Future of Branding – Digital Fuel
Few industries are as attuned to evolving consumer trends as fashion. Millions of dollars are spent every year in order to promote brands and instill a distinct impression in the consumer’s mind. But lately, major fashion labels such as John Fluevog and Ralph Lauren have been experimenting with their logos, adding digital elements in an attempt to appeal to high-end shoppers.
Lat year, John Fluevog incorporated a QR code onto the sole of his “Ask Clogs” shoe collection, replacing the traditional logo and brand name. Upon scanning the QR code, users are directed to an online video depicting how the shoe was produced, including all the stages from manufacturing to being delivered to stores. This is clearly designed as a promotional technique for an in-store display, as it is unlikely users will continue to scan the code after wearing the shoe for a few weeks. Removing the logo, however, raises questions about brand recognition in an increasingly digital world.
Ralph Lauren attempted to address this issue in September with a customized QR code, adding it to store signage in an attempt to lure shoppers into stores. But that’s not the only reason Ralph Lauren customized a QR code with its logo. Some research has stated that Custom QR codes have a 3-1 scanning ratio compared to traditional QR codes, and Ralph Lauren capitalized on this to collect user information that they can potentially use for future campaigns and promotions.
As more shoppers adopt smartphones and QR code readers, the meaning and display of a logo is likely to evolve. For one, it may significantly limit the potential consumer market to those who are tech savvy, and who can afford the latest digital devices. Just as importantly, though, companies will need to determine ways to set themselves apart even while the tools to do so largely look the same or are virtual.