Founded in 1998, Bluefly, Inc. is a leading online retailer of designer brands, fashion trends and superior value. The foremost online shopping destination features clothing and accessories from over 350 top European and American designers – all at amazing discounts. Bluefly is “the ultimate hookup for the fashion obsessed.”
Under the leadership of chief marketing office Bradford Matson, Bluefly is increasing their brand value by engaging people in new forms of communication, collaboration, education and entertainment. Matson understands fashion 2.0 and knows how to use it to attract new visitors to the Bluefly website. Bluefly also knows how to engage those visitors and ultimately how to convert them into customers.
When I visited bluefly.com, among the first things that I noticed were the variety of media and social channels available to site visitors. There were FLYPAPER and FLYTV. Then as I scrolled down the page, there were invitations to watch Closet Confessions videos, to sign up for Bluefly emails and to play FLY or BYE?. Near the bottom of the web page were Facebook and Twitter icons. The things that I noticed on the website are tools of the “Bluefly marketing strategy, broken into three sectors: marketing programs, social media and offline.”
“The company has also found success in television advertising on the Bravo network, an ideal vehicle for reaching its target ‘fashionista’ demographic,” Matson said, and in social media where it recently rolled out the Closet Confessions campaign.
“The goal is to drive new visitors to the site and increase the engagement of existing customers with videos,” said Bluefly chief marketing officer Bradford Matson. “People like Christian Siriano and Kelly Cutrone have become new-media celebrities. They have fans on Facebook and Twitter, they’re on reality TV; it’s a new world of style celebrities and we wanted to bring out their humanity.” Bluefly ran online ads and video about the site on Condé Nast magazine sites including: Allure, Vogue, Lucky, W and Glamour; Glam’s network, WatchMojo.com and YouTube.
Bluefly also has a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page, not to mention prominent promotions with reality TV shows Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model as well as the movie Sex and the City 2.
“While one-third of Bluefly’s traffic comes from search and another third from e-mail, social media has been ‘very useful,’ said Matson. “It’s deepened our relationship to customers, increased spikes in traffic, and it catches the interest we create with off-line advertising.”
According to a recent article in Direct Marketing News, “Turning to social media is one way that Matson addresses the challenge of consumers who have snapped their wallets shut over the past few years, in the face of an increasingly painful recession and rising unemployment. In 2009, Bluefly’s revenues fell about 15% year over year to $81.2 million. It cut the marketing budget by about $6 million last year.”
“We stepped back and cut off offline advertising and spent our energies on learning about social and working with the marketing programs,” Matson said.
Bluefly was the first national retailer to use bar codes in its television commercials. Last month, according to a New York Times article, “From the comfort of their sofas, mobile-phone users can scan a bar code embedded in commercials on certain evening shows on Bravo and instantly obtain additional information about a product and a discount to buy it. The 45-second commercials by the online fashion retailer Bluefly show snippets of its Closet Confessions interviews with designers and celebrities like Bethenny Frankel, who appeared on The Real Housewives of New York City and the Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir … The commercials were seen on Top Chef, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Real Housewives of D.C., Flipping Out, Top Chef Just Desserts and The Rachel Zoe Project through the fall season.”
“When the cellphone is pointed at the on-screen bar code, the user is linked to a complete closet-baring episode, which can run as long as five minutes, and offered a $30 discount on a $150 purchase at bluefly.com”
Bluefly hopes that the ease and convenience of clicking on a bar code will encourage more viewers to learn about their website. Online Closet Confessions fans, Mr. Matson said, have increased their shopping orders an average of 50 percent, from $300 to $450. “We have added new style stars after the Web video series was so successful … We got a half-million page views the first month we launched it. Closet Confessions, Mr. Matson said, “is custom-made for the fashion obsessed.”
The Bluefly website is a delight to visit. It is not just because of the great values offered on designer fashions. Besides, there are numerous, discounted luxury brand websites on the Internet. Bluefly leads the pack due to their creative CMO, Bradford Matson. His integrated, multichannel marketing approach combines the fundamentals of a successful social media strategy with traditional marketing tactics.
Bluefly learned the basic rules of social media for business well by facilitating communication (i.e., email, Twitter, Facebook. iPhone app), collaboration (i.e., Facebook, FLY or BYE?, Closet Confessions) , education (i.e., website, Twitter, Facebook) and entertainment (i.e., FLYTV, Closet Confessions) as engagement strategies to enable conversation and influence conversations.
In the end, it’s all about engagement. Bluefly succeeded at collaborating with and entertaining their fan base. They found their niche and used a blue ocean strategy that took them to the next level, well above the others that sell designer clothing at discount prices online.
