As Oscar De La Renta said last week, “Online media is increasingly influential in fashion“. This past weekend in Santa Monica, CA FashionCampLA proved just that, as industry professionals gathered to discuss online digital media tactics such as augmented reality, QR code campaigns, fashion technology in design and clothes, digital fashion PR, digital look books, and digital fashion laws.
It was amazingly organized and moderated by Mashable and FashionablyMarketing.me contributor, Macala Wright Lee who lined up digital media experts such as Crosby Noricks from PR Couture and Phillip Warbasse of Warbasse Design. I wanted to gather and share just a few of my footnotes and findings from some of my favorite topics.
QR Codes in Fashion Campaigns (Phillip Warbasse – Warbasse Design)
1) Testing new technology can be scary, but rewarding. Brands such as Ralph Lauren recognize and value the importance of being first in the industry. Ralph Lauren’s leap of faith paved the path to start a QR code campaign that gained newsworthy PR coverage. The PR coverage from using the new QR Code tactic, generated mentions and press coverage worth $200 million in ad sales.
2) QR Codes aren’t a stand alone tactic. Its a piece of an integrated marketing plan and strategy that can combine both online and offline initiatives. It involves intricate planning from the mobile landing page to messaging and incentives. Brands that understand the important of brand awareness will adopt QR codes as they have been in use in other markets around the world for the past 5 years.
3) QR Codes could lessen the gap of drop off of in-store customers. If the brick and mortar store doesn’t have a customer size, Lucky Brand has been using QR codes on the clothing tags that when scanned, take consumers to order their size online and purchase on their mobile device or allows them to pay at the in-store cashier with a 20% off discount. This type of interactive shopping that lets the consumer purchase an item they would not have had that day without the QR code incentive.
Augmented Reality Makes Shopping Personal (Matt Szymczyk – Zugara)
1) Augmented reality is becoming easier for brands to adapt, since image recognition technology eliminates the need to make augmented reality codes. But do not just execute AR because you think its cool. Like all tactics it needs to have strategy and be part of an integrated approach since augmented reality can be use in conjunction with print publications, web, TV, and mobile apps.
2) The current online shopping experience is solo, but augmented reality allows online shoppers to see how color, patterns, and design look on their actual body without having to go to a brick and mortar store. It makes the online shopping experience interactive and personal mocking an in-store shopping trip.
The New Rules of Fashion PR – Digital Style (Crosby Noricks – PR Couture)
1) Whether you are a brand or a blogger, provide tips on your site and actionable recommendations to engage with users and generate buzz.
2) Bloggers are an essential piece to fashion PR these days, but don’t treat them like they are old school with boring pitches and uneventful press releases. Bloggers need to be given a unique experience that can help them create unique and valuable content about your brand. Don’t just ask them to do a review or write up. Give them something to write about that is worthy and interesting, different and unique and fits that blogger’s network of readers and fans.
3)Retailers are becoming publishers and publishers are becoming retailers. The relationship with your retailer and publications will become more valuable to nurture as both are integrating blogger spotlights and offering ecommerce directly through their own channels. Both H&M and Forever 21
are good examples of how retailers have branched out into publishing and feature bloggers to sell products. Publications have incorporated popular bloggers in its magazine pages, and Nylon Magazine is working on enhancing its iPad app to include ecommerce purchasing options for items in the magazine.
4) Your relationship with your consumers will become even more valuable as fans are publishing their outfits of your brand online. Other fans like to see how their peers style your brand and has become popular on sites such as Lookbook.nu, Chictopia.com, and Flickr. American Apparel has leveraged this relationship with its online fans and uses consumer influence from Lookbook.nu and made a real look book with real consumers in American Apparel clothes.
5) Think globally, act locally. While your brand is a global entity, consumers like and need personalization. That’s where local PR and local marketing comes into play. Adidas’ Facebook Page is all things Adidas, but has a geographic factor. On the application tab, fans can tailor Adidas news to their specific geographic location by city allowing them to access personal local results and get the skinny on local Adidas events and promotions.
6) Don’t be afraid to dabble with fashion films. PR is about spreading your brand story. Fashion films are another way to tell your brand’s story and express your vision. They don’t have to be a big budget production, just effectively tell and show your brand through film.
Not only did FashionCampLA have a lot of great thought leaders, but it was also a ton of fun getting to meet people in person that I have interacted on Twitter with over the past two years. FashionCampLA united Tweeps, encouraged collaboration, and promoted team work in the industry. But the Sprinkles cupcakes didnt hurt either! I look forward to more FashionCamps in the future and learning more about my industry peers and emerging technology. Thanks to everyone involved!