For New York retailers participating in Fashion’s Night Out, the typical minimum spend for in-store festivities is $20,000, and budgets tend to head much further north from there with some retail giants spending in the six figures. Though intentionally established to drive sales in a depressed economy, FNO has become more about driving exposure than revenue. As many retailers now write FNO into their annual budgets, even the best parties need to show some sort of return on investment.
Though the staples of FNO have become celebrity appearances, gift with purchases, flowing bubbly, and in-store DJs, most retailers keep the event relegated to the offline world, with the exception of some social media support. However, incorporating technology allows savvy brands to increase ROI and make their budget work harder.
Today, we focus on one brand that used new technology not only to raise awareness, but to create content, provide takeaways, enhance the experience and celebrate in what all FNO attendees are all about: style.
We had the pleasure of working with Swarovski to create a concept for their Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue locations, and the opportunity to introduce new technology to FNO.
The ultimate concept was one that allowed Swarovski to celebrate in (and align with) individual style on the streets of New York City. A contest, dubbed “Swarovski presents the Style Elite of FNO”, was held allowing users to enter simply by adding the #SwarovskiFNO hashtag to their Instagram images.
Street teams were deployed throughout the city, donning Swarovski t-shirts and armed with crystallized iPhones and thousands of disclaimer documents. (A separate Instagram handle for FNO was created so as not to bombard the feeds of people who follow the official Swarovski Instagram account).
In order to collect all Instagram entries in one central, branded destination, all-new technology 52Grams was implemented to create shoppable lookbooks of all Instagram pics using the #SwarovskiFNO hashtag. (52Grams was created by Fashion’s Collective contributor Roeland de Jong). The functionality automatically pulled in each image, and the Swarovski team curated which ones made the official lookbook. As images were approved, the backstage team could tag product and link through to the eCommerce site, making all Swarovski products shoppable. The lookbook was accessible in a mobile application, so browsing submissions was easy on the go. What’s more, widget was created allowing anyone to embed the Swarovski lookbook to their own sites, garnering additional exposure as content travelled across the web.
An in-store submission party allowed attendees to try on jewelry, snap and share pics of themselves and add the hashtag, making product accessibility paramount. Instaprint photo machines were mounted to the walls and continuously printed out all #SwarovskiFNO images throughout the night, providing another reason to come to the store and something fun and novel to do while you were there. QR codes were on display linking directly to the lookbook for ease of use.
Interactive iPad kiosks in store displayed the 52Grams Swarovski lookbook, and people browsed and liked entries while they mingled.
A panel of judges featured top stylist Lindsay Albanese, and famed style bloggers Gala Darling and Natalie Off Duty, who were on hand hanging out, trying on the new collection, and, every so often, back in the control room selecting the winners, who were announced at the end of the evening. By embedding the Swarovski lookbook to their own sites, exposure was increased even before the official start of FNO.
In a multi-faceted campaign, technology is what seamlessly connected all of these parts together. Simply by using the #SwarovskiFNO hashtag in new ways, with each aspect of the initiative, branded content was generated and social media exposure was increased, all around the core concept of “Swarovski presents the Style Elite of FNO”.
Swarovski successfully captured people all across New York City in their initiative, rather than just those in-store, by implementing designated street teams. Individual user submissions allowed people to participate from anywhere in the world using the hashtag. In-store, the desire to take home a hard copy of your Instagram pic prompted more hashtag submissions, thus creating more content. The 52Grams lookbook made the entire entry process branded, controlled and focused while the mobile app made it accessible, and the tagging feature made it shoppable. Swarovski is now the very first brand to utilize this technology.
And of course, champagne was flowing and a DJ was spinning, in the true spirit of FNO.