Post on Instagram, Make Money, Then Open a Store

Fashion Nova is a clothing brand built on what fashionistas are obsessing over on social media. They take statement pieces from high profile celebrates and create an affordable version within days of the outfit being seen on a celebrity. The founder and CEO Richard Saghian feels runways are the past and now with the marketing strategy of instant gratification, people want what their favorite star is wearing NOW.

Starting with reality stars and social media influencers, the brand would use them to model or promote their Instagram page. Starting with a handful, the brand now has 3,000 influencers within different markets such as fashion stylist, lifestyle bloggers, celebrities, reality stars, and social media stars. This has made the company now have a 600+ staff within three years of launching. This empire erupted without opening a single store until late Fall 2016. The company only had a website for purchasing and all marketing strategies were via social media; specifically, Instagram.

Celebrities helped Fashion Nova take over our social media. From a company that used to only copy what the stars wear; now the celebrities are creating the original designs and promoting it themselves with “special discount codes.” The new fashion empire has created a limited amount of product creating a desperation of getting it before it’s gone.

Is this the future on entrepreneurship and marketing? Launching a company on social media before opening a single store? Fashion Nova has 6 million Instagram followers and 3/4 of their customers return to the site within 90 days purchasing more; making the company now add an average between 400-500 new styles to the site each week to keep up with the demand.

The marketing strategy was flipped starting on social media before opening an actual store. Is this the safe way to start a business or did the company just get lucky? Is there going to be a point where consumers do not believe that their favorite star shops where they are endorsing?

Fashion Nova grew quickly in three years with constant growth and demand; can their marketing strategy last long term or are they going to need to set up more shops to become a true respectable fashion retail brand; something they claim is outdated and dying.

Leticia, Miranda. (2017. March 13).How Fashion Nova Built An Entire Fashion Company Completely On Instagram. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/leticiamiranda/fashionnovautm_term=.xcooGlgVz#.qkBgRdBmW

Mercer, Amirah. (2017, January 29). How Celebrities Helped Fashion Nova Take Over Your Instagram Feed. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/how-celebrities-helped-fashion-nova-take-over-your-instagram-feed-and-your-wallet

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4 Responses to Post on Instagram, Make Money, Then Open a Store

  1. giotta says:

    I think companies and entrepreneurs have found value in social media for starting new ventures for two reason. First, it is much cheaper to market on these platforms then through traditional channels. Second, social media offers a low risk environment for testing consumer demands before investing in a physical store.

    However, for every Fashion Nova there are thousands of failed product launches on social media. As we learned from Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (Vanderchuk, 2013), being successful on social media takes very calculated planning and execution. Therefore, I do not this it is pure luck that allowed Fashion Nova to be successful. They found influencers and were able to produce content that felt authentic on the social media platforms they utilized.

    I think it was very strategic to produce only a limited number of products and then use social media influencers to create a buzz. But, I am interested to see if this trend can continue because the cost of acquiring influencers will continue to rise as long as this marketing method continues to be successful.

    References:
    Vanderchuk, G. (2013). Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. HarperCollins Publishers. New York, NY.

  2. sunniexyy says:

    Social media is certainly a great platform to develop marketing strategies on, especially for young brands which are trying to attracting millennial customers to improve brand awareness and recognition.

    I think the success of Fashion Nova is strongly related to the field of this brand-fashion. Not only there are many fashion influencers posting about what they wear on Instagram, but consumers of fashion brands also tend to be appealed to beautiful pictures and use social media as a source for clothing ideas. Based on the understanding of its brand positioning and customers, Fashion Nova has chosen the right platform and crafted compelling content so it has managed to grow.

    In the long term, this brand needs to maintain its brand image, and integrate both online and offline channels to keep its attraction to the customers.

  3. pgreppi says:

    This idea is so great! Fashion Nova did a good job at understanding what the platform is about, the target and trends within it, and seeing an opportunity to build a business where other only see a channel to promote other hubs. It also goes in the opposite direction of what the book from Vanderchuk we read says about social media, that cannot be the central hub of your marketing strategy. In this case, Instagram was even more! was the central hub for the whole business. I think that there will be more of these projects. One girl in another class I frequent here at USC has already started a similar company a couple of years ago. She asked some of her prettiest friends, popular on Instagram, to sport swimsuits she would buy from China at a low cost, and then sell to people visiting her and her friends’ Instagram account.

    Fashion Nova knows that having a retail store can help build credibility, buzz, and reach consumer that would otherwise not buy online. Amazon is planning to do something similar, and already tested the first store in Seattle. Will these brand turn into brick-and-mortar retailers? I don’t think so. Retail stores are expensive, and margins are lower than for online retailers. On the other side, few stores, strategically located, can help build credibility… one path doesn’t exclude the other.

  4. tojo says:

    I agree with whats been said. Fashion Nova saw Instagram and how it was used and was very smart and strategic about it. I think in the short term this will be useful to brands who are starting out, but I feel that as more and more people try to become influencers themselves on social media, it might create an overload of “social media influencers.” Brands may have less success on a grander scale, because people have to navigate through all massive amount of “influencers” most of whom, now days, use themselves as the ads for various products. But, I do think picking specific “influencers” is great for dialing in on target markets.