Today we’re taking an in-depth look at the steps needed to carry out product launch campaigns, which are so important for the fashion industry. Traditional press conferences have been replaced by new formats and experiences: social media platforms, influencers and other multimedia channels which spread images rapidly and amplify the impact of every collection or product. To analyze this phenomenon, we’d like to focus on 3 very-interesting fashion brand launches.
Launching a fashion product or collection requires a series of steps to complete a cycle – as is the case with many projects in marketing – and that cycle starts with:
⇢ A preliminary phase in which you define your objectives, get to know the new products or garments in the collection, research the competition, the target market, the message you want to transmit and the channels you want to use ⇢ Then move on to the development of the strategy, the plan, the editorial calendar and the different actions ⇢ And finally finish with an analysis and the presentation of the results.
Throughout this whole process, apart from all departments working together to carry out their functions, other elements play an important role such as:
- The creative concept: fundamental for the marketing of any collection and directly related to the essence of the garments; the creative concept can be the story behind the production or the inspiration the designer had. This first, key element is the point of departure for everything that follows when it comes to the marketing and communication strategy.
- Press notes 2.0: Interactive and with as much information as possible about the products. Since the fashion industry still finds itself stuck somewhere between traditional formats and the innovation of the new media, press notes are highly used nowadays. However, it’s important to exploit the visual and creative components that are characteristic of this industry with new, much more dynamic types of press notes that are much more “digestible” for the modern journalist.
- Digital platforms: Such as websites specially created for campaigns. Different accounts on social networks, in some cases specifically for these kinds of launches, and in other cases the brand’s already-existing account which is used to help amplify the message. Even phone apps, which are created for the occasion.
- Product testing and samples: Indispensable, so journalists, the media and influencers can try the product first hand and tell others about their experience. I recommend you read this post about the importance of implementing “phy-gital” strategies for your product loaning and gifting.
- Special events: Nowadays product launch events are all about the experience; the most complete and impacting kinds of experiences, which are sometimes even live streamed.
And of course…
- Influencers and brand embassadors: Protagonists of these campaigns, who serve as messengers of this new product or collection to effectively carry the message to the target audience.
Gucci teleports its collection to “outer space”
The house of Gucci may sound to many like a synonym for tradition or classicism… but no! As is the case with their competitor Dolce & Gabbana, the brand is revealing more and more signs of popularity among an audience which is 100% digital. The oh-so-talked-about millennial is now every luxury house’s main target and they have completely transformed their communication strategy.
The strategy: for their FW 2017 collection Gucci opted for a campaign that was “beyond outer space”, as they described it themselves. Alessandro Michele directed a short video inspired by the Hollywood classics such as Star Trek (1966) or The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). In this video, models such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid struggle to fight against all kinds of species: humans, dinosaurs, aliens, robots and other impossible-to-classify creatures; they showed off the garments from the collection in the most peculiar of situations. And what did the all of these characters have in common? Gucci, of course.
This campaign, which surprised many of the brand’s followers, came with a multitude of content which was dispersed on Instagram and other online channels and was all encompassed under the hashtag #gucciandbeyond. The characters, sheathed in Gucci garments, told their stories about the “unsuspected worlds” or scenes from classic sci-fi cinema from the 50s, 60s and 70s; all this with Gucci’s collection as the central element… All of these elements have that “creative component” that is so important in a product launch campaign.
Product placement: The campaign wasn’t only on Gucci’s channels and stories. The brand carried out a product placement strategy with the launch of the collection which involved a celebrity or influencer such as Rihanna. The Barbadian singer made an appearance at the Coachella festival dressed in one of the brand’s designs and her photo on Instagram, which was of course a must, received more than 1,800,000 likes.
Kate Spade brings Morocco to New York
Kate Spade New York’s spring 2017 collection launch campaign arrived on camelback, literally! For this collection, Deborah Lloyd, Chief Creative Officer of the brand, decided to take inspiration from the colors, textures and shapes of the exotic Morocco. The garments included camel drawings, bright colors, floral prints and fringe detailing.
The launch campaign
The American brand wanted to give special importance to this collection at the beginning of the year so they dedicated a website to it (www.katespadespring2017.com) to present the garments from the collection, communicate the creative concept of the collection and share the video of the presentation which was directed by the actress and model, Victoria Justice.
Celebrities and influencers from different fields attended the presentation in New York: Leighton Meester, Jamie Chung, Camilla Belle, Nicolette Mason, Chriselle Lim and Naomi Davis among others. All of them appeared wearing their favorite garments from the Spring 2017 collection which was, by the way, made available for purchase on Kate Spade’s website immediately after the party, following the “see now, buy now” strategy which the brand had been implementing for several seasons.
This immediacy affect was also present on the company’s Facebook page; the presentation was aired all day via live-streaming on Facebook Live before they uploaded the video. The cameras followed Victoria Justice throughout the whole event. The brand tried to get the customers involved in the experience which the New York-based brand had prepared at the iconic Russian Tea Room in Manhattan.
The collection-launch campaign wasn’t only present on the main webpage, it was present on all of the brand’s social media platforms, on which they constantly showed glimpses of the collection through images, video and boomerangs with that fun touch that Kate Spade has always had.
And of course, Kate Spade put the cherry on top of the icing with another video to present the collection, starring model Fernanda Ly – who has also been the face of the brand’s Summer and Fall campaigns – and a camel leisurely strolling along the streets of the Big Apple.
El Ganso by HawkersThis year the glasses brand, Hawkers, really outdid itself in every. Not only has it managed to grow exponentially, but also the brand has taken its traditional colabs with influencers, such as Paula Echevarría, a step further. Hawkers has been forging partnerships with mega retail brands such as the one they did last year with Pull & Bear and now, in 2017, with the brand El Ganso.
— HAWKERS CO. (@HawkersCo) 2 de marzo de 2017
The Product Launch Campaign
Both brands joined forces at the beginning of the year to create the glasses collection “El Ganso by Hawkers”, made up of four limited edition models. The presentation of the collection took place in the El Ganso store on Fuencarral street, in which they made the most of the occasion to transform the space conceptually into a more casual atmosphere, including a Triumph Truxton motorbike.
Around 70 guests, including journalists and influencers, attended the event which was broadcasted live via social media channels of both brands. On top of the that, users who were not attending the event could participate in a drawing for exclusive earphones. This way, both brands we able to get the experience of the launch to their consumers.
Youtubers such as Psycho Peach contributed to the promotion of the collection launch with a video that they later posted on their channel.