Almost two months into business school and I am more interested than ever. Since reading Business of Fashion articles on topics ranging from social media, business intelligence and tech I have never been left not being able to feel amused. The intro course at school has shown me different theories and angles of marketing and marketing communication which have fuelled my curiosity. And left me with questions. How does sustainability and circular economy compared to linear economy actually work within fashion and how do we use marketing to communicate change?
The growth of fashion business tech is on the rise and here to stay and with that revolution also comes responsibility . Short terms like CRM standing for Customer relationship management, CSR = Corporate social responsibility and B2b, B2C / Business to business/ Business to consumer are being thrown around by people working in different managerial roles within the vast business world. Particularly in fashion where e-commerce and sites in the likes of Farfetch, Matches.com and Vestiaire Collective have emerged through what seems to be like out of the blue. But can actually be seen as big signs of our time. Ten years ago you could study marketing without ever even considering attaining knowledge in how to code? Now companies like Farfetch is working hard with analysis , data analytics and quantitative methods via CRM and social media strategies to tackle Gen Z and millennials or other marginalised groups within the purchase power discourse. Humanities, social sciences together with business, statistics and economics are coming together as one.
With the decline of glossy magazines independent sites, influencers and independent magazines with their think pieces and constant real-esque brief fashion journalism seems to be having a content renaissance. Maybe as a way of avoiding the fast hyperreality world we now live in. Swipe right and you’ll see a matching dress for your Zara-esque Céline copied boots or swipe left and you no longer can find your copycat boots. You’ll have to search forever again. Or head out to another site and that’s where consumerist specialists with the help of web development and data analytics thrive. How easy is it to get to the commodity you want to purchase? If we make a web page more visual friendly luring the customer that the navigation and sartorial quest inside the site is easy, you’ll never loose the customer again. Or you could control and analyse how long people stay on the page , behavioural trends and measure purchasing habits.
Nowadays people also try and tend to shop with their hearts as a result of being well informed, crititcal and a tad more emotionally concerned. Which has led to birth of Vestaire collective and other similar second hand shopping apps in this new green revolution acknowledged by media and corporate institutions (think Kering).
Questions like is it eco-friendly? is it gender neutral or female friendly? Have become more important in the way we shop. The CSR is a way for companies to create some sort of a sustainable moral compass for the consumer and perhaps manipulate one into instrumental rationality.
With all this knowledge and now somehow me having moved on to the commodity based way of thinking. It makes me wonder. Is fashion just a business that we claim derives from desires, dreams or hopes? Or is that just good marketing at it’s best thriving on our need to create a life. Just like Bauman said. When we consume, we consume life and thus we consume our identity. But for whatever it’s worth I believe that capitlizing on green tech revolution is simply the best idea. If companies actually take on responsibility just like Gucci is about to do for 2018, that is.