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Growing it fast, keeping it slow: The digitalization of the jewelry industry

Growing it fast, keeping it slow: The digitalization of the jewelry industry

Growing it fast, keeping it slow: The digitalization of the jewelry industry

The pandemic was an eye-opener for many industries to rethink their processes. An industry facing a more substantial scope for digital advancement in both e-com and social media than others is jewelry, set to continue being one of the fastest-growing areas in the luxury industry. We are shedding a light on the digitalization of the jewelry industry and what fashion can learn from it.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the jewelry industry was all set for continuous growth, is considered one of the fastest-growing areas in the broader luxury industry. Its global market value in 2019 was almost 230 billion dollars and was originally forecast to reach nearly 292 billion dollars by 2025.

Considering the dramatic turn of events in 2020, such forecasts might sound too optimistic: repeated lockdowns have affected retailers globally and a GlobalData report states that this will have cost the global apparel market 297 billion dollars in 2020 – a 15.2% drop compared to 2019.

Status of the jewelry industry

Although the jewelry industry did not escape this fate, there is hope for recovery in 2021: The acquisition of Tiffany & Co. by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s leading luxury products group, was finally completed in January 2021 at almost 16 billion dollars.

Moreover, Denmark enjoyed one of the best performing stock markets in the world despite the pandemic with jewelry brand Pandora topping the list. The brand noted an organic decline of 11% for the year, but its strong finish with 4% growth in the last quarter of 2020 makes for an optimistic outlook on 2021. Important in that regard is how online organic growth was at 104% making up 32% of total revenue.

As we explained in a previous article, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for the fashion industry to challenge many of its processes – from production to presentation and sales. This pushed the digitalization of the jewelry industry even further. However, the jewelry industry that had only taken baby steps into the digital realm, faced a more substantial scope for digital advancement in both e-com and social media.

In fact, the forecasts built on data prior to the pandemic noted a recent consumer shift toward online jewelry shopping and digitalization of the jewelry industry: the share of online jewelry sales in the US and Western Europe doubled in 2019, partly due to retailers relying less on purchases for special occasions such as weddings.

Shifting sales channels

A welcome preparatory shift in the light of 2020’s many wedding cancelations and introduction of a Zoom-era, accompanied by a jewelry trend of bold pieces to stand out on screen. In June, BCG already pointed out that the notable increase (14% in the US and 17% in China) of first-time online shoppers was a sign of accelerated sales channel shifts and the digitalization of the jewelry industry.

Particularly, mobile social media sales were expected to increase significantly, meaning that brands should focus on creating an optimal online presence with special customer attention through eg. customization and community-building.

“The jewelry industry has always been a bit behind on fashion, which is why the sector freshly finds itself in the midst of the digitalization process right now.”

Says Pernille Møbjerg Knudsen, founder of The Jewellery Room, an international platform connecting the consumers with the most significant jewelry brands. “Buying habits are changing as shopping barriers are overcome and consumers now feel more secure buying jewelry online.”

Building a trusting community

In 2020, The Jewellery Room went all-in on the digital front and decided to move from their former focus on B2B to a solely B2C approach with the website acting as a marketplace. “The Jewellery Room is already an established platform for the brands, so now we aim to evolve toward being a trusted source for consumers,” Møbjerg Knudsen explains, noting the need for expertise and trust with regard to fine jewelry purchases.

Møbjerg Knudsen envisions a different integration of The Jewellery Room and fashion weeks than what has previously been done. “Due to the digitalization, fashion weeks have recently become accessible to all, it’s no longer an exclusive universe as the consumers make up the audience. So there has been a natural shift toward B2C in that sense.”

 

“Fashion weeks are no longer an exclusive universe as consumers make up the audience. Digitalization has caused a natural shift toward B2C”

– Pernille Møbjerg Knudsen, The Jewellery Room

 

The aim of The Jewellery Room is to remain active during fashion weeks but with a different format, feeding the newly developed digital universe with the DNA from their previous physical participation in the fashion industry.

“We really strive to build a trusting community,” she says. “Many believe that fine jewelry should be sold online in a similar manner as clothing. I don’t think such an approach would succeed. Craftsmanship and expertise are highly important and respected when it comes to jewelry. The jewelry industry doesn’t work with collections and seasons in the same way as fashion – almost eliminating the risk of overproduction.”

Focus on ethics and sustainability

Lowering the threshold for fine jewelry and making it more accessible to consumers with less income to spare due to the repercussions of the pandemic, is one aspect. This shifting consumer sentiment regarding personal finances means people are not only less likely to spend money on fashion items, but there’s also a bigger focus on value, writes BCG in its research.

This mindset which was widely adopted during the pandemic is likely to last and aligns with Møbjerg Knudsen’s focus on expertise: a growing consumer base attaches more importance to ethical and sustainable products from purposeful brands. Sustainability is a hot topic these days – and the jewelry industry might just be more sustainable than most people think: it is slow in nature as opposed to the heavily critiqued fast fashion industry. According to Pernille Møbjerg Knudsen from The Jewellery Room:

“The beauty of jewelry is that if it doesn’t fit, it can be adjusted – and if it isn’t sold, it can be melted into a new piece. There is no waste”

“Fine jewelry doesn’t play the discount game. It relies on quality,” says Møbjerg Knudsen. “The industry deals with just a few – greatly regulated – producers and suppliers, and the material costs working with precious metals are high, leading goldsmiths and producers to recycle gold and even collect gold dust. The up-cycling opportunities are endless. The beauty of jewelry is that if it doesn’t fit, it can be adjusted – and if it isn’t sold, it can be melted into a new piece. There is no waste,” says Møbjerg Knudsen.

One of the big players in the jewelry industry, Pandora, recently announced its ambition for a circular economy aiming to use 100% recycled silver and gold in their products by 2025 – right now it stands at 71%.

Bridging the gap

When sisters Pernille Møbjerg Knudsen and Charlotte Møbjerg Ansel-Henry started The Jewellery Room back in 2015, they wanted to bridge the gap between two industries. They noticed the growing importance of jewelry in catwalk looks and felt there was more use in integrating the field in the fashion weeks than organizing jewelry fairs as an afterthought. The sisters succeeded.

But is it really only the jewelry industry that would benefit from a further integration? Seeing the current developments, it looks like the fashion industry has much to learn from the jewelry industry when it comes to slowing down and introducing a circular economy. “The two industries can learn and benefit from each other,” says Møbjerg Knudsen.

Image of Pernille Møbjerg Knudsen: Chris Tonnesen

   

Sarah is the Lifestyle Researcher for the Danish market at VOCAST. She is very passionate about the fashion industry and along with her work at VOCAST she studies Communication at Copenhagen Business School.

 

 

Wided is the Lifestyle Researcher for the Belgian and Dutch markets at VOCAST. She’s a Belgian editor and author with a background in journalism. In London, she established a career in digital marketing for fashion and interior design brands. When she’s not working or studying for her Master’s, you’ll find her in front of a canvas, paintbrushes in hand.

 

 

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Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and The US

Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and The US

Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and The US

As the world has been experiencing lockdowns spilling up to 2021 due to COVID-19, every country around the globe has been dealing with the situation differently. Insider knowledge from various markets about the ins and outs of the current lockdown status is useful information to have to keep international businesses running as smoothly as possible.

Which markets are still in a strict phase of lockdown and which are coming through it?

 

What are office workflows like? 

 

How did the lockdowns affect the lifestyle industries?

 

How can you best get in touch with the press? 

The Lifestyle Team at VOCAST is made up of native researchers, with specific knowledge about what is happening across international markets. These questions will all be answered below for markets in Scandinavia and Europe – along with quotes from fashion insiders. 

Here is an update on the lockdown status of our 10 markets, updated as of 01.03.2020

Lifestyle industry updates

Lifestyle industry updates from 10 markets – From Denmark to France, to Italy and Germany.

Do you want to know what office regulations are like or what the most efficient ways to get in touch with editors and journalists are right now? Are you looking to contact buyers and want to know the retail status of their market? These questions are answered for you below.

Navigate your way through these updates by clicking on the arrows or the dots: 1. Denmark 2. Sweden 3. Norway 4. France 5. Italy 6. Germany 7. The Netherlands 8. Belgium 9. The UK 10. The US

Denmark's March Update

Lockdown status: Regional lockdown.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email or phone.

Retail status: Some retail stores are closed and some are open depending on location & store type: All stores under 5000 sqm will open from 1 March.

Sweden's March Update

Lockdown status: Open.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email or phone.

Retail status: All physical retail stores are open with restrictions until further notice.

