Posted on 26 Mar 2019
With over 10 years' experience in fashion and retail sectors, ICG's Amy Young talks through a few key trends that should be on your marketing radar.
Let's start with 'wellness', a word you're going to hear a lot about. You might have seen or heard it muttered just a few times throughout January, a month traditionally associated with fresh starts and new beginnings, but it didn't stop on the 31st.
This year we'll notice a shift towards well-being and wellness culture which is not just a fleeting trend.
As we start to value our own sense of self much more and provoke change in lifestyles, well-being is now seen as a health status, something that boasts a sense of pride and belonging.
Vogue noted that #SelfCare clocked up an impressive 10 million posts on Instagram in 2018.
This, along with the rise of 'athleisure' - people wearing their gym kit to do the weekly shop - and lifestyle choices such as veganism and developments in the way we stay active, have catapulted wellness to the top of people's personal goals lists.
We're all past the days of being 'sold to', to be preached about this and that - we want to see a level of authenticity from the brands we choose to spend our hard earned cash with.
So in comes the old phrase 'honesty is the best policy'. Don't get me wrong, you still need to have a level of aspiration, but think about that honest undertone. Consumers are getting fed up with attention seeking gimmicks and copy being used for clickbait; they're expressing a need for realism with truthful and engaging content.
Tone of Voice
Not far from the authenticity trend, lies tone of voice. Dig deep and ask yourself what your brand stands for and how you're communicating this to your audience. It's easy to get caught up in the latest fads but it's worth staying true to company values and beliefs rather than trying to be something you aren't.
There's a great quote I saw on Twitter recently that said, 'Millenials don't have a low attention span, they just have a higher sensitivity to things which are boring'.*
You need to cut above noise, evaluate how you're communicating and not be seen as boring to millennials or other generations for that matter! It won't happen overnight, but start to evoke change and challenge internal conversations and you'll be rewarded with your customers' brand loyalty in the long term.
*(Source: @RetailProphet, contributor to The Business of Fashion).
Experience has been a bit of a buzzword over the past few years and the trend for consumers wanting more doesn't seem to be waning.
Look at creating experiences that involve your customers and offer a sense of achievement from events to in-store customer service.
People are increasingly more conscious of their shopping behaviour; buying less and considering purchases more (we can thank Marie Kondo for sparking lots of joy and creating a wave of decluttering our homes and mindset) and we're all craving physical experiences and creating memories. After all, if it isn't talked about on Instagram did it even happen?
Amy is responsible for managing a cluster of ICG's shopping centre clients, overseeing design, digital and social media projects.