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

Is footwear fueling the Amazon fires, NYFW’s evolution, Zalando trials robots

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

TOP STORIES
  • Is footwear funding the burning of the Amazon? (Vogue Business)
  • Under Tom Ford, New York Fashion Week undergoes an evolution (Vogue Business)
  • Zalando trials robots to pick shoe orders (Charged Retail)
  • Glitz, glamour & garbage: Why fashion week needs to clean up its act (BoF)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Sizing tech takes on fashion’s expensive returns problem (Vogue Business)
  • IBM serves up an ace with AI at the US Open (AdWeek)
  • Nike just created a high-tech shoe that you can control with Siri (Fast Company)
  • Amazon apparently wants to turn your hand into an ID store purchase (The Next Web)
  • ‘Deepfake’ app causes fraud and privacy fears in China (BBC)
  • Alibaba storms NYFW with data driven design (Nikkei)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Climate activists ask Jess Bezos to buy the Amazon rainforest (Ad Week)
  • Primark to train 160,000 cotton farmers in latest sustainability move (Retail Gazette)
  • H&M’s COS launched Restored Collection, ‘saves damaged garments’ (Fashion Network)
  • The Amazon fires stops Vans & Timberland buying Brazilian leather (Quartz)
  • H&M boycotts Brazilian leather following Amazon fires (Fashion United)
  • Why Levi’s new water strategy represents an ‘evolution in thinking’ (Sourcing Journal)
  • Gap sets new sustainability design focus with atelier & repairs capsule (WWD)
  • ‘Misleading’ Peta ad claiming ‘wool is just as cruel as fur’ banned by ASA (The Drum)
  • Timberland is planting 50 million trees (Fast Company)
  • How IoT and AI can enable environmental sustainability (Forbes)
  • Allbirds & Just Water’s new capsule collection supports Amazon firefighting efforts (Sourcing Journal)
  • John Lewis looks for water source (Drapers)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Zalando launches resale pop-up store in Berlin (Fashion Network)
  • First look: Puma’s New York flagship (Drapers)
  • Burberry delves into chat-based commerce (WWD)
  • American Eagle takes on Sephora in an effort to be a one-stop shop for teens (Fast Company)
  • Amazon pushes fast shipping but avoids responsibility for the human cost (NY Times)
BUSINESS
  • Tapestry CEO ousted for poor performance, per internal email (Vogue Business)
  • Fake Allbirds & Glossier dupes: DTC brands are battling counterfeits and knockoffs (BoF)
  • Le Tote online retailers buys venerable Lord & Taylor for £100m (SF Chronicle)
  • Zara distances itself from Hong Kong protest controversy (The Industry)
  • M&S to be kicked out of FTSE 100 for first time (Fashion Network)
  • Walmart to stop some ammunition sales in response to shootings (Retail Dive)
  • Moda Operandi gets a makeover- by data and design (Vogue Business)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Is TikTok a time bomb? (Fast Company)
  • Ralph Lauren moves onto TikTok platform with US Open campaign (WWD)
  • Reebok drops Cardi B sneakers on Alexa, Google Assistant (Mobile Marketer)
  • Fortnite star Ninja signs multi-year apparel deal with Adidas (The Verge)
  • Molton Brown unveils perfume range via scent experience (Campaign Live)
  • Why Estee Lauder are spending 75% of their marketing spend on influencer marketing (The Drum)
PRODUCT
  • Google’s Project Jacquard returns on an YSL backpack strap, for $880 (The Verge)
  • How Fenty beauty is selling cruelty-free products to China (BoF)
CULTURE
  • Dior pulls ‘Sauvage’ campaign after facing appropriation backlash (BoF)
  • Walmart comes under fire for ‘segregating’ products (Fashion Law)
  • Has inclusivity skipped fashion’s front row? (Vogue Business)
  • The future of the cannabis industry (Quartz)
  • How Tommy Hilfiger thrived on hip hop (without being accused of cultural appropriation) (BoF)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business Campaigns data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail

Stella McCartney and LVMH, Amazon Prime Day, brands missing sustainability targets