Norway's March Update

Lockdown status: Regional lockdown, mainly in the Capital Region and Bergen.

Travel advice: The government advises against travel within the country. Inbound travel is restricted: a travel form and negative test not older than 24 hours are required. Depending on the country of departure, quarantine can be required – in a quarantine hotel for travelers without a Norwegian address.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email or phone.

Retail status: All physical retail stores are open with restrictions. Temporary closures are possible in areas with regional lockdowns.

France's March Update

Lockdown status: France is currently open however with strict restrictions and a curfew between 6 PM and 6 AM. Nice will be in lockdown during weekends. This type of lockdown could spread across the rest of the French territory.

Travel advice: International European borders remain open however travelers arriving in France from non-EU countries must present a negative COVID-19 test that is less than 72 hours old. Travelers can also take the test upon arrival.

Working regulations: Working from home is strongly recommended whenever possible. Most employees are currently either fully working from home or alternating between days at the office and days at home. 

Press status: Communication via email is preferred. However, keep in mind that response time might be rather long due to full mailboxes.

Retail status: Small retailers and essential stores are open but must be closed at 6 PM. Large shopping centers are closed. 

Italy's March Update

Lockdown status: Open. However, regional lockdowns could be imposed over the next month.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: Currently open. However, this may change if regional lockdowns are imposed over the next month.

Germany's March Update

Lockdown status: Nationwide lockdown.

Travel advice: All travel banned for non-nationals & residents.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: All physical retail stores are closed until further notice.

The Netherlands's March Update

Lockdown status: Nationwide lockdown with curfew.

Travel advice: All inbound travel banned for non-EU nationals & residents, and for EU nationals & residents returning from Latin America, South Africa or the UK. Outbound travel banned with very few exceptions.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: Retail stores can receive 2 customers per floor on appointment.

Belgium's March Update

Lockdown status: Nationwide partial lockdown.

Travel advice: A ban on outbound non-essential travel, inbound travel subject to negative test and quarantine.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: All physical retail stores are open.

The UK's March Update

Lockdown status: Nationwide lockdown in all 4 UK countries with easing plan spread over the next 3-4 months.

Travel advice: Travel for work allowed with restrictions in place, eg. quarantine hotels.

Working regulations: Generally all of the lifestyle industry are working from home.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: All physical retail stores (high street & malls) are closed until April.

The US's March Update

Lockdown status: Regional lockdowns.

Travel advice: All inbound travelers need to present a negative test or documentation of recovery. Quarantine requirements for domestic travelers vary from state to state. Borders to Mexico and Canada remain closed until March.

Working regulations: Generally some of the lifestyle industry are working from home whilst some are slowly returning to the office, alternating between the two.

Press status: It’s best to contact the press via email.

Retail status: Many retailers are opening again with varying local restrictions in place.

Local insight

Are you wondering how the fashion and home interior industries are currently doing in Scandinavia and across Europe? How did the winter sales perform overall? And what do the Fashion Weeks have inline in the midst of lockdowns? These questions are answered for you below.

Navigate your way through these updates by clicking on the arrows or the dots: 1. Denmark 2. Sweden 3. Norway 4. France 5. Italy 6. Germany 7. The Netherlands 8. Belgium 9. The UK 10. The US

Denmark's March Update

Winter sales fashion: According to an analysis made by Dansk Erhverv, the Danish fashion industry is suffering from the pandemic. Danish fashion exports have fallen by 6% from 2019 to 2020, marking the first time in eight years that the exports of fashion have been downward.

Fashion Week: Copenhagen Fashion Week AW21 will be fully digital and supported by VOCAST in sharing events, content, runway shows, and backstage content through the purpose-built digital platform we have developed.

Sweden's March Update

Winter sales home interior: During the last quarter of 2020 home and interior products bought online went up 73% according to the consumer report from 2020, created by the center of consumption behavior (source). In this report, we can also see that Swedes invest more in home interior products than in their personal wardrobe, since we have been spending all our time at home.

Winter sales fashion: Unfortunately, retail within fashion is one of the hardest affected industries due to the pandemic. In December 2020 there was a 13% increase of companies applying for bankruptcy (source).

Fashion Week: Stockholm Fashion Week AW21 will be fully digital and supported by VOCAST in sharing events, content, runway shows, and backstage content through the purpose-built digital platform we have developed.

Norway's March Update

Winter sales home interior: In general, the pandemic has not affected the interior and home goods industry too badly. Norwegians love home renovations and home projects, and many have spent quarantine doing this. The Bolia group has had a 20% growth during the pandemic. Several stores have offered online and click & collect alternatives to traditional shopping.

Winter sales fashion: Regulations have been stricter towards stores in malls. Fashion stores, especially slow fashion ones, have large quantities of winter clothing that they are struggling to sell. A large number of employees have been permitted, and some stores have limited opening hours.

France's March Update

Winter sales fashion: Winter sales which usually start on January 6th were pushed to January 20th and will end on March 2nd. The number of sales has been rather disappointing and declining despite the shift in dates. One of the reasons being the explosion of second-hand clothing sales which have slowed down consumer urges, including online. (Source)

Fashion Week: Paris Menswear Fashion Week and Haute Couture were fully digital and no physical runway shows were allowed to take place this time because of governmental restrictions. The next Women’s Fashion Week will be a hybrid.

Italy's March Update

Winter sales fashion: After closing budgets in 2020, the Italian fashion market noted a large impact of the pandemic resulting in a notable decrease in revenues by nearly 30%, almost 30 billion dollars (Bloomberg, 2021).

Fashion Week: Men’s Fashion Week FW21 was a hybrid of digital, Women’s Fashion Week FW21 will also be a hybrid of digital and physical. Men’s fashion week FW21 was presented in a hybrid format, with some shows streaming live without an audience. Notorious brands such as Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana however chose not to participate in this fashion week.

For some brands, this was an attempt to take a stand against hectic calendars, while some simply didn’t manage to present a show under the restricted conditions implied by the pandemic.

Germany's March Update

Winter sales home interior: “Even with tax in retail having gone down from 19% to 16% the home interior revenue will have fallen to an extreme in 2020, especially within the second half of the year with retail shutting completely.” (source)

Winter sales fashion: “Within Fashion for the whole year of 2020 in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria there has been a decline in revenue of around 19%, which is about 12 billion Euros.” (source)

Fashion Week: Berlin Fashion Week AW21 was fully digital.

The Netherlands's March Update

Winter sales home interior: The online revenue for retailers was 38.3% higher in Q3 of 2020 than the previous year, a continuous growth after the record of Q2 which noted a 54.9% increase in online revenue. The home interior sector seemed to thrive despite the pandemic with some of the biggest revenue growth noted in Q3 of 2020 in furniture and interior stores at +17.2% (source).

Winter sales fashion: The Dutch spent a record € 695 mln in European online stores in Q2 of 2020, but in January 2021 retailers said the exclusively online winter sale would in the worst case push a quarter of the retailers to bankruptcy as online sales only make up around 20-25% of the revenue. The revenue of fashion stores dropped by 3.4% in Q3 of 2020 and shoes and leatherwear dropped by 4.9% compared to the previous year (source).

Fashion Week: Amsterdam Fashion Week AW21 is still to be announced – but despite restrictions, the fashion week took place physically in September 2020, stressing that the magic could not be replaced digitally.

Belgium's March Update

Winter sales fashion: In November 2020, Belgium closed all non-essential stores which hit fashion retailers most who noted a drop in sales of 77.5% compared to last year. Retailers were allowed to re-open mid-December, but there are no stats yet on a potential recovery (source).

The UK's March Update

Winter sales home interior: Regional lockdowns have been imposed in parts of the UK since the autumn, but in January full lockdowns were imposed nationwide.

The January sales this year have therefore been all online and major UK retailers, such as Liberty and John Lewis, held extensive sale reductions from Boxing Day to encourage shoppers to keep purchasing through the third lockdown.

Winter sales fashion: Fashion retail sales went up over the winter despite nationwide lockdown. “In December 2020, retail sales volumes increased by 0.3% when compared with November 2020, resulting in an increase of 2.7% when compared with February’s pre-lockdown level.” Moreover, “clothing stores reported strong monthly growth of 21.5%” (source).

Fashion Week: London Fashion Week AW21 will be fully digital and supported by VOCAST in sharing events, content, runway shows, and backstage content through the purpose-built digital platform we have developed.

The US's March Update

Winter sales home interior: Since home buying and home remodeling remained strong during 2020, the home interior sector has seen growth in both site traffic and spend as most shopping has been online.

