A recipe for success when building brands online

Earlier this summer, Concrete London founder Angela Blundell spoke to the UK business magazine Marketing Week about the importance of strong storytelling when it comes to developing a brand’s personality online. 

As part of a wider piece looking at the challenges and opportunities available when it comes to establishing a company within a digital space, Angela discussed the changing nature of buying luxury clothing online and how harnessing convenience and connection and marrying them to the experience and emotion of traditional physical shopping, brings success.

“When people buy our products, they’re really buying into the brand, what we stand for”, Angela told Marketing Week. 

“That sense of belonging is really important for us and it’s something that you can underline digitally. You can introduce a brand and the culture that surrounds it far more easily that you can within a store.”

For Concrete London, that means tapping into consumer awareness and concerns about environmental ethics and the hazards of fast fashion. The brand’s core collection is centred around sustainably-sourced non mulesing merino wool, with pieces created to be adaptable enough to comfortably outlast industry notions of seasons and the boundaries of informal/formal wear.

Launching in November last year meant having to navigate the limitations of lockdown. Working within such a tight framework actually provided Angela with a greater need for clear, compelling messaging, as well as the space to get to know the target consumer and tailor the approach accordingly. 

“We had to work really hard to tell the story behind the brand through social media, because that was pretty much the only option at the time,”Angela continued.

“We had to find the best way to represent ourselves in a unique way, because there’s so much greenwashing out there.”

A mix of social posts, chiefly on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, combined with longer-form content on the Concrete London website introduced the brand’s ethos. The collections have been presented through photoshoots with high-production values in keeping with the premium positioning. 

“You really need to create a story right from the very beginning, it’s how you find that consistency in everything that you do,” Angela explained. 

“That isn’t just about sustainability, it’s all about the details of your product and how that feeds into your brand personality. You don’t need hundreds of thousands of pounds to tell a story, but you do need to get those messages across if you want people to know who you are and what you're about.”

Angela then went on to explain that, while she is open to the idea of Concrete London being sold in both independent and department stores, a direct-to-consumer sensibility remains at the brand’s heart.