This is a really helpful infographic from our friends at Referral Candy - great, tactical fashion e-commerce advice from some of the industry’s top entrepreneurs.
We’re paraphrasing here (but do check out their link for more);
1) Clearly identify your niche
2) Find out what your customers want
3) Create delightful experiences for your customers
4) Engage your customers (don’t just collect an email sign-up)
5) Run a referral program
6) Create content that your customers love
7) Utilize social media
8) Be Authentic
See the infographic here.
The Pop Up Flea is at it again with a great event powered by Detroit brand Shinola. Saturday June 7 and Sunday June 8.
We came across this on TechCrunch a while back - Amazon is now allowing users to add items to their Amazon shopping carts directly from Twitter. We would love to see a robust tool/platform that helps independent brands in the same way.
This from TechCrunch:
"Amazon has just introduced a new feature that lets Twitter users add items to their Amazon carts by including a hashtag within a tweet.
After the user connects their Twitter account to Amazon, they can extend their Amazon shopping experience by tweeting a reply to Amazon product links they see on Twitter including the hashtag #AmazonCart — or #AmazonBasket in the UK — to add the product to their shopping basket.
“Add it now, buy it later” is the slogan Amazon is using on a promo video explaining the new feature.
The feature not only extends the retail reach of Amazon beyond its own website, reducing purchase friction, but co-opts Twitter users into product marketing activity — since they are publishing tweets indicating which items they are buying from Amazon.”
Read the rest of the article here:
As you may know, the CLIO Image fashion awards are fast approaching on May 7.
Some of the top agencies and content creators in the world will be honored for their creativity in fashion advertising and marketing.
You can view a complete list of the finalists here: brands and agencies on the shortlist include Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, Refinery 29, Google Creative Partnerships, Harrods, Sapient Nitro, Mother, Laird + Partners, Chandelier Creative, Hub Strategy, and Conde Nast Media Group.
Bravo’s Andy Cohen
FMG is a CLIO Image media partner.
Member Question: Hi, I’m about to send out our first press release (we’re fashion technology) and after reading tons of articles on the subject I’m left with PRWEB premium package as the best option. But isn’t there a PR release site that focuses solely on fashion news and that will get us somewhere? If you know I’m all ears! thanks a mil!
FMG: Hi Vanessa! We actually recommend not doing broadcast press releases when launching products or services. We believe its more effective to take a targeted approach by reaching out to media, bloggers, and influencers on a one-to-one basis. This takes a lot more research but well worth it.
Content just got that much closer to commerce. Via Recode.
photo of Bobbi Brown: Recode
"In its posting on the appointment, Yahoo said Brown “will lead editorial direction, original content and the expansion and re-imagination” of the beauty site. Brown, who will keep her job at the cosmetics company, said, in part: “Beauty is not just about makeup, it’s about lifestyle and confidence.”
Read the entire post at Recode here.
This is a great piece from Fashionista on how Samsung has pursued ‘influencers’ in the fashion industry.
Read the entire article here.
Birchbox, the online subscription beauty products company for women and men, is headed the way of Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Piperlime - and planning to open its first retail store this Spring.
The New York Times just wrote about it today - our favorite excerpt;
“Even today, can a retail company exist exclusively online? A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded that what consumers really want is the “Total Retail” experience, not separate channels like online, mobile and in-store, but a fully integrated relationship with a brand.
Convenient physical stores, a website capable of handling purchases, a mobile site or app - these capabilities are simply the price of admission for a healthy relationship with a consumer.”
Click here for the entire NYTimes article
How do you create personalized content to help your e-commerce? How are bitcoins affecting fashion? Um, what is a bitcoin?
If you want answers then we recommend attending Fashion Digital Los Angeles, day-long conference on fashion e-commerce taking place in Los Angeles on May 7, 2014.
They’ve also given us a 25% Discount to pass along to FMG Members and industry friends.
Use this Discount Code: MP-25EIGHT
Register Here: http://lafashiondigital.com/
Fashion Digital Los Angeles will touch on fashion, E-commerce, and content trends (with an LA vibe of course). It’s warmer there. Much warmer.
