Marketing communication strategies for fashion brands and measurements of efficiency

Bachelor Thesis, 2014

91 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Table of contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Preface
1.2 Objectives
1.3 Delimitation of the subject
1.4 The approach

2 Fundamentals of brand communication
2.1 The identity-oriented process of brand management
2.2 Goals of the identity-oriented process of brand management
2.3 Promotion and communication
2.4 Types of communication
2.5 Ways to communicate
2.6 Marketing communications

3 Marketing communication strategies
3.1 Template for a general strategic plan
3.2 The strategies
3.2.1 Advertisements
3.2.2 Editorial coverage
3.2.3 Product placements
3.2.4 Collaborations
3.2.5 Events and sponsorships
3.2.6 Guerilla marketing and viral marketing
3.2.7 Web presentation
3.2.8 Mobile strategies
3.2.9 Recommendations

4 Measurements of efficiency
4.1 Economic advertising impact
4.2 Testing
4.3 Marketing research
4.4 Media response analysis
4.5 Advertising value equivalence
4.6 Web controlling
4.7 Social media monitoring

5 Relevant targeted customer segments and their use of media
5.1 Fragmentation of target audiences through market segmentation
5.2 The target audiences
5.2.1 Fast fashion customer
5.2.2 Fashion opinion leader
5.2.3 Luxury and premium customer
5.2.4 Active adults

6 The suitable measurements of efficiency and target audiences for each strategy
6.1 Advertisements
6.1.1 Print advertisements
6.1.2 Outdoor advertisements
6.1.3 Traditional electronic advertisements
6.1.4 Online advertisements
6.2 Editorial coverage
6.2.1 Editorial coverage in print publications
6.2.2 Editorial coverage in online press and in online presences of print publications
6.3 Product placements
6.4 Collaborations
6.4.1 Celebrity endorsements
6.4.2 Celebrity placements
6.4.3 Co-branding
6.5 Events and sponsorships
6.5.1 Sponsored events
6.5.2 Corporate events
6.5.3 Fashion shows
6.6 Guerilla marketing and viral marketing
6.7 Web presentation
6.7.1 Corporate videos
6.7.2 Corporate blog
6.7.3 Corporate website
6.7.4 E-mail newsletter
6.7.5 Social networking strategies
6.7.6 Search engine optimization
6.8 Mobile strategies
6.9 Recommendations
6.9.1 Content sharing and content curation
6.9.2 Blogger marketing

7 Conclusion



1 Introduction

1.1 Preface

The present thesis is written as a current paper in the field of brand communication for fashion businesses. The chosen topic is focusing on the strategies that brands need to implement to reach their customers. For a successful continuance of a brand, modifications to new conditions are required. The thesis is a result of the following identified changes and challenges in the business environment and in customer habits.

Fragmentation of markets and media

The time when brands only needed to serve mass markets is over. Today they mainly have to handle micro segmented markets. Not enough, the once limited number of media options changed into a confusing area, where new strategies are being invented almost daily. The media sector becomes more and more convoluted and it gets harder to constantly build and maintain strong brands. Today, brands must face the challenge to coordinate their messages across different media. They need to take care that the brand is not weakened. This can also happen because different communication strategies are often handled by separate agencies or varying departments. All of them could influence the brand differently.[1]

Difficulties concerning the characteristics of the fashion industry

Typical for the clothing industry is an exceptional drive. Textile fashion products constantly have the same function. Variations are mostly limited to the field of designs, like colors, materials, and silhouettes. This allows only limited product marketing. On the other hand, it is characteristic for fashion products, that they change at least every season and that the goods on the market are very similar to each other. That is why it is important for a fashion brand to have a strong image. Concerning the marketing of a brand, it is essential to use creative communication methods, because above all the competition in the field of fashion becomes bigger every day.

Current challenges in the environment

As already mentioned, fashion is often comparable or even looks the same. Since clothing is no more a primary need, its demand is basically more or less saturated. The stresses of competition and costs are getting higher, while innovation times and product life cycles get shorter and customers become increasingly demanding. Due to these challenges, it is important for a brand to reach a sustainable competitive advantage and to differ from competitive brands. Therefore, qualified strategies in marketing are demanded. It is necessary, to address customers in an individual and sophisticated way.

