News Article

Unleashing the True Value of Merchandise through Connected Fan Experiences
Date: Jun 15, 2021
Source: Marketing Technology Insights ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Evrythng Inc of New York, NY

EVRYTHNG, creators of EVRYTHNG Product Cloud announce their partnership with Connected Fanatics, the digital consumer engagement experts, to seamlessly bring the connected product service and fan-based experience together. Drawing on EVRYTHNG’s ability to give every piece of clothing a unique product identity and to harness data intelligence throughout the supply chain from that item, Connected Fanatics enables any organisation offering licensed products and merchandising to their fans and consumers the ability to provide an exclusive connected experience across a community-based channel in a sustainable way.

Addressing the way in which fan-based communities engage with merchandise marketed by their favourite sports club, brand, or even band, and the volume-based business models applied by these organisations, Connected Fanatics has been able to shift the physical value of merchandise into exclusive digital experiences sought after by the current and future digital generations of fans.

Products become exclusive digital access points for fans to their community, their shared experience, entities, and brands associated with the product in question. The ability to engage with their audience via a product on an ongoing basis rather than through third-party platforms on social media means these organisations can maintain contact with their fan base in an authentic and sustainable way that no longer requires them to purchase the latest ‘shirt of the season.’ The community data is owned directly by the club or brand in question rather than by third parties, enabling them to streamline and evolve their engagement models without fans having to constantly receive third-party advertising not relevant to their interest or relationship with the organisation.

EVRYTHNG and Connected Fanatics -- How it works

The EVRYTHNG Product Cloud™and Connected Fanatics platform integrate to enable businesses to connect directly with their fans through their products/merchandise:

Connectivity -- thanks to EVRYTHNG’s Digital Product IDs working with the Connected Fanatics Platform, products can be connected in a way that enables new value streams and exclusive digital experiences relevant to today’s hyper-connected fans.
Community -- the business is able to develop an authentic and direct digital relationship with its fan base, athletes or musicians, and sponsors in a safer, exclusive online community rather than having to rely on open third-party social media channels and their ever-changing algorithms.
Sustainability -- by connecting directly with the product the organisations no longer need to keep re-inventing the experience e.g., producing new team shirts each season. Instead, they can shift the value association from physical goods to a digital value, creating a more sustainable and transparent approach to how fans engage and interact with products.
“At EVRYTHNG we have a long history of working with apparel brands to solve problems like counterfeit and transparency. What we have found is that there is an opportunity for brands to transform the relationship with the people that wear their clothes. As well as delighting the customer, these projects also mean rich first-party data for the brand, usually for the first time,” said Cyrus Gilbert-Rolfe, president and managing director, EMEA & Oceania, EVRYTHNG.

“Connected Fanatics is the perfect example of that. They tap into the desire we all feel to build a deeper relationship with a brand we already have an emotional connection to, like a football team or a band. The vision of Connected Fanatics, delivering exciting services like ticketing, exclusive content, direct access, and much more -- literally by touching your phone to your shirt -- is perfectly aligned with how EVRYTHNG sees digital twin technology evolving. Delivering those services doesn’t just take the fanbase to a new place, it also gives the brand insight that they have never had. We’re proud to be the platform that Connected Fanatics are using to make this dream a reality.”

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“As a recent Harris report highlighted, 78% of consumers under the age of 35 value experiences over things. At Connected Fanatics we see real and virtual lives becoming seamlessly integrated and sustainability becoming a consumer demand, not just an expectation. These shifts in consumer behaviours are rapidly gathering momentum. By simply churning out product after product without embracing their potential as active digital access points, businesses are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to their key consumer touchpoints, their products. They need to evolve their merchandising and marketing practices to keep up with consumers, technology, and the needs of the planet, or face the consequences,” commented Matt Hymers, co-founder, and CEO, Connected Fanatics. “By partnering with EVRYTHNG we’re able to bring clubs, brands, athletes, sponsors, artists, fans, and consumers together in a way that offers new value and challenges the status quo by incentivising a more sustainable approach.

“Shifting value from physical to digital enables us to deliver more valuable and sustainable products that also connect communities who share a common interest in a safer online environment. This is a viable solution to start addressing the root of fashion’s sustainability issues, the volume-based business model. Recycling and circularity are great, we encourage them but what’s the point if you’re always trying to sell more stuff? We need to find ways to make less but deliver more value. Connected Digital Product IDs and experiences are the way forward.”

A further benefit for businesses that have better-connected products and community experiences is that their CRM becomes a living system of product engagement and interaction rather than a static database of email addresses that need to be maintained and cleaned at regular intervals. With the data connected directly to loyal consumers or fans through products, brands and clubs will find costs of quality digital acquisition decreasing and that the data maintains itself rather than sitting in silos of different departments such as events or eCommerce. This approach then enables businesses to gain a better, more dynamic, and holistic understanding of their customers and how to better serve them.