How Affiliate Marketing for Fashion Brands Helps the Fashion Industry Stay Ahead of the Game

How Affiliate Marketing for Fashion Brands Helps the Fashion Industry Stay Ahead of the Game

For marketing planning, it’s always wise to pay close attention to trends and influencer marketing strategies in the fashion industry as it tends to have to adapt quickly and stay ahead of the curve. With the nature of how fashion works, the industry has to change faster and responds quicker to trends than other verticals have to. For that reason, affiliate marketing for fashion brands is an industry trend that I highly recommend you look into.

Whether or not your brand is in fashion, this is a great post for all marketers who want to ramp up their digital strategy since there are many takeaways for all industries here.

The Key: Staying Ahead of Trends

The iconic Coco Chanel said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”, and there’s a lot to learn from that statement. Every brand wants to be considered irreplaceable, and in this dynamic, the pressure to be always different can be enormous…and time-sensitive. It’s sometimes not enough to be quick to react to the present trends; you need to be ahead of them.

This is quite a daunting task for the designers, who have their own type of amazing creative genius to stay on top of. Almost as challenging as implementing designs that are ahead of the game is getting your fashion brand’s marketing campaigns to have that same lightning-quick intuition. Gone are the days of waiting for the inch-thick spring edition of the major fashion magazine to declare what to wear that season.

The fashion industry is moving way too fast now. So, how do you get your brand in the race? The same way all the biggest fashion designers do it: with a powerful and knowledgeable affiliate marketing plan.

Most of the world’s biggest (and newest) fashion houses are using a multitude of influencer marketing strategies to get their brand out there. Just last year, activewear giant prAna used a clever and interactive challenge to highlight their versatility and style. Online methods are working extraordinarily well and according to this study, online sales are predicted to rise more than 41% this year alone and affiliate marketing is a cornerstone of digital marketing, with an almost guaranteed return on your investment.

From Icon to Innovator

From Icon to Innovator

Take the story of Burberry, for example. This venerable London fashion house was founded 160 years ago, known mostly for its outerwear, handbags, and scarves with their distinctive signature check pattern. They have over 500 stores all around the world and are considered one of the premier luxury brands.

During the economic recession in the 2000’s, however, luxury brands were taking quite a hit, and Burberry decided it needed a change. They decided to devote themselves to becoming almost entirely digital and to aggressively enter the social media sphere in 2006, at a time when not many brands were taking that sort of risk.

Through carefully curated content, hand-picked affiliates and engaging and interactive communications, they refined and simplified their approach and focused on the younger generation; a generation that clearly did not have the buying power that their parents did. What this generation did possess was a savvy social presence and the willingness to share their experiences, and Burberry’s new strategy lined up perfectly with that.

They were also the high-end fashion buyers of the future, so this was a target group that would impact the brand for years to come. By using influencers to highlight the brand and build trust and affiliates to drive the bottom line, Burberry has become the 4th fastest growing brand in the world  (behind Apple, Google, and Amazon). Pretty esteemed company for a 160-year-old brand, no?

New Kid On The Block

Now, we’ve seen how established companies can use these marketing strategies to reawaken a classic brand. But what if you’re a new brand, just trying to get your foot in the door? Your vision is sky-high, but your marketing budget is pretty slim…if you have one at all. What’s the plan?

Well, believe it or not, it’s not that different from the big brands like Burberry. Establish your brand’s identity, do your homework and carefully identify a few people to check it out. If they are a good fit, they talk about it to their followers, and word starts spreading. A few take some great Instagram shots, maybe a couple of blog posts pop up, and now it’s starting to get some momentum. People are getting a good look at your brand, and lots of eyes are on these websites. What’s the next step?