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

TOP STORIES
  • Why LVMH struck a deal with Stella McCartney (Bof)
  • Amazon Prime Day brings sales, and risks, for retailers (NY Times)
  • Fashion brands have only met 21% of their circularity targets for 2020 (Fashion United)
  • Inside the Victoria’s Secret pipeline to Jeffrey Epstein (NY Post)
  • Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian: “data and creativity are not mutually exclusive” (Vogue Business)
  • The battle of the sneaker bots (BoF)
TECHNOLOGY
  • Facebook counts $5bn cost of Cambridge Analytica scandal (The Drum)
  • What brands are getting wrong about AR (Mobile Marketer)
  • The band aid of the future knows when you’re healed (Fast Company)
  • Forget synthetic meat, lab grown dairy is here (Bloomberg)
  • In China, facial-recognition technology is being deployed to take out the trash (Quartz)
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Should we stop washing our clothes? (BBC)
  • Can rented clothes save the fashion industry (and the planet)? (Highsnobiety)
  • The big fashion fight: can we remove all the toxic, invisible plastic from our clothes? (The Guardian)
  • Norway challenges H&M on its sustainability claims (Tree Hugger)
  • Triumph invites its customers to recycle together (WWD)
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Under Armour utilizes 3D avatar technology to develop digital sizing standards (Fashion United)
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • How TikTok is testing in-app e-commerce  (Digiday)
  • Topshop launches digital dating programme (Drapers)
  • Michael Kors launches scavenger hunt experience for NYC consumers (Fashion United)
  • Celine builds a mini-site via WeChat mini program  (Jing Daily)
PRODUCT
  • Lady Gaga’s new beauty line for Amazon (Bof)
  • Glossier to drop limited-edition fashion line (Fashion United)
  • G-Star Raw announces sustainable ‘dyed by nature’ collection (WWD)
  • Camper and Ecoalf launch sustainable footwear collaboration (Fashion United)
BUSINESS
  • UK manufacturers call for action on migration (Drapers)
  • Luxury retailer Barneys New York may file for bankruptcy, report says (Fashion United)
  • Kanye’s second coming: inside the billion-dollar Yeezy empire (Forbes)
  • Primark founder Arthur Ryan dead at 83 (Fashion United)
CULTURE
  • The year of ‘woke-washing’: How tone-deaf activism risks eroding brands (Marketing Dive)
  • Chanel hires first head of diversity & inclusion (Hypebeast)

How are you thinking about innovation? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business Campaigns digital snippets Editor's pick film product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Industry faces its #MeToo moment, tech hits Olympics, Vogue and Amazon Echo Look

Tom Ford - ICYMI #metoo metoo fashion week
Tom Ford

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

TOP STORIES
  • New York Fashion Week: industry faces its #MeToo moment [TheGuardian]
  • Can an app launch the fashion world’s #metoo reckoning? [Vanity Fair]
  • Olympic clothing designers try to beat the cold with technology [Scientific American]
  • Vogue and GQ will test content inside Amazon’s Echo Look [Digiday]
  • Can Christian Louboutin trademark red soles? An EU court says no [NY Times]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Intel unveils smart glasses that you might want to wear [Engadget]
  • Walmart’s tech incubator buys VR startup Spatialand [Reuters]
  • Opinion: Blockchain technology will make true luxury more lucrative [JingDaily]
  • JD.com and Fung align for AI development [RetailDive]
  • Asics Ventures invests in conductivity textiles [FashionUnited]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • Eileen Fisher, Columbus Consulting reveal details for sustainable design plan [WWD]
  • Primark publishes global supplier map showing all of its factories [TheIndustry]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Target CEO: Our personal shoppers will deliver to ‘your kitchen table’ [CNBC]
  • Macy’s plans pop-ups to amplify discovery [RetailDive]
  • Malls are dying, but things remembered is still hanging on [Racked]
  • Tips from the e-commerce giant Zalando [Maize]
MARKETING
  • Benjamin Millepied directs Ansel Elgort and Kate Mara in a mesmerizing film for Rag & Bone [CreativityOnline]
  • Nike rolls out NikePlus membership benefits [WWD]
  • Asics personal trainers will kick your butt as you use its fitness app [CreativityOnline]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Instagram entices brands with new shopping-enabled ads [TheDrum]
  • Pinterest sees 600 million visual searches every month [VentureBeat]
  • Swarovski and KiraKira+ launch fashion week ‘brilliance’ filter [WWD]
PRODUCT
  • UA HOVR, ushering in a new chapter of sneaker tech innovation [FashNerd]
BUSINESS
  • Canada Goose craze continues as shoppers flock to new stores [BoF]
  • British designer Misha Nonoo is rewriting fashion’s playbook [FastCompany]
  • The cautionary tale of H&M and digital disruption [BoF]
  • LVMH Luxury Ventures backs Stadium Goods [WWD]
  • Tapestry shares rise after earnings beat expectations [BoF]
Categories
Editor's pick social media technology

