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A smart and successful brand management is done by making the right decisions to decrease costs, to recognize the opportunities of a brand, to solve its problems, to improve its offering and to make sure that customers can have advocacy and become loyal to a brand. Easy to describe but not so easy to execute, these are the daily challenges of fashion and luxury professionals managing a brand. In the fashion industry, there are global and intense competition trends, therefore brands have to be managed while providing differentiated, personalized and recognizable customer experience on a worldwide scale. To do that, executives are dealing with huge amount of data through digital, POS, mobile and social media channels, with the final objective to optimize them, insights are the key for making the life of a brand manager much more easier.

Social Media in China, Taiwan and Hong KongChina, with the world's largest internet user-base, almost double than the USA, is currently the market to be at. Very often than not, we speak of its local social media, with the users accounting for roughly the sum of all those in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, altogether.

In this piece, we are going to look at not only China but also the situation in the equally fashion-active regions surrounding it, i.e. Taiwan and Hong Kong, the regions which are, perhaps, less restrictive of the foreign influence.

Here's our China team's take, on the booming local social media market, according to their importance in the fashion world and their power in influencing the purchasing decisions of the people.

 

CHINA

It's no news that when it comes to networking, the country does pose certain limitations. Perhaps, paving a way for the local alternatives to barge in. It's no surprise that the restrictive channels are still accessed via some proxy connections, but speaking of the local market, the list remains as follows:

Sina WeiboThe first name that comes to the mind when speaking of Chinese social media. This micro-blog (also known as the hybrid between Facebook and Twitter) is reported to have more than 500 million registered users off late, and this number seems to be only growing. The website is more appealing to the people residing in 1° Tier cities of China (as can also be recorded from the Fashionbi Weibo analytics), interface is fully Chinese, allows the members to post images and videos and the best part about this channel is the celebrity influence on it. It's a great way to communicate with the celebs not only local but very much also the international ones, and the brands, knowing that their profiles and pages have been 'authenticated' by Sina Weibo itself. Besides that, Fashion brands are now using this channel very actively, luring the followers with attractive promotions (example: first 1000 people to like a post get free keyring or some discount of products of a brand), plus brands are now using big attractive images, directing the audience straight to their e-commerce website through a link posted next to these images. Not to forget that the communication done in the Chinese language with the hashtags in Chinese can promise a super engagement; it is rather proven that the opinions expressed on this network influence heavily the purchasing decisions of the viewers.

QzonePerhaps, this name doesnt ring a bell amongst the foreign audience, does it? Qzone is the country's biggest and the oldest social sharing website. Reported to have surpassed around 600 million registered users recently, Qzone gives a whole 360 degree coverage, going beyond the boundaries of big cities and reaching out to more remote users. The platform is still a virgin to the Fashion brand influences but can be a big opportunity as the brands can develop and innovate profiles and pages on this network, even create their own 'microsites'. To create a profile is free, however, to create an authenticated brand page might come with a fee and some paperwork.

Tencent WeiboA microblogging service simlar to Sina Weibo, Tencent records for around 540 million registed users, today, but the appeal is more in the 2° and 3° tier cities, rather than the big ones. Also an opportunity for the brands, as many of them are looking at these secondary adn tertiary regions to exapnd.  


Other than the ones already mentioned, there is Renren, which is more popular amongst the university crowd, but expanding to a more adult audience. This platform can be a good play for the brand targetting a young audience but so far, it hasn't been an influencer in terms of branding and promotions to appeal the crowd. Then, the very used one today, is Wechat, where can also be found some brand's or celebrity 'pages', authenticated but the limit of it being only usable on a smartphone or i-pad makes it less appealing or influecing at all. There is also a log-in from computer but with very limited features. However, with Wechat brininging Lionel Messi as one of the 'testimonials', seems that Wechat rather has a nig strategy in mind. Youku, the local alternative of the international Youtube, can also be counted in this list, only that it is more sort of a channel to watch movies and also due to the 'piracy' issue, it's been kept a watch at and still has to grow better in terms of Fashion brands posting back stage videos and such.

 

TAIWAN

Taiwan operates in a slightly different way. The social circles are more extended, foreign networks are used quiet often and the communication in English is very welcomed. Hence, the list goes like this:

FacebookUndoubtedly, a hit. Facebook is a widely used channel in Taiwan and the brand updates are closely followed, exactly like in the rest of the world. However, it has more of a Taiwan student-base, rather than a wider age-range.

 

PlurkTo remain somewhat true to also their local roots, Taiwanese came up with this social media network, operating in three languages - Chinese, English and Indonesian. The platform is nothing but an additional but local alternative of Facebook with the features almost the same, photo-sharing and such but hasn't been conquered by the Fashion brands yet. Very surprisingly (or not), this network is forbidden to be used in China, hence, the coverage or the importance remains very limited.

 

Not as widely used in Taiwan as one would think, but Sina Weibo is a great way for the Taiwanese local celebrities to gain a much higher popularity also in China, hence, can be found many important Taiwanese personalities, having their own authentic pages/profiles on this channel. But other than that, the potential of the usage of this network remains low with the local Taiwanese people, in general. 

An additional and very interesting point raised here by our analysts is that to do a big promotion in Taiwan, and to come in the notice of a large audience, the best way is to collaborate with a TV program. With the programs like "Nu Ren Wo Zui Da", the brands and celebs are making a round, where a lot of celebs are invited and the brands they wear are demonstrated at the end of the show.

 

HONG KONG

Much like Taiwan, Facebook is a hugely and very widely used network in Hong Kong, more than any home-grown ones. The culture in this country is very 'Westernized' and it is rather very common to find English as the language on the street, people adoring and wearing very peculiar Western labels, and browsing this social media network to keep an eye on the new updates by the brands. The popularity of this channel is only growing, hence, the brand's really need to keep the communication localized and on-going, time-to-time.

The same trick as Taiwan. Sina Weibo invites a lot of local celebrities to have a page on it. A very win-win strategy for both sides. Due to such a situation, the traffic coming from Hong Kong, on Sina Weibo is increasing each day and, yet again, it can be a very interesting strategy to involve the key celebs and influencers promote a brand's products on their pages.

Besides these, Youtube and Twitter are also hugely used, however, due to a fragmented social media audience, that often gets divided up between the American channels and the mainland replicas, these social networks experience a rather slow growth in traffic than the others. Instagram is also starting to get popular, however, it is supposed to take its time before it completely revolutionizes the photo-sharing activities of the Cantonese audience.

 

The market is vast, the opportunities are huge. The only way to be successful is to break-through the local audience, make the right communication and reach a wider audience, rather than just a few niche ones!

As we will do in every Fashionbi Spotlight, we will dive into what we have learnt from the best articles during the last two weeks. This time around, our topics are focused on our heading of “Building an Online Fashion Presence”. With this issue of Fashionbi Spotlight, we want to give you the most important things you should know about it!

Pinterest vs.InstagramLet’s start by commenting on how Social Media is no longer an option for the fashion brands’ marketing plan, but instead it is a MUST as our contributor Luciana Zegheanu mentions on our number 1 article. We have learnt that a digital marketing strategy,  allows fashion brands to stand out  and gain in the short and long term a true engagement from their users.  But what fashion and luxury brands should know is that, often there are common mistakes when trying to execute a social media presence, and the points they should avoid are:

1. Not Being Active.

2. Concentrating On One Or Too Many Social Media Platforms

3. Not Engaging Your Audience.

4. Not Using Hashtags.

5.  Not Following Back Your Loyal Followers.

Global E-commerce everywhere in the World!

Next we move on to one of our newer contributors, Mook Attakanwong. Mook from Australia, tells us which online stores are at the top of Australian consumers minds.  In her piece on Austalian e-commerce we learned about websites like Green with Envy, a company established in 2000, as a walk-in boutique in Melborne and is now in the top 5 e-commerce sites in Australia with designer pieces for great deals.

The second example, Robby Ingham, is very remarkable for its delivery strategy, which has the items you purchased online delivered at your doorstep in no more than 3 hours. Other examples include: the Iconic , LOVVD and the Parlour X .

Knowing how important e-commerce is in Australia, here at Fashionbi we did a quick research about the online presence  of the most popular fashion brands in Australia, as a sample we took  Aarzee Jewellery DMCC, Bec&Bridge, Sass&Bide and lastly Willow.  Most of these brands are ‘young’, since they were founded at the earliest in 1999, and the latest Ellery in 2007.

What we found very interesting was, that these brands presence in social networks could be stronger! Let’s start with Aarzee Jewellery DMCC, one of the most recognized designer brands in this country. It turns out that, Ellery does not have a presence in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at all!

Secondly we research, Bec & Bridge, this Australian Premium brand only has presence in Facebook with 19,056 fans and also has a Twitter account with 5,350 followers, similar to another popular and premium brand that is called Willow,  the social presence for this brand is only via it’s Facebook account with only 9,051 fans and it’s Instagram account with more than 5,492 followers.

Finally the winner among these 4 Australian brands is Sass & Bide with an account in Facebook with more then 195,734 fans, a presence on Twitter with more than 13,582 followers, and a very successful Instagram account with more than 96,429 followers.

All these brands activity is done daily, but it seems like they need to do a deeper study in their content to see how they could rise up the users engagement.

So what does it take to create a great online presence for a Fashion Brand?

Fashion onlineWell, that seems like the one million dollar question, and our contributors are tying to give our readers the best information on it. For example Siije Sheila Liu, explained to us why Chanel took over Louis Vuitton, to be crowned as the top Fashion Luxury brand in China. To put it into context, what we learned is that brands should always focus on creating content attractive for local consumers.  She mentions how important it is that Chanel, a part from its brand heritage, has been promoted through films as well, creating a strong brand awareness internationally.

But what happens if your brand is young and it doesn’t have a heritage background as Chanel?  To answer this question we must repeat that Social Media presence can be your road to success, but it is not something simple to do. First, you need to define which are the networks that best fits a brand’s needs according to the audience it is targeting.

A good example is mentioned in the article Social Media Wars: Pinterest vs. Instagram,  where it is stated clearly that the best social network is the one that covers your needs more completely. For example the article mentions that Instagram is better to tell stories, and create a more personal experience about everyday life encounters - it doesn’t matter if it is in the office or a holiday. Therefore, Instagram can truly  work for a brand that is looking to create a strong awareness on its ‘lifestyle’. On the other hand, Pinterest is really helpful for e-commerce retail, since items exposed there are linked to the online retailer where the user can purchase the items.

On this Spotlight, we have also ranked an article written by Courtney Gerring, about how retailers are incorporating social networks such as Pinterest from online to offline strategies. The article explains how the US retailer  Nordstrom is encouraging customers to purchase led by social feedback! What they do is to set a special visual merchandising  for the items more liked and ‘pinned’ on Pinterest.

What we can see as Gerring mentions, is that today “consumers are looking for something intriguing, fascinating and exhiliarting. They look to social media to find the trends, and with mobile devices on the other side, consumers today are looking for emotional connection digitally”.

Research for trends about upcoming social networks!

Social NetworksIt is true, a fashion brand should not only research for style and inspiration trends, but also it is fundamental to keep an eye on the digital world and find out soon what is going on.  By doing so, they will keep space for innovation and constant creativity, and here we will like to quote the article we are reading from Fashion’s Collective, where they explore one of the latest applications, Vine. “The newest social media craze is Vine, an application that allows users to create mini movies by holding their iOS device steady in three separate shots. The in-app camera then loops the three shots together into one quick, 6 second video clip which is shared with the Vine community (and can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook)”.

In the article, author Elizabeth Canon explores the reasons why fashion brands should be active or not on Vine.

Last but not the least, we would like to share with our readers more tips about building a strong online presence through this article featured on socialmouths.com.

Author Sara Carter tell us ‘You will be missing out on an incredible number of potential customers’, this only emphasizes all the more that there are simple tips and tricks that fashion and luxury brands should learn more about, which is the perfect combination for their content strategy in this media.  And more importantly, is the fact that fashion companies are not on their own, here in Fashionbi we are ready to empower them to take smart decisions!

 

 

And in our constant effort to learn more about social media and the fashion industry, Fashionbi came up a few weeks a go with their most recent installment of webinars discussing exactly these matters!

Info

For this particular webinar, they dove into the details of how fashion events like Fashion Week could affect and help maximize social media presence. For this research, they gathered results via Fashionbi’s Advanced Weibo Analytics, and focused on Men’s Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2014. 

Gathering analytics for fashion brands that were active during this period, Fashionbi gathered data from brands such as: Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Valentino, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, and ##Versace. “As you can see, from the beginning, Louis Vuitton is taking the lead with the most number of followers with Versace at the bottom with the least number. It would be good to take note of these cause we’ll see later how this data affects the results,” says speaker Regina Fernandez. 

“So what we wanted to know was, does being the most active promise better engagement? Maybe! Lets see the results to find out,” she continues. From this infographic on the left we find the results of the study. As we can see, Zegna is at the top with the most active engagement, but this was expected as the brand also proved to have the most number of Weibo posts during this period. However, surprisingly Louis Vuitton came at second place, considering the brand had only posted once this entire period. In fact Louis Vuitton had the least number of posts this week, compared to all the other brands. Perhaps having the most number of followers plays a roll in this?  

Jumping to the most attractive posts, we have the top three posts that got the most engagement. At the top again is Louis Vuitton with this one post of the schedule of the live streaming, along with the web address. Coming at second is Zegna with the actual live streaming of the fashion show available directly from the Weibo Zegna account. And in third we have Versace, who’s most active Weibo post also has to do with the live streaming schedule for Men’s Fashion Week. As you can see, the results clearly prove that live streaming is something that these Weibo-ers find very interesting, and fashion brands should take advantage of that knowledge,” says Fernandez. 

“Next we wanted to learn if being active on Weibo during fashion events has an impact on the followers growth,” she says. As evident in the infographic, with Louis Vuitton’s more than 1000 percent growth - Fashion Events do have a direct impact on followers growth. And it went in the same way for the rest of the fashion brands during the study. 

Moving on from engagement, to location and demographic. Courtney Gerring discusses who were actively engaging during this period. “We were kind of surprised to find that more women were actively engaging during Men’s Fashion Week, than the men. Perhaps its because women are still more inclined towards trends? Or maybe they wanted to see the male models?”, she jokes. 

“And as you can see, most of the active engagers are coming from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong. You must be wondering though, where’s Hong Kong? Well Facebook and Twitter are available in Hong Kong so perhaps these people were much more active on those sites as opposed to Weibo,” says Gerring.

The pair went on to discuss how other fashion brands can take advantage of these information and results and use it more aptly strategize their social media plans during fashion events.  

And there you have it! Just a few tips and tricks from the experts, for better maximizing your social media efforts during Fashion Events. And it doesn’t seem all that difficult, now does it? But naturally as all things change - so does data. Which is why it is still highly suggested for brands who want to seriously invest in social media, to take more advantage of the situation by diving into analytics. But until that time, you still have Fashionbi! And they are more than glad to help you out!

The truth is virtual branding has never been stronger, however there are times when a fashion brand still needs that intimate physical connection and off-line events are just the answer. Connecting, promoting and creating anticipation online allows companies to produce an even stronger engagement prior to the live event. But what happens after the event? Analyze the return on your efforts with Fashionbi. 

Fashionbi team at Pitti UomoSpecial events, fashion shows, trade shows and exhibitions are more important than ever to give users a total experience. Creating a physical and tangible experience for the consumer, bringing them inside of your world and creating emotion.  Mixing the use of digital and social media to create buzz before and after the event creates an experience and an environment that has never been more powerful. Burberry created a clever strategy to combine their live fashion show from London to a global city. The fashion brand has invited customers to watch in real-time the livestream of their London fashion show within 25 of their physical stores worldwide. Combining the power of digital media and creating mini events globally. Genius the power of digital media, and what is even more genius is the opportunity Fashionbi analytics can give the fashion brand to track the success from the live-show all the way down to the bloggers, journalists and Instagram fanatics at one of the physical stores. 

Fashion shows are surely important to engage consumers and create an emotional experience but exhibitions and tradeshows are just as important for the distribution of the brand. Fashionbi understands the importance of the impact these types of events have on fashion brands, which is exactly why we are just as active analyzing data digitally as we are physically. Naturally, Fashionbi attended the Pitti Immagine Uomo, 84th Edition trade fair highlighting the Spring Summer 13/14 collections from over 1,043 brands globally. As presentations flood the exhibition, not only is it important for brands to creatively showcase their image, and create emotion but together take the live event to the digital world. Connecting with global bloggers, and various news providers to share the gossip on their latest collection to the digital world, which let's face it is the world today. 

Fashionbi AnalyticsBut what happens after the emotion is created and the event has come and gone, and how can a brand be certain that their investment has paid off. Fashionbi analytics is the solution to gauge your investment. Key in on the countries  speaking the most about your event, and find your target influencers. Discover the hashtags buzzing around the event, the top bloggers creating the most chatter and the moment that stole the show. Not only does Fashionbi analytics allow you to measure the investment, but you are able to key in on exactly what your guests loved the most. Fashionbi 4 is bringing you a revolution of digital fashion analytics and will show you the real impact on a brand's special event. 

As the digital world reaches new milestones every day, it still doesn't take away from the physical and tangible needs of humans, which is why fashion and luxury brands are maintaing a strong presence at live-events and only amping the engagement with online engagement. But why not find out who your key influencers are, which country is strongly buzzing about your brand and lastly the consumer perspective on if your event really deserved an applaud. 

 

See How it works

Here, at Fashionbi, we are now analyzing, tracking and measuring daily engagement on Instagram for fashion brands. Why Instagram? Instagram has become a base platform for fashion and luxury brands and has become one of the most important visual engagement tools available for fashion brands. A quick snap on your mobile phone or tablet, and a user is immediately engaged with the brand.  

FashionbiIn today's digital world social networking channels are rapidly growing with new users and as the need for user engagement increases, fashion and luxury brands see these key channels as a solution to connect with consumers. One of the most active, influential and engaging channel is Instagram.

Launched in October 2010, the channel rapidly gained over 100 million active users by April 2012, which was a milestone month for the company after they launched Instagram for Android and it was downloaded more than one million times in less than one day. By 2012, the company was adding a new user every second and now in February 2013 it was announced that there were over 100 million active users, an increase of about 10 million users per month since the launch of the platform. A new user every second, a new potential customer every second, and a new person to engage with every second, now it is clear exactly why fashion and luxury brands are focusing their attention on this powerful digital tool. 

Of course there are other important social media channels that the fashion and luxury brands are all jumping into such as Pinterest, and Google Plus. But as Pinterest focuses more on creating a lifestyle, a social "board", and is public to anyone it takes away from the exclusivity. Instagram is a backstage pass into the lives of the average onlooker to the celebrity, or your favorite band. Included in this backstage pass is also a young user, a younger potential consumer. According to consumer behavior research group Experian Hitwise, "The audience for Instagram is relatively young, with over half of the visitors to the Instagram website are under the age of 35." The young are certainly staying engaged as according to another study by Hitwise, there has been 1000 percent increase in site visits since December 2012 to March 2013. The statistics are showing that this is one trend that has become a part of life from the young to the new emerging professionals and this is one segment that fashion and luxury brands surely need to engage, the future young money.

Giorgio Armani Frames of Life Instagram CampaignThe hype and buzz around Instagram has fashion brands dedicating campaigns to the social media channel, and Michael Kors is one brand that launched a mobile campaign by the name of "falling in love," which allowed users to take a photo of their favorite Michael Kors product and hashtag #fallinginlovewith. Or Giorgio Armani's Instagram campaign, "Frames of life," which asks followers to upload a picture of themselves wearing sunglasses. Frames of Life is now a dedicated site that integrates social media and digital marketing creating a user generated advertising campaign, of which users can actually see themselves in a pair of Giorgio Armani sunglasses! 

With the advancement of user generated advertising campaigns, Fashionbi can now help you measure the success of these campaigns. Why? The strong and powerful increase in young users, user engagement and the need in the market to analyze these new digital marketing and social media campaigns. How? An instant comparision of your Instagram follower growth and user activity vs your competitors and find out which hashtags are commonly used by your brand. All of this and more on Fashionbi Instagram analytics, to better engage and maximize your Instagram platform. 

Consumers can, at times, be some of the best influencers a brand has and Instagram not only allows this but can also be insightful to see what consumer's are loving, wanting and ranting about. And over at Fashionbi we know exactly what we are ranting about, the latest Fashionbi 4, that gives you all the insight into Instagram.  

See How the Fashionbi Instagram Analytics works

The dramatic and continuous increase in shopping malls and shopping centers in the GCC just keeps on growing. One would vow to think that the growth of shopping malls is a clear indicator of a growing retail market and in particular a luxury retail market, which indeed may be the truth. But where is the Middle East really investing their money?

 

Glamorous on the Road 

Rolls Royce Take a quick trip over to Dubai and you will easily sight more than a few ultra luxury cars on the road, from a classic Rolls-Royce to a bright and sporty Lamborghini. In the GCC region the ultra luxury car market has seen significant gains over the past two years. In 2011, ultra luxury cars over US 250,000 dollars registered a double digit year over year growth and Rolls-Royce Motors registered a twenty-three percent year over year growth during 2011 across the entire Middle East. In the first six months of 2012, Rolls-Royce reported a continuous steady growth of a staggering twenty-two percent increase in sales. Bentley is another popular emerging choice and during the first half of 2012, one-hundred and fifty Bentleys were sold in UAE alone, making the UAE the second largest Bentley market after China. 

 

Boost in Social Spending

BMW Group in UAEIt doesn’t just stop with the ultra luxury car market; some of the mainstream luxury automakers have also seen a dramatic increase. Audi saw a fifteen percent increase in the first six-months of 2012 and during the same time period BMW Group saw sales increase by thirteen percent in the UAE. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait remain the highest volume selling markets for the BMW Group. Why all the hype and increase in the luxury auto-market? According to Arabian Business, “Government handouts boosted personal incomes and automakers increased focus on growing operations in the region.” From the looks of it the increase in social spending has flowed into the auto sector and on the hand’s of men looking for luxury toys. 

 

 

The Ultimate Luxury Toy

super-exclusive yachtThe ultimate luxury toy goes far beyond the beauty of sitting behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce, it happens to fall right on the water, in a super-exclusive yacht. The boating industry has seen a positive growth rate over the past few years, so positive that the latest Gulf Boating Conference was entitled, “The Evolving Middle East Boating Market.” A report from the Charter World stated that from 2009 until the end of 2012 there was been an estimated increase of 4,000 marina berths in the GCC. There has been an accelerated pace of development in the marine industry and yacht construction within the UAE and surrounding areas; partially from the generated interest and growth within the marine industry in the Gulf region. The interest for super exclusivity in the region has influenced Gulf Craft, a manufacturer of luxury yachts to construct a new superyacht on day one of the Dubai International Boat Show. Majesty 155 will be one of the largest composite superyachts ever to be constructed in the Middle East. Mohammed Hussain Al Shaali, Chairman of Gulf Craft stated the following; “The Middle East continues to lead demand in the global superyacht market.” “As a market for superyachts, the GCC and surrounding region is maturing rapidly. We are very optimistic about this region as more people are finding their way to the water.”

 

 

Sustained Luxury Retail Growth

Prada DubaiSo what about all the hype and extension of shopping malls, flagship luxury boutiques and a Chanel bag on every other woman in the Middle East. Well according to a recent study by Bain & Company, partner Cyrille Fabre noted, “The Middle East remains a crucial component in the sustained growth of the global luxury market. The region has opened exciting growth possibilities for key industry players and continues to be a major destination for a wide range of luxury brands.”  Retailers have also benefited from the government initiatives and the retail industry as a whole has benefited from the increase in purchasing power. Between 2011 and 2016 luxury retail sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2 percent in the Middle East. But the biggest hurdle facing luxury retail in the region is the imperative need to differentiate amongst the high competition. Prada did just that in Dubai when they re-launched their flagship store. Creating a total experience is exactly what a luxury retailer must maintain in order to maintain the customer. 

 

 

It is evident that there is a shift to experiential luxury occurring across all luxury sectors. Luxury consumers are looking for a complete experience, something they can engage with, a luxury toy. Luxury toys are becoming a man’s best friend in the Middle East, while retail maintains a steady growth. It appears that a bit of action and engagement is necessary to steal over the male consumer, while looking good is always important, a show-stopping car or superyacht is the ultra luxury ticket. 

 

The increase in buying power amongst China’s aspiring middle class has seen continuous growth and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. The influx of luxury brands inside of the country has expanded leading to an increase in the accessibility of luxury products. The results have proven that the Chinese are purchasing. But what is performing and which categories have seen the strongest performances? Reveal those jewels!

 

Aspiration & Self-Reward 

Cartier watchThe strongest motivating factor behind a luxury good purchase for a Chinese consumer is self-reward. According to a research by TNS they found that status and self-reward are the strongest motivations for luxury purchases in China. The survey revealed the following, “In China consumption tends to concentrate on personal accessories such as cosmetics, perfume and watches – smaller items that can be justified as rewards.” Over 70 percent of Chinese consumers perceive luxury brands as a way to demonstrate their status and success, another reason why a glamorous accessory can do just the job. 

GucciAccording to statistics it looks like jewelry is now becoming that self-reward item that every woman is aspiring for. China is now the second largest jewelry market in the world and the consumption of diamond is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent. A research report by GroupM Knowledge has reported that Cartier is recognized as the best jewelry brand and jewelry watch brand in China, while Gucci is seen as producing the best fashion watch. Aspiring for a beautiful jewel, working hard, and rewarding yourself with a purchase are exactly the experiences a Chinese consumer is looking for. 

 

Lift on Tariffs

RolexSales of luxury goods have been given a boost by the progressive reduction on tariffs for imported luxury goods to China. This has been great news for Chinese consumers, as they can buy luxury products in their own country at prices that are more aligned with the retail-selling price of the originating country. One core product category in particular is watches, for example a 28 to 40 percent tariff enforced on imported watches was reduced by over half to 11 percent. This allowed retailers to offer a more realistic price on the sale of watches. The results have certainly proved according to the Financial Times, “In 2002, China’s Swiss watch imports were worth SFr 94.2m. By 2012 that figure had surged to SFr 1.65bn (1.77bn dollars), and China had become the world’s third-biggest buyer of Swiss watches.” Results from an annual survey by Trends Media Group, reveal Rolex as the most favored watch brand according to 16 Chinese cities. Despite recent controversy buzzing around the watch industry in China, Rolex has kept an extremely positive attitude, as the brand is admired and lusted after by almost every Chinese consumer. In addition other industry experts are optimistic and believe the rising wealth of the private sector will sustain the growth of the watch industry in China. 

 

Spotlight on Chanel

Chanel Ready-to-WearThe jewelry-core and accessory dominant brands have outperformed in China for the past several years. However now Chinese consumers are familiar with nearly twice as many brands and according to a survey conducted in 2010 by McKinsey and Company, more than half of the consumers in China could name more than three ready-to-wear brands, compared with 23 percent only two years before. Trends Media Group conducted a survey on fashion consumption and industry developments in China. The survey unveiled Chanel as the number one apparel brand in 15 Chinese cities. With the rise in brand awareness for the ready-to-wear and apparel-core luxury brands, it appears some of the accessory core brands may have some competition. 

 

Love Affair with Gifting

Hermes İconic scarfBut what holds the accessory and jewelry core brands afloat at the top is the art of gift giving. There is a strong gifting tradition that lies behind the Chinese culture and it is second nature for them to give gifts from business associates, to family members, to business partners and to friends. One may give a Rolex watch to a business associate, or Gucci handbags to close friends and families, the gift list is endless and personal wealth is driving this tradition to new heights. USA Today reported that, “The Chinese love affair with gift giving is one of the key drivers for luxury brands.” Personal and business gifts account for 25 percent of luxury goods sales in mainland China, according to a study by Bain & Co. Just another key insight into the expanding accessory and jewelry driven gift market that exists in China. 

 

It looks like Hermes may need to place a heavy order on their iconic scarves in the Chinese market because according to the results revealed it doesn’t look like the gift giving traditions are slowing down anytime soon. The core ready-to-wear luxury brands may be seeing a strong increase in awareness in the Chinese market, but ultimately the aspiration behind the purchase of an accessory and the beauty behind opening a small box filled with Cartier diamonds has become more than just a luxury purchase it has become an experience. 

 

 

 

The first quarter of 2013 has been a slow start for Kering Group group, but on the other side of the luxury world Prada has seen astounding results. The secret to Prada’s success, and rise to the top may seem simple, but as the rest of the luxury world has seen bleak results, questions are spiraling around the king at the top, Prada.

 

Luxury Giant Kering

Hedi SlimaneThe Prada Group still remains an undiversified umbrella structure, mainly relying on Prada to generate the bulk of revenues. Kering group on the other hand is comprised of a diverse group of brands. Kering group often referred to as the luxury giant posted a sales climb in their luxury division of 4.5% in the first three months of 2013. Compared to the sales jump of 21.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, sales are certainly off to a slow start inside of their luxury division. One stellar luxury brand that is not off to a slow start inside of the Kering group is, Saint Laurent Paris (old name, YSL). The company posted a double-digit gain for the first quarter of 2013. Now under the creative direction of Hedi Slimane, which could have added fuel to the 16.9% increase in revenues up to 127 million euro. According to the New York Times, “Mr. Slimane, has introduced a vision for Saint Laurent that has been so divisive among critics and retailers that no one can quite be sure whether, in hindsight, it will be seen as brilliant or absurd.” According to the increase in sales and revenues, looks like his vision has proved brilliant and is currently the strongest asset in the Kering group.

