fashion sample tracking for media coverage report

How to Improve Fashion Sample Tracking (and Quantify with MIV®)

Hollie O'Connor

Some phrases shouldn't be spoken out loud - like saying ‘Macbeth’ in a theatre or ‘Voldermort’ to any Harry Potter fan. The same rule applies in the world of Fashion, but the phrase professionals avoid is ‘sample tracking’.

Yes, ‘samples’ is a trigger word felt across the FLB landscape. Why? In the past, managing, tracking, and even monitoring sample mentions for a media coverage report were notorious tasks. In our post-Covid world of digital transformation, samples missed their glamorous process upgrade. Until now.

We understand the importance and opportunities behind true sample management. After all, brands like Paul Smith use our Samples and press amplification software to drive success. These tools led Paul Smith to successfully dispatch 600+ samples during PFW SS23!

Our new and most-anticipated product release is the integration of Launchmetrics Samples and our media monitoring platform, Launchmetrics Discover. This fusion of Fashion tools (the first of its kind in the industry) will transform how brands manage samples for good.

To celebrate this new release, we're breaking down sample activations and how to leverage items for your media coverage report. Ready to overcome sample stigma? Let’s get started…

What is a Fashion Sample?

A fashion sample is a garment that represents a designer’s vision before the production of a clothing line or collection. These materials are produced in small batches and serve multiple purposes. 

Fashion samples showcase an item to potential buyers and retailers. They're used in photoshoots for media or e-commerce purposes, or to test the fit of a design before production. Ultimately, fashion samples bridge the gap between a design concept and a garment that’s market-ready. 

Why does a PR Strategy need Samples? 

A Sample is a crucial element in any fashion PR strategy. It offers a taste of a collection, is easily accessible, and can be leveraged in a campaign’s milestone moments.

Samples tell a brand’s story and sum up the essence of a collection. This is important, as items are sent to the press, influencers, and buyers before reaching consumer stores. Therefore, samples underpin successful brand strategies. They're the perfect tool to amplify a brand, generate interest and build hype around a collection through editorial coverage. 

How can Samples be used in a Brand Strategy?

Fashion samples can be utilized in multiple ways to drive impact ahead of, during and even after a collection launch. They aid various professionals through vital processes from design to production and even retail. Examples of opportunities in which brand strategies leverage samples include: 

  • Fashion Shows, Trade Shows and other Events
  • Showrooms (to present to press and buyers)
  • Influencer and ambassador endorsements
  • Editorial, Media and E-Commerce photoshoots
  • Analyzing sample performance data to enhance future strategy

Why should Brands Measure Fashion Sample Activations?

A sample activation is a marketing effort where brands leverage samples to build excitement around a collection or fashion brand. Examples of a fashion sample activation are a runway show, social media campaign, or pop-up shop organized in collaboration with a buzzy influencer.

The most important part of a sample activation is measuring that activity’s performance. By analyzing a sample activation, brands can identify what is working in their marketing efforts to inform next steps. Now, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of measuring sample activations. 

3 Benefits of Strategic Fashion Sample Tracking

1. Gain Return on Samples and Sample Activation Costs

i) Fashion Sample Tracking can be costly

In the fashion industry, samples costs run significantly high. 

Thousands of samples are created for mass-market brands. Meanwhile, in luxury, one sample can cost thousands of euros. No matter your market, the cost of lost samples is significant for any brand. 

It is essential to prioritize the tracking of samples, both internally and externally. Digitalizing sample stock and maintaining control over each piece's location helps prevent substantial financial losses. It also ensures efficient resource management (making sample processes more sustainable).

But did you know the cost of samples can be justified by tracking performance from a PR or marketing perspective? Assets are used internally (for photoshoots or inventory purposes), but impact and return become more significant externally. That’s where the all-important coverage element comes into play. Brands can better understand coverage with Media Impact Value™ (MIV®). This metric quantifies the performance of every sample sent out to press officers or influencers.

By tracking and quantifying brand coverage results - including the number of media mentions and subsequent (MIV®) accumulated - you can demonstrate the value of your PR or marketing efforts. This allows you to showcase the return on investment of your sample activations and highlight the effectiveness of your sample distribution efforts.

i) The Media Impact Value™ (MIV®) of Samples

And there’s another huge opportunity missed to establish the monetary value of each sample or collection post-activation. Quantifying the impact samples are making for your brand is complex. 

But with an integrated press monitoring and samples management platform, you can track the current location and status of every item. Professionals see all new and existing media placements (and identify the samples that won the mentions) in one location. 

And, with a metric like Media Impact Value™ (MIV®), each mention is quantified, justifying a samples return to your brand. This is a rare opportunity to equate just how much value each sample is generating, and create a report to wow your superiors. 

