We’re live at Fashion Digital among the world’s leading fashion retailers bringing you insights fresh off the marketing runway.

The first session at the 2015 Fashion Digital Los Angeles featured marketers from the likes of American Apparel, Super Street and agency masterminds behind brands like Elie Tahari. The topic: customer acquisition.

This is one that is near and dear to the hearts of every marketer. Every brand needs an influx of new customer cohorts to continue to grow and support sustainable success. But acquisition is evolving and as these brands demonstrated, the most interesting aspect of acquisition in retail is the future.

Here are the 3 customer acquisition trends you cannot ignore:