Covid-19 is driving menswear brands to re-evaluate their relationship with luxury and tailoring, embracing a rise of male influencers – designers themselves and actors leading the way.
In our latest report, Marketing Reset: The Voices Impacting Brand Performance during Covid-19, we discovered that consumers feel more positively about brands making an effort to support society during the pandemic. Consider the likes of iconic British brand Burberry and Dutch shirt manufacturer van Laack launching their logo-branded masks, with all proceeds going to charities supporting health workers. The Burberry gear was sold out in minutes, showing consumers’ keen engagement to do their bit through brands that already mean something to them.
The key Marketing Strategies for Menswear Brands During Covid
With clout and hype solidified as key drivers in menswear over the last decade, there has been a natural fall away from this trend during the pandemic. Audiences are watching the devastating financial effects of Covid, and suddenly, accumulating belongings seems pointless in a world where consumers can’t leave their houses. Yet seasoned shoppers report to still value connoisseurship and quality. Instead of turning away from consumerism altogether, shoppers anticipate a renegotiation of its value. Consumers distinguish their wants from their needs and seek to streamline their spending as the pandemic evolves.
Launchmetrics’ most recent data from before, during, and at the early stages of the subsequent recovery period of Covid allows us to forecast certain predictions.
In this article, we take a look at Voices that contributed to maintaining customer loyalty and activating new target groups through the examples of brands such as Hackett London, Alfred Dunhill, and Paul Smith.
In the first quarter of 2020, traditional Saville Row tailor, Hackett London maintained a high performing Media Impact Value™, generating $10.9M in MIV® – a significant increase of 98% compared to the first months of 2019 ($5.5M from January to April). In the intensive weeks of lockdown in March, their MIV® remained strong at $2.8M in 2020 vs $1.69M in the previous year for the same months. The largest part of the value was generated by Media (87% vs 81% in 2019) and Celebrities (8% in 2002 vs 3% in 2019).
One of the most significant mentions in March was an editorial piece in German GQ with Welsh actor Luke Evans, generating $137K in MIV® and exposing brand inspiration from traditional tailoring to the European and German audience.
In April, a personal story of Jeremy Hackett published in The Robb Report generated the highest Owned Media MIV® of $320K.
Finally, in May, an Instagram post created by soccer player and model Pepe Barroso Silva promoting Hackett’s partnership with Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals in a mission to combat Covid-19 using the hashtag #STAYHackett was worth $118K.
A British luxury goods brand with over 100 years of history has followed a similar strategy – keeping their Celebrity and Media engagements and numbers constantly high.
Alfred Dunhill’s MIV® between January-April 2020 rose to $9.9M, a steady increase of 22% compared to the same period in 2019 of $8.1M. Interestingly enough, the largest MIV® in March was generated by the singer and performer Billy Porter appearing at one of the latest physical events in the industry – pre-Grammy Gala – and rocking the red carpet with black leather Alfred Dunhill trousers. This Instagram post documented the style across 1.6M followers, generating $92K in MIV®.
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#tbt to @clivejdavis’ incredible pre-Grammy Awards Gala. Y’all know I gagged when I got to my table and realized that I was seated next to the legendary @speakerpelosi! It was a night to remember! Happy Birthday, Madam Speaker! ⠀ 📷: @gettyimages⠀ Style by @sammyratelle for @rrrcreative ⠀ Jacket by Vintage Gianni @versace Couture ⠀ Top by @julienmacdonald ⠀ Pants by @alfreddunhill ⠀ Custom Hat by @christopherjayheller ⠀ Boots by @jimmychoo ⠀ Bag by @judithleiberny ⠀ Eyewear by @thombrowneny
Media accounted for 88% of the MIV® for Alfred Dunhill in 2020 followed by Celebrity Voices (7% in 2020 vs 3% in 2019 from January-April) – all thanks to stories like these and editorial shoots for magazines like Lòfficiel Homes, Esquire, and Beijing Lifestyle, with the latest indicating strong interest in the brand amongst Chinese consumers and readers.
Sir Paul Smith is his namesake brand’s best testimonial; and not only through his own Instagram page dedicated to design. The British brand has focused its core strategy during the past months with Media mentions being key. What worked in 2019 and generated $19.4M in MIV® in the first trimester of the year, was also the case in 2020 with a total MIV® of $19.8M from January to April.
One of the highest performing brand stories in March was the portrait of the designer entitled “Paul Smith: the art of looking” published in Air France Magazine – which brought over $60K in MIV®.
In April, the brand landed a $41K MIV® editorial story featuring actor Daniel Craig in his interview for GQ USA.
The use of reputable Media Voices featuring male Celebrities seems essential for all of the menswear brands mentioned during Covid. Our Marketing Reset report brought to the surface that in trying times, maintaining brand equity is fundamental, and, as the landscape changes, consumers are looking for engaging stories in well-known publications, as well as sources of inspiration.