Stores closed with stocks hanging on the racks, operations and deliveries hindered, new launches and new shootings canceled or frozen due to travelling bans. There’s no doubt that fashion is one of the industries that has been most heavily impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Many fashion and luxury brands, however, showed a prompt reaction, often responding with large health-related donations and fundraisers and/or industrial conversions to produce protective equipment. Their marketing and communications also had to adjust, in an effort to engage their audiences and navigate this period of uncertainty.

One of the most personal tools that brands used to connect with their audiences is their email newsletters, which are also a great way to appreciate the profound communication tsunami triggered by Covid-19 in a matter of a couple of weeks.

So how did fashion and luxury brands adjust their email marketing to respond to the pandemic? By completely revolutionizing their editorial plans, schedules and content in new and creative ways, as you will see in some examples below.

After the initial blow and the need to inform clients about the temporary impossibility of ecommerce deliveries, once they implemented safety measures for their teams and warehouses, fashion and luxury brands started issuing completely revised editorial calendars based on a new focus – entertainment. The objective? Keeping company to clients and aficionados, while taking this opportunity to strengthen their brand reputation online and keep audiences engaged.

The new “emergency” editorial contents draw inspiration from music, cinema, arts, books and culture and have been curated with care so as to always reflect the brand’s personality.

One of the main discoveries was sound, especially through Spotify, with many designers creating their Spotify profile and offering selected playlists in a sort of brand soundtrack.

That was the case for Gucci, Belstaff, Moncler, Philosophy, Dsquared2, Msgm, Fendi, Armani, Prada, Liu-Jo and many others.

Gucci set the standard of email marketing excellence by focusing on its Gucci Osteria concept and offering a variety of contents in collaboration with celebrity chef Massimo Bottura and his team, from podcasts to interviews, from video recipes to playlists.

The “stay home” storytelling also continues with brands offering several online events, often driving engagement towards social media, especially Instagram and Facebook.

Moncler organized the #warmlymoncler online photo exhibition showcasing their most iconic images from international photographers. Marella offered style tips and live yoga lessons with an expert teacher. Mr. Porter offered a reading list, selected recipes, yoga lessons and style tips for men to spend happier and more sophisticated times at home.

Mango created a series of Home Sessions inviting artists to stream their performances from their homes, as well as other initiatives, like #TheMangoList, a style and culture IG feature covering different topics around style and arts and addressing different target segments, from Millennials to mums & kids. Another special feature was The Mango Girl Diaries, a new article every week to enter the lives and homes of Mango’s trendsetters.

Belstaff and Dior spanned their content from food and drink up to books and cinema, offering reading lists and reviews to spark culture among their socially distanced audiences.

Last but not least, other brands, like Farfetch, chose a different strategy, by promoting and supporting their business model – a network of 700 independent and multi-brand boutiques in 50 countries around the world.

The Author

Cristiano Sturniolo

Founder & Senior Advisor @ The Hitch Lab

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