October 1, 2014
Posted by Curiosity
By Megan Brittain, Account Manager
There is a reason that during New York Fashion Week every year, more and more fashion bloggers are getting exclusive access at runway shows once reserved for the most elite fashion editors and celebrities. These bloggers are the new authority on fashion and consumers are listening to what they have to say. Mix this community of fabulous, fashion-forward and savvy women with Marshalls on-trend, high-quality pieces, and you have Project Fab.
As part of this effort, Marshalls last year introduced an exclusive group of fashion and lifestyle bloggers who created clever, authentic content which celebrated the fabulous items they find at Marshalls. This year, Project Fab is even bigger with the launch of a new Tumblr site (now live!), which brings all this amazing content to life as part of Marshalls fall campaign.
To kick off Project Fab, the 25 bloggers who eagerly agreed to create content for us throughout the year attended Blogger Boot Camps put on by Marshalls, GSD&M and Hill Holliday (Marshalls media agency)—a two-day download in Boston and NYC of all things Marshalls. These included fall fashion previews and social media best practices discussions that promised to give the writers the editorial tools needed for a successful campaign launch.
The Project Fab blogger team delivered above and beyond for the launch of Tumblr, and without a doubt, the boot camps were a crucial step to our success. Here are some takeaways that enabled us to have a great contributor kickoff:
• Recruit well. For this to work, we had to have the right people. We knew these girls loved fashion, Marshalls and off-price shopping. Love being the optimal word here: it was important to find bloggers for whom a partnership with Marshalls felt real to their blogs and point of view. The relationship needed to work both ways. They are passionate about creating great content and asked smart business questions to be clear on how this works with their POV. Love for your brand and authenticity are equally important.
• #Selfie take three. When you are with 25 bloggers, there are a lot of selfies and mini street-style shoots happening around you. They know their followers want to go on this journey with them and won’t miss a chance to capture it. Embrace it, give them plenty of opportunities to create content along the way; great content for your brand is everywhere. And a fun fact: it takes a lot of practice to get the right pose for your selfie. Thank goodness.
• Every conversation is a mini focus group. Turns out, the most beneficial part of boot camp for Marshalls was the conversations and feedback from the bloggers. Having the girls tell us where else they shop, where their friends shop, why they love Marshalls, how they shop our stores—even personal best practices they’ve implemented offered invaluable information. Be sure you have time for those conversations. I’m thankful we did.
• Bloggers are like DIY celebrities. One of the most endearing qualities about this community is that they don’t have the training and the team that celebrities do. These women choose to be bloggers for many different reasons, and they figure out the rest on their own. One Project Fab blogger’s husband was deployed a few years ago and she started blogging to keep herself busy. Another used a blog as a platform to bring light to struggles with health issues and she wanted to inspire women with similar challenges. These women take care of themselves (and eat carbs, thank goodness!), build relationships and create business partnerships, like working with Marshalls. They just figure it out. It is what makes them so attractive to consumers: their world seems so genuine and attainable, yet with the allure of something in which to aspire. Brands: real people are creating your content. Let them keep it real.
What exciting ways have you energized advocates for brand content?
See more of what the Project Fab team is up to here.