‘The relationship between brands and consumers has flipped’: Insights from the Glossy Summit

Image result for ‘The relationship between brands and consumers has flipped’: Insights from the Glossy SummitLast week at The Glossy Summit: Future of Fashion and Luxury in Miami, fashion brands, both big and small, came together to speak frankly about the challenges they’re facing and what they are doing to evolve. From the main stage where speakers outlined their companies’ strategies to small working groups where attendees sought guidance from their peers, the event was full of modern retail insight. Here’s what we learned:

The power is with the consumer
On the minds of many of the brands in attendance was how the power to control the fashion conversation has shifted to consumers.

– Consumers, not brands, now dictate trends and have more knowledge than they have ever had before. They also have a huge number of options of where to buy their desired item. This has led to a fundamental shift in how brands engage with their customers, making reactivity and flexibility a core skill for the modern fashion brand.

– Brands like Universal Standard have worked extensively to make sure that their sizes are as comprehensive as possible, ensuring that every customer has a wide array of options. This required a significant amount of rethinking the standard fashion production schedule from design to manufacturing. It also created new ways of manufacturing fabric that could accommodate the brand’s extended sizing.

The bottom line: Brands need to listen to what consumers are saying and react accordingly. Through data collection, direct engagement with customers through social media, and wear testing, the power that consumers hold can be leveraged for a brand’s success.

Convenience is king
As consumers gain more control and power over the fashion industry, one way that brands are catering to them is through an increased focus on convenience.

– Since consumers have many options of where to shop, the slightest bit of friction can send them looking for an alternative. Brands need to make sure that they are digitally savvy and treat customers to the most seamless experience possible in order to lure them away from competitors.

– Charles Gorra, founder of Rebag, spoke about how his resale company courts two different types of customers, buyers and sellers, with opposite interests. Maximizing convenience is the best way to satisfy both.

– This challenge is different for bigger brands than for smaller ones. Large brands have the advantage of scale and resources, yet they also are more complicated and have more moving parts. Smaller brands do not always have the resources for a customer experience with the shiniest bells and whistles, but they are able to react more quickly.

The bottom line: When customers have a hundred shopping options at any given moment, they will take the path of least resistance.

Brands are taking things in-house
Alongside the shift to direct-to-consumer, companies are rethinking big parts of their business and wondering if they can handle them themselves. At the Glossy Summit, attendees at Monday’s town hall expressed doubt that they needed someone else to run things for them.

– One speaker spoke about using the same PR team for nearly 12 years with diminishing returns. When they eventually dropped the PR team and took it in-house, they did not see any noticeable decline in ROI.

– Laura Dowling of Digital Brands Group spoke at length about taking all of their influencer relations in-house. While a few other attendees said that working with an influencer agency affords opportunities and reach that would not be attainable otherwise, Dowling was not the only one in the audience who believed that an influencer agency was increasingly irrelevant.

The bottom line: Brands should not think that they can handle everything themselves, necessarily, but it increasingly seems like companies are feeling more skeptical about middlemen.

Speaker highlights 
Shira Suveyke, Shopbop President 

– Shopbop has fine-tuned its influencer strategy over the last two years — first, by moving the involved duties to a dedicated team versus marketing staffers focused on other responsibilities. “This ‘little thing,’ that was growing super fast and was driving a lot of revenue, was getting ignored,” said Suveyke. The company also started giving influencers “total creative freedom,” which was a difficult adjustment for the in-house creative team, and moved from working with macro-influencers exclusively to micro-influencers and nano-influencers.

– High conversion is not a KPI for influencer campaigns. Instead, the company is looking at engagement, then reach, and it’s weighing campaigns’ effectiveness and efficiency by looking at cost-per-engagement. Influencer marketing is now part of the brand’s marketing budget versus its performance marketing budget. “We see it as an opportunity to build the Shopbop brand on a social platform, and we believe that has a halo effect of downward revenue,” said Suveyke.

– The retailer just launched its  360-degree, content-fueled campaign called “The Summer of Shopbop.” Its brand marketing and creative teams traveled with eight influencers to Lake Como to create content around its travel-inspired story of the season. “It resonates with our customer when they have an affinity with the influencer, rather than Shopbop pushing the product,” said Suveyke.

Laura Dowling, Digital Brands Group CMO
– DSTLD’s (which is part of holding group Digital Brands Group’s portfolio)  millennial customer base values ethical behavior and transparent brand messaging, and DSTLD is an audience-driven brand. The mission of the denim and leather company is to distill its shoppers’ wardrobes down to essentials by updating the quality and consistency of the pieces, said Dowling. Unlike other brands, its sustainability message is not centered on the changeover of styles but rather on the lack of waste the brand is producing. “Quality equates to longevity,” she said.

– In the name of transparency and authenticity, the brand recently made changes: It has moved its production from Asia to Europe to ensure it is using mills that are ethical and sustainable, both in the materials they use and also in the radius in which they operate. “Our carbon footprint is as small as possible,” said Dowling. In addition, it has added a quality control step to production, enabling it to have just 3% waste, when the industry standard is 7%.

