I want to preface this post with saying that I read a book last year by Malcolm Gladwell titled “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”. The author’s theory was that our snap judgments and first impressions in the first two seconds of any experience are usually the most accurate. (I might reread Blink just to do a #RawReview & trust it’ll be worth the reread.)
Now to the matter at hand. Oh Dior mon cheri. 🤦🏾♀️
PSA 🗣 to Maria Chiuri: Your SS19 campaign ad as featured in Vogue’s February 2019 issue screamed “culture vultures” in those first two seconds as aforementioned. Both my snap judgment and my first impression said “See they really do want to be us.”
A quick background story on Maria Grazia Chiuri, currently serving as creative director of Dior. As of 2016 she was the first and only woman to lead the creative side of the Christian Dior in their entire 69 years of history. So you’d think that after allllllllll this time the lady would have thought to tread lightly, right? So y’all want the culture but not the struggle?
We’re currently 31 days into 2019 which means that officially we are 1 month down with 11 more to go before it’s 2020!
While I’m extremely focused on making this year my most profitable to date, I’m already planning for 2020. Fantasy. Theory. Fact. “Like Momma Dee, in that order.” (*Nicki Minaj – High School*)
My fantasy stage was back in 2017. Then came the theory stage in 2018. So you know what that means for 2019, right? Bingo! Fact. As long as the outcome is income, we should all be making money moves. (*Cardi B – Bodak Yellow*)
Shifting my paradigm by far has been the hardest part of my journey. I’ve come to the conclusion however, that if I add consistency to the top of the list, I can actually take quantum leaps in 2019. Stay tuned.
Looks like the overall investment involved in podcasting is very low. For luxury brands like Chanel that aren’t strapped for cash, it’s an easy experiment for brands to test out.
For start-ups or up and coming brands like mine, costs usually involve a few hundred dollars for equipment and online hosting fees ranging between $30 and $50 per month (according to those with experience in their production).
Most of the brands that now feature podcast as a digital marketing tactic recruited a host from inside their ranks and this avoided the hefty price tag that would’ve come with hiring from outside. From over here, it’s looking like a Podcast series featuring your favorite wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Female podcast listeners are driving much of the industry’s growth. Their total monthly listenership jumped 14 percent in 2018 according to BOF.
If that isn’t enough, just under one-quarter of American women now listen to podcasts each month, compared to 27 percent of American men.
Adding up yet? Here’s more, Americans are now listening to an average of 7 different podcasts per week and the average is most popular with folks aged 24–54.
The market numbers certainly make sense for fashion and beauty brands targeting female customers with disposable income. But let’s be real, the audience for a deep dive into a designer’s inspiration or Chanel’s take on opera is often narrow and not everyone really gives two fu*ks about what another has to say. Right?
In 2017, Chanel debuted its “3.55“ podcast in-store at the famed Paris retailer Colette hosted by the journalist Daphné Hézard as a celebration of the store’s final days before it closed that December.
The first iteration of the show donned conversations with amigos de la casa like Pharrell Williams and since then, “3.55” has featured series like “Handbag Stories” (anecdotes from assorted Chanel bag lovers like model Soo Joo Park) and, most recently, “Chanel at the Opera” (conversations on creativity with choreographers, dancers and actors).
My thing is if a major fashion house and luxury brand such as Chanel is now both embracing and adopting digital marketing moves, shouldn’t we be as well?
According to Edison Research in 2018, 48 million people in the United States alone tuned in to podcasts each week, a number that’s up six million from 2017 evidence that the audience, though still small for many branded podcasts, has potential to grow.
It’s possible that this format allows a fashion brand to reach a much broader audience, both in-store and on a national level but the Podcasts seem to tell a longer and more intimate story and so long as your host has the ability to connect with listeners on a very personal level, success is inevitable.
So apparently despite their non-visual nature and limited reach, podcasts are becoming a popular communications tool for fashion companies.
Longform audio does in fact serve as another platform, like video before it, for fashion brands to speak directly to their most loyal fans, customers and clientele, offering what’s positioned or wrapped up as an authentic glimpse behind-the-scenes.
Word on the street is that Saks in NYC recently joined a wave of fashion and beauty companies that are now turning to podcasts working to prove their selves in the digital age. Saks’ new beauty floor now has everything you might expect from a high-end emporium including a podcast in residence.
Back in October 2018, the second annual Forces of Fashion conference was held at Milk Studios (NYC) with same high price tag ($3,000) and the same level of A-list guests. Want to know what else was included with the $3k price tag, shoulder rubbing or hobnob with editor-in-chief and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour.
This is just the beginning for Vogue though as their new strategy is based solely around selling access, experiences and style directly to readers beyond the pages of its magazine and website.
So how is it determined and who’s to say that their selection process is accurate, but fair?
Vogue holds the most valuable title in Condé Nast’s portfolio, and now the US edition is leveraging its authority in the eyes of brands and readers. Why? Oh but of course to generate revenue. According to BOF, it’s a challenging time for the publisher and new ways of generating revenue is the only option.
Vogue is in the process of rolling out a new membership programme for readers and the offerings will include exclusive content and access to the magazine’s editors and exclusive events. In other words, you’ve got to pay-to-play when it comes to our beloved Vogue.
Vogue’s Runway, an index of designers and brands, also formerly known as Style.com is now allowing brands and designers the opportunity to be featured alongside brands like Chanel and Gucci.
Joining the Vogue index is major deal for up and coming brands, as well as designers who in any other circumstance may have not had such an opportunity. Amazing right? Yup. But the concern for most is the $20,000 price tag and the pending approval from the Vogue’s editor that comes with it.
The question is “how bad does designers and brands really want their collection images featured?” Is there a $20k refund should the approval be denied? Stay tuned.