To improve its attractiveness with its consumers, the clothing brand La Halle, currently going into receivership, with stores closing, has recently opened a participative event on Facebook to help its teams to create the Fall 2018 collection. What does it mean? Internet users were invited to unpack their preferences in terms of trends and design. This plan was created to “create commitment, brand preference and finally to drive traffic in the stores and on-line”, said the chain. At the beginning, this consultation was only for its VIP members before being extended to all clients present on Facebook, namely 400.000 followers.

When La Halle posts every weekend five patterns, clients give their favourite cuts, colours, materials and prints in order to give life to the pieces they want to wear. Opinions and ideas are sorted out and shared with the in-house designers team. Each selected design will be given the name of one of the community members. Simply baptized “you and us”, the new collection will be composed of 15 pieces (clothes and shoes) and released on-line and in-store next July.

For about 10 years, marketing experts have talked about the « prosumer » – whose opinion really matters. Now is the time of the consum’author, a new figure that plays a role at the early stage of product design. This evolution is a perfect illustration of our society’s development and the growing place of social media as creativity and opinion factors. It also gives brands a new role at each step. Brands are still expected to serve their clients, but they need to show much more than attention and empathy. Now they’re expected to prove that they are places of inspiration and design. They no longer have to guess their clients’ wishes to give an appropriate answer, they need to have them give their creative point of view in order to make it real.

A brand is a creative lab. The relation between a brand and its consumers has infinite aspects.

So What ?

Having clients participate in product design is also the opportunity for brands to spread knowledge and pedagogy. Another way of establishing themselves...

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