Apparel Marketers to Focus on Brand Message

The apparel industry has long been known for its efforts to build image and generate demand by paying celebrities wear to their brands. And fashion houses often focus on highly visual placements in glossy magazines, and these days, on tablets. But does all of this marketing effort pay off?

A new survey released by Harris Interactive compares the attitudes of U.S. consumers with shoppers in other cultures regarding apparel. The findings on U.S. consumers may cause some apparel marketers to change their advertising strategies. Currently, only 39% of U.S. consumers say they like shopping for clothes. The only country with a lower percentage was France with 38%.

In addition, only 26% of U.S. shoppers say that brand is important when they buy apparel. Compare this to Chinese consumers, 72% of whom say brand is important. And 74% of Indian consumers look for certain brands when buying apparel.

For U.S. consumers, apparel shopping has turned into a chore. Of those who recently purchased clothing, 36% say it was a necessary item. Only 20% say it was an item on sale and that they couldn’t resist the bargain.

When consumers do make a purchase, they:

  • Purchase classics versus trends 74%
  • Love to get  a bargain 66%
  • Believe good brand names provide better value 65%
  • Need their apparel item to be branded 16%

Consumers are looking for brand names on certain fashion items. These include jeans (41%), lingerie/​underwear (29%), and casual wear (27%).

Based on these findings, fashion marketers may want to adjust their promotional tactics. They can increase revenue by promoting bargains but also by emphasizing the value of their brands, especially those that have been developed as classic trends.

[Source: What’s in a Label. HarrisInteractive​.com. 23 Jun. 2011. Web. 20 Jul. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.