The digital realm is currently land of conquest for many fashion brands. The level of competition is extremely high, and even a top brand has no guarantee of success. It’s a completely different game than the real world, with its own rules and players.
In February 2019, Skylabs invited me to join their team for a pitch of three weeks. Our goal was to strengthen the digital presence of Moncler – already well established offline – in order to increase the brand awareness, create engagement and, last but not least, increase the conversion rate (online sales). Along with the strategic plan, we were also asked to design an interacive prototype for the launch of a capsule collection called Fragment.
The ingredients to develop our strategy were: a map, a journey and a bunch of ideas.
Everything started from an in-depth analysis of the brand to understand their current approach, target and touchpoints. Once we collected a fair amount of data, the hard part was organize and intersect those pieces of information into a map. The more aspects you take into account, the bigger your map will be. In our case, working on a huge physical wall helped a lot. There are many digital tools like Miro to simulate this approach (we also used that), but in my opinion the limited space of the screen slows down the mapping process. Our activity was split into quick iterations, alternating individual research and collective brainstorming sessions and reviews until we reached an order from the initial, apparent chaos. Why making a map is so important?
Maps are descriptive: they can reveal patterns and gaps. An empty area could suggest an opportunity to explore, while in a very crowded one there could be some space for improvement.
Maps are also great orientation tools to define journeys. The interaction with a brand is never a self-contained experience. Imagine a brand as another person: you have a general impression when you first meet; when you familiarize, you can associate a set of values; then, if there is a match, you forge a relationship. Having a full overview of the brand’s online and offline presence allows to imagine possible scenarios.
Lastly, good ideas are the ones that make the brand experience memorable. But how do you pick the right idea? We provided a set of parameters, such as complexity and impact, to facilitate the decision process.
Research showed us how important is the role of physical events and temporary stores. Online and offline are not enemies, they should work together to amplify each other. We had the intuition of the seeing the Internet as an additional location.
Usually the experience of a fashion collection online is passive, impersonal and bidimensional. What if we created immersive and playful space, that functions as a bridge between reality and its digitalization? Every capsule would be associated to a different environment with its own rules and aesthetics. This enables the online visitors to discover the product from completely new and unexpected perspectives: the brand experience becomes similar to a videgame with many worlds to be explored.