How the fashion industry is leading the way in digital


“Luxury retailers are leading the way with in-store technology” was the title of an article that I read recently and something I have been watching for a while. Yes, because I have a natural interest in fashion but also for me I really believe that the fashion industry is leading the way in digital innovation.

Let’s take London Fashion Week #lfw as one example. Here was a traditional event that was very exclusive and only certain people and press were privy to all the content and collections coming out of it. But this year’s London fashion week has undoubtedly been the most social savvy yet with over 45k tweets posted in just one day. Even for people that aren’t a fan of fashion, you can appreciate the amount of noise and importantly social engagement this industry is making.

But, how has this transition happened?

You could argue that it all started with Burberry and their ‘Art of the trench’ campaign. There was a very iconic and traditional brand starting to flag and under the leadership of a very strong CEO who recognised the opportunity for consumer engagement via digital, the brand was transformed into the “media content company” that it is today with the consumer fully at the heart. What Burberry did (and where the wider fashion industry followed) was re-think consumer engagement, trialling different channels and techniques under one precis: “The higher the engagement – the higher the propensity to purchase the brand someday, somewhere, through some channel.

That’s what I admire about the fashion industry is that they aren’t afraid to try things. That’s something I always say to my clients, marketing is about “trial & error; learning what works for your audience”. You need to try different engagement methods and techniques and find what’s right.

If you were following #lfw this year besides live tweeting / live feeds you would have seen brands doing this experimenting with everything from apps, instragram and vine edits, to pop up tweet shops, and even using Google+ for live hangouts. If ever you wondered how these platforms could work for marketing and consumer engagement opportunities, do a google search after reading this article and see for yourself.

As we all know, consumers are more tech-savvy than ever and what the fashion industry has got right is true integration not just between marketing channels but between the offline and online world. I’m excited to see what the fashion industry does next as with a consumer base that is relatively fickle and moves with the trends it’s certainly one industry that is kept on its toes.

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