Winter sales fashion: Spending at retailers rebounded a bit during winter sales. In January, retail sales jumped 5.3%, well ahead of the 1.2% expectation according to CNBC. It might be due to falling cases and new stimulus reviving spending habits.

Fashion Week: New York Fashion Week FW21 in February was fully digital and collections were debuting via livestreams, look books and online presentations. Many headliner designers and brands who usually occupy the main stages chose not to show this season.

Industry Insights

VOCAST’s Curators wanted to share their expert insights on their market, but also gathered exclusive quotes from journalists, influencers and industry experts. Curious to know how life in the lifestyle industry has been like since lockdown and how their work has changed? Swipe to have clearer grasp on the current market situation:

Denmark:

“Covid-19 has had both a positive and negative effect on the influencer profession. From one day to the other all ongoing campaigns were moved or cancelled along with my economic livelihood. The lockdown forcing people to stay at home with their smartphones being their primary source of entertainment let the industry into a massive growth with regard to engagement and followers – especially during the first lockdown. For that reason I see a great amount of unused potential for online marketing on social media, and especially with the use of influencers during the pandemic. Both to me and my collaborating partners, the lockdown was a huge scare and felt massive and infinite – and it has had a huge negative effect on my financial situation especially.” 

Marie Jedig, Fashion Influencer.

Denmark:

“Back in March 2020, when Denmark had its first lockdown, many of my clients rescheduled campaigns and some cancelled – I got a really huge campaign cancelled for the rest of the year. At that point I was a bit nervous and had thoughts about how I was going to make everything work if the lockdown remained. Luckily it all changed pretty fast – so I actually ended up having many campaigns for the rest of 2020. A positive view on the pandemic and the lockdowns that we have been through, is that it has been very nice to get a small break from all the things I am usually attending. Instead I have had the time to immerse in my work, create even better content and I have had a lot more time to be creative – which has brought me peace. With that said I do of course look forward to getting out to meetings, press days, events and fashion weeks again.” 

Karoline Dall, Fashion Influencer.

Sweden:

“In a world where we have looked more at functionality than aesthetics, there is still room for beautiful things. We will consume less and much more vintage or second hand.

Replacement consumption exists, of course, but selected, beautiful, strange objects still fit in our rational homes.” 

– Stefan Nilsson trend expert. (source)

Germany:

“With the lockdown here in Germany the Lifestyle and Communications industry is currently very tense. New, innovative, and disruptive formats within media need to be explored to get consumers and new audiences to pay attention. Now more than ever it is important for brands to think outside of the box within the industry.”

– Berlin-Benjamin Schiffer PR manager in assistance at BAM 

The Netherlands:

“The tighter lockdown measures in the Netherlands didn’t go down without a fight as riots broke out all across the country when a new curfew was imposed. Stores were looted and retailers – that have been shut throughout the lockdown – took preventive measures to protect what they could. Meanwhile, everyone is asked to continue working from home and not to travel – not even by public transport unless absolutely necessary.”

– Wided Bouchrika – Benelux Lifestyle Researcher

Belgium:

“We got creative with quarantine shoots and styling vlogs during the first wave. After that, we started doing shoots again, but we need to stay flexible: one day you can book a make-up artist, the next the model needs to do her own make-up, part of the team can’t make it to Belgium or has to sit through quarantine. So calling the corona-hotline has become a big part of the job – which stayed pretty much the same, though without the fashion weeks, trips, events, and in-person interviews. I spend most of my time at home and on video calls.”

– Catherine Kosters, Writer & Fashion Editor at Flair.

 

 

VOCAST - the Brand Sharing Platform

This blog post was a collaborative effort written by our in-house team of curators, who are experts in identifying relevant influencers, as well as building email lists of important contacts for our fashion and home & interior brands.

 

 

 

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Home Interior Advocates: home is where the heart is

Home Interior Advocates: home is where the heart is

Home Interior Advocates: home is where the heart is

In every local home interior market, there are a select few whose attention and reach are more crucial for your brand’s success than others. Our research team curates relevant press lists each week and saw an increased need for a list that selectively showcased these specific personas; Top 10 Home Interior Advocates. 

The advocates we have chosen are continuously updated to reflect the markets’ climate, they are influencers and industry insiders – it’s not just about how many followers they have, it’s about who follows them and why. Read on to learn more about them and their importance.

Stuck at home?

Us too! The past several months have been full of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders all over the world, and although it’s been hard to see one another, we have all experienced living, working, and socializing in the same place – at home. Our homes have been on constant show. Whether it be on show to our bosses and colleagues, or to our friends we haven’t seen for a while, we’ve all welcomed various social circles into the corners of our homes that we’re happy to show off.

Home renovations and redecorating have been mass trends on social media recently, and why wouldn’t you want to renovate and decorate your frequently used daily spaces? (Let’s be honest, lockdown projects have been essential morale boosters.) The pandemic has actually created new, specific home interior trends:

multi-functional spaces, smart homes, white rooms with bright finishings and nature-inspired palettes are some of the top trends forecasted for 2021 by Homes & Property.

Our top home interior advocates have been some of the pioneers of not only setting these trends and promoting brands but also engaging their audiences during the difficult lockdown days. A personal connection, like the ones these advocates have created with their followers, is a marketing tool that is crucial to help you reach a broader audience of customers in markets all around Europe and the world.

It’s about being digitally active

The home interior industry has long been filled with lively events and shows, from design weeks and fairs to awards ceremonies and building openings. In lockdown or not, the industry thrives on sharing and celebrating design and artistry with the press and consumers. From a digital perspective, there are many exciting opportunities that brands can actively reach until the world goes back to normal. With more time spent at home and online, the average consumer is spending more time than ever online.

In July 2020 social media usage went up by 10.5% compared to July 2019, according to business.com.

This mass surge in SoMe use has created a boom in influencer marketing which brands should make the utmost use of – anything from brand collabs like hauls and live Q&A’s, to allowing influencers access to their assets, much like they would the press, would let these home interior advocates and influencers do the job only they can do.

SoMe advocates

Being an advocate on social media isn’t just about the number of followers you have, it’s about your engagement, your reputation, and your relationship with your audience. Home interior advocates, like fashion advocates, reflect their market in the current climate. These influencers have earned the respect of their followers in their respective markets by partnering with brands that speak to their creative style and moral values – and with social media usage climbing, these followers also consist of new and curious home interior consumers. So our advice to you is to get partnering with these top advocates.

Our Top Home Interior Advocates Picks

In the slides below you can see an example from each market, hand-curated by our research team. (1-Denmark, 2-Sweden, 3-The UK, 4-Germany, 5-France, 6-Italy, 7-The Netherlands, 8-Belgium).

DENMARK - Cathrine de Lichtenberg

Cathrine inspires her followers from her villa apartment at Frederiksberg. Her eclectic style shines through in everything she does. The apartment is a pastel dream, and white is not an option. Cathrine’s aesthetics and way of combining colors have definitely made her a Home Interior Advocate.

Sarah Friis – Danish Lifestyle Researcher

SWEDEN - Elsa Billgren

There is a new type of Swedish interior influencer where sustainability, DIY, and vintage are three driving forces. Elsa Billgren is a vintage lover that guides her followers through flea markets, gorgeous decorated table settings, and rooms styled with historical findings with modern elements. Elsa co-hosts the podcast ‘Billgren and Wood’ and blogs for Elle.se making her one of the top interior influencers in Sweden.

Josefine Forslund – Swedish Lifestyle Researcher

THE UK - Medina Grillo

Medina is an award-winning home interior blogger, author, and content creator who focuses especially on DIY. She is behind the blog Grillo Designs where she shares tutorials on DIY, upcycling, and home improvements. She is known for her warm, eclectic style and has been featured in some of the UK’s most prominent home interior publications such as House & Home and House Beautiful.

Georgina Juel – UK Market Coordinator

GERMANY - Pau

Pau, who runs the Instagram and blog boho and nordic, is one of the largest interior influencers in Germany. She focusses on Scandinavian inspired home interior and is known for her clean, yet cozy home. Pau’s followed by various German brands and magazines and has an over average engagement rate of 4,72%.

Isabelle Kube – German Lifestyle Researcher

FRANCE - Romain Costa

Romain Costa is an architect, interior designer, fashion blogger, and LGBTQ+ advocate based in Paris. He is one of the most influential interior design influencers and has collaborated with brands such as Carl Hansen & Søn, Made in Design, and Tip Toe – often showcasing his favorite furniture pieces from various designers. His Parisian apartment has been featured in many home interior publications, such as ELLE décoration and Hellø Blogzine.

