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  • Massimo Casagrande

Positioning of emerging brands in a millennial era

Millennials are a huge new demographic and most luxury brands are looking at them, and their needs continue to grow.

Young entrepreneurs entering the fashion world nowadays are facing tougher competition than that of the previous generation. Thanks to reality shows like Project Runway and the power of social media fashion has become more global and vocal than ever, but how does a new brand or a startup manage to survive in today’s world and not risk disappearing or becoming a ‘one-hit wonder’?

One of the most important points is to identify the customer target and the distribution channel. Millennials are a huge new demographic and most luxury brands are looking at them, and their needs continue to grow. Luxury brands are changing their approach and some even their aesthetic to cater to the millennial market. Evidence of this is with brands such as Gucci and Balenciaga. The identity and heritage of the brands have taken on a more ‘urban/street’ appeal. The norm-core or ugly-made-pretty fashion is becoming more prominent and streetwear is influencing brands through a design and marketing perspective creating a new luxury market and giving rise to a post-modernist side of Fashion. Through a series of collaborations, sports brands have untimely become the new Fashion brands, creating a new neo-luxe aesthetic.

Generating traffic on the website and communicating is another important point to consider in today’s digital age. One needs an understanding of fashion globally to be able to interpret it in the right way locally, this is relevant to most new brands who are looking to expand locally with an international flavour, a term we generally refer to as ‘glocalization’. Influencer Marketing is ever important in today’s digital society, but most important is the rise of the Micro-influencer and above all knowing how to pick the right brand ambassador to help get your brand the exposure need to connect to the right demographic. Identifying digital tribes and which other brands to team up with and collaborate to achieve a successful glocal strategy. The Art of Collaboration is stronger than ever in today’s fashion world.

We have become experts in storytelling, so social media, content marketing, and Instagram narratives are very important. Companies are creating content marketing strategies to gain an ‘experience’ economy. What experience are you providing your consumer, how will this experience appeal to new consumers? All this is achieved through digital branding; storytelling and in-store technology.

Sustainability and transparency are at the core of all millennials today. How do you transmit this through your brand? That the consumer knows where every piece of your product is sourced, made, and produced is a must nowadays. How you communicate this sustainable message is important, however careful not to use it only as a marketing ploy, you need to be sustainable through and through. Sustainability should be approached from all angles within the brand from a business, design, and production point of view.

Through education and understanding of the new business scenarios, brands will be able to see how luxury branding and fashion are currently moving fast in contemporary trends and new developments and learn skills that will be able to ensure that they perform well in the new current climate. Technology has been a huge impact on how Fashion needs to adapt and transform to remain relevant, current, and ahead of the game. The direct result of this technological impact is the creation of new careers and pathways within the industry, examples include: Digital Marketing Strategies; Sustainability Expert; Fabric Researcher & Developer; Consumer Psychologist.

Istituto Marangoni acts as the Fashion Facilitator; the bridge between brands and the future creative/managerial/professional class. With our heritage, background, and alumni database, we have the facilities and infrastructure to implement these new developments and strategies within the industry. Our teachers are practicing professionals who teach what they do on a daily basis and we help them to create solid business plans and structures.

Published in Element Magazine, Vol 18 / Fashion Issue, 28 January 2019

*original article was in Spanish, page 60

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