Redscout had the pleasure of attending the inaugural Glossy Forum — the first conference from the editors of Glossy, a media brand exploring the intersection of fashion and luxury through the lens of digital and tech.
The Glossy Forum 2016 brought together brands, distributors and designers to explore how tech is disrupting the fashion and luxury worlds. What became clear throughout the day is that digital is on the minds of fashion marketers, leading to three clear lessons that help put any fears to rest.
Digital doesn't have to mean data.
Digital marketing and data go hand-in-hand. And for many, data is a dirty word. But that doesn't mean digital initiatives need to be data-led. Mary Beech, CMO of Kate Spade & Co. compared data to the conductor behind an orchestra—there for support, not illumination. Ali Weiss, VP of Growth at Glossier, called data a whisper, not a sledgehammer. And Theresa Palermo, CMO of Vera Bradley admitted she's been asked to hire a data scientist—but feels reluctant because data won't inspire her creative team.
As Kate Spade, Glossier and Vera Bradley have all shown, successful digital marketing is no different from traditional marketing. Creativity, emotional resonance and gut instincts win—regardless of the medium.
New technology is an opportunity to create new touch points.
The best examples of brands using technology are the ones using it to create new touch points that enhance the consumer experience. As Mia Otte, Director of Product from Moda Operandi, explained, "A brand's app can't just be a facsimile of its website; it needs to represent added value to consumers." Baublebar launched video chat and a digital video series to facilitate richer engagement between its SWAT stylists and consumers through face-to-face conversations. Wearable Experiments is developing vibrating yoga pants to help consumers correct poses.
The question for marketers entering the digital space shouldn't be: "Instagram or Snapchat?"—it should be: "What can we do with digital do to enhance our brand experience?"
Digital experiences can help brands go beyond transactions.
We all know it's an experience economy. But we sometimes forget that experiences are a means of storytelling. Designer Misha Nonoo observed that what makes a retail space like Dover Street Market so breakthrough is you feel like you're walking through a story. A recent successful collaboration between John Varvatos x Future x Fancy drove significant social impressions from a limited run of just 20 leather jackets, further proving this point.
It’s important to remember digital isn’t just a means of driving sales. It’s also a forum for meaningful consumer engagement that build brands.
The fashion industry will always be undergoing innovation. As seasons change, companies will find new ways to resonate with consumers and push their brands forward. The increasing implementation of tech in fashion creates massive potential for innovation, but it’s important to keep brand identity at the core when imagining and implementing new tech-enabled futures for fashion brands, and across categories. The real untapped opportunity with digital and tech is creating engaging and immersive experiences that help brands more deeply connect with their consumers in new and exciting ways.
Lacy Quarles contributed to Redscout's event presence and reporting.