Harvard University Digital Experience Based Strategies Case Study Title: ‘Designing Digital Experiences, what does it mean for fashion brands, designers and the future of communication?
Beginning on April 1, WWD Chinas digital fashion week, which is in fact a six-week summit, will feature talks and panels from leading fashion industry experts and environmental scientists. It will also feature a collection of presentations from sustainable designers and will be live streamed worldwide to viewers who will mainly be confined to their homes. Focusing on topics such as zero-waste design and ethical supply chains, the event will emphasise how important it is to act and produce sustainably, particularly during times of global crisis. The news comes as the previously cancelled Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo (March 16-26) announced it will go ahead as a digital-only live-streamed event (Stylus, 2020). CASE STUDY GUIDELINES/REQUIREMENTS Learning Outcomes: LO1. Compose critical analysis to solve problems in practical and professional contexts for continuing professional development. LO2. Consider and analyse a company / organisation appropriate to the subject specialism.
Part 1: Case Study Analysis (3,500 words), 70% of the overall unit grade (LO1, LO2)
The case study is to focus on a specific area of communication around staging digital experiences to engage with customers and create value. You are required to give examples of how brands or fashion weeks have utilised digital experiences in their communication strategies and provide examples of success or failure. The case study must evidence in depth research, including primary research (if possible), analysis of that research, insights and recommendations formulated through the case study research.
Case Study (Indicative Content)
1. Evaluate the factors that led to the growth of the experience economy in the fashion industry, mainly the digital experience.
2. Assess the potential benefits and added value from embedding digital experience strategies, and the role it plays in shaping the future of communication.
3. Identify the main challenges facing fashion brands in endorsing digital experience strategies, now and in the future.
4. Formulate a view on how fashion brands should communicate in times of crisis and utilise the use of digital experiences to engage with customers and other stakeholders. Digital Experience-Based Strategies in Fashion Brand Marketing Communication
Transformation of the economy
The economy in which the fashion industry exists has undergone major transformations. This
transformation has led to a shift from the traditional brick-and-mortar economies to digital
economies. Some fashion companies have completely shifted to the digital economy while others
embrace both digital and traditional economies (Siljestedt, 2014).
Digital economy is a type of economy that uses technological innovations for purposes of
interactions, such as in marketing communication (King, 2008). For example, fashion companies
use digital experience-based communication strategies to market their brand to customers. Digital
experience involves the use of technology-based platforms such as websites and social media for
brand marketing communications (King, 2008). Fashion brands are now adopting digital
experience marketing and after-marketing as key digital communication strategies to sell their
brands (Grant Thornton, 2018).
Customers increasingly embrace digital technology solutions, especially the use of mobile
phone technology. A study by Larby, Kurk, & Taylor (2015) revealed that more than 75% of
customers today prefer to receive marketing information about fashion brands through platforms
supported by their mobile phones. Fashion companies such as Mary Katrantzou and H&M are
taking advantage of the boom in technology use in the contemporary society to integrate digital
experience in their brand marketing communication strategies.
The potential customers in the fashion industry are currently a youthful generation (Siljestedt,
2014). The young generation of customers prefer to have a digital experience, hence increasingly
use technology-based platforms. Fashion companies such as Macys have integrated digital
experience into their experience marketing communication strategy, by posting on social media
the messages and photographs that enable customers to relate the brands to their memorable
experiences, hence ensuring a two way communication when such customers communicate such
linkages with the companys products.
Competition in the market
Stiff competition threatens the existence of fashion brands in the market (King, 2008).
Customers in the fashion industry also share their brand experiences (both pleasant and horrible)
with others (Larby, Kurk, & Taylor (2015). Fashion brands are thus using digital experiences to
entice customers, improve customer experience, and expand their market share.
Mary Katrantzou has successfully used social media platforms as a digital experience strategy
to increase its customer base and improve its brand image through interaction with customers
(Siljestedt, 2014). H&M has increased its customer experiences by using mobile applications and
bar code technology as digital experiences in marketing.
Mary Katrantzou sometimes fails to balance brand marketing messages shared on digital
experience-based platforms hence making their brand look cheap (Siljestedt, 2014). According to
Siljestedt (2014), fashion brands also fail to choose the right platforms because several platforms
continue to emerge. It has been difficult to establish a single social media platform that offers the
best brand experience and is also compatible with other platforms as to allow two-way
communication with customers.
