A la Mode

October 22, 2008

I inevitably talk a lot with classical-music composers and performers about how they get their stuff out there. With all the old and new ways we have of doing that, word of mouth — buzz, in the current cant — is still the ultimate medium. While the differences in fashion and classical music are significant (though Renée Fleming is doing her part to blur the boundaries), their promotional muscles are far more highly developed than ours. The guru of fashion blogging has this to say in an interview in today’s MediaBistro:

Do you think that online popularity is correlated to commercial success for fashion lines or designers?

Basically, what I think that everybody who is designing fundamentally wants is attention. More attention means more brand awareness. More brand awareness means more people who go to the store and says, “Oh, that’s by Thakoon, I read all about him.” I think that there are lots of ways that this works. It’s maybe not as ching-ching right away, but it definitely builds an awareness, a familiarity. It’s a TV commercial. It’s television. You know, there are three monitors in this world right now: on your cell phone, your television, and your computer. You’ve got to deliver that message. People are walking around, plugging in, and sharing. And sharing is a great thing, because it’s word of mouth. So fashion as word of mouth. We’re making it in the electronic world sound like it’s the newest thing since cream cheese, but it isn’t, that’s word of mouth!

It really is the same old dynamic, whether via old medium or new.

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