New York Fashion Week (NYFW) wrapped up early in September, and amidst all of the glamour, celebrities and high profile parties, there are a few key lessons from the event that can translate to PR. The techniques used to bring an industry that was once considered elitist to the masses, are prime examples of how brands can better connect with their audiences.
Create Your Own Content
Unfortunately, there are several fashion bloggers out there who copy and paste photos and content from other blogs, which degrades their credibility. What makes bloggers like Leandra Medine a successful fashion tastemaker is the fact that she can claim ownership of every photo, video and piece of copy on her blog—and does so while maintaining the sensibility of her brand. All of her NYFW posts incorporated photos and commentary straight from her firsthand experiences at the Spring 2013 shows—not sourced from mainstream influencers. Whether selling fashion or enterprise software, brands must build a comprehensive content strategy into their larger communications strategy.
Build Strong Partnerships that Enhance Your Brand
Communicating to your audience doesn’t always have to revolve around your brand. Forming mutually beneficial partnerships with other organizations, in which neither party has to step away from what makes their brand unique, can help expand your reach. By doing so, you will be able to leverage your partner’s resources and reputation as well as your own.
NYFW 2012 saw several partnerships between fashion labels, bloggers, celebrities and even technology companies. Nordstrom teamed up with Condé Nast’s GQ and opened a menswear pop-up shop in an effort to increase Nordstrom’s menswear sales, which only accounted for about 15% of its $10.5 billion in total revenues last year. The partnership aims to increase awareness about Nordstrom’s forthcoming flagship store as well as help GQ advance its larger e-commerce strategy.
Visual Communications Is Powerful, When Done Right
Fashion influencers spent eight straight days updating their Twitter streams, Instagram feeds, Tumblr pages, and Pinterest boards with the latest from the Lincoln Center. At the same time, roughly one-third of designers live-streamed their Spring 2013 collections. There is a huge opportunity in leveraging creative visual-based platforms and communities to tell stories, inspire and connect.
For example, Maybelline sponsored a YouTube channel called LiveRunway, which offered more than 30 live-streamed shows and 80 on-demand videos taking viewers backstage at some of the most high profile runways. While the main focus of the footage remained on the clothes, this branded webpage served as a platform to show viewers how Maybelline is involved with NYFW.
Try Something New
It was certainly unexpected when fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, sent models down the runway wearing not only her designs, but also Google’s futuristic “Glass” glasses. Furstenberg later released a short film that combines footage taken with glasses worn by Furstenberg herself as well as members of her team and runway models. Whether or not the glasses can be considered “fashionable” by anyone’s definition, this video is a stroke of marketing genius for both the DVF brand and Google. It is yet another indicator of the direction visual storytelling is going.