Fashion and Retail Marketing

What is the Fashion industry?

Fashion is an industry most commonly related to the production and sale of clothes, footwear, jewelry, accessories, makeup and furniture.

The fashion industry is made up of the following elements; design, manufacture, distribution, retailing and of course marketing.

It is estimated the fashion industry is worth approximately £26 billion to the UK’s economy.

What kind of marketing is required in the Fashion Industry?

Fashion is an extremely fast paced industry due to the constant change of styles as the seasons progress, this creates huge demand for marketing especially using digital channels as this is the quickest way to connect with an audience. Traditionally offline advertising such as advertising in media like magazines have been a huge part of the marketing budget. Whilst it is still prevalent, online advertising, blogs and social media have now risen up to equal if not greater importance.

Social Media is the perfect platform for fashion marketing, many people gravitate towards social media channels to keep up to date with all of their interests in fashion and style trends. The emergence of channels like instagram and pinterest – social media channels built entirely around imagery – have become big catalysts for pushing fashion marketing even further online.

Apps are now big business and offer another big visual catalogue that users can swipe through in seconds to see the products they desire and purchase.

Email Marketing holds a firm place in fashion marketing strategy, with even more importance being placed on data segmentation to ensure the right people are being targeted with the right products. Email data is driven by point of sale capture forms and savvy email marketing campaigns can be created in response to previous items purchased.

There are no end of fashion blogs, vlogs, apps and websites showcasing the latest trends, styles and ‘how to wear it’ guides not only are the fashion bloggers and vloggers talking about the latest trends, they are advertising to you as well!

Point of sales displays, store layout, personal style consultants – whilst all these things happening in store may not be thought of as marketers they are all influenced by in-store data  and sales results, if hats are under-selling guess what the next big window display is?

Fashion PR is used to drive up brand publicity through media, endorsements and publications. PR can be split between ‘in-house PR’ where a PR professional is employed by the brand or ‘agency PR’, outsourced PR professionals who represent many different brands.

Branding is everything in fashion, in 1888 Louis Vuitton created the Damier Canvas print to protect the brand from copyright, this pattern has become central to the brand to this day and Louis Vuitton is now valued at 28.4 billion USD. Branding is important to the identity of the products and the style, quality, price and unique features.

What skills and knowledge is useful for marketing in the Fashion industry?

Check out our Marketing Communications, Branding and PR pages to get a better understanding of the methods and techniques involved that can be applied to marketing for fashion.

Passion and drive is an absolute must in this industry. Fashion is extremely competitive, you need to know your stuff about brands and their competitors and all the latest and upcoming seasonal trends. Persistence and determination are also necessary, it might take you a while to get your first break in fashion marketing and you may start out working for nothing through an internship until you can secure paid work.

You need to be in touch with all the latest digital technologies as most fashion marketing revolves around the latest apps, social media channels and web applications. Staying ahead of all the latest digital trends and applications that are relevant to fashion will help you spawn new marketing ideas and ways to connect with different audiences.

If you aren’t already, blogging is a great way to showcase your knowledge and experience of the fashion industry whilst flexing your written abilities and digital marketing skills. But do your research as fashion and style blogs are ten to a penny so make sure you have something that sets you apart from the rest.

Creativity is the driving force in the fashion industry and its the same with fashion marketing, you need to be able to churn out lots of new ideas to connect with new audiences and stand out against all the competition. Being one step ahead and quick off the mark is essential.

Are there any qualifications available in Fashion Marketing?

(this is just a few we came across, but please ensure you do your own research!)

Fashion Retail Academy – 3 day short course introduction to Fashion, PR & Marketing

Open University – An introduction to retail management and marketing

Regent’s University – BA Hons in Fashion Marketing

University of Leeds – BA Fashion Marketing

South Essex College – Fashion, Communication and Marketing Foundation Degree

Glasgow Caledonian University – MSc International Fashion Marketing

University of Roehampton – Business Management and Retail Marketing

University of Central Lancashire – Fashion Brand Management BA Hons

I’m interested what now?

Almost all fashion employers will be looking for relevant experience, whether it is transferred from another industry or directly related to fashion, in most cases they will want to see some experience in fashion marketing.

Having a degree is useful to get a foot in the door for internships and entry level positions but it is not a deal breaker. If you can demonstrate your passion and knowledge in other ways such as blogging, vlogging, working with charities and unpaid placements then you stand just as good a chance at getting into the industry. Almost all employers will be looking for experience.

Aim to build up a portfolio that demonstrates your knowledge and experience in fashion marketing

Depending on your level of experience you could transfer your existing skills into a marketing role in the fashion industry, however if you don’t have enough experience then visit our guide to building experience through volunteering and work placements.

Here are a few websites that may be useful to find out more information about careers in Fashion:

Independent Article – A career in fashion marketing never goes out of style

Fashion United – Recruitment website for fashion roles, research marketing roles to get an idea of the skills and experience required

Creative Skillset – Careers website dedicated to creative careers

Fashionista – Which marketing career is right for you?