As Fashion Week has moved from New York to Milan, then London and finally Paris, one name has consistently commanded headlines — crossing runways, concert stages, recording studios and newsrooms to orchestrate an awareness campaign that has (to many) transcended news of the fashion line itself. We are, of course, referring to Kanye West, a man who has perhaps redefined the concept of self-branding, and in the process, given marketers a few lessons in content strategy.
Although marketers can certainly learn from his trademark persistence, Kanye has also demonstrated the power of timing — something as important as quality and consistency in content strategy. Although Kanye’s strategy came with the faux pas expected of Yeezy, here are three content strategy lessons we can all take from Kanye’s first Fashion Week:
1. Integrate Your Channels.
Savvy marketers already know to integrate their efforts across blogs, social media, media placements and other channels, but Kanye showed us just how much integration can take place in a single week, using live concerts to promote his Yeezy line for Adidas, and in turn, using the Fashion Week buzz to announce his new album, So Help Me God. In between, he hit the recording studio, collaborated with Paul McCartney and garnered enough press to inspire Madonna to praise him while promoting her own new album.
2. Allow for Spontaneity.
For a man who took 18 months to design the Yeezy line, one he said was inspired by the London riots of more than three years ago, Kanye embraced spontaneity in Paris, announcing a four-day residency held at Foundation Louis Vuitton. The move kept him in the spotlight just as casual interest in Fashion Week began to wane, again integrating his popularity in the music world to remind audiences of his presence in fashion. The move may very well have worked. The Yeezy Boot has already sold out.
3. Be Mindful. (You Can Edit Copy, But You Can’t Erase Memory.)
The Internet allows for all kinds of editorial freedom, including the freedom to make mistakes and later edit and re-publish. But this doesn’t mean your audience will forget the first version. Kanye is starting to learn this after fans have become disgruntled at his price points. Declaring a week ago that he believes $5,000 sweaters are ridiculous, Kanye has since announced pricing that will dash his dreams of making Yeezy affordable for everyone. Had he set the expectation ahead of time, his fans might not be reeling in sticker shock. The content strategy lesson in this is simple mindfulness. Approach every piece of content as if you are publishing for print.
Inspired by other editorial marketing campaigns throughout Fashion Week? Send your headlines to our editorial team, and if we feature your find, we will gladly feature you as a contributing editor with byline credit.