All the interactive retail campaigns from tech to social media this holiday season

Hearst and Blippar's augmented reality retail district in Covent Garden - holiday campaigns
Hearst and Blippar’s augmented reality retail district in Covent Garden

What better time of year for something a bit fun and interactive than at Christmas. With an increasing movement towards more in the way of technology that actually resonates with consumers, we’ve seen all sorts of campaigns deployed this season to enhance the festive experience in both physical and digital spaces.

From chatbots to virtual reality devices, not to mention increasingly clever applications on social media, all things digital are proving key for successful holiday seasons to come.

Here we’ve rounded up all of the best of this year’s initiatives across the fashion and retail space. Don’t forget to also check out our best picks of the festive films for 2016.


Technology aids in merging physical with digital

The evolving presence of tech in the holiday season was first spotted when John Lewis launched its Christmas campaign in the UK a few weeks ago. Included was an in-store activity where visitors could experience its Buster the Boxer commercial through virtual reality headsets.

Shortly after, eBay opened a two-day pop up in London that aimed to be the first store run on ‘emotions’. Visitors could browse gift items and select the ones they responded to the best, according to bio-analytic and facial technology.

Next we saw Hearst Magazines teamed up with Blippar to create the world’s first ‘augmented reality retail district’ in Covent Garden. Magazine editors worked with 35 participating retailers to bring to life beauty and fashion gift guides that are only available to view through the Blippar app. Further gamification included using the app over the district’s Christmas tree, located in the famous Piazza, to unlock retailer and restaurant discounts.

Google's Window Wonderland virtual reality experience - holiday campaigns
Google’s Window Wonderland virtual reality experience

Meanwhile in New York, department store window displays are being celebrated through a campaign from Google called Window Wonderland, which allows users to experience 18 displays, from the iconic Bergdorf Goodman to Macy’s and Tiffany & Co, also through the magic of VR. Each can be zoomed in and even come with audio guides from some of the store creatives talking about this year’s work.

The experience was produced by Google’s Art, Copy & Code team by taking hundreds of high-resolution images of each store and then stitching them together so they can be viewed via a web browser, on a smartphone or tablet, or through a VR headset.

In a nod to the lesser trend of wearable technology this season, Samsung is celebrating the launch of its new G3 smartwatch in Piccadilly Circus from Dec 1 until Christmas Eve, with one choir performance a day, showcasing holiday spirit from around the world. Aiming to bring Londoners and visitors together, each choir comes from a different culture or country, ranging from France to Bangladesh.

The key part however is that selected choir members will wear the new smartwatch, which will measure their heartbeats, movements and calories burnt. The biometric results have then been transformed into visuals, displayed on eight screens around the stage.

The Samsung choir wearing the G3 smartwatch - holiday campaigns
The Samsung choir wearing the G3 smartwatch

Social media spans chatbots to live video

Beyond creatively deploying technology in physical environments, brands are taking to social media to explore new and different ways they can engage and encourage followers to get excited for the season.

There’s been a big focus on using chatbots via Facebook Messenger for instance, by brands including Nordstrom, Burberry, American Eagle and others. The idea is to enable gift discovery and interaction via the scaleable artificial intelligent bots, rather than relying on customer service teams. It’s fun and playful at this point, but also says a lot for the future of a trend referred to as “conversational commerce”.

