April 12, 2024

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What Fashion Marketing Professionals Need to Know Today

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Discover the most recent and relevant industry news and insights for fashion professionals working in marketing, to help you excel in your job interviews, promotion conversations or simply to perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events, as well as the exclusive interviews and conversations we have with experts and market leaders every day — to deliver key takeaways and learnings in your job function.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for marketing professionals today:

1. Unpacking Levi’s New Marketing Strategy

An image from Levi's new "Live in Levi's" ad campaign.
The new campaign is the first major campaign from Levi’s CMO Kenny Mitchell. (Levi’s)

Levi’s in the midst of a transitional moment. The nearly 171-year-old company, one of the oldest operating retail brands in the United States, is currently on a mission not only to shift how consumers consider Levi’s, but also where they shop for its products. Last year laid bare the vulnerabilities of the brand’s historic reliance on wholesale: in January, Levi’s announced it had missed revenue estimates for the fourth quarter and planned to cut 10 to 15 percent of its corporate jobs.

If the goal is to deepen consumers’ connection with Levi’s, prioritising stores is a good initial step, said Allen Adamson, co-founder and CEO of marketing agency Metaforce. There, shoppers can see Levi’s full assortment and talk to employees that are experts about the brand. “To change the fundamental perception of a brand’s image, they’ve got to go direct to consumer, because wholesalers don’t have the skill set and funds to do that,” Adamson said. “It’s a marathon, but they had to start in this direction.”

Related Jobs:

Head of Growth Marketing & E-Commerce, Ventete — London, United Kingdom

Communications Intern, Tiffany & Co. — Milan, Italy

Brand Loyalty Marketing Coordinator, Bloomingdale’s — New York, United States

2. Temu and Shein Are the ‘Jaws’ of Digital Advertising

The Chinese e-commerce players’ digital-advertising spree can suddenly send the prices rivals pay for visibility online soaring.
The Chinese e-commerce players’ digital-advertising spree can suddenly send the prices rivals pay for visibility online soaring. (Shutterstock)

Chinese e-commerce players Temu and Shein have been on a huge advertising spree capable of disrupting the marketing of any brands they end up competing against head-to-head. […] Temu’s parent company, PDD, spent almost $2 billion on Meta ads in 2023, sources told the Wall Street Journal, making it Meta’s biggest advertiser by revenue for the year. (Temu disputed the number but didn’t provide a figure of its own.) In the last quarter of 2023, Shein’s US ad spending was up 160 percent compared to the prior year, according to data from digital-intelligence firm SensorTower.

Most of the time, fashion brands won’t see much impact from this flood of advertising. But when it’s targeted at the same shoppers they are trying to reach, it can make it dramatically more expensive to get the same number of clicks from users — and may come as they are already fighting to keep their shoppers from decamping to those platforms for similar-looking items at much cheaper prices.

Related Jobs:

Senior Brand Marketing Manager, The Bicester Collection — London, United Kingdom

Digital Marketing & CRM Intern, Hugo Boss — New York, United States

Senior Marketing Manager, Kate Spade — Shanghai, China

3. What’s Driving the Influencer Subscription Boom

Through platforms like Substack and Patreon as well as Instagram, influencers are able to put more of their content behind a paywall.
Through platforms like Substack and Patreon as well as Instagram, influencers are able to put more of their content behind a paywall. (Substack)

A growing number of content creators are asking their audience to pay a monthly subscription fee for, often, the same content they were giving away for free not too long ago. They are pitching followers on Substack newsletters, typically priced between $5 to $10 a month, or video on Patreon, where subscriptions range from as little as $1 a month to hundreds of dollars. In a sure sign the concept is taking off, Instagram rolled out a subscription feature in the US in 2022, which it has since expanded to other countries.

The trend is much newer in fashion, with fashion and beauty subscriptions on Substack up 80 percent in 2023 from the year prior. Many of those that have attracted the largest paid followings already had a loyal audience cultivated elsewhere. Established influencers can also count on steady income from subscribers, without having to worry about the ups and downs of the social advertising market. They are able to speak directly to readers who have literally paid to see them, rather than trusting the algorithm.

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Marketing Manager, Fruity Booty — London, United Kingdom

Social Engagement Coordinator, On — Zurich, Switzerland

Communications Associate, Ralph Lauren — Milan, Italy

4. Coach Opens Its First Restaurant — in Jakarta

Coach is set to open its first restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia this week.
Coach is set to open its first restaurant in Jakarta, Indonesia this week. (Courtesy)

There’s multiple reasons for opening the first Coach restaurant in Indonesia, according to Todd Kahn, Coach’s chief executive officer and brand president. The country has a youthful population — about half are Millennials, Gen-Z or younger. The Coach’s team in the region has had experience opening other experiential spaces, such as the Coach Play Shophouse concept store in Singapore. As well, the brand has been expanding its presence in the Southeast Asia in recent years.

