Relations are not a fad
Does a sound and lasting relation exist? Yes, it does. It is a relation that develops over time, interpreting the changing conditions and finding new ways to keep itself authentic. In such a complex scenario as year 2020, we created new communication paths to renovate the relations we care most about: the one with our clients and customers. We discussed it with our colleagues Valerio Villa, Luca Forino, Monica Mai and Cristiana Tadei.
Since we opened our first store and later launched our social media channels, we designed every space to turn it into a daily and direct touchpoint with our customers. But what can you do when these spaces cannot be used? When stores were closed over the past months, we tried to understand the needs and shopping habits of consumers “translating” them into digital contents that may overcome any barrier and keep alive that unique bond with our customers, based on empathy and sharing.
«Every day, when designing new clothes in our offices or giving them tips in the stores, we put ourselves in the shoes of our customers. And in such a complex time, we haven’t stop listening to their needs, on the contrary we do it even more»
Valerio Villa, Communication Manager, Terranova
Calliope, Terranova and Rinascimento teams experimented the new potential of digital communication to give our customers fashion tips, have them experience our stores online and involve them in exclusive events, thus creating a community even more close-knit than before.
For months the stores could not welcome the people we design them for: our customers. While all the clothes stayed hanging on the racks waiting for official reopening, Calliope Marketing team rolled up their sleeves and designed a new personal shopping experience.
Thanks to an online booking service, customers could contact our shopping “specialists” to have a virtual tour inside the store via videocall. Each customer could therefore see live the new collections and be given tips according to personal tastes and needs. Thanks to this modality, shopping became «even more exclusive and satisfactory», says Luca Forino, Calliope visual manager. «It’s a project that was conceived at home, during the first lockdown, the toughest time, with the aim of staying connected with customers; we did not want just to talk about products, but we wanted to give tips on styles and matches; it is a relationship that gave a new meaning to the entire shopping experience, through a slower pace and a deeper bonding feeling towards people as well as the brand. And the recurring question: “When can we meet again in the store?” »
Similarly, Terranova activated two initiatives on its own digital channels with the aim of bringing the store into its customers’ homes.
Thanks to the direct involvement of our designers, Terranova Video Shops were created: nine episodes were recorded in which several members of the team gave tips to the brand audience on Facebook about clothing matches and fashion looks to prompt them to shop Terranova. «We tried to combine the creative soul of the Product Department with the most functional soul of the marketing department in order to create fresh and enjoying contents, which could be very practical at the same time», says Valerio Villa, brand Communication Manager. In just a few weeks the videos got more than ten thousand of views, which came out to be contents very appreciated by customers as well as by our employees.
«The guys from Product Design got involved with energy and enthusiasm to talk about their creations. So the videos also have become a tool to communicate the passion for our work, and they also proved an interesting source of inspiration for the visual in our stores»
At the same time, our graphic designers created Terranova Fashion Journal, a digital catalogue designed on the needs of customers from higher-age groups who might have had some difficulty on the website and the mobile app. The document was distributed through social media and the newsletter in order to offer a guided shopping experience, simple and effective.
Rinascimento wanted to give a new meaning to the concept of runaway show turning it into a more inclusive emotional experience. As they could not welcome their customers in the points of sale as the other brands did, for the first time in their history Rinascimento presented their collection via YouTube, Facebook and Instagram live streaming. The Digital Fashion Show thus opened the doors to all the brand fans, in addition to collaborators, wholesale clients and franchisees.
Each detail was carefully planned by the Marketing team as to recreate the mood of our stores. In the evocative setting of Artificerie Almagià in Ravenna, a former industrial building turned into a cultural space, the runaway show fully represented the aesthetic philosophy of Rinascimento’s contemporary glamour. At the same time, the business formula “see now, order now” got every B2B partner involved, thus giving them the opportunity to purchase garments from the collection in real time and reducing the usual waiting times.
«The Digital Fashion Show was a powerful time for sharing for Rinascimento. We did not want to give up engaging our partners, stores and sales representatives. Before a screen we were all connected and happy to see the same show. Many customers thanked us because this was the first time they had the opportunity to “sit in the front row”. Figures proved it. Besides order and comments, the video launched on social media has had 43.000 views so far»
Monica Mai, Rinascimento Communication Manager
We say it often: we build a Dream that may have a real impact on the life of our customers and our communities. The fundraising campaign “We change to never change” by Calliope clearly embodied such a spirit. As Cristiana Tadei explained, brand Creative Director, this initiative had «the ambition of highlighting the real power of fashion, which is not ephemeral, but has an important cultural and social value» up to the most insightful questions: why do we design fashion? Why do we create our collections?
«Because through our collections people can express themselves, build their own personality: a need that is not in contrast with the emergency we are experiencing in these days, it’s quite the opposite. This project aims at helping each one of us to “awake” oneself, take care of oneself, love oneself even in such a period, in the ways circumstances force us to do now»
Taking care of oneself is an essential precondition to create a positive impact on the life of other people. In this way, Calliope triggered a virtuous circle of social sharing allowing brand customers to help the hospital in Rimini and the doctors working there face the pandemic emergency. How? Simply posting a photo of their daily life and tagging the brand. In just a few weeks, counting likes and shares, the enthusiasm for the initiative was so overwhelming that it made possible to donate to the hospital one of the most innovative medical devices to allow doctors to safely view the airways of infected or potentially infected patients, preventing medical personnel to be infected.
When we speak about the power of relations, this is what we mean.