Top Fashion Designer Phillip Lim launched his clothing line in 2005, and his creations are staples in the pages of Vogue and on runways from New York to Paris to Milan. What Lim is doing to expand his brand is innovative and interesting, and whether you’re in the fashion industry or not, it’s worth checking out what he’s up to as far as shaping his brand and creating apps and engaging a broader audience and customer base.
He’s known for injecting street style into a high-fashion context, and the advertising and marketing he uses always sticks to this theme and also pushes it further into the future. For Lim’s fall 2012 collection, he didn’t just stick to the usual magazine ads or wait around for TV crews and photographers to capture his shows and reveal them to the public in the usual way. Imagine if your company had an annual conference where you introduce your new products and wait for them to make their way into trade magazines. It’s the traditional route and it seems to work just fine. Then imagine making the “traditional route” more interesting, and being able to reach a much wider audience.
What Lim did this fall is a great lesson in both branding and in utilizing mobile technology. He created a comic book and app called “Kill the Night” that is inspired by his fall collection and “the neo-noir heroines who embody it.” His collection took inspiration from comic books-turned movies like V for Vendetta and Sin City – getting both the comic book audience and the fashion world involved this way is an inspired idea. People can get the limited edition books by signing up at his website (driving traffic to his site) and the free app, called “Agent 3.1,” has “mobile acuity technology,” which lets people use their phone like a magnifying glass and look for hidden links and content in the comic and in future 3.1 Phillip Lim material.
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It’s a great way to promote a brand and a collection, and it’s certainly not limited to the world of fashion. Comic books are a cool and innovative way to get people involved in your product – even if it’s not a comic book app, try and brainstorm other fun, creative apps that can pull people into your brand. Visual materials like comics always work much better than, say, long lectures or corporate videos. Make your brand approachable, identifiable, and unique. Another thing to think about is partnerships. Lim teamed up with Star Wars comic artist Jan Duursema, which lends the books and the app some street cred in the comic world. The app was created in collaboration with King and Partners. If you can build these strong partnerships it expands the reach of your brand and can add legitimacy to your vision.
Whether it’s a comic book and app or maybe a short film and app, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with your brand. The visual medium is a powerful tool, and it’s yours to explore.