Taking the Next Step in Affiliate Marketing for Fashion Brands

Taking the Next Step in Affiliate Marketing for Fashion Brands

There are quite a few options for your brand to ramp up your digital strategy, and having a good affiliate program gives you powerful influencers and an actionable plan. In addition to being able to keep your brand visible and accessible on well-traveled and expertly targeted websites, an affiliate program will give you the ability to have a level of creative control over your content and identity…all while letting professionals handle the business at a level and cost you’re comfortable with.

Affiliate programs don’t just sell, they promote brand awareness and can create a buzz that direct advertising can’t provide to consumers who are now blind to traditional advertisements.  When brands have the right partners who are authentic and align with brand values, promotions, coupons, and other deals can drive traffic to your site in an organic and natural way.

Obviously, there is plenty of work involved, however, if you are managing this system. Tasks like selecting and building affiliate relationships, deciding what and how to pay them, following FTC guidelines and keeping everything updated and current are necessary every week. If you have the extra time and know-how, then it’s absolutely something you can do yourself. But, if you’re a designer and business owner, it’s likely that your time and effort are better served in other departments. If so, you might want to consider investing in an experienced instagram affiliate marketing company. They can handle all the details, so you can keep your eyes on everything trending.

Further Reading: Shopify Affiliate Marketing: How to Leverage Influencers to Grow Your Shopify Store

Are there any affiliate marketing for fashion brand or other industry examples that inspire your strategy? Please share in the comments below and reach out any time for co-collaboration or affiliate marketing questions!

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Affiliate Marketing For Fashion Brands FAQs

What brands have affiliate programs?

Many brands right now offer affiliate programs through different types like advertisements on social media via influencers, search engines, content, coupons and discounts, and email. Brands/companies such as Shopify allow its affiliates to earn 20% commission on their monthly subscription cost. The same goes with Amazon associates (between 1% and 10% commission) and eBay which gives 50-70% of auction fees.

What is a fashion affiliate?

Fashion affiliate refers to a program created by a fashion company, merchant, or manufacturer where they give commission to another company or influencer (referred to as affiliate) whenever affiliates send sales or traffic their way. Affiliates receive affiliate links, a unique link that allows clicks to be tracked — typically via cookies. Affiliate programs can be in different forms such as blog articles, social media posts, or product integration.

Which company is best for affiliate marketing?

Most companies and brands are offering affiliate programs now, especially due to the rise of influencer marketing. You can even find lots of affiliate programs online so it’s tough to name a specific company that is best for affiliate marketing. The key to finding the best affiliate program is to make sure the brand’s niche is aligned to your industry and the program itself has a fair offer and terms for both parties.

Does Zara have an affiliate program?

ZARA is a Spain-based apparel retail company that sells a variety of products like clothing, accessories, perfumes, shoes, swimwear, and beauty. It is one of the largest apparel retailers in the world with over 10,000 stores worldwide. Per checking ZARA’s website and its major affiliate networks, they currently do not offer any affiliate program.

How much do affiliate links pay?

Brands and companies offer different rates or pay on affiliate links. For example, TripAdvisor Affiliate Program offers a 50% commission to its affiliates for every confirmed booking. The freelance marketplace Fiverr gives $15-50 for Fiverr CPA, $10 CPA + 10% RevShare for Fiverr Hybrid, and 30% of every Fiverr Learn course ordered. Feel free to reach out to the brand to know more details about their affiliate programs.

Want to stay ahead of the affiliate marketing game? Affiliates can help your brand get on top fast. Learn about affiliate marketing for fashion brands here.

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Kristen Matthews
Kristen Matthews

Kristen Matthews is an expert in Content Marketing and loves to collaborate with brands on their content marketing strategies. If you just want to chat with her or if you want to explore freelance content marketing opportunities with her she can be reached at [email protected]

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  1. It's no secret that affiliate marketing has worked perfectly, travel, technology and fashion, I think the most benefited.

  2. Great read!! Thank you. My fashion house has just released an affiliate program for their luxury brand. I’m currently doing some research on this and this was some really helpful information.

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