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Fast Company ran a piece on their website last Friday calling out the best fashion brand content on the web. Though the article acknowledged that fashion brands "often get a bad rap for being a bit behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing," FC focused on the brands that are doing things right. They include a few obvious picks (Rebecca Minkoff, Tory Burch), a few surprises (Wildfox Couture), and at least one pick we disagree with (J.Crew). Here's a summary:
Rebecca Minkoff: The brand gets a nod for co-creating campaigns with customers. In addition to Minkoff's extensive lifestyle blog, Minkette, the designer has a long list of digital integrations, including Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Polyvore, LookBook, Chicotpia, MYFDB, and Instagram, where one fan's photos were selected to appear in Minkoff's first print ad campaign.
Tory Burch: Despite the fact that Tory Burch has never placed traditional advertisements in U.S. magazines, the brand has build quite an empire, due in large part to the extensive lifestyle content on Burch's website. According to Fast Company, the brand's "aggressive digital-first strategy" (they even employ an in-house editor-in-chief) has generated more revenue online than any physical Tory Burch store.
Independent Fashion Bloggers: Though not a fashion brand, per se, this online resource center for emerging fashion bloggers is run by Coveted media (of The Coveted fame) and gets a nod here for repurposing their existing content across media channels. In addition to the useful original service content published daily on the site, Fast Company cites the brand's smart reuse of Instagram content and blog headlines as Pinterest captions to drive traffic, community growth, and brand awareness.
J.Crew: J.Crew is actually one of the most bafflingly unambitious brands out there when it comes to social media (their Twitter feed was last updated on December 9, 2011, if that tells you anything) but Fast Company gives them a nod for partnering with Scott Schuman and Garance Dore on their latest marketing campaign. For the brand's global launch, they created a editorial campaign called Hello, World! with lots of beautiful international "taste makers" and "influencers" looking effortlessly chic in J.Crew clothes.
Now, as much as we love J.Crew, we actually don't agree with Fast Company that this campaign was innovative or even particularly interesting. The whole taste-maker thing has been done ad nauseam at this point, and a Schuman-Dore-fashion-brand threesome isn't exactly making history, either. (But that said, the images were definitely really pretty.)
Wildfox Couture: In one of the more imaginative brand partnerships out there, Wildfox works with young adult author Francesca Lia Block to create an illustrated blog that tells a story of friendship and hope between three girls and a corresponding collection of T-shirts based on the characters.
Calypso St. Barth: The luxury brand gets points from Fast Company for being one of the first to figure out a way to harness the power of Pinterest for a branded experience. Back in March, Calypso St. Barth worked with popular pinner Christine Martinez (at the time she was the fourth most-followed Pinterest user in the world) to act as a brand ambassador and create content from an actual trip to St. Barth. The brand now has 6000-plus Pinterest followers.
CND: The nail polish brand gets a nod here for educating while entertaining. An infographic called “The History of Nails at Fashion Week,” which the brand posted to their fashion week blog and Pinterest, is an example. Fast Company's take: "While infographics are widely used in many verticals, fashion and beauty brands have been less likely to produce and promote information in this way. As a result, the content piece was a valuable resource for journalists and bloggers alike as they competed for views during fashion-week coverage."
Net-a-Porter: Widely known for excellent editorial (the brand's weekly online magazine is as comprehensive and inspirational as any glossy out there), Net-a-Porter is also tech savy. Fast Company cites their real-time shopping feed that shows what people around the world are adding to their shopping bags, as well as the brand's mobile apps and presence on The Social Hub, where you can get a snapshot of all the site's digital feeds, including Twitter, Photo diary, Facebook, YouTube, and Google alerts.
Any brands you think they missed? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
· The Best Brand Content, Fashion Edition [Fast Company]
· How Pinterest Is Helping Flash Sale Sites Stay Relevant [Racked]
· 50 Beauty Brands To Follow on Pinterest Right Now [Racked]