Guest post from Elewisa Young
As technology continues to develop at a rapid-fire pace, brands are doing little to keep their customers attracted digitally. Is this arrogance, or perhaps a lack of understanding? One thing’s for sure, if you don’t take the risk, you can’t reap the reward.
It’s no secret, the digital economy is growing
Whether we like it or not, technology is all around us, and it’s only going to encapsulate us further. What currently feels like the beginning of a scene from The Simpson’s ‘Ultra house 3000’ episode is the new beginnings of the digital era. From digital photography to smart phones, voice assisted search and artificial intelligence, virtual reality to mixed reality, technology has consumed nearly 40% of our lives already. By 2023, that number is expected to grow by 1,200%!
So, what’s going on in the fashion world, and why is this industry so slow to adopt more digital approaches?
By 2020, it’s believed that 70% of all purchases in China will be made online. Significantly higher than the US and UK, with 46% and 40% each. In China, the trust towards using a more digital solution is embraced much more than throughout the wider world. Are we skeptical? Perhaps, the Chinese community is much more welcoming and trusting of new technologies, ones that can connect them to the world quicker, and more efficiently, making life a whole lot easier in the meantime.
This is leading to a slower approach in using technology to market your brand throughout the rest of the world.
Taking the plunge; a risk and reward game.
There are brands doing it however; Nike have always had their online digital shoe designer. More recently, however, this has become an AR experience, where by using the Nike ‘build your own’ app, you can place your designed shoe onto your foot using their point mapping AR technology.
Pepsi, cleverly created a VR experience that allowed for them to embed native ads to help subconsciously market to their customers using the app. The ‘taking the customers’ back in time experience approached VR tech with nostalgic storytelling to psychologically draw on the memories of times gone buy, allowing audiences to reminisce about their past, in relation to Pepsi – a clever way of mixing new technology, advertising and psychological experiences to enhance the brand experience in a modern world.
In the beauty and cosmetics world, many have found it hard to understand how the future technologies will change their brand. However, L’Oreal have taken the plunge! The world-renowned beauty and make-up provider is in the process of acquiring the AR beauty app ‘Modiface’. Taken AR into the beauty world, the technology allows L’Oreal brands to project their make-up virtually onto the face of the customer, taking ‘brand experience’ to a whole new ‘digital level’.
Digital technology isn’t just for big brands
Where there is money, there is opportunity, and studies currently show that 75% of big brands are working on digital projects. So why aren’t SMEs taking the plunge into digital technology?
Generally speaking, smaller brands aren’t taking the risk to enhance their ‘brand experience’ via digital technologies due to a fear of cost, however, even now, with websites and digital video as a minimum requirement, the level of cost to produce a digital experience is decreasing. Smaller brands can take note and draw inspiration from brands like Kuma Design, who have created their own ‘build your own butterfly brooch’ tool in order to put full-customisation of their product into their customers hand.
The future for brands and digital media
To stay relevant in today’s technological world, brands need to consider a digital strategist, aligned with the marketing team to understand how the brand can transform internally and externally using digital technology. This isn’t going away, and with 90% of our customers believing creates more opportunity, brands are going to need to get on board this ship that is going to keep on sailing, with or without them.
At the very least, ensure your social media shops are linked up to your product feeds, invest in video content for social media and consider hiring the right, digitally minded people for your business before you fall away in the sea of the digital future.