 

Kering redefining Sport & Lifestyle Division

Puma_Clyde_3M_stripePuma the leader of the pack for the sport and lifestyle division at Kering group, appears to be in need of a bit of training behind their futbol sneakers and jerseys. Puma suffered a decline in sales of 4.8% to 781.6 million euro in the first quarter of 2013. This decline reflected in an overall downfall in sales of 4.9% in the sportswear division at Kering. The group’s first quarter single digit gain of a mere 1% at current exchange rates is to blame on the poor performance of the sport and lifestyle division.

Kering group has already put into action a relaunch strategy for the struggling Puma, hiring a new CEO, revamping the top Management department and shifting the focus to the sector of sport performance, along with a complete revamp of their store concept. It looks like Kering knows where to invest their focus at the moment. However, it is certainly advised to keep sight on the new king at the top of luxury, Prada.

 

Underexposed

Prada_HandbagWhat drove Prada’s sales to surpass analyst’s predictions? What changed from Kering’s single digit growth to Prada Group’s monumental double-digit growth? One key driver is Prada’s active plan to be underexposed in emerging markets. The Prada Group has motioned a strategy that has been slowly examined and pursued over the years. The strategy is to gradually shift away from the wholesale channel and more towards creating a complete retail experience. Prada has managed to retain their independence. But it is not only independence that is controlled. Prada Group controls through transparency, giving managers more control, freedom and ultimately confidence in their skill set. Transparency is part of the culture, therefore naturally the integration and fluidity between departments is smooth and transitional, allowing an increase in productivity. CPP-Luxury reported from an interview with CEO, Patrizio Bertelli, and Harvard Business Review, “We don’t design for the sake of designing; our creative energy is integrated with our commercial ambitions.” A true creative-business partnership that trickles down from the top CEO Mr. Bertilli and Creative Director, Miuccia Prada, to creative products that are strategically grabbing the attention of consumers.

 

Creativity meets Commercial

miuccia-prada-and-patrizio-bertelliThe powerful duo took the Prada Group to new heights with a net profit that increased 46 percent in the 2012 financial year. According to Mario Ortelli an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, Prada’s momentum is set to continue for the next 2 to 3 years at the very least. Retail channel sales accounted for 82% of total sales and totaled 2,664 million euro a 36% increase from 2011. Globally Prada opened 78 new stores in the year 2012, aligned with their transition strategy into directly operated retail stores.

 

The Risky Path

Prada has historically been known to take risks and to place trust into unknown situations. Mr. Bertelli, stated in his interview to Harvard Business Review, “In our business you cannot get anywhere without taking a leap into the dark. Every new design is a risk.” Prada is not built around one iconic product, or specific design; the product diversity has been a continuous strength for the brand. A risky path that has been successful with creativity meets commercial and the underexposure of a logo.

The evidence has been brought to the table that the Prada Group is aligned from the top down, staying away from being overexposed, transparent on all aspects and diversifying their product portfolio to give consumers a sense of anticipation every season. While Kering Group stays afloat, realigning their core mission, relaunching and refocusing their approach, and perhaps even taking a few risks. We may just see some competition in the double-digit growth amongst conglomerates. 

Decades have gone since Charles Frederick Worth put fashion on a high pedestal in our lives. He exhibited his work in Paris making the city an important part of the Global Fashion map. Years have gone, and France, Italy, UK and the US dominated the global fashion market till recently. Asia and the Middle East are now catching up with great momentum and are now making their mark as significant opportunities in terms of investment and trends.

 

The Asian Fashion Market

Studies and vigorous analysis has been conducted trying to understand this dynamic and fast growing market. The biggest players in the Asian Fashion scene were the Japanese and Koreans. This change has been witnessed in the past five years when the Asian market made its mark in the global fashion scene. Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have been found to have capabilities to take a lot of market share away from the west; China has always been the dark sheep from not only being the production lead, but being one of the greatest contributors to global fashion. 

It is understood that Asian fashion market has also embraced the upcoming trends of online fashion. Dozens of good websites support and sell clothes online making more people around the world get awareness about the Asian fashion.

Japan, was a major fashion hub right from the very beginning.  According to statistics, the Japanese fashion industry was worth US 1001 billion dollars in the year 2000. Hong Kong is another name slowly making its mark by organising highly acclaimed fashion shows and has one of the fastest growing retail industry as well.

Coming back to the new Chinese reign on the global market, it has been analysed that the Chinese fashion industry is set to become one of the world’s second largest fashion market by the year 2020. This means that it would account for nearly 30 percent of the global fashion market’s growth within the period of next five years.  Throwing light on the online fashion scenario of China, reports predict the number of online shoppers to rise to 329 billion in 2015 from 145 million in 2010. 

Asian FashionWith the unscaled growth in awareness about fashion in the Asian market, many high fashion brands and retail brands are moving towards this growing continent for customers. Most designers from the west are now opening their flagships and collaborating with already existing high end buying houses in Asia to retail their lines. High fashion giants like Louis Vuitton , Dior , Hermes  have already opened many independent stores and some American retail brands like Forever 21 have also entered the Asian market.

 

The Middle Eastern Fashion Market

Contrary to popular belief, the Middle Eastern market is one of the International fashion industry’s most vibrant markets. According to a study conducted by Bain and Company, global sales have increased upto 30% . Personal luxury goods shopping have been increasing without being deterred by the global economic crisis. Also, the a 41.7% sale increase was witnessed in the middle east by the world’s top 250 retailers in 2012. 

The need for luxury and flamboyance of the wealthy, fashion loving states of the Arabian Gulf is visible in the mega-sized lavish shopping malls they construct. One can find nearly every popular and luxurious brand from the west retailing in these shopping giants. 

Middle East Fashion

Along with physical retailing, the Middle Eastern market seems to have also delved into the  e-commerce segment with flair. Studies conducted by Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), London, predicted that the total E commerce sales in the Gulf will increase from 3.3 billion dollars in 2010  to 15 billion dollars in 2015. 

 

The Analysis

The basic difference in the Asian Market and the Middle Eastern market is popularity of certain type of clothing keeping their cultures in mind. Political influences in the Middle East disallow women to bare hands and expose certain parts of their body which poses a restriction in terms of choosing the right ensemble. 

High end labels like Roberto Cavalli are extremely famous and popular among the Middle Eastern customers for its scarves. Similarly Hermes has also found loyal customers for the similar product. 

However, this doesn’t stop the Middle East customer to experiment. According to studies, women are more aware and are experimenting with designers from the west and choosing more dresses and gowns keeping their culture in mind.

On the Contrary, Asian network in fashion is slightly more liberal and easier for brands to experiment with in terms of choice of product and labels. 

From heels to clutches the fresh and innovative premium accessory maestros are booming in the retail industry today and are making giant strides in the turbulent market. So what is this secret to success for the premium accessory maestros? Uniqueness, innovation, and a product with a bit of flavor are just to name a few of the driving factors. 

#Candycool

furla-candycool_challengeFurla, a company known for their Italian tradition and a firm that maintains a complete family ownership continues to keep tradition close to heart but always maintains a contemporary rhythm. Activating initiatives towards the evolving consumers, and the younger generation, in order to refresh and enhance the brand image. Most recently Furla embarked on a project with a focus towards talent scouting that aims to develop creativity around the iconic Candy Bag, through collaborations with artists and designers from around the world. Each participating country will add a bit of local flavor before handing the result of their creation over to the next country. A true expression of a local touch meets global. The task is to reinterpret the iconic bag; sparking new ideas and creating a complete collection of Candy Bags that are unique and unpredictable. Furla’s ambitious project doesn’t stop there. A series of art videos will be produced featuring the ‘making of’ the bags and will be screened at various Furla boutiques. According to Vogue Italia, “On the basis of the Candy bags that will be created the Furla designers will develop a Limited Edition line of the top-handle bag that will be showcased at Milano Moda Donna in February 2014.” A creative challenge that is opening doors for young artists and designers globally.

As the initiatives and exposure continue to increase, the trend doesn’t seem to stop for Furla, with an uptick in turnover reported on CPP Luxury, “Furla has reported a 12% increase in its turnover in 2012, reaching a total of 212 million euros, compared to 2011.” The attention and attraction that Furla are gaining proves that this premium maestro is certainly here to stay.

 

Shoe Obsession

Pinterest_CollageThe Italian high-end shoemaker, Alberto Guardiani is known for their fine Italian craftsmanship and sophisticated style for both men and women. So who exactly is this emerging premium maestro? Alberto Guardiani, is a premium segment brand, creating luxury quality footwear and one brand of which is overflowing with creativity and youthfulness. The brand’s social media platform is astonishing and their creative ‘Shop by Editorials’ element on the website is innovation at its peak. The overall brand image, and ever increasing viral push is youthful, bright, and creative which is attracting the younger generation.

Alberto Guardiani exhibition_at_FIT_museumPerhaps, one of the most successful success stories for Alberto Guardiani was being featured at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Museum in New York City. Shoe Obsession, the name behind the initiative, which according to PR Newswire, “Celebrates the ingenious creativity innate in a woman’s shoe that has, over time become a dominating yet essential part of the fashion system.” The Lipstick Heel, and Flutterby Shoe, both quite masterpieces of art and design themselves were selected to be exhibited with more than 150 styles of the most innovative and creative footwear styles from the last decade. The Lipstick Heel, couldn’t have been more fitting for the exhibition, a true iconic standout for the brand. The exhibition featured the black patent leather pump with an interchangeable red lipstick heel. Talk about innovation.

One thing the premium maestros all seem to have in common is their vision and marketing strategy to encourage and promote strategic collaborations. Alberto Guardiani teamed up with i-D Magazine and launched an International design contest in search of a young and thriving designer to create Alberto Guardiani’s new ‘It-shoe’. The contest received a huge following and over 700 participants yearning for the new ‘It-Design’ but only one person could be nominated, Lady San Pedro. Let’s all stay on the lookout for Lady San Pedro to hit stores soon.

 

The driving factors behind these ever growing and rising premium maestros are innovative, and exposed. Forming collaborations, opening doors to new initiatives and increasing the customer awareness is the key success to these active marketing strategies.  

