Victoria Beckham could be key to improving H&M’s popularity, Starcount claims

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Victoria Beckham is the most influential celebrity amongst H&M’s biggest fans, and could be the key to improving the fashion brand’s popularity amongst key consumers, according to data analysed by Starcount, the consumer insight company.

As part of a new Consumer Insight Series, Starcount looked at social media data, studying which influencers are the most popular to different consumer segments. The recurring influencer across the fashion consumer audience is Victoria Beckham, who has yet to collaborate with H&M but has expressed an interest in doing so.

Using its new, ground-breaking methodology, Starcount has pinpointed specific types of consumers within the women’s fashion audience to which H&M is a significantly important brand. The finding was that, unlike many high street retailers, H&M is as relevant a brand for mass mainstream consumers as it is for those who favour high-end, luxury brands.

Starcount’s analysis reveals four distinct consumer types amongst which H&M is a very popular brand. These can be split into two categories: luxury and high street. These include:

Luxury

  • Luxury Fashion Aspirers
  • Cultured Trendsetters

High street

  • Affordable High Street Shoppers
  • Shopping Realists

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H&M’s current popularity rankings

Despite H&M’s diverse appeal, it is struggling against the competition within both groups of consumers: the brand is rapidly declining in popularity amongst the luxury fashion fans, while growing in popularity at a slower rate than its nearest competitors for high street fashion consumers, Starcount said.

Decline and slowed growth over the last six months

H&M’s popularity with the more luxury-focused consumers has come from its collaboration with influential designers and high-profile fashion personalities. However, its popularity is rapidly declining in both luxury categories: -11.7 per cent for Cultured Trendsetters and -2.3 per cent for Luxury Fashion Aspirers.

Meanwhile, H&M’s popularity is growing amongst high street consumers, though this growth is weak when compared to the growth of other brands in the top 20.

How can H&M improve its popularity?

Starcount analysis has determined some marketing solutions for H&M to accelerate growth and compete with the other major brands.

Brand collaborations, celebrity endorsements, and vlogger engagement

Overall, the most significant trend for the entirety of the women’s fashion audience is the prominence of Victoria Beckham as a key influencer, making her the most obvious choice for a new brand collaboration. However, isolating specific consumer types, Starcount can make the following recommendations to appeal to each segment:

  • Luxury

Top influencers in the luxury segment that have yet to collaborate with H&M include: Vera Wang, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian West, Shakira, Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams.

  • High street

For Shopping Realists, TV celebrities are the biggest influencers. These include Gok Wan and Davina McCall.

For Affordable High Street Shoppers, Starcount research shows that vloggers are their biggest influencers, and would help promote the brand to this crucial consumer segment. Specifically, these include Zoella, Louise, and Tanya Burr.

Clive Humby, chief data scientist at Starcount, said: “At Starcount, we’ve taken a wealth of social media data and applied our own advanced methodology to produce a more detailed picture of consumers’ wants and needs. Our insights can be used to inform their marketing and, ultimately, help brands accelerate their growth.

“The findings from our H&M data analysis have identified not only the specific types of consumer H&M appeals to, which in itself illuminates key targets for the retailer, but also the fluctuation of H&M popularity amongst each of these groups. We are able to highlight these areas of concern, and, by cross-referencing these groups with their passions, can recommend effective brand collaborations for maximum impact.”