May 7, 2014
Director’s Guild of America Theater
7920 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Keynote Speakers: Dori Howard, CEO Milk and Honey Shoesand comedian Whitney Cummings
Other speakers include:
ShopStyle.com - Lee Anne Grant, Director of Business Development
Supra Footwear - Shad Lambert, Community Director
Wasteland - Amanda Mitzman, Director of E-Commerce
J. Hilburn - Veeral Rathod, CEO and Founder
Los Angeles Times - Jennifer Collins, VP Revenue Development
JustFab - Amy Zhou, VP Product
Invodo - Tom Niemeyer, VP Content & Commerce
Entire list of speakers here:
Look forward to seeing some of our west coast members in LA!
*FMG is a media partner for this event.
By: Jed Wexler
“As male consumers begin to take to style and fashion with the same fervour as their female counterparts, menswear is a growing priority for luxury and fashion brands. “ (Business of Fashion)
Louis Vuitton Menswear ‘13, Photo Cred: High Snobiety
A $50 Billion Opportunity. As of Today.
By now the menswear and mens e-commerce movement is in full-swing. We are fortunate to be living in a golden age of mens bloggers and brands creating great collections and even better content.
In an attempt to map out the future, we decided to take a snapshot of the mens brands, bloggers, and e-commerce sites currently taking things to another level - consider it a mens market refresher.
This rising crop (and countless others) has enabled men to seek and easily find the latest menswear looks, info, and product, and on any device. The mens market has certainly come a long, long way. All signs point to the male consumer buying fashion at record levels - with no sign of stopping. How did we get here and why is this so important?
The Menswear Movement. A Quick History.
1985 only 25% of all mens apparel was bought by men. 75% was bought by women for men. (NPD)
1998 men were buying 52% of apparel for themselves (NPD) but in….
2004 …it was 69% with no sign of slowing. (NPD)
2005 “The result is a full-blown category of menswear that draws equally from skateboard and surf culture, the preppy canon and the runways of Prada & Marc Jacobs.” (NYTimes, June 19, 2005)
2011 Does the Menswear Industry Matter? Um, yes. (Forbes)
2011 Study shows that men are more active social shoppers than women (E Marketing and Commerce)
2012 “Men don’t shop; they buy. Men spend 30 percent less time browsing online than women, viewing fewer pages before purchasing,” Frederico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox
2012 “Men are the New Women……The luxury menswear market is growing at almost 14 percent per year, outpacing growth in womenswear by almost double.” (Business of Fashion, Bain)
2013 “Men, look how far you have come….the arrival of a generation of young men who are taking more risks with their style.” (NY Times February 13, 2013)
2014…….$50 Billion. At least.
In 2013 sales of Mens apparel were up 2.8% to $58.6B for the 12 months ended September (NPD).
According to Bain & Co, sales grew more quickly for men’s than for women’s apparel, which inched up only .9% to $111.63B in the US. In contrast, sales of men’s high-end and ready-to-wear apparel rose 10% over the same period.
The Armory New York, Photo Cred: A Continuous Lean
In our view, women’s brands are really just competing to shift existing market share in an already hyper-competitive, maxed-out market (emerging markets notwithstanding). A huge market for sure, but one with nowhere near the opportunity presented by the mens market, especially for new brands. But how do you reach them? Part of the solution can be found by first taking a look at some of today’s most impactful mens fashion blogs and emerging brands. It’s an expert combination of beautifully designed product, content, convenience, community building, and digital branding savvy.
Men’s Fashion Bloggers and Content Sites
Here is a short (and in no way comprehensive or quantitative) list of mens bloggers and lifestyle sites to keep an eye on. As we’ve mentioned before, the best metric to follow is the level of content engagement - not necessarily size, traffic levels, or # of followers. The content in these sites tends to be straightforward, easy-to-follow, and educational from a men’s lifestyle perspective.
Niche, Tastemaker, Tailoring, Craftsmanship.
http://cultureclub.clubmonaco.com/ Club Monaco’s “Culture Club” content site
and of course http://www.thesartorialist.com/
Larger, more mainstream media sites.
http://four-pins.com/ (Complex Media)
http://www.highsnobiety.com/ (Complex Media)
Examples of smaller, niche Tumblrs with good engagement.
http://pleatsareforlovers.tumblr.com/ (from the editor of Gilt Man)
Best Made Company
A collection of (mostly) emerging mens brands and E-commerce sites doing great things with product design, quality content, and social storytelling. We also recommend following these on Instagram to get the bigger picture.
http://www.raenoptics.com/ (mens and womens sunglasses)
https://www.everlane.com/ (men and women)
The granddaddy of them all http://www.mrporter.com/journal
As you can see there is a wide range of mens style and culture resources now readily available. You no longer have to live in LA or NYC to have the latest and greatest intel.
What to Do
Brands: select blogger partners based on quality of content and engagement - bigger is not always better. Build community around great product and high quality content.
Bloggers: reach out to brands that are a good fit for your content. All brands need content these days, and lots of it.
Build Your Story: to paraphrase designer Paul Smith, there is a story in everything you do. If you can’t find one, look again
Curation and Editorial Content: present unique, educational editorial content that doesn’t try too hard – straightforward, informative, but elegant (and that doesn’t mirror women’s content).
Strategize, Track, and Measure: measure the effectiveness of the content you post whether you’re a brand or blogger. Content creators and brands should work together to co-establish key (and attainable) success metrics that can help extend the life of the content you both publish.
We Repeat, A $50 Billion Opportunity.
There’s still about $50B out there up for grabs in the U.S. alone. That’s “billion” with a capital ‘B.’
Shopping Behavioral Differences Between Men and Women http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3222-Behavioral-Differences-Between-Men-and-Women-Influence-Shopping
Men Are Out-Shopping Women Online http://www.cnbc.com/id/47263732
6 Trends Driving Mens E-Commerce http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/trends-men-online-shopping/ (from 2012 but a good refresher)
Proliferation of Shops for Men Only http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/fashion/new-york-fashion-week-new-wrinkle-in-mens-wear-shops-for-men-only.html?_r=2&hp&
You can also find this post on Medium.
As the world of content marketing expands, the epidemic of content pollution continues.
Free People (above), Nokia, and Miu Miu are 3 brands that break through the noise by creating short films that connect intimately with their customers while inspiring them to share their enthusiasm for the brand.
These captivating, touching, beautifully filmed, multi-part stories are being viewed and talked about hundreds of thousands of times. How did they do it?
We decided to dive deeper into the data of these campaigns and discuss how and why they are paying off for the brands that created them.
THE APPROACH: LOVE AND METRICS
Free People, Nokia, and Miu Miu are making bold moves by creating films that are not traditional commercials but literally short films with high production and even higher quality storytelling. Common to each film is that brand presence is subtle and product serves the story, integrated tastefully and effectively. Each brand also chose their partners and actors wisely.
Some are even being shown at film festivals as part of larger, subtly integrated global campaigns – a testament to editorial quality.
We absolutely love these 3 films because they are gorgeous, emotionally resonant, and capture our attention through powerful 3-act stories that keep us hanging on to find out what happens next. But is all this love enough to justify the cost of making such quality pieces of content? We say yes (the metrics we look at say ‘yes’ too).
Roshambo Series by Free People
Click Here To Watch
Watch the Films. Read the Blog.
Free People’s film, “Roshambo”, features Christopher Abbott from the HBO hit, “Girls.” The film revolves around two star-crossed lovers, and tells the story of how they met and how their lives intertwine again and again. The “Roshambo” shorts capture audiences by playing like an episodic TV series, each installment furthering the storyline.
The story goes straight for the heart strings and draws you in, leaving you holding your breathe waiting to discover if the couple lives happily ever after. Fans are also compelled to tune in to the brand’s blog to find out more.
Set to the music of indie band, Lord Huron’s “The Ghost on The Shore”, the dreamy cast is decked from head to toe in Free People’s February catalog, a seamless integration of the brand’s product, painting the picture of what it would look like to “live” the brand’s lifestyle.
