Hannah Bronfman in the "I'm Here to Create" Adidas campaign.

In a landscape riddled with promises of retail solutions, brand whisperers and code crackers, this oversaturated and convoluted ecosystem can easily be simplified into one or two words of wisdom: Instagram and social.

Tribe Dynamics’ third-party retailer and non-luxury apparel brand August 2016 reports reveal that Adidas and Asos — the number-one ranked retailer in their correlating segments — are winning at Instagram.

The reports analyze retailer and brand performance by their assigned metric of Earned Media Value, which quantifies the estimated value of publicity gained through digital earned media and its respective engagement levels. The approach assigns a specific dollar amount to each piece of content.

The analysis discerns which social platforms and content channels produce the highest return. Unsurprisingly, Instagram proves the top earner in both luxury and non-luxury apparel markets. In the non-luxury apparel sector Adidas secured approximately $54.2 million from its Instagram account — compared to the second-highest platform, YouTube, where the top earner (Forever 21) brought in just over $4.3 million. That’s a huge gap to close.

For third-party retailers, Instagram brought Asos over $26.5 million in EMV. Pinterest served as the second-highest earner, pulling in just over $1.8 million for Nordstrom.

Instagram, social media, brand identity, asos

An example Instagram post from ASOS 

Other key takeaways from the month included J. Crew’s entry into the Top 10 non-luxury apparel rankings due to its 16 percent month-over-month growth — booting out Calvin Klein, which suffered a 19 percent decline month-to-month. Nike benefited a 20 percent month-over-month increase, due in part to its new series with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 79.6 million Instagram followers. This secured the second position for the activewear retailer, pushing Zara to the third.

In the third-party retailer rankings, Macy’s rose to sixth position (up from tenth), growing 69 percent month-over-month. The retailer had been the center of considerable conversation surrounding its recent closures of various retail locations. The strategy has seemingly paid off, as Macy’s refocused its efforts by asserting Macy’s as a go-to location for new makeup launches (a sweet spot for the Generation Z buyer). Launches included Smashbox’s collabortion with Lilly Singh and Tarte’s collab with bloggers Makeup Shayla (two million Instagram followers) and Nicol Concilio (one million Instagram followers).

Net-a-porter continued its blogger alliance, partnering with social influencers Leonie Hanne aka Ohhcouture (565K Instagram followers) and Amelia Liana (313K Instagram followers). The e-retailer employed the two to create content during a holiday in Italy and France, tagging personalized hash tags.

When it comes to configuring where to allocate resources, retailers would be well-suited to consider Instagram as a primary target.

August 2016 Top 10 Third-Party Retailers

  1. Asos
  2. Nordstrom
  3. Topshop
  4. Urban Outfitters
  5. Revolve
  6. Macy’s
  7. Anthropologie
  8. Nasty Gal
  9. Net-a-porter
  10. Shopbop

August 2016 Top 10 Non-Luxury Apparel Brands

  1. Adidas
  2. Nike
  3. Zara
  4. H&M
  5. Forever 21
  6. Topshop
  7. Missguided
  8. Converse
  9. Free People
  10. Crew