People are always asking us how powerful a branding tool blogs can be, so today you get your answer people! Perhaps the best example of this power can be found in the popularity of fashion blogs and the bloggers who write them. They are r-e-d HAUTE right now!
As you know, we here at GLAD WORKS are quite the Fashionistas. To that end, we’ve always got our eyes on the new hotness—in August we were even platinum sponsors of StyleWeek Providence, an organization dedicated to showcasing emerging and established fashion designers from the New England area.
With all our fashionista-ing and whatnot, we’ve noticed how super popular fashion bloggers are! In fact, they’re so powerful and popular that they’ve even gone meta! As in, there are blogs about fashion blogs!
If only we could all be that lucky, right?
You know you’ve hit it big when other bloggers blog about your blog. Don’t worry though—even if we never make it to that level of greatness, there’s no denying that blogs are extremely powerful branding machines.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
In 2009, fashion bloggers had finally typed their way to the front row of some of the most exclusive runway shows. They were sitting right there next to the Anna Wintours of the world, watching and listening and reporting back to their legions of followers. The fashion designers were all hoping that these bloggers—right alongside the editors of the fancy fashion magazines—would like what they saw and show their brands some love. Fast-forward to today and this trend is only gaining momentum.
One of the biggest advantages blogs have over other forms of communication is the fact that the blogger has already done the work of creating a personal brand, and that brand has a loyal, engaged and trusting group of fans. Companies are dying to get a little bloggy love from these people because it translates so easily into sales.
Bloggers get their credibility in three main ways: 1) they live in the “real world,” 2) they talk about themselves/put themselves out there, and 3) they tend to interact with their followers.
Bloggers use the inspirational and visual nature of blogging to share their own perspectives, writing in a conversational style that’s highly relatable, and they’re very aware of what will resonate with their audiences. Readers grow to like and trust them—even if the blogger is a little quirky. In fact, in many cases, the quirkier the blog/blogger, the better!
Rosanna Ortiz-Sinel, president and founder of StyleWeek Providence, thinks selling quirkiness isn’t just a matter of blogging on the Internet. In fact, it can be seen across the entire industry: “the weirder you are in the fashion industry, the more followers you get because it’s a little out of the box,” she states.
Holla, BryanBoy with that quirky, editorial look you’re so famous for!
This is not to say that ALL successful blogs MUST be cute and quirky, but hey. Sometimes it helps!
Our blog is cute and quirky and you LOVE it… Right?
Needless to say, quirky fashion bloggers can and DO wield The Mighty Hammer of Thor over a brand—they also happen to do it wearing fabulous outfits.
Ortiz-Sinel agrees that the power of a blog is significant, and mentioned that two local fashion blogs in particular (The Newport Stylephile and Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations) had a positive impact on the success of StyleWeek Providence: “they helped us go viral with our message. That was really what we needed because these bloggers are known in the industry for their focus on style and they have a lot of credibility.” The bloggers created a buzz that augmented StyleWeek Providence’s marketing and advertising by talking about it to their followers.
And stretching beyond just the world of fashion, leveraging blogs absolutely should be on the list of options for companies trying to get the word out while improving engagement. As Ortiz-Sinel saw first-hand with StyleWeek Providence, local followers can be turned on to events they might not have been aware of otherwise.
Because of their intimate and direct relationship with their readers, bloggers have tremendous influence on helping an existing brand when launching a new product, broadcasting information and generating buzz about an event, reigniting interest in a seasonal line, or entirely turning around a not-so-great image. Considering that drumming up this support may not involve much more investment than a few emails, or perhaps shipping a few sample items, the ROI is fantastic!
(NOTE: As of 2009, the FTC requires that bloggers disclose when they’ve received payments or goods in exchange for review or endorsement. Blogs have to say “care of” or c/o the brand supplying the goods, just so everything is on the up and up. For more information, see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm )