Communities and Web 2.0

The benefits of Facebook groups for fashion businesses and influencers: Creating and sustaining community through Web 2.0


The purpose of this paper is to show how businesses in the fashion industry are utilising Facebook groups to create and sustain community. Facebook groups are a capability available through Facebook that enables users to connect with others that aren’t necessarily included as part of their immediate Facebook friend list. The argument stance that this paper presents is that businesses in the fashion industry are benefiting from using Facebook groups despite the limitations of personal connection through the web. The reasons for this position include the fact that businesses and influencers are creating Facebook groups that are connected to their businesses to attract and keep customers. These statements are backed up with evidence from real life Facebook groups that are thriving such as the Spell and The Gypsy Collective Facebook group called Spell Sisters, the Let Me Try Before You Buy Facebook group by Natalie Angel and the Curvy AU Facebook group by Curvy Sam.

#facebookgroups #web2.0 #fashionindustry #socialmediamarketing #socialmedia


Facebook groups associated with businesses in the fashion industry have been rapidly appearing over the last few years and are becoming increasingly popular as businesses are really seeing value in them. Web 2.0 revolutionised the internet as we know it through “rich user experience, user participation and dynamic content” (Best, 2006, p. 2-4), which is particularly evident through the way the fashion industry has adapted their advertising and marketing to suit the newly advanced digital world. Before Web 2.0 existed, businesses in the fashion industry relied on word of mouth, their shop front, newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers and runway shows. However, now thanks to Web 2.0 capabilities businesses in the fashion industry are now able to cleverly advertise and connect to their community through tools such as Facebook groups. Crick (2016) notes that “understanding how [Web 2.0] influences, reproduces and changes our culture begins with accepting the role of media technologies” (p. 1), which proves that it is important to delve deeper into why and how businesses in the fashion industry utilise Facebook groups for further communication and collaboration. This conference paper will cover the intention of businesses and influencers in the fashion industry who are utilising Facebook groups to create value which produces recurring customers, create personal connection, further audience reach for brands through influencer marketing and sustain community which thus drives sales. Despite the limitations of personal connection through the web, businesses and influencers in the fashion industry are successfully creating and sustaining communities due to the Web 2.0 capabilities of Facebook groups.


Businesses in the fashion industry, like Spell and The Gypsy Collective, have embraced the community capabilities of Web 2.0 by creating their own Facebook groups which creates value and recurring customers. Byron Bay fashion label, Spell and The Gypsy Collective, launched their Facebook group ‘Spell Sisters’ in September 2018. The private Facebook group has over eight and a half thousand members which anyone can join just by answering a few simple administration questions. Forman, Kern and Gil-Egui (2012) note that “Facebook is a place for people to connect and share; a place to form online communities and engage in discussion” (p. 1) which is the purpose of the Spell Sisters Facebook group. Facebook groups allow users to join an array of groups that are suited to any and all interests, right from their existing Facebook account. Once they have been accepted into a group, Facebook groups enable people to connect and collaborate with a wider community rather than just their circle of friends on Facebook. This grants a significantly larger reach to Facebook users which can especially be utilised from a business point of view and according to Zamith and Zanette (2015), “ever since people discovered social networks, companies have sought to take advantage of the technology” (p. 49). Porter (2015) notes that a visual community can be defined as “an aggregation of individuals or business partners who interact around a shared interest, where the interaction is at least partially supported and/or mediated by technology and guided by some protocols or norms” (p. 162). When you buy into the brand, you’re also buying into community which thus creates value. And in the about section of the Spell Sisters group, Team Spell strategically mentions the word ‘community’ multiple times in the short blurb. This can be seen through phrases like “we’re thrilled that our community are so passionate and positively focused, forging friendships around the globe” as well as sharing with their audience their goal to “create an open space to share, engage and connect with our incredibly, inspiring community of like-minded individuals”. These statements show that the intention of the Facebook group is to connect to their community on a deeper level which thus encourages recurring customers. Facebook groups “consist of people who probably have never met yet are held together by a common interest or goal” (Guidi, Michienzi and Salve, 2019, para. 6) which works well in the Spell Sisters group. Spell also sends gifts to people that post on the group regularly which fosters and sustains “engagement in virtual communities and social networking sites” due to the fact that “the community sponsor provides intrinsic motivation for members to participate” (Porter, 2015, p. 167). This incentivises members to post their own content through admin recognition making them feel valued by the brand which would subsequently entice them to make purchases. Spell utilises their Facebook group, Spell Sisters, by not only connecting with them and creating value through incentives and admin recognition, but by also posting their own meaningful content.


