New Look? Cheap and cheerful springs to mind.
Yes – but New Look has been revamping itself of late. It’s got a new look… both in terms of refurbished bricks-and-mortar stores and a reinvigorated online presence.
And it does content?
That’s right. They’re using content to gain back some of the ground they lost to Primark in the last few years, by following in the footsteps of the larger fashion brands.
Big-time fashion retailers are now investing in big editorial names; Grazia’s Paula Reed is now at Harvey Nichols, Vogue’s Kate Phelan is now at Topshop, ASOS has Grazia’s Siobhan Mallen and Melissa Dick from Elle. By following this approach and doing more editorial, New Look is trying to distance itself from Primark as a brand, and making the competition one about the digital space, rather than the high street (where historically it doesn’t seem to be able to compete).
And is it working?
Seemingly so. The brand has posted a big rise in online sales this year, fuelled by the brand’s online activities – including its content-driven ‘New Look Daily’ site – full of entertaining, highly shoppable, fashion news and features. Primark just barely has a website and its only ecommerce offering is through ASOS. Where cyber-shoppers can also buy New Look products, incidentally.
So how does New Look go about content production?
Audience analysis and simple, relevant content. The New Look editorial team know who they’re speaking to (teens who like fast fashion, trend-led young mums) and they pump out content these groups are used to seeing in supermarket mags like Grazia, Look and Cosmopolitan. They give the people what they want – more Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Cole than you can shake a stick at.
And people like this?
Unequivocally, yes. Celebrities sell. But so does more accessible ‘real people’ content, which New Look also puts out in the form of blogger profiles.
But surely consumers can get this kind of content from any of a hundred print and digital sources?
You’re right. To make sure it’s creating stuff that’s new and exclusive New Look sources a lot of content from within its organisation, be that the design team, the trend scouts or the HR department – it’s all fuel for the content engine.