Ever considered hiring models for your fashion store? Now might be the time to do so.
The reason: In comparison to standalone product photos or display mannequins, images that include models (that look like your target demographic) provide some important context and visual information within the fashion niche that you simply can’t achieve any other way.
And research proves that this is effective: Data from eye-tracking studies shows that people are drawn to faces when looking at screens–and you want your products to get as much attention as possible.
Hiring models can be much more affordable than you might think, too: Working with amateur models, you can still keep costs low while still creating powerful images that drive sales for your store.
In this post, we’ll explore your options for models, how to find the right ones to represent your brand, and some options for shooting these new photos to add to your fashion store.
You Don’t Have to Use the Traditional “Model” Anymore
Before you start your search, let’s take a moment to talk about models. Traditionally, many people have thought of models as tall, rail skinny people with high cheekbones and perfect abs.
But is this an accurate representation of the average person who shops at your fashion store? In most cases, the answer is probably no. Your customers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors–and it’s important to remember this as you look for the models that will represent your brand.
Other fashion stores have taken this approach with fantastic results. ModCloth actually pulls from its customer base when hiring models, which has resulted in more inclusive marketing materials and product photos. Shoppers see themselves in the models this fashion retailer uses.
Other retailers like Aerie have taken a similar approach: They tout that their model images are untouched (as in, not Photoshopped) and appear as they really are. This presents a powerful marketing opportunity for the brand and a way to build trust and respect with their customer base.
Diverse models who accurately represent your average customer make for stronger, more effective photos for your store. As you begin your quest to find the right models, remember to think beyond the traditional model perception.
Brands Getting on Board With Different Types of Models
Many brands are coming to realize that different types of models can be valuable assets to their brand, company mission, and in a way–public perception.
For example: Lane Bryant showcases women outside the size 0 realm in its ads for women’s clothing. Their campaign “Plus Is Equal” pivots on women with curves and how great they look in the brand’s clothing offerings.
In another example, fashion retailer BetaBrand created an ad campaign back in 2014 that featured only women with a Ph.D. to dispel the myth that models have to choose between brains and beauty. Today, they still use a variety of models in all shapes and sizes to reinforce their dedication to accurately representing their core audience.
And men aren’t excluded from these efforts, either.
Target is now working with male models for their “Big and Tall” collection to more accurately represent a sector of their shoppers in their product photos. Zach Miko is deemed a “plus size male model” who is proud to be the face of Target’s new efforts here–and he’s excited to be on the precipice of a new era in which shoppers see different looks in ads and product photos.
Finding the Right Type of Model for Your Brand
Now let’s talk about what’s right for you and your brand.
We’ve discussed the importance of accurately representing your target demographic, but let’s take a bit of a deeper dive here to help pinpoint which models are going to be the best for your fashion store.
Take time to identify the specifics you’re looking for in a model. It’s not enough to say females between ages 16-25. Spell it out…