Get to know the profile of the fashion consumer. In fashion, the sale is as important as in any other business. Thus, knowing your consumer and their behavior is key to their success of it. You will get the best results, growth, and loyalty thanks to it.
But can we know the types of consumers in the fashion sector? Is it possible to know how the fashion consumer behaves? Yes! Of course. The industry has spent much of its time studying buyer behavior to achieve this. However, don’t think of this as simple queries about age and social class. There are many theories out there that great specialists study to then apply them in the purchase process.
When we talk about the fashion consumer, you must know and understand their social behavior in-depth. However, that’s not all. You also have to consider their desires, needs, consumption habits, communication style, etc. Remember that a fashion consumer/customer is a person and, as such, is a social being. Thus, they can go through changes and variables. Because of this, you must consider this package of traits and characteristics when trying to define this.
Fashion lives, survives, invents, reinvents itself, and adapts to trends. As a result, it must also do the same with its consumer.
So, if you want to know your behavior, this is the article is for you. Here, you will discover the different types of consumers that exist and how to identify them. This, according to business, or clothing brand.
Fashion consumer behavior
Before talking about the types of consumers that exist in the fashion sector. We must understand a little how it behaves.
In simple terms, how it could act and buy when faced with many factors.
Consumer/customer behavior differs according to the type of needs. For example, they could buy something based on its usefulness and function.
Or, on the other hand, they could buy it to increase their self-esteem or gain social acceptance. So, to better understand the behavior of a fashion consumer, let’s start by naming some of the most famous theories.
Maslow’s theory in the fashion sector
Maslow tells us that consumers have their needs in order, placing them in a pyramid.
He points out that the first step, viewed from the bottom up, is physiological needs. Then, in the second step, we can see security followed by social acceptance in the third step. Next, we get to the fourth, self-esteem, and the fifth and last, self-realization. Now, to understand this a little bit more, let’s look at an example. Imagine that you have a fashion company that centers on selling black dresses, a staple in every woman’s closet.
Your brand, of course, has the first step of the pyramid covered. This meets a physiological need, that of clothing, and why not? It can also fulfil the second step, security, such as protection from the cold or protecting the customer with a safe purchase. A reasonably basic consumer can cover these first two pillars of needs. They are rarely attentive to fashion or what they usually consume. This is because, as we said before, their needs are basic.
But, if you want your brand to sell more expensive dresses in greater quantity or for your brand to have recognition and fame, it is necessary to cover other steps of the Maslow pyramid. This product, the black dress, must have an added value. That can meet the need for social acceptance and self-esteem.
By covering these categories, you would have a more active consumer in fashion. Meaning this is someone who buys a lot more and needs to fit in or feel special. Your brand is capable of giving a lot at prices that the majority of the public can afford.
Brands that excel at this
Examples of brands that cover the needs up to this step of the pyramid are Zara, Mango, Pull and bear, etc. And if we go a little further, we come to the step of self-realization. Being in this place means that your brand has become a luxury brand.
Luxury brands have a loyal consumer. They have loyal customers who will buy your products because having something of your brand goes beyond personal fulfilment. Acquiring your brand’s black dress is a wish, a dream come true.
Designers, famous fashion houses such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, and others enter this step.
Gordon’s theory (AC Nielsen, 2004)
Gordon tells us about behavior from a fairly current analysis and adapted to our reality.
This theory is divided into four simple behavior’s.
- Autopilot behavior: if a brand satisfies the buyer, they are brands chosen by habit.
To explain this, we will use the same example from before. Let’s say that your brand’s black dress fits perfectly on young women’s bodies. Because of this, your consumer will create the habit of buying your clothes since they fit perfectly. Thus, shaping their behaviour around your brand.
- The behavior of brand awareness: knowing the characteristics of various brands in an exhaustive way gives consumer security.
The behavior of this consumer will surely know how to set apart the black dress of your brand from another black dress of a different brand.
- Behavior promoted by social influence: this pattern betrays individual behavior.
This consumer probably buys your brand’s black dress because many people have bought it too.
- Trivial behavior: Little irrelevant features motivate the final purchase decision. For example, the recommendation from a friend, the excellent treatment of the seller, a package.
You may ask, why do I want to understand the behavior of fashion consumers? The answer is straightforward. Once you know what is behind their actions, you will be able to carry out more effective marketing campaigns. What’s more, thanks to it you will also improve your sales and know who you will direct your brand to.
Types of consumers in the fashion sector
This consumer lives and breathes fashion. They know all about the latest proposals or trends. These are blog followers and magazine readers. They are awaiting new proposals from firms and designers.
They are daring and buy any type of design. Sometimes edgy.
Not only that, but they pay high prices for exclusive garments. They are the first to have launch garments.
These are also often called: Avant-garde, Exhibitionists, Smart chic – Pro bloggers.