“We all spent years trying to build this perfect mousetrap. We figured that you would just go there, but that’s never going to work,” Bluefly CMO, Bradford Matson says. “What we have to do is know enough about you, so when you land there we can show you paths of shopping to get to where you want. It’s a combination of personalization and customization.”
October 26, 2010 | Categories: Fashion & Social Media Marketing, Fashion On The Web | Tags: Bluefly, Brad Matson, Christian Siriano, Closet Confessions, e-commerce, Facebook, Fashion, Fashion 2.0, Kelly Osbourne, Social Media Marketing, Twitter | Leave a comment
On Wednesday, October 6, the 156-year-old Parisian fashion brand, Louis Vuitton, will expand, even deeper, into the world of fashion 2.0 with their latest digital marketing activities. Louis Vuitton will run its third live fashion show on Facebook in the last year. The 7:30am ET show will feature the Spring/Summer 2011 Collection of designer Marc Jacobs. It is scheduled to run for 10 to 15 minutes and will also be accessible on the Marc Jacobs iPhone and iPad apps. The video presentation and additional footage will be available on Facebook a few hours later.
During the last 16 months, Louis Vuitton has attracted 1.3 million Facebook LIKES and 145,000 Twitter followers (US and Paris). Those audiences, along with 26,400 Foursquare followers, will be leveraged to spread the word about the Facebook fashion show.
The Art of Travel by Louis Vuitton, your official destination for everything Louis Vuitton, is the theme for an ongoing Facebook campaign used to promote the webcast. After visitors sign up to be on the guest list for the live fashion show webcast, they will unlock the Louis Vuitton 360° Fashion Badge. The badge will also appear on their Facebook profile. Video footage will be uploaded to the Louis Vuitton YouTube channel, which has more than 679,000 views.
Currently the Louis Vuitton website features Bono and Ali Hewson, founders of Edun – a for-profit fashion company. They take website visitors on a Journey To the Heart of Africa. The interactive, international e-commerce site describes the mission of Edun – to raise awareness of the possibilities in Africa and encourage the fashion community to do business there. To further celebrate the creative potential of Africa, Louis Vuitton is hosting a temporary exhibition from October 5-17, 2010 in Paris.
Annie Leibovitz photographed Bono and Ali for the Louis Vuitton ad – Every Journey Began In Africa.
The Louis Vuitton website stands out from competitors, gains attention and attracts traffic to the website. It converts visitors into customers and transforms their past and present successes into dynamic, inviting forces of attraction. The Louis Vuitton website differentiates itself from competitive luxury brands with engaging, interactive campaigns – The Art of Travel and Journey To the Heart of Africa.
Visualize the Louis Vuitton website as a presentation of fashion with a heart. It is an awesome integrated marketing effort where e-commerce, fashion and Louis Vuitton core values merge.
Louis Vuitton marketing efforts take fashion 2.0 to the next level.
October 4, 2010 | Categories: Fashion & Social Media Marketing, Fashion On The Web, Fashion Trends, Social Media Marketing | Tags: Ali Hewson, Bono, digital marketing, e-commerce, Edun, Fashion, Fashion 2.0, Fashion on the Internet, Louis Vuitton, luxury brands | 5 Comments
For the first time, New York Fall Fashion Week will include a plus-size only, runway show. OneStopPlus.com, the premiere online high-fashion destination for curvy, voluptuous women, will produce the show that is set for September 15, 2010 at The Atrium in Frederick P. Rose Hall (home of Jazz at Lincoln Center). The curvy, Belle Épogue-themed catwalk will reportedly feature plus-size models like Lizzie Miller and Toccara Jones in Spring 2011 collections. OneStopPlus brand evangelist Emme will also be on hand to host the red carpet. Brands to be featured will include the best in American and European plus-size designs.
A plus-size runway show coinciding with the high-fashion shows for NYC Fashion Week at Lincoln Center is major. As a result, I was curious about what the plus-size fashion niche is doing to join the online conversation and fashion 2.0 explosion. When I Googled “plus-size fashion websites,” I was amazed to find 7.1 million results.
There are many more plus-size fashion websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter networks and online communities than I can write about in this post. The following are a sampling of the ones that stood out because of their engaging fashion 2.0 marketing tactics:
(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, online community)
Positioned as “Your Online Fashion Mall for Sizes 12W to 44W, ” OSP (OneStopPlus.com) is more than just an e-commerce website. It is an online community for curvy women. There is the OSP Shopper’s Club, OSPMag, Facebook page, YouTube Channel and Twitter network. The entire OSP online community is easily accessible from the website. Visitors are invited to share and enjoy their OSP experience.
