Fashion trends come and go … this is as true today as it was 50 years ago. However, for Millennials, particularly those in the younger half of the generation bracket, there has been quite a shift in preferences over the past decade.
In the early 2000s, the more similar you looked to everyone else, the cooler you were. With t-shirts splashed with brand names and polo shirts with brands' iconic logos on the left chest, or names printed under the collar (that could only be seen when popped), visibly displaying what brand you were wearing was all the rage. However, the times have changed, and stores who once thrived off this concept, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and Aeropostale, are feeling the heat.
This digital age has created a platform that gives us access to so much more information. No longer is the local mall the one-stop-shop. With social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, we now have access to celebrity fashion, unique styles, and most importantly, websites that offer affordable clothing to fill our desires. Not only is social media the first place that Millennials turn to for content discovery, but they are 56% more likely to find brand content there as well. In addition, five out of six Millennials say that they connect with companies via social media.
From a marketing standpoint, this is great news for companies such as Forever 21, H&M, ModCloth etc., who still follow current trends but who offer a variety of styles and pieces for us to create our own unique looks. Unique is key these days, and variety over uniformity proves to be most successful. This is important to keep in mind for other industries as well. Take a look at Crumbs, the single-item cupcakery that just went out of business; unlike Starbucks, which is known for coffee but still offers a variety of products, they stuck to their trend of uniformity.
As marketers, forecasting is paramount to the longevity and success of a brand. We must continuously keep our eye on the future. Our world is constantly changing.