– To amplify its message for credibility, Dowling said the brand leans into press, letting industry publications tell its story. It also taps into relevant opportunities to amplify the story. On Earth Day, it launched an education-based marketing campaign for eco-conscious consumers on how best to wash jeans. And because music has been woven into the brand’s marketing since inception, it hosted a sustainability-centered activation at Coachella.

Nate Checketts, Rhone co-founder
– Checketts broke down the company’s data collection process into three steps. “One, you have to gather the data; two, you have to organize the data; and three, you have to take some actionable insight from it,” he said. “Most companies are stuck on part one, and for DTC brands, there are so many ingestion points of data that it can be hard to sort through them all of them.”

– In addition to the regular channels for data collection, like points of purchase either in Rhone’s DTC or wholesale business, the company also collects data from some out-of-the-box, third-party sources. Weather on the day of a purchase, the performance of stocks on a given day and other data points can help paint the picture of what a brand needs to know. According to Checketts, it all comes down to sorting through what’s relevant and what isn’t.

– The data collection and feedback used can also be a selling point for the company. While older generations may be less likely to appreciate how the data collected is used to improve their experiences, Rhone’s younger customers expect it. Whenever the company launches a product that was designed heavily with feedback from consumers, Rhone highlights that in its marketing, said Checketts.

Overheard
“If your advisers and investors are telling you that it’s too early to be thinking about and using data to improve your business, then you need different advisers and investors.”

“Going direct-to-consumer is definitely about brand control a bit, especially when you’re a new designer. You have a small assortment. On a shelf, you can only tell so much of your story. In pop-ups and on social media, you can speak to your customer a lot more.”

I believe in the power of full-frontal marketing, really thinking about what we need and driving understanding through to conversion. To do that, the best way possible, you have to lean into all the channels available to you.”

“If you look at, like, Marc Jacobs, that kind of old luxury, it used to be that designers did what they wanted and the women followed. What we’re trying to do is the exact opposite. They decide, and we follow.”

“We were able to start our direct business pretty early on, our first website opened in 2003. We’ve been able to go from 100% wholesale to 60% wholesale, 40% direct. Our ideal split is flipped, 40% wholesale and 60% direct. That’s where we are trying to be.”

Challenge Board

[“source=glossy”]

Lenovo lines up new software and gadgets at Tech World Summit

Image result for Lenovo lines up new software and gadgets at Tech World Summit

The Chinese company unveiled AI-focused technology and gadgets at the show

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the glitzy, sometimes mysterious, aura around what the technology promises entices everybody, right from the tech bigwigs to scribes jostling for the latest byte or scoop about it. A recent example being Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg siding with the technology, saying it promises a lot, as opposed to Tesla chief Elon Musk, who had earlier warned about AI’s possible dangers.

Well, dangerous or not, companies are betting big on it; and that includes Chinese gadget maker Lenovo, which unveiled a host of AI-focused tech and gadgets at its Tech World 2017 Summit.

At a time when Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are finding their way to power the smart home ecosystem, virtual assistants are hot property.

Lenovo unveiled its Context Aware Virtual Assistant (CAVA), which can read messages and understand their meaning, and give you suggestions based on them. It uses deep learning-based facial recognition and can analyse data from apps to give you suggestions based on the weather and traffic, for example.

Lenovo also unveiled a SmartVest, which uses 10 textile sensors to track heart activity, giving it the ability to record ECG in real time. It can also be used to monitor heart rate and detect cardiac problems.

SmartCast+ was another interesting device at the show, which is a smart speaker that is capable of recognising objects and noises. It also has a built-in projector, so it looks like Lenovo has a home entertainment kit rolled into one speaker, with this one.

Though these are still concepts, mostly, we eagerly await their commercial availability, given the buzz around them.

Source:-thehindu

Annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit gets underway this week

Members of Bravo!, Vail’s Art in Public Places, the Vail Valley Art Guild and the town of Avon will head up to Breckenridge Thursday for the sixth annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit. Organizers are expecting more than 350 artists, creative businesspeople, nonprofit officials and city leaders for a gathering of individuals looking to better capitalize on their local arts and culture scenes.

The two-day summit will feature a variety of workshops, exhibits, performances, networking opportunities and keynote speakers, including Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joining Chu on the lineup are Daniel Windham, director of arts at Wallace, and market research expert Bob Harlow, who will present information from various studies he’s undertaken and draw from his book, “The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences.”

Additionally, another presentation will feature Vince Kadlubek, co-founder and CEO of Meow Wolf, an arts collective behind the award-winning art experience “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has generated a remarkable economic impact while supporting local growth and emerging talent.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet.”Christy CostelloProgram manager, Colorado Creative Industries

Also at the summit, there will be the 2017 Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards luncheon honoring community leaders who use art to impact social and civic change, with the awards crafted by local artist Martin Deegan.

