Digital: The maker or breaker of big brands!

As it emerges that Topshop is too scared to embrace new technologies, it brings to the fore the question … how much is your company embracing digital marketing?

We saw what happened to big brand Comet as a result of not keep up with the changes in the market place and mostly relying on traditional marketing. The demise was attributed to not keeping up with the digital changes and the new technologies used for marketing and buying behaviour. At the time that it was administration was announced, Dan Wagner, a technology entrepreneur who has backed several internet businesses, told the BBC that Comet “was an accident waiting to happen” because successive managements had failed to understand the online world. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20164228).

Now Justin Cooke, who is a former Marketing Chief with Topshop, has announced that brands in fashion not embracing technology look set to face the same fate. He says “Fashion was quite slow to pick up on [technology],” he said. “Particularly in luxury, they were very scared of digital in the beginning – still a lot of people are.” (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/sep/16/london-fashion-week-technology-justin-cooke

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Caption: Using innovation and technology to bring new experiences to the customer and create a stronger brand presence (http://www.digitaltrainingacademy.com/casestudies/2012/09/case_study_topshop_live_shoppi.php).

Ideas pioneered by Cooke included live customisation of the catwalk using HD cameras as well as using the actress Kate Bosworth customising Christmas messages for the top 100 names in their mailing list.

Technology and how it is used is beyond the control of any one company. It is an external factor effecting business and the faster trends are spotted and reacted to, the better the competitive advantage. It is important to recognise how technologies impact on your target market and shape their experience from information search to decision to buy. Find out which technologies they use and where they hang out and include technology in your existing and future marketing plans. Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to innovate and try something different.

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