Who’s Here For The ‘Little Guy’?
6 May 2020
Author: Jasmine Waters
Marketers in particular are having a particularly tough time in establishing what the ‘voice’ of their brand or company should currently be. However, the sentiment of many remains clear – take an empathetic approach while balancing an appropriate message you wish to get across. Taking this into account, many fashion and lifestyle publications often overlook the needs of small, independent brands and agents, focussing attentions on luxury and premium outlets. So what are their desires and what can we do to help them?
Why does fashion favour luxury?
It has often been said that print is the secret weapon for luxury brands. There are more fashion magazines and wider spread news outlets than there ever have been before and yet the skew still seems to be in favour of the larger-scale, luxury brand. While this is all well and worthwhile, we have to question where the champion of the smaller outlet is, even more so during such uncertain times as these. By the end of March, many were calling for “transparent and detailed support” in order to aid the independent retail sector through the corona-crisis, and whether this has been full received is still yet to be completely seen. Many are now anxious about re-opening too soon (particularly felt across Ireland) but aside from these points, many news opinions concern major retail giants and online stores. If we look at the other end of the scale – for example, the home of the individual craftspeople Etsy – there seems to be a marketed plan and organised structure in place ready to support stores as much as possible, which is easily traceable in our news feeds. If publications want to be seen to be fully embracing the empathetic rhetoric that is being promoted, news items need to be accessible and encompass the needs of all.
What do independent brands need?
When we look at the bigger picture, it could be said that the foundation of the needs of many in the industry ultimately revolve around the same points. No one really knows what to do for the best, but the smaller brands are left more at risk of suffering at the hands of the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown our way. Things continue to be volatile, though there is pride on using this marketing challenge as a catalyst for more positive behaviour. Some independent brands are citing making sure that their long-term view is based on a stable, well-run business while also remaining ready to capitalise on opportunities later down the line. They agree that the consumer is still very much there but behaving differently for the time being. Both kinds of business cannot afford to be reactive but rather re-direct – and news outlets have a responsibility to make sure any efforts are shared for everyone.
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