Tom & Issy by Nokia
Click Here To Watch
Function and Followers.
Nokia leveraged the large fan base of singer, Ellie Goulding, featuring her as the lead actress in their film, TOM & ISSY (all filmed by Roger Michell, filmmaker behind such popular feature-length RomComs such as Notting Hill and Morning Glory). The entire film was filmed on a Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia’s latest high powered smartphone, featuring a 41 mega pixel camera, Optical Image Stabilization, and full HD video functionality. The product is featured in the film and used throughout by the actors (but is otherwise not mentioned anywhere in the film and barely in the credits).
Nokia was really smart here. The films were delivered in several lengths (and related formats), each targeted towards a slightly different audience; 1) a full length short film (2) a trailer, 3) behind the scenes reel, and 4) a music video.
The full length film is 11:35 long has been viewed 156,000 times and shared 899 times. The much shorter music video version featuring Ellie Goulding’s song “How Long Will I Love You,” (edited from footage from the short), is only 2:38 in length been viewed 4.2 million times and shared 28K times. Ellie Goulding’s following, is largely made of passionate millennials known for their obsessive social media use. Releasing multiple formats and repurposed content enabled easy sharing and viewing by multiple audiences.
The Door by Ava Duverney
Click Here To Watch
The film, “The Door” by Ava DuVernay (Best Director, Sundance 2012) is a part of Miu Miu’s larger short film series called Women’s Tales. The series is a celebration of female perspectives and female friendships through the eyes of fashion. The series has been featured in Interview, NY Mag, and Rolling Stone. Miu Miu calls upon a force of talented women to convey each of these breathtaking stories. This is obviously a bigger budget endeavor, but paying attention to talent pedigree should be an approach at every level.
This group of 6 shorts are about 10 minutes in length with limited-to-no dialogue, set to beautifully selected music, featuring A-List actresses and musicians. “The Door”, follows a female protagonist played by Gabrielle Union as she experiences transformative relationships, with renewal represented by costume changes all aided of course by Miu Miu’s collection. The short leaves the viewer with a sense of feminine strength and resiliency. DuVernay communicates the narrative through complete visual storytelling, leveraging the full power of the medium. This film also screened at the 2013 Venice Film Festival – a rare feat for branded content.
A lot of brands and agencies only put emphasis on impressions, views, and followers gained when assessing the effectiveness of content. We suggest going much deeper into the metrics of content engagement and distribution strategy.
#1 – Watch Time
A key metric to pay attention to when distributing content is Watch Time on YouTube. Watch Time is YouTube’s algorithm that is responsible for populating video suggestions based on average viewingduration*. Why is this important? When a viewer watches a video for a longer period of time this means they are more engaged and focused. Even if another video has more views, the length of time the average viewer watches the video may be shorter, therefore it will not be prioritized before a video that has higher quality of views, i.e. WatchTime. This speaks to the importance of creating high-quality content.
One way to increase Watch Time and optimize play length is to add the video to a playlist. At the end of each video on a playlist, YouTube automatically plays the next video in queue, increasing time-on-page and play length metrics. Nokia, with an average 5:32 viewing duration is definitely winning according to this metric;
FREE PEOPLE’s Roshambo (selected episode)
Average Viewing Duration: 3:12
NOKIA’s Tom and Issy
Average Viewing Duration: 5:32
MIU MIU’s The Door
Average Viewing Duration: 3:57
#2 – Traffic Sources – Analyze Them.
The next metric that should be considered are traffic sources. Now that you have created branded content and have distributed it to the masses through your channels, do you know which ones are working best for you?
Traffic sources are a metric that can be tracked via most analytics tools. For example, we recommend adding photo stills from your brand films to your Pinterest and Instagram accounts (and video excerpts for Vine and Instagram). Lets say that you rarely engage your audience or manage boards or content. After you track your traffic sources you discover that over a third of your traffic is coming from Pinterest. Knowing where and when inbound traffic is coming from is key to improving your distribution strategy and where you should be focusing your efforts.