The hope is that this will just be the first of several future hospitality concepts. […] It’s a way to keep consumers in the brand’s universe for longer — a meal at a restaurant could last multiple hours, while few shopping trips take that much time — but also bring Coach into the sentimental experience of sharing a meal. There are merchandise opportunities too, such as Coach Coffee Shop branded hats, shirts and pouches.

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Social Media Executive, House of Sunny — London, United Kingdom

Consumer Insight & Loyalty Director, AWWG — Madrid, Spain

Director of Social Media, Gap — San Francisco, United States

5. The Real Reasons LVMH Is Embracing Entertainment

A smiling model wearing Dior's famous bar jacket walks the runway.
A still from “The New Look” on Apple TV. (Apple)

When LVMH announced the launch of 22 Montaigne Entertainment, a central platform to connect its 75 maisons with the entertainment industry, the move was about more than trying to capitalise on audiences eager to watch stories about brands from Barbie to Nike. It was also a survival plan for a world where traditional forms of mass-media advertising are losing their effectiveness.

“Most people now consume their entertainment through various streaming services, and a lot of people, particularly the more affluent people, pay to not have their entertainment interrupted by advertising,” said Anish Melwani, chief executive of LVMH North America. […] Some of the industry’s biggest players are now creating more formal ties to the entertainment business. Last April, Saint Laurent announced a film production unit, while in September, Artémis, the holding company of Kering owner François Pinault, bought a majority stake in Hollywood talent agency CAA.

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Media Planning & Buying Coordinator, Burberry — London, United Kingdom

Marketing Manager, Bachendorf’s — Dallas, United States

Marketing & Communications Director, Alexander McQueen — Shanghai, China

6. How Algorithms Are Rewiring Fashion

How Algorithms Are Rewiring Fashion
How Algorithms Are Rewiring Fashion (Shutterstock)

Shopping journeys today are the result of algorithms. They start at TikTok’s “For You” page, but they also figure into what content influencers are posting as they optimise for views, what a brand is selling and even how the delivery service is routing the product to you. It points to one of the other ways brands have learned to get attention: marketing stunts and over-the-top looks engineered to circulate online.

Not all algorithms are the same. What they are all doing, though, is influencing what consumers see, like, buy and wear. The power of algorithms has even led some shoppers to question whether they’re purchasing things because they genuinely like them or just because they’ve seen them online so many times, a phenomenon Kyle Chayka wrote about in The New Yorker, covers in his book: “Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture” and spoke to at the BoF Professional Summit: AI, Digital Culture and Virtual Worlds.

Related Jobs:

CRM Project Coordinator, Arlettie — London, United Kingdom

Community Marketer, Cou Cou Intimates — London, United Kingdom

Director of Communications, Fashion Institute of Technology — New York, United States

7. The US TikTok Ban Clears Its First Hurdle. What’s Next?

Tik Tok ban
Tik Tok ban (Shutterstock)

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed a bill with overwhelming bipartisan support that could ultimately lead to a forced sale of the mega-popular app — or a total ban in the US. Though TikTok may be best known for seemingly non-threatening videos of teens dancing or influencers promoting products, lawmakers have raised concerns that the app, owned by ByteDance, could be used by the Chinese government to collect personal data on or influence its 170 million American users.

If ultimately signed into law, the legislation — called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act — would give ByteDance 180 days to sell TikTok or see it barred from app stores and web-hosting services in the US, upending the social media landscape in the country.

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Social Media & Community Executive, Maharishi — London, United Kingdom

Social Media Manager, Strathberry — Edinburgh, Schotland

Brand Communications Manager, Smithe Studios — Los Angeles, United States

8. US Luxury Purchases Fell 15 Percent in February, According to Citi Credit Card Data

US economic growth
US economic growth (Getty Images/Getty Images)

US luxury sales have continued to slide from their post-pandemic peak, according to credit card data from Citi. Luxury spending was 15 percent lower year-on-year in February, following a 19 percent drop for January according to a panel of more than 10 million US cardholders, the bank’s analysts said. American customers were the driving force for a post-pandemic boom in high-end fashion sales amid surging equity prices, economic stimulus and restrictions on other spending categories like restaurants and travel.

But since late 2022 forces including slowing growth, rapid inflation and the return of travel and experiences have all taken the wind out of US luxury’s sails. “These figures suggest the high-end US consumer remains fragile, having reconnected over the past year with the economic cycle, particularly lower-income consumers whose excess savings have eroded with inflation, rising jobless claims and credit card delinquencies,” Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet wrote in a note.

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Social Media Manager, Mac Duggal — Chicago, United States

Brand Manager, Chalhoub Group — Dubai, United Arab Emirates

PR Manager, Gucci — Tokyo, Japan

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