How the Fashion Industry will use New gTLDs
The fashion industry is always one season ahead. But is it ready for a digital transformation with gTLDs? Many big fashion and luxury brands applied for their own gTLD. What could we expect in the fashion space as new gTLDs create new digital worlds for top brands? Let’s start with who applied. In fashion, we saw some big fashion houses like Hermes, Chanel, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Coach, as well as powerhouse luxury Richemont with its suite of luxury brands: Omega, Piaget, and Chloe, Mont Blanc, to name just a few.
The most obvious immediate way we could expect to see these fashion brands to start building new experiences is to launch seasonal campaigns like fall.gucci or birthday.tiffany to create specific digital experiences integrated with traditional marketing campaigns. But the savvy fashion company will recognize the power of the gTLD as high speed, secure, authentic and smart channel of the internet and start building out new social experiences and content targeted to their consumer. gTLDs allow fashion companies to unchain their home page and build out more tailored experiences that will help consumers find them across social mobile platforms and throughout the digital experience. For example, Chanel could build runway.chanel as a landing page to help people fine what they just saw on the runway. Or, possibly build out a channel of content and entertainment to boost the digital experience. Hermes could build an entire channel on scarves.hermes with tips and digital videos on wearing and caring for their coveted collection. On the home side of fashion, Ralph Lauren can build out idea pages in paint.ralphlauren or design.ralphlauren. The possibilities are endless.
And, what is most notable as they create these new digital experiences, they can track the all-important data points to know how consumers are responding and tailor the digital world to what they want, translating into more sales, revenue and loyalty.
A few big brands were missing: Burberry, J Crew, Vera Wang, Valentino, Christian Louboutin (why didn’t they apply for .red?), Michael Kors, Manola Blahnik, Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Theory, to name just a few. Are they out of luck? Quite the contrary, they just need to explore the many new generic top level domains. Many that could be most relevant to the fashion industry include all of the colors, .black, .pink, .red and then the fashion related names like .wedding, .boutique, .channel (owned by Google), .lol (also owned by Google), .club, of course .fashion, .style, .guide, .luxury, to name just a few. There’s a .clothing, but that to me doesn’t make a lot of sense because we rarely use the word clothing to define fashion. Clothing is the utility, fashion is the style.
The key is the domain name needs to fit something you would use as a campaign or hear someone use in social media to have sticking power. If it has sticking power, you could build it into a digital experience. Can you imagine it on Times Square or in a print ad? If you can, it could have value.
For fashion companies, whether you applied for a g TLD or not, a transformation of the internet and what consumers expect from you in their digital world is changing. The online experience must integrate with what consumers expect in social media and through mobile experiences. It’s a holistic experience. As consumers come into your digital world, what do they see, feel and hear. How are you leveraging your new gTLD or new domains to maximize that experience? There is a wealth of ideas and gTLDs could be a catalyst for next season’s digital experiences. What could you do with?
Fashion is always one season ahead – what will be next season’s hottest digital address?