The summit is all part of an effort to help creative entrepreneurs, communities and arts organizations expand their knowledge and reach, said Christy Costello, program manager at Colorado Creative Industries, who added that the summit always draws a wide audience, including some eccentrics.

For example, art cars — or fully functioning, elaborately decorated automobiles — seem to make it every year, Costello said, adding that one year at the Colorado arts summit she even saw a mini temple set ablaze — somewhat like the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet,” she said, explaining that generally the summit draws three main audiences — artists and creative business people, individuals representing arts organizations, and civic leaders who want to use the arts to better develop their communities.

Last year, the summit was in Carbondale, another Colorado mountain town about 20 miles south of Glenwood Springs, and Costello said they are especially eager to be heading to Breckenridge this year.

“Yeah, we’re really excited for everyone to see what they’ve done there,” she said of the town that recently earned a top national ranking in the annual Arts Vibrancy Index for small communities under 100,000 in population.

According to Colorado Creative Industries, the state also ranks in the top five states nationally for its high concentration of artists.

Colorado Creative Industries operates under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Registration for the summit is $165. For more information, go to ColoradoCreativeIndustries.org/summit.

[“Source-vaildaily”]

Small Business Market Expo, Digital Summit Coming In May

Two big events are slotted for May. And both will be just a local trip for anyone in the Atlanta area. First, of course, is the Small Business Market Expo.

The expo is touted as a job fair as well with something for everyone. Business owners can find resources. Perspective entrepreneurs can find training. And perspective employees can network with both.

Then there’s the Digital Summit Atlanta, a regional event with focus on digital strategy, content marketing and more. Learn about both events at the links below. To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Small Business Book Awards - Voting Begins April 28!Small Business Book Awards Voting Runs Though May 11!
May 11, 2016, Online

Voting for Small Business Book Awards began on April 28, 2016 and runs through May 11, 2016 11:59 am PT. Voting is fast and easy. Simply visit the Business Book Awards site and click the red vote button. You can also visit on the “Categories” tab and select the categories you’d like to see. Then simply place your votes for the books you would like to see win!


Small Business Market ExpoSmall Business Market Expo
May 21, 2016, Atlanta, Ga

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, business coaches, and franchises.
#SBMExpo
Discount Code
VIP (25% off)


Digital Summit AtlantaDigital Summit Atlanta
May 24, 2016, Atlanta, Ga

Join us for the ultimate digital marketing and strategy event in the south! If you’re involved at all with online marketing, digital strategies or Web creative — this is a can’t miss event.


DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year AwardDREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award
June 14, 2016, Washington, DC

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®, celebrates the success of small business and honors its contributions to America’s economic growth. The Small Business of the Year, 7 regional finalists, and 100 Blue Ribbon winners will be honored on June 14 during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. There are two ways to participate: 1. Nominate a local small business that’s making a big impact in its community. 2. Apply directly if you are a small business that’s committed to your community, employees, and customers.


More Events

  • Webinar: What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics 2016?
    May 10, 2016, Online
  • INTERNET MARKETING WORKSHOP,San Francisco- USA
    May 10, 2016, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Leveraging the POWER of Virtual Teams
    May 10, 2016, Online
  • Webinar On The Human Side of Ethics
    May 10, 2016, Online
  • Dallas Private Equity Conference
    May 11, 2016, Dallas, Texas
  • Webinar On How to Gain More Customers In Less Time
    May 11, 2016, Online
  • DIGIMARCON EAST 2016 – Digital Marketing Conference
    May 12, 2016, New York, N. Y.
  • Startup Summit East 2016
    May 12, 2016, New York, N.Y.
  • TECHSPO New York 2016
    May 12, 2016, New York, N.Y.
  • Inside Dark Web
    May 12, 2016, New York, N.Y.
  • Webinar On How to use Media Relations for Success (at little to no cost)
    May 12, 2016, Online
  • Webinar On Listening and Paying Attention – Two Amazing Tools for Effective Communication
    May 12, 2016, Online
  • The Third International Conference on Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Social Media (CSCESM2016)
    May 13, 2016, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Lunch and Launch – Branding Your Business with Zachary Traxler
    May 13, 2016, Columbus, Ohio
  • Webinar On Masterful Time Management
    May 13, 2016, Online
  • The Women Empowering Women Forum
    May 14, 2016, Online
  • The ‘Your New Business Expo’ Charlotte
    May 14, 2016, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Content Marketing Conference
    May 17, 2016, Las Vegas, Nev.

More Contests

  • How To Create A Full-Time Income Online?
    May 13, 2016, Online
  • Conversion Conference Las Vegas
    May 19, 2016, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • FedEx fourth-annual Small Business Grant Contest
    May 30, 2016, Online
  • Chicago Innovation Awards UN-GALA 2016
    June 23, 2016, Chicago, Ill.
  • The Ultimate Small Business Leadership Conference
    September 23, 2016, San Diego, Calif.

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Image: Digital Summit

[“source-smallbiztrends”]