Mashable has an excellent write-up on digital media trends that are gaining fast traction. Besides the rise of the tablet and all the new tools being developed to curate and deliver content to it (or to your prehistoric desktop), the growing trend that caught our attention was the emergence of brands as digital media.
Mashable uses the example of Tory Burch, a company that hired an editor from InStyle to run its blog. The result looks and reads like an online magazine, which lends an otherwise conventional retailer instant editorial cred. Other examples of this “branded content” move include Kate Spade, Net-a-Porter and Barney’s (ed note: and us! We’re sponsored by Liz Claiborne Inc., which also owns Kate Spade). Though they may ultimately be intended to move product, the retailers’ recent creation of well-designed, well-written (if we do say so ourselves) online magazines is clearly meant to satisfy a shopper’s need for a story beyond just the brand and basic advertising.
Beyond launching content sites and hiring professional editors, brands are casting shadows all over the internet by embracing pre-existing media platforms and making them their own. Dolce & Gabbana used Facebook and Twitter to let a recent show’s audience stream live comments across the runway, as the models walked. Marc Jacobs took to Twitter to hire a social media guru. And multiple fashion houses are now livestreaming their shows. This ownership of content goes well beyond its production — by spearheading such creation in the first place and then helming its distribution, it’s fair to say that brands can make the crossover into veritable media companies.