Younger fashionheads seem to be tuned more into YouTube and other social media platforms than the traditional media channels these days. What does that mean for fashion outlets? Well, it means they have to reach the younger generations in less orthodox ways. The rise of "Outfit of the Day" videos on Youtube is an example of how the internet has allowed content creators to circumvent the established channels of communication, and find an audience on their own. Furthermore, these videos aren't (in the main) simply adverts for brands - they're down-to-earth, unscripted monologues that would make anyone in marketing wince due to their unvarnished honesty. This leaves the fashion industry in a bit of a bind. Fashion has always been about "being on the pulse", and yet it looks like so many established players in the industry have been unable to locate a pulse anywhere.
Furthermore, YouTube are very strict on product placement. After all, they make their money from advertising themselves. No way do they want advertisers sneaking in their messages and making vloggers their mouthpieces. And if that's not bad enough, whenever a big brand tries to co-opt a popular youth subculture such as the OOTD one, it tends to come off as naff and trying to be "down with the kids" - it's just like they're trying too hard. People love authenticity, not imitation (fashion brands should know this more than anyone, right?).
So what's the point of this article? Is it merely to enjoy the dopamine hit of schadenfreude in seeing the big brands struggle to deal with social media? There's a bit of that, but it's actually a much more positive point - it's a wake-up call to the SMALLER fashion companies out there - the independents. Being small is to your advantage. You can assimilate the new social media platforms a lot easier than the older, bigger fashion dinosaurs can. You are much closer to the ground. You are well positioned to get the attention of those who don't care about catwalks or glossy Cosmo ads. Here's an example
of how smaller independents can directly reach their audience.
Article kindly contributed by NAUGHTON BRAUN