‘Beach or no beach, swimsuit season is here – don’t panic!’ reads page 12 of yesterday’s Times.
This is just about the eeriest headline I’ve ever read. I mean, even in Normal Times, you’d be hard pressed to really get stressed about the whole ‘one piece or two’ dilemma. Unless, perhaps, you’re Elizabeth Hurley. (Pictured here with her son Damian. You’re welcome.)
But now? Now, with the choice of a pavement, local beach or social distanced pond as escape destination this summer, this sort of ‘dilemma’ feels even more shallow. What am I supposed to do, buy one anyway and parade around my living room?
Fashion is going to have to try harder than this if it wants to sell things we don’t need, because the fact that we don’t need so many of them is suddenly a whole lot more obvious.
In other news, ‘Amazon cements its status as the world’s most valuable brand’. You want something, you get it from Amazon. Choice, range, price, convenience. You don’t have to sell a dream with those things, because people already have some idea that they want them.
So where do you sit? Somewhere in the middle I think.
‘Investing is boring, I prefer to buy houses’ are the headlines you’re up against. You’re selling something people need, but don’t want. What they want is something exciting. They need to buy into something aspirational and motivational. Without that it’s just ‘money on a screen’ as one adviser’s client described it to me this week.
But how do you do that without a swimwear range? What you need is the same promise of something everyone wants, without the shallow promise of getting it through a bikini. Real stories from clients about what they did as a result of working with you: years lopped off their daily grind, the trip of a lifetime, second home or extravagant holiday.
Things people want, along with the message that it’s you they need in order to get it.