Fashion has come a long way since the first time it was consciously acknowledged in the early 15th century. From patterns to checks, and seasonal trends to perennial classics, fashion has not only progressed in the sense of suiting the customers and the weather, but also in how it’s strategically marketed to customers. Nobody wants their customers to just purchase; they want them to make a purchase and get others to buy. This is the core marketing strategy, principle, and guideline that the US-based ultra-fast fashion retail company Fashion Nova has adhered to in order to achieve runaway success.
In 2013, Richard Saghian, Chief Executive of the clothing brand, launched an e-commerce site for Fashion Nova. He felt the need to find more ways to direct people’s attention to his brand’s online presence after he saw his company’s competitors push their products to new audiences.
He saw Instagram as a great marketing platform. They already were on the social media platform turned influencer marketplace. Their best customers already took pictures of the clothes they purchased and shared them with friends who were also likely to buy.
The fashion industry incentivizes brands to produce higher quality pieces while touting the advantages of renting clothes and purchasing pre-owned articles of clothing. However, ultrafast fashion – direct-to-consumer cyber brands like Fashion Nova, Misguided, and Boohoo – provide continuous newness at affordable prices.
And of all the ultrafast fashion retail brands, Fashion Nova is by far the most influential, offering between 600 and 900 new styles each week. The Fashion Nova brand was founded in 2006, in Los Angeles, California, with five brick-and-mortar locations. The company’s founder is Richard Saghian. Buy 2018, Fashion Nova was Google’s most-searched fashion brand in the United States according to its 2018 Year in Search report. Fashion Nova’s website traffic ousted that of luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Givenchy, respectively.
With over 18 million Instagram followers, Fashion Nova is one of Instagram’s top leading fashion brands, according to marketing research firm InfluencerDB, which says the American clothing brand has more exposure and user interactions on Instagram than Zara and H&M combined. Seven years after launching the Fashion Nova e-commerce site, they have become one of the most advanced fast fashion brands through influential marketing on Instagram. So how did they achieve this? What was the formula for Fashion Nova’s Instagram success?
Fashion Nova seemed to understand that celebrities, consciously or unconsciously, influence and rub off on their fan base, regardless of them being die-hard fans. The benefits of acquiring trend-led clothes and fashion pieces that had been seen on a celebrity the customer admires, were irresistible, especially since the trend loving fan, someone who was soon to be a customer, would be able to purchase a similar outfit in a matter of days for under 50 US dollars.
They adapted the influence of celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Kehlani, Cardi B, Amber Rose, and other stars who could change the way customers reacted with advertisements and sponsored posts. They also took to understanding that there are women with body measurements that were not usually featured in standard sizing, perhaps for body features like round butts or balloon-shaped hips. Hence, they sought celebrities with similar shapes, like Blac Chyna and Cardi B. These celebrities would not only attract customers; they would also make women of the same shape feel comfortable in their skin.
With over 18.6 million followers and counting, Fashion Nova has continued to attract more customers by having their customers spread the gospel. This appears possible because the input of their top-notch customer service reproduces an output of satisfied customers. How do they achieve this?
Celebrities and Instagram influencers are the solid foundation of the Fashion Nova marketing machine. According to Iranian-American Chief Executive Richard Saghian, a single post from Kylie Jenner can result in $50,000 in sales. But beyond these paid Instagram influencers, there are a lot of Fashion Nova customers who carefully curate their own personal-styled Instagram photoshoots with the hopes of getting reposted on Fashion Nova’s Instagram page and gaining followers as a result.
They believe every customer is an influencer, so they carefully focus on each one of them and ensure that they are satisfied. Every 30 minutes, Fashion Nova is posting on Instagram, and the brand talks directly to its customers in the age group of 16 to 35 using a language and tone that resonates with them.
When these customers wear one of its products and tag others on Instagram, they are honored with a #NovaStars or #NovaBabes title. They follow, like, and comment on every post of their customers.
“We have probably about a thousand DMs come in a day. Most of them are Nova Babes just saying, ‘Hey, can we work together?'” Richard Saighan said to Paper during an interview, “For models and influencers, being on our Instagram page is very powerful.”
Fashion Nova puts the ultra in fast fashion as they work with over 1,000 manufacturers, most of whom are located in Los Angeles, and whip up samples of the clothes in approximately a day from the initial idea, which are then photograph-ready for the models currently present around the photoshoot location within another day.
Most times, Fashion Nova is always stepping ahead of its competitors when it comes to the quantity of products released each week. This speed ensures that these Instagram customers speedily jump on a trend, and receive the delivery in various colors and sizes before the pattern is outdated. All these are a fascinating formula behind this brand’s success.