The Largescale Agent Effect
28 April 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters
Something we are only all too aware of here at the Consultancy is both the importance and power the agent is increasingly holding. We’ve touched on this subject in previous posts, but now we want to explore the opportunity arising in a wider sense. Nobody is any further to knowing what the future may hold but many aspects of industry across the board are being called into question – such as largescale events, communication and whether our actions from here on in need to be strictly digital. While all of these matters and more are still up in the air, what can agents continue to bring to the table, and what do they need to bear in mind?
Why should independent brands find an agent?
As we are well aware, public implications of the current pandemic are unfolding everywhere we look, making seeing others in a larger capacity extremely difficult. This puts a strain not only on the industry circuit that was already facing substantial problems, but also on the many smaller brands that showcase. The struggle to sell independently is now well and truly apparent, and the shift of power is swaying in favour of the agent. Alongside ensuring social hygiene protocols are strictly upheld, agents have the flexibility to meet on a 1-on-1 basis and can carry this strategy on for however long may be necessary. Particularly in the absence of trade shows, fashion weeks and unpredictable seasons, agents can be look towards to maintain and steady the ship through these uncertain waters. Whether this aspect needs to remain completely digital remains to be seen, but there will no doubt be a want to physically feel and experience products and their materials – something agents can be on hand to help with.
What do agents need to remember?
The most important aspect of the situation we now find ourselves in is maintaining clear lines of communication. If agents can up the talking, they’ll be looked to as beacons of clarity and stability. In the broader picture, it’s safe to say we’re heading into an unknown consumer landscape, with a greater need to find innovative ways to continue communicating alongside relaying information. Early predictions lean towards us collectively being forced into a slower pace of life, with the largescale industry events of our now ‘past lives’ seeming even more out of place. Agents need to be questioning every system we’ve had in place themselves, adapting to and understanding a potential need to learn to be content with a more simplistic wardrobe but also keeping an eye on how local and independent brands could gain momentum form the changes we’re seeing. As we continue to advise, we need to take care of others before ourselves – with brands and agents looking out for each other and together taking care of the retailer.