As fashion trends have pointed out, looking back can also mean looking forward. However, when it comes to online marketing, the ink on the history books has yet to dry.
For fashion and luxury brands, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet has meant pioneering a new frontier.
As we look ahead to the future opportunities for brands online, what benchmarks from the past should be kept in mind?
Fashion’s Collective looks back to our favorites from 2010, as we excitedly prepare ourselves for the collective industry’s progress in 2011:
1. Most Likely to Continue to Succeed: Burberry
No surprise on this one, The Art of the Trench campaign, ability to shop directly from the runway, and the brand’s popular Facebook page, have all helped to solidify Burberry as the industry’s digital darling. We look forward to seeing what the brand has in store in 2011.
2. Most Improved Site Re-Design: Gucci
While Fashion’s Collective has covered several recent re-designs, some with praise and others with critique, the Gucci site stands out as the most improved. A close second is Cartier, who’s revamped website strikes a chord with their target audience and shopper in a much improved way. Gucci’s digital flagship, however, is truly positioned as a brand hub, inviting exploration and conveying the story of the brand in a visually compelling way.
3. Best Mobile Site Experience: Ralph Lauren
Too often brands focus their attention on site design without thinking about how it will render on a mobile device. Large Flash intros and small navigation callouts can make viewing on a phone challenging. Ralph Lauren has taken this into consideration with the development of m.ralphlauren.com, a mobile-friendly version of their website, focusing attention on the most popular areas of the site.
Always important in a brand’s mobile experience is the ability to find a brick-and-mortar retailer, and Ralph Lauren’s thinks big by making sure it’s a global store locator.
4. Best Mobile Application: Gilt Groupe
One of the first to jump on the iPad bandwagon, Gilt Groupe’s iPad app may offer an experience that’s even better than its website. Devoid of complicated navigation, the app lets users peruse the latest collections and make a purchase. It was our favorite mobile app in 2010. Click here to see some other contenders.
5. Best Facebook Integration: J. Crew
J. Crew has turned their official Facebook page into an engaging resource and communication tool. Tips from Jenna or Jack, collection features, newsletter subscription and an all-around well-designed page lend themselves to a great example of a brand on Facebook.
6. King or Queen of Twitter: Bergdorf Goodman
This award goes out to the Queen Tweeter at BG for her interesting, inspiring messages that are always on-brand but yet also very casual. This company has mastered the branded art of authentic Twitter conversations.
7. Best Video Integration: Burberry and Lanvin for H&M
A dual award goes out for this one based on using video for different purposes. Burberry invited guests on a global scale to be part of their runway show via live video streaming. However, it was the ability to shop select items directly from the runway that put them above the rest.
Lanvin for H&M utilized video to tell the story of the collaboration through video snippets of their famed designer, Alber Elbaz. In perfect synergy, the videos were posted on both brand websites and the H&M Facebook page. The art direction and integration were right on target to prompt users to explore the story through the video content. Was there was anyone who watched just one of these videos…?
8. Best Ecommerce Experience: Sephora
With a portfolio of products that would make any beauty maven swoon, Sephora has been the go-to spot for online (and offline) makeup purchases. With an e-commerce experience that allows for easy navigation, sorting, and discovering of products, it is one of our favorites. Click here for some others we like.
9. Best use of Location-Based Technology: Gap
While Jimmy Choo’s “Catch a Choo” campaign is certainly a success story, and one we’ve covered in the past, we elected to choose Gap, based on their integration of FourSquare to various banner campaigns. Gap’s geo-location component sends users a message if they are in the vicinity of a Gap store location, driving sales more directly.
10. Best Use of Augmented Reality: Boucheron
A surprising leader in the area of luxury augmented reality is high-end jeweler, Boucheron, whose new website allows users to try on watches and jewelry from the comfort of their own home. Kudos to Boucheron for being one of the first to put this exciting new technology to work. We anticipate that 2011 will bring much more attention to this digital marketing niche.
11. Most Well-Integrated Campaign: Swarovski
The “22 Ways to Say Black” campaign by Swarovski Elements crossed both channels and oceans in a truly integrated approach. Not only was the initiative a traveling exhibition, but the ability to participate online via the website and social media made this not just a campaign, but an event not to be missed.
12. Brand with the Biggest Opportunity to Innovate in 2011: Fendi
Opportunities exist across the board, and we would love to see not only Fendi, but Chanel, Dior, and Valentino better define their brand voice in the digital space. Huge opportunities exist for publishers like Hearst within the digital sphere, for luxury travel marketers like Abercrobmie & Kent, and for luxury automakers like Rolls Royce. We are excited to see what will come from these brands, and many others in 2011.
As always, we welcome your feedback and wish you a very Happy New Year.
Photo Credits: Flickr, Tom and Steve
All articles are copy edited by Gina Conforti