REPORT: 10 Digital Marketing Trends For Fashion, Luxury and Retail
One hundred people gathered at Woodbury University in Burbank, Calif., to hear executives from Hudson Jeans, Condé Nast, ALDO Shoes, AHAlife, Bumebox, Fresh Concept Labs, VidYard, Rock Bridge Productions, R3R, Warren Creative and Disney Consumer Products discuss innovations in digital strategies for fashion companies. The intimate setting was an ideal form for attendees to interact and network with the speakers.
The attendees, of course, looked fabulous. We’ve chosen some of our favorite Instagram photos from the event to give you an insider’s view of the incredible looks work by movers and shakers in the fashion industry. See the best snaps in the photo gallery below!
In addition, we’ve also compiled a list of the top 10 lessons the industry leaders taught attendees.
1. Every Brand Needs A Story—The critical importance of a good brand story was the one thing that all of the speakers at FMM’s Innovation Summit seemed to agree on. “The foundation of a great business is a great product,” said Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans. “The foundation of a great brand is a great message.” Raman Kia, executive director of digital marketing at Conde Nast, urged media outlet to use social media platforms to tell their different aspects of their brand story.
2. Consumers Buy Brands Because of Ideals, Not Products—When customers purchase a product from a lifestyle brand, they are making a conscious choice to be a part of that brand image. Lifestyle brands are made by their ethos, not by their product categories, Kim explained. “When you buy Hudson, you buy into who we are, not just our product,” Kim said. “We want to be a symbol of who you are, or the person you want to be.” Kim carefully selected Hudson’s brand ambassadors because of their ethics and sense of social responsibility.
3. Understand Each Platform—“Not every social media platform is about socializing,” said Rama Kia, executive director of marketing at Conde Nast, told attendees of FMM’s Innovation Summit. He gave the example of Pinterest, which is where people save reminders of items they intend to consume—products they intend to purchase, articles they intend to read. Once you deepen your understanding of each platform, then you understand the best way to express your brand story. Vyara Ndejuru, director of marketing for ALDO Shoes, said that ALDO’s lifestyle and brand story can be found on many platforms, and the brand is constantly looking for the best way to express their ethos.
4. Viral Doesn’t Matter—Kia stressed that getting marketing materials to go “viral” is not the goal; earned media, or users sharing interesting articles with friends, will lead to conversions and return on investment. “It’s not about a million views, it’s what you get from those views,” said Michael Kaney, president of Rock Bridge Productions. “Do you want a million hits or a thousand leads?”
5. Online Conversations Drive Shopping Decisions—Andre Warren, owner of Warren Creative, outlined the top decision-making factors for online shoppers: 81 percent get advice from friends before buying; and 77 percent use online reviews to make a decision. In addition, online shopping behavior is driven by “fomo”–the fear of missing out.
6. Face-to-Face is Important—According to Warren, 66 percent of people online would rather have face-to-face interactions than interactions on Facebook. In retail spaces, “dwell time means sell time,” according to Warren, and the more brands can encourage shoppers to hang out, the more money they will spend. Both Barney’s and Converse are redesigning their stores to encourage lounging.
7. Video Boosts Ecommerce—Especially for goods with a social cause, according to Shauna Mei, founder of AHAlife.com. In fact, she has seen sales increase by 10x on her platform when video augments the product listing. Even if they video doesn’t drive an immediate sale, it draws customers into your brand story and brings them closer to conversion. Storytelling sells products online, especially if they are unique. In addition, Michael Litt, co-founder of VidYard, talked about new technologies that allow customers to purchase a product from a video window without interrupting the video playback, creating a seamless ecommerce experience.
8. Retention is the Key, Not Acquisition—Basil Farano, CEO, Fresh Concept Lab, and creator of Stylmee, explained that brands need to focus on retaining customers, not attracting them with one-way conversations. “If you want to increase your brand’s value, loyalty and desirability, you need to start entertaining them,” Farano said. Introduce elements of game play into promotions—make customers earn rewards instead of just handing it to them. Do people really want to play games online? Yes, and it’s not who you think: 53 percent of social gamers are women 25-44; and 20 million people play Farmville (even though no one admits to it). By 2014 there will be 74 million social gamers, according to Farano.
9. Do Mobile Right—“Brands are rushing into mobile,” said Jon Fahrner, CEO of Bumebox. “There are a lot of irrelevant apps on the market.” Before you run into building an application just to say that you have one, look into options like responsive design, or using existing platforms like Instagram to build your mobile presence. “A good strategy on multiple platforms can replace a dedicated app,” said Macala Wright, founder of Fashionablymarketing.me.
10. Events are Important—Events are the original social media. People showed up, did things, and then talked about them for weeks. Use events to draw customers in, and then keep them talking. “You can do an event centered campaign, but you’ve got to keep people tuning in and coming back for more content,” said Fahrner. “You want them talking at length, not just shallow, one-off sharing.”
Are you kicking yourself because you missed Innovation Summit? Never fear, Rock Bridge Productions filmed the entire event, and we will be posting videos for your edification ASAP. Stay tuned!