This consumer also knows fashion. They have their own peculiar style. They are those who “make” fashion. Besides, they also look for exclusive garments in the stores they visit. Thus, they are considered avant-garde.
This consumer is a copycat pioneer or innovator. This one acquires the trends or garments shortly after, in the middle of its success. They can pay high prices, but not exorbitant prices like in the launch phase.
This consumer adapts to the most marked trends and everything fashionable.
This consumer acquires garments with prices suitable for the public. When the product has become known and is popular with many consumers, he purchases it too.
The leggy back:
This consumer doesn’t have enough financial resources to purchase a fashionable product. As a result, they often buy it on sale or long after the demand lowers and thus, the price drops. They are also known under the name of price controller or mobile innovation.
Other types of consumers
This person bets on the classic, follows the rules and dress codes. It doesn’t get involved with the fast-paced world of fashion. They look for status with what they use. It’s also called an established brand.
It is faithful to its brands and its lifelong stores. Innovation is not among its plans.
This consumer uses a mix of classic and innovative. They are more connected with the latest trends and technology. As a result, they are more up-to-date.
They perform different daily activities and are multicultural as well as up-to-date. Besides, they also look for what’s practical and what works for them.
This is someone concerned about nature. Because of this, they are involved in global situations and the environment. This is a type of consumer that is connected to the virtual world.
Fashion consumer buying process
All purchasing process is made up of a series of previously studied stages. Next, we will mention all the purchasing phases that a fashion consumer goes through.
First stage: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Recognition of the problem: in this phase, a need to buy is born. There is a need that can be located in Maslow’s pyramid. For example: the consumer may need a dress for a wedding.
Information search: the consumer begins to look for their possibilities. Stores, opinions, styles, and everything related.
Second stage: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Evaluation of alternatives: in this phase, the feasible options are analyzed and perceived. The price and the idea in mind are evaluated. Here, the brand must convey the best image of the product and the perception of quality. That is, you must show your best.
Third stage: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Purchase decision: among the alternatives, the client decides whether to make the purchase or not. It would help if you considered that the price that the consumer is willing to pay is related to the product’s image. As a result, the image increases the willingness to buy or not buy.
Post-purchase sensations: Post-purchase sensations occur at this time. If the buyer is satisfied, it will be faithful to the brand and keep your image intact or enhanced in their minds.
Attributes valued by the consumer
All types of consumers in the fashion sector evaluate attributes throughout their buying process. It’s not beneficial for the company’s image to leave attributes out and not consider them. For this reason, a company dedicated to fashion must cover all the necessary aspects for the satisfaction of its customers.
Here, we will break down some attributes so that you take them into account for your business.
Quality: Profile of the fashion consumer.
In this factor, the brand dedicated to fashion must show work of good elaboration. Suitable fabrics, seams, closures, among other features.
Design: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Designs must be reasonable and done correctly. The sizes must be exact to the measurements indicated, the garment models must be consistent with the brand’s style, or they must also be functional.
Price: Profile of the fashion consumer.
It’s necessary to manage and establish a balanced pricing policy. This measure will allow the customer or consumer to determine which brands are they able to buy from.
Country of origin: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Due to the tremendous fast fashion movement, the problem of human exploitation, copying, or plagiarism, among others, the consumer is more interested in knowing where the garment they will acquire comes from.
Brand: Profile of the fashion consumer.
Today, the brand is an attribute considered by many. Consumers appreciate the value that is built on the image of a brand. In the same way, the experiences lived by the brand and any other action in which the image of the brand is involved are taken into account.
Variables that determine the types of consumers in the fashion sector
Keep in mind that external and internal variables are responsible for modifying the types of buyers in the fashion sector. It’s not the same to sell fashion in a large cosmopolitan city as in a small town.
Internal variables include motivation, perception, experience, attitudes, and personal characteristics. And other external ones such as country, economic, cultural, social environment, influences, social groups, among others.
All these influence the description of a type of consumer, their behavior, and their buying process.
Similarly, time and evolution are also determining factors. Today, thanks to the advancement of social media and digital media, we must also mention that most consumers seek immediacy.
A new concept called “I see it, I buy it” is taking hold in the market. What’s more, this, in turn, is creating an unexpected type of consumer. This concept is born from online commerce, where the time for everything must become shorter.
Now fashion brands are tackling a more demanding audience with higher expectations. They ask for good quality products at affordable prices with a high brand value, effective communication, and fast product distribution.
We still don’t know if this new consumer that is emerging and that is still being known is a benefit or a threat for brands. But it seems not to stop and, without a doubt, it’s a factor where the big brands dedicated to this sector need help to study the new variables emerging in the world of fashion.
For this reason, you should get the help of a marketing company. With one, you can define your type of consumer well and the actions they take into account to buy. With this knowledge, you will be able to create more effective marketing actions and create strategies for your type of consumers directly.
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