The growing vertical integration has an influence on brands. The internet pushes the vertical integration. More and more suppliers use the web for direct sales. Multichannel retailing becomes standard. It means that companies, suppliers and also retailers, use several distribution channels. So everyone competes in all channels. The maximum coverage of every supplier is online potentially the same. This leads to a multiplication of supplies. Thereby, a brand is important for orientation. In the past, competition took place on the particular stages of the value chain. This becomes gradually replaced by a competition of the stages of the value chain themselves. A brand brings substance to these vertical systems.

Seeing the new developments in media, large changes in the marketing strategies need to come up. The basic problem in communication remains. Fashion is actually always an advertising medium by itself. The product or the collection is the most efficient communication medium. Besides that, clearly defined boundaries between the sub strategies or communication instruments, like advertising, promotion, direct marketing, and public relations, become less feasible.

Attracting attention

Attention has become a precious asset. It becomes harder to reach the customer with advertising messages. The consumer knows about the self-interest of the advertiser. That limits the credibility of advertising. Because of that, there is not so much interest in the content of the advertising message. In addition, there reigns a growing information overload at the recipients. The consumer already tries to escape those advertising campaigns. However, often the methods used are designed even louder, more aggressive, and more conspicuous. Thereby, companies anyhow try to call attention and to reach their customers. Thus, this intensifies the advertising avoidance behavior even more. Exceptional, creative, and new methods, which not only attract the attention but also engage the sympathy of the consumer, are more and more in demand. Today it is more important than ever, to appeal to the customer with remarkable and accurate campaigns. This is the only way to make the consumer receive and even spread the message.

1.2 Objectives

To successfully communicate a fashion brand, not only the advertising message itself has to match with the relevant target group, but also the right media have to be used to address the target group. Communication that wants to catch the brands’ target group and wants to be noticed has to meet exactly their lifestyle and attitude. Solely methods of mass communication do not reach the individual target audiences anymore. That is why new ways of communication become more important.[2]

This thesis provides a framework of marketing communication strategies, traditional and up-to-date ones, which can be applied to the target groups of the fashion market. Those strategies can be combined almost unlimited. However, the media planning should be carried out target group oriented. With the help of four relevant target audiences and their use of media will be exemplified how a brand can find the suitable strategies for its target group.

Knowing how to define whether a strategy was successful, is just as important as gaining the attention of customers through this strategy. Therefore, it will be determined which measurements of efficiency are applicable for which marketing communication strategies.

1.3 Delimitation of the subject

In the context of textiles, this thesis considers only ready-made garments. Accessories are included. The term fashion is especially connected with the textile industry. There are numerous attempts for definition of fashion. Hermanns defines fashion as a change of habits in life and consumption of broad levels of population, caused by the human pursuit of withdrawal and adaption, which is replaced again by new changes after a certain time.[3]

The term fashion not solely focusses on the clothing sector, but for this thesis, it should be limited to clothing.

The argumentation is carried out from the perspective of the brand management, not the product management (no sales promotion). In fashion, the change of the product is preset by the seasonal turning of the collections. Nevertheless, the image of the brand must be maintained constantly. In the least cases, for example the “Levi’s 501”, it is possible to promote a certain piece of clothing. That is why it is especially the goal of the consumption oriented communication strategies, like advertisements, sponsoring, etc., to position the brand as good as possible, by communicating images and lifestyles.

The marketing of trade and retail will not be examined. For garment manufacturers, there are two large target groups for promotion: retailers and consumers. All garment manufacturers can include retailers in their promotion activities. Whereas end-consumers only can be considered by brand manufacturers, because only them can reach identification and differentiation by branding their collection.

1.4 The approach

In order to accomplish the defined objectives, the following steps have been gone over. After a general introduction of the topic, chapter 2 describes the needed theoretical foundations about brands and communication. The various marketing communication strategies will be explained in chapter 3. Chapter 4 outlines methods for measuring the efficiency of the different communication strategies. In Chapter 5, several relevant customer segments are classified. Additionally, there will be a description of those target audiences and their specific use of media. Chapter 6 brings the previous chapters together. The measurements of efficiency will be assigned to the communication strategies. Based on the media use of the target groups, there will be shown, which strategy works for which target group. The last chapter includes my personal conclusions and suggestions and makes possible forecasts on the future of brand communication.