Brands should adopt robust and integrated sample management and media monitoring systems to better facilitate items between editors and ambassadors, gain a clear return on investment, and mitigate unnecessary costs or the risk of a fractured brand image.


2. Work Smarter with Samples 

What does the aftermath of a sample activation look like to you? It should involve cultivating relationships by sending samples to editors, celebrities and influencers - all in a bid to secure coverage. That’s why It’s essential to satisfy as many sample requests as possible to ensure greater coverage season after season. With this, you'll have an even more impressive media coverage report.

After a request, fast and total sample visibility is essential. If you’re looking for a certain piece, then making multiple calls or emails to find it results in wasted time and energy. Searching for desired pieces by organized categories, such as ‘color’ or ‘type’ makes all the difference and saves a lot of time. Maybe your e-commerce team is shooting the piece for your website or an influencer has hold of it. With this data, you can identify and directly contact the current owner. (hello automated software!). 

Fashion Sample Tracking: After the Send Out

After the sample is sent to editors or influencers, the next stage is crucial. Having access to sample management software that also displays the media performance of each individual piece (or even the entire collection), alerting your team to new updates continuously, is the only way to approach sample marketing. 

Why? Because outdated processes involve press or marketing officers spending hours hunting for individual media mentions to highlight successes. With an automated system, professionals can access media placements as soon as they arise and immediately see the sample linked to that mention. So, the sample you just sent to Vogue or Elle will appear in your feed with the sample highlighted and the value of that placement quantified. This saves your team infinite time and resources. 

Connect Sample Tracking and Media Coverage Report Processes

If you’re not treating sample send-outs, subsequent coverage and value reporting as three connected stages of one unified process, you’re doing samples all wrong. Don't isolate these three business functions. Tracking sample impact and holistically measuring ROI against this activity is business critical. That’s why an integrated samples management and press monitoring tool is essential. 

Yes, joined-up sample and coverage automation makes a heavenly PR process partnership.

3. Reveal Top-Performing Products and Brand Ambassadors 

With coverage achieved and samples better managed, how can these integrated processes produce data to transform how you approach your sample strategy?

Monitoring global print, online and social coverage in one space, and having those mentions linked to your sample sendouts and other related PR activity, allows you to quantify how much value each sample is bringing a brand throughout the media. But it also mean that brands can use the data to identify top performing assets - and even their most valuable relationships.

Sample Strategy, Ambassadors and Media Coverage

You might assume that a sample featuring on the front page of Vogue would be the holy grail of media coverage. But with the rising importance of Influencer Voice relationships, a strategic partnership with a Star Influencer catapults the MIV® of an asset - directly streaming content into the hands of target audiences and new markets.

Importantly, integrated samples and media mention technology allow PR professionals to  benchmark samples activity with any ongoing marketing activations. This sophisticated and seamless marriage of processes informs future strategy by instantly highlighting what’s successful and which samples aren’t quite cutting it for media coverage.

Building PR Relationships with Better Sample Processes 

PR and marketing activity is more efficient when underpinned by technology that assigns a monetary value and conversion rate to every sample. This type of support underpins the crucial day-to-day of professionals, saving the time, money, and providing data that’s relevant to multiple departments to ensure further media and collection success in the future.  

In turn, your more lucrative media relationships become clear, and return on samples investments becomes more strategic and cost-effective.

Unite Sample Tracking and Media Mentions to Quantify Results

Transform your processes for instant coverage impact


What are the Benefits of Automated Samples and Press Software?

Let’s sum up our findings.

  • Faster turnaround
  • Increased ROI
  • Stronger process throughout supply chain
  • Improved internal and external relationships 
  • Quantified sample performance for future strategy
  • A more impressive media coverage report

Achieve Sample and Media Coverage Report Success

It may sound like an ‘ideal world scenario’ but the truth is, this technology is finally here. The future of PR and sample management comes in the form of our seamless integration between Launchmetrics Samples and Discover. 

Our integrated offering bridges the gap between samples performance and media coverage reporting, making your media analysis that much easier and saving your team hours of precious time. Letting them get on with what they do best, informed by world-class data. 

That’s right, whatever your approach, you now have the data to back every decision. By integrating Launchmetrics Samples and Launchmetrics Discover, our customers can:

  • Connect press clips with samples send-outs to accurately measure and compare your impact using the Media Impact Value™metric.
  • Use AI to review and confirm suggested media placements, enhancing process efficiency
  • Easily track the editorial status of your placements, from pending to shot and placed, ensuring effective media coverage management.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch with our team today or visit our website to find out more about this one-of-a-kind offering. 

Let's talk about it Share with us your experience and opinion on the subjects by filling the form below.