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Ask any marketer to name an online retail business they admire and the response will always include: ASOS.
ASOS is an online fashion destination for 20-year old millennials. Its online platform works by choosing the best fashion items from a variety of brands and grouping these items with the company’s products.
This strategy has not only helped ASOS sell their own products, but it has also led them to become the best online fashion destination. In fact, the company has amassed over 80,000 branded and own-brand products.
How did ASOS become a fashion empire in just a few years? In part, through marketing strategies that focused on brand awareness and popularity.
1. Fast Fashion – provides trend-led collections with an emphasis on diversity
For the uninitiated, ASOS stands for As Seen on Screen.
The name can trace its origins back to 1999 when founders Quentin Griffith, Deborah Thorpe and Nick Robertson envisioned a company that sold the outfits worn by celebrities.
In its first year, the founders started the As Seen on Screen campaign to spread the word on their celebrity-inspired fashion business.
The campaign was an undeniable success. The company won the Best Trendsetter Award from The Sunday Times.
From here, there was nowhere to go but up. Helping them secure more first time customers than ever before!
ASOS became an online fashion editor, with an emphasis on diversity. The brand expanded from celebrity styles and catered to all forms of fashion.
From nightwear to maternity clothes, tall and petite to jumpers and cardigans, ASOS offered a selection where anyone could choose from.
Fast forward to 2017, the company now sells 80,000 products with 3,000 new lines each week! Individual designers can even set up their own boutiques on the site and sell their products.
Everyone loves to talk about celebrity style.
To state the obvious, celebrities are always a hot topic. This is probably why the word on the As Seen on Screen campaign spread fast.
But here's what ASOS did absolutely right-- selling products that could accommodate anyone. People have various styles, and making these styles available in one platform is the perfect way to become an ideal eCommerce site.
By sharing their platform with hundreds of brands and designers, ASOS became an all-in-one fashion empire.
2. ASOS Publishes High-Quality Content in the ASOS Brand Magazine
If you think magazines are dead, chances are you've never seen the ASOS Brand Magazine.
The magazine isn't just filled with glossy images that readers love, but it also has a strong lineup of editorial content. In fact, 486,000 readers and 820,000 online subscribers, check it out regularly to read about celebrity style, shopping tips, outfit ideas and how-to articles.
The company releases online and print versions of the magazine. When we say it's available online, we're not referring to downloadable PDF files. Rather, think of a clickable magazine that allows you to shop right from the page!
Fashion readers fall in love with irresistible clothes that they see from magazines. This is one of the reasons why magazines are an ideal tool for advertisements. What ASOS has done here is to create content that allows readers to buy the products right after they see it from the page.
By creating an enjoyable way for readers to consume product information and advertisements, ASOS can turn readers into buyers.
3. Use of Brilliant Influencer Marketing Initiative
ASOS didn't want to start a generic marketing campaign, instead they wanted to develop an authentic way to communicate with their customers. They knew that influencers were key to communicating their ideal messages, and that is why they created the ASOS Insiders Community.
ASOS Insiders is a group of 20-year old millennials who post their fashionable outfits on social media. Not only have these influencers curated irresistible OOTDs (Outfit of the Day), but they also have distinct styles. From full tomboy to 90's looks, street style to maternity wear, all insiders offer fashion inspiration for every type of ASOS customer.
What makes these posts a stroke of genius, is that they're more than just for viewing pleasure. In fact, interested customers can buy featured outfits straight from their social media accounts.
On Instagram, users can see the code for the product in the image caption. They can also visit the influencer's curated page on the ASOS website through a tracked link. Meanwhile, at Pinterest, images are directly linked to the product's page.
With the help of social media influencers, the company releases content that their consumers can appreciate.
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4. Remarkable focus on corporate responsibility- started the ASOS foundation
ASOS definitely wants to make an impact. This is why the fashion brand has placed an emphasis on advocacy, particularly on providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
"We have always been committed to creating opportunities for young people to fulfill their potential." Nick Robertson, ASOS founder said in an interview.
Its emphasis on its corporate responsibility has led the company to create the ASOS Foundation, which builds infrastructures and educational initiatives.
Through the foundation, ASOS has implemented training programs that aimed to provide opportunities to children interested in technology and fashion.
At the same time, ASOS continues to partner with charity organizations such as Prince's Trust and SOKO Community Trust to fulfill its corporate responsibility.
Everyone loves a brand with good advocacy.
By placing its emphasis on corporate responsibility, and letting its consumers know who they're helping, ASOS creates a brand with a positive image.
More importantly, since ASOS provides the links and codes necessary to purchase the product, customers are more likely to take action. Because it is easy to buy, the company seamlessly turns interested in the actual purchase.
Here are a few lessons from ASOS’ success:
- Offer a diverse range of products
- Publish high-quality content
- Use social media influencers to promote products
- Make it easy for customers to make a purchase
- Build a good brand image
Read next: How H&M Became The World's 2nd Largest Fashion Retailer or how Zara's fashion line marketing strategies have made them billions of dollars.