2 Fundamentals of brand communication

2.1 The identity-oriented process of brand management

Brand management describes the development and advancement of a brand over time. It includes the positioning of the brand in the market, defining the target audience and developing a good relationship with it, creating a predefined reputation in the market and maintaining it. The main goal of brand management is to delimit and to differentiate the own brand and products from the supply of competitors. This is symbolized by the brand identity. The brand identity defines the attributes that affect the character of a brand. It is the self-perception of the brand and it describes how strategists want the brand to be perceived. The brand identity is the initial point and the focus of the identity-oriented process of brand management. It is an internal and external oriented management process. The goals are to first influence the behavior of the employees compliant to the brand and then shape the brand image of the target audience. The brand image describes how the brand is perceived from the customer’s point of view. Since the brand image cannot be controlled directly, this has to be done with the help of the brand identity. The brand identity evolves over a longer period and the main goal is to reach accordance between brand identity and brand image.[4]

2.2 Goals of the identity-oriented process of brand management

The goal of the identity-oriented process of brand management is to build an independent brand identity. This is done through the medium of all characteristics of the brand identity and by establishing a common image in the internal (employees) and external (customers) target audiences. Long-term solid and sustainable relations between brand and customers have to be built up, with the main goal of maximizing the customer equity.[5]

The customer equity describes the sum of all key figures of the customer lifetime value. The customer lifetime value is the contribution margin, which a customer achieves with a brand during his lifetime. To determine the customer equity, at least three measures are used:

-Value equity: It defines how a customer rates and evaluates the products of a brand and which value and meaning they have for him.
-Brand equity: In the decision for a product, how significant is the brand of the product? Which determinants decide about the objective value of the product?
-Retention equity: How willing is the customer to buy the product of a brand, even when there are qualitatively comparable and less expensive offers from competitors? [6]

The brand equity is not only part of the measurements of the customer equity, but building brand equity is also another strategy in managing brands. It describes the monetary value of a brand. Brand equity is the set of assets and liabilities, which is linked to a brand and that adds to, or subtracts from, the value that is provided by a product to a company or the customers of that company. The main asset categories are:

-Brand name awareness:

The awareness of the brand name can be decisive, when customers compare similar products. Familiar brands are perceived as beneficial. They also have the image of being reliable and good in quality.

-Brand loyalty:

Brand loyalty describes the connection of the consumer with a brand. It strengthens the brand compared to competitors and can have a positive impact on sales.

-Perceived quality:

It defines the subjective estimation of the consumer about the quality of a product. Even though the consumer might not have detailed information about a product, the perceived quality can influence the decision of buying the product or not.

-Brand associations:

They describe everything that is linked with a brand in the mind of the consumer. The sum of all associations builds the brand image.[7]

2.3 Promotion and communication

Promotion describes the transfer of the message of a brand to the target audience through different types of media. This traditional brand promotion is a one-way process. Communication, on the other hand, is a two-way process that wants to create an exchange with the consumers. When the message of the brand has been delivered successfully, the brand should get a feedback by the recipients.[8]

2.4 Types of communication

The types of communication describe the different possibilities to communicate:

-Intrapersonal communication:

It describes the reception of information and observations out of the environment by a person.

-Interpersonal communication:

It is the exchange between at least two conversational partners.

-Mass communication:

It is a form of communication through media. It describes the exchange between the smaller group of communicators, which can be for example the journalists, and the usually larger group of recipients, which can be for example the readers of a newspaper.[9]

2.5 Ways to communicate

Marketing communication has to profile the supply and delimit it to the products of the competitors. Since the objective and functional benefits of products become less important, it is necessary for a brand to build up an emotional brand experience. This has to be applied strategically to bind the target audience to the brand in the long term. Media has to deliver the message in a way that it makes it a personal experience for the customer to create captivation. To build this fascination, emotions are more important than information. It happens with the help of emotional conditioning, which means that a neutral stimulus, like a brand, is provided with emotional stimuli, like for example exclusiveness. After enough contacts, the brand is loaded up with emotions and is positioned. To compete against other brands and to give customers orientation, it is important that the basic message of the brand does not change. A uniform brand identity is also relevant for an integrated communication, when different types of media are used. Integrated communication means that the brand should take the same line with all types of media that are used. The goal is to adjust the impacts of all communication strategies to generate synergy effects.[10]

