London Fashion Week: Topshop Personalized Live Stream Experience


London Fashion Week just finished up this past Tuesday September 18th. One of the biggest names and impact made this year is Topshop. I came across this marvelous store when cruising the Internet a few years ago. At that point, stores that I knew of had only been located in London, New York City and Chicago. Normally I am extremely hesitant on actually following through with online purchases but in this case I was immediately drawn to Topshop’s unique style that was a refreshing change from U.S. based retailers. To my excitement a store launched in Las Vegas this past Spring and my life has never been the same. (Going broke from Vegas shopping sprees) This year Topshop offered an interactive experience for their followers on their social media outlets.

Topshop broadcasted their show through their website as well as on Twitter. Live video steam on their website allowed participants to take screenshots and video clips of their favorite looks, browse color options, view clothes and accessories as they came down the runway and the best part, share all of this with your friends on Facebook! Now if that isn’t interactive I don’t know what is. Some looks sold out within an hour of the feed becoming live and some even before the show ended!

Competition is immense for designers to get a grip of the social media world. Previously it was left up to bloggers and celebrities in the audience to build a hype around a designer but fashion editors and journalists are fighting back to claim their portion of media coverage. Fashion trends are short lived, those who are interested in fashion want to be on the cutting edge of what is the latest and greatest. Social media is quick, simple, and informative. Its easier than ever for someone in the U.S. to know every inch of runway gold that is strutting on London’s catwalks.

It is refreshing for me to see a company like Topshop reaping the benefits of successfully utilizing social media. Not only were fans informed on the latest updates in regards to fashion week but they were able to directly interact with each look, providing a personal shopping experience without ever leaving home.

(Louise Gray, Topshop showspace)

Sources: Tweet, blog, stream and flog fashion on social media catwalk

Millions Watch Online Video of Topshop London Fashion Week Show

Sound Check

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I wanted to take a different approach today and share a story with you. My sister is one of the most talented and creative individuals I know. As a kid I acquired an interest in drawing and art through her, not to mention my dabbling in photoshop and web design. Recently one of our favorite bands announced a come back show. Some of you may know them, their name, Phantom Planet. Best known for their song “California” which still plays every time an episode of the OC comes on TV. None the less, my sister has been in the social media world for a long time and has used her fan girl and artistic ways to reach out to some of her favorite celebrities.

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(Please excuse the poor quality of this photo, the lighting wasn’t very good and iPhone’s can only do so much, it captured her excitement at least.)

In this instance, Phantom Planet’s impromptu show sparked inspiration in my sisters brain. She created a beautiful poster for the band’s show. Her artwork of course was based on their last album “Do the Panic” and focused on imagery from their music video for their song with the same name. As a way to showcase her work, she posted the image up on Facebook and tagged the band in it, she also tweeted the picture directly to the band’s Twitter accounts expressing excitement for their show. To her surprise the bassist tweeted her back with gratitude for the beautiful artwork and insisted that they print copies of her poster to sell at their show. Well… my sister could have died happy at that moment and she quickly scrambled back and forth via email to figure out a plan to make this dream a reality.

Unfortunately the time crunch made it too expensive to rush prints of the posters in the quality the band required. They didn’t leave my sister hanging to dry however, they passed on an invitation for her and a guest (myself) to hang around while they did their sound check! Sam (the bassist) welcomed my sister with a printed poster of her artwork and signed it for her. A couple of the other members signed it as well and gave her kudos on how well the piece came out. Sam assured her that he was going to print out copies for each band member and have them framed.

Now isn’t that just a tale of happily ever after? The moral of the story? It is possible to be noticed on social media sites. I know it is a scary thought considering just how many people participate in Twitter and Facebook but your voice counts just as much as the next guy, even with his 100k following. Showing passion, interest and love for something can easily be seen in the social media world. Keep yourself involved.

Instagram, for all your retail fashion needs!