Ines Boubazine – Research & Marketing Coordinator

ITALY- Laura Montemurro

Most likely Italy’s largest interior design influencer, Laura Montemurro focuses on interior design and lifestyle. Based in Naples, Italy, she creates content related to interior design, home accessories, and gastronomy and her main focus is the refurbishing project of her exquisite soon-to-be bed & breakfast!

Olivia Mariani – Customer Success Consultant

THE NETHERLANDS - Maartje Diepstraten

Maartje Diepstraten is a Dutch interior blogger and influencer who gets her inspiration from her travels. Her style is eclectic and versatile and she shares all kinds of tips and stories on her popular blogs under the Barts Boekje umbrella. Her hone was featured on Nouveau and RTL Nieuws among others.

Wided Bouchrika – Lifestyle Researcher for Belgium and the Netherlands

BELGIUM - Patricia Goijens

Patricia is an interior photographer and stylist from Antwerp and very influential in the Belgian interior design scene. She works on projects with her husband, the renowned architect Dieter Vander Velpen and with local as well as global brands like Nespresso and Bru. Both her home and her work have been featured in Belgian magazines like Flair, Knack Weekend, and Nieuwsblad Magazine, and in international online publications like MADE.com and A Beautiful Mess.

Wided Bouchrika – Lifestyle Researcher for Belgium and the Netherlands

 

   

Georgina is the UK Market Coordinator at VOCAST, responsible for British fashion and lifestyle research. Along with her work at VOCAST and studies at Copenhagen Business School, she is passionate about conscious fashion reform in the industry.

 

 

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Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and The US

Lockdown 2021 Update: Scandinavia, Europe and The US

As the world has been experiencing lockdowns spilling up to 2021 due to COVID-19, every country around the globe has been dealing with the situation differently. Insider knowledge from various markets about the ins and outs of the current lockdown status is useful...

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A year in retrospect: VOCAST’s 2020 key learnings

A year in retrospect: VOCAST’s 2020 key learnings

A year in retrospect: VOCAST’s 2020 key learnings

It comes as no surprise that “Coronavirus” was the most googled word of the year. With daily and even hourly updates from every possible platform being the norm, every newspaper and media outlet offered information to keep us up to date. We too have not been an exception. At VOCAST we checked in with our markets regularly to be able to provide you with a monthly COVID-19 update, in which we displayed an overview of insights.

In the following VOCAST’s 2020 key learnings, we will be looking into the past year, what consumer and influencer change the year brought, the way experiencing fashion weeks and fairs will be changed forever, in what way press and publishing have dealt with the pandemic and in what way VOCAST has aided in brand digitalization and visibility this year. We underwent an in-house analysis and want to share our full review and platform success cases of the year with you.

 

 

 

Lifestyle in 2020: Comfort & Practicality

Fashion trends:

40% of European consumers are reported to have spent less money on clothing for different reasons. In general, consumers have been less inclined to purchase clothing as they prioritize other necessities under financial stress. But it is not only economic issues causing the radical shift in consumers’ spending habits.

Staying at home a lot has simply come to imply different and less expensive clothing habits. This has also meant a shift in the parameter which consumers consider when purchasing clothes. Whereas previously favored factors included trend and style, people have looked for products filtering by quality, practicality, comfort, and value for money. Thus, trending fashion items have been lounge, active- and casual wear.

Undoubtedly, the athleisure trend is here to stay and has established itself as a comfortable, fashionable style. Little did fashion designers know that a pandemic would be making the WFH-outfit the fashion trend of this season when they started working on the SS20 collections.

Dressing in comfortable, baggy sweatpants paired with chic blazers while men rock zoom-meetings with home-made buzz cuts have simply become part of everyday life. Face masks have also become a no-brainer item for fashion brands to include in their product portfolio- across all segments.

Home Interior trends:

Practicality has also come to play an important role in the way consumers have decorated their homes in 2020. Homes have been forced to become transformable and multi-purpose spaces in order for activities such as work and workouts to be conducted at home. When it comes to interior design, colors have become increasingly important in interior decoration, as the pandemic caused negative mental tendencies.

Dee Schlotter, Senior Color Marketing Manager at PPG Paints, states that because of people’s general mood, consumers have started to look towards natural colors synonymous with “comfort” and “reassurance” for their indoor spaces. But nature is not only mimicked in the color choices of the 2020 consumer. City-people seeks nature in the construction of the design, to simulate a natural experience in-doors.

So what’s next for Lifestyle?

Slowed down pace:

So, has the pandemic changed our consumption behavior forever? Looking back at the VOCAST article The DNA of trends: Where do trends originate and how long will they last? Trend researcher Anja Bisgaard Gade defined a trend as:

« the beginning of a new direction, taking a turn or a twirl or a twist to something that already exists. It starts something new and then over time, becomes more normal before something else will become a trend. »

Calling the pandemic a twist would certainly be an understatement and undeniably, it has forced lifestyle consumption into a new unexpected direction. It is safe to say that we can expect a slowed-down lifestyle consumption over the next years, which probably will inspire people to decelerate perhaps forever.

Furthermore, people will continue to look for inspiration in their proximity, as the tempo of travel, globalization, and supply chains has slowed down as well. Rather than fast and trend-driven objects, consumers will find new ways to create value themselves in the rediscovery of objects.

Change in Influencer Marketing:

With the changing consumer behavior, it’s also important to look back at how the influencer market has matured and evolved in 2020 and there are several factors to take note of. Authenticity was at the forefront this year, and it’s with no surprise that nano-influencers have been a valuable asset. But why is that?

As we mentioned in our Influencer Marketing: An ever-changing industry that is here to stay, it’s important to select an influencer that operates in the same social space as your audience as well as having the same values and culture, preferably with an expert position in their niche field. And with marketing budgets being reduced it’s more important than ever to have the right creatives representing your brand and the current trends.

Athleisure influencers as mentioned above but also Plantfluencers are a good example of niche influencers that have seen exponential interest and following as they helped to lift up the green vibe to home décor. The confinement only exacerbated the already growing need to bring nature indoors. These influencers inspired their growing audience to invest in a wide range of products, from vases to wicker chairs and of course, plants.

If online wasn’t king pre-covid, it is now

If online shopping was not an established element in the general consumer behavior before the pandemic, it surely is now. Consumers’ limited physical freedom has driven online sales to new dimensions. In eight months only, online shopping within the fashion industry documented a growth corresponding to that of six years in penetration rate.

In January 2020, 16% of the total sales were registered to be driven online, compared to the 29% registered in August. The key players within these shifts being Germany, the UK, and Scandinavia. Some brands have seen a double, even triple, growth in online sales.

BoF & McKinsey, 2020.

The companies that have profited most from the shift, are the ones that have been the quickest in online adaptation and flexible to meet customer demands in delivery options and return and exchange conditions. Although we can expect this trend to continue in 2021 and beyond, consumers have been quick to return to their favorite stores once lockdowns have been lifted. This indicates that there is certainly still a strong value in the in-store experiences. The question is, how much this value will remain in comparison to online sales?

The Digitalization of Fashion Weeks

Brands using Innovation as a keyword

Innovation. This was the key element that ensured the possibility and execution of fashion weeks and design fairs in 2020. The creative industries are no strangers, by any means, to innovation. In fact, it is one of the principles on which our industries thrive. However, most creatives certainly prefer for their innovative ideas to flow freely and organically as a form of artistic expression, social commentary, and to provoke change.

The landscape of 2020, as we all know, had no mercy when it came to The Urgency of Digitalization needed to keep business alive, which goes hand in hand with the Innovation and Sustainability needed more now than ever.

The state of Fashion weeks

In 2019 when the McKinsey Group published their 2020 fashion report, the components which they predicted would characterize the fashion scene in 2020 were: innovation, digitalization, and sustainability, and that is what we have all witnessed. Many fashion weeks, design fairs, and brands have beautifully and innovatively adapted to present their collections this year in a digital format that was consequently more sustainable than ever.

2020 saw Fashion Weeks in a way they had not been heard of in years prior. Brands ventured away from the classic runways and rooms filled with hundreds of guests. The lack of travel and social restrictions meant brands needed to be more creative now than ever.

With live-streaming seeing an immense peak and video streaming generally accounting for 82% of all internet traffic in 2020, many brands showed their collections digitally. This meant viewers globally were able to watch the shows from the comforts of their own homes and gave people, who would not usually be able to attend fashion weeks an opportunity to be included.

