COVID-19 Outbreak and Fashion Communication Strategies on Instagram: A Content Analysis
The COVID-19 outbreak took place end of 2019 in Wuhan city in China, and since then, it has spread across the world. The virus has not only impacted the health of millions of citizens, since, in such a globalized and interconnected system, it has also impacted on human being’s daily life and activities. In this context, the volatility of the global economy has led many companies to modify and readapt their communication and marketing strategies and the fashion sector has not been exempted from these changes aimed at further engaging customers and at encouraging sales on e-commerce platforms. The present paper aims to provide an overview of the communication strategies on Instagram by fashion companies during an exogenous crisis, such as the first Covid19 wave, in a period that goes from January until end of May 2020. The research seeks to determine if and when the selected companies reacted on their Instagram accounts to the first wave of the pandemic, and which were the contents and the topics proposed across the considered period. The goal of the research is to present the state of the art of digital fashion contents offered during a period of crisis such as a global pandemic, where many fashion companies have decided to change their marketing and communication strategies to rebalance their usual conversational Instagram “tone of voice” with the needs and feelings of their stakeholders. It also aims to set the ground for further academic discussions on issues related to human computer interaction limits and potentials, when it comes to establishing alternative communication and marketing strategies during crises, such as the Covid19.