Industry Insights

Data Is Fashionable

The fashion industry has experienced extreme change in recent years. The veneer covering the industry is slowly peeling away and exposing the industry to the consumer more directly, with smartphone content generated up and down every runway at Fashion Week and shared across the world in moments. The way technology has changed the relationship between the fashion industry and its consumers is monumental.

Fashion industry

A huge source of disruption in the fashion industry is, of course, social media.

Only a fraction of social media content is generated by brands themselves. Journalists, celebrities and other industry figures share their experiences from the catwalk, which is picked up and amplified by consumers following them on social media. Brands can only do so much to direct the quality and spread of that media. The voice of the customer has never been so instant and so far-reaching.

To capitalise on the disruption that social brings to the industry, fashion brands must understand how to use the enormous quantity of data from social channels to engage and interact with customers in a better way. Social allows brands to grow revenue directly, with features like embedded “buy-now” buttons, and indirectly through superior customer engagement. Though many brands already grasp the possible benefits, it can be difficult to decide exactly what to do next.

Using the data of almost 1,000,000 digital conversations about fashion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other social platforms, in 2015 IBM iX studied the relationship between twenty fashion brands and their audiences, to help guide brands who want to do more with social data. In the “Data is Fashionable” study, you can discover an interesting perspective on how the industry needs to move forward to get the most out of social.

For example, on average, brands plan to quadruple social media spending as a percentage of overall marketing budgets. That’s huge, but the study findings also show that many brands have difficulty aligning their communications with the conversations that consumers are having on social media, which limits customer engagement and advocacy.

To see more detailed findings of this great study, read the full report: “Data is Fashionable”. A special thanks to Marco Fregonese, the study leader, and to Amalia Fuschini, Lara Ermacora and Joseph Kearins for contributing their expertise, as well as seven other expert IBMers. Enjoy!

Learn more

Leverage proven solutions to build life-long relationships with consumers. Check out IBM Solutions at

More stories

Build your own wonder

Wonder-ing out of the uncanny valley The “uncanny valley” is a phrase used to describe machines or systems that at the same time appear close to human, but elect a sense of revulsion rather than wonder.  Creepy is another word that gets used.  It is an old idea (first used by a Japanese roboticist working […]

Continue reading

More wonders

In my last post (“A time of wonders“) I finished on the idea that “machines like HAL or Her are referred to as super-intelligent or as strong artificial intelligence…and that most experts agree that we are probably 60 years away from being able to create systems like that, but there are many wonders available to […]

Continue reading

A time of wonders

Wonders indeed.  Last year a man’s life was saved in Missouri when his Tesla car drove him to hospital on autopilot. It seems that every day we read headlines like that one: you could call it a time of wonders, and all of them seem to be the result of artificial intelligence or AI. It […]

Continue reading