There has never really been a true definition of luxury. In the eyes of the consumer the definition is constantly changing, but the true luxury brands, have remained solid, without democratization, without change, holding to their true values, despite the competitive landscape. 

“When Your Own Initials Are Enough.”Bottega Veneta Handbag

So who are these true luxury brands existing in today’s competitive landscape? The real luxury connoisseurs can make a simple statement to that. The brand of which stays away from the limelight, away from the mass-market communication channels, and of whom manifests confidence in a very discreet and refined manner. One in particular expresses a strong mission statement in the Luxury Fashion segment, “When Your Own Initials Are Enough.” Bottega Veneta.

Bottega Veneta, has risen to the top without any type of logo except their signature intrecciato style, a leather-weaving technique renowned by the brand. The refined quality of the material and true Italian craftsmanship at Bottega Veneta has caught the attention of elite connoisseurs worldwide. But most importantly for the luxury connoisseurs it is not to show off a logo. These individuals are cultured, educated and appreciate the quality and exclusiveness that the brand evokes. 

 

Simply, Subtle and Ethereal

Bottega Veneta Ready to WearOne key element Creative Director, Maier notes to his success was recently stated in The Independent by Harriet Walker, “This is something Maier has become the master of, producing collection after collection of covetable classics, as well as seasonal ‘must-haves’.” Maier stated,The diversity of products is very important.” But of course exclusivity is maintained in the diversity of products and Maier is a genius at keeping close to simplicity and neglecting the latest trends. 

Hermes Birkin bagExclusivity is a key element equipped in any composition of a luxury brand, but perhaps the master of exclusivity is, Hermes. Producing the most coveted handbag in the world, the Hermes Birkin handbag. Limited quantities are produced each season, which gives the end consumer a privileged feeling. The Birkin handbag is handmade in the finest leather and quality, but has become a symbol of wealth due to its high price and elusiveness. A Forbes article quoted, “It represents success, achievement and status. It shows that the wearer is a card-carrying member of the $10,000 handbag club.” One price tag that any average consumer, may just need a few years to budget for that purchase. 

 

Untouchable

Berluti shoesBerluti is a French leather goods label that is over 127 years old, evoking a classic European heritage look and feel. LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault explains why they purchased Berluti in the 1990’s, “Berluti was untouched, it was one of the few brands that felt like an almost divine name, quite untouchable – and that’s where you want a brand to be, in luxury it has to feel almost inaccessible. Nicely stated by Mr. Bernard Arnault, luxury really needs to feel inaccessible. But along with inaccessibility, Berluti’s attraction was the authenticity; tradition and sophistication that continues to make Berluti a luxury brand today. The Fashion house remains exclusive today and without a logo, it is typically recognized only by those “in the know.” The clothes and leather goods do not behold any sort of logo, except a signature-stitched slash. Oh yes and they do behold a price tag starting at 5,100 dollars for a cashmere coat.

 

Discreetly Charming

Celine BagA minimalist, no-logo approach really seems to define what makes a true luxury brand in-style in today’s non-conspicuous approach to luxury purchases. Celine, is just another no-logo, discreetly charming luxury brand that is rising to the top. Celine has seen an immense amount of success in the past three years, according to market sources, revenues are said to have doubled in the last three years, surpassing 400 million Euros for 2012, reported in Milano Finanza Fashion earlier this year. One key driver to create exclusiveness for Celine was the decision to eschew e-commerce points of sale. Not only is the brand particular about the e-commerce world, but also their growth strategy has been far from aggressive. Celine remains focused on the perfection of quality, brand stewardship and simplistic designs. Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Bergdorf Goodman told Business of Fashion. “Dare I say it, they may well become the modern-day equivalent of the standard bearer of non-perishable luxury: Hermes.”  The future will tell us soon enough if Celine has the long-term stability to maintain their luxury status. 

 

 

After all today’s real luxury brands are consumed by true luxury connoisseurs of which purchase goods as part of their lifestyle, and passion. While the average consumer will continue to lust after that true luxury item, the quality of the item, and the feeling it gives the consumer. The true bona fide luxury brands will remain exclusive, steering away from mass media channels and mass distribution, remaining close to their core values and heritage. 

 

Thanks to the technological advancements we witness every day, fashion isn’t the only thing that seems to be changing over night. These days people are fast, quick and only have a minute to check up on world news by the click of a single button. Social media and online news have replaced newspaper stands and mails. 

In this fast paced scenario, one can only strive hard to either run to catch up with time or lag behind. Fashion brands, including retail giants and designers world over, have begun to realise the importance of online media for their promotions and to reach out to every consumer. With the increase in knowledge and awareness regarding fashion, people feel great need to be updated about new upcoming trends and latest catwalks during Fashion weeks. 

Fashion brands are now focussing a lot on their online strategies to make it as attractive and comfortable for the customer from all parts of the world. They have opened their doors to social interactive websites like Facebook and Twitter for their promotions. Even Fashion giants like Louis Vuitton, Dior , Burberry and many more have moved from their constant repetitive strategies focussing on traditional mediums to reach out to every customer. Louis Vuitton has incorporated various sections on their main website where they allow the customer a complete profile of all their products while showing videos about the heritage and culture of the world of Louis Vuitton. 

Burberry 3D showSimilarly, Burberry has not only made its mark in the luxury world, but also in the field of being most technologically advanced. It was seen that last year, in 2012, the fashion house live streamed its runway show in 3D and also offered a 72 hour pre sale for all their customers worldwide.

 

 

 

Case Studies: Successful and Controversial Online Strategies

1) Lacoste : Lacoste L!ve


Lacoste LiveLacoste came up with a new line named Lacoste L!ve giving the feeling to its young techno-savvy customers the feeling of wanting to be part of the Lacoste live party. The line is younger, smarter and targets the youth who want to be original all over the world. The brand’s online strategy makes sure that the customers get first person interaction through social media websites like Facebook with multiple interactions. An online catalogue was introduced which presented their collection along with a 30 second teaser video. This resulted in nearly one third users visiting their online catalogue to see their collection as a result of which Lacoste L!ve collected nearly 130,000 fans on Facebook within the month of their launch.  

 

2) Adidas : Adidas Y-3 2013

Adidas Y-3 2013The collaboration of Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas gave New York a show to never forget.  The interactive live stream catwalk proved to be a gigantic success. Set to a projection mapped background with five cameras all around the show covering various aspects of the show including backstage made it possible for people to switch between various live action shots while allowing them to also click snapshots of the show during the show. A whopping 80 million reach worldwide in total was recorded during the course of their campaign. 

 

3) Barneys and Disney : Minnie Mouse Controversy

Minnie Mouse ControversyWhen Barneys and Disney collaborated to create a holiday campaign featuring Minnie Mouse being a few sizes smaller to fit the designers’ clothes,  online comments on the famous WWD.com took over by storm stating how a skinny version of Minnie Mouse was a horrible role model for younger kids.  With a mixed reaction, two online petitions seem to be taking rounds, one stating Disney and Barneys to reconsider their decision to project Minnie as a skinny model with nearly 130,000 signatures and another being on change.org having nearly 80,000 signatures.

 

Even after a joint statement by both Barneys and Disney stating that they only imagined to show Minnie Mouse skinny as a dream like sequence and no reference was made on body types, people still seemed confused and rather unsure regarding the message the Fashion house tried to give.

 

 

 

The most interesting aspect about fashion is its constant moulding tendency. What may be in today, can be a complete faux pas tomorrow. In the quest to hit the right balance, fashion designers have been widening their imagination and reaching out for more, newer, inspirations. This paved way for the recently coined term “glocal” which simply explains the newly fangled perception of globalising inspirations. 

The Indian Connection

Michelle Obama for Manish AuroraThere was a time when the fashion ramp was owned by big names like Valentino, Versace , Giorgio Armani etc but now Indian designers are starting to make their mark in some of the most prestigious fashion weeks. Senior designers like Ritu Beri were one of the first Indians to make their presence felt in the International Fashion scenario. The instant success of Indian designs paved way for many talented Indian designers to showcase their talent in all major International weeks. Designers like Ashish, Naeem Khan and Manish Arora have been appreciated and have positioned themselves on the global Fashion map with style. Naeem Khan was recently appreciated for his custom made silver art deco inspired gown which was worn by the First Lady Michelle Obama at a surprise presence at the Oscars 2013 via video.  

Manish Aurora for Paco RabanneManish Arora broadened his map after having a successful time frame in India for his kitsch and colourful designs. After collaborating with a lot of brands like Swatch , M.A.C  and his most famous Fish Fry with Sports market giant Reebok .He has also gone ahead made a remarkable debut in the prestigious London Fashion Week and also participated in International fashion weeks like Paris Fashion Week where he now regularly showcases his work. He was also appointed as Paco Rabanne’s Creative Director for two seasons after which the Fashion house and he, mutually decided to part ways. 

 

The Foreign Invasion

With recent statistics pointing at India as the next luxury hub, foreign brands all over the world are now looking at India as a potential investment. In an interview, Jeffery Doltis, Owner of Italian fashion brand 40 Savile Row said he believes that the Indian consumer is more aware of the luxury market and that the Indian market is exploding  in terms  of luxury and he states travelling as the main reason for the same.

Hermes, French luxury giant, opened one of the first flagship stores in India in Mumbai in 2008. CEO of Hermes stated that “surging” demand of luxury goods in India encouraged Hermes to open its first flagship in India. 

Similarly, spread over 320,000 sq feet , DLF Emporio Mall in New Delhi is home to nearly 65 luxury brands and close to about 129 Indian designers. Emporio houses well-heeled stores of foreign luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior , Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few. Dinaz Madhukar ( Senior VP of Emporio) stated that Indian designers have taken relatively lesser space in the mall because they don’t require much space to retail. However, same is not the case with International brands which are frequently visited mostly for their ready-to-wear collection and accessories. 