Benefits of Digital Experience Based Strategies
Reduced cost of marketing
Digital experience-based marketing communication reduces the cost incurred by fashion
brands. Compared to traditional fashion brand marketing communication, digital experience-based
strategies are less capital intensive (Siljestedt, 2014). It is also a convenient means of meeting
customers and marketing the brand. Fashion brands such as Mary Katrantzou and H&M use digital
experience-based marketing strategies to reach multiple customer categories, both the intended
and unintended customer groups (Siljestedt, 2014).
Improved brand image among customers
Digital experience-based marketing effectively improves customer brand experience, for
example, through the use of videos and beautiful images (Grant Thornton, 2018). Customers can
share their brand experience with other potential customers in other digital experience-based
platforms. Digital experience-based marketing strategies, such as after-marketing using social
media platforms and email, enable fashion brands to provide customers with sufficient and
entertaining brand information (Grant Thornton, 2018).
Improve customer base and customer loyalty
Macys fashion brand is using beacon technology as a digital-based marketing communication
strategy to communicate marketing information to many customers in a region, thus constantly
getting new customers (Grant Thornton, 2018). Social media platforms enable fashion brands to
provide information to customers over the globe on a 24-hour basis. Customers can in turn give
feedback about their experience so that the fashion brand can be improved.
Increased sales and revenue growth
Expansion of market and customer base leads to increase sales and revenue. Fashion
companies thus makes more profit from their brand because of increased sales and reduced
expenses associated with digital experience-based marketing strategies. For example, aftermarketing is much cheaper if done on social media that if done through paper mail.
Challenges in Integrating Digital Experience Strategies in Fashion Industry
Difficult to choose the right technology
There are several digital experience-based strategies, making it difficult to know the platform
that gives the best customer experience (Siljestedt, 2014). With continued advancement in
technology, fashion brands would still have to invest in emerging digital experience-based
strategies as the previous digital platforms become unpopular among customers.
Some customers still prefer traditional marketing communication technologies.
The digital transformation of the economy can never be 100% (King, 2008). More than 25%
of customers still prefer to obtain marketing information through the traditional marketing
communication strategies (Larby, Kurk, & Taylor, 2015).
Security Risks Associated with Digital Experience Brand Marketing Communication
Both insiders and outsiders can misrepresent information in the digital platforms to spoil
digital customer experiences (Larby, Kurk, & Taylor, 2015).
Inconsistent information to many people through the digital platforms due to the lack of
With digital experience marketing, it may be challenging to control content communicated
among customers through their various social media platforms, as part of the two-way
Develop metrics for measuring success
In order to understand the best strategy to use, fashion brands should develop metrics for measuring
the success of their digital experience-based strategies.
A mix of marketing communication strategies
A mix of both digital-based and traditional fashion brand marketing strategies are ideal (King,
2008; Siljestedt, 2014). In times of crisis, fashion brands should focus more on digital experiencebased strategies to cut costs and minimize risks to the brand and customers.
Training of employees
Enable the employees to detect and thwart threats to the brand image by unscrupulous
employees and/or outsiders. Enable employees to provide customers with consistent and quality
Promote two-way communication
Through after marketing communication strategy, a fashion brand should establish continuous
communication with the customers. Fashion brands should ask loyal customers to promote their
brand experience among their social media friends and relatives. As noted by King (2008), twoway communications between a fashion brand and the customers, and among the customers, gives
a similar experience as traditional marketing strategies hence can accommodate customers who
still prefer traditional marketing over digital marketing communication. This two-way approach,
as mentioned in the paper, can be achieved through the social media communication strategy that
is adopted by the fashion companies.
King, D. L (2008). Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools and
Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love. Medford, NJ: Information Today.
Larby, R., Kurk, D., Taylor, J. (2015). Shaping the Future of Digital Customer Experience.
Siljestedt, S. (2014). Marketing strategies in luxury fashion SMEs. Retrieved from
Grant Thornton (2018). Use of e-commerce in the fashion industry. Grant Thornton, 1-26.
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