Compiled by Allaam Ousman


Oshini Jayasuriya shares insights into injecting a twist in fashion brands

Q: Can you describe the outcome and impacts of a recent campaign you led – and the strategies that were leveraged to engage consumers?

A: Recently, I participated in a campaign that involved a partnership with a leading artiste. This sparked a trend of sporting flip-flops in contrasting colours on each foot, injecting a vibrant twist into fashion.

In an effort to spread our message, we invited over 30 influential personalities to ignite interest and participation. Furthermore, we organised an engaging customer activation event, creating a connection between the brand and our audience.

The drive earned remarkable digital traction, sparking widespread chatter across various online platforms.

Q: How should market research and consumer insights be integrated into fashion marketing strategies, in your assessment?

A: Market research serves as the basis of strategic endeavours when launching a brand or introducing a new product.

It offers priceless insights into the desired market positioning and helps businesses grasp customer preferences, thereby laying the basis for a successful venture.

Q: In the digital era, how should social media and influencer partnerships be utilised to amplify brand visibility? And how are influencers chosen?

A: Unlike traditional media channels, social media platforms provide insights into the execution of each campaign – and this leads to improvements. Partnerships with key influencers further amplify brand visibility and drive customer engagement.

However, choosing the right influencers is critical, stressing the importance of aligning their values with those of the brand.

Q: How must businesses establish marketing tactics for fashion brands to align with evolving consumer be­haviours, cultural shifts and societal trends?

A: Fashion brands face the challenge of having to be agile amid the fast-paced evolution of trends. In today’s digital landscape, they emerge and evolve swiftly, requiring proactive responses rather than reactive adjustments.

While some brands may pivot reactively to align with prevailing market trends, it’s important to prioritise proactive strategies aimed at setting trends rather than simply following them. It is imperative to lead trends rather than chase them to gain competitive edges, and vibrating with the audience’s tastes and preferences.

Q: In your opinion, how can rebranding efforts in this country help capitalise on emerging trends? And what challenges do marketers face in such endeavours?

A: These efforts call for a meticulous approach, beginning with the identification of unique selling points (USPs), comprehensive analyses of global trends, and precise delineation of target demographics both locally and internationally.

Subsequently, an in-depth study of standards, certifications and requirements that are essential for enhancing local product ranges to meet global expectations has to be undertaken. This entails scrutinising emerging trends and colours with global resonance, recognising their imminent reach in the Sri Lankan market.

The insights will help redefine brand identity, stitching together elements of Sri Lankan heritage with products tailored to suit a global audience. An overhaul often ensues with the creation of a new logo, packaging, displays, product assortment and pricing strategy to draw a fresh demographic.

The challenge lies in expanding market share while navigating the transition from the old identity to the revitalised brand. Managing the coexistence of both iterations in the market presents a major hurdle, which needs careful navigation to ensure a seamless transition and sustained consumer engagement.

Q: What role does storytelling play in apparel marketing? And how should authenticity be maintained, in your view?

A: In today’s fashion market, storytelling serves as a powerful tool for brands to connect with consumers since customers are more conscious and seek authenticity in the products they purchase.

Gen Z in particular places an emphasis on a brand’s story and its commitment to authenticity.

In all marketing efforts, businesses must remain steadfast in upholding the integrity of brand messaging. It’s important to feature certification logos and numbers across all promotional material, with a view to reflecting a commitment to sustainability and authenticity.

Through compelling storytelling and tangible actions, organisations must aim to inspire and engage consumers who share values and ambitions for a more sustainable future.

Q: How must brands collaborate with design teams to translate brand values and aesthetics into impactful marketing campaigns?

A: Teams must be attuned to the pulse of their target demographic, facilitating rapid comprehension and adaptation to emerging fashion trends.

Through brainstorming sessions, organisations must draw the collective creativity of team members to pinpoint consumer centric innovations, whether it’s exploring fresh colour palettes or conceiving compelling campaigns.

This synergy between the design and front end teams ensures seamless collaboration, enabling ideas to flow freely and be refined before implementation, ultimately culminating in resonant offerings for an audience that is captivated.

The interviewee is a Senior Brand Manager of D Samson Industries.