Agent Provocateur's Whatsapp campaign - holiday campaigns
Agent Provocateur’s Whatsapp campaign

Conversation was also the name of the game for Agent Provocateur this season, albeit in a human capacity. The lingerie brand took to Whatsapp for a campaign led by its agency Cult LDN. Referred to as a Ménage à Trois, it helped couples choose ideal gifts by chatting within a group.

In a simpler way, we’ve also seen retailers like Macy’s pushing its “The Santa Project” campaign over social media with ads on Facebook Canvas and Instagram Marquee, while also encouraging followers to record their own videos explaining why they #Believe in Santa.

Also deploying video is Barneys New York, which has promoted a stylish Secret Santa featuring a group of influencers, from Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine to DJ Mia Moretti. #BarneysUnwrapped lives on the retailer’s Instagram page, where each participant stars in an individual video unwrapping their gift, subtly encouraging viewers to buy said items at Barneys, of course.

Needless to say, there’s also been a big focus on Snapchat this season with retailers such as Kohl’s taking the tried-and-test route of Sponsored Geofilters and John Lewis a Sponsored Lens themed to Buster the Boxer.

Sweet's pop-up gift shop on Snapchat sponsored by Maybelline - holiday campaigns
Sweet’s pop-up gift shop on Snapchat sponsored by Maybelline

Sweet, Hearst’s Snapchat-only media channel, meanwhile ran a two-day pop-up ‘shop’ sponsored by Maybelline. It released a gift guide with over 100 snaps, ranging from affordable to expensive, with Maybelline ads running in between. While Sweet’s editorial team worked on the extensive gift selection, it also developed fun and shareable content such as GIFs and catchy phrases, hoping viewers would screengrab their wish list items and send to friends.

Despite the success of a Snapchat giveaway campaign during this year’s Black Friday, US beauty subscription box Birchbox experimented with Instagram Stories in a “12 Days of Christmas” initiative for the holidays instead. It revealed prizes and discounts from partners such as Hilton and Athleta, in a campaign hosted by actress Sophia Bush.

This sort of staggered giveaway as a strategy, has been deployed by a number of other American retailers this year, including Target for Black Friday, and JetBlue with another 12-day campaign in a bid to get customers to come back and interact day after day.

Birchbox's 12 Days of Christmas campaign on Instagram Stories - holiday campaigns
Birchbox’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign on Instagram Stories

Meanwhile with live video on a steep incline, Facebook Live has been the focus for a lot of brands ahead of the holidays. UK retailer Primark, an active user of the feature, has recently promoted a series of giveaways under the “Go, Get and Gift” headline, where viewers who answered questions correctly the quickest would be rewarded discounts and gifts.

ASOS ran a similar campaign that grabbed viewer’s attentions by asking them to guess what was packed inside mysterious bags as tips and hints slowly unfolded, with all the right answers entering a prize draw.


Comment

Each of these themes – from virtual reality to chatbots, Snapchat campaigns and live video – point to the direction we’re seeing fashion brands and retailers moving for 2017. They join a raft of other key trends to know about in the tech space including frictionless payments, designing for the voice interface and thinking about blockchain.

What this also proves is that with digital media so embedded in customers’ lives, brands are particularly embracing chances to grab audience attention while they’re willing to join in; during a positive and festive time of the year. The holiday season, unlike its divisive younger sister Black Friday, is the perfect opportunity for them to convey a message of unity and fun, while experimenting with all that the newest tech has to offer. Look out for much more of this ahead too however.

 

 

Categories
mobile social media

Primark releases emoji keyboard for all your Christmas messaging needs

The festive Primark Keyboard app
The festive Primark Keyboard app

Primark has unveiled its own “Keyboard” for the festive period featuring a multitude of Christmas-themed emojis including novelty jumpers, gingerbread men, a pug and a shopping bag bursting with presents.

Available for iOS and Android, the app enables users to insert the icons directly into any iMessage/MMS or Facebook message. Also available are fun animated GIFs including sparkling Christmas trees and glittery party dresses.

