Digital Style London
Disrupt or Evolve?
At this year's Digital Style event we explored how brands who sell "Style" are constantly developing their digital offering to build more long-lasting relationships with their target customers.
So many challenges, so many opportunities. As all lifestyle/luxury/fashion businesses are truly under the gun from disruptive entrants as well as established brands re-inventing themselves.
As brands move from selling just products towards selling an "experience", and focusing on creating a "relationship"...digital channels really are the core of the business. At Digital Style this year we asked the question "Should you disrupt? Or should you just gradually evolve?"
Our speakers came from brands small and large, from the UK, U.S and Europe. They shared their own stories and vision about how to address this year’s latest challenges and how radical their choices have been.
Topics we covered...
We covered some of the most pressing issues facing retailers today:
- Selling a product vs selling a customer experience
- Developing a digital ‘style’
- Building customer relationships through a digital offering
- Benefits of being disruptive vs gradually evolving
- Looking at ‘Conversational Commerce’
Those in attendance included:
- Directors of Brand, eCommerce, Digital & Customer Experience (CX)
- Heads of eCommerce, Mobile, Digital & Brand
- Chief Technology Officers
- Chief Marketing Officers
- Chief Digital Officers
- Founders, CEO's & Owners
Tony is the driving force and creative drive behind Hammitt, an American handbag brand from Los Angeles. After growing up in Ohio, earnestly manning his father’s grocery store, Tony earned his MBA from Bowling Green University. After early success with start-ups in construction and finance, he felt called to the artistic world of fashion, where he dreamed of building a successful American brand inspired by the European model that prioritizes craftsmanship and lifelong quality.
Today, Tony’s larger than life personality and bold personal style continue to influence every aspect of Hammitt, from special events and industry networking to their limited edition handbag designs. Tony is respected for his business success and remembered for his endless optimism, inspiring positivity and ever-present smile.
CEO, Grand Frank
In 2014 Erik Bergstrom was working in a corporate automotive environment in New Zealand. Wearing formal clothes to work every day, he struggled to find clothing and accessories which reflected his personality, indeed any personality. Whilst realising most menswear looked the same he wondered why there was such a lack of variety.
Turns out a bunch of other guys at his office felt the same, and that’s when Grand Frank was born. Since the start of the Grand Frank journey the goal has been to create men’s clothing and accessories with rich stories and great personalities.
With customers in 163 countries and counting, the Company are a now a team of designers, buyers, and creatives who share a vision and a rebellious streak.
Head of eCommerce, Moss Bros Group
Matthew, a Digital Marketer since the 1990’s, has extensive experience across a variety of sectors. Having launched the Waitrose and John Lewis ISPs, he went on to take spare parts retailer, eSpares, forward to become the market leader, which led him on to launching eCommerce sites in all major European markets for appliance manufacturer Electrolux. Matthew is currently Head of eCommerce for Moss Bros. – the men's formalwear specialist with stores in 150 locations – and was responsible for the implementation of its eCommerce journey having already developed a strong track record of building successful online brands.
CEO & Founder, Astrid & Miyu
Connie Nam founded Astrid & Miyu in 2012 out of her frustration of not being able to find unique and sophisticated design jewellery at accessible price points. Prior to founding Astrid & Miyu, Connie worked in luxury branding, as a consultant for LVMH brands. She holds an MBA from London Business School (#1 MBA globally by FT rankings).
Connie grew up between Seoul and Washington DC, by her father a diplomat and financier and a horticultural artist mother, she was influenced by both the business and creative sides of running a jewellery brand. She is inspired by architecture, geometry as well as everyday surroundings and tries to inject these elements into Astrid & Miyu designs. She works with London based creative talents, and is working on a special project with a few students from Central St Martin’s.
CEO & Co-Founder, Knomo
Howard has been an entrepreneur for the last 13 years. He co-founded Knomo in 2004. Knomo is a global brand of premium accessories for men and women with a mission to create beautiful and intelligent accessories that organise your everyday life. Knomo is a multichannel business sold into over 40 countries in more than 1,500 retailers including Harrods and Nordstrom. Over the last 2 years, the brand has been investing in developing its eCommerce capability with a plan to increase its direct-to-consumer business to more than 50% of its total business.
Howard comes from South Africa and lives in London. Prior to Knomo, he was a lawyer in South Africa and an Investment Banker in London, New York and Switzerland. He holds an MBA from Insead.
Founder and CEO, MORI
MORI grew from a passion to create the softest and safest baby essentials, that were sustainably sourced. Originally from Turkey, Akin moved to London after travelling and working in the US, Africa and the Middle East. With a background in finance and consulting in technology and subscription businesses, and as a devoted Uncle, Akin noticed there was a gap in the market for an innovative and online-first baby brand that had the highest quality and was beautiful enough to gift.
Founded in 2015, the brand today boasts nearly 20,000 customers in over 50 countries. MORI believe in providing families with quality and innovative clothing, to encourage and help babies sleep comfortably and better. Akin and his dedicated team have built an incredible brand, with very strong customer engagement.
Registration & Networking Breakfast
Eric Bergström, Founder at Grand Frank
- The successes & failures of the journey
- How to target the right audience for the rest to follow
- How to build an emotional brand – value is worth more than money
- The importance of social media or maybe it’s not…
- The success of Kickstarter = testing the brand in other channels
Matthew Henton, Head of eCommerce at Moss Bros Group
- How to evolve a 150 year old retailer
- The 'small step' approach to online
- How personalisation fits into the 'evolver' position
- The pressures of relying on digital within a multichannel strategy
Coffee Break & Networking
Panel Q&A session
Moderated by Jamie Hancox, Founder of Commerce Futures, with appearances from;
- Connie Nam, CEO & Founder – Astrid & Miyu
- Howard Harrison, CEO & Co-Founder – Knomo
- Akin Onal, CEO & Founder – MORI
Tony Drockton, CEO of Hammitt
- History of building Hammitt – why to build a luxury brand now
- Building a traditional European model
- Why Hammitt are a full priced brand
- How to be disruptive & remain premium
Final comments before Tea, Coffee & Networking
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Q: Is there a fee for attending the Commerce Futures event?
A: Attending the event is free of charge. However, because we take great care in how we curate the audience, the event is invitation only and you must register in advance to attend. If you have not received an invitation but would like to attend, please register via the website and your place will be confirmed subject to approval.
Q: Can I bring a colleague?
A: Additional places will be subject to availability. Please ask your colleague to register via the website.
Q: Who else will be there?
A: Senior professionals in eCommerce, entrepreneurial brand owners, marketing leaders including directors and leaders of omnichannel, multichannel, digital marketing, brand, social, strategy, customer experience (CX) and content.
Q: What is the address of the venue?
A: IET London, Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL
Q: Is there a dress code for this event?
A: There is no formal dress code. Please come dressed in comfortable attire e.g. business casual.
Q: Who is Commerce Futures?
A: Commerce Futures is an independent online community for retail leaders and Commerce professionals. We provide a round up of the latest news and information relating to the key challenges in Commerce today, as well as insights into future trends and technologies that are shaping the online retail landscape. And because we believe it's important to learn from our peers, the regular Commerce Futures event series brings in expert speakers from leading brands to share case studies and industry know-how.
Since 2012, thousands of professionals have attended our events and engaged with our content. We survey them regularly to understand what problems they are wrestling with now and tailor content to help them solve those concerns.