Superstar designer Kenneth Cole has fundamentally changed the way he looks at brand marketing and the business of selling.
“I used to feel that I sat in control, in charge of a brand and my goal was to try to impose on as many people as I can,” he told Ford’s fourth annual Trend Conference in Detroit.
“I’ve come to realise in the last several years, with social media specifically, that that has totally changed.”
Everyone now wakes up every day to curate a Facebook page or a Twitter feed. They even curate access to that by either accepting or rejecting new friends online.
“Today I think everybody is obsessed with becoming their own brand,” he says.
The challenge for him as a designer is getting people to allow him to become part of individual personal brands.
“People consume products differently,” he says.
“It’s not about buying per se as much as it is about pinning, posting, tweeting and re-tweeting.
“Ultimately when they buy they will go to the website and tell me what size they want and free delivery and return the next day.
“People’s expectations and their demands have changed profoundly.”
Cole, whose name on a shoe can still sell tens of thousands of pairs over a few days, says:
“There is not a woman in America who needs another pair of black shoes. It’s my job to make them think they do.”
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