The launch comes following iOS 10’s new themed stickers in its Messages apps. Within an iMessage on an iPhone or iPad for instance, users can click on the ‘Store’ button to download a variety of different packs. Primark is one of the first retailers to offer one. H&M also did it for the launch of its Kenzo collection, while other brands including Starbucks, Super Mario and the Mr Men line have versions too.

The festive Primark Keyboard app
The festive Primark Keyboard app

Olly Rzysko, head of digital comms, at the retailer, commented: “Christmas is the time for giving and we wanted to give our fans the opportunity to make their messages much more festive in 2016. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s free and really captures the emotion and fun that surrounds the most wonderful time of the year.”

The Keyboard was created by messaging agency Snaps, which has also worked with brands including Coach, Macy’s and Dove. Snaps’ CEO, Christian Brucculeri, said: “We’re thrilled to support Primark’s entry into the mobile messaging market with their holiday-focused keyboard. With this launch, Primark is taking its first steps into consistently being in the consumer conversation on messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. At Snaps’ we’ve shown that consumers sharing of brand emojis, stickers and other related content drives an increase in awareness, brand favourability and purchase intent.”

The festive Primark Keyboard app
The festive Primark Keyboard app

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce Editor's pick mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: high-skilled immigration, The Outnet’s social study, Kors on customer loyalty

digital snippets michael kors
Michael Kors on Instagram

We’re back with another round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion, digital comms and technology news over the past week. Top of the agenda is a perspective on why high-skilled immigration policy is important for fashion and tech, while there’s also highlights from The Outnet, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co, Zaraa and moe.

We’re now taking a leaf out of the European guidebook and having a bit of a summer break. Hoping you all get to do the same and we’ll see you soon!


  • Why high-skilled immigration policy is vital for fashion and tech [Medium]

  • The Outnet’s social media study on joy provides key content lessons for brands [Forbes]

  • Michael Kors is turning Instagram into a customer-loyalty vehicle (as pictured) [Glossy]

  • Tiffany & Co releases a Snapchat filter [Allure]

  • Zara pulls products after plagiarism allegations on social media [Retail Dive]

  • Yoox Net-a-Porter boss Federico Marchetti looks to China for sales growth [South China Morning Post]

  • Madewell launches 24 days of denim campaign [WWD]

  • Selfridges launches social shopping app [Mobile Marketing]

  • Nike gives babies a stirring speech on unfairness, ambition and triumph [AdWeek]

  • Primark and Ross thumb their noses at e-commerce, will it work? [Forbes]

  • Combatant Gentlemen is tech first, fashion second [WSJ]

  • Fashion retailer New York & Company plans to lift sales with Shopkick rewards [Geomarketing]

  • Vodafone’s Internet of Things swimsuit detects harmful UV levels [Campaign]

  • Drones: Giant leap forward as UK agrees Amazon tests [Trendwalk]

  • Why retailers still struggle with omnichannel—and how they can conquer the challenge [Retail Dive]

  • Inside Pinterest’s effort to woo fashion brands [Glossy]

  • The internet is so bad, it’s awesome [BoF]

  • The pull of personal stylists in the online-shopping era [The Atlantic]

  • What 3D printing means for fashion [BoF]
Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film mobile social media technology

Digital snippets: previewing Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent, Herrera on Snapchat, Primark’s 3m followers

SaintLaurent
A snapshot of Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent preview on Instagram

A round-up of everything you might have missed in fashion and technology news (and beyond) over the past week or so. Read on for a sneak peek of Anthony Vaccarello’s new Saint Laurent, detail on how Primark got to three million Instagram followers, and why Samsung wants to bring VR to fashion…


  • An Instagram sneak peek at what Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent will look like [Yahoo]

  • Carolina Herrera taps Snapchat publication Sweet [BoF]

  • How retailer Primark got to 3 million Instagram followers in less than three years [Digiday]

  • Fendi and Elle collaborate on interactive video campaign [Glossy]

  • River Island rolls out RFID to boost sales [Drapers]

  • Kohl’s launches in-app voice search to boost mobile growth [BrandChannel]

  • Why Samsung wants to bring virtual reality to fashion [Glossy]

  • The rabidly-followed leggings brand you can only buy on Facebook [Racked]

  • Snapchat launches a colossal expansion of its advertising, ushering in a new era for the app [AdWeek]

  • How try before you buy is going to revolutionise retail [The Drum]

  • How pricing automation is impacting e-commerce [Forbes India]
Categories
Editor's pick film social media technology

Primark introduces live 360-degree versions of its popular haul videos

primark-haul-videos-press-day
Primark’s press day will be accessible in real-time through 360-degree haul videos

Primark is hosting live 360-degree video content from its autumn/winter press day in London today, providing fans with immersive access to its new collection through the eyes, and hauls, of certain influencers.

Based on the idea of haul videos – the popular term for video bloggers revealing what they’ve just purchased – the aim is to enable the retailer’s global social media audience of 7.8m to experience new product in real-time.

“We wanted to be able to put our fans right at the centre of our AW16 press days, make them feel immersed in the event space and ask some of our favourite influencers to pick out their favourite pieces from our ranges by carrying out the first ever live Primark Hauls in 360-degrees,” says Olly Rzysko, head of digital communications at the retailer.

For reference, searching for “Primark Haul” on YouTube currently delivers over 370,000 results, which is what Rzysko says inspired this campaign. “It’s a huge part of the Primark online DNA, it inspired our UGC platform Primania and it’s all created by our customers and fans, so we thought we would do something special that’s not been done before to celebrate this.”

primark-haul-videos-pressday-1171
Primark influencers will share live 360-degree access to their hauls

The videos will be viewable in 360-degrees on both YouTube in real-time, and later posted to Facebook (which doesn’t yet take live 360 video) and to Primark.com. The team will also be simulcasting to Facebook Live throughout the day.

The 360 hauls will feature influencers including Dolly Bow, Becky Sargeant, Mark Hayes and Charlotte Hole and will cover womenswear, menswear, home, kids and beauty (click each for live links). They begin at roughly 12pm GMT and run until 7pm, though all can be found via this playlist link, which will be updated throughout the day, too.

Rzysko says live video is a key part of the Primark strategy today. This campaign follows a successful live tour of the retailer’s new Milan store, which saw 250,000 real-time viewers and a further 1.2m after the event. Primark will next take the 360 Haul campaign to Dublin on June 16.

Categories
Comment Editor's pick social media Startups technology

Comment counts: How to survive SXSW. Warning! This post contains Kanye GIFs

As a bit of a SXSW Interactive veteran, Olly Rzysko of Primark, felt a responsibility to share information with festival newbies on how to make the most of the week. Cue Kanye West…

KanyeWest

I have been attending SXSW Interactive for four years now. Every year the experience improves and I learn more about navigating it in order to come back to the UK feeling motivated and more informed. I wish someone had helped me on my first visit as it was an intimidating and daunting experience, where I, like many, had travelled solo due to cost constraints.

I now feel the responsibility to share some info with other newcomers with the capable assistance of Kanye. We work in a world where success relies hugely on collaboration and this is my little contribution. This is nothing crazy or life changing but I hope it helps a few newbies.

giphy_kanye

Keep it comfy

Austin is casual, this ain’t no fashion show. You’re going to be on your feet all day, sometimes walking 30-40 minutes between venues. Invest in some real comfy trainers for those crazy days. It gets hot most years and you may end up leaving the hotel at 9am and not coming back until gone midnight. Packing is everything.These are also a VERY good idea.

giphy (6)

Stay powered up

Funnily enough, SXSW Interactive involved a lot of WiFi and battery draining demos, not to mention note taking. Pack some spare batteries for your phone. If you can buy two, leave one charging in the hotel while you take one out with you. You can pick these up at a little place called Primark. This one is only £8 / $10 and you can also pick up a multi connecting USB for around £2.50 / $3.00. Shameless plug over.

giphy (5)

RSVP, RSVP & RSVP

My biggest mistake on year one. I didn’t RSVP to things such as parties and events, in America you HAVE to do this to make sure you are on the list. Nobody likes an embarrassing wait to get into an event. Using http://rsvpster.com/ is really smart along with a few other sites such as http://do512.com/ andwww.eventbrite.com

giphy (3)

If you didn’t #, it didn’t happen

Hashtags drive the conversation and Twitter is the most important channel for gaining some insight. During the talks and events you should tweet along, track the hashtag and follow the conversation. This is great for note taking too. Screengrab the best tweets and add into your notes. I take all my notes using Evernote, which is quite handy as it keeps everything central and you can move from device to device as your battery life dies on each one.

