Omnichannel strategy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Gisele
Image source: AdWeek

Looking at the fashion retail landscape today, storytelling hasn’t been this fashionable since we were still being tucked into bed every night. Telling effective stories has become the key strategy for fashion brands, for whom it is now essential to negotiate the online and offline worlds with ease. Omnichannel success might mean approaching customers from all angles – digital marketing, social networking, data collection, in-store technology and point-of-sale innovation – but there’s little point if they don’t come together to tell a seamless story for your brand.

At our Autumn Milan Summit, taking place from 17-18 November, an expert panel including representatives from Mr Porter and La Repubblica will debate the art of effective storytelling. In the meantime, we take a look at the red-hot storytelling successes of the summer so far – where digital storytelling and real-life engagement are seamlessly combined for a (hopefully) happy ending.

Amazon Fashion

Once sniffed at by some in the industry, Amazon Fashion is demanding to be taken seriously as an e-tailer to be reckoned with. This summer heralded surprisingly high quarterly profits for the e-commerce giant, demonstrating that relative gambles like investing in its fashion business could be paying off.

After opening a massive photo studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2013, this summer has seen Amazon Fashion repeat the trick in London: the city’s own Amazon Fashion studio launched in Shoreditch last month. But more than an essential bricks-and-mortar powerhouse to build its fashion business – helping to create more than 500,000 images for its site every year, says Amazon – the company has leveraged the studio to emphasise the story it wants to tell.

If photos of cool girl Suki Waterhouse – the new face of Amazon Fashion – in the studio weren’t enough to convince you, the studio has already hosted a Fashion Forum event with Dazed & Confused magazine to inspire young people starting out in the industry.

Under Armour

Winner of a Cannes Lions award, the sports apparel brand Under Armour’s ‘I Will What I Want’ advertisement with supermodel Gisele Bundchen is surely the campaign of the summer.

Demonstrating an amazing use of the bad side of social media as well as the good, the video campaign sees Bundchen kicking and punching a large boxing bag with gusto. Meanwhile, real social media comments posted by the public in response to news of her signing days earlier, appear on the walls around her. Many are negative – “stick to modelling, sweetie” and “Gisele is sooooo fake” – while her workout demonstrates she has just as much right to be there as any sportswoman.

But it doesn’t just work on TV and YouTube – the campaign includes an immersive web experience, ‘Will Beats Noise’, that shows Gisele working out while real-time social commentary streams in. What’s more, the campaign has driven sales.

Catch Under Armour’s Vice President, Direct-To-Consumer, Digital, Sid Jatia speaking at our NYC Summit in October.

Burberry Snapchat & Periscope

Snapchat and Periscope offer huge scope for brands to tell unique stories that cut straight to the interested consumer on the move – but they can be difficult to negotiate. As usual, you can look to Burberry as an example of a brand that is doing the trend right.

Last month, it announced that its early moves on the apps have been a success, with a live fashion show beamed from LA and the promotion of its last menswear show through the two channels producing a record number of impressions: both topped 100 million for the first time.

You can book your ticket to the Milan Summit here.

Reported by Claire Healy

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“CMOs are prioritizing mobile customer experiences because they have to. Mobile is after all only becoming more pervasive in the digital customer journey. Accordingly, CMOs have widely accepted a “mobile first”-design mindset when approaching campaigns and other important digital initiatives. But what does mobile first mean? “

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Omni Channel

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Kenzo Loves Printemps

We might be on our phones 99.9% of the time, but luxury brands increasingly have to think outside the box to have any chance of getting past that iPhone lock screen. Making connections between mobile strategy and other aspects of a customer’s journey – in-store experiences, social media platforms, and dedicated websites – are essential for a successful omnichannel strategy, but also for telling the kinds of stories that drive loyalty to brands.

Like a leggy late 90s Naomi Campbell, the undeniable ‘super’ of digital innovation is 158-year old brand Burberry. Headed by Angela Ahrendts (until she was poached by Apple last year), Burberry has dominated mobile engagement since launching its mobile site in 2011. Today, a third of Burberry’s online business is achieved through a mobile device. So why is Burberry’s strategy so damn good? A mix of an all-out digital-focussed strategy, plus one or two creative social media driven campaigns a year – last year’s Burberry Kisses, in partnership with Google, allowed users to send a virtual kiss around the world using their smartphone. Mobile engagement dictated the redesigned flagship Regent Street store in 2012 – including mobile apps, iPads for staff members, QR codes, digital labels, beacons and mobile payments to enhance the store experience.

One brand that has only more recently turned to mobile to enrich the in-store experience is Kenzo, whose tangible popularity amongst millennials makes smartphone engagement essential. Kenzo recently launched their first mobile app, in conjunction with its pop-up at French department store Printemps’ Haussmann flagship. ‘Kenzo loves Printemps’ lets consumers browse through the exclusive pieces created for the store, as well as enter a contest to win exclusive prizes through an interactive game. By gamifying the shopping experience, the brand are creating real incentive to download the app – Klever Kenzo. Massimiliano Pipolo, head of Visual Identity at Kenzo, will be revealing some of his secrets at our Milan event this month (more on that later).

This doesn’t mean luxury brands should jump to create apps – without real incentive to download, some will just end up floundering in the app store. The key is to know when (and when not) an app will add value to cohesive omnichannel storytelling. Mobile apps are platform specific, making it difficult for your brand content to flow freely across the digital ecosystem. For brands who don’t need super sophisticated graphics or access to a user’s camera or mic, a dedicated mobile website – such as Ralph Laurens’ m.ralphlauren.com – might just make a lot more sense.

Our Milan event, taking place on 22nd October in partnership with e-Pitti.com, will take such innovations in omnichannel strategy as its starting point. With expert speakers such as Barbara Corti, Paul Van Zyl and Juliet Warkentin due to appear, the day will aim to address the possibilities for mobile strategy looking forward: everywhere, everywhen, everyhow.

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion Milan will take place on October 22, 2014 at La Pelota. Check out the full agenda here.