By Perks |
Last week the Perks Consulting team hosted an afternoon series of panels at the “Some Things Digital: Business 2.0″ Conference, a day-long series of panels on carefully curated topics that concern businesses of all sizes in today’s integrated world. Perks presented an “Engagement” segment of 3 panels covering the changes and evolution of the fashion industry, the landscape of female entrepreneurship, and a discussion on consumer innovation lifestyle trends.
The New Digital Fashion Experience: From Production to Engagement
Starting the afternoon off, Perks’ CEO Lauren Perkins was joined by Sammy Davis of Sammy Davis Vintage, the “Martha Stewart of Vintage”, and Jessica Moore of Stylebook, a fab mobile app to help you organize your closet. These two ladies have struck out on their own, building their careers and businesses based off of their social media and tech savvyness, while the power of crowdsourcing their audiences have kept their communities engaged and asking for more. The three women agreed that those brands and companies who set the stage for their communities and then let them create their momentum on their own will find their fans advocating and doing all the work for them. The amount of (mostly favorable) user-generated content has even crowded out official brand content among the results of YouTube or blog searches. Even for these smaller entrepreneurs the results are clear, Moore states that incorporating customer feedback in each new version release results in doubling app sales through word of mouth by her fans.
Lessons From Female Startup Founders
Continuing on female entrepreneurship, the mix of the newbie (Christy Purington of Clique), the serial founder (Beth Schoenfeldt, formerly of Ladies Who Launch and Collective-E), and the advisory (Kat Karimi, formerly of ASTIA), jumped on thoughts about money, males (vs. females), and management in the startup landscape. Bootstrapping and keeping things lean were encouraged among the group, knowing that having too much money makes a company lose control and direction. Angel and VC money should be saved for marketing and further development costs when the product is viable and ready to scale. Thoughts from the fashion panel were echoed again here, as Purington realized “listening to your customers from the beginning will save a lot of headaches” during product building and iteration.
How Businesses Can Harness Consumer Lifestyle Innovation Trends
The afternoon finished off into a diverse discussion of data, “utilitainment”, and the scourge of QR codes with Bryce Gruber of the Luxury Spot, Kyle Cameron Studstill of PSFK, Rosie Siman of Saatchi and Saatchi, moderated by Perks’ own Damien Basile. The year of data (and data exhaust) is coming according to the group, as the proliferation of available behavioral data is coming to fruition with mobile phones rapidly becoming attached to every part of our lives. Research firms like Nielsen will have nothing in comparison to the accuracy brought on by apps such as IntoNow, while it is inevitable that the concepts of data and privacy will eventually dissipate into acceptability, just like how Facebook statuses were once taken to be considered “creepy”. The fate of QR codes (if not already decided) lies in the establishment of best practices by the industry. Marketers have yet to clearly articulate the call to action in the use of QR codes – asking the scanner “do you want to know more” with the assumed answer of “yes”.