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How to Infuse Storytelling in Fashion Marketing, pt. 3

Victoria B. Willie, Contributing Editor

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**This is the third part of a three-part series on fashion brand storytelling.


Before we dive into the third part of this series, let’s throw it back to parts one and two, shall we?


First, we established storytelling as a powerful marketing tool for fashion brands. It not only increases brand awareness but also incites action and stimulates brand loyalty. And then in part two, we saw how to pull off storytelling in four marketing assets.


Now, here comes another crucial question that may be bugging you: “Where do I find story ideas for a fashion brand?”


In this post, I’ll share some story ideas for fashion marketing along with examples from top fashion brands to inspire you.


Story Ideas for Fashion Brands


I like to believe ideas abound. We just don’t know how to find them all the time. But a trip to your atelier or repertoire of memories will give you ideas that manifest as:


Product Stories


Every product has a story behind it. And this story could be the inspiration behind the product or the behind-the-scenes process of how the product came to be.


Take the luxury label, Christian Dior, for instance. Dior tells exceptional product stories that tickle the style buds of its customers. Two of such stories are the A.B.C.Dior and the Savoir-Faire series.


Through one of the A.B.C.Dior stories, Dior gives its customers a glimpse into how the Lady Dior bag got its name and its evolution since its creation in 1995.



Dior also shares short clips showing the processes the Lady Dior bag goes through before becoming what it is:



Similarly, Warby Parker not only has a webpage dedicated to how their glasses are made, they also go further to differentiate themselves with videos that better explain their processes and how they’re able to offer premium eyewear at a fraction of the going price:



These stories establish a familiarity that engenders a longing for both brands’ products in the hearts of their customers.


Company Stories


Look at your teammates, reflect on how far your fashion business has bloomed, and share your reflections as stories using different media. For instance, you can tell your brand origin story or a recent development in-house in ways that endear customers to your brand.


Patagonia excels at this through articles and films. On its website, the outdoor clothing brand uses photos and compelling texts to narrate how Yvon Chouinard, its founder, birthed it.




And just when they could have easily announced with a press release that Yvon was donating Patagonia to fight climate change, they decided to do so with a heartwarming narration.


Another brand that excels at telling company stories is Burberry. In 2016, the fashion house created a film to portray the founder’s life. The film felt more like a movie trailer than an advertising campaign and not only did it mesmerise viewers but also won numerous awards.



Commercials & Fashion films


When it’s time to announce a collection, sell new products, or stand for a societal cause, try doing so with a story. It’ll be more impactful that way.


It can be a fictional narrative that (in)directly sells your products as in this Golf le FLEUR’s commercial (The Sunseekers) that showcases the brand’s sunglasses:



Or a fashion film announcing a new collection like the Gucci Aria campaign that explores the ontology of desire:



You can also pass a message with short films that entertain as well as inspire your audience. Diesel did so with its Go With the Flaw campaign which urges people to embrace their imperfections:



And so did Vogue Italy’s Through the Storm campaign which expresses the confinement the world experienced during the pandemic:



Customer Stories


You’re in business for your customers. And so, if you want to keep attracting and retaining them, you have to tell stories that mirror their lifestyles. This can be customer reviews and testimonials or interviews and campaigns where your ideal customers talk about their struggles.


Again, take Patagonia, for example. This environment-conscious brand regularly shares videos of different individuals on their outdoor adventures and personal struggles. An example of such is their film, Daughter of the Sea. This story presents how a woman struggling with a mental health crisis returns to the waters that raised her and finds healing in the ocean.



Patagonia’s films echo the brand’s ethos and the founder’s love for protecting and preserving nature.


Similarly, Nike is an epitome of successful customer stories. If the brand isn’t unleashing inspiring campaigns featuring star athletes, they’re dropping mindblowing stories impelling women, children, or persons with disability. Like this one featuring Colin Kaepernick:



Don’t Sell Fashion, Sell Stories


Though fashion houses tell stories with their products, that’s not all that’s needed. Going the extra mile by weaving certain aspects of your brand into compelling narratives will help you stand out.


And to do this well, you need a firm grasp of your customers, your brand’s core message, your products’ unique features, and the emotions you intend to incite in your audience.


Once this is certain, go ahead and birth fashion stories in any of the four categories discussed above. Ensure the stories have a goal and reflect your brand’s core message consistently in all your marketing. A pro tip is to use relatable characters who mirror the lives of your target audience. Then pick the most appropriate channel to disperse these stories far and wide.


The end goal is to strike a connection with your audience while attaining your brand’s goals. Remember, excellent products and photography may lure your ideal customer in. But what will evoke long-lasting empathy, mindshare, and sales are the stories you share.


 

About Victoria B. Willie

The first time I wrote a story I was about six years old. It wasn't a story per se. It was a description (or better still, caption) that gave meaning to the caricatures my elder cousin drew on paper. From that moment till today, I've been giving meaning to things (and now businesses) with words.


But when I'm not helping businesses sell more via storytelling, you’ll catch me writing style articles for Svelte Magazine, designing fashion-forward pieces for my fashion brand, Ria Kosher, and telling wild stories that always come with a twist.













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