Thursday, 5 September 2013

Brand Values

Last week I caught the tail end of a few tweets where several bloggers had been turned down for a campaign they had applied for as the brand deemed that their style did not suit the brand.  I'm not going to name the brand, nor the brand I will no longer feature on my blog for similar reasons, as creating a witch hunt is not the intention of this post.  Whether correctly so the girls interpreted the message from the brand to mean that they are not skinny enough/not fashionable enough/not young enough.  Basically just not good enough.

It got me thinking, are we as bloggers set aside from other customers because we choose to post photos of ourselves on the internet?  Does this make it okay for a brand to dismiss a blogger based on appearance or style when they wouldn't stop any other customer from purchasing their clothes?  Bloggers are by their very nature mass consumers.  Yes, we may be treated to a few gifted items but you can guarantee even the biggest blogger spends a large percentage of their disposable income on stuff.

A couple of the girls declined wore the brand regularly, often featured them on their blogs and basically spent their hard earned cash with the brand.  The comments from the brand mean they have as a result lost several loyal customers, the girls have vowed that they will no longer purchase from the brand or feature the brands clothing on their blogs.  There was talk of removing previous links and to be honest the whole episode has left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.  I haven't personally bought from this brand before but I sure as hell won't now I know how they view some of my peers.  Girls who are all younger/slimmer/more fashionable than me.

I had a similar experience with a different brand, though I would like to add I haven't ever applied for a campaign with this brand.  I used to buy at least a dress a month from them, some times more depending on their stock levels.  I used to feature them heavily on my site when I first started blogging.  But I felt ignored.  I wasn't after freebies, just some conversation with a brand making clothes I loved.  I would look at their twitter account and see that they replied to other bloggers and retweeted some blog posts.  Yet I got nothing, not a reply. Not a retweet. Zero.  I had a look at some of the links they were retweeting and all of the bloggers had one thing in common, their appearance.  They were skinny and pretty and it made me feel like the brand didn't want me wearing their clothing.  So I stopped.  I haven't bought anything from them in over a year and I will never purchase from them again.  I also haven't worn any of the 20+ dresses that were sat in my wardrobe either as they no longer make me feel good about myself.  I have since sold most of them or taken them to the charity shop. 

I don't know about you but I read blogs because I can relate to the girls behind them.  If I wanted to see clothes on model like girls I would buy a magazine.  I want to see how clothes look on girls with 'imperfections' and above a size 10.  To me it's imperfections that make us beautiful and I am damn annoyed that these girls have been made to feel anything less that the beauties they are.

*Edit*  I want to add that obviously a brand is free to gift items to whoever they please but the way this has been handled is appalling.  If a brand wants to be selective over which bloggers showcase their items then don't outsource to a company where any blogger who is registered and fits the basic criteria (number of followers etc) can apply.  

♥♥♥

14 comments:

  1. I read blogs for the same reason, not just the community feel but to see clothing on regular women doing everyday tasks, not just skinny models that I can't relate to.

    I've no idea who the brand was etc in this case but I'm sorry to hear that your friends were treated so badly.

    I am a Boden affiliate and wear a lot of there stuff, I have done for years but just applied to their affiliate programme in May. I don't promote my blog via Facebook or Twitter so maybe because of that, I don't get included in their "How Bloggers do Boden" features even though people have bought the blog to their attention. I don't mind too much as I think it's because I don't promote my blog via those channels. I hope so anyway but I guess you just never know the underlying intention these brands have! I'm still loyal to them and try not to feel too slighted :)

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  2. Sarah, although it's itching me to know what brand is it, I can see how it applies to so many brands out there! I don't get why the brands would shun bloggers which don't meet the 'perfect' criteria - we still give them great covearage! Just like you, I feel more comfortable if I see clothes on a regular person and for me that's an incentive to buy somehting. Great post!

    Mademoiselle-Lala.com

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  3. I think some brands are so awful in the way that they treat their potential customers. They ought to see bloggers, however "big or small" (in terms of readership) as free advertising for their brand, and should embrace that. I would, if I were a brand, in the same way as in my business life I would reward a loyal client or repeat customer with discounts or bonuses, to keep them coming back and show that I appreciate the business they give me.

