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Young British Designers are top 50 Fashion Insiders thanks to social media

By The Drum Team, Editorial

RBH (Rees Bradley Hepburn)


vogue article

November 21, 2011 | 5 min read

This case study outlines the strategy behind the launch of the Young British Designers website and the social media campaign accompanying the launch.

In September 2010, Rees Bradley Hepburn (RBH) launched the first dedicated online retailer focused purely on emerging British fashion. Young British Designers (YBD) offers something unique: a perfectly edited collection of the best that British fashion has to offer - a wonderful place to find that highly individual style statement.Objectives
  • Website:To produce a premium e-commerce experience showcasing the best emerging British fashion design talent, whilst also introducing the world to the newly created brand.
  • Social Media Campaign:Create buzz, interest and engagement both before and after launch, gain coverage and build awareness.
StrategyWebsiteThe strategy was to design and develop a solution which features user-experience and path-to-conversion at the core of the offering. The site was to be developed in-line with industry best practice e-commerce standards and designed to sit comfortably alongside more established sites such as and We wanted to avoid creative compromise and optimise consumer engagement - ensuring a personal, premium shopping experience.
A key part of the Young British Designers strategy is to tell the story behind the designer’s creations with editorial and an influential blog - all integrated seamlessly across social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter.The solution meant producing a custom back end content management system (CMS) which was both easy to use and retail friendly. Social Media CampaignRBH wanted to involve the consumer as much as possible in order to create a stronger, closer relationship and provide the opportunity for them to engage with the brand whenever they wanted to. The client was passionate about fashion and we knew there would be more like-minded individuals who were just as passionate and would want to share their thoughts across the web. So, social media provided the perfect platform: as well as being a great way of testing new designers, YBD could leverage these channels to get instant feedback straight from their customers.
RBH launched its social media strategy with the YBD Fashion Blog, active Twitter feed, Facebook group and a YouTube channel providing rich and exclusive content to fans and passionate fashionistas; sparking conversation, interest and a feeling of exclusivity in the lead-up to the launch.RBH started its campaign the ‘Earliest Fashion Memory’, focussing on a personal subject, one which is often a special piece of someone’s past and tied in with the emotional connection both the client and potential customers have with fashion. ResultsThe campaign created buzz and discussion ahead of the site launch and helped introduce consumers to the brand for the very first time. Following the initial success and continued growth over this first nine-month period, the campaigns have achieved:Website strategy
  • 70,535 unique visits in just nine months from complete brand launch
  • 361,708 unique page views
  • 5.13 pages per visit
  • 3.14 average minutes spent on site
  • 39% bounce rate
Social media strategy
  • 18th place on the Top 50 Fashion Insiders on Twitter in an independent analysis published in the Daily Telegraph on 9th February 2011 - Over 3,448 Twitter Followers
  • Over 4,213 Facebook fans
  • One of the first companies to launch fully transactional functionality through our Facebook page (Jan ’10)
  • Overall sentiment for our brand online is positive (Social Radar)
  • The brand is mentioned every 2.8 hours (Social Radar)
  • Average 8.6 posts per day mentioning our brand (Social Radar)
  • Over 334,000 post views to date on Facebook (Facebook Insights)
  • A feature within a Twitter Best Practice article
Industry coverage of the launch has also included:
  • Vogue
  • London Fashion Week
  • Grazia
  • Vauxhall Fashion Scout
  • Fashion PopCorn
  • Emerging Fervour
  • Amelia’s Magazine
  • Fashion Abecedaire
Although still in the brand’s infancy, the results have highlighted just how integral social media is to this business, along with how highly influential Young British Designers have become as both a brand and key fashion influencer. With big opportunities in both social and mobile commerce offering far more than just engagement and showcasing of products, the digital media strategy will now evolve further and look to embrace these channels. Client Testimonial“Young British Designers is a highly ambitious concept; by definition our designers and thus our product range are not well established and don’t bring the kind of following that well known designers offer their retailers; thus it is essential to develop a strong brand personality with high awareness. Given limited budgets, social media is the ideal environment to build awareness and a global customer base. RBH’s approach to drive a fully integrated campaign through Twitter, Facebook SEO and Google advertising drawing from an increasingly influential fashion blog is producing tangible results, which we believe is building a solid foundation for sustainable business growth.” Julian Whitehead, Director – Young British DesignersThe launch of the Young British Designers website and the social media campaign have been nominated in the categories of Best Breakthrough Website and Best Retail/E-Commerce Social Media Strategy at the Social Buzz Awards 2011
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