Consumer/Lifestyle Branding Digest, February 24, 2016

Apple’s Brand Hangs in the Balance of Its FBI Standoff
(Mashable, 19.02.16)

Apple’s showdown with the FBI over access to an encrypted iPhone has been hailed by privacy advocates as a bold idealistic stand against the U.S. government’s overbearing mass surveillance system.

You Won’t Grow Your Business Relying on These 3 Marketing Myths
(Entrepreneur, 08.02.16)

There’s a lot of money to be made online. In 2014, more than $300 billion dollars was spent online according to The Internet Retailer. The Internet offers opportunity.

Branding in the Age of Social Media
(Harvard Business Review, 01.03.16)

In the era of Facebook and YouTube, brand building has become a vexing challenge. This is not how things were supposed to turn out. A decade ago most companies were heralding the arrival of a new golden age of branding. They hired creative agencies and armies of technologists to insert brands throughout the digital universe. Viral, buzz, memes, stickiness, and form factor became the lingua franca of branding. But despite all the hoopla, such efforts have had very little payoff.

6 Ways to Capture and Keep Your Audience’s Attention Online
(Search Engine Journal, 29.12.16)

With nearly a billion websites online, there is a lot of competition vying for your audience’s attention. Granted, many of those websites won’t be your direct competitors, but they do create plenty of distractions you need to break through if you want to capture and keep your audience’s attention.

“Best way to sell something—don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect and trust of those who might buy.” —Rand Fishkin

Corporate Branding Digest, March 12, 2014

Less Talk and More Action: Expand Women’s Corporate Leadership
(Time, 08.03.14)

As an opportunity to highlight women’s contributions, International Women’s Day has always served to commemorate the cutting edge of the global women’s movement, from demanding better working conditions in US sweatshop factories of the early 1900s, to voting rights, pay equality and, more recently, promoting women’s leadership in politics and business. Recent years have featured women’s economic contributions, ranging from women producing nearly 90 percent of the food in Africa, to 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. with $1.2 trillion in total receipts. Yet qualified women are continually stymied in their efforts to contribute at the highest levels of economic and financial leadership, while global policies and companies forego the benefits.

Leading as a Servant
(Entrepreneur, 04.02.14)

We live in a world where the chase for power is increasing. Someone is always getting thrown under the bus so another person can get ahead. The “top of the food chain” philosophy that has infected our workforce and leadership has thrived on the accumulation.

Want to Succeed as a Real-Time Brand? Know When to Protect Yourself
(Ad Age, 28.02.14)

If you are an entrepreneur already, or want to be one, you know how to work hard. Really hard. There are no such thing as “long hours” because those are the only kind of hours you know. You are a one-person problem-solving machine. You make things happen and you chase dreams that others think are crazy. And you love it. That’s who you are and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Customers Behaving Badly
(Strategy + Business, 27.02.14)

Marketers are rushing to fuel content machines to drive search, increase engagement and unleash those hoped-for viral moments. Smart CMOs and CCOs also will aggressively fold customer service into the mix, because they know that being “always on” is only half the battle.

“I just think we need more accountability and more transparency.” —John Thune

The Right Way to Draw Fashion Fans

Originally posted on Euro RSCG Worldwide’s Social Life and Social Media blog.

From designers and stylists to publicists and event managers, Fashion Week in New York is one of the most important platforms for fashion hopefuls. They all get a chance to make a name for themselves and obtain a following to help sell their designs or services. But like a good PR strategy, they’ve got to do it right.

Just because you’ve already got a presence online via social media doesn’t mean you’ll get results similar to your competitors. A brand can’t rush into a campaign without a clear plan. Manuel De La Cruz’s Fall/Winter 2010 show is a good example of this.

De La Cruz, an up-and-coming designer, has generated decent buzz on blogs frequented by models and stylists. His team had postings on FashionIndie’s event listings page and generated Facebook fans to help promote his show. There were even several tweets from models and stylists leading up to the show to help create buzz.

De La Cruz’s team had all the right tools, such as a huge Facebook fan base, to help establish the brand in this industry, but without proper direction, the profiles are pointless. Brands need to do more than just create social profiles. They need to engage with their followers and leverage their online presence for additional editorial opportunities.

There were a few blog posts and tweets after the De La Cruz show that focused their attention on the jewelry and after party, with little mention of the actual clothes:

  • “His use of some fantastic futuristic accessories from Dany Escobar saved the women’s looks from being a total bore.” – The Fashion Loving Stylist
  • @hauteheaded: Manuel de la Cruz show was amazing #NYFW loving the ear pieces!
  • @MLYBblog: Jewelry collection is strong at Manuel De La Cruz love the womans cuffs #nyfw
  • @JasonCPeters: Headed to Manuel De La Cruz Afterparty!

The brand mentions are good to have, but for an up-and-coming designer, you want the brand messaging to focus on the actual looks, which helps lend credibility to your designs.

Here are some strategies De La Cruz’s team—and the representatives of every designer—could implement to help sustain the buzz and produce additional editorial focusing on the collection, beyond the show:

  • Leverage editorial relationships. The team had a profile on the FashionIndie network and posted event listings. However, they could have also reached out to the FashionIndie editors/owners (or those of another high-traffic, syndicated blog) to create a partnership, offering exclusive content and photos to use before and after the show.
  • Use video to speak with customers. A casting call for models or a behind-the-scenes film could have been distributed to fashion blogs and forums; v-blogs that explained the concept behind the collection could have been sent to online fashion communities. Behind-the-stage photos and videos can break the barrier between brand and consumer, which can lead to more brand loyalty and help maintain momentum beyond a show.
  • A call to Twitter. A “call to action” for guests, especially the media, can be invaluable. A simple card with a Twitter handle and hashtag could have helped encourage conversation about De La Cruz’s clothes. A handle that interacted and engaged with guests and potential customers could have helped even more with brand loyalty and discussion about the collection.
  • Embrace the electronic age. De La Cruz’s press kit and line sheets were printed out. During Fashion Week, editors go from one event to another and can’t carry a lot of stuff. My friends at Details and GQ have said they prefer a USB drive or CD that’s easily portable and contains all the important documents: high-resolution photos, press release, line sheets, etc. Electronic press kits make journalists’ job easier during this stress-filled week.

The fashion industry is definitely a difficult one to survive in. However, with the right plan and appropriate PR strategies, a brand can go from unknown to viral.