Facebook groups can be used to directly engage with community on a personal level which is evident in the way Spell and The Gypsy collective use their Facebook group, Spell Sisters. The group is different to the usual buy, swap and sell groups run by external people that feature Spell items as it is actually run by administrators that work for Spell. Spell often comments and engages with posts which provides a very personal touch and furthers the aspect of direct connection with their clientele. Also, when Spell wants to reach a large majority of their clientele quickly and efficiently, they can easily go to their Facebook group and post an update on new products or anything else they would like to update their community on. The advantage of utilising a Facebook group compared to other social networking sites like Instagram is that Instagram is a more public space, whereas Facebook is more for making personal and more private connections with family and friends. So, by businesses utilising the Facebook sphere, they are able to connect with their customers in a space where they are more used to creating deeper, personal connections. Coleman et al. (2015) states that “using social networks allows a brand access to large numbers of customers at low costs and high speeds” (para. 4) which proves to be advantageous, especially when trying to get a message across fast. Recently there was a long and heartfelt post on the Spell Sisters Facebook group by Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Abegg who is one of the co-founders and the Chief Brand Officer of Spell updating the community on where Spell as a whole is going about the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they, as a business, can be helping their community during the unprecedented times. This post received over 822 reactions and 240 comments with love and praise for Lizzy and Spell and The Gypsy Collective as a whole. With the exception of a number of retailers stocking a handful of Spell designs, Spell only has one boutique which is located in Byron Bay. So, although the physical aspects of the brand remain important, their creation of community through having an online presence is detrimental to their success and reach. And the engagement that they receive from their posts show great results of this. Whilst a personal connection has been successful in Spell’s connection with their community through their Facebook group, marketing their brand through influencers has also been a beneficial way for them to create and sustain community.


Fashion influencers, like Natalie Angel, are creating Facebook groups as an extension of their brand and are getting paid to promote and advertise fashion businesses which proves an effective marketing strategy for those businesses. As the web evolved from the preliminary stages of the internet with many limitations compared to the Web 2.0 we all know and love today, there was a significant rise in audience reach and the quality in advertising and marketing for many businesses.  It is important to note that Web 2.0 is “not just about information but it’s actually about linking people in ways that we’ve never linked before” (Wesch, 2008, 6:33) and that “Web 2.0 is almost all about people” (Arya and Mishra, 2012, p. 28) due to the deeper opportunity of creating and communicating with community which can be seen through influencer marketing. Hampton (2015) observes that “the study of community is the study of social structure” and “because cohesion and solidarity often imply closeness, there is a tendency to privilege strong ties, place, and face-to-face contact when thinking of community” (para. 8). Natalie Angel, the founder and creator of the Let Me Try Before You Buy Facebook group, has found success in creating a community with her influence using face-to-face contact through live videos in her Facebook group. Natalie has built an audience of over six thousand members in under a year of having her Facebook group. The group initially started as a fashion page dedicated to try-ons exclusively for Spell and The Gypsy Collective, however now it has evolved to include other brands. In essence, brands pay Natalie to review their clothes on her Facebook group where she focuses on fit and quality whilst also giving advice on how to properly style a garment to maximise the wearability factor. Brands have confirmed that they have had a 250% sale increase after Natalie has reviewed their clothes which means that the marketing strategy of advertising through established Facebook groups is working for brands. Natalie’s relatable nature is what makes the videos appealing and according to Forman, Kern and Gil-Egui (2012), “anyone can act as a community leader, those with a sort of influence particularly online, and leaders and followers engage in dialogic practice” (para. 9). Natalie regularly communicates and engages with her Facebook group members which deems successful in the growth of her group due to the fact that “bloggers [and influencers] need to interact with their audience to encourage them” (Cardon and Cardon, 2007 p. 54). Also “bloggers [and influencers] personal identities are built on the basis of the multiple interactions they have set up with their commentators” (Cardon and Cardon, 2007, p. 54) which Natalie does extremely well through interaction with her community. Not only do influencers utilise their personal Facebook groups to promote brands and contribute to their marketing campaigns but they also sustain community by driving sales for their own brands.


