Innovation as a strategy in the fashion market

For an industry known to be always ahead when it comes to aesthetic trends, fashion companies tend to be lagging behind other industries in relation to consumer empathy and technological innovation. But with retail facing an unprecedented era of challenges, the industry can not afford to just watch and expect to be revolutionized. In 2017 alone, 3,500 retail stores were closed, including 13 retail icons like the traditional Macy’s.

In a recent survey entitled Prepare Your Brand for the Future, released by WGSN Mindset, it is possible to identify that fashion companies are insecure about the future. While 75% of respondents felt confident that their strategies would be viable for a year, less than a quarter felt confident in their strategies for 10 years and beyond. The study also revealed that they felt unprepared to deal with unplanned expansion opportunities, with “lack of innovation” being the number one threat to longevity.

The study goes further and attempts to understand how an industry built on border-breaking is so lagging behind in the innovation of consumer experience. “Many fashion companies have been built by selling images and aspirational lifestyles, encouraging customers to buy the product associated with them. Today’s brands need to solve bigger problems and be more empathetic to their consumers’ needs.”

Marcas como a Nike estão promovendo a inovação através da criação de incubadoras em cidades-chaves como Berlin, Barcelona e Seul

Most companies are born because their founders are passionate about some fundamental demand in the market. To know how to innovate, companies must articulate this central purpose and evaluate all opportunities for expansion or development in relation to it. In other words, brand DNA can not and should not change, but the way it is expressed must evolve.

In this scenario, small businesses are standing out for agility. They are able to approve ideas more quickly, if they launch into the market, without being under public or legal scrutiny like the big brands. On the other hand, the need for consumer empathy requires that companies create almost personal connections with their customers. s.

“The recent reorganization of Nike signals a movement of large companies towards the creation of smaller and more active teams within their macro structure.The plan, known as Direct Customer Offensive, accelerates innovation by creating brand incubators in 12 cities- including cities such as Berlin, Barcelona and Seoul. Together, these cities account for 80% of Nike’s projected growth by 2020, “said study experts.