3 Brand's that 'Outbuzzed' their Rivals During Fashion Week
We love Fashion Week - not just for the fashion (although that's a good enough reason to love it) but for all the clever and creative initiatives that the leading brands use to 'outbuzz' their rivals too.Here are the 3 brands that really stood out this season:MulberryMulberry won the contest of pre-LFW buzz hands down with an innovative event invitation - tiny wedgewood teacups that the brand sent out to their lucky show guests. The invitations even had their own hashtag with buzz generation in mind - #mulberryteacup.Analysis, by social media listening service Salesforce Radian 6, showed that Mulberry was by far the most talked about designer ahead of LFW, despite other innovative offerings including wearable invitations produced by Ashish and palmer//harding.Show invitations clearly are a significant buzz opportunity, with 11% of all posts that Radian 6 analysed sharing excitement and pictures of innovative invites, or lusting after a show ticket.TopShopIt's no surprise that TopShop made our top 3. As Sir Philip Green himself said, 'Each season, we set ourselves the challenge to excite in a different way..'TopShop really raised the bar in February with the introduction of features such as 'Customise the Catwalk', an app which allowed users to change the colour of clothing and accessories the moment they went live on the catwalk - a great way of individualising the experience as well as gaining valuable data about client product and colour preferences. 'Customise the Catwalk' featured again in this year's show, as did features like 'Shoot the Show' - allowing viewers to capture and share their favourite looks - and ecommerce functionality enabled viewers to order selected items from the show, including make up, immediately after the show.So what could TopShop do to top that? Well, this year it was all about 'chirping.'Chirp is an audio watermarking app - similar to Shazam - which allows users to share links, images and contacts with other users via transmitting audible 'chirps' from their devices.So attendees to TopShop's custom-built event arena in Regent's Park could visit various 'chirp locations' where chirps were being broadcast. The chirp app on their phone would decode this audio to unlock content related to the show - be that pictures from the pattern shop showing items being constructed, shots of the show being prepared or backstage pics from the show.The 'chirp content' was also available to visitors to TopShop's flagship Oxford Street shop via a specially constructed 'Chirp & Twitter' garden. Again , shoppers with the app on their phone could walk through the garden and receive image transmissions to their phones and tablets via sound.Of course, the limited distribution of this initiative was both its strength and weakness. The fact that most TopShop customers wouldn't have been invited to the show or visited TopShop's Oxford Street store limited its reach - and contributed to TopShop being 'outbuzzed' by another brand this season (see below). That being said, the fact that it was an exclusive at show and in-store experience meant it was a great way of generating footfall.BurberryBurberry usually vie for the crown of 'buzz darlings' of fashion week with TopShop, but this season they were clear winners with over 300,000 LFW mentions, including 10,000 on Twitter (compared to TopShop's none-too-shabby 8,000). How did they do it? They teamed up with a brand that's good at generating plenty of buzz of it's own - Apple and its brand new iPhone 5s.At the time of the show, Apple's new flagship smartphone wasn't available to the public, adding to the level of interest. The tie up between the 2 brands centred around one of the upgraded features of the new iPhone - the camera. Burberry helped Apple go showcase this by shooting their fashion show exclusively on the iPhone and reaped the buzz dividends of their decision.This wasn't some wobbly, blurry handheld video - 14 iPhones were used in total in a range of locations on the runway, in moving mounts and on the ceiling. But the results were amazing - especially the 15 second Instagram video shot using the new iphone's slow motion mode.It's great to see the usual suspects raising the bar, and there were plenty of solid efforts from other fashion brands, but there was little else that displayed a desire to excite, inspire and engage audiences like the above. And if UK fashion brands aren't raising their game during a week of heightened interest in fashion brands, it's probably indicative of a lack of digital innovation across the sector and a greater need to embrace the opportunities that digital presents. As Mulberry, TopShop and Burberry have shown, the rewards are worth the endeavour for those prepared to put their heads above the parapet.