CANNES: Tommy Hilfiger, the fashion brand, has seen major benefits from implementing a new approach that makes its clothes available to buy the moment they are first shown on the catwalk.

Avery Baker, Tommy Hilfiger’s Chief Brand Officer, discussed the “#TommyNow” initiative during a session at the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

This strategic platform, she reported, enables consumers to purchase its collections via a mobile app, livestreaming video of its catwalk shows, using social media and through similar channels the very instant they appear on the runway.

Shifting towards real-time availability also applies in its branded bricks-and-mortar stores and certain wholesale partners, and reflects changing consumer expectations that are driven by one-click satisfaction pioneers like Amazon and Netflix.

“Consumer gratification arrives much sooner, which means that, today, the fashion industry is competing not with itself, but with expectations that are set and met by other industries: Real-time expectations,” said Baker. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Tommy Hilfiger learns to move in real time.)

Meeting these expectations, in the first instance, meant transforming the internal procedures in place at Tommy Hilfiger, where design and production teams were previously the tip of the spear, and marketing followed on far later in the process.

“While designs are actually being done, we're selling them to our retail partners in the international markets before they're even fully completed. We have to shoot our marketing campaigns before the collection is even sold into our retail partners,” Baker said.

The payoffs from this ambitious approach have included impressive sales figures – a result, in part, achieved by attracting younger consumers to the brand.

“We knew that our core consumer was aging, and if we wanted to grow our business we had to become more relevant to younger consumers,” said Baker.

Another benefit of the shift to real time has involved generating attention from the media and fashion fans alike. “One of the biggest unlocks of all for me was the realization that ‘#TommyNow’ is not just a runway show,” said Baker.

“‘#TommyNow’ is a media platform that drives excitement, engagement, visibility and sales built around the consumer.”

Data sourced from WARC