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business digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Farfetch’s IPO, everything to know about CGI influencers, Bitcoin hairspray

Farfetch IPO
Farfetch IPO

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Farfetch files for IPO, testing investors’ appetite for luxury [BoF]
  • The numerous questions around the rise of CGI models and influencers [Vogue]
  • You can buy hairspray with Bitcoin now [TheCut]
  • Yuval Noah Harari on what the year 2050 has in store for humankind [Wired]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon is losing its smart speaker dominance [AdWeek]
  • Microsoft’s HoloLens mall demos bring early AR glasses to the masses [VentureBeat]
  • Los Angeles subway to become first in the US to use body scanners [DigitalTrends]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Fur: A reality check [BoF]
  • Is clothing rental the secret to making fashion sustainable? [Independent]
  • Fashion for Good launches toolkit on how to develop Cradle to Cradle denim [FashionUnited]
  • Why Instagram’s ‘outfit of the day’ hashtag is bad for fashion – and bad for the soul [TheGuardian]
  • German outdoor brand Vaude starts upcycling community [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • McDonald’s unveils new Apple store-like Chicago flagship location [HypeBeast]
  • Superga, Cos, Rains and Fred Perry join Coal Drops Yard lineup [Retail Gazette]
  • 5 reasons why LA is the place to be for retailers [FootwearNews]
  • Consumers opt for marketplaces, fast retail, personalization [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Neutrogena, Sonos beta test use of video in Amazon search campaigns [MobileMarketer]
  • Alibaba’s to host first fashion show in China [JingDaily]
  • Rebecca Minkoff to present new brand identity during NYFW [WWD]
  • It’s never been easier to buy a pair of Yeezys [GQ]
  • Counterfeiting make-up is a new trend in Chinese how-to videos [JingDaily]
PRODUCT
  • Everlane is launching ‘clean silk’ in a move toward greater sustainability [Fashionista]
  • This digitally-knitted sportswear is like 3D-printed clothing [Wired]
  • River Island launches homeware [Drapers]
BUSINESS
  • Why the gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike is so significant [Vox]
  • Mulberry hit by House of Fraser collapse [FT]
  • $500 million in counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel Goods seized in one of the largest busts to date [TheFashionLaw]
  • Bringing affordable fast fashion to Africa [WWD]
CULTURE
  • How make-up swatches became a political battleground [Dazed]
  • In hype beast homes, Supreme accessories are the hot decor [Fashionista]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Comment data e-commerce Editor's pick film mobile social media Startups technology

2015: a designer meets digital year in review

AppleWatch_Hermes

It’s been another big year for the fashion industry and its integration with technology: from the release of the (Hermès) Apple Watch, to Natalie Massenet’s departure from Net-a-Porter as it merged with Yoox, not to mention the ongoing and evolving discussions around fashion weeks becoming consumer-facing events.

There’s also been a broadening discussion on the role smart fabrics play in the wearables space, virtual reality is increasingly on our radar for its relevance to retail, and we’re obsessed with how the industry is slowly adapting to a new aesthetic thanks to apps like Snapchat.

Here then, are 10 of the posts you loved the most on Fashion & Mash this year. It’s a collection nodding to many of the aforementioned subjects we continue to track, as well as the likes of personalisation, data, instant messaging, emojis and more. A veritable feast of trends we’re watching across the digital landscape as we head into the New Year…

Thank you for reading and see you in 2016. Wishing you a very happy holidays from everyone here at the (growing!) Fashion & Mash team.

Categories
business data Editor's pick film social media

From the archive: Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

In December 2013, Unilever launched a YouTube channel in the UK dedicated to hair. All Things Hair, as it’s called, generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, in its first six months.

Today it has nearly 180,000 subscribers, and remains one of the strongest examples of big data being used effectively.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers), including the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr. That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year – 30 million each day – making it a rich pool to draw from and enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions last year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Some recent example content:

Categories
e-commerce film mobile

Brands need to take greater advantage of the desire for how-to content says Google

How-to content on YouTube is increasingly in demand, according to new research from Google. Searches for topics ranging from the practical (how-to tie a tie), to the creative (how to draw), from style (how to curl your hair with a hair straightener) to cuisine (how to make a cake), are growing 70% year over year, with 100m hours of how-to videos viewed in North America so far in 2015.

The growth is being attributed to mobile technology, with 91% of smartphone users saying they now turn to their phones for ideas while doing a task. Categories trending the most include beauty, home improvement and cooking.

hair_howto

“Being constantly connected has trained us to expect immediacy and relevance in moments of intent—the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments. These micro-moments are the new battlegrounds for people’s hearts, minds, and dollars,” writes David Mogensen on the Think with Google site.