Influencers and press were sent impressive press kits, show playlists, fabric swatches, and more to involve all the senses in the way of showing collections. Other than live videos of shows, brands ventured out to do installations, photographic collections, Q&A sessions, and much more. This year has proven the power of social media once again, with a 9,2% rise in users from the previous year, worldwide.

Fulfilling partnerships

 

 
 
 
 
 
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To ensure visibility for brands, not only via social media 2020 also saw the collaboration between VOCAST and Copenhagen Fashion Week, as well as the British Fashion Council. Both used a digital runway and a press portal respectively as one way to digitalize their designers’ shows.

Joining this success streak of partnerships is Stockholm Fashion Week. We are proud to announce that we will also support their fashion calendar activities this February and share runway, event, and backstage content with the nordic and international press.

VOCAST helped power these high-profile fashion weeks in allowing press, buyers, and influencers to have access to content, thus helping with The Birth of Digital Fashion Weeks.

With the digital materials, VOCAST and brands around the world were able to supply the press with, magazines and other publications were able to feed their readers with regular content. The way they went about the production of content and visuals may have been different, but the results were astounding.

Press and Publishing in 2020

The rise of online content

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. We have all felt the repercussions of COVID-19 and all had to endure the daily stress and fear that came with it.

The press was not exempt from this. Magazines and other publications have struggled more this year than ever before. It almost seems like whoever said “print was a dying art form” had a literal 2020 vision.

 “Much of what was going to happen in any case will now happen suddenly: publishing history is suddenly accelerated. The shift from print to digital at virtually all publications will be radically sped up.”

Amol Rajan BBC

In working from home for most of 2020 and the immense rise in screen time worldwide, the content has been consumed significantly via accessing online magazines, news portals, and blogs rather than purchasing and reading any form of print.

COVID-19 has changed our consumption pattern, leaving viewers expecting more content, quicker and in a wider array of media than solely in text form. Whilst publishing houses have been evolving and digitalizing their platforms for years, 2020 has required everyone to accelerate and grow their online presence to ensure maximum visibility and customer loyalty.

Some magazines and online publications went as far as to take off their paywalls to allow free access to readers, allowing them to remain a part of the game. We saw free access to publications across different magazines and publishing houses from Condé Nast to Gruner & Jahr. Wallpaper magazine is still to this day offering their digital publication for free.

Masthead makeover

Editorial staff from even the largest of publications were laid off and job roles were merged to decrease team sizes and restructure various publishing houses. A prime example of this is Anna Wintour, who was promoted in December 2020, to the role of the chief content officer, on top of the role as global editorial director at VOGUE.

With content being so available at all times, not only publishing but also brands had to put in extra effort in staying relevant and visible. Linking back to the immense rise in e-commerce that we saw, brands saw the measures they needed to take in order to stay seen. In order to succeed it was more important than ever to target and reach the right contacts. Many people were furloughed and fired worldwide, making reaching out to the right contacts difficult for some.

At VOCAST we foresaw the rise in digitalization and having witnessed the decline in print and the masthead makeover for some time now, which meant in 2020 and times of lockdown our research and curated list updates were only accelerated further. When we work to create new curated lists for our customers, we look at current trends as well as analyze the press and influencer situations to be able to foresee what contacts our clients will find to be relevant going forward.

In anticipation of the online shift, we segmented our magazines, editors, and editors-in-chief lists, already in 2019, dividing the contacts into print and online lists, giving our clients an easier way to closely target the right people.

Editors’ Insight

Having witnessed the change in publishing from a consumer point of view we wanted to find out more about the transformations magazines have undergone in these times and what changes were implemented in the course of 2020 and going forward.

For this year’s recap, we gathered the answers to questions we were eager to find out about with insights from:

 

Andrea Latten

Business Director of VOGUE Germany.

 

 

 

Kriss Daatland

Editor in Chief of Norwegian Bonytt, Rom123, and Maison Interior.

 

 

Reflecting on this year, what has been your biggest difficulties and most challenging adaptations relating to your work?

Andrea: The biggest change was definitely that we (such as many others) have been working from home for quite a while now, At Condé Nast Germany we are used to open structures and large office spaces. That is ideal for working together directly and creatively.

Due to spatial separation, it has become significantly more difficult to exchange thoughts and ideas spontaneously, which makes regular video calls even more important. Also in small teams and across-department one to one.

Kriss: In 2018, we ventured in a new direction, an interior event called Ditt Hjem where we hosted 1000 spectators and many interior brands who with their stands created a fantastic shopping/inspirational experience.

It has not been possible to do that this year, which means loss of income from both sponsors and ticket sales. This is now put on hold. We have great faith in interior design events in the future but at the moment it is uncertain when it is possible to start those up again.

Are there any permanent changes that you or your team have implemented since the beginning of the year that you now can’t live without?

Andrea: At the start of the Home office phase we implemented a virtual morning briefing with all Employees as well as the CEO of Condé Nast Germany, Jessica Peppel-Schulz. The joint start to the day aids us in sharing Information and just general conversation. This format is now a permanent part of the Organizational structure. The same goes for End of Day Meetings, which we conduct in our separate teams.

Kriss: The use of Teams and other digital tools has led to a more structured way of working because all communication takes place there with chat, document exchange, and conversations all in one.

Extensive use of home office has proven to be more efficient, and the goal will be to have a combination of office and home office in the future. We have implemented a good number of new projects in the last six months that previously drowned in the daily work and we would like to have the opportunity to do so in the future as well.

Looking back, what were some innovative solutions that you have created or used this year, and do they make you feel more prepared for uncertain times in the future?

Andrea: We decided early on in 2020 to cancel physical events. Parallel to that, we worked with effort and creativity to develop alternatives and innovate digital concepts.

Also, our productions are not at all possible to be conducted as they used to be. Luckily VOGUE has a tight-knit, global network, that we are now using even more since the pandemic. Photographers such as Chris Colls are photographing in their homes, fittings, and changes are happening via video call and onset, we have a minimal, permanent team working under and following the strict health guidelines. It may not be ideal but for us, it is the biggest priority to ensure the safety of all Condé Nast employees and cooperation partners!

Kriss: We know that we can work well together as a team and have a good collaboration regardless of where each of us is.

Digitalization makes it easier in many ways to gather people / participate in lectures and press screenings, but it does not replace networking in physical meeting places. It is in our business very important to be able to see and experience products, colors, and materials whenever possible.

VOCAST’s 2020 best practices

For many brands, it was hard to feel optimistic with the many challenges and uncertainties that paved 2020. But despite the many changes, the unprecedented circumstances have also brought many new opportunities and perspectives to their attention.

At VOCAST, our role in helping wonderful creative brands to get their content and products out to this seemly closed-off world became even more important. But how did that translate in the year 2020 compared to 2019, specifically in the midst of a pandemic?

From compiling niche and relevant curated lists responding to the current times (10 fashion advocates, Plantfluencers, Athleisure, Gastronomy, and Moodboards), to expanding our database and furthering our international reach with the launch of 20 Italian fashion and home interior lists, to partnering with major fashion weeks across Europe – Here are some other best practices and other specific insights we have gathered for our brands.

Press days remastered

This year has restricted one’s ability to plan, travel, and meet. Creating a physical experience to introduce a brand’s universe and range of products became increasingly more difficult. Back in April, these restrictions limited the access to physical showrooms and refrained fashion brands and PR agencies alike to hold press days. It became apparent that new methods to efficiently present and communicate a collection’s identity needed to be found.

The digital press experience:

In this context, we worked closely together with GANNI to launch a new Digital Press Experience for their Fall/Winter 2020 collection. A powerful mix of technology, data, and storytelling to reinvent the live experience of brand sharing!

All the information about the collection, stories and inspirations behind it, introductions to the key styles, and access to the collection’s imagery were made available in one stimulating and digitally powerful page linked to their digital showroom to provide all necessary content to visualize the collection.

With just a few videos, GANNI has nicely encapsulated the FW20 key styles creating an ideal showcase for PR agencies – while creative director Ditte Reffstrup’s message from her home in Copenhagen made it all more personal.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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By offering a few options within the collection, agencies could choose what best fit their client base. The combination of videos, personal storytelling, colors, and prints help highlight the core tones of the collection and bring the garments to life.

This easy-to-follow format also significantly cuts down PR agencies’ workload and can always be visioned back through one sharable link.

Wholesalers as new brand ambassadors

MosMosh Case Study

« Some of the best fashion brands we work with actually have a growth on their wholesale accounts from 2019 to 2020. I didn’t think that was possible in the current condition, so naturally, we have dug through the best cases to learn how they do it, and we discovered that most brands will be able to it with very little resources. »

– VOCAST co-founder Jens Hamborg Kofoed.

