How Missguided redefines what it means for a brand to go viral

August 7, 2018

Written by Benedict Nicholson

The e-commerce site, Missguided, has redefined what it means for a brand to go viral. We examined how the brand has successfully developed a devoted following on social and driven engagement across its platforms.  

Missguided is like a lot of Gen-Z: it grew up in the age of social media and seems to create viral content without even breaking a sweat. The clothing brand has quickly become an online sensation among young female consumers, carving out a large following in the online retail market in both the UK and the US.

So, how did Missguided do it? We used NewsWhip Analytics to explore how the brand’s strategy on social is helping to drive engagement.

Missguided was founded in 2009 in the UK and has since expanded globally. Today, Missguided’s Instagram page has over 3 million followers and its Facebook page has over 1.2 million likes. And as the brand’s following on social has increased, so has its worth. What was once a fledgling online clothing brand reportedly made more than £206 million in revenue in 2017 – an increase of 75% from the previous year, according to Retail Gazette.

From developing brand loyalty by engaging with customers on social to putting innovative spins on classic marketing tactics, Missguided’s digital marketing strategy has helped the brand rise to success. We took a look at how the brand’s mix of traditional social marketing and new strategies has helped the company go viral. 

Tapping into influencer marketing 

It’s old news that influencer marketing can generate enormous engagement for brands. But tapping into the right influencer niche can be tricky and many brands are still dipping their toes into the potential of influencer partnerships. For Missguided, effective influencer marketing has helped the brand drive engagement and build customer loyalty.

In the spring of 2018, Missguided announced that it was partnering with musician and Instagram influencer, Madison Beer, for a new collection. The campaign quickly went viral and the brand’s engagement skyrocketed to more than four times its normal level.

Beer, who is a singer who rose to fame after Justin Bieber complimented her musical talents, has more than 11 million Instagram followers. While Missguided promoted the new Madison Beer x Missguided line on the brand’s Instagram, Beer also promoted it to her own followers, which almost quadrupled the brand’s reach.

The impact that Missguided’s influencer marketing had on the brand’s engagement is stark. On Missguided’s Instagram page, a photo of Beer dressed in clothing from the new line generated 30,416 likes. When Beer posted the exact same photo on her page, it gained over 470,000 likes – more than 15 times the engagement on the brand page (click below for full size).

By tapping into influencer marketing, Missguided not only drove engagement on its new spring lines, but also zoned in on its desired customer base. The brand targets young women aged 16-35, which aligns with the same demographic of Beer’s fan base. The collaboration directly amplified the brand’s reach to its target audience and developed a tighter connection between brand and consumer.

The success of Missguided’s influencer campaign didn’t end there. Other micro-influencers on YouTube posted follow-up videos that documented their “hauls” from the collection. These YouTubers added velocity to the campaign’s engagement, creating more publicity about the brand for their own niche audiences.

Engaging with customers on social 

Want to build rapport with customers? Try chatting with them on social.

In January, a young woman tweeted that she wished online fashion brands would create a ‘Jeans and Nice Top’ section on their sites. Missguided quickly replied with a funny meme, noting that they had heard the suggestion.

Then, a few weeks later, the brand announced that it had done exactly what the young woman had suggested. The site now featured a prominent section dedicated to finding outfits that consisted of exactly what was requested – jeans and nice tops.

By responding to customers’ comments and requests on social, Missguided has driven engagement and developed brand loyalty. The introduction of the new section was covered by multiple media outlets, helping to drive engagement about the brand. Online publishers also retold the story of how the brand had responded to the young woman’s tweet, further adding velocity to the brand’s online engagement.

The story went viral, and the brand’s engagement quickly skyrocketed above that of its competitors.


Developing a new spin on tried-and-true marketing methods 

Part of Missguided’s key to marketing success is its innovative approach to classic digital media strategies. When it comes to the brand’s app, putting a new spin on classic online shopping has helped the brand engage with its customers.

Missguided’s app goes beyond just providing users with a mobile-first platform for online shopping. Along with the classic clothing categories and shopping cart, Missguided’s app includes a ‘Swipe to Hype’ function, where users are able to swipe between looks they love in a fun, Tinder-like format. Users can swipe left if they don’t like an item, and swipe right if they do. If a user likes an item, it will be added to the app’s wish list page, and can be quickly bought or added to the user’s shopping cart from there.

The ‘Swipe to Hype’ function both adds interactivity to the app and helps drive brand publicity. When the function was first added to the app in 2016, it generated coverage for the brand by multiple digital publishers. By trying something new with their app, the brand generated online publicity and engagement from potential customers. 

Tapping into socially-conscious marketing potential 

Can a brand drive success by doing good? Yes – and Missguided shows us just how its done.

For Missguided, a socially-conscious body positivity campaign helped generated traction for the brand. (Our research center has previously covered how to drive success through socially-conscious content.)
Across social platforms, Missguided featured photos of women showing off their natural bodies, completely unretouched. The campaign helped drive engagement for the brand and generated positive feedback from customers across social.

On top of the engagement that the socially-conscious content drove on social, Missguided’s body-positivity campaign also generated brand coverage in the media.

Over the past year, the majority of the top headlines about the brand featured stories about its commitment to sharing body-positive content. The campaign was covered by popular publications like Teen Vogue and Refinery29 and received thousands of engagements.

When it comes to e-commerce marketing, Missguided’s success shows the potential of putting innovative spins on classic content strategies. From effective influencer marketing to building a rapport with customers across platforms, the brand’s social strategy has helped drive its popularity and stand out from its competitors.

Interested in analyzing the success of brand marketing campaigns? Take a tour of NewsWhip Analytics.

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Benedict Nicholson

In addition to leading the NewsWhip Research Center in New York, Benedict Nicholson manages partnerships with internationally recognized media outlets furthering data journalism, which includes NewsWhip’s Data for Democracy program. Benedict also facilitates consultations with communicators from the top 10 public relations agencies across America and Europe and with Fortune 500 brands to discuss consumer engagement trends and effective media monitoring. Email Benedict via

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