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Condé Nast: Innovative, creative brands make best Fashion’s Night Out events

By
September 6, 2012

Emily Zak, photo credit Michael Trow

Considering Fashion’s Night Out to be a branding experience is the best-possible tip for luxury marketers looking to participate this year, according to an executive from Condé Nast International.

The fourth annual Fashion’s Night Out presented by Condé Nast is upon metropolises, a night designed to boost consumer confidence and the economy to kick off Fashion Week. To prepare, brands need to be creative, innovative and fun to gain consumers, especially since there is a record-number of brands participating this year.

“Vogue’s FNO is a unique opportunity to encourage new customers to discover their collections in-store, with the special events being held making the brands accessible to those who have not previously visited,” said Emily Zak, executive retail editor of British Vogue, London.

“The most successful events are the most creative, not necessarily the most expensive,” she said. “It is about ideas that tie into what the brand is about in a fun, playful way.”

Ms. Zak coordinates all FNO events worldwide excluding the United States. Each market in Conde Nast International is headed up by its own team.

In this Q&A, Ms. Zak details best practice, what makes for a great Fashion’s Night Out and aspects to be wary of this year. Here is the dialogue:

What are a few best-practice tips for luxury marketers this FNO?

Balancing exclusivity and scale is a key consideration, particularly in light of the success of the event.

The best way to approach this night is to consider it as a branding exercise above all else.

The most successful events are the most creative, not necessarily the most expensive . Ideas should tie into what the brand is about in a fun playful way.

How does this year differ from FNO events in the past?

FNO is taking place in 19 countries this year. The event has grown since its inception in 2009, both in terms of cities and countries participating.

The Netherlands will hold its debut FNO event this year.

The numbers of brands participating internationally has grown exponentially, and the ante has most definitely been upped in terms of creativity and user experience.

How can luxury marketers benefit from participating in FNO?

Vogue’s FNO is a unique opportunity to encourage new customers to discover their collections in-store, with the special events being held making the brands accessible to those who have not previously visited.

It is also an opportunity to launch a new product or idea under the Vogue banner.  The commercial response on the night is directly proportional to the strength or draw of the event.

Is FNO only beneficial for hooking aspirational consumers?

FNO is unique in its mix of luxury brands and high street. FNO celebrates fashion and shopping whatever the budget.

Brands have freedom to target their events for existing customers, or to open them out to new visitors.

Most brands see this as an investment with these new younger customers as their future clientele.

What is something that luxury marketers should be wary of during FNO?

Most are already acutely aware of this, but maximizing customer engagement has to be the most important element for marketers to bear in mind for the night.

Otherwise, the unique opportunity to engage with your potential customer of the future could be squandered.

Here are some images from last year’s FNO:

Versace

Saks Fifth Avenue

Michael Kors
Jeffrey’s

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York

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Rachel Lamb is an associate reporter on Luxury Daily. Her beats are apparel and accessories, arts and entertainment, education, food and beverage, fragrance and personal care, government, healthcare, home furnishings, jewelry, legal/privacy and nonprofits. Reach her at rachel@napean.com.

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