How to market a fashion brand through Viral Marketing - A case study of Swedish brand Burfitt
Abstract: AbstractThe digital Media landscape of today has brought new marketing possibilities. For the creation of radical advertising, a fashion company may take advantage of those new tools. The nature of the fashion industry is volatile and a fashion brand’s to be or not be depends on having a feel for the right trends as well as the marketing of the brand through the right channels. Fashion marketing of today is about spreading the word of brand through popular Social Media channels such as networks like fashion blogs, Twitter and Facebook. The most frequent way of marketing a brand by using Social Media is through viral marketing.The purpose of the study is to analyse the viral marketing and its effects - like frequency in Swedish fashion blogs for example – related to the Swedish fashion brand Burfitt. The survey is made by mapping and describing the virtual network of Burfitt. Besides the empirical material collected, the thesis consists of relevant theories on Social Media and viral marketing.Observations made and collected from the Internet is often thick and unstructured material. The main challenge is therefore to bring order into the material. There are no yet any specific methods developed for how to conduct an online survey, although the term virtual ethnography defines the work consisting of scanning the Internet and tracking links for the collecting of material. In addition I have made a semi-structured interview with Kajsa Leanderson, representative for Burfitt.The results from the survey show that a small sized fashion brand, like Burfitt, is likely to gain advantages by creating viral marketing campaigns. For example virtual footprints made by mutual linking between different websites in a creative network of fashion business partners are significant for the nature of viral marketing. Moreover, almost all publicity (online) concerning fashion seems to be written with uncritical intentions. In addition most of the publicity, particularly what is published online, tends to be highly visual. The lack of critique together with the visual nature of online messages makes a great basis for viral marketing communications. There are also some restrictions with the nature of viral communications. The unpredictable nature of the Medias, as well as that of the fashion world, is not to rely on. In addition, due to the enormous information-flow on the Internet as well as the uncontrollable nature of viral communications it is probably for the brands best to limit the marketing efforts to channels and campaigns that are manageable. Another dilemma with the viral marketing is that the effects are hard to measure. Thus it could not be stated if the campaigns were really worth the efforts made. For summarizing, viral marketing is a smart, low-budget opportunity for a fashion brand to be seen and published online, but its character makes it difficult to control and the effects are hard to measure.
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