A look at IFBCON (the blogger conference put on each fashion week by Independent Fashion Bloggers), in numbers speaks volume to the strength and influence of the blogosphere: an estimate of 200 million #IFBCON Twitter hashtag impressions, projection of 10,000 IFB-related tweets in one day alone, and IFB panelists with a net of 33 million Twitter followers.
While IFBCON is best known for offering a wealth of information for fashion bloggers looking to grow their blogs (and an opportunity to meet notables like Derek Blasberg and Coco Rocha), our interest at PR Couture is more about how brands strategically utilize IFBCON to demonstrate their digital savvy and further their relationships with bloggers.
Brand highlights from the conference include Kmart Fashion, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nine West, Lockerz, and MailChimp
IFB kicked off with a creative, hilarious and blogger-packed #FashionWeekProblems video promoting Kmart Fashion’s NYFW concierge service. For yet another season, Kmart is offering their Fashion Week concierge service to assist with all the inevitable fashion week mishaps like chipped nails, sore feet and ripped tights. Essentially any basic fix-ups that Kmart sells is fair game. So go on, tweet @KmartFashion #FashionWeekProblem – the hashtag is already inundated with quirky requests!
One of the most compelling panels of the day was The Future of Digital Fashion with panelist, Carla Dunham, Senior Director of Social Media at Saks Fifth Avenue. Blogger brand partnerships have become integral marketing initiatives and Saks has embraced this. Dunham emphasized the importance of authentic and genuine partnerships and Saks does just that.
Saks named fashion blogger Jenny Wu of Good, Bad and Fab the winner of their Blog for Saks contest with IFB. Check out Jenny’s latest Saks’ assignments here. In addition to blogger collaborations, Saks has leveraged social media to launch interactive campaigns including their current 30 shoes in 30 days giveaway, which kicked off at IFB.
In honor of the expansion of their famed 10022-SHOE floor in the Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship, (touted as being so big it has its own zip code), fans can snap a photo of their favorite shoes and tag them with hashtag #10022shoe on Instagram. One lucky winner is selected once a day from August 25 — September 25 to win a $500 gift card to Saks!
Building upon this undeniable blogger shoe obsession, Nine West activated their Channel 9 Shoe Confessions series, with video programming covering all aspects of footwear, like walking in stilettos, shoe repair tips and insane shoe closets. To launch the collection, Nine West set-up a ‘confessional’ at IFB encouraging bloggers to share their deepest, darkest shoe confessions.
Additionally, Channel 9 partnered with reality TV star and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone in a series called “You’ve Been Prom’d.” The six-episode series follows a group of high school seniors who won complimentary gowns, shoes and makeup sessions for prom from Nine West.
And of course no digital campaign is complete without blogger partnerships. Nine West teamed up with personal style blogger Saucy Glossie and DIY blogger Stripes and Sequins to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out. The collaboration showcased Nine West’s brand new Vintage America Collection store in Soho and supported Nine West’s Runway Relief initiative.
Between the fabulous #10022shoe Instagram posts, frantic #FashionWeekProblems tweets to live #IFBCON coverage, bloggers headed straight for the Lockerz charging at IFB. Lockerz is the leader in rewarded social commerce. Unlike other sharing platforms, Lockerz is the only site that rewards its members for engagement. Lockerz members earn PTZ for nearly everything they do on the site, which are used to get the lowest prices on hundreds of products from fashion, beauty to electronics offered in the Lockerz Store. Lockerz currently boasts a membership community of millions in 195 countries and is growing as Lockerz partners and engages with bloggers. (Disclosure: Lockerz is a Bollare client).
To further showcase their social commerce savvy, Lockerz has partnered with exclusive Lockerz online retailer Boy Meets Girl® for a ‘Buy Now, Wear Now’ NYFW show. This Wednesday, September 12, founder of Boy Meets Girl® , Stacy Igel and Lockerz will presenting “Forever Young” with live performances by Wyclef Jean, Cris Cab and Jarina De Marco AllHandzOnDeck©, live-streaming features and the ability to purchase the looks right off the runway on Lockerz.com.
Rounding up the creative blogger-brand activations at IFB is the DIY station hosted by MailChimp. Serving up adorable MailChimp screen-printed tees, bloggers bedazzled these tees with studs, sequins and rhinestones galore and then got snapped in the branded Smilebooth. While MailChimp is a usual suspect at tech conferences, the easy email newsletter service is now focused on the fashion audience this season. Just as fashion blogs are all about aesthetically pleasing content, MailChimp offers an easy to use and highly visual newsletter to share fashion content.
And there you have it, a recap of how different brands set out to engage with fashion bloggers at Day 1 of IFBCON.