Kanye tweet

Save the map

SXSW is a drain on your data and this makes navigating the hundreds of venues difficult. A little trick: save your area on Google Maps. Here’s a little guide on how to do that to save your data, your battery life and your mind. You’re gonna need this map from dusk til dawn. Alternatively, kick it old school and take a paper one from the hotel.

giphy (4)

Plan ahead (but not too much)

You can plan ahead by getting the app and starring all the talks and sessions you want to attend. You won’t make all of them, just be honest with yourself, not least for the fact you could be looking at a very long line when you arrive for that one key talk about the “Gamification of Hamster Wheels Using Augmented Reality in 9 Easy Steps”. So don’t get caught out; if it’s important to see a talk (i.e. Barack Obama), arrive early, get in the room and wait for your panel. Remember not to fall for click baiting talk titles like “The Best Social Media Strategy Ever” too, as some of these can often be a 15 minute sales pitch from an agency.

giphy (7)

It’s OK to have a bad day

It happens to the best of us but if you are there for a week, you will hit a brick wall where you go to three panels in a row that are awful and get a mental block. My advice is go for a walk and take a few hours off so you can clear your head. This event isn’t competition about who can go to the most events. FOMO is very 2015.

giphy (8)

It’s not all about the convention centre

Get out of central downtown Austin to see what the city is really like. The people in Austin are really friendly and welcoming considering 35,000 of us descend on them and take over every bar, public space and transport system for two weeks. So, try shopping and eating with the local businesses and not with the big chains. I recommend visiting:

  • South Congress, which is a really nice space and strip of stores and eateries south of the main city
  • Rainey Street although central is quite hidden away. This is where the party is at most nights
  • Talk to some locals and get their advice on where is good

giphy (2)

It DOES rain

They don’t tell you this. Pack a jacket, umbrella, mac whatever. Don’t be fooled by the weather reports.

kanye_disappointed

And finally, enjoy yourself

You’ve worked hard to get there, you’ve worked hard all week. Make sure you get to parties, talk to new people and make some new friends.

I’ll be at SXSW from March 10 through 16, as will Fashion & Mash editor, Rachel Arthur, who is hosting a #FashMash kick off mixer in collaboration with Decoded Fashion. If you’re interesting (and not trying too hard to sell something), we look forward to seeing you there.

kanye_gif

Olly Rzysko is head of digital communications at retail Primark. 

Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Primania social success, Natalie Massenet made a Dame, Everlane’s optional payment promotion

A round-up of all the stories surrounding fashion and tech you may have missed over the holidays…

primark

  • On social, ‘Primania’ looks to fill Primark’s e-commerce void [Digiday]
  • Natalie Massenet made a Dame in New Year’s Honours List [The Telegraph]
  • Everlane’s pay-what-you-want promotion baffled me into buying nothing [NY Mag]
  • Mulberry Christmas ad escapes ban despite 42 complaints [Campaign]
  • Digital has irrevocably transformed fashion weeks, is it finally time to change the model? [Forbes]
  • Best of 2015 NYC holiday retail windows [PSFK]
  • 5 offline retail disasters that triggered online outrage in 2015 [Digiday]
  • Fast fashion needs to pivot to stay relevant [Racked]
  • A huge underclass of ghost workers are making your shirts in their homes [Quartz]
  • Online commerce needs an offline experience [TechCrunch]
  • Brands benefit from posting a ton to Instagram… for now at least [Fashionista]
  • FTC issues ‘native advertising’ rules and potential penalties [WWD]
  • A quick tour of wearables in 2015 [TechCrunch]
  • Will CES 2016 be the launch pad to send the smartwatch to the stratosphere? [TrendWalk]
  • Who’s winning the 3D-printed shoe race? [Fortune]