IGTV AND FASHION
Fashion’s most important social network just morphed into a mega platform. Say goodbye to YouTube and Snapchat - for now at least.
On Wednesday, Instagram introduced advertising-free, long-form vertical video capabilities to appear within the app. IGTV also functions as a standalone app.
Retailers are already taking advantage of the engaging feature. Gucci has posted an archive of Alessandro Michele’s runway shows. For beauty brands and influencers, extended makeup tutorials will be a must on IGTV. As brands contemplate new content for YouTube or Snapchat, shifting to Instagram may be more effective and efficient. If IGTV is as successful as its Stories, the last thing to do is be a fashionably late adopter.
KATE SPADE BRAND GIVES BACK
In tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade, the brand has disclosed plans to make a charitable donation to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
The Kate Spade New York Foundation will donate $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes. Additionally, the brand will match public donations made to the Crisis Text line to the amount of $100,000. Donations (up until June 29th) through can be made here.
With suicide the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kate Spade New York will host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees in its corporate and regional offices. The initiative is the first installment of a Wellness Program to be introduced later this year.
WILL POP-UPS SAVE THE DAY?
Experience and community is developing into a major theme in retail, especially for brick-and-mortar brands.
Amenities outside of traditional personal shopping or beauty services aren't exactly a new concept, but the influx and reliance on pop-ups for customer engagement is growing. Retail as a service is giving shoppers a new sense of discovery. There's a motivation to shop the physical store, driven by the excitement of the unexpected. Will there be free samples? A build-your-own workshop? When done correctly, department stores can introduce a fresh experience with the consignment of new, innovative brands (think Macy's acquisition of Story).
Nonetheless, department store retailers should be careful to avoid "pop-up fatigue," which can cause more brand damage than good. Use this experience opportunity to build brand loyalty and interest, not as a safety net for foot-traffic.
COMMUNITY IS KEY
Emerging brands are unicorns - they're new, cool, and so in-tune with their audience - we can only revel from afar at the seemingly overnight successes of players like Glossier or Ace & Jig.
These retail rookies are redefining industry standards with the help of thousands of loyal customers, or fanatics, if you will. As experiential shopping continues to catch on at a wildfire pace, the emphasis on community is becoming even more substantial. “The people who love our brand really love it, and they’re very loyal and they’re very engaged,” Ace & Jig founders Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson explain. “They have formed this awesome community where they really support each other."
Brand loyalty has never been tougher to attain, thanks to e-commerce and social media. Still, retailers should be cautionary while building a fanbase. While community-driven brands have better success with customer retention, scaling them can become difficult.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
PETA, the animal rights group, applauds ASOS for leading the change for animal compassion in the fashion industry.
The e-commerce marketplace announced the banning of products which contain feathers, silk, cashmere, and mohair from its website. Its animal welfare policy update will be in full effect by the end of January 2019, as the company brings a halt to stocking products and the usage of these materials.
Asos has already banned fur, angora, and other rabbit hair and products which use materials from vulnerable animals. The newest announcement is a positive for not only the brand, but for PETA and the animals it vows to protect.