Fashion brands could achieve heightened consumer engagement and loyalty through using technologies like Bluetooth and mobile apps to give each item of clothing a digital component – an approach that has been tested by Tommy Hilfiger.

Launched last year, every piece in the Tommy Jeans Xplore range – from sweatshirts to jackets and skirts – featured a unique “smart” tag that enabled a buyer to accumulate rewards points in exchange for simply wearing the product.

The tags were equipped with Bluetooth technology, which allows for data transfers over short distances, and could be “paired” with a branded smartphone app to enrol the wearer in a rewards program offering perks like concert tickets.

Awear Solutions developed the tags and partnered with the Tommy Hilfiger brand on this program. And Liron Slonimsky, Awear’s chief executive/co-founder, suggested this strategy presents a new opportunity for post-purchase engagement.

“Those customers who actually bought those brands, and proudly are wearing those logos, should be rewarded,” she told delegates at a 2019 CES session sponsored by Living in Digital Times. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Can apparel brands drive customer loyalty with digitally-connected clothes?)

“So, the more you wear your item, the more points you get, the better the rewards – not only for wearing it, but wearing it to different locations to increase the brand’s visibility.”

The wider potential benefits for marketers could involve building personal relationships with their customers and fostering long-term bonds with regular customers.

And this kind of solution, Awear believes, might address several further issues for brands – from enhancing loyalty to testing new products and segmenting customers through understanding their real-world clothing usage.

Similarly, the hope is that brands may be able to attract a loyal clientele to a specific venue at a particular time using an app connected to an apparel product.

“If you’re wearing the item,” Aliza Licht, a strategic advisor to Awear Solutions, asserted, it is possible to “get people go to the same bar,” “go to the same event,” or “access a VIP lounge of some kind.”

She continued: “Imagine you're a brand and you want … people to come to Coachella wearing your logo. You can actually mobilise your consumer army in real time to show up at an event like that, in the logo, and incentivise them to do so.”

Sourced from WARC