Facebook groups are an effective tool in sustaining community and driving sales for fashion influencers personal brands by transporting their community from the online sphere to in person sales and events. According to Porter (2015), “cognitive psychologists describe engagement as a state of mind where an individual senses a high level of positivity, energy, commitment and loyalty to and about those who foster it” and it is evident that “in order to foster engagement, a sponsor must address a member’s intrinsic needs that could be gratified through a participation in the community” (p. 168). Take the Curvy AU Facebook group, for example. An influencer who affectionately calls herself ‘Curvy Sam’ has successfully created a community through her Facebook group where curvy women are uplifted, celebrated and empowered through fashion, life and body positivity. There are over five and a half thousand members that post on the Facebook group daily asking for advice to which Curvy Sam has been able to capitalise off of this by branding the Curvy AU Facebook Group as a movement and even selling tickets to related events. This shows that “bloggers [and influencers] produce specific content in order to reach others and to start a conversation with them” (Cardon & Cardon, 2007, p. 54) which is shown through the creation of the events that ultimately provide an income for Curvy Sam. Hampton (2015) notes that “recent changes to the media landscape have introduced new affordances that have the potential to restructure the nature of community” (p. 39) and as the concept of influencers mostly started as bloggers on their own sites has now grown into the utilisation of social media. this shows of an evolution in the fashion industry through web 2.0 and the way in which sustaining community through social media can be effective in driving sales.


In conclusion, businesses and influencers in the fashion industry are utilising Facebook groups to create value which produces recurring customers, create personal connection, further audience reach for brands through influencer marketing and sustain community which thus drives sales. Being such a new concept, there are limitations to the research into Facebook groups, so there is a great opportunity to keep exploring this concept as more and more scholars experiment and delve deeper as the platform rapidly evolves. It would especially be interesting to delve deeper into the way that these groups gain followers and group members. All in all, it is clear that Facebook groups assist businesses and influencers in the fashion industry with creating and sustaining community which thus allows deeper connection and a further audience reach. Thanks to Facebook group capabilities, businesses can connect and communicate with their audience on a deeper level significantly more compared to the advertising and marketing solutions that existed before Web 2.0.


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Guidi, B., Michienzi, A. & Salve, A. (2019). Community evaluation in Facebook groups. Multimed Tools Appl.

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26 replies on “The benefits of Facebook groups for fashion businesses and influencers: Creating and sustaining community through Web 2.0”

Hi Emily!
Great paper, I enjoyed reading it. I was a bit confused at this part, and suspect maybe the word ‘detrimental’ was a typo? Did you mean instrumental?

Spell only has one boutique which is located in Byron Bay. So, although the physical aspects of the brand remain important, their creation of community through having an online presence is detrimental to their success and reach.

If you did mean detrimental, maybe you can expand on that for me please, because I would have thought the opposite is true 🙂


Hi Luke,

Thank you for spending the time to read my paper and for your response.

Ah yes, thanks for picking that up – that was my mistake! I definitely meant ‘instrumental’ not ‘detrimental’. It should be… “So, although the physical aspects of the brand remain important, their creation of community through having an online presence is instrumental to their success and reach.”

I will keep it as is for now as I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to edit as the paper has already been submitted. Do you know if we’re allowed?

Thanks again,

Ah great, that makes much more sense 🙂
I don’t know if we are allowed to edit the papers now that they are up sorry.


Yeah those were my thoughts too – all good! Thanks so much for the pick up though.

All the best for the rest of the unit!


Hi Emily,
I really enjoyed your paper.
I touched on the importance of influencers in marketing in my own paper, but I focused on Instagram. I liked your point about how Spell and The Gypsy Collective chose specific influencers like Natalie Angel, who have also built a strong relationship with her audience through facebook groups, just as they have, I think it shows how much the brand values their relationship with consumers. Im not a facebook user but I found it interesting that brands can create groups where they can pick and choose who’s allowed in the group based on their administration questions, unlike Instagram where almost anyone can follow fashion brands and become part of their community, which can make it harder for them to build such personal bonds with followers.

