Finding new and unexpected ideas requires a lot of preparation.
That was the key lesson from a session on “Serendipity & Innovation” on the second day of the Dmexco Exposition and Conference in Cologne, Germany.
Dr Bruno Sälzer, CEO of fashion brand Bench, talked about the importance of serendipity—the aptitude for making desirable discoveries by good fortune—in Bench’s communications with its key audience.
“Serendipity isn’t planned,” he said. “But it doesn’t just happen by accident. Finding the unexpected takes a lot of preparation. If we’re around in all the activities of our crowd, we have the chance to discover a successful idea. We have to be as close to them as possible.
“Serendipity is a combination of high know-how, the right timing, and the right digital zeitgeist. Catching that zeitgeist is our business.”
Sälzer explained that Bench had identified a key audience that it needed to address, which it calls “social butterflies.”
“They’re a part of the bigger group of millennials, but they’re even more driven by digital and social media-obsessed. For a style brand like Bench, it’s important to focus on such a group. They’re early adopters and innovators, and it’s extremely difficult to get their attention.Sälzer explained that Bench knows a lot about these customers, but that brands in the fashion space have to be prepared to go beyond what their customers expect.
“We’re constantly trying to find new ideas and new approaches, and testing them to see if they work.”
He also explained the three ways Bench tapped into the social butterfly crowd for product development.
“Firstly, we try to sum up all the feedback we get from social media channels and show it to our designers. Then we share our designs with our audience to see what they think. Then the third part is we think and act via mobile. Social butterflies experience fashion first on mobile, so we need to have a new kind of design know-how.”
According to Sälzer, this means designers who used to think about the feel of fabric now have to think about how their designs appear on mobile.
For more of CMO.com’s coverage from Dmexco, click here.