Updated: Jul 31, 2019
From Instagram to broadsheet newspapers, it seems that for the past few weeks it’s been impossible to avoid that spotted Zara dress. The dress’s appeal is easy to see; it looks good on the young and old, it’s smart enough for the office with courts or dressed down with trainers for a weekend brunch, the monochrome palette suits everyone, the modest shape means it covers a multitude of sins and at £39 it’s relatively inexpensive.
In the past turning up to an event in the same outfit as someone else would have been quite the faux pas. In fact I still inwardly cringe at the painfully nineties memory of me at a school disco, dancing the Macarena in a line-up with two other girls- all wearing the same dress from Tammy Girl. But times have changed, a dress can go viral and bumping into or seeing someone on social media wearing the same as you means that you are part of the zeitgeist together. This is event shopping. Knowing glances and laughing faced emoji will follow, you’re part of the fashion pack.
As Professor Carolyn Mair PhD, consultant at psychology.fashion and author of The Psychology of Fashion says ‘We don’t like to feel we’re missing out’.
‘If our social group, or those we aspire to, have something, we want to have it too, so we feel we are aligned with them. This is termed 'social conformity' in which our behaviour changes to fit in with a group’.
This is all great news if you’re looking to stock your online store with the next Zara dress. Finding something that suits lots of people is the first step, nothing’s ever going to go viral if it only suits size zero models who are six feet tall. People need to look at an item and be able to imagine themselves in it.
This is where viral marketing comes in, getting your dress onto the right influencers is key because as Mair says ‘They are 'ordinary' people living what appear to be extraordinary lives. In a sense, [there's this idea of] 'If they can do it, so can I'.
Think of your brand and who you want to drive to your online store. You may want lots of people to buy this one item, but while they’re there they will buy more too, and come back if you have the right stock. Once you know who you’re after then you can go out and get them but picking influencers who will appeal to your target audience.
Having the right influencers on board will drive consumers to your product. Take for example a Dior Saddle bag; when 100 global influencers posted an image modelling the bag on Instagram last year, searches for it rose 957% in only 48 hours.
Harness social media and its power with click to buy links, directing people straight to your product. A mix of buzz, a must-have product that will suit lots of women and affordability will have people flocking to buy your piece. Get it right and you’ll knock the spots off the Zara dress.
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