Suddenly the need for many brands to find new ways to boost sales has caused a shift of focus to unforeseen brand ambassadors. This focus on wholesale partners was showcased with an increase of 7% in the number of newsletters sent through our system and a slight decrease in press releases compared to 2019.

« One of the great things about this marketing program is, that most brands already have the content needed to help their clients sell more. It is just a matter of delivering it in the right manner. ».

– VOCAST co-founder Jens Hamborg Kofoed.

In that regards, we had the fantastic opportunity to discuss with MosMosh’s PR Manager Stine Østerby, who shared with us the reasons why wholesales are a brand’s best bet:

1.

They will have you top of mind which is nice because you compete for attention with their other brands.

2.

They will know your brand better, thus they will be better at selling it.

3.

They won’t damage your storytelling by creating content that tells the wrong story.

4.

They will most likely sell more and be more loyal because you support them.

5.

Your content will help them drive customers into their stores asking for your product rather than others.

 

You can learn about the key steps to unlock the potential of your wholesalers by reviewing this insightful webinar with MosMosh very own best practices:

 

 

Carl Hansen & Søn: Products

On a related note, Carl Hansen & Søn took it one step ahead. This shift in focus has also allowed us to work on a special project and introduce Carl Hansen & Søn’s new Professionals Site powered by VOCAST. A digital universe putting focus on their amazing catalog of products and their different variants.

This perfect tool was specifically designed for dealers, designers, architects, and other professionals wishing to be inspired by everlasting designs and craftsmanship.

The key features of this platform enable any partner to see and download the full selection of products, browse different cases that Carl Hansen & Søn have worked on to find inspiration and allows primary contact with the sales team in relation to product requests. Further bridging the gap between accessibility to quality brand content and sales.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Increase in digital showroom visitors, shared selections & downloads

The year 2020 showed a sharp increase in activity on the VOCAST platform – specifically in terms of downloads, multi-downloads, and selections shared. The following data is not just dull numbers, they actually translate into sharing activities of images for magazines, 3d-files for architects as well as videos and other SoMe content for fashion and design retailers. This year might have been full of restrictions; it also allowed us to support hundreds of brands by setting up their digital showrooms to boost brand sharing.

Here’s how our brand’s digital showrooms performed overall:

Compared to 2019, we saw an increase in the number of downloads in digital showrooms of 46% bringing the total up to 4.1 million.

That is an increase of 1.3 million downloads compared to the total in 2019 of 2.8 million.

Digital showroom visitors are up by a third to around 3,8 million that’s an increase of 32% compared to 2019.

And their combined visits is up 16% to nearly 12 million.

Multi-downloads (multiple files downloaded from a selection) have also increased by 28%.

Welcoming 2021

There is no question that 2020 has been a trying year. The world has suffered grievance and loss alongside illness and hardships, but with that came perseverance and innovation. From baking banana bread and making Tik Tok videos to watching Tiger King and Love is Blind, all from the comforts of our homes, which soon became our offices and playgrounds, we made the best of a bad situation. Magazines worked on distanced photoshoots via the most used app of the year: Zoom and runways around the world were digitalized.

While 2021 will be a challenging year for many to recover from due to the repercussions of the pandemic, there will be opportunities. Those looking to succeed will understand the continued and accelerated demand for digitalization and visualization. We are taking a positive stand on where the future can take us and at VOCAST we are here to help you proceed and succeed in a world of digitalization, starting 2021 with a positive outlook.

   
   

VOCAST - The Brand Sharing Platform

This recap was a collaborative effort written by our in-house team of curators, who are experts in identifying relevant influencers, as well as building email lists of important contacts for our fashion and home & interior brands.

 

   

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The Power of Podcasting

The Power of Podcasting

The Power of Podcasting

Podcasts are not a new format in 2020. Nevertheless, it is a marketing element with many, and still untapped, possibilities. VOCAST has created a Podcast list for Fashion and Home/Interior, for each market to help our brands navigate in the podcasting sphere. 

 

 

The podcast market is predicted to break the $1 billion revenue threshold in 2021 based on current trends and growth and despite the economic crisis (Improve Podcasts, 2020). The medium is highly popular, to say the least, and is known for its loyal and engaged listeners. With increasingly saturated and crowded social media channels, finding innovative ways to reach your target is undoubtedly becoming difficult.

By knowing more about the medium and how to navigate with it, brands will have the opportunity to benefit from sponsoring or partnering up with a podcast, which will help boost brand awareness and to reach beyond the existing customer base. So why not consider podcasting as a tool for your next marketing strategy?

Research shows that people who listen to podcasts are more focused on the content as they have actively chosen to listen to the specific episode (Acast & Nielsen, 2018). Unlike the endless scroll where the viewer filters out most of the visual content, for advertisers, an attractive factor of podcasting is the niche segments represented in the audible space, which is characterized by loyal trades and high recommendation power to their peers. Consequently, the podcast audience has its own features and particularities.

The possibility for independent podcast producers or brands to compete with large-scale institutional podcast productions is comparable to the function of YouTube, blogging, and other social media, where the democratization of distribution and availability may enable these to successfully reach a mass audience. Considering that people are big fans of on-demand services, podcasts are flourishing and can additionally serve a popular ‘binge experience’.

 

 

Key features of the podcast audience

The growth of the podcast media represents an important opportunity for digital marketing audiences to have a high trust for podcasts and their hosts, and brands are slowly starting to invest larger sums into podcast advertising.

Podcast consumption is increasing globally by a few percent each year. In the U.K alone, the weekly podcast listeners have nearly doubled in the past five years an estimated 42 million Americans (14%) are weekly podcast listeners (Acast & Nielsen, 2018). In Denmark, 18% of the population listens to podcasts on a weekly basis, with 31% of these being 15- to 31-year-olds (DR, 2018).

This is why podcasts are starting to establish themselves in mainstream markets, representing important marketing opportunities for lifestyle brands (WGSN, 2017).

🇩🇰 1.3 million weekly listeners

🇩🇪 10.4 million weekly listeners

🇫🇷 4 million monthly listeners

🇮🇹 7 million monthly listeners

🇬🇧 5.9 million weekly listeners

🇺🇸 104 million monthly listeners

🇳🇴 1.4 million weekly listeners

🇸🇪 1.6 million weekly listeners

🇳🇱 5.5 million monthly listeners

🇧🇪 2.2 million monthly listeners

(Audience report, 2019)

Typically, the podcast listener is a consumer with a higher education choosing podcasts specifically as a media in order to relax. In many ways, podcasts are a great media for those who seek other types of content to consume other than visual ones. The loyal podcast listener in the UK spends more than 3.6 hours a week listening to podcasts.

Moreover, the majority of these state that they have recommended either a podcast or a product they have heard about in a podcast. This is an indicator that podcasts have a way higher engagement rate compared to other digital media, as audio becomes a different platform, just like video before it, for brands to speak directly to their most engaged consumers while offering authentic content which could be compared to exclusive “behind-the-scenes” insights of the brands.

“A modern company is of course also using podcasts as an active part of its branding strategy.

(BoF, 2019) Podcast listeners are also highly active on social media. As many as 93% of all podcast listeners are actually active social media users. Moreover,  52% listen to podcasts while driving, and 46% while traveling.

Podcasting & the Lifestyle industry

Although luxury lifestyle brands are seldom synonymous with digital innovation, brands have started to experiment with the media over the past years. Admittedly, podcasts are not the widest reach tactic and are by definition not visual. Nevertheless, brands such as Hermes, Margiela, Chanel, Miu Miu and Chloé all now have their own in-house podcast, as they represent opportunities for various marketing scopes to engage listeners in their digital universe through storytelling.

 “The new beauty floor at Saks has everything you might expect from a high-end emporium working to prove itself in the digital age: a custom foundation bar, a facial workout gym and, as of last week, a podcast in residence” (BoF, 2019)

 
Brand narrative

In addition to this, it can be a great contrast and contribution to the increasingly “visual” digital marketing strategies. Through podcasts, brands are enabled to tell the in-depth stories they are unable to tell through an Instagram post. The deeper communication messages, such as editorial works, have inevitably been neglected in the digital era and in this way, podcasting is also a great tool to control the brand narrative.

Podcasts should be used in order to address brand awareness and deepen the relationship with the existing target audience. More importantly, branded podcasts allow brands to strengthen their credibility within their actual market by reaching a target who is already engaged with the brand.