Great Job!

Hi Kaitlyn,

Thank you so much for your response. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my paper. The combination of influencers and marketing is such an interesting topic to look into, isn’t it?!

Yes, that is very true – one of the many things I love about Spell and The Gypsy Collective as a brand is that they really do value their consumers and it shines through. When brands don’t value their consumers as much as they should, sometimes it shows and it is definitely not good!

Do you have a reason for not using Facebook? (I’m assuming that you do use Instagram). I have a friend that didn’t use Facebook for years (but loves Instagram) and has only just created a Facebook account purely for the free content offered through Facebook groups and also to be able to utilise Facebook messenger.

Yes I agree – Instagram is a public platform where anyone can follow, however I think Facebook groups offer more of an ‘exclusivity’ and deeper insight into a brand rather than just the surface level pretty pictures posted on Instagram.

Thanks again for sending through your thoughts!

Hi Emily,

Yes the combination of influencers and marketing is very interesting and very complex. Researching how brands use infleuncers and how infleuncers use brands is very eye-opening. Almost anyone can be categorized as a influencer now days but not everyone is successful at it.

Just like your friend I do prefer Instagram, I never really had a facebook account and now because i have Instagram I don’t really see the need to but I do use it to get access to messenger but I never actually use facebook itself (my account is actually deactivated).

Hi Kaitlyn,

Yes I completely agree. And because social media and the technological world is rapidly changing I don’t think we will ever fully know or be able to understand all the ins and outs. There are truly so many different ways that brands can utilise influencers and vice versa. You’re definitely right in saying that almost anyone can be categorised as an influencer and I think there are millions that want to be one, but whether they are a good one or are successful in this endeavour is a different story.

I see what you’re saying – Instagram is a great way to connect to family, friends and a wider network of people. I enjoy Instagram mainly for the Facebook groups, messenger and odd event that I might get invited to (not at the moment though of course) but I will rarely scroll through Facebook like I do on Instagram.


Hi Emily,

I was intrigued by this paper about Facebook and fashion, as I have often thought that Instagram and Tumblr are the platforms most frequented by brand communities. Would you say Facebook groups tend to attract local brands more than the global ones such as Armani, Versace, etc.? What is the main attraction of this platform over others? I confess I haven’t really looked around to see what sort of presence fashion labels have on Facebook. Thank you for a thought-provoking paper!

Hi Deepti,

Thank you so much for your reply.

I definitely agree that Instagram is a platform that is frequented by many brands. I didn’t even think of Tumblr though as I used to use that platform but don’t as much anymore. It would be interesting to look into the way brands are using Tumblr today. What trends have you noticed in the way of marketing in the fashion industry through Tumblr?

Yes – I would say that Facebook groups tend to attract local/smaller brands rather than global brands such as Armani and Versace. This could be due to the fact that global brands have been around for decades, compared to local brands like Spell, Arnhem and Nine Lives Bazaar that are newer brands. Perhaps global brands are almost stuck in their ways with traditional advertising/marketing whereas local and newer brands are utilising newer and more imaginative and advanced marketing tactics like Facebook groups.

I think the main attraction of using Facebook groups over Instagram or Tumblr is that the latter are more of a public platform whereas Facebook groups provide more of a private space to be able to share ideas. I also think that there is a very saturated market on Instagram and Tumblr, and that Facebook groups are a less prevalent and a more ‘out of the box’ way to create community that not as many brands have caught onto just yet.

Thank you again for your comments and questions – I was definitely able to further my thoughts into this topic which is always fun to explore!


Hello Emily!
Interesting and relevant topic choice – as someone who loves clothes and is interested in social media practices, I was looking forward to reading your paper.