(Website, Facebook, Twitter, online community, mobile marketing)
The plus-size market giant, joins the fashion 2.0 arena with Inside Curve. The web community invites plus-size women to join Inside Curve – a trilogy for girlfriends of fashion, fun, and friends. It is a new community where trendsetting, plus-size women hang out to celebrate all things fashionable – including themselves!
Lane Bryant embraces fashion 2.0 for most of their online brands with Facebook and Twitter. In addition, Lane Bryant Internet shoppers can get coupons sent directly to their cellphones as well as be the first to hear about new fashion arrivals and special store events in their area with MSG ME – Lane Bryant’s text messaging program.
(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Igigi (pronounced ee zhee zhee) began in 2000. Plus-size women used to be relegated to wearing caftan-like dresses. Well, no more! Igigi is a plus-size clothing retailer that offers dresses for plus-size women in sizes 14 to 32. You will not find any caftan type dresses at Igigi. Their dresses cling to all the right curves and are cut to accentuate the positive.
Igigi does carry other items like tops and pants since their niche is definitely dresses (including bridal). Their clothing are comfortable, flattering and fashionable. Plus-size woman visit the Igigi site because it has one of the best online selections of dresses for work, play and special occasions.
(Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Clothes should enhance and not inhibit curvy women. Size Appeal breaks the stereotype of traditional plus-size clothing, like the boxy styles that make women look bigger and older. Instead, Size Appeal follows the curve in body and style. They strive to achieve the perfect cut and style every time.
Plus-Size Fashion Moving To Luxury Brands
There is definitely a market for large, lovely women worldwide. Smart designers, retailers and marketers recognize that there is a void to fill. According to a 2008 survey conducted by Mintel, a marketing research firm, the most frequently worn size in America is a 14. Furthermore, government statistics show that 64% of American women are overweight (the average woman weighs 164.7 pounds). More than one-third are obese. Yet plus-size clothing (typically size 14 and above) represents only 18% of total revenue in the women’s clothing industry. In addition, a quarter of women are size 18 or bigger – up 45% in five years. The Mintel Study also shows that the UK market for plus-size clothing has never been bigger, with 45% growth in the plus-size, women’s wear market over the past five years.
Reflecting the trend, top designers are producing collections for bigger women. Marc Jacobs is rumored to be entering plus-size fashions. The Marc Jacobs fashion house is in talks about producing a range in size 14 and up. Designer Mark Fast made waves when he sent size 12 and 14 models down his catwalk during London Fashion Week and size 16 model Crystal Renn, who has a huge effect in the industry.
Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC will soon add plus-sized garments to its high-end, designer department. While clothes from most luxury labels were previously sold only up to a size 10, size 14 will hit the racks from Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Toula, Akris, Armani, Carolina Herrera, Escada, Donna Karan, St. John, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara, Valentino, Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Fendi and Roberto Cavalli. Some pieces will be available in sizes 16 to 20. Saks will stock everything from pantsuits to evening wear. However, there is a catch. For most items, you’ll find only one of each size. In addition, if the initiative is successful in Manhattan, then Saks will stock the plus-size clothes in stores around the country.
Last summer, Target began carrying a line called Pure Energy that translated young, trendy clothes to larger sizes, adding to its more mature plus-size offerings. “We definitely view this category as a growth opportunity,” said Target spokeswoman, Katie Heinze. After testing Pure Energy in some stores, Target decided to carry it in all 1,740 outlets. Elie Tahari, the high-end designer, began selling a plus-size line this year and at Full-Figured Fashion Week, more than 25 other designers showed their plus-size clothes to an audience of retail buyers and plus-size women.
The plus-size fashion revolution is here and plus-size fashion 2.0 is in full force. More brands are adding plus-sizes, curvaceous models are walking the Fashion Week runway and fashion websites, blogs and social networks are embracing plus-sizes. It appears the fashion industry is finally recognizing the opportunities that exist in a market segment that was not considered very glamorous. The changing demographics are making a big difference, no pun intended!
August 25, 2010 | Categories: Fashion & Social Media Marketing, Fashion On The Web, Fashion Trends | Tags: e-commerce, Facebook, Fashion, Fashion 2.0, fashion e-commerce, fashion marketing online, Fashion on the Internet, fashion on the web, Fashion week, luxury brands, Marc Jacobs, mobile marketing, online fashion, online fashion marketing, plus-size, plus-size fashions, Saks Fifth Avenue, social fashion, Social Media Marketing, social media marketing in fashion industry, Tahari, Twitter, YouTube | 4 Comments
The fashion media landscape is buzzing about The Rachel Zoe Project and über celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. What’s a girl to do if she is not a celeb and wants her own, personal stylist?