Niche tool

Branded podcasts are a great tool, but they won’t be your broadest reach tool. It is a great way to engage with your existing audience and deepen your relationship. The social nature of the podcast listener makes them even more inclined to be great mediators of word-of-mouth. 3/5 podcast listeners claim to have recommended a podcast or to have recommended a product heard of from a podcast (Acast, 2018).

Narrator

The podcast host holds a key power as the narrator. It is key that this is an acknowledged and trusted person, who the audience can relate to. As a brand, make sure to put your key persona behind the microphone for the most engaged and organic result. Moreover, podcasts offer a way to communicate with local audiences in their language- literally.

While a branded podcast may seem like a larger investment for some, fear not, there are other ways to approach the media: podvertising.

Keep up with the podcast lingo

Although podcasts aren’t new under the sun, it can be difficult to keep track of the terminology. VOCAST has summarized the key terms necessary for understanding the media and its context:

Podvertising: Podcast advertising

Podcast directories: Apps or online platforms where podcasts are listed and available to be listened to

Podcasting platforms: Digital platforms where podcasts are produced or uploaded or both

Spoken banner: A kind of podcast advertising where a message from the advertiser is read out loud.

Read-in advertising: Unlike the spoken banner, this is a kind of podcast advertising where the ad is integrated as content communicated directly by the podcast host.

Branded podcast: A podcast produced by a brand with the aim to engage listeners in their universe through storytelling

Podvertising

Partnering up with an already existing podcast is like partnering up with another brand. There are clear values, the host’s image, and the audience’s expectations to consider. This has to be done strategically when selecting a program and moving forward with the sponsorship process.

A podvertising sponsorship can take many forms but the most common one is a direct response ad, with a specific promotion that easily can be tracked through the point of sale. A direct-response ad can thereafter be evaluated to make sure that the brand gets their wanted ROI.

Usually, a podcast is measured in downloads and a download can’t assure a listen, which can become an issue in the long run. But. Podcasts have other perks that don’t translate into statistics right away but will have positive, long-term effects on building your brand’s image and creating awareness, which is essential in 2020.

Benefits of podvertising

  • Mobility: Listeners can bring a podcast anywhere which makes it part of their daily routine 
  • Engagement: the most loyal audience of all mediums are podcast-listeners, they become addicted to“their” show 
  • Multi-platform Exposure: Most Podcasts have multiple channels where they communicate and the podvertising will have widespread on socials, newsletters, websites, etc. 
  • Selectivity: A podcast is carefully selected through a conscious choice by the listener 
  • Buying Power: The podcast audience is typically in the higher income brackets and is in a close relationship with the host – that have influential recommendation power 
  • Long-lasting Endorsement: The nature of podcasts allows the advertisement to stay on the episode permanently. Which means that the podvertisment can be downloaded in 2 years and still have an impact 
  • Spacious: Visual mediums are crammed these days and everyone is there. But there is still room to fill in the audible space

A word of advice:

When adjusting the tone of your brand’s podvertisment consider the listeners context. A survey constructed by Spotify in 2020 showed that forty-five percent of listeners state that they wished brands could better speak to what they’re doing when they hear ads.

 

The podcast host: Voice of influence and authority

Usually, the podcast host is an official persona who works hard and gradually gain his or her follower base. The relationship between a listener and the podcast host is often perceived as intimate as the audience relates directly to the authority. Listeners form relationships with the host as they often feel that they are being spoken to directly.

The host gains a position of high trust, influencing his or her listeners which is why utilizing the host-voiced advertising, is so efficient.

We interviewed the french interior podcast host Elise Hoppe, from the Brocanist, and the Swedish fashion blogger icon, influencer and podcast co-host of Säker Stil: Ebba von Sydow, to investigate the relationship between podcaster and brand.

 

Q: How do you work with sponsorships and advertisements in your podcast?


Currently, I haven’t any sponsor nor any advertising on my podcast The Brocantist, because I haven’t found the right partner. As I don’t earn any money with my podcast, I always keep in mind that I do the podcast because I like it, and I always try to ask myself:  do I still love it? yes? then I continue. Is it relevant to my community? yes, then I continue.

If the right partner happens to knock on my door one day, we will certainly have a discussion about my positioning, my tone of voice, and the values I believe in. And even if there is no obligation for me at the moment to have a sponsor, I have my secret wishlist ready.

Q: Which factors do you consider when entering a collaboration?


Transparency, transparency, transparency. If we work together, I need to trust you and you need to trust me. It’s a win-win. Regarding the topics, I would be happy to promote: any brand in circular economy or sharing economy.

Any innovation that would help to move to a more sustainable and more ethical world. Any partner, willing to move forward really.

Q: How do you see your position as a podcast host to communicate another brand’s message? What are your motivations for doing that?

I used to work in Advertising and I know the target group is the key. So, as long as my community can use the information given by the brand, I am happy. NB: The Brocantist is a podcast that promotes sustainable initiatives in the home interior sector.

Q: Which kind of sponsorships do you usually do/would you like to do?

I would consider doing a promotional code for a product or a service with general information about a brand with a call to action like voting, donating, etc. Other than that, I am open to discuss.

Q: How do you work with sponsorships and advertisements in your podcast?

We believe in serving our followers and listeners with free content, which is why we choose to work with partnerships and sponsorships representing more long-term collaborations that mirrors the entire platform of Säker Stil. Which consists of our Instagram account, our channels on Facebook, our newsletter Weekly and obviously our personal accounts, Ebba von Sydow and Emilia de Poret.

Q: Which factors do you consider when entering a collaboration?

Actually only one thing: That the collaboration needs to be enlightening, fun and inspiring for our followers, listeners and friends of Säker Stil out there. That’s the most important, always.

This is simply crucial, given that it has to work for our followers while satisfying our collaborating partner, especially since we love working with brands where we get to learn something new, get inspired and transmit messages of really great products, brands and services.

Q: How do you see your position as a podcast host to communicate another brand’s message? What are your motivations in doing that?

What motivates us daily is that we have so much fun with Säker Stil. Love what you do! Foremost we’re focusing on creating inspiring, fun and lovely content – that’s always first.

After that it’s absolutely amazing to run a business around this, with a great team of clever colleagues – and to use the platform to lift up other people and brands who do great things that we really enjoy, that’s a bonus! 

Q: Which kind of sponsorships do you usually do?

We are so proud over the partnerships we work with. A red-thread is that they are brave, dares to try the new, digitally aware, goes for it creatively and trusts us. That, we are deeply thankful for!

 

Feeling inspired?

VOCAST has gathered the key contacts from the most relevant lifestyle podcasts in each market, in the curated lists. Below you will find an extract of fashion and interior podcasts that might fit your brand. Reach out!

🇫🇷 Chiffon

Chiffon is a Podcast created and hosted by Valérie Tribes who is also working as a freelance fashion journalist. Chiffon analyzes our relationship with fashion and clothing from a sociological point of view and Valérie interviews women and men from different backgrounds to discuss various fashion topics.

Listen to podcast

🇩🇪 SOFA SO GOOD

Sofa so good is a podcast hosted by Editor in Chief of Schöner Wohnen Magazine Bettina Billerbeck and columnist Anne Zube. The home interior experts tackle every day interior questions within their discussions, filled with tips, tricks and humour.

Listen to podcast

🇬🇧 Fashion Fix with Charli Howard

Charli Howard is an English model and body positive activist. She is regularly featured in British Vogue and founded her own beauty brand. Charli is undoubtedly one of the most prominent faces of the future of British fashion. Her podcast, which she hosts for the BBC: Fashion Fix with Charli Howard is a space where she and her guests discuss everything from sustainable fashion, modest fashion, streetwear and thrifting, and of course body positivity.

Listen to podcast

🇸🇪 Inredningspodden

Every week Johanna Hulander interviews interesting people within the field of design, interior and architecture in Scandinavia. She have had thoughtful and intelligent conversations with Knud Erik Hansen, CEO of Fritz Hansen, Thommy BIndefelt Creative Director at Svenskt Tenn and visual artist Åsa Jungnelius among others.

Listen to podcast

🇩🇰 BEDRE MODE

Bedre Mode is the first Danish blog to focus 100% on sustainable fashion. The podcast is hosted by Johanne Rytter Stenstrup. Through interviews with Denmarks leading Wardrobe- and Fashion Researcher, Johanne is researching how a new clothing culture could lead to a more sustainable wardrobe and clothing industry.

