Although I have already discussed the effect of consumer generated marketing within the fashion and beauty industry, I have decided to also focus on ASOS, who dedicate a whole section of their site to customers sharing their outfits and personal style!
ASOS aim to create an online community of customers, bloggers and other influencers to develop an online portfolio of product reviews; encouraging customers to: "connect with new friends, build your fashion following". This type of marketing is effective as it goes beyond showing visitors to the site few images of stick-thin models wearing ASOS clothes, instead the outfits are seen in real life, and shows the products used in multiple different outfits by customers with very different fashion styles. Entitled; "create, share and shop" this provides ASOS with creative user generated content, directly uploaded to their site, providing potential customers with the option to interact with other customers and they are able to see how others have styled a product, displaying the potential for an item.
ASOS fashion finder works by encouraging customers to become a member and upload images of their outfits, in which they create a mini portfolio of all of the ASOS clothes they wear. To encourage customers to take part and contribute, they also hold competitions. Some of the looks featured allow the audience to 'shop the look'- something which others in the industry could benefit from if they encouraged consumer generated marketing better, as this feature goes beyond creating awareness of products and showing the items potential; in fact it encourages others in the community to make a purchase and invest in the whole outfit.
This is an example of consumer generated marketing being beneficial for both parties. ASOS has valuable marketing content created for them, whilst the users can regularly upload outfits to their online 'look book', motivating them with the hope of appearing in the sites 'Top picks' or 'Outfit of the week' section. This allows them to feel like a fashion influencer and trend setter for ASOS products as more people follow and connect with their fashion finder profile.
The fashion finder site is very easy to use and despite containing such a huge catalogue of users and their looks, it is categorised by; this week/this month, most popular, by occasion, celebrity style and by individual trend using tags including "90's, floral, rich colour". This makes it easy for users to browse through the collection of looks which could help to influence their purchase.
Furthermore, to get even more coverage, ASOS allows you to share the look you have uploaded across many social media platforms such as; Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Facebook to create even more awareness of ASOS products and drive traffic to the fashion finder site.
For users who upload pictures of themselves wearing ASOS products regularly, this does not only create customer loyalty, but it also develops relationships between the member with other members on the site and with customers who may visit the site often to keep up with a certain members profile, you can do this by searching by name.
It is important for brands to recognise the increasing number of messages that are now created and shared online by the average individual. Not only are they used to communicate with companies, but they are also shared with peers, friends, family and others in their social network communities. Those who contribute to the fashion finder site are not just the one off customer, they are individuals who have a passionate interest in ASOS products, who are brand loyal and want to support the brand.
Similarly, they include bloggers, who enjoy creating content based on their personal interests, and have then used this to develop 'opinion leader status'. This has been described by Muniz and Schau (2007) as 'vigilante marketing', which involves the creation of self-generated content to promote brands with which they have a strong affiliation.
ASOS has benefited massively from inviting and enticing customers to create user generated content on their fashion finder site. Not only will they experience increased awareness and credibility of their products, and possibly an increase in sales, but also increased brand loyalty and stronger customer relationships; a competitive advantage for any company operating in the fashion industry.