The Analysis  

Lady Gaga for Manish AuroraStudies show that the Indian market is extremely dynamic and adaptable to almost every change it goes through. With the west slowly losing power on hold of the customers, they are slowly entering Asia in search for loyal customers in this booming sector. Indian designs, colors and the various surface treatments are considered to be extremely diverse and exotic by the rest of the world. Due to this, Indian designers have been accepted by the west with great accolades and open arms. Many celebrities abroad have been open to sporting designs by Indian designers, For example, Falguni and Shane Peacock for Shakira, and Lady Gaga was seen sporting one of Manish Arora’s creations. 

 

Similarly, the Indian consumer is more aware and has a more flamboyant sense of lifestyle because of which people are now delving into luxury foreign brands for their wants. Even though the response to foreign brands has been fluctuating between profit and loss, this aspect has not deterred brands from coming in and expanding their retail space in India. All in all, it has reached a certain balance between the two sides. India is slowly finding a balanced place in the Global Fashion map.

 

As the digital mobile marketing platform continues to evolve, the fashion industry has been taking serious strides to keep up. A smart new tool that fashion brands hoping for more customer engagement have been adopting is the QR Code. 

 

QR codeIn existence since the 1990’s and originally designed for Japan’s automotive industry, these black and white 2d images allow smartphone users to gain a deeper connection and a more dynamic interaction with a brand via digital links.  Upon downloading a QR scanner application onto their mobile phones, and then scanning a QR code, offline users are instantly linked into the online world as they are led to specific sites unique to each code. With the explosion of smartphone mobile users the world over, the number of brands adhering to this latest means of marketing only continues to grow

Fashion brands have employed the QR Code marketing technique in-store at their retail locations in order to enhance the customer shopping experience. QR codes are also printed in promotional materials- flyers, advertisements, posters, billboards and the like in order to drive more customers their way. 

 

Fashion brands in the digital marketing trend 

Ralph Lauren was one of the first fashion brands to pick up on this digital marketing trend in 2008. Ralph Lauren printed QR codes onto their hangtags, catalogs, in-store signage and billboards. Customers scanning QR codes were sent to the brand’s website, where information about available colors and sizes, as well as style tips were to be found. 

Red Valentino QR CodeRed Valentino, the youth-oriented diffusion line of Valentino, on the other hand, used QR codes to entice potential customers to avail of a 10% discount upon purchase of their products.  

Diesel employed the QR code technique to strengthen their social media platform. Customers who scanned codes found on the brand’s products in-store were sent to Diesel’s Fan Page. 

 Calvin Klein took a more risks approach to the matter, deciding to print a QR code on all its billboards. Those who scanned it were sent to a daring, skin-baring video advertisement online. 

 Lacoste filled their window displays with QR codes. Customers who scanned them (even when the stores were closed) were able to avail a 15 percent discount, as well as play certain games on their smartphones. 

L'oreal & New York Fashion WeekEven the New York Fashion Week was made more interesting with the help of these QR codes. L’Oreal teamed up with Glamour Magazine to convert a select number of taxis into roving shops. By scanning QR codes found onboard, passengers were able to go on a shopping spree without leaving their cabs.  

 

Though there still exists a lot of debate regarding this relatively new tool’s bottom line effectiveness, it has been said that like all things marketing, the QR Code’s success relies greatly on each brand’s execution and implementation tactics. If seamlessly fused with the brand’s DNA and marketing strategy, this may just be what some fashion brands need to revitalize their customer approach and efficiently reach today’s mobile generation.  

 

London's Fashion Week has been memorable, specifically in the digtial aspect of the fasion industry, Burberry and  Topshop, two fashion brands from different market segments but with the same interest in digital innovation for their communication strategy, surprised everyone with their digital marketing strategies.

BurberryCertainly is not the first fashion week were live streams are happening but it definitley is a trendsetter of the evolution fashion week's are experimenting. It is now common that Burberry under Christopher Kane creative direction has been the innovator on incorporating digital technology to their whole marketing, retail and communication strategies, but definitely the biggest surprise was that there are no boundaries in the strategies used to engage the Burberry fans and followers.

For this AW13 collection the British brand not only created an interactive catwalk, were people were able to order the looks, straight from the runway, but the most impressive thing was to give people who don't have access to the fashion shows or even the Burberry stores, the opportunity to have a virtual Burberry experience, by inviting them to tweet the hashtag #madefor and their name or initials, and they will get back an image of a personalized trench coat.

On the other hand the brand Topshop wanted to create a new concept for the fashion shows, taking advantage of consumers engagement and collecting insights to make better buying decisions for the new seasons by creating a dozen of applications for making possible to witness the show, the red carpet, and even the backstage activity. They did what they called "The fashion show of the future", joining forces with Google+.

During the past season both companies joined together to livestream the show, but this year they incorporated every sort of CaraDelevigneGoogle features, like 3D Google Maps technology to show the location of the show, a photo booth called 'Be the Model', then on Friday before the show there was scenes shots of the design team and interview with 'IT' models like Cara Delevigne. Then during the show Google attached to the models HD micro cameras, and viewers were able to take a digital photo with the tool 'Shoot the Show' tool. There was also the 'Shoot and Share' feature were viewers were able to select items from the catwalk and post them on social media, making possible for buyers to see which pieces were the most popular. Then they are able to select which pieces for manufacturing and guarantee successful sales.

The results of this efforts are more than 4 million viewers of the digital show by Tuesday morning!

 

 

The 3-R has been the trend letter for almost every company from every sector for a while. Fashion and apparel sector is also one of those. 3R says that “reduce, reuse and recycle.” But how is sustainable manufacturing going with 3R? Is that absolutely a true way to maintain sustainability?

CradleIn many ways, recycling is actually not a sustainable solution, says Crystal Cun, business development coordinator. “Recycling is actually distracting how to resolve the growing waste problem.

Most naysayers usually talk about the added administrative costs of bringing recycling system into a facility. The cost of educating public to be aware of recyclables and their deposition, or hiring extra employees to collect and separate the materials seems less cost-effective to them. It is because, as of the example, it costs 4000 dollars to recycle one ton of plastic bags whilst the recycled product can be sold for only 32 dollars. Moreover, there is the fear of cannibalization effect. Companies are afraid of missing customers because there exists cheaper as being remanufactured products.

However, all those are not the important criticims principally. The key problem with recycling is actually that it is a “downscycling”. In other words, the material is losing its quality over time.

In the treatise on one of the green product design ways Cradle-to-Cradle, American architect William McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart wrote: “When plastics other than those found in soda and water bottles are recycled, they are mixed with different plastics to produce a hybrid of lower quality, which is then molded into something amorphous and cheap, such as a park bench or a speed bump. Aliminum is another valuable but constantly downcycled material. The typical soda can consists of two kinds of aliminum; the walls are composed of aliminum, manganese alloy with some magnesium, plus coatings and paint, while the harder top is aluminum magnesium alloy. In conventional recycling these materials are melted together, resulting in weaker –and less useful- product.”

In other words, you cannot reuse the same materials over and over again. They would be downcycled to a point where it is no longer economically and/or chemically feasible to use them again. And at that point, they become to be supposed to be thrown into the landfill which is the thing to be basicly avoided at the begining.

clothesAdditionally, product made from recycled materials can also be harmful. They can have unhealthy additives and/or toxins. If a product was not designed to be recycled, it could cause unwanted consequences in the long term to try reusing them. Wearing a dress made with recycled fibers, for instance, can make you wear a clothing which have toxic contact with your skin. It is because fibers produced from recycled plastics can be equal to fibers including catalytic residues, ultraviolet stabilizers and many similar additives.

Then, what should be done, if recycling is a good start but not a solution?

Inspiring from the quote “waste is food” for the nature, as McDonough and Braungart did before, sustainability principles of a company should be about making the waste of a circulation system organ become food for other living organs. In this way, it can be provided to reduce a product’s environmental impact through its lifecycle.

The lower the amount of products made with toxic materials, the lower the amount of waste released. In other words, less is better for an eco-efficiency system.

Again according to the authors: “The key is not to make human industries and systems smaller, as efficiency advocates propound, but to design them to get bigger and better in a way that replenishes, restores and norishes the rest of the world. Thus the right things for manufacturers to do are those that lead to good growth ... for this generation on planet and the generation to come.” And this is called ‘upcycling’.

So the answer to the question mentioned below is to change the manufacturing and business style from downcycling to upcycling.

To provide upcycling, the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better Shoesquality, firstly the designers should keep different materials separate during the design stage and design components mading of both technical and biological nutirent. Conventional leather (biological) shoe tanned with chromium (technical) is an example. Additionally, material health and reutilization, water stewardship should be provided, renewable energy should be used and of course the social responsibility should be taken into consideration.

With reference to the cannibalization effect again, which is when customers who are willing to buy a (higher margin) new product buy a remanufactured product if it is priced significantly lower, there exists of course some alternatice ways to reduce it. Many OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) can cancel selling remanufactured products in the same channel as new products. Customers could be directed to outlet stores, for instance, to buy remanufactured products.

To sum up, instead of bewailing for the negative effects of recycling on business, companies should focus on alternative ways to maintain the sustainability. Innovative approaches, technological development are all ready to serve for the issue. Only thing enough to keep in mind that this world is ours as well as the businesses being managed now; and there will be no business if there will not be the world itself.

Today textiles are the centre of the Turkish fashion market, and there is no one denying that. In knowledge of this fact and to understand better the macro and micro scenario of the Turkish Textiles sector development, Fashionbi included the personal insights from Mr. Ali Kocali, owner and marketing director of one of the leading Textile firms in Turkey, Aster Textiles, to be our guest in the first issue of Fashionbi magazine which is covering the recent developments in Turkish apparel sector.

Ali Kocali, owner and marketing director Aster TextilesHis company is growing and gaining higher reputation in the international circuits, in areas such as Spain and United Kingdom. Recently the company opened the first office in London, they are opening another one in Barcelona and keeping an eye on the Italian market as well. We asked Mr. Ali what has changed in the country since the textiles crisis in 2008, because when a crisis strikes, solutions and developments always play an important role. He explained to us that after the crisis in 2008, the total level of demand in textiles and manufacturing has decreased in the world and also in Turkey.

