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

Digital snippets: Every key fashion story you need to read from #SXSW

IMG_3076

It might be an event dedicated to technologists first and foremost, but there’s no escaping the role of branding and marketing at SXSW Interactive these days, and the fashion industry has inserted itself well and truly as a relevant vertical within that.

From SXstyle to numerous off-schedule events, there were more dedicated fashion and retail-related panels than ever, not to mention numerous pop-up activations dedicated to the future of this area.

Whether you weren’t able to make it to Austin, or indeed were on the ground but overwhelmed by the madness (weren’t we all!), here’s a comprehensive round-up of everything that went on by way of the top stories to read. Note the absence of wearables this year by the way…

Categories
data e-commerce Editor's pick Startups technology

Lessons from #SXSW: cognitive computing to conversational user interfaces

SXSW

The marketing and technology community’s annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, for SXSW Interactive is a five-day jamboree dedicated to what’s new and what’s next. It’s an opportunity to soak up the future through keynote talks, panel discussions, a trade show floor and networking meet-ups.

In 2015, wearable tech was on everyone’s lips. This time around, virtual reality (VR) and the evolution of transportation, from autonomous cars to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop system of ultra-high-speed trains, were key topics of conversation. McDonald’s, Samsung and NASA all had VR experiences on show — as did IBM, which let visitors test out a VR cycling experience, taking the user through different landscapes and terrains. But what felt most fresh wasn’t so much the rise of specific new technologies, but the emergence of how we can work with what we’ve got to make it better.

There was no killer app and no single innovation dominating the conversation on that basis. Instead “collaboration” — something Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet has written about in the context of online fashion retail — was the most important buzzword, replacing the likes of “disruption”.

Nowhere was this focus felt more than in the keynote address delivered by US president Barack Obama, the first sitting president to speak during the festival. “If we use technology, data, social media in order to join forces around problems, then there’s no problem that we face in this country that’s not soluble,” he said in a call to arms.

But alongside this emphasis on collaboration, several other key vectors of change, from the rise of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence to conversational commerce and the ascendance of Generation Z, emerged as key themes with implications for the global fashion industry in the months and years to come. Head over to The Business of Fashion to read the full story.

Categories
business e-commerce Editor's pick social media

Generation Z: 10 stats from SXSW you need to know

kylie

At SXSW Interactive this past week, conversation wasn’t just about big flashy new technologies – from VR headsets at numerous event pop-ups, to all sorts of conversations around artificial intelligence or autonomous cars. It was also about consumers and how to better reach them.

As the festival has drawn in more marketers and not just tech folk over the years, this has increasingly become the case. For 2016, however, it was one segment very specifically that stood out: Generation Z.

Defined as those born after the year 1995, or thereabouts, this is the generation that follows Millennials. It’s also the generation that’s still being born right now. For those in their teen years however, there are many healthy insights already to gain. Head over to Forbes to gain access to the top 10 stats and facts shared during SXSW.

Categories
business data Editor's pick technology

The brand, the brand, the brand: 8 highlights from Under Armour’s CEO at SXSW

underarmour

A highlight keynote session at this year’s SXSW Interactive festival came from Under Armour CEO and founder, Kevin Plank. Inevitably well versed in how to play the media machine, this was one of the smoothest talks about brand building and transformation you’ll have ever seen.

“We went from being a products company to an ideas company,” he said as one of his opening gambits, and the reason why he predicts the business will grow from a $4 billion one today, to $7.5 billion by 2018. Connected fitness is a significant part of making that happen too.

Here are eight other quotable quotes you need to know from the hour-long interview:

  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture is everything. For us it’s the brand; the brand, the brand, the brand. No matter what we do it comes back to relying on the brand. And this begins with the founders; the core individuals who got our company going”
  • “Over promise and then deliver. We already slept yesterday. Today we work. It’s an attitude of saying we’re going to find a way. That attitude is extremely important for Under Armour”
  • “I like being defined as a performance company. It’s unlimiting. It’s an untethered approach to the way we’re seen”
  • “A brand is a story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. Every product we build is like a chapter, every athlete we sign and every interaction we have. All of them are a chapter in our brand story”
  • “Wherever we’re going is an evolution… we’re not limiting that to apparel or footwear, but to the idea that anywhere our logo shows up it has to be the best. It just has to be the best”
  • “Our belief is data is the new oil. You think it’s a coincidence Google or Amazon is who you’d bet on? 40% of their revenue is attributed to purchase history… The companies who will win are those using math.”
  • “I always have in red pen: ‘Don’t forget to sell shirts and shoes’. We take you up on the loop-de-loop but then take you out through the gift shop. It’s about not forgetting that we sell shirts and shoes”
  • “We’re in the first innings of this game. We are just getting going [with connected fitness]… Our aim is to give you something and make it so you couldn’t live without it after”