The team is pushing the idea that marketers are too heavily focused on one-way traditional media planned against brand moments and anchored to campaign flights, rather than thinking about and preparing for these personal moments. In doing so they’re missing out on potential for conversion too – data shows with millennials specifically, one in three say they’ve purchased a product as a result of watching a how-to video.

MAC Cosmetics has particularly focused on this how-to content as a means of driving sales in local markets. It partnered with Google on a YouTube gadget in 2014 to allow viewers to shop directly from its “Instant Artistry” video series on its local e-commerce sites. “A user watching our videos in Brazil will engage with a version of the gadget that is entirely in Portuguese and will be driven directly to the Brazilian MAC Cosmetics site to purchase. We have seen fantastic engagement as well as incremental sales on e-commerce that far exceeded our expectations,” says Noelle Sadler, VP of global consumer engagement at the company.

Google’s how-to for marketers

Here are some of the best practices Google suggests in approaching a content strategy built around ‘I-want-to-do moments’:

  • Identify the I-want-to-do moments in which consumers have a need and your brand can play a role. Find these moments across the entire consumer journey and put them at the center of your strategy.
  • What are the questions and concerns people have related to the types of products you sell or the types of projects they are used for? What do people want to learn about them? (Tools such as Google Trends and Google Consumer Surveys can help answer these questions.) Create I-want-to-do content for your website and YouTube channel to serve as resources for them.
  • Look at when how-to searches occur. Are there particular times of day, week, or year when some topics are more popular?
  • Make your videos easy to find by adding descriptive titles, details, and relevant tags to each video. You can also promote your content by TrueView in-stream and in-display, and you can reach the right viewers through affinity, in-market, and topic targeting.
  • Did you reach your audiences? Did they pay attention? What implications did it have on their perceptions and actions? Measurement solutions, such as Google’s Brand Lift, can help answer these questions.
Categories
Blocks e-commerce film

Clarins leverages make-up tutorial trend in interactive paid digital campaign

clarins_youonlybetter1

Beauty vloggers (video bloggers) have been using YouTube to publish tutorials about how to apply make-up for many years now, but the trend seems to have hit the mainstream recently in a big way.

Michelle Phan has accumulated over 6.8 million subscribers on her YouTube channel since its launch in 2007. Earlier this year she was one of a number chosen to star in a campaign for the platform promoting its ‘creators’. It’s not just passionate fans watching her ‘how-to’ videos; in a study released last October, Google found over half (55%) of beauty shoppers watch online videos while researching beauty purchases. Moreover, 50% of Millennials, specifically, watch beauty videos on YouTube.

Needless to say, brands have been working out how to get involved. Originally, they tried to gain exposure through these vloggers by sending them free merchandise to test, resulting in ‘hauls’ featuring multiple products reviewed in one video. This is not unique to the beauty industry; it’s also common practice for fashion and health vloggers.

Beyond gifting product, beauty brands have since found multiple other and more creative ways of leveraging this trend. Last August, L’Oréal launched a make-up line designed by Phan (view the video about her product here). Last month, Too Faced cosmetics announced Dulce Candy Tejeda, another highly popular vlogger, as brand ambassador for its Better Than Sex Mascara. The recent Daisy Dream campaign from Marc Jacobs also saw numerous vloggers enlisted to share their dreams with followers also via YouTube.

Now Clarins UK is approaching the tutorial trend by creating three of its own how-to videos. Named “You, only better. Instantly”, the clips are part of a paid advertising campaign that’s featured on key digital media like ELLEUK.com. Anchored by an interactive pop-up on such sites (as screengrabbed below), the videos offer the viewer the ability to “uplift your look” in either five, 10 or 15-minute increments.

A slider tool showcases the three different make-up looks first and foremost, with the videos explaining how to achieve them, and the products needed to do so, featured alongside. Digital advertising may often be regarded as intrusive, at its best only capturing attention for a limited period of time, but this campaign, not only for its visual impact but its interactive element, creates more of an engaging feel than regularly seen.

On the Clarins UK microsite, the 90-second videos are placed top, with a different slider underneath providing users with a before and after look at the model. The YouTube videos are also annotated with links to buy the product being used. The experience works on both desktops and mobile, making it ideal for on-the-go viewing, and for that digitally-native consumer Clarins is evidently targeting.

Clarins_youonlybetter

Clarins_5minutes

Clarins_10minutes

Clarins_15minutes

Categories
business data Editor's pick film

Unilever’s ‘All Things Hair’ provides stellar example of big data in action

unilever_allthingshair

Big data might be one of those phrases we’re all now used to hearing, but finding examples of those truly using it effectively (and willing to talk about it) are few and far between.