2.6 Marketing communications

Marketing communications describe all strategies that brands use to inform, reach or persuade their target audience about their products. They are the voice of the brand, because those instruments are used for the communication with the consumers. In the marketing mix of price, place, promotion, and product, they are the promotion part. Through various types of communication, they help to build a dialogue and a relationship with the market. Thereby, the customer loyalty is strengthened. Marketing communications create a brand image and thereby help to drive sales, affect the shareholder value and the brand equity.[11]

3 Marketing communication strategies

3.1 Template for a general strategic plan

For the execution of the following strategies, it is necessary to have a general strategic plan. That ensures that goals are addressed and achieved. There are many versions of a plan. This is a template, based on a fashion PR plan template, of what a typical plan could look like.

Step 1 Executive Summary:

This contains a short overview of the purpose of the plan and the timeframe.

Step 2 Situation Analysis:

An explanation of the current attitudes or challenges and opportunities relating the plan. For example, if the product solves any problems or information and positioning of competitors.

Step 3 Goal:

One single goal that directly addresses the problem or opportunity mentioned in step 2. The goal should be broad and general intentioned.

Step 4 Objectives:

This includes at least three specific, measurable and attainable objectives, which help to meet the stated goal. Thereby, it is clear when the goal is met and what it will look like.

Step 5 Target Audience:

A list of the primary audiences that should be reached through the plan.

Step 6 Key Messages:

A list of what should be communicated to the target audience. Maximum three key messages that the audience must understand about the product.

Step 7 Strategies:

The strategies used to get the message across. Should explain how to attract and engage the target audience. The methods should define how the objectives should be accomplished.

Step 8 Tactics:

This includes the specific actions, which are taken to execute the strategies and meet the objectives. Each tactic should include a deadline and the budget or estimated costs.

Step 9 Budget:

The total budget for the project. This includes program management (people), assets (press kit, photography, website, etc.) and vendor costs.

Step 10 Evaluation:

A definition of how to measure if the objectives have been met. Maybe there are also ongoing indicators that show during the campaign if it is on track. It should be clear how to tie the results back to the objective after the campaign.[12] There will be a more detailed execution of this point in chapter 4.

3.2 The strategies

3.2.1 Advertisements Print advertisements

A print advertisement is a targeted public announcement with an advertising message in print press. The reception is just visual. An advertisement in print media is the most common and accepted form of advertising. Because the awareness level is high, the terms advertising and advertisement are often even used synonymical. Advertising media are mainly daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, and brochures. It is characteristic for advertisements in newspapers and magazines that they have to integrate themselves in an already existing, editorial medium. Print and distribution is done by this medium. Brochures have to be printed and distributed separately.

Newspaper advertising reaches mass markets in short time. That is why newspapers are traditionally the favored type of print media. The advertiser can choose between the various types of newspapers and different categories in a newspaper depending on his target audience.

Magazine advertising is more expensive than newspaper advertising. However, magazines are the better media for branding, because they focus on more specific target audiences and not on the mass market.

Special types of print advertisements are so-called advertorials. The word is build out of advertisement and editorial. According to that, advertorials are advertisements with an editorial design, which should look like an editorial article. By law, the advertorial has to be clearly labeled as advertisement. Otherwise it is a form of surreptitious advertising. The advertorial becomes more and more popular, because the customer is more receptive to advertising in a familiar editorial environment. Outdoor advertisements

An outdoor advertisement is advertising in public streets, places or points, which are accessible for a larger audience. Outdoor advertising is every advertising outside of closed rooms. Typically, it often only means billboards.

This type of advertising addresses a large number of consumers at the same time or consecutively at a certain place. It has a high coverage and frequency of contacts. However, an activating design is important, because it competes with many other stimuli.

