Consumers are flocking to festivals to meet other members of their “tribe,” which cuts across generations as people are drawn together by various styles of fashion, art and music as well as technology.
These gatherings are also big business for brands and retailers, who can test new concepts and amplify their social media presence, according to a report from Trendalytics — which also ranked the top brands and influencers at the recent Coachella event.
“It’s impossible to deny, festivals are having a moment,” researchers said in the report. “Across the music, art, entertainment and tech worlds, festival micro-communities are growing year-over-year. And it’s not just the boho hippies and headbangers. Everyone from bloggers to groupies, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, are getting in on the action. So what do Coachella, Burning Man, SXSW and Art Basel have in common? They offer the perfect setting to escape, connect, transform and of course, make a profit on a global stage.”
For example, the report cited Revolve as a “big winner” at Coachella. Trendalytics said that during the two weeks of the event, there were about 22 million “social actions” on influencer posts across channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, among others. Which the researchers said was due in “large part to their presence at the festival with the Revolve Hotel and sponsored parties. The buzz they created with influencers mentioning their brand was 12.6 times greater than their own-brand social media actions, indicating they are successfully expanding their brand reach.”
For Revolve’s chief executive officer, Michael Mente, participation also meant driving top-line results. “Coachella has become as important to us as traditional holiday season,” Mente said. “The week after weekend one was our best sales week ever.”
Regarding the top brands (ranked by social actions) at Coachella, Trendalytics said H&M was number one, followed by Too Faced Cosmetics and Moschino in third.
Karen S. Moon, cofounder and chief executive officer of Trendalytics, said there are several questions retailers, fashion apparel, beauty and accessories brands should consider when aligning with a festival such as Coachella. “What is the appeal for consumers and why should brands and retailers be paying attention?” Moon said. “How early do people start shopping for festival outfits, and how should retailers capitalize on this in product marketing and site merchandising?”
Moon also said it was important to consider which trends “have the power to transcend the festival grounds with mass market appeal?” Testing new products should also be considered.
Authors of the report said that “festivals are the perfect venue to test new products and concepts,” and cited as an example the explosion of “off-the-shoulder tops” trend that were first worn by influencers at Coachella 2015. The company said retailers could have used its insights to identify that trend, “put it into a testing pipeline, and then been able to deliver the trend at the peak of acceleration the next year 2016."
Here’s a chart showing the online searches and social influence of the off-the-shoulder trend:
“Not every company needs to be or should be a fast fashion retailer, but they should rethink their merchandising decision calendars,” Trendalytics researchers said. “Timing product flows has always been a big question mark for retailers and is often based on gut decisions, therefore most brands do not optimize the seasonal inflection points that can mitigate inventory risk in meaningful ways. Testing what works is half the battle, figuring out when to test and what data to analyze is what drives better forecasts and profitability.”
Top 5 Coachella Brands (ranked by social actions):
2. Too Faced Cosmetics
4. Morphe Brushes
5. Tarte Cosmetics
For more business news from WWD, see:
Amazon, Wal-Mart and Apple Top List of Biggest E-commerce Retailers
Consumer Preferences Reshaping Retail Landscape
Study Shows Doing Business Globally Can Increase Payment Errors