Enter then Unilever’s All Things Hair, a YouTube channel from the UK that really speaks to real-time relevance thanks to true data insights.

Created in conjunction with agency Razorfish, it is filled with hair styling tutorials from leading video bloggers (vloggers). That content isn’t arbitrary however, rather selected based on Google searches.

Unilever partnered with the search giant to gain real-time insights into what exactly people are looking for knowledge on. There are 11 billion searches about hair on Google every year; 30 million each day – a rich pool to draw from, enabling the company to predict what solutions, problems and styles people care about.

That information is sent to the vloggers – many of whom have several million followers in their own right too – who are paid by Unilever to create the tutorial content incorporating brands including Toni & Guy, Dove and VO5.

Speaking at Cannes Lions this year, Unilever chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, said: “The content is relevant, useful and authentic. It’s a really cool application of big data, based on what is actually big insights.”

It’s also a great example of merging together real-time search data with influencer and content marketing. Cleverly it does so in a way that retains an authentic feel, rather than a hardline promotional one.

Accordingly, the channel has generated over 17 million views and an average viewing time of one minute and 51 seconds, since it launched in December 2013.

Some example content:

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media Startups

Digital snippets: Burberry, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Saks, M&S, Primark

A round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

 

  • Burberry reveals ‘digital innovation’ partnership with WeChat to strengthen social presence in China [The Drum]
  • Calvin Klein asks fans to snap selfies in their skivvies for #MyCalvins campaign [BrandChannel]
  • Fast-fashion: Moschino offers fans the ability to shop its McDonald’s-themed show live [Dazed Digital]
  • Saks recreates in-store beauty tutorials with six-second videos on Vine [LuxuryDaily]
  • Marks & Spencer launches new website to replace Amazon platform, after three years in the making [The Telegraph]
  • How Primark achieved 1.7m Facebook Likes in just six months [Econsultancy]
  • Former GQ editor Lauren Bans comes out as @CondeElevator Tweeter [Fashionista]
  • New privacy website lets you opt out of tracking in retail stores [AdAge]
  • Ebay buys virtual fitting room start-up PhiSix Fashion Labs [PC Mag]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media

Digital snippets: Nike, DVF, Michael Kors, Burt’s Bees, Free People, Chanel, Tory Burch

Here’s a rather hefty highlight of stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital of late:

NikePlus_FuelbandSE

  • Nike’s new FuelBand and the age of social products [BoF]
  • Michael Kors runs #WatchHungerStop animated GIF campaign for World Food Day [Fashionista]
  • Burt’s Bees taps Vine in literary campaign to  promote its classic products [Brandchannel]
  • How Free People is using big data and social commerce for bigger sales [Forbes]
  • Chanel touts cosmetics line through insider beauty tip videos [Luxury Daily]
  • How Tory Burch builds passionate customers: insights on its digital journey [Shop.org]
  • Ralph Lauren showcases accessories in ‘The Dog Walk’ digital video [WWD]
  • Urban Outfitters preps for Holidays with mobile investments [AdAge]
  • P’trique of Sh*t Fashion Girls Say joins The Outnet in LinkedIn video campaign [Fashionologie]
  • Bobbi Brown uses interactive Blippar app to bring Katie Holmes to life [BeautyWorldNews]
  • How Coach uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ [Econsultancy]
  • The major retailers most threatened by mobile showrooming, and how they’re fighting it [Business Insider]
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Uncategorized

Mashable: how to follow #nyfw online

With New York Fashion Week less than 24-hours away, be sure to head over to Mashable for this guide on how to keep up with all the action online.

Categories
e-commerce

Uniqlo demos ‘Innovation Project’ product functionality with interactive user site

Uniqlo has launched another great interactive experience, this time enabling users to explore the retailer’s new line of functional apparel via video and motion graphics.

Developed by Tha Ltd Japan, the “Innovation Project”, as it’s called, is an example of online product demonstration at its best.

On entering the sub-site, users are first provided with an explanation of the collection concept – “clothing with revolutionary functions and universal designs” – as well as an in-depth write-up on all of the functional properties alongside their corresponding symbol .

Each piece in the collection is then illustrated with a model on a virtual catwalk. As she or he walks, symbols, icons and explanations appear alongside to indicate the fabric and properties of the garment.

Users are able to click through each look one at a time, or see the group together in an indexed overview. Beyond the moving catwalk, models are shown in a series of rolling animated images revealing other features of the product including fit and design details.

The line hit stores on October 14.

More pics below: