I love change and disruption. It allows agile brands to disrupt, innovate, inspire, and create extreme value. But brands also need a specific mindset, one focused on playing to win and leading the field.
It will become the most critical success factor as we enter 2022.
One of the saddest moments in the creative world of fashion and retail of 2021 was the passing of Virgil Abloh.
Over the last decade, Abloh became one of luxury’s most influential figures.
The label he founded, Off-White, was skyrocketing, underlining how when creative talent fuses with the ability to influence and innovate, a brand can shape an entire industry in just a few years.
Off-White was instrumental in making sneakers iconic fashion accessories while accelerating the acceptance of the streetwear aesthetic in luxury fashion.
Back in the day your CMO would be the brains and powerhouse between your brand staying front of mind over your competitor in order the customer/client would choose your brand over another.
Over the last 10 years or so it seems this was done by spending huge sums on 'advertising' which eventually turned the marketing teams into nothing other than the company bullhorn. For many this is still the way stuff gets done - despite decimated budgets and revenues, all the associated ad fraud, and outdated ways to measure impact on ROI - and it's really hurting your business.
A lot of what they're still doing is out of a 20th Century 'Don Draper's Madmen' playbook of marketing.
So, lets ask what today is an extremely important question for all companies which is does your CMO and others in the leadership team 'walk the social media talk'?
A brand who wants to remain relevant and authentic today obviously need to understand how to operate on social media platforms and learn to 'listen'.
Yet to do this there's a requirement to invest in a sustained level of 'content output'. In particular from leadership teams and especially from your CMO.
This is important particularly as the mindset that shifts towards creating 'relevant' content, and can consistently engage a 'relevant' audience is critical.
This is because the currency on 'social' is not 'likes' or 'seen' (impressions) it's all about engagement, and the willingness of people to 'want' to share your story with others.
As brands and companies in the 21st socially savvy Covid impacted Century move away from the one trick pony of intrusive advertising and into the scary 'we can't control it' space of social media authenticity today is everything.
Fake news aside 'Social Media' is what 'consumers say you are' not what 'you say you are and if your not 'relevant to me' or my tribe then I'm not really interested.
There are 3 key pillars associated with a really strong social media presence in the business world;
- A relatable personal profile - based on 'who' you are, not what you do.
- The ability to build relationships - grow your network in a social way with a business objective.
- The ability to be able to share what you know - consistent creation, production and sharing of knowledge about the subject matter you have experience with.
So, how do you and your leadership team stack up, is it still a case of 'do what I say, not what I do?
And change is touching every industry. The fashion and leather goods industry is embracing digital wearables, and brands like Louis Vuitton have pivoted into categories like loudspeakers, thanks to the power of their brand. Its $4,000 horizon light-up speaker takes portable audio to price points that incumbents like Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkens, or Naim never dared to go. But they do it in a disruptive way by focusing on fashion. The Louis Vuitton Speaker Trunk PM, retailing at $7,600, goes even further and combines the house’s most iconic design with technology at price points never before seen in portable audio. The questions are: Why did incumbent brands never dare to fuse fashion with technology? And why did they leave this segment to new players in the field?