I liked that you gave us your thesis and then also showed how it applied to real life examples! It was good reading how the marketing via social media came to be. I definitely think we should be discussing more often and bringing to light the advertisements we see without even knowing that they are advertisements. Your examples reminded me of a bridal group I’m a part of, called the Bridechilla Community – a Facebook group created by a podcaster who promotes the group as a “chill” space to help each other out. She also promotes her books and merch within the group as well. This group is incredibly well done, as just the name reminds the user of the podcast and encourages them to interact with her “product”. I also liked that you outlined that companies engaging with the customers were very important.

With the Spell Sisters – Would you say that the intention behind using the word community instead of “group” is to help the customers forget that they are customers, and instead act like friends, creating connections?

I would have enjoyed if you could have focused on just businesses making connective communities or just influencers, but the examples you gave were still incredibly strong and relevant to your argument. I loved reading about them!

Are you an avid participator within these groups? What made you want to write this paper?

Hi Anne-Marie,

Thank you so much for reading my paper and for your thoughtful response.

Due to social media, we are definitely in a very ‘advertisement saturated’ world and it is true that often we don’t even realise when something is being marketed to us as it has just become the norm.

That Bridechilla Facebook group sounds really interesting. Possibly a silly question (I like to think that their are no dumb/silly questions though haha) but is the group just for Brides/Brides-to-be? Or is it targeted at other people too? I also love a good podcast, so will check it out!

In regard to your question about the Spell Sisters Facebook group, I definitely think that they have emphasised the word ‘community’ instead of mentioning the ‘group’ as their goal is to create a space that is just like hanging out with friends and talking about fashion.

Thank you so much. I felt like I wanted to include both as they are both important aspects within the fashion industry. However, if there was a chance to write 2 papers, perhaps I could’ve split the two and been able to delve deeper into each subject.

I feel like I am more of a ‘listener/reader’ rather than a participator of Facebook groups (except for the odd post here and there), but do enjoy scrolling through FB groups and find that I probably scroll through groups more often than I scroll through my news feed. I think what drew me to writing about FB groups is that I enjoy being apart of a lot of them and am actually currently looking into creating a Facebook group or two related to my own creative business, so it was great getting an insight into the ‘how and why’ of Facebook Groups.

Do you think Facebook groups are an affective way of creating community and why?


Hi Emily,

Thank you for this paper. Really enjoyed it. We’re living in a new world of commerce and it’s interesting to see how the fashion world is adapting to and prospering in this new age. Do you think the value created by Facebook for these smaller businesses can be quantified? Is there a dollar value on the business directly created through Facebook groups? I’d be fascinated to find out what that is.

One other thing that interests me is how dependent these businesses now are on Facebook. Do you think Spell would thrive on its own? Imagine Facebook was suddenly and permanently shut down. (Unlikely to happen, of course) Would Spell be able to exist, or would it likely drift into bankruptcy? It seems to me it makes a business vulnerable if they become too overly dependent on a single platform. If their prime business is generated through Facebook, it’s more like a business-within-a-business than its own thing. Would you agree? But perhaps in the digital age, there’s no other way.


Hi Duncan,

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper and for your response.

I agree that it would be fascinating to discover whether the creation of a Facebook group actually drives sales for the brands – I would suspect it does but without talking to the brands personally I’m not sure. As Facebook groups are still such a new concept for fashion industry marketing, I unfortunately couldn’t find any studies done on this. Although I do know that Natalie Angel (the influencer I touched on in my paper) has disclosed that brands sales have gone up a significant amount after she has posted about them on her Facebook group.

I think Spell would still thrive on its own without their Facebook group as they also have their following on their Facebook page and Instagram. Although if you’re commenting whether they would thrive if social media didn’t exist, I think that would depend on a few factors:
1. If no other company was able to use social media – I guess they would be using the traditional means of marketing/advertising such as “word of mouth, their shop front, newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers and runway shows” as I noted in my paper.

I also think of unpredicted situations where social media sites like Facebook just shut down. I think that’s why it’s important for businesses that rely on social media to have an email list – so that they have their own database of followers just in case anything was to ever happen on social media. I’m not sure whether brands like Spell would have to declare bankruptcy, but they would definitely see a dramatic decrease in sales. Hopefully we never have to see this happen, but perhaps businesses are in fact becoming too dependant on social media sites, especially if they could just be taken away in an instant.

Thank you for your thought-provoking thoughts and questions, Duncan. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this.