As a consequence, today the consumer is more selective about choosing the right product, “The industrialists and manufacturers in the sector are more agressive to make a move in forward in order to have some profit. As a result, the times are rough and competitiveness is really huge.

 

Main advantages of Turkish textiles

Secondly, with the controversies regarding what makes Turkish textiles different and special from its competitors, we asked for the main advantages of Turkish textiles apart from the qualified product, and he claimed that considering the last 10 years, Turkey’s primary export market now is Europe. That is because the European territory is closer and Istanbul is discovered to be highly attractive for investments. Furthermore, Mr.Kocali added, “Metaphorically speaking, the distance is close, time is money and hence the European market’s eye is on Istanbul!”

 

The level of competitiveness 

More importantly, he told us that when it comes to competitiveness of Turkey with the other foreign markets, the Turkish manufacturers are specialized in understanding closely the consumer needs.As we can observe in the last 5 years, the capability of new innovative designs and the wide range availability of raw materials are the biggest supremacies of Turkey’s new face in textiles and fashion,” he added.

 

Inititatives to bring together manufacturers and buyers

Also it took our interest to know more about the initiatives to bring together Turkish manufacturers and European buyers at the right place. Because place and time are highly important today, to gather the right people in the right place in every area of business. He said that Aster exclusively sells their designs to other brands. The company's outward modesty reflects its surroundings because their clients are such an important treasure for the company and they are paying a visit to them in a routine fashion. “We are developing new projects for increasing our customer base. Moreover, we invite them to our offices to show our expertise.”

 

Future Aspects of Aster Textiles

Aster textiles showroomFinally, to observe more closely the company and their future aspects we asked how does he sees Aster’s place in the sector and their main role. He told us that they are in the middle of designing and manufacturing phase in textiles. This means they do both of these important aspects and this what makes them one of the leaders in the sector.

Needless to say that the companies they are working with are the well- known top retailers. The company is now standing right at the qualitative phase in fashion design. Yet, “In 2014, we are planning to launch our brand, which we have been working meticulously. We are proud of being one of the leading textiles firms in Turkey which designs and manufactures to the world and brings together the most important brands,” he added.

Together with the Marketing Project Manager, Seda Muradoglu, they take part in many projects within the framework of marketing. Their team is very important to them. Aster is hosting “a break from life events” each month and bringing a professional guest to raise awareness of each team member about the new updates. Hereby, with these qualities they think they are successfully representing Turkey in the world textiles market.

 

We strongly believe that this interview could bring fruitful results to the young entrepreuneurs in Turkey in the related field because the country has reached now to a point where innovation and efficiency will be ways of helping Turkey to adapt to a post-growth economy in the textiles and apparel sector.  

With the announcement this week the first ever kids fashion week will take place in March, the children’s luxury clothing market is at the forefront of the minds of the fashion elite.

While not a new concept for luxury fashion, this market has grown increasingly, in the past years, with brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, and Lanvin Paris releasing lines for the younger fashionable set. And introducing the concept of a fashion week tailored to children, shows that the children’s luxury clothing market is poised to grow exponentially.

 

A Long Established Concept

Creating luxury clothing for children is a concept established long ago by courtiers, first the American Charles James and then the French Christian Dior.  In 1957, Mr. James introduced his first line of luxury children’s attire to a captive audience, while Mr. Dior carried on the tradition by showcasing his newly-established Baby Dior line in the late 1960s. 

 

Modern Interpretation

Burberry_Children_Fall_Winter_2012Today’s children’s clothing market is filled with luxury brands, almost all of which are brand extensions like Burberry Children, Lanvin Paris Petite, and Little Marc Jacobs.  Very rarely will you see a stand-alone children’s luxury clothing line, with the exception of French brand Bonpoint.

So why is the children’s luxury clothing market experiencing a renaissance now?  Besides Burberry, who earned 66 million pounds for its children line in 2011 – 2012, organizations like Luxury Society believe that it is engagement that drives most modern children’s designers.  With the unsteady nature of the economy, design houses are looking to further engage their current customers. As said by the CEO of Theory, Andrew Rosen, It’s all about being more relevant.  You want to keep the customers engaged in your brand.”

 

Adult Clothing for Kids

In this market as it stands today, there is a division of opinion of how children’s clothing should be designed.  Many designers feel that children’s luxury clothing should designed to take into account their comfort and body proportions.  Oscar de la Renta himself has said to the Associated Press (http://www.mercurynews.com/fashion-style/ci_21296197/oscar-de-la-rentas-strategy-childrens-wear) that he waited to release his children’s collection until he found a collaborator that agreed that children’s clothing should be appropriate.

Lanvin_Petite_Fall_Winter_2012On the other hand, Lanvin Paris creates their children’s clothing as miniature versions of their adult collection, as described in an article by The New York Times. 

 

This argument brewing among children’s fashion designers brings the question as to how to involve children in luxury fashion as consumers without exploiting their young sensibilities.  The American Psychological Association says that children are highly susceptible to media images and often take what they see as truthful.  Perhaps advertising should be targeted to parents who buy the clothes, rather than the children who wear them.

 

A First of Its Kind

Global_Kids_Fashion_Week_LaunchAs reported by Vogue UK, the Global Kids’ Fashion Week, organized by AlexandAlexa, will be held from March 19th – 20th, in London.  Established luxury brands sold at AlexandAlexa, such as Jean Paul Gautier Junior and Little Marc Jacobs, will be featured in the two-day event.  Organizers have announced that two fashion seasons will be showcased at this Fashion Week, with Spring/Summer 2013 pieces shown to the public and Fall/Winter 2013 trends shown to the press.

And, while fashion will be the main focus of this first fashion week of its kind, AlexandAlexa will also be planning several children’s activities throughout the event, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood.

 

Clearly the question still remains as to whether giving children access to luxury fashion at such a tender age is helpful or harmful.  Does it hamper their emotional growth and ability to interact with other children or does it simply make them happy?  What can be concluded for certain is that the children’s luxury clothing market is booming and will continue to do so as more and more designers enter the market, creating even more refined clothing for young, fashion-conscious clientele as the seasons go by.

Over the past years, the luxury goods market –as any other- has been reached by three main trends: Globalization, consolidation and diversification. With changes on consumer behaviors and preferences due to many socio-economical factors, brands need to keep up their inventive strategies for meeting market demands and still manage to balance the market share and brand individuality. Luxury goods faced a stage where, being part of a mature market, differentiation was a way to enter more profitable or unexplored markets enlarging the scope of products offered.

EmporioArmaniFW20By 2010, many lifestyle brands started to invest in men’s-only stores in key locations as a result of their differentiation strategies. Stores displayed not only Formalwear but also new upper casual style as a way to continue the brand promise and position. In the past couple of years, male consumer purchases started to increase due to the emerging Asian markets.

The demographics of Chinese luxury consumers differs from their US and European counterparts, in age and sex: the average luxury goods consumer in China is male and in the 30’s-40’s. Chinese consumers equate luxury with success and purchase luxury items to give the appearance of success. These consumers are web-savvy and prefer to buy online, but are still influenced by visits to luxury stores. So luxury producers are reaching out to them via Chinese blogs and social networking sites, while still building a physical presence in the country.

According to consulting firm Bain & Co, Chinese shoppers account for one-fourth of all luxury purchases globally and last year surpassed U.S. consumers to become the world’s top spenders on luxury goods. Whereas womenware is growing eight per cent per year; luxury menswear, representative of only 40 per cent of the total global market worth €180 billion (£150 billion), is growing 14 per cent per year. As Bernard Malek, a partner at Roland Berger, told Reuters "At this pace, Chinese consumers will, in the medium-to-long term, make up 70 percent of the global luxury market's growth."

Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Dunhill and Ermenegildo Zegna are the brands on top of the prosperous list, as they make just under half of its  €1 billion turnover in Asia.

Their success relies on the use of different marketing strategies to engage their consumers with activities going from traditional, such as imagery in print catalogs and magazines and the use of digital media available to reach their markets faster to convey desirability.


Art of the TrenchFocusing specifically on social media, these brands generate exclusivity cultivating not only their paying customers, but also people who want but canʼt have, which builds tremendous clout among the aspirational set. Look at Burberryʼs 
"Art of the Trench,” a photo-sharing destination that primarily features Burberry-commissioned, high-end photography of models in the brandʼs seminal trench coats, and also allows consumers inside access if they upload their own pictures and share on Facebook or/and Twitter.

Luxury products’ digital marketing campaigns rely on ideation and execution to help consumers experience the whole sensory information they can’t get through other media. Alfred DunhillVoice” video campaign is a perfect example of a well-executed and consistent message from a brand to its consumers. “Voice” is an honest and elegant portfolio of British men. The format is simple – a series of black frames with subjects dressed in a luxury Dunhill outfit of their own choosing, and some interesting interviews with the cast.

Despite the sense of urgency associated with digital platforms, these brands manage to carefully choose the ones that emerge directly from a core brand ideal or customer need without diluting the brand itself. Take the example of Giorgio Armani S.p.A. EA7 APP recent launch. The new app is an interactive experience in which sports and lifestyle join forces in perfect Giorgio Armani S.p.A. style.

Luxury Brands are collaborating with opinion leaders to influence the attitudes and behaviors of their social media followers. In 2012, Zegna Facebook Fans experienced the #Z Zegna# UOMO AW 2012 fashion show live through the eyes of Anna Dello Russo, renowned fashion expert and opinion leader. Anna Dello Russo’s arrival, her moments backstage with Z Zegna’s new creative director Paul Surridge, and her savvy commentary before, during and after the Z Zegna show was streamed live available for Facebook fans.

Social Media can be a successful tool when it comes to deliver not only content from your brand but from the lifestyle the brand embodies. Hugo Boss is constantly promoting events on Foursquare that reward its consumers for checking in at its retail locations and other places around New York. Ron Schott, senior strategist at Spring Creek Group said “I think pairing the foursquare campaign with the exclusive shopping trip is an excellent way to marry the social/digital with the real world, this isn’t an either/or situation for the consumer, it’s an ‘and’ experience that is fun and exciting.”

