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Strategic branding insights for fashion tech in 2024

Discover the top eight trends that will matter in fashion tech this year

Mayya geo

In 2024, technology continues to advance at lightning speed. To stay up to date with changing consumer behavior, the fashion-tech industry is becoming increasingly connected with the digital world. From virtual try-on features and digital fashion to augmented-reality shopping experiences and wearable tech (because who doesn’t want a smartwatch that tells you when to change your outfit?), fashion-tech companies are constantly pushing the boundaries of modernizing the industry with innovation.

In this article, we’ll explore the top eight branding trends that are set to take the fashion-tech industry by storm in 2024, including the use of sustainable materials and experimental marketing activation. It’s certain that both fashion-tech startups and established companies will have to continue making a positive environmental impact in the fashion space.

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1. Community building

Community will remain an important topic in branding. Traditional brand experiences and one-way communication have changed for good. Only the brands that succeed in creating an engaging community will be able to ensure a great experience and a sense of belonging. There are multiple ways to foster this experience, like community campaigns, social media, events, and other interactive experiences.

For example, Patagonia has built its strong community by promoting sustainable practices and encouraging customers to repair and reuse their products. Patagonia also hosts events and gatherings for customers to connect with each other as well as with the brand. It also advocates for environmental causes. This approach not only fosters a sense of community among customers but also aligns the brand with a larger mission, which is one of the key ways to foster loyalty and a sense of belonging.

Many fashion companies are creating community experiences by maintaining active communication on different channels, like Discord. Keeping their customers informed (for example, on how to use their products) and offering community-created content are important factors in building a great experience there! Some web3 projects might use a Discord channel to connect with their community and to give that community a platform to share their thoughts and experiences with the company. This approach not only provides a place for its consumers to connect with the brand and other fans but also creates a sense of exclusivity and generates a buzz around the brand.

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2. Collabs

Collaborations between fashion companies have become an increasingly popular way to increase branding success in recent years. By partnering with other companies, brands can tap into new audiences and gain exposure to new markets. And most importantly, partnering up can help companies to innovate by exploring new mediums offered by the collaborators.

One example of a successful collaboration is when a well-established company partners with a newer, up-and-coming brand. This can help the newer brand to gain credibility and exposure, while the established company can tap into the energy and innovation of the newer brand. A brilliant example is the Nike acquisition of the innovative web3 company RTFKT in late 2021.

Another approach is for two already well-established brands to collaborate on a collection or project, which can lead to the creation of unique and innovative products. These collaborations can be a mind-blowing success due to size of communities and already interested audiences. One example for this type of collab is the one between RTFKT and Takashi Murakami in 2022 when they created the popular Clone X project.

Collaborations can also be used to create experiences and events that allow customers to connect with the brands in a new way. For example, a fashion-tech company could partner with a metaverse company to create an interactive experience that allows customers to newly explore the brand. Gucci, for example, created Gucci Town in collaborating with Roblox in 2022.

We can only make it better together. This powerful branding activity can be a great way to build unique and desirable products, reach new audiences, and create new experiences for the customers.

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3. Use of AI, VR, and AR

AI technologies entered the mainstream in 2023, providing a great user-experience enhancement to various retail and e-commerce fashion businesses. AI chatbots can facilitate seamless interactions, curate search functionalities that are tailored to individuals’ preferences, and customize and even co-create products. This technology has proven its stability in the market.

Virtual and augmented-reality technology is already more prevalent in branding, allowing customers to experience products in new and innovative ways. Brands can use VR and AR to provide virtual try-ons, virtual tours of factories, and other immersive experiences. With creating some remarkable and mind-blowing user experiences, both virtual and augmented-reality technologies are already becoming more prevalent in fashion brands.

Some companies are using VR and AR to provide virtual try-ons, allowing customers to see how an item of clothing or accessory looks on them without having to physically try it on. This can save time and money for both the customer and the brand.

Another use of augmented reality is seen in the vast spectrum of digital fashion items that are already offered in the mainstream. Allowing their creators to come up with the craziest designs, digital fashion items are not only visually impressive but are also considered kinder to the environment.

A very impressive use of this technology is to provide virtual tours of factories, allowing customers to see the production process and learn more about the brand’s commitment to sustainability and transparency as mentioned above. This is a great way to show (and not only tell), and it builds trust with customers.

Brands are leveraging AI, VR, and AR to craft immersive experiences that transport customers to a different world, such as metaverse shows, virtual fashion shows, or digital pop-up shops. These experiences are indeed creating an emotional connection with customers, enhancing their experiences and showcasing that the future of new-fashion consumption has already arrived.

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4. Omnichannel

Maintaining consistency and ensuring seamless customer experience is a key factor to sustaining customer well-being and satisfaction. User behavior has drastically changed since the pandemic. Coupled with the ongoing financial crisis, this has led to adjustments in strategic branding and marketing activities.

Some brands are using a combination of physical stores, e-commerce, and social media to reach customers and create great experiences across all channels. This could be a combination of a physical store where customers can try on clothes, an e-commerce platform where they can purchase items, mobile applications using AR that help users try clothing from the comfort of their home, and a social-media presence where they can engage with the brand and stay informed about new products and promotions. By creating a consistent brand experience across all these channels, companies can build trust with their customers. Additionally, companies can use data collected from these channels to personalize the customer experience and create targeted marketing campaigns. This multichannel approach allows companies to reach a wider audience on multiple touchpoints and increase their impact.