    I think I've missed this particular shitstorm, and started by thinking the brand in question must have been the one I know you're talking about later on, so it's apparent it's a different one. I hope whoever the brand is realises that they've made a mistake when they see their sales plummet. I've given up on trying to engage with "skinny brands" as I know I will never be the sort of model-thin girl they want to promote their clothes on. Sad, but true, and it doesn't make me feel anything but shit about myself for not being good enough, thin enough etc. I know that those thoughts are mostly me, and would be things I thought anyway, but stuff like this doesn't help, like all those blogger contests where they ask folk to vote on which one is the prettiest etc. Grim.

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  4. I tend to follow blogs of women who I feel are like me. In early 30's, unique and not a stick insect. I'm not all about the model types, I want to read about fashion that is achievable for me and seeing it on ladies of a similar size gives me a better idea of how I may look to others and what will suit me best!I don't like the "polished" look, its just not real!

    Nance
    xox

    www.thelittlefloralowl.wordpress.com

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    1. I wish you could "like" comments on blogger as I'd totally give you the thumbs up Nance. Completely agree!

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    2. Aw, thank you! I spent my 20's thinking I need to look a certain way because fashion magazines and tv have shoved size 6 airbrushed clones down my throat. I'm new to the blogging world and its actually really lovely to see real ladies looking amazing in clothes, regardless of size. It makes me feel a lot better about myself :) xo

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  5. I'm appalled that big brands would treat their customers like that. I am a larger, older lady and there are virtually zero role models for me out there in Fashion Land; it appals me that big brands would discriminate against customers because they don't conform to their view of what their customer should look like. In that case I'd spend most of my time naked and at home!
    Please keep on buying, wearing what you like and sharing it with all of us - bloggers like you are a great source of inspiration to the rest of us!

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  6. I'm intrigued to know what brand this is too, but this is a great post! I've been turned down by brands before, just 'because' - not because I don't have enough engagement/traffic etc. I definitely agree that I want to see clothes worn on normal people in normal situations, not dressed up just for photos, pinned at the back and so on, just to fit their 'style'. On a bit of a tangent here, but I've had comments that my outfits don't look polished enough because I have creases in my clothes - maybe because I sit in an office all day and do housework before taking pictures?! Anyway, it definitely puts me off a brand when they only engage with bloggers worthy of them.
    Rant over!
    xx

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  7. I think i know what you're talking as I recently got declined from a brand and I know a few others have as well. It did make me think oh ok thanks mate - nice to rub it in I have no style! But i'm over it now and just have brushed it off. You win some you lose some eh?! I totally agree the main reason why i've been converted to blogs rather than magazines is because i can relate. I look much more like bloggers that i do models in magazines so I have a better idea of how clothes will fit! Plus it's so nice to see how clothes can be adapted in the "real world". I suppose the whole scenario just proved how fickle the blogging world is but still it's one i'm glad to be a part off for meeting people like you!
    Sophie
    x

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  8. I think i know what you're talking as I recently got declined from a brand and I know a few others have as well. It did make me think oh ok thanks mate - nice to rub it in I have no style! But i'm over it now and just have brushed it off. You win some you lose some eh?! I have had some amazing things through my blog so I can't complain! I totally agree the main reason why i've been converted to blogs rather than magazines is because i can relate. I look much more like bloggers that i do models in magazines so I have a better idea of how clothes will fit! Plus it's so nice to see how clothes can be adapted in the "real world".
    Sophie
    x

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  9. I completely missed this but totally agree - I like to read blogs to see what clothes look like on different shapes & sizes rather than just on a mannequin or employed model.

    I love reading honest feedback about brands and products and bloggers do influence my shopping habits much more than magazines (although I do subscribe to almost every fashion magazine available as well!)

    Ruth x

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  10. Great post Sarah.
    I missed all of this and have no idea who you are talking about but that is such an awful thing to do.
    I, like you and many others, read blogs because I want to see clothes on more real people, people my size who aren't necessarily the trendiest out there. x

    Leanne - A Slice of My Life

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  11. I'm also too old/fat/short to be a good poster girl for any 'trendy' brand, and have definitely felt self conscious about posting photos of myself - being ignored or dismissed by brands is an unwelcome reminder of my flaws. Of course brands have the complete right to choose who they do and don't work with/talk to/retweet etc there is no need to be rude or dismissive and it would definitely put me off wearing or promoting said brand!

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  12. Not a clue which brand your on about but how vile! Xxxxxx

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I love comments, thank you for making me smile xx

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