For some, shopping is a game. There’s a thrill in scoring the item you’ve had your eye on, wearing it for the first time, and garnering compliments.
Tommy Hilfiger is now gamifying that concept. The brand has partnered with smart tag maker Awear Solutions to track clothing from the Tommy Jeans Xplore collection and dole out rewards based on how often owners wear an item. Points can be redeemed for products, gift cards, Live Nation
When someone buys an Xplore garment or accessory, they can sign into the Tommy Jeans Xplore app via email or Facebook, pair the clothing via Bluetooth, and the smart tag keeps track of their movements and awards points. Bonus points can be earned by attending designated events or visiting locations on the app’s map and participating in weekly challenges. To avoid tracking, users can select an “anonymous mode” in the app, which deactivates the electronic tag (and stops rewards).
These are the kind of perks brands commonly give to Instagram influencers, not
The shift from courting Instagram influencers to customers is a smart one. The days of influencers are numbered due to changes in Instagram’s API and increasing concerns about credibility. Fashion has to find a new socially friendly way to market its wares. That’s why Awear chose the target market of 16- to 25-year-olds for its smart tags. It’s a generation that embraced Pokémon Go and prefers personalization over privacy.
The Tommy Jeans Xplore collection is clearly designed with that age group in mind. It’s a streetwear collection made up of T-shirts, hoodies, denim jackets, jeans, and fanny packs. Many of the items have an aqua 80s-inspired “Tommy” draped across the front. The unobtrusive smart tag is stitched in underneath a label bearing the traditional Tommy Jeans logo. The garments are machine-washable.
It’s easy to deride the line as a gimmick when you don’t know how much fashion relies on—and pays for—customer data. Technology has made a dramatic difference in the production process and marketing, but the industry doesn’t yet have great information about what happens after an item is purchased.
The smart tag captures a trove of data. Tommy Hilfiger can know how often an item is worn, for how long, and where, and even who else in the vicinity is wearing the same thing. Brands pay trend forecasters such as WGSN thousands of dollars a year for a fraction of this information.
Awear might just have created a fashion trend that extends well beyond the coming seasons.