Marketing and brand strategy for fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands has now clearly shifted to a predominantly digital experience that goes far beyond an online purchase. To grow brand visibility and gain community engagement, the communication style requires a multi-dimensional, cross-channel approach with emotional content experiences at strategic touch points. Design companies are now fast becoming media companies – creating digital media experiences for fashion and lifestyle brands is, quite simply, necessary for survival.

In designing the digital interfaces for fashion, the focus is on pushing the boundaries past the collection or product itself, to kinetic and visually rich media environments. The iteration of a fashion brand with a contextual virtual environment creates a storyline, nuance and complexity, moving the audience through a sensual and emotional experience. It’s the essential difference between linear advertising and creating content.

Telling the brand story of a fashion label both visually and contextually requires well-defined, engaging and inspiring delivery from a strategic perspective to result in an a refined and sophisticated design. Visual storytelling for fashion and trend based brands must be applied to the product and brand inclusive of visual cues, user-centered narrative and intuitive calls to action to create a rich brand experience. Across every platform, from mobile to print packaging – consistency of design and context is a guiding principle.

This importance placed on digital for fashion and luxury brands is a direct result of a shift in the buying and engagement patterns of users and customers. Growth in the luxury market is experiencing most of its increase in the ecommerce realm, forcing brands to create digital channels that aunthentically reflect their offline brand from both a visual and contextual point of view.

In this landscape, branding and marketing efforts mean rich media experiences that focus on highly developed content designed to connect and create connection with the audience. A successful strategy will mean driving users to content that truly means something to them and encourages them to share it with their network. Brand validation in this sense provides a ‘seal of approval’ to the like minded audience, which, in the trend based and luxury lifestyle markets, can mean more than any paid advertisement.

While this validation does not come easy, with a steady stream of the right content and visuals, a brand has the opportunity to reach this coveted consumer set and penetrate the market. The key is constant optimization, media management and on point messaging that surrounds the core of the brand’s content strategy.

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