Hi Emily!

Very well-written, and enjoyable paper – thank you for that! 😊 I knew that Facebook had marketplace, and I knew that there were various groups for promotion, buying, selling, etc. but I hadn’t previously thought they were as influential or as ‘active’ I suppose, as other platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, or more traditional marketing sites like Etsy or eBay (though these may lack less of the socialising/community component).
From what I have seen, more people seem to be moving away from Facebook in favour of other SNS services like the aforementioned Instagram and YouTube, and also platforms such as TikTok and Twitter. In my own life I know I have many connections who have stopped using Facebook all together as they say its outdated, and there’s increasingly more concerns over privacy.
Do you think this would make it harder for groups to thrive on the platform? Is Facebook something that could experience a resurge in popularity, or considering the nature of technology and new media, could these groups simply migrate over to new media? Interested on hearing your thoughts on this!

Thanks for the great read, Emily 😊

Kind regards,


Hi Vanessa,

Thank you for your response – I’m so excited to hear that you enjoyed reading my paper.

I’m also glad to hear that you were able to learn a bit more about Facebook groups and how they can be used as a marketing tool for businesses and a way for their community to connect. I think as business Facebook groups are still a new concept, it is the best time for businesses to be utilising these before the market becomes saturated.

That’s very interesting about people stopping using Facebook altogether. Which SNS site do you think is the most favoured currently?

I think for the time being Facebook is here to stay, so I don’t think businesses are finding it hard to thrive on Facebook just yet. One of the main reasons I personally stay on Facebook is because of the value I get from being apart of many Facebook groups.

I think as Facebook evolves and as people see the value in what Facebook has to offer such as Facebook groups, marketplace and Facebook messenger, it is possible that we will see a resurge in popularity. However, it is also possible that a new and improved media will come along (just like when Facebook came along and took over the popularity from Myspace).


Hey again Emily!

No worries at all 😊 thank you for your response!
To be honest that’s a tough one! YouTube and TikTok appear to be doing quite well, and Instagram also seems to be retaining (and possibly still increasing) its popularity quite well in terms of user base and activity.

I do actually agree with you on the value of being a part of Facebook groups though. While some of my friends may have jumped ship, I personally still quite like and frequently use Facebook. Instagram has just never been able to that void for me, and I’ve always preferred the multitude of posting options afforded by Facebook!

Yes, that is true. I’ve contemplated that from time to time, whether we’re soon going to see another takeover like the MySpace-Facebook shift. It would be very interesting to see what sort of platform would take over should this happen! For the time being though, I’m definitely content with Facebook 😊

Kind regards,


Hi Vanessa,

I definitely agree – Tik Tok is definitely gaining popularity amongst mainstream users (not just teenagers) and Instagram and Youtube are definitely on the rise despite being SNSs that have been around for a lot longer.

I feel the same way about Facebook. I love Instagram but definitely still jump between the two when I get bored of the other. I like the variety and different capabilities of each app and don’t see myself getting rid of either one any time soon.

I think it would take a genius to create something that overtakes Facebook, however I think Facebook is definitely pretty stable for the time being.

All the best,

Hi Emily,
I enjoy reading your paper. i would like to say that your paper coming with the strong attribute of ” influencer”. :-> In fact, i don’t use facebook too much before, i am a youtube lover, i spend quite much time on youtube for both searching and browsing all interesting stuffs. so i am not very familiar with how to use facebook at all. as well, most of my connections don’t seem prone to use facebook much. it is very intuitive of your paper, i like the way in which you elaborate all of your arguments, and i am impressed by the sound evidences those you have used, they are very convincing. it is very amazing paper. thank you!
i have just created my facebook account a month ago for the purpose of paper promotion merely, so i guess it is for academic purpose only, but now i think i will start to play around on it. You paper has raised my interests in exploring it. thank you very much for your appealing paper.

Kind Regards

Bailin Huier

Hi Bailin,

Thank you so much for your response, I’m glad you enjoyed reading my paper.

I am also a YouTube lover, I spend a lot of time on there whether I’m listening to music, watching my favourite creators or even looking up a tutorial on how to do something.

