styling-therapy and digital marketing during a crisis
Styling on social networks when everyone is stuck at home; what can and shouldn’t be shared; and how to be best prepared for after the crisis
It’s during a period like the one now that I understand even more clearly how important and serious getting dressed in the morning is. I’m the sort of person who believes that we get sick when we are overwhelmed by anxiety and depression. We need a routine, a purpose, a reason to get up to in the morning that is not pajamas and screaming kids, because all of us have the tendency to get stuck in a weekend loop that has no clear end. No matter how sexy your pajamas are, they don’t make you feel the same way as a pair of heels, gorgeous jewelry, and, most importantly, a good friend who is excited by what you’re wearing.
Styling therapy – Staying chic during a crisis
The emphasis merely on making an external impression misses the important developing area of the psychology of apparel. How one gets dressed cognitively and emotionally affects the wearer, so that our clothes have a palpable influence on us. Clothes affect how we think, how we function, and our moods. There is no rational reason to stop getting dressed in the morning. On the contrary, precisely during this time, it is important to use clothing as a tool to feel better and as a daily ritual to help reduce anxiety. These insights come from a remedial approach called therapeutic styling.
The approach was developed by Dr. Tali Stolovy, a social worker whose area of research is the psychology of clothing. In her 2018 study, she found a connection between personality traits and body image and the Israeli women’s clothing. Her approach and area of expertise are also developing abroad, mainly in London, and is known as fashion psychology.
According to Dr. Stolovy, “Clothing is related to our sense of normality, which is also at risk now. Clothes help us organize [ourselves]physically and mentally, and the ritual of getting dressed every morning helps us focus ourselves on daily tasks and reduce anxiety.”
Therapeutic styling – Dr. Tali Stolovy
Our clothes have a cognitive and emotional impact on us. If I get up in the morning and wear old, tattered clothing, it’s likely I will feel similarly by the end of the day. Or as my sister usually says, “If you can’t wear it to a party, you also shouldn’t wear it to throw out the trash.” In fact, there is a real connection between depression and the inability to get dressed, and we can’t tell which problem preceded the other. Please, keep getting dressed.
Now that I have convinced you to get dressed even when you’re staying at home, the dilemma remains what and how to advertise during a time when instead of “me and my friends at the movies” it’s just “me and myself in the kitchen. “
Digital styling and marketing for businesses during a crisis
A crisis is a time to be human and to address each other in the most honest way we can. As individuals, be honest: before #coronavirus descended, you had dreams and things you wanted to do. Some people had problems they can’t really solve while sitting at home, so it’s definitely a period when people will be more forgiving if your images aren’t quite perfect and your tone is more personal. It’s also alright to say that it’s all a bit too much right now and that you’re going to disconnect for a bit. There is no one right answer on how to manage your internet presence at the moment.
Digital marketing for a crisis – It’s okay if your images aren’t as perfect and more personal
If you are a business owner, this is not the right time for a marketing email reminding us we can shop online.
Most importantly, we also don’t really want to hear about turning lemons into lemonade or any other kind of moral message to improve our lives during the long vacation that has upended up our lives since mid-March.
This is not the time to focus on product marketing. Why? For several reasons. Some people are currently in or know they are heading towards financial hardship. They know they can order things online, but to target them with what to buy will only generate a feeling of alienation from the situation. Even discounts, in my opinion, will not solve anything.
Nevertheless, creating personal connections, understanding the problems our followers and audiences are currently facing and being able to help them during this challenging emotional and mental period will lead to a sense of belonging that will eventually become a personal connection with a brand. Think ahead to the day after; believe me, it will arrive faster than we think.
Right now, most of us are anxiously sitting at home and you’ll find nothing good can come from this anxiety. When I think of the aesthetic side of things, anxiety can lead to pimples and wrinkles and other treats for the face, and all this happens precisely when we can’t get to our aesthetician, our manicurist, or our hairstylist.
Respond to what is upsetting my customers right now
If it is related to your area of expertise, you might be able to give advice on how to keep our faces fresh when we can’t leave the house, and how to look great even when there is no obvious reason to get out of pajamas. Or even how to take off your own gel nail polish.
If you have employees, this is a good time to strengthen your relationships with them and support each other. If you have regular customers or followers, don’t ignore the coronavirus. You should refer to it in your posts and show that routines must continue because keeping morale high is so important for our health. Address the real needs and feelings of your audience! We truly need each other now, even if we are separated by a keyboard.
It’s possible that the regular audience of cooking or baking businesses is used to being in the kitchen, but there are plenty of people being forced to enter the kitchen for the first time due to this crisis. Trust me, I’m one of them! Now you might have an opportunity to communicate with a new audience with an emotional need.
At times like these, people use their social networks to stay up-to-date, see what’s happening with family and friends, and it isn’t the place to inundate their feed with ads.
Direct and personal contact will have greater gains than a corporate message. It’s time to share how you truly feel with your followers, friends, and family, but gently, okay? Don’t start shrieking about the crisis in your story, we aren’t there yet…. but if you must, do it in style.
In an Instagram post, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the in-house designer at the Valentino fashion house, describes the situation as follows:
“This country has overcome the toughest moments with pride, creativity, and optimism. And so it will, once again. There is a time for moving and a time for staying still. Even at home, our imagination can lead us anywhere. Such a serious situation will no stop us from dreaming. Our will is strong, our duty is to resist and we will keep on dreaming, harder than ever, and we will rise stronger than ever.”
His post doesn’t mention the word “fashion” once, nor “Valentino”, nor “coronavirus”. The post is meant to reflect a realistic tone and to inspire empathy irrespective of race or gender.
To a great extent, marketing depends on our ability to understand our customers’ mindsets. During a time when there are many opportunities for missteps, the surest way forward is to make sure you retain your humanity.
There is a very fine line between advertising and exploiting the current marketing situation and people are very sensitive to these subtleties. If you were thinking of holding a Coronavirus Sale, don’t do it!
However, it’s a great time to continue an interaction that maintains the general slant you use in your regular life, with a small stylish twist to make us all laugh a bit.
For example, the “Morena” stylist and fashion blogger has found a creative way to deal with the new situation. In her latest Instagram post, she challenges everyone to find the perfect style for the new glove-wearing trend.
Marketing with chic during the coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity. When people are at home going stir crazy, they may theoretically have a bit more time to interact on social networks, but it must be a different kind of interaction, much more sensitive and slightly more humorous.
This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)