Print journalism has been the backbone of marketing in the fashion industry for years and this hasn’t changed, even in the social media era. Magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Glamour are among the many magazines whose content is predominantly fashion and beauty. Their target audience always coincides with the market their ad clients aim to attract as a beauty or fashion brand.
Major designers have credited the increase in their sales, as well as the popularity of their brands, to magazine ads. Advertising with a magazine goes beyond models photographed in a brand’s pieces or celebrities photographed in a brand’s creations. A brand needs to be visibly seen and as loud as possible as a reader peruses page by page.
The major fashion magazines in Kenya would be “True Love magazine” and “Couture Africa” magazine. These two publications that are monthly hard copies, are all about local fashion and the culture of the Kenyan fashion and beauty industry. When you take a look at both magazines you fail to see the proper representation of our local fashion and beauty brands. If anything, you will easily spot major ads for brands that are from different industries and far from fashion or beauty.
This is not necessarily the fault of the publications; brands are partly to blame for this. Local brands barely take up the proper spaces for advertising that would be required in order to create the proper amount of exposure needed for a business. Could it be the issue of money; it does cost a handsome amount to advertise on the gold mine areas of a magazine, but this could be an area one should look at as “spending money to make money”.
Fashion magazines, of course, depend on these adverts to keep the lights on, however, wouldn’t it be wiser to urge more fashion and beauty brands to sign on for advertisement. The industry will forever depend on print journalism to get ahead and more local exposure could help the growth of the local fashion community.
An increase in sales depends on the ability to be seen by the right consumer and at the right time. The consumer you seek in fashion and beauty is the reader of most magazines. They want to see what your brand has to offer beyond the runway.
The key to proper advertising of your brand is to ensure that you are constantly in sight of potential consumers. Align yourself with magazines that seek to indulge the masses in local fashion and an appreciation of our local designers.
Both sides have to play ball for this to happen. The Kenyan fashion magazines need to create more advertising spaces for local brands to be seen and local brands need to have a desire to have the exposure as well.
The future of African fashion is to have our very own publication that seeks to celebrate African fashion on a whole new level. A magazine that is not biased to a select country but a publication that caters to each and every African country. In the meantime, we in the fashion industry need to learn the art of doing the absolute most with what we have available to us.
Print advertising is not the past. It is the present and will remain a vital marketing strategy for years to come, especially in the business of fashion.