There are different forms of outdoor advertisements:


Billboards are the traditional and most important form of outdoor advertising. They are rife, well known, and generally accepted. Although it is placed in public, the billboard reaches its target audience, because it can be placed precisely, for example at trade fairs, at public and private buildings, and at shops. One advantage of billboards is their ability to reach a precise geographical coverage. Another one is that it can be placed near the point of sale in inner cities.

-Permanent advertisements:

Stationary advertising that is placed at fixed spaces like stores, faces of buildings, house walls or house gables. The advertising material is permanent, so it can also be a painting. Permanent advertising is a special form of outdoor advertising that is not changing regularly, but persists for a longer period.

-Transit advertisements:

This type of advertising uses means of mass transportation as mobile advertising media. This can be busses, trains, taxis, subways, but also at airports, on trucks, and fixed static and electronic advertising at train and bus stations.

-Street furniture advertisements:

Are mainly used in urban centers. The advertising media can be for example city-lights, large, illuminated billboards or advertising pillars. It can be placed at bus shelters, news racks, kiosks or telephone booths.

-Ambient media:

Ambient media is outdoor advertising in different types, forms or sizes. Typically, it implements itself in the environment of a specific target audience. It should create an ambience, which surrounds the viewer naturally without disturbing him. At the same time, it should also be an eye-catcher. Ambient media is an innovative way to penetrate areas of life that were not yet open to advertising. It reaches the target audiences for example in school, at bars or in clubs. Sanitary advertising for instance, can distinguish between male and female target groups.[13] Traditional electronic advertisements

Traditional electronic advertisements are advertising messages communicated through electronic media like television, cinema and radio broadcasting. Advertising medium is the spot. The transmission happens auditive and, excepting radio spots, visual.

An advertising spot is a short movie, which promotes a product, a brand or a service. Primarily, it should raise the sales of the promoted product and the trust in the product. Through the combination of several sensory perceptions, spots create a multimedia-based communication, a closer reference to reality, and thereby cause a stronger mobilization of the target audience. The emergence of more and more commercial broadcasters leads to a high saturation of spots. Therefore, the acceptance of television and radio spots decreases. It is another disadvantage that the consumer can change the channel during the advertisements. Spots can reach a precise placement concerning time. However, television spots have high wastage.

Spots in cinema are presented before the movie. They resemble television spots. However, the reception of spots in cinemas is different. Television spots target a single person or small groups, while cinema advertising targets a larger audience. This audience cannot elude the reception by changing the channel. Furthermore, it expects to see a cine film, and has therefore also higher expectations on the advertising spots. That is why spots in cinema are more spectacular and more cinematic and narrative.[14] Online advertisements

One of the major goals of advertisements on the Internet is to generate traffic, which means to attract as many users as possible to visit the promoted website. Traffic can be generated through banner advertisements and search engine advertising.

Banner advertisements are banner ads, pop-ups, and layer-ads. Brands can place advertisements on websites that are relevant for their target audiences. Banner advertisements can be bought for defined spaces of time, in different sizes, and on different positions on a website. They should call the attention of the internet user for the brand or the products. Banner ads are advertisements, which are embedded in a website as a graphic file or as an animated file. The Banner refers as a hyperlink (a digital cross reference) to the website of the advertiser. Banner ads are the traditional form of online advertisements. However, the internet users are misled decreasingly to follow the links of the banner ads. They ignore the ads or perceive them as disturbing. They also find a remedy in so-called adblockers, programs that remove ads from websites. Those programs become more and more popular. One reason is that the advertising message or the advertised product has not enough in common, concerning content, with the website on which it is displayed. That is why today personalized banners are used preferably. Personalized banners are banner ads, which are fed with personal content of the user. Those banners load live personal information like pictures, name, date of birth, gender or geographic position. This highlights those banners from others on a website and increases the clickthrough rate (the amount of clicks on a banner in relation to the total impressions) significantly.

Another solution to deal with the overflow of banner ads is their advanced version, the pop-up. Thereby, a separate, smaller window opens instead of a banner. It pops up and covers parts of the website. The advantage is that the user does not have to leave the website. The pop-up stays open and he can watch it whenever he wants. Since he has to close the pop-up sometime, he almost has to look at it. The disadvantage is that pop-ups are often disturbing and that adblockers also delete pop-ups. Nowadays, adblockers can only be avoided by layer-ads. Those ads also cover parts of the content of the website like pop-ups, but they are directly embedded in the website and open no new window. Since layer-ads can bypass the blocking protective measure, they become more and more popular.

