Consumers increasingly care about the social and environmental impact of their purchasing and consumption — and it impacts their decisions for what and where to buy says Michelle Beeson of Forrester. Between the recent scrutiny, that fashion and beauty brands have faced to the 32,000 car miles used during London Fashion Week alone, audiences are starting to hold brands accountable. We are starting to see this change take place with an increase in sustainable brands – the beauty industry has generated $77M in MIV® in relation to sustainable terms, whilst the fashion sector has racked up $40M in MIV.
Whilst consumers expect the same speed and access that the digital world has brought, they are also putting higher precedence on how companies operate, through the entire supply chain of products. The question is: is there a way to maximize efficiency, without compromising sustainability and unnecessary waste? The answer is data.
Here are 4 ways companies can use data to become more sustainable.
Analyze your audience
Understanding your audience is key in any marketing strategy, and it translates to sustainability strategies too. The more you know about your audience, the more you can predict their buying patterns. This can be done in a number of ways. By analyzing your social media content, you can see which products and campaigns perform the best, giving you initial insight into what products are likely to be popular.
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This post on Reformation received a much higher engagement compared to other outfit posts on their feed.
You can also form a digital gallery before a collection launch, and see which pieces get the most traction on shares, in which region – indicating where you should allocate stock. Tracking press coverage is also extremely telling. See which publications and regions talk the most about your products and find out what style, or type of product this is. You can start to make predictions about how your audience will respond, and make smart decisions when it comes to stock allocation and production.
Leverage important Voices
Partnering with relevant Influencers and Celebrities for campaign launches is essential when it comes to selling products. 82% of consumers are more likely to follow recommendations from influencers, as compared to 73% from an average person. Having a ‘face’ for your launch that resonates with consumers can help you sell out and potentially go viral. You can take this a step further, by sharing sustainability initiatives with these Celebrities and Influencers, so that this can be translated and pushed to your wider audience. Rather than sharing just your initiatives yourself, someone else talking about you increases your authenticity tenfold, and can also help push new launches, or even unsold products – reducing the likelihood of waste.
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@teatumjones have joined @goodonyou_app ⭐️ allowing them to vocalise the work they’ve been doing to move towards being a better, pro-social, sustainable and modern brand. ✨ I love that their SS19 collection was inspired by interviews with activists & campaigners (including @jusmarai 💛) working to End Violence Against Women & Girls! Our collaboration for @g7 fit like a glove 🧤💚
Emma Watson, who is one of the top Celebrity Voices when it comes to sustainability (drumming up an MIV of $1M for sustainability initiatives over the first half of the year), is a spokesperson for brand Teatum Jones, vocalizing her support of other activists and sustainable initiatives.
Cut your losses
Did you know that brands can lose up to $10 million in samples per year? This represents a huge dollar amount, but also a large amount of product waste in losses, that could easily be combatted. By going digital and tracking your samples on each part of their journey you can reduce the potential for this loss, and spend less money on new production. Also, consider analyzing who you send your samples to. Are you picking the right publications or the influencers that represent your tone of voice in the most authentic way? Influencers and celebrities represent 14.6% of the total Media Impact Value when it comes to sustainable fashion brands and are key resources to tap in to and leverage when it comes to your campaigns.
If you are a smaller fashion or beauty brand, you could put your products online before launch and full production. As new consumers are willing and wanting to spend on sustainable brands, feature exclusive product drops and create pieces after they have been ordered. This ensures you meet the demand of your consumers every time, but also cut back on the wasted products too.