Consumers who describe themselves as "Fashion Forward" are at least twice as likely as other consumers to spend more on a wide range of consumer products, including apparel, and are most likely to refer friends and colleagues to their preferred retailers, according to a survey from Acxiom.
Two-thirds of such trendy consumers are Millennials (AKA Gen Y, those now roughly age 18-33) and are most influenced by new media channels when making their buying decisions.
The most influential "new media" channels for reaching all apparel shoppers are the well-established ones: Email (25%), Internet advertising (19%), and word-of-mouth (34%).
Millennials, however, are more likely to be influenced by those channels: Email (32%), Internet advertising (27%), and word-of-mouth (39%).
Emerging channels, such as instant messaging via computer and mobile marketing (both video and text messaging) have not yet reached the same levels of influence. Other than video via mobile device, no such emerging channel offers the potential of product visuals, which is valuable in marketing a fashion-oriented product.
In contrast, buyers of electronics goods are more influenced by word-of-mouth, blogging, and mobile marketing, possibly because such consumers are more interested in product features, functions, and benefits, all of which are easily communicated via text.