The fast fashion industry is saturated. It’s brimming with businesses who are fighting to get their clothes, shoes and bags galore in front of their target audiences. So how do these brands stand out from the crowd and promote themselves in unique ways, through press activity?
This week, I’ve reviewed the PR activity which includes the clothing brand Club L London. I’ll be talking about the ways in which the press has been used to promote the brand, either directly or indirectly, and giving you some pointers about how fashion brands can drum up media interest in themselves and their products.
PR is a huge part of digital marketing and even more so if you’re a business that sells a product or is part of an industry which faces tough competition.
Established in 2007, Club L London dubs itself ‘the go-to online destination for the confident, glamorous, fashion-savvy girl in search of that something extra special’. The brand says it’s the first to take style cues from the red carpet and deliver on-trend styles before anyone else. It has a whopping 596,000 followers on Instagram.
Product placements with celebrities
One of the best ways for fashion brands to drum up media interest in items of clothing is to collaborate with celebrities that align with and embody the ethos of the brand. But don’t think that the work stops there. By gifting celebs products and then arranging for them to wear them, and be pictured in them, a PR team can then write a press release about how readers can ‘get (insert press-friendly celeb here)’s look for just £40!’ and send it to shopping, consumer, and showbiz writers at desired publications.
Club L London recently gave Rochelle Humes’ hen party a set of gorgeous black feather blazer dresses to wear to an event ahead of her vow renewal. She donned matching black feather gloves and the group was pictured in the outfits on Rochelle’s Instagram. It’s not clear whether these were gifted or Rochelle was paid to promote the items, but either way, this is a huge win for the fashion brand.
Closer wrote a story about how readers can get the look, and this is likely to have been a press release issued by the fashion brand. It goes into detail about the products and has pulled Club L London’s Instagram posts about the products, as well as from Rochelle’s Instagram, links to the products, and details about where and why the items were worn. This is everything a press release after a celebrity wears a brand’s products should include. This has been done really well, so props to them!
When there’s enough press interest in a celebrity someone only has to be papped in an outfit for a story to be written. This is why many brands gift clothes to famous people in the hope that they’ll choose to wear something of theirs for a night out or event.
General product placements
As well as collaborating with celebrities, fashion brands have the opportunity to write press releases about product launches, sales, new collections and so on. This requires having an in-house or external PR agency that knows what they’re doing and who to contact. Stories should be written in the way a journalist would write them so there’s less work for them to do, they’re much easier for them to use this way. And if there’s no PR team or person, you at least need the ability to pitch to a journalist in the right way, so they can write one.
Brands can capitalise on staple calendar dates like Valentine’s Day and Black Friday when it comes to getting the perfect outfit or a huge discount. They can also keep on top of celebrity looks and if they have a product that’s similar or the same, pitch it to journalists like those who cover Femail’s Fashion Finder section. Club L London’s black sequin pants were featured in this article about Kourtney Kardashian, in that very same way.
A good way to be naturally featured in this kind of press coverage is by working closely with stylists who are dressing the celebrities the press like to write stories about.
Having the right products so they can be naturally placed
One thing Club L London does well is it has a variety – looks and items of clothing for different occasions. And as it’s a well-established brand its products will naturally be placed by journalists in articles, for example, about ‘the best sweetheart dresses to wear this summer’.
This natural PR will boost a brand and encourage sales, but brands can bolster their chances of being featured in articles like this by gifting items to the journalists that write these kinds of stories. Club L London was featured in an article on the Metro about the best wedding guest dresses to wow in at your next nuptials.
The best way to do it is for PR teams to write and release their own stories about different categories of clothing, so journalists can store them and include their products in the articles when the time comes to write them. So for example, you issue a release about the best race day dresses you have, and you know that in the lead-up to race season a journalist could include your product in their round-up. Always think about how you can get your products into different round-ups.
Events are a great way for fashion brands to showcase their products while enticing press down to get a first look at them, potentially sample them or take a few freebies home, and mingle with the celebrity guest list with the possibility of interviewing them, if that has been agreed.
Club L London held an exclusive event at Buddha Bar in London at the end of last year and invited former Love Island stars to join them and wear the outfits from their Limited Edition Party Collection.
Having the guests papped or pictured in the clothes and them being sent to the press alongside information is always a good move, because this is essentially free publicity and advertising, but obviously, the cost comes from the brand paying to host the event.
Journalists can write their own stories using the pictures or the brand can obtain the pap pictures and send them out alongside a press release. Or, the journalists at the event can interview the stars and get the pictures, and the brand then gets publicity that way.
This event was covered by OK! on the showbiz desk, where a reporter wrote: ‘Love Island twins Jess and Eve Gale defy wintry weather in mini skirts’. The angle was that the stars braved a cold winter night in mini dresses, but the story led to talking about the event and a description of the clothes.
I don’t think this came from a press release because the story is more about the stars, and picks up on how one of them had plastic surgery recently (at the time) despite vowing against it the year before. But you can get an idea of how holding an event and having pictures done can be really good for a fashion brand even if the story doesn’t come from the brand itself.
As far as I can see, the examples above show the type of press Club L London is consistently getting. They’re being included in a lot of articles at the moment because their items are being worn by Love Islanders in the latest series.
But rather than people purchasing directly from their website, they’re being promoted as being bought second-hand from eBay, since eBay is the TV show’s sponsor for this year (2022) – the focus has shifted away from fast fashion and towards reusing clothing – despite much of the clothing worn on the show still being from fast fashion brands.
If a person sees one of these outfits in an article or on TV, they’re very likely to still go and purchase it straight from the website. Club L London was featured in this article about the best Love Island outfits in this series as contestant Gemma Owen rocked a gorgeous white dress after returning from Casa Amor.
You’ll notice that readers are encouraged to buy direct from Club L London if they want to get the look – so again, another win for the brand.
If you’d like to talk about how to use PR to get publicity for your brand, you can get in touch with us in the PR team here at Embryo.