#3 – Encouraging Purchasing. Tastefully.
A large part of the appeal and effectiveness of these films is that they go light on the sales pitch and heavy on storytelling. Free People does a great job of enticing viewers to their website blog, which in turn subtly guides them off of social channels and on to their website’s E-commerce purchase funnel. The more you can do do turn viewers into web visitors the better. You can then incentivize the viewers that come to your site to sign up for your email newsletter, and in the process own the customer information.
YouTube also allows you to create “annotations” or links that are embedded in the video itself. This can be a good opportunity to encourage viewers to visit the blog or content area on your site after they have watched your video. This can also work well if you’re a cosmetics brand offering free samples and/or discount codes to viewers.
If a well told story achieves what it seeks out to do, the viewer will be inspired to shop, to view the product or collection they have just seen. We’re just making it a little bit easier for them to get there.
#4 – Digital Influencers/Brand Loyalists
Digital influencers should be a part of your content marketing strategy. These are usually bloggers and other individuals with measurable digital clout, with loyal and engaged followings. The key here is working with influencers that already speak to your target customer. Identifying those influencers can be a tricky, especially finding mid-level, region specific bloggers, but there are indexes that can help you find and reach out to blogs that work best for your brand. Digital influence can now be accurately measured and ranked, helping connect the dots between content and word-of-mouth marketing.
A QUICK NOTE ON DISTRIBUTION
The films were distributed in some of the following ways (and you should too);
The shorts gain extra traction by getting press mentions on news outlets, fashion blogs and cultural sites. As time goes on, engaging, emotionally resonant films gain views by being shared over and over again, considerably extending the life of each piece of content you create (and pay for).
Free People, Nokia, and Miu Miu are pushing the boundaries of branded content and obviously getting noticed for it. They are all proof that great storytelling combined with a world-class distribution strategy can provide the kind of metrics everyone can fall in love with.
By: Lorraine Tran
Stay tuned for our first FMG newsletter of the year. All things we love about Fashion + Digital.
A Way for Fashion Advertising and Content Marketing Creatives to Get Noticed.
International advertising awards competition, The CLIO Awards, began over 50 years ago by recognizing the best campaigns by the most creative advertising agencies in the world (and one very famous fictional ad man).
Now they’ve launched a brand new fashion-focused event, The CLIO Image Awards, honoring advertising and marketing creativity in Fashion, Beauty, Retail, and Accessories.
Founding Jury: CLIO Image’s founding jury features some of the industry’s most influential creatives from brands and agencies such as;
and Laird + Partners
Awards Gala: The inaugural awards gala will be held at The Pierre in New York City on May 7, 2014 in association with WWD.
Submissions: If you’re in Digital, Mobile, Film/Video, Partnerships/Sponsorships, Design, PR, Print, or Outdoor Advertising, you can now submit your campaign. The first entry deadline is January 24. The extended second deadline is February 21.
Check out CLIO Image’s interview with Sheila Choi, VP Global Store Design at Estee Lauder - Watch It Here
Click here for more info - http://www.clioimage.com/
Check them out on twitter and search #CLIOImage
The holidays are here and you’re officially scrambling for cool gifts for those special people in your life. Here are two events we highly recommend that our members check out, where the kinds of gifts you’ll end up buying will most likely be for yourself.
The Pop Up Flea - December 6-8
82 Mercer Street, NYC
The Pop Up Flea is a consumer shopping event that features the best in new and vintage-inspired menswear from some of our favorite brands including Billy Kirk, Deus Ex Machina, Club Monaco, and Shinola. All attentively curated by A Continuous Lean founder, Michael Williams.
Capsule Market Square - December 14-16
82 Mercer Street, NYC
The brains behind the Capsule Trade Show and BPMW PR Agency debut their lively consumer shopping offshoot Capsule Market Square. The event features a curated a selection of 100 labels, spanning men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, home goods, art, and furniture all together under one roof. This includes some great brands including Birchbox, Billy Reid, Staple, Naked & Famous Denim, Maison Kitsune, and Bobbi Brown.
Happy Holidays from FMG!