A special form of online advertisements is the search engine advertising (SEA). Thereby, the advertiser can buy advertisements, which are shown in search engines besides the normal results for particular search items. The advertiser has to pay for every click on the advertisement.

In traditional media, every user sees the same spot or the same advertisement. The Internet has made it possible to show every user another banner advertisement on the same website. This breaks the relation between content and advertising and opens the opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted information and without wastage.[15]

3.2.2 Editorial coverage Editorial coverage in print publications

Editorial coverage in fashion can be reached through product publicity. Product publicity describes targeted activities with the goal that the editorial divisions of media give attention to the products of a brand in a preferably positive way. Magazines and also daily newspapers are interested in media coverage about fashion.[16]

In contrast to advertising, which is paid placement, product publicity is unpaid editorial coverage. Publicity is also more authentic, because the promotion does not come from the brand itself but from a third party, the editors. To get editorial coverage, a brand should have good relationships with the fashion editors. If a brand buys an advertisement in a magazine, the chances are high that it also gets editorial coverage. In newspapers, the editorial coverage is often times more at the discretion of the editors themselves. So for new or small brands, which cannot afford to buy an advertisement in one of the leading fashion magazines, it is a good opportunity to reach editorial coverage in regional and national newspapers. Magazines also are more into trends and help to make buying decisions, while newspapers often have a more qualified coverage of news in fashion or reviews of collections in their business section or in the feuilleton. To find out which type of print press fits to a brand, it should check the circulation figures, the percentage of fashion in the editorials as well as its aesthetics.

To get editorial coverage, brands can provide corporate photography like stills. Stills are pictures of the current collection with a seamless background, which editors can insert easily in their publications. They could also provide corporate information like press reports or product information. Another great way to get editorial coverage is to provide press samples of the current collection for editorial photo shoots. Editors can choose pieces from the collection by visiting fashion shows or press days. Press days are special events for the press, where editors are invited to each season and where the new collection is presented in showrooms. An easier way to show editors a collection are so-called look books. Those are catalogues with pictures of the current collection, which are sent to the editors with a short pitch.[17]

If one of the brands’ products is featured in press, it can be helpful to communicate that on the different social media platforms that the brand uses and on the corporate website. It is also common to send a so-called clipping, a copy of the story or of the photo, to relevant contacts like customers, wholesalers, and retailers. Editorial coverage in online press and in online presences of print publications

Online press describes newspapers and magazines which are published exclusively in the Internet. Online presences of print publications are online press, which is related to print magazines or newspapers but usually has an independent editorial department. If the layout and the content of a printed magazine or newspaper is adopted unchanged to online press, this is called electronic press.

The methods used to get editorial coverage in online press are almost the same as in print press. The major difference is that print magazines are for the most part planned several months before their release, while online press usually provides daily or permanently updated news as soon as it is available. Online press is often used to release shorter news stories. It can be accessed anytime and anywhere in the world. Contrary to print press, online press can add multimedia content like videos to its articles. This can be details of fashion shows or whole shows, for example. There are also many interactive tools like possibilities to search for articles, search through articles, comment or share them on social media platforms. Online press is usually financed through advertising, while electronic press is financed through chargeable subscriptions.

3.2.3 Product placements

A product placement is the targeted reference to or integration of a brand or a product as a requisite in the plot of movies, television programs, shows, sitcoms, soap operas, video clips, video games or radio programs. This is also called branded entertainment. The brand should be clearly visible for the recipient, although it should preferably not look like advertising. Therefore, the placement has to be carried out in an authentic way and should happen in a way that the consumer notices it only unconsciously.

The integration can happen in different forms. The level of integration is lowest, when the product is provided only as a static requisite. Preferably, the product should be a believable part of the plot. The perceptibility comes from a special design, a well-known logo or from the awareness of the brand.

Product placements should influence the brand awareness, should result an image transfer, and should strengthen the customer loyalty.

