be used to create a launch event for a collection, playing the role of a personalized invitation card and a digital event to follow, within which the user can use interactive elements to discover more about the garments of the collection itself.
In addition, personalized videos can be used as a conversion tool, giving the customer the chance to “walk” inside the “digital store” that contains all the available clothes and perhaps purchase them directly through a specific function of the video.
You can also imagine inserting interactive elements that the user can click on while viewing in order to be redirected to the relevant landing pages.
In this way, the conversion phase is inserted perfectly within the storytelling without being perceived as annoying or intrusive.
A video to keep in touch
Finally, another very interesting use of personalized videos is within newsletters.
Brands, no matter the sector, need to continue to reach users with relevant content even after the purchase in order to build a stable and lasting relationship with them. In this sense, inserting a personalized video in your newsletter to communicate the release of a new collection, an exclusive event, or specific offers is often a winning move.
First of all, because it is consistent with the consumption trends of digital content, where videos are the preferred format for users.
Secondly, because they make the email itself more interesting in the eyes of the customer, which is crucial considering that the average user is bombarded by hundreds of messages on a daily basis; therefore, it’s critical to create content that makes your brand stand out from the rest (rocketium.com).
Finally, using personalized videos in your newsletters allows you to strengthen the consistency of your storytelling, which can take full advantage of the potential of each touchpoint.
Integrating a sophisticated medium with an otherwise common communication channel to reach users reinforces the aspirational positioning that should be inherent in every fashion strategy and, moreover, demonstrates an attention to detail that will positively influence every customer.