Listen to podcast

🇳🇴 Interiørpraten by Bonytt

What happens when you have a designer and an editor in chief visit some of the most interesting homes in Norway? The answer is a lot of unexpected conversations highlighting their interior and living decisions. A true podcast gem for anyone wanting to be inspired for their own home or simply get a front row listen into Norways most thoughtful homes.

Listen to podcast

🇳🇱 Sneakerjagers

Sneakerjagers is a Dutch platform and platform with all the sneaker news you can wish for – a true advocate of the Dutch streetwear movement.

Listen to podcast

   
   

Josefine is the Swedish Design & Fashion Researcher at VOCAST. When not working Josefine can be found studying communication at KEA, dancing to Abba music, or searching for Copenhagen’s finest vintage denim.

 

   

Olivia is the Italian Market Coordinator at VOCAST. She studied Fashion Marketing & Communication at IED in Milan, where she also began working with fashion marketing and PR. When not at VOCAST, she can be found in her kitchen developing recipes, dealing with the transition from pizza to rye bread.

 

 

 

 

   
   

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Italy: Why and how to conquer the lifestyle market

Italy: Why and how to conquer the lifestyle market

Italy: Why and how to conquer the lifestyle market

VOCAST is launching Italian curated lists for the lifestyle market. With over 67.000 fashion brands (1) and over 30.000 interior design companies (2), not to mention world prestigious wool, silk, lace and leather manufacturers, Italy represents one of the largest lifestyle markets in the world. The country’s ancient artisanal traditions have drilled Italians to dress and decorate homes properly for centuries.

As Italians put quality and beauty at the center of any product, they are highly educated consumers who seek a sophisticated product with a long-lasting lifecycle. It is therefore not a coincidence that Scandinavian design has been trending increasingly in Italian fashion magazines and among consumers the past years. Inevitably, there are still a few things to know about the market. Here is why and how you should conquer the Italian lifestyle market:

Quality: Make sure to do your homework

Italians know quality and love a good story. Make sure that your product descriptions are complete, on-point and put effort into storytelling when it comes to the provenience and sourcing of material and design. With that in mind, forget ambiguity- Italians will call you out for it. Instead, underline the uniqueness of your product even in the smallest details. This is key to tackle the competition of the national merchandise mark, Made in Italy.

Since the 80’s,  Made in Italy has developed into a global mark of excellence regarding quality and design for products designed, produced and packed in Italy. The Italian regulations are more strict than the German and American mark and special efforts have been made for the past twenty years to protect and market Made in Italy.

 

Keep it cordial

Like in many south European countries, titles and formality play an important role in most communication, especially if you are not well-acquainted with the recipient. For this reason, keep contact with the press formal and cordial to stay on the safe side, and you will make sure that your message is well received. 

 

If they like it, Italians will want to put a ring on it

With over 67.000 fashion brands in Italy alone, the competition for the consumers’ attention is high and the love story of the Italians and their favorite brands go way back. Do not try to please everyone: When it comes to the Italian market, unique positioning and identity will have a higher return as many Italians seek to invest in brands long term. This implies putting a strong emphasis on branding and storytelling. Ultimately, you also need to nurture the customer relationship as they will want to feel just as special as you are to them. Quite the commitment, but in return, you will have one of the most loyal customers in the world.

 

Get acquainted with the media landscape

Fashion – Reach

+35 Magazines
+80 Editors
+70 Influencers

included in VOCASTs Italian curated lists

 

Home/Interior – Reach

+30 Magazines
+70 Editors
+50 Influencers

included in VOCASTs Italian curated lists

 

 

A rich influencer scene

Italy was a bit late to the party when it came to digitizing the lifestyle industry. However, many brands are now up-to-date with E-Commerce, social media channels as well as with influencer marketing. Global influencer royalty Chiara Ferragni paved the way to a rich fashion and lifestyle influencer arena with thousands of active influencers, many specialized in various niches. For this reason, the influencer market is constantly changing with new profiles arising weekly, ensuring that as a brand you can find an Italian profile that suits you.

Paola Turani


 

Followers: 1.5m

Paola Turani is an Italian model and influencer based in Bergamo, northern Italy. She is one of the most noted Italian lifestyle influencers and began her career as a model. Paola creates content related to her busy travel life and fashion.

Giulia Gaudino

 

Followers: 606K

Giulia Gaudino is an Italian fashion influencer based in Milan. She creates content related to romantic fashion, accessories, shoes, and beauty, including skincare and makeup. Giulia is the ambassador for brands such as Falconeri and Estee Lauder.

Sara Puccinelli

 

Followers: 63.9K

Sara Puccinelli is a lifestyle influencer based in Milan, Italy. She engages her audience through her curated minimalistic feed about fashion and interior design, as well as her frequent and authentic stories.

Laura Montemurro

Followers: 81.7K


Probably Italy’s largest interior design influencer, Laura Montemurro focuses interior design and lifestyle and is based in Naples, Italy. She creates content related to interior design, home accessories, and gastronomy. Laura’s main focus is the refurbishing project of her soon-to-be bed & breakfast.

Camilla Corradi - La tazzina blu

 

Followers: 25.4K

 

Camilla Corradi is the influencer behind the interior design blog and Instagram account La tazzina blu. She creates content related to interior design, home accessories and Scandinavian design.

 

Carlotta Berta

 

Followers: 12.6K

 

Carlotta Berta is an Italian blogger and influencer, focused on interior design. She has her own interior design studio called Unprogetto, based on which she creates content.

 

 

Key publishing houses

The Italian publishing landscape is advanced and long-established with multiple magazines focusing on various parts of the fashion and design system. Note that some of the top-titles such as Elle, Vanity Fair and Grazia will be found in the Weekly magazines curated list, unlike some of their international sibling editions.

Like most large lifestyle markets, there are a few key publishing houses holding the most important, but not all, lifestyle magazines:

Condé Nast Italia

The Italian branch of the global publishing house, holds established publications such as VOGUE, L’UOMO VOGUE, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, and GQ.

Hearst Italia

Favored fashion and interior design magazines including Elle, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Esquire, Elle Decor, Marie Claire Maison are all published by Hearst Italia.

Mondadori

Grazia, INTERNI, Casa Bella, Casa Facile, Donna Moderna are published by Mondadori Group which holds a wide range of Italian fashion interior design magazines, each with their own niche.

RCS Mediagroup

RCS Mediagroup publishes not only Italy’s largest newspaper Corriere della Sera, but also lifestyle magazines such as AMICA, Living, and the popular weekly supplement IO Donna.

 

In addition to these, there are of course other key publications such as L’OFFICIEL, LAMPOON, MUSE Magazine and Pambianco for B2B communication.

 

 

Meet the editors

Emanuela Testori

Emanuela Testori is the Editor-in-chief of Amica as of 2013. She was the Deputy Director of Marie Claire Italia from 1987, before joining Amica in 2002. You will find Emanuela in the Editor-in-chief curated list.

Carlotta Marioni

Carlotta Marioni is the Fashion Director at GRAZIA Italia. She was previously worked at TUSTYLE and has a noted profile on Instagram where she publishes fashion tips and other engaging content. You will find Carlotta in the Fashion Editors & Directors curated list.

Sara Sozzani Maino

Sara Sozzani Maino is the Deputy Director at VOGUE Italia. She is also the head of VOGUE Talents, the talent initiative scouting emerging talents and designers of womenswear, menswear, accessories, and fashion photography. Sara Maino has been working at VOGUE Italia for over 20 years and is found in the Fashion Editors & Directors curated list.

Gilda Bojardi

Gilda Bojardi is a noted figure within Italian interior design and has been the Editor-in-Chief of INTERNI since 1994. Between 2010 and 2015 she was the Editor-in-Chief of Grazia Casa.

Livia Peraldo Matton

Livia Peraldo Matton has been the Editor-in-Chief of Elle Decor Italia since 2001. She is ultimate responsible for the magazine and started out as an art director for interior design magazine Casaviva before joining Elle Decor in 1990.

Francesca Santambrogio

Francesca Santambrogio is the Editor-at-Large at AD Italia. She edits sections related to interior design, home accessories, trends, and news. Francesca is also a freelance set designer and interior stylist.

 

To get access to the Italian curated lists of these and +35 magazines, Influencers, Trade Publications, Editor-in-chiefs, Editors, Directors, and more

   

Olivia is the Italian Market Coordinator at VOCAST. She studied Fashion Marketing & Communication at IED in Milan, where she also began working with fashion marketing and PR. When not at VOCAST, she can be found in her kitchen developing recipes, dealing with the transition from pizza to rye bread.

 

 

 

 

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