Since the products seem to appear randomly in media, the natural skepticism of the customer concerning obvious advertising can be avoided. By embedding the products in the plot, advertising avoidance strategies can be prevented. The recipient is interested, because he has chosen the program by himself.

Product placement is governed by strict laws. In Germany, it is permitted to provide products free of charge for productions. It is compulsory to mention the reference or the presentation of products. If the presentation is dramaturgically not necessary, the placement is called surreptitious advertising, which is forbidden.[18]

3.2.4 Collaborations Celebrity endorsements

Celebrity endorsements indicate the appearance of by the target audience well-known personalities in media, with the intention of advertising a product or service. The celebrities pretend to use the product and to be pleased about it. The affinity or popularity and thereby the credibility and trust of the celebrity is used to strengthen the advertising message of a product emotionally. The promotion of concrete features or benefits is thereby often subordinated. The celebrity is used as bearer of advertising messages to set the product apart from the competitors and to distinguish it from other providers. The famous person works as a decision guidance. Moreover, their already existing image is transferred on the promoted product in short time. This saves a lot of time and money, because the brand does not need to create a completely new image, but it can benefit from the already existing positive characteristics of the celebrity.

An increasingly used form of celebrity endorsement is the so-called music celebrity endorsement. This means that brands are mentioned in music lyrics. It can happen that the musician mentions the brand in a song for free, but in most cases the brands pay for it.

Not every celebrity is suitable for an endorsement. The following characteristics are important:


The image of the celebrity should fit to the existing or desired image of the product.


Sympathy is decisive for the success of the advertising campaign. Thereby, the person, and with that the advertisement, gets more attention. This effect can be strengthened by a high degree of fame of the celebrity.


It is a decisive factor of success, especially for products with a high level of trust and an investment risk, like extremely expensive products.


The character of the celebrity should be represented unconcealed. That creates authenticity.[19] Celebrity placements

Celebrity placement is a combination of product placement and celebrity endorsement. Lifestyle brands more and more provide celebrities with their products for free or even for a fee. Those celebrities are actors, singers, models, athletes or other prominents. They should be credible, known by the target audience, appreciated and liked, their personality should match the brand’s personality, they should be in the public eye and highly photographed. If the celebrities are paid, they pledge themselves in return to use the products in their private life. The goal is to get additional publicity, more sales, and an improvement of the brand image. Credibility is another important factor. The products are presented casually and it is not clearly seen as advertising. The consumer might think that the celebrity uses the product privately just by conviction and enthusiasm. That is why a blurred paparazzi picture is much more authentic and effective than an expensive, glossy advertisement in a magazine.

There are different options to implement celebrity placement:

-Sending the products directly to the celebrity. This can also happen unasked.
-Placing of the products in gift bags within the scope of events.
-Participating in so-called celebrity lounges or gifting suites. These are locations where several brands offer their products to celebrities, for example before award shows. In exchange, the celebrity is photographed with the product on the red carpet.


[1] Aaker (2002), p.30

[2] Esch (2000), p.25

[3] Hermanns et al. (1999), p.16

[4] Meffert et al. (2005), pp.42-67

[5] Korneli (2007), pp.21-22

[6] Online: Schramm (2013)

[7] Aaker (2002), pp.7-8

[8] Okonkwo (2007), p.144

[9] Hermanns et al. (1999), pp.156-157

[10] Hermanns et al. (1999), pp.193-194

[11] Kotler, Keller (2012), p.498

[12] PR Couture (2011), pp.1-3

[13] Hermanns et al. (1999), p.183

[14] Bürlimann (2001), pp.35-36

[15] Fuchslocher, Hochheimer (2001), pp.172-175

[16] Hermanns et al. (1999), p.53

[17] Tungate (2012), pp.116-117

[18] Hermanns et al. (1999), pp.52-53

[19] Becker (2003), pp.2-3

Excerpt out of 91 pages


Marketing communication strategies for fashion brands and measurements of efficiency
Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences Mönchengladbach
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Marketing, Kommunikation, Mode, Fashion brands, PR, Public Relations, Werbung
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Karola Schwindt (Author), 2014, Marketing communication strategies for fashion brands and measurements of efficiency, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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