Retailers must champion inclusivity in marketing campaigns to widen appeal

Retailers must introduce older models into their marketing imagery and partner with popular influencers over 50 to avoid alienating shoppers.

Although many fashion retailers such as ASOS and New Look, have extended ranges to cater for plus size, tall, and petite shoppers, more retailers must extend this inclusivity to their marketing campaigns.

For females over 80% of each age group said they would like to see retailers using more models of varying shapes. Meaning retailers such as Topshop and Zara, which only use slim models in their campaigns and fail to offer ranges that serve those over a UK size 18 must increase their efforts or risk losing popularity.

Online pure-play PrettyLittleThing is a retailer they should aspire to, after its collaboration with plus size model Ashley Graham, and rap artists Lioness and Ms Banks fronting petite and tall ranges, as well as its specialised ‘shape’ range catering for those with hourglass figures.

Despite significantly fewer males demanding models of varying shapes (56.6% vs 82.5% females), the desire was much higher for males aged 25-44 (68.6%). Menswear retailers serving this age group  such as Matalan, H&M and Primark  must also strive to include a more diverse selection of sizes within their campaigns, as younger brands such as ASOS and boohooMAN have done, and they should also follow Nike’s lead by introducing plus size mannequins instore.

Greater age inclusivity is just as sought after by clothing shoppers, according to our survey, with 72.1% agreeing that they want a wider range of age groups showcased in marketing campaigns.

This surprisingly declines in the over 55’s age group we would expect to feel the least represented however, this is heavily driven by males. For females though all age groups would like to see more age inclusivity, 86% of over 45’s agreed in comparison with 82.6% of under 45’s. This suggests older females feel the most under-represented in retailer campaigns, which may restrict spend per head as these consumers struggle to know where to shop and find fashion inspiration.

Retailers such as M&S, Bonmarché and ASDA must introduce older models into their marketing imagery and partner with popular influencers over 50, such as Grace Ghanem and Alyson Walsh to avoid alienating shoppers.

This article originally appeared in Retail Insight Network. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

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