No longer the Top Shop
I have to admit I wasn’t the world’s biggest Topshop shopper (at 5’9 and a size 12, their seemingly skimpy clothes always make me feel a little gargantuan!)However, it was always a ‘must’ that my friends and I would pop in to there on a Saturday afternoon – from our teens and into our 20’s – and it was a miracle if anyone left empty handed.So, it’s very interested to read that they appear to be losing popularity amongst their primary target audience: the Instagram generation.According to the article, which I came across in The Guardian, a lot of the store’s branches – other than the Oxford Circus flagship shop in London – are starting to feel as though they have stagnated in the pre-digital world.
With technology at their finger tips and seemingly less time available, young consumers are more inclined to buy the latest fashions online at the click of a couple of buttons, as opposed to venturing out into the ‘real world’ and onto the high street.In addition, it appears that Topshop’s style is becoming outdated. Because they have actual stores filled with stock, they are falling staid in comparison to their online competitors – such as BooHoo and ASOS – who can throw out cheaper styles in quick time and keep totally up-to-date with the latest fashions, the ones that mirror the clothes being worn by reality TV stars and Instagram influencers.
Perhaps Ms Chloe Green needs to pitch in and help the Topshop team keep their eye on market trends, as opposed to simply keeping her eyes on her ‘hot felon’?!
When it comes to the clothing industry in this day and age, fashions are made on Instagram feeds, and online stores are well placed to pick up and run with all the latest trends that are flooding social media.
And whilst Topshop is sliding down towards the bottom of the popularity polls amongst the teens and those in their early 20’s, the likes of ASOS (which, for those not in the know, stands for ‘As seen on screen’) are making their currently indelible mark on the digital world.
It has to be said that their strategies are pretty impressive. In fact, the majority of modern day marketers admire their success.
The company has made its mark by selling its own products alongside the hottest items from a variety of other brands, grouping the different items to create leading looks. In the early days, they focused a lot on celebrity styles, which was a great pull for members of the public… which teen doesn’t want to dress like their favourite celeb for a fraction of the price?!
Because of their brand diversity, they attract a wider audience and keep up to date on all the latest trends.
They also use brilliant marketing initiatives which have got them rave customer feedback reviews.
The ASOS Insiders are a group of real life 20-somethings who post exciting and varied outfits on social media. And people can even buy the ‘outfits of the day via social media channels.
It’s inspiring, it’s modern, it’s fast and it’s fluid.
More to the point, it works extremely well and sets them ahead of their high street counterparts who just can’t (or don’t seem to try to) compete.
So, if you want to build your brand (and you’d be a fool or ready to retire with no one to take the helm if you didn’t want to!) there are lessons to be learned here. You want to be an ASOS and not a Topshop.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that you have to become Instafamous or take the digital world by storm. Well, not unless your business depends on it.
The point is, you have to really know your audience and understand what they want and need if you are going to turn one time buyers into repeat purchasers and, finally, loyal customers who will depend upon – and defend – your brand, no matter what.
And if your brand starts out targeting one generation and wants to stick with that generation, you have to grow and evolve with them.
Or, if you want to keep targeting the same market year on year, then you have to do what Topshop seems to be failing at, and adapt your marketing efforts in line with digital technology advancements.
And if your target market spans the generations? Well, that’s slightly more difficult because your marketing channels can range right across the spectrum, from social media, other online promotional channels and email marketing to mail drops and print advertising. But it’s doable.
The thing is though, unless your product or service is really niche (such as teen fashion), do you really, completely, know and understand your audience?
It’s quite common for many modern marketers to begrudgingly utter a resounding ‘no’ to this question.
And this is where The Monachie Project comes in. We can analyse the current market needs of your company and build deep consumer connections so that you understand the forces at play amongst your target audience. And the more you understand them, the easier it is to reach them and build their loyalty.
So, get in touch today and let us help you get on the right track, so you can be the top (shop) in your industry.