Talking tech since 2003

When you think of handbags and fashion, you don’t typically think of technology, but that’s exactly what Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, thinks about.  Originally the founder of a software company, Uri thinks of ways he can utilize technology to enhance the brand, particularly through social media.  As a result, the company is one of the most forward-thinking when it comes to using the most popular apps and social media outlets to engage consumers.

For example, while most people think of Snapchat as a silly teen photo sharing site or Keek as a fun way to share videos, Minkoff thinks of them as a marketing tools.  The company, which he runs alongside his sister, designer Rebecca Minkoff, actually debuted new looks on Snapchat last year and partnered with Keek for fashion week to show behind the scenes snippets of its showroom and runway.   The company was also the first to use Instagram images in print ads.  But why not just hire an actress or model to show off the product?  Uri has found that consumers are starting to respond to a more authentic type of advertising.

“We noticed more than a year ago the importance of user generated content – products that people were putting up on Instagram that people were talking about on Twitter- and all of a sudden we started noticing higher sell throughs of that products,” said Minkoff.Minkoff

The company has taken it a step further and has started working with image analytics company Curalate with one of their new products, Fanreel.  With Fanreel, brands can incorporate user-generated images directly into their website and display real people engaging their products in the real world.  Rebecca Minkoff has already seen strong results.

“We launched [Fanreel] in November, since then we’ve had over 10,000 photos have been submitted for consideration,” Minoff said.  “What we’ve noticed is that the visitors who view the Fanreel photos increased their time on the site by 11 percent.  We’ve also noticed that we have about 95 hours a day of incremental time added to the site specifically in this time of spending on the Fanreel phots and we’re getting a 20 percent click through rate on those as well.”

The company is also planning to utilize Fanreel in its first brick and mortar store, which is expected to launch in the second half of the year.

“We’re looking at how we can incorporate Curalate Fanreel into the shopping experience,” Minkoff said.  “So for store associates to be able to show consumers in the store– here’s how other people have worn this, here’s how you can wear it- I think it all lends to credibility.  It’s this Yelp phenomenon of  rating and reviews and seeing people wearing it helps to give girls confidence.”

Aside from social media, Minkoff is also looking at other ways to utilize technology into the brand.  The company has previously teamed up with Stelle audio to make a bluetooth clutch and Frends headphones to design decorative ear caps and plans even more collaborations.

“We see this as being a very ripe field, what we’re seeing trend-wise is a lot of the tech companies really don’t have the fashion view/the fashion design right,” Minkoff said.  “So we see a high integration between partnership between tech giants and fashion companies to co-design product that girls are going to want to stack on their arms, so there’s a couple of companies that we’re deep in play with.”

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