The new jacket that your designers introduced this season is doing exceedingly well. It is exceeding all expectations. There is clamor from merchandizers that more of the product is needed on store shelves and on-line. Well before the end-of-season you order more of the jackets and get them into the warehouse and then onto store shelves.
To your dismay, they are not selling as well. Your product could be suffering from “Fashion Fatigue”. Your shoppers have demonstrated an unexpected change in buying pattern. Simply speaking, they are tired of too much of a good thing and are choosing not to buy more. Your usual rules of merchandizing and planning have broken down.
What is “Fashion Fatigue”?
Marketing gurus have known this for long. A marketing activity (email campaigns, ad, and direct mailers) has a positive impact when done at the right intensity. After a certain threshold, more of the marketing causes a negative response. It is critical to know the threshold and respect it.
Fashion Fatigue is the threshold at which the buying behavior of your shoppers experiences an abrupt change. Shoppers are no longer frenzied for that new design. Sales slow down despite marketing activity and markdowns. They are simply tired of the product.
Even the coolest product experience Fashion Fatigue.
Fashion brands, designers and merchandizers ought to be asking the following questions:
- What is the Fashion Fatigue limit for each of my products?
- Which of my designs are approaching Fashion Fatigue limit now?
- How does the Fashion Fatigue limit vary by category and market?
- What factors can accelerate the Fashion Fatigue phenomenon for a product?
- How can I predict the Fashion Fatigue limit for a new product? Hint – data science is necessary to accomplish this
- How can I incorporate Fashion Fatigue limits into planning, merchandizing, and store allocation?
Call to action: Just being aware of Fashion Fatigue is a good first step. Just because a product has sold well till now does not imply it will continue to sell well. Get data science and analytics working for you. Figure out fashion fatigue limits for your designs (and design categories), better still, predict them for new designs.