Memes are hilarious and entertaining content that is rapidly shared by social media users. Often individuals and brands bring slight variations to the memes (by altering the caption or similar changes) before reposting them. While social media played an instrumental role in boosting the popularity of meme culture, the origin of memes can be traced back to 1976.
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins defined memes as a unit of cultural information that is spread by imitation. According to him, memes play an important role in the cultural development of a society. The fashion industry is one whose foundations are based on the fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) and the celebration of cultural phenomena and ideas. Although the use of memes is gaining rapid popularity in the world of marketing, the fashion industry was one of the pioneers.
For decades, the fashion industry has been leveraging memes as a means of guerrilla advertising. To them, memes are a means to bridge the gap between themselves and potential customers. Memes establish a connection by stating that there are common lies and dislikes. This lays the foundations of a healthy business relationship. In this article, we will get to the details of how fashion brands are leveraging the potential of memes.
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Ways in Which Fashion Brands Are Leveraging Memes
The world of fashion is a creative space, and brands have been quick to come up with memes and leverage them to boost sales. Here are some steps adopted by the fashion industry.
Creating Original Content
There is immense pressure on fashion brands to come with engaging content that will keep the followers engrossed in the social media channel. Multiple video editing tools provide meme templates and allow the content creator to develop original memes.
For example, with InVideo, you can create an original meme in a matter of minutes. Such original content stands higher chances of going viral and improving the reach of the fashion brand.
Refurbishing Viral Content
Marketing professions of popular fashion brands are on a constant lookout for ways to repost popular memes. From viral memes to classic ones, fashion brands look for ways to incorporate their brand identity in the memes. Since it takes less effort to refurbish an existing meme, brands see this as a shortcut to generating user engagement.
Keeping Up with The Latest Trends
The world of fashion is constantly evolving. Something that is in vogue today may be obsolete tomorrow. Fashion brands are comfortable with the idea of chance, and this is helpful to them while creating memes.
Top fashion brands keep an eye on the viral YouTube videos and use them as fodder for meme material. Marketing professionals from such fashion brands also follow the latest social media trends on Twitter and Facebook to identify the hot topics for meme ideas.
Experimenting with Meme Media Content
Fashion brands do not hesitate to take a risk, and that is why their memes are often more than just funny images. This industry was one of the first to use stickers, GIFs, and video memes. Video memes are hilarious content as they cater to the audio and visual aspects of the viewer.
That way, the viewer is more engrossed in the video and will find it more interesting. Fashion brands have been pioneers in many aspects of meme marketing, and their experimentation with digital media paved the way for other industries to leverage meme marketing.
Learning to Laugh at Oneself
Owners of fashion brands are usually risk-takers who do not shy away from experimenting with digital content. They are comfortable in their skin and often poke fun at themselves. Multiple fashion brands are seen to organize digital competitions where they ask the viewers to create memes on a product or theme.
Brands reward the best memes and repost them from their brand handle. That way, fashion brands get access to several quality memes without much investment. Please note that while it is acceptable to poke fun at yourself or your brand, successful fashion brands are highly particular about how to draw a line. Under no circumstances do such brands poke fun at their patrons.
Exploring Beyond Social Media
Fashion brands were pioneers in taking memes beyond social media. Many fashion brands are serious about their email marketing initiatives and use that to maintain their relationship with customers. Fashion brands often incorporate memes in such emails to cheer up their target group. Memes are also used in the website and the landing pages of fashion brands.
Successful Examples of Fashion Brands Using Meme Marketing
Sophistication and grace are the preconceptions that most of us associate with the luxury brand Gucci. With their #TFWGucci campaign of 2017, the fashion brand used memes to show a hip version of themselves. The brand collaborated with artists around the globe to create hilarious memes.
The TFWGucci campaign added edgy graphics to Gucci’s sophisticated landing page. This gave the brand a refreshing makeover and set the stage for launching the new watch line.
Chinese couturier Guo Pei was a lesser-known name in the world of fashion till 2015. In 2015, the brand designed Rihanna’s famous omelet dress that she wore at the Met Gala event. The fact that Rihanna looked like a popular brunch dish sparked a buzz, and the internet was swamped with relevant memes. Many fashion critics believe that the dress was designed in this manner to provide meme fodder. The result of the millions of meme circulation was an exponential rise in the popularity of Guo Pei and a significant boost to the annual sales.
Tips to Leverage Memes to Grow Your Fashion Brand
The above successful meme campaigns must motivate you to try out meme marketing for your fashion brand. The easy availability of meme generator tools coupled with the fact that memes are simple to create will further strengthen your resolve. However, you need to understand that a successful meme strategy requires thorough planning. Here are some tips that will help you to steer the success story of your fashion brand.
Do Your Audience Homework
People from all walks of life are interested in fashion and like to keep themselves abreast with the latest fashion trends. As a brand, you should invest your efforts in creating audience personas and understanding what your viewers enjoy.
While everyone likes to see a meme and have a laugh, you do not want to create content that is beyond the comprehension of your viewers. For example, starter pack memes are ideal for a millennial target group. However, if your fashion brand caters to an older and elegant audience, a nostalgic meme will be more appropriate for you.
Incorporate Your Brand Identity in the Meme
When you create a meme, you expect to strike the right chord with the audience. When you succeed in this, and the meme gets viral, you cannot expect everyone to share the caption and description of the meme. That is why you must incorporate the brand’s identity while creating the meme.
For example, you can use your brand colors, logo, or tagline in the meme. If your brand creates multiple memes, try to be consistent in the design and layout. That way, when a potential customer sees your meme, they will relate it to your brand. The brand identity is established, and this will help you achieve your fashion marketing goals.
Strike A Balance
You need to understand that the reason why most people follow the social media handles of fashion brands is to get an idea of trending fashion ideas. If you have too many meme posts, your brand will have to compromise on influential posts.
In the long run, this might cost you your loyal customers. To make the most of your digital media marketing, strike a balance and chalk out how much memes will be appreciated by your audience. That way, you will be using memes to attract new followers, but your memes will not drive away from the loyal followers.
Ensure That Your Meme Is Not Offensive
As a fashion brand, it is understandable that you enjoy experimenting with your content. While this is a welcome step, we recommend that you do background research before resharing a meme. Studying the origin of the meme will help you understand the context and ensure that it is in sync with your company values.
Posting a meme that offends a community, group, or individual will earn you negative publicity. You may even lose the respect of your target group. Such a thing will cost you your brand’s reputation and do you more harm than good. In some situations, your fashion brand may even need to release public apologies. To avoid such embarrassing situations, it is recommended that you do the necessary homework before sharing a meme.
Thus, you see that fashion brands are constantly looking for newer ways to leverage memes in their marketing strategies. Memes have played an instrumental role in steering the marketing success stories of many fashion brands. Irrespective of your budget, you can strategize and use memes to boost the sales of your fashion brand.