How are you enjoying Facebook so far? What capabilities stand out to you as interesting and worthwhile?

Talk soon,

Hi Emily,

Thank you for writing an interesting and well structured paper, I found it so informative that it led me to look up Spell and The Gypsy Collective. While I was browsing their website I noticed that some of the photos used to showcase clothing seem to be selfies – potentially from customers and I was reminded of the brand American Eagle (also known as Aerie) which uses ‘real’ models in their campaigns to further relate to their customers. Do you know if Spell has a similar policy for their photos, as in they include photos that look to be ‘unprofessional’ to further this feeling of community with their customers?



Hi Stephanie,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my paper and for your response.

That is a really interesting question about Spell and The Gypsy Collective. I guess as a long time follower of the brand, I didn’t even pick this up but I’m glad you have brought it to my attention. I definitely think that by using more relatable models on their site would entice the general public in not only purchasing the clothes (as they see the clothes on someone like them), but also feeling more apart of the community. Some of the images are actually even of the owner of Spell which I think is a really nice touch as it adds more of a personable and authentic feel. Do you feel that the photos look ‘unprofessional’ as you said, or do you think that displaying photos such as these provides a more relatable and community feeling throughout the brand?

Talk soon,

Hi Emily,

Excellent paper, was such a great read!
I loved where you went with this. I feel in the digital age, when a brand or clothing store decides to get online, it must be a priority to make it about more than just shopping for their customers. These brands need to make themselves visible, ‘personable’ and seem ‘of the people’ on every social media platform they can.
Do you think this kind of community based approach is only necessary for smaller businesses such as Spell and The Gypsy? For example, would brands such as Glassons or Cotton On, bigger brands with far more stores, need to appear just as personal and concerned with their customers, or is simple advertising of clothes on these platforms enough due to their names being so big and already well-known? Are loyalty programs such as Cotton On’s Perks Cards enough to engage the customers, or will that only continue to work for so long unless they adapt and immerse fully into the social media world?

Great work again!

Hi Georgia,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response.

I definitely agree with your statement of “I feel in the digital age, when a brand or clothing store decides to get online, it must be a priority to make it about more than just shopping for their customers.” I feel like as there is so much competition nowadays, the shopping ‘experience’ has become just that: an experience rather than just buying something. Whether the experience is in their website, the way they serve you in store or even in the community aspects that are prevalent throughout SNSs like Instagram and Facebook.

Perhaps the larger chain stores like Glassons and Cotton On have become a little lax in their approach to community over income. I think their marketing tactics are great and are working for them but having the community aspect like what Spell and The Gypsy Collective embody is what they’re lacking.

I think loyalty programs are a great incentive for return buyers and could make the buyers feel somewhat apart of something, but definitely not to the extent of community that brands like Spell have created. What do you think?

Talk soon!

Hey Emily!
Wow I had no idea these types of groups even existed! I love the Spell and the Gypsy brand, so beautiful and sustainable!
Is this a popular concept with other clothing brands too? How long do you think this has been going on for? I can definitely see why it would be successful on Facebook though where it is more personal and a “friend” or community kind of vibe. It evidently must be working well too considering that Spell only has the one Byron Bay store and yet is a huge successful company! Do you think this will become more of a popular movement (if it isn’t already) now that we can’t get around too much due to Covid?

Mel 🙂

Hi Mel,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my paper and for your response. I’m so glad you were able to learn some things!

Isn’t Spell just so beautiful?! I definitely love the focus on sustainability too – that is a major factor in why I love their brand.

I’ve seen a few other brands utilising Facebook groups to create community, but haven’t come across a community as loyal and as active as the Spell community just yet.

I don’t think it has been going on for too long, probably only a few years. Although I think if I had an up and coming brand I’d definitely be looking into jumping onto the bandwagon before every one else does as I think it’s still a pretty new concept in the grand scheme of things.

Yes I have definitely noticed the Facebook groups I’m apart of have been significantly more active during COVID. I think a lot of businesses are generously putting out free resources/content during this time which has contributed to the community feel rather than the businesses just wanting peoples money. What do you think? Are you apart of any FB groups? And have you noticed a rise in posts/engagement during this current season?

Talk soon!

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