Dress: JC Penney
Earrings: NY & Co.
Like the outfit? See more details here!
After a long absence, the outfits are making an appearance on the blog again! As I’m not a fashion blogger, the outfits may come and go in spurts, but a recent comment on Corporette sparked my interest in doing another outfit post. I read Corporette regularly, more for the comments than the actual posts. Occasionally, a “what are you wearing today” comment thread pops up, and the women will describe their outfit, shoes, and accessories for the day. During one of these threads, a commenter noted that she felt like it was a prompt from a retail marketer to get insight. While this is definitely not the case for that thread, it’s not unusual for retailers to target influential bloggers for partnerships, features, and information. It’s a great strategy that combines thought leadership, “real” marketing, and the bright (not so) new toy, social media.
First, this strategy is effective because you’re reaching a targeted audience through a credible source. The blogger is already a thought leader with strong influence over their readers, so a recommendation from this blogger is almost like a recommendation from a close friend. And, who do we believe more? The greedy advertisers with a profit motive, or the friendly blogger who just wants to help us look great? Retailers know that reaching an audience through a blogger offers mass-media effects, with much less skepticism from customers.
Second, people love to see “real” marketing, and a blogger wearing an outfit makes a bigger impact than an airbrushed model or a mannequin. How many people honestly have a model’s figure? Many people, especially women, think that they must have a model’s body to pull off an outfit, so seeing it on a real woman (or man, though the prevalence of fashion blogging is higher among women) makes them feel like they, too, could wear the outfit featured in the post. On Corporette, for example, “The Skirt” is a closet staple, regularly reported on by commenters and blog owner alike. “The Skirt” is a Halogen skirt at Nordstrom’s, with rave reviews from an influential blogger, and a backing from the whole community.
The concept of “community” leads me to the third reason this strategy is effective: social media. The ability to really connect to a brand is higher now than it has ever been. Blogs allow people to connect with not only the owner, but the wider community on the web. Thus, as a retailer, you want to plug into that community, and partnering with the blogger at the head of the community is a great place to deliver your message. Once the community embraces your brand message, it’s no longer about a corporation “selling” an item, but a community championing an item.
This post details the “why” of retailers working with bloggers, and I plan to take a look at the “how” over several posts in the coming weeks. Like the outfit? See more details here!