Steal Their Style: 7 Retail Brands Bringing Life To Their Digital Marketing

Digital innovators are changing the face of marketing for fashion retail brands. Be it using Twitter to tell a story or crowdsourcing content on Instagram, more brands are shifting their focus toward integrated marketing campaigns that allow them to generate buzz around new products and strut their stuff – both offline and online. Social media presents marketers with a unique opportunity to connect with their target audience, build a consistent brand image across channels, and generate more sales.

With 70% of marketers planning to allocate more budget to digital, social media advertising in particular, it’s time to start thinking innovation and integration to make your campaigns count and messages last forever. Take inspiration from these seven fashion brands blazing the trail for unique and innovative digital marketing campaigns, and use integration to breathe life into your own marketing campaigns.


At the forefront of social media innovation is sport brand Adidas, who constantly hit the right note with their campaigns. From lucrative sponsorship deals with sport stars that give Adidas the unique opportunity to connect sportspeople to their fans (as demonstrated by their use of the new Twitter DMs function) to an all-star World Cup campaign, Adidas are the front-runners in fashion on social media.

For their FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign, Adidas created a number of YouTube videos in collaboration with well-known football players such as David Beckham, Lionel Messi, and Pablo Armero to air throughout the tournament. Tweeting in several languages to engage with as many Twitter users as possible about different events during the games and created real-time visuals based on matches for their social channels. This was supported by the ‘All In Or Nothing’ commercials, that aimed to engage viewers by asking them to choose whether they were #AllIn or they give nothing. All this social media activity helped them achieve serious social growth. Adidas were the most talked about brand on social media during the World Cup, featuring in 1.59 million conversations, and they enjoyed a 5.2 million increase in followers across their social media channels. Even better, #AllIn was mentioned 917,000 times, making their campaign hashtag the most used brand hashtag on Twitter during the World Cup.

Key takeaway: The three pronged success formula; use a of a unique hashtag, combine it with real-time marketing, and captivating visuals to maximize engagement on your social media campaigns.


British fashion retailer Topshop used social media to tie their offline/online efforts together during their fashion week campaigns, and with #AW15 London Fashion Week nearly over, they’ve certainly had some tricks up their sleeves to drive sales using Twitter. This isn’t the first time Topshop have created a front row experience for online shoppers and their social media audience. Topshop have been leading the way in digital innovation around fashion week since 2012, when they set up a live-stream of their catwalk show, enabling viewers to create a customizable catwalk selecting snippets of the catwalk they enjoyed, and share their favorite outfits in real-time on Facebook. They could also install an iTunes plug-in that let users download music straight from the catwalk.

Last year, Topshop invited customers to showcase their own looks on Instagram using the hashtag#TopshopWindow. All of these images were gathered together to be displayed on a triple-screen installation located in the window of Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus store. All the photos combined created a fully interactive digital mosaic of aspiring fashionistas and was described as the ‘world’s first fashion show created by Instagram imagery’. An impressive use of user-generated content as part of a wider marketing strategy centred around London Fashion Week. Hats off to Topshop.

Key takeaway: Consider social media your inspiration for new and innovative ways to showcase your products.

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs master social media by turning Tweets into currency, with campaigns that focus on driving footfall into their stores and pop-up shops. The #MJDaisyChain campaign saw the brand open a pop-up shop in London, where they created buzz for their Daisy fragrance. People could claim free deluxe samples of the Daisy perfume in exchange for Tweets using the hashtag, additionally the brand offered Twitter users a chance to win highly sought-after Marc Jacobs bags and jewelry for posting the most inspiring photos on Twitter with their unique hashtag. The real-time aspect of the campaign led to high volumes of people visiting the pop-up store, generating loads of buzz, and the brand achieved peak levels of organic reach.

Key takeaway: Generate positive buzz on social and increase the organic reach of a campaign by offering prizes and incentives in exchange for Tweets/posts.


Burberry have a strong presence on social media and a firm affinity with Twitter marketing after allowing fashionistas to purchase items hot off the catwalk last September at London Fashion Week. Burberry commanded an 8% share of voice at last year’s #SS15 London Fashion Week, with over 8,000 Tweets sent about the brand – making Burberry the number one brand on Twitter during fashion week. Burberry uses social media to boost brand value and buzz around their Fashion Week collections.

Burberry’s team are seasoned professionals at creating campaigns that resonate with their audience. As part of a digital drive to highlight their expanding make-up collection, Burberry launched the ‘Burberry Kisses’ campaign, in collaboration with Google. Find out more about the tech behind the campaign here. Not only did the project require a dedicated subdomain, but Burberry extended the online campaign into offline territory by branding the US shop windows to match the ‘Kisses’ campaign theme.

Key takeaway: Make sure your campaign messages resonate with your audience by reaching them everywhere – marry up offline and online channels for a truly integrated campaign.


Global brand Gap understand the power of a good bargain. Though arguably one of the most recognizable fashion brands in the world, Gap enticed even more customers by teaming up with Groupon to create an irresistible deal: $50 worth of Gap apparel for $25. Gap used social media channels such as Foursquare to promote these deals and offers to new customers, and from this campaign alone 441,000 groupons were sold – bringing in profit of around$11 million. Gap’s Senior Director of Media cited their use of sites like Groupon and social media as a way of reaching new customers, and trying “to reach them in ways that are part of their everyday so that it becomes like a conversation.”

Key takeaway: Be where your audiences are, reach new audiences with different channels and provide incentives and discounts to further entice customers.


Classic, iconic, and oh-so-stylish, Dior uses social media to tell a story that builds excitement around their TV spots. Charlize Theron is the golden girl for the J’Adore perfume commercials, and the latest social media campaign is based around Natalie Portman as a runaway bride for #ItsMissActually. Dior differ from other brands in that they use social media as part of wider campaigns to tell stories about their vision for the brand and engage their customer’s imaginations. With over 5.5 million Twitter followers and counting, this storytelling strategy is clearly working for them.

Key takeaway: Build a personality for your brand and use social media to tell your brand’s story.

Michael Kors

Named the top fashion brand on social back in 2013 for achieving a boost of 7 million new followers with Instagram, is any list of great fashion brands on social complete without Michael Kors? Michael Kors use social media to spread their brand vision across the globe, with campaigns such as #JetSetSelma which set out to encourage user-generated content and unite fans of the Selma bag across both online and offline.

Another great example of MK encouraging user-generated content on social media is their #WhatsInYourKorscampaign, which stretched across Twitter and Instagram, asking followers and fans to upload photos of what they’re carrying around in their beloved handbags. The brand followed up with the initial #WhatsInYourKors campaign, which began in 2013, by continuing to use the hashtag alongside style tips and advice. A clever way to recycle a unique hashtag for a long-term social media campaign.

Key takeaway: Encourage your audience to share content based around your brand values to foster engagement and reinforce those values.


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