At the end of the day menswear luxury fashion brands are innovating and catching up with consumer trends. They will have to continue to develop strategies to maintain what they have already earned by always make sure they deliver on the promise delivered to customers.



Today, we can not think fashion and technology separately. While fashion seemed to be going at a slower than technology a few years ago, now fashion is developing strongly and is actually making waves. Finally, it looks like brands are finally understanding the need for a presence on the Internet. In this point, there comes the importance of understanding and realizing the latest trends in online media for fashion brands.

Online Media Trends

1. Going Mobile

Christian Louboutin mobile appMobile is great. But brands shouldn't just go on creating apps just for the sake of it, though. They should be creative, and combine the emotion of storytelling with the interactivity of the web. Mobile is key to mixing the offline and online brand experiences. For example, Christian Louboutin's recent mobile app has amazing reviews. The brand is presenting their collections and designer sketches in its first iPhone app that acts as a to-go guide to the brand. It is available for free in the App store for iPhone.

The app lets consumers view shoes and handbags from the current collection, add products to an in-app wishlist, share images via Facebook, Twitter and email and locate a retailer.

İpad app DeBeers2. iPad shopping apps

IPad is inevitable for the world of fashion. It is easy to use even to people who never went online before. Because the visual side of images make people trust the branded apps. Every retail e-commerce site should include ipad apps to their site. In no doubt, this engages more traffic to the site. De Beers jewellery ipad app is also very interesting. The brand organzed its competition through an app for the iPad that serves as a wedding jewelry finder as well as a consultant on diamonds and the brand. Consumers can look at engagement rings, wedding bands and jewelry. There is also access to videos and other details about the De Beers brand, history, design and the diamonds it uses.

3. Fans and crowd sourcing

Today, fans of your brand are playing a big role in the online technology. The brands should know their fans very well, their needs and their favorite products to act accordingly. In addition, it is also helpful to work hand in hand with bloggers, YouTubers and other creators on the web. Ronit Weinberg, Vice President of Ecommerce and Online Advertising at Diane von Furstenberg claimed that brands and online fans can work together with crowdsourcing. The NikeiD app is one such example, and in this app, you can create your own shoe and give the company important info about the colors and designs that come first in preference among their customers. 

4. Potential markets understanding

There is a reason why the Middle Eastern, Chinese and Japanese are the top customers in the world. Because the economies of Europe and America are still shaky, brands are setting their eyes  and the investments on the East. The most critical challenge stands in understanding Asia and their uses of technology in order to unlock a powerful market. The Middle Eastern fashion consumer is becoming more aware of digital technologies and this can be a great chance fro brands to enter the market.

 

More importantly, some luxury brands think that using so much technology has a bad affect on their exclusivity but nobody can ignore the fact that interactive media, youtube videos, social networks have an amazing power on reflecting the business in a quicker way. Probably, the best way for luxury brands is to treat the technology as the consumers treat their own closets: Stick to your personal style, but be playful!

 

In today’s media world, every retail brand has a digital media strategy, however when it comes to the public relations strategy, not much has changed since the print days- the bottom line is engaging the user with intrigue, creativity entertainment and innovation, give the consumers and media something to talk about.

Humanizing the brand

Polyvore and Gucci collaborationA retail brand’s digital media strategy, is leveraged through their website, blog, e-commerce websites, and the social media channels. Every brand can leverage themselves on all platforms, but it is how you leverage yourself and the connection with a user, that is critical. Gucci has one of the strongest digital platforms, as stated on My Social Media Reputation by Bob Barker, “Gucci has an excellent start into their foray into social media marketing.” Gucci has established a strong social media following, which clearly shows the affinity consumers have with the brand. Any successful retail social media expert; understands that once you have built your online presence, you must begin to personalize the engagement and humanize the brand. Gucci did just that with social commerce site Polyvore, to raise awareness for their 2012 Fall/Winter Gucci Icon handbags. Reported by Tricia Carr on Luxury Daily, “Polyvore users can create a style collage on the site for the chance to win one of the label’s Jackie handbags.”

This collaboration allowed Gucci to reach a younger generation that uses social platforms to view and engage with the latest fashion trends, and giving a very strong incentive to the users.

 

Viral Teaser Campaigns

Dior-Addict video clipLouis Vuitton holds the top spot of engagement on Facebook, when calculating the number of likes, comments, shares & impression that each of their Facebook posts receives. Followed closely by Dior. Dior has mastered the social media teaser campaigns. Prior to launching the Dior Addict fragrance line, a social media push including a Facebook application, four social videos and a Twitter hashtag campaign to push the upcoming release of “Addict to Love” film. Stated on Luxury Daily, “Dior has created a very interactive campaign here that melds video and social incredibly well.”

If done properly social media can be extremely effective with teaser campaigns. 

 

Active User Participation

Luxury brands engagement graphPerhaps one technique that has users chatting is Marc Jacobs campaign with Instagram. During the holiday season, Marc Jacobs asked users to upload images using the hashtag #marcfam. The images were aggregated into their official blog, which shows that the brand not only cares about the products, but cares about the fan participation and the fans. It was as simple as tagging an image and #marcfam onto instagram, twitter and or foursquare and the user, feels like they are part of the Marc Jacobs family and not just another buyer.

Philipp Plein blasted their model casting live on social media platforms, and asked the users to choose their preferred model. Active user engagement encourages the user to access the social media platform and to become a follower of that social media platform.

 

The Negative Engagement

Valentino store, BrazilAs most of us know with positivity often times there is always some type of negativity. Recently, Meredith Lepore at The Grindstone, reported that at a recent charity event Valentino is auctioning off month long unpaid internships.”

Valentino is engaging users by suggesting that they pay to earn an unpaid position within the company. As a user, as a loyal follower to the brand you question the internal organization, and although money that is going to charity is always a positive, but it questions the approach and motives behind this. Fashion brands can certainly engage users and raise money for a charity in alternatives that do not include wealthy families paying for a graduate’s internship, and not giving a fair opportunity to potential candidates.

 

Community Belonging

Social media platforms can reach endless amounts of users, worldwide, which opened International opportunities for many retail brands. Consumers and of course media alike, want to be engaged, they want to have something to talk about and the most effective and engaging way possible is through social media platforms and connectivity with active engagement. Natural human instinct is to feel like you can be a part of an organization, whether it is by placing a vote, making a comment, or the next winner of a Gucci Jackie handbag. We all want to feel like we have a connection with our most admired brand, our most shopped at brand and staying engaged with other consumers and admirers who feel the same way. Creating and engaging in a community of brand enthusiasts allows us all to have that sense of belonging. 

With the rise of microblogging platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, one has to wonder why these virtual tools are currently in vogue. Today, ss people are in transition from spending most of their online time on individual websites and blogs to social networks and microblogging platforms, it’s important for people and fashion brands to take a look at the encouraging factors behind this change.

 

Fashion embracing microblogging

Microblogging sitesMicro Blogging trend exists not just only in blogging sites, but also in social networks. This fact makes fashion world to enter a glorious fast times. Firstly, it helps people enter the "Fast Fashion" on real significance. Before this trend people needed to wait at least six months to see the upcoming releases brands from fashion weeks. Then, incoming Topshop, Zara, H&M, etc have changed fashion spread rules of the game, they rapidly and strongly follow up trend. Clothes which are seen by people half a month ago in a fashion show, may already be available in the various microblogging popular sites. More importantly, there's no difference between the luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton or Chanel and fast-fashion brands in these quick and easy digital areas. You can win the consumers and readers just by speed of your blogging tactics.

Since the Micro Blog is popular, fashionable micro blogger begins to modify fashion streets for spreading popular game rules. People began to use fast, free combination, even a bit chaotic way of the Micro Blog, to show their understanding about style and wearing clothes.

 

microblogging and fashionWhy is microblogging so attractive?

1.“I’ll believe it when I see it,” is the natural interest in the human body, there is no doubt that we are all visual thinkers to some degree.

2. We feel pressure and we’re social beings. That's why, we want to fit in with others and we want to connect. Sure, there are times when we want to stand out, unplug and even rebel, but we possess a drive to connect with other people.

3. People get bored so quickly and change their minds every day. This is nothing new. It may be true that the more we have, the more we want. Today, we enjoy the luxury of having a lot of information and things at our fingertips. So microblogging is an ideal way of getting what we want immediately without getting bored.

 

Fashion microbloggingIndeed, it not only successfully helps people transfer the contradiction, make waiting process shorter and easier, and let people feel more immediate and transparent information. Actually, if you have enough watching focuses and ideas, you can easily become the fashion leader from micro blog into the real world. In no doubt, the fashion world of Micro Blog has no end but more and faster trend.

French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, owned Fendi opened its new Fendi Kids stores, in Doha, Qatar, this week, in the very famous Villagio Mall.

Kidswear_at_Pitti_Bimbo_71_by_Fendi_for_summer_2011In the same Mall, the brand also operates another mono-brand space dedicated to men’s and women’s Ready-to-wear and accessories.

Globally speaking, Fendi operates mono-brand Fendi Kids stores in Rome, Prague, Jeddah, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London (Harrods), Milan (La Rinascente).

Just last year at the end of 2012, the brand already launched the Fendi Kids store at Dubai Mall, in Dubai.

Italian luxury shoe giant Cesare Paciotti is supposed to be launching its sunglasses collection with Italy-based producer, Brands O.I, via a licensing agreement and also plans to expand internationally.

Cesare_Paciotti_Sunglasses_collectionThe company is also planning to launch a capsule collection for its accessory range within its 4 US lines.

Paciotti is said to have reached a turnover of over 150 million euros in 2012, with 16 mono-brand boutiques in Italy and 38 mono-brand boutiques worldwide. It also employs over 250 direct employees.

The company has invested in its e-commerce, re-designing its website and introducing a personal assistant service. In short, in very little time, the brand has gained a lot of appreciation from the present as well as potential customers.

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