We all know that Instagram has taken over a huge portion of the social media world. If you aren’t already aware of Instagram here is a quick recap. This application was first created for iPhones as a way to share pictures. When it first appeared on the social media scene many considered the app as a watered down Facebook or a flip flopped version of Foursquare. No one would guess that it would have over 80 million users by August 2012. The ability to add filters to photographs allowed even the least experienced photographers to have a taste of being “artistic”. As its popularity increased companies began to consider the vast reach it could gain by creating accounts. While posting pictures doesn’t apply for all businesses (e.g. B2B or industrial retailers) it has made a huge impact in the retail industry. I’m not talking strictly about big names here. I’ve seen it’s greatest impact in smaller retailers.

Brandy Melville is a Southern California based retailer that I recently came across on a trip to Fashion Island in Newport, CA a few months ago. It’s simplistic beach front look includes worn wooden tables. white picket fence detailing and delicate floral lace hangers that help display the sheer, flowy, feminine clothing that makes the brand.

Instagram has become a place to market yourself, whether it be photography, style, or cooking. Small retailers like Brandy have used Instagram to reach users in a new way. As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words, and for retailers your main goal is to sell your look onto consumers. The impact that it has on users is immense. With 300k followers and product images receiving up to 20,000 likes, it’s easy to see how a companies website can be impacted.

Smaller boutiques are reaping the benefits as well. The utilization of hash tags can direct those who aren’t followers towards your page. Bella Bleu Boutique in Costa Mesa, CA is also known for updating customers about new shipments of clothing and accessories through Instagram.

The fashion industry relies on imagery for promotion and branding. By posting pictures of models wearing their clothing, style inspiration, or even the companies home office and employees you can show consumers what your brand is about while directing traffic to your website.

@brandymelvilleusa
@bellableuboutique

Street Marketing via Social Media

For as long as I can remember its been “cool” to be different. To stand out amongst your peers whether it be having the latest technologies, knowing how to draw, or having a one of a kind t-shirt. One company that I have been following for the past six years really caught my attention for their use of limited edition products and special events to draw in attention for their products and create an almost cult like popularity for the company. The use of word of mouth and social media marketing which were seemingly unorthodox at the time have helped shoot this company to the top. Johnny Cupcakes is the name and clever graphic t-shirts is the game.

Events like the one pictured above consist of daily exclusives and actual sweet treats like ice cream or cupcakes! The whole premise of the company was worked around an image of a cupcake with crossbones underneath. Just as opposite as those two may seem to be, this company is far from what you’d normally see in terms of retail. Each of their products is considered limited edition. This means products are only made in certain quantities and once they are sold out they are gone for good! With this mentality it is easy to see why customers will often re-visit the site waiting for the next cool graphic to get their hands on. In blatant terms, if you snooze, you lose. 

Holidays are especially hectic for this company with limited edition Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas tees released during special events that incorporate Johnny himself interacting with his customers. Lines to purchase one of his tees can stretch around blocks and patrons will wait days in advance to ensure they will be one of the few to rock one of the 500 or so tees that are printed. How can so much hype surround a company that many don’t even know exist? Well Twitter and Facebook seem to play a huge role in spreading the word, along with the blog Johnny frequently updates on his website. Twitter is useful for those who wish to participate in some of the fun events JC holds. Times and locations are often held secret until mere hours before the event is being held. The excitement and uncertainty lead many customers to avidly check Twitter or Facebook for the latest update. Johnny’s blog is what I find the most intriguing. Pictures of new products, events, new store openings and employees give customers a look into who Johnny Cupcakes is and lets you feel a personal connection to the company. Not to mention the fact that Johnny personally updates the blog posts himself.

With a company like this it is necessary to utilize social media. Unlike other clothing brands, JC can be unorthodox in how they distribute new products, some might be scheduled into seasons while others can pop up in a moment of inspiration! You just never know with this company. To keep up with products you are required to be active on social media sites and the company hasn’t missed a beat in keeping customers entertained, stressed out, or even ecstatic over new products being released. With a limited number of brick and mortar store locations online marketing is the only way to reach the vast niche market that JC strives for. This is one company that I believe utilizes social media to its fullest extent and really used it as a gateway into reaching its target market and making it a requirement for participation within the company.

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