Well there’s an app for that! Earlier this year in their March issue, Vogue launched Vogue Stylist, an iPhone app to assist users in styling their wardrobes by uploading pictures of items they already own and allowing the app to mix and match those pieces with timely monthly picks from the Vogue staff along with products from Vogue‘s advertisers. Content is updated monthly and synchronizes as issues release on newsstands.
Here’s a video that shows how the Vogue Stylist works on your iPhone.
Vogue Stylist users can shop any of the looks straight from their phones or locate the closest store that sells the items, as well as share favorite styles via Facebook. In addition they can unlock exclusive content from the current issue by taking an iPhone picture of select ads which will result in special event invitations, product sampling offers, shopping discounts and exclusive videos.
Not only is this an awesome app for consumers, but it also adds value for advertisers and extends their reach. According to Vogue VP and Publisher Susan Plagemann, “This new app is a perfect example of how Vogue provides advertisers the opportunity to maximize their connection to our reader with an interesting and organic approach. It gives users a personalized interactive experience that allows them to apply Vogue‘s point of view on the trends to their wardrobes on a daily basis.”
CLICK HERE to learn how to get the Vogue Stylist app for your iPhone.
Another fashion/tech fusion is Harper’s Bazaar Personal Stylists, an online personal style resource. At the website you can shop Harper’s Bazaar stylists’ favorite finds, access special offers and giveaways, download exclusive shopping maps and book private New York City shopping trips. All are customized based on your individual needs, taste and budget. In addition, they include insider experiences, offers and gifts.
CLICK HERE to check out Harper’s Bazaar Personal Stylists
Fashionistas … you will be on top of the latest fashion trends and know exactly where to buy them with these awesome, interactive fashion tools. In the words of Coco Chanel, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” These amazing innovations will help you to get there.
August 14, 2010 | Categories: Fashion & Social Media Marketing, Fashion On The Web, Fashion Trends, Social Media Marketing | Tags: digital marketing, ecommerce, Fashion, Fashion 2.0, fashion e-commerce, fashion marketing online, Fashion on the Internet, fashion on the web, fashion stylist, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar Personal Stylists, Integrated marketing, internet marketing, iPhone, iPhone app, online fashion, online fashion marketing, Vogue, Vogue Stylist | 2 Comments
The fashion industry is among the last to grasp and embrace web 2.0 – the social web. Content push, user-created material and connecting people are key elements of web 2.0. To push content, web 2.0 marketers use blogs, podcasts, webinars and RSS. Components of user-created material are the forum, wiki, video and user review. Connecting people is the final web 2.0 tool. This part involves the social network, community, the virtual world and collaboration.
Fashion 2.0 is about the adaptation of web 2.0 tools into the fashion world. So … where do you begin? The following are 6 steps that will get you started:
Keep in mind:
Web sites should be usable, useful and desirable
Relationships are built on interactions
Work towards creating a positive experience
And … voilà, you’re on your way to becoming an amazing Fashion 2.0 marketing maven!
July 29, 2010 | Categories: Fashion & Social Media Marketing, Fashion On The Web, Social Media Marketing | Tags: Fashion, Fashion 2.0, fashion marketing online, internet marketing, online fashion marketing, social fashion, Social Media Marketing, social media marketing in fashion, social media marketing in fashion industry, Web 2.0 | Leave a comment
This is the first in a series of posts about social media marketing thought leaders in fashion. Throughout this series, I will feature an outstanding individual in the fashion industry that stands out in the social media landscape.
Macala Wright Lee is the CEO of FashionablyMarketing.Me a digital marketing and merchandising firm that specializes in fashion, luxury and beauty brands in Southern California. You can follower her on Twitter at @FashMarketing.
What makes Macala our first Social Fashion Thought Leader is that she really knows how to use the tools of the trade. She includes photographs from real-world fashion, social media sites to better define the five ways social media changed fashion in 2009.
About six months ago Macala Wright Lee’s “5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion In 2009,” appeared in Mashable – the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture.
5 Ways Social Media Changed Fashion in 2009
1. Getting Cozy in Communities
2. Creating Niche Communities
3. Embracing Mobile Apps
4. The Rise of Style Bloggers
5. The Impact of User-Generated Content
CLICK HERE to read the entire article
July 7, 2010 | Categories: Fashion On The Web, Social Media Marketing Thought Leaders In Fashion Industry | Tags: digital marketing, Fashion, Fashion 2.0, Fashion 2.0 thought leaders, fashion brands, merchandising, Social Media Marketing, social media marketing in fashion industry, thought leaders | 8 Comments