|Reach the Elusive Fashion Customer with Social Media
By: Cindy Wendland
Fringe is a big fashion trend this year. Burgundy and chain straps are hot in handbags. Cashmere scarves are always in style. With all that happens in fashion each season, it is difficult to capture the attention of the high-fashion customer. One designer that has been doing it well is Rebecca Minkoff.
Minkoff’s designs have been described as playful and subtly edgy. She also is known for unbranding. Her designs have a subtle nameplate, and she prefers to let the style of the item shine through instead of the logo. According to her website, “Rebecca Minkoff is an industry leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear, and apparel.” Minkoff’s brother and CEO, Uri, suggested she find a void and fill it. This turned out to be young professional women who set trends but couldn’t afford luxury products.
Uri was a trendsetter in fashion with social media, which is ideally suited for reaching young professional women. The company had huge growth during the recession because their brand was friendly to the customer. Uri found bloggers early on and maintained a dialogue with a new set of digital brand ambassadors known as Minkettes. Amazingly, there are 15–20,000 of them, and some of these bloggers have higher readership than Vogue.
Minkoff also used social media to get input on her designs, which was acted upon. This is the epitome of customer engagement and relationship. The Minkettes even went so far as to go into stores to build relations with department managers. Minkoff proved the elusive fashion customer can be reached successfully with social media.
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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