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5. Transparency and sustainability

This is not a trend, but a reality. With growing environmental concerns surrounding fashion production, consumers have become more aware of the environmental and social impact of their fashion purchases, both physical and digital. Brands will need to be even more transparent about their production processes and materials. Eco-friendly and socially responsible companies will be the right choice for consumers. This means that companies will need to provide detailed information about where their materials come from, how they are produced, and what steps they are taking to minimize their negative environmental impact. Moreover, there is a need for communication and commitment to fair labor practices and social responsibility. To reach a brighter future, all fashion brands will have to increase their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and support sustainable causes.

One way to communicate transparency is through certifications and labels, such as Fairtrade, Organic, or GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). Consumers can easily identify a product that is environmentally friendly and ethically produced. Brands can also use their own sustainability report to communicate their efforts to customers and even make the report available to the public.

Another way to communicate transparency and sustainability is by using sustainable materials and production methods. This could be using organic cotton, Tencel, or recycled polyester, and avoiding the use of toxic dyes and chemicals in production, for example. By using sustainable materials and production methods, brands can reduce their environmental impact.

Honesty and transparency are the future of clear communication with consumers. The brands that are transparent and sustainable will be more attractive.

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6. Personalization and production on demand

The idea of “one-size-fits-all” is becoming a thing of the past! Why? Because customers crave more personalized experiences. That’s why personalization is becoming a key trend in the fashion industry. With the help of data and technology, brands are able to provide personalized product recommendations, customized products, and other unique, personalized experiences. This not only allows customers to feel like they are receiving special treatment, but also ensures that production is limited to only the pieces that are truly needed, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. It’s a win-win situation for both customers and brands.

One way to use personalization is through the use of technology and digital fashion to create customized products. For example, a brand may allow customers to use a virtual try-on feature to see how a product would look on them, or even use 3D-printing technology to create a customized product based on a customer’s measurements and preferences. Creating experiences that are tailored to a customer’s preferences is another way of personalizing the experience. This can include offering personalized styling or shopping experiences, or even creating personalized marketing campaigns.

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7. Inclusion and diversity

Our society is colorfully diverse, and smart brands are recognizing the need to appeal to this range. Fashion brands must be mindful of cultural differences and tailor their branding accordingly. This includes things like using culturally relevant imagery, symbols, and colors, as well as adapting communication styles to different cultures. Many brands are now considering cultural sensitivity—for example, using models from different ethnic backgrounds in their advertising and being sensitive to cultural norms and values in their messaging.

The easiest way to make sure you know your target audience is to conduct research. The first step is to learn more about the cultures that are relevant to your brand. This includes understanding the needs, values, and beliefs of different cultures, as well as the cultural associations of colors, symbols, and imagery in fashion. Once you have a good understanding of the cultures that are relevant to your brand, you can begin to design collections that are inclusive of different cultures. This can be done by using diverse models in your campaigns, and creating culturally inspired clothing and accessories. Ensure that your designs are inclusive of different body types and sizes. I can’t stress this enough because it’s important to be sensitive to cultural norms when marketing and promoting your brand. This includes being mindful of cultural taboos, avoiding cultural appropriation, and being respectful of cultural traditions. Also, it’s important to make sure that the models, photographers, designers, and other individuals involved in your campaigns and collections are representative of the cultures you are trying to reach.

A multicultural approach in branding allows companies to create a more authentic and inclusive brand that resonates with a wider range of customers. It also allows brands to tap into new markets and increase their customer base. As the world becomes more globalized and diverse, it is becoming increasingly important to embrace a multicultural approach in order to stay relevant.

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8. Storytelling

With the wider use of AI tools and AI generated content, authenticity and uniqueness is becoming a central ingredient of the successful brands. Therefore, storytelling is becoming an increasingly important aspect of branding, as it allows a connection with customers on a deeper and more personal level. When used properly, storytelling creates emotional connection, and communicates the brand values, vision, and mission.

Through the use of compelling visuals and videos, a brand can tell a story about its vision and its products. For example, a brand may use a video to showcase the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into creating a particular product, or use images to create a narrative about a particular collection or campaign.

Another way that brands are using storytelling is with influencer marketing and user-generated content. Brands collaborate with influencers and customers to showcase how their products are being used in real-life situations, which can help to build a more authentic and relatable connection.

Storytelling can also create experiences that are themed around a particular story or narrative. This can include creating pop-up shops or events that are based on a particular theme, or launching a limited-edition collection that is inspired by a story or narrative.

This is only the beginning

The fashion-tech industry is constantly evolving. Companies must stay up to date with the latest trends in order to remain relevant with their branding efforts. By keeping the latest trends in mind, fashion-tech companies can create innovative and effective branding strategies that will help them stay differentiated. The future is bright, connected, digital, and transparent. And I hope to see you there.

Now that you have eight powerful trends to inspire your activities, you have everything you need to plan your branding in 2024.

Are you ready to redefine your brand’s destiny and become an icon in the world of fashion and creative technology? Begin by taking the quiz to assess your brand’s current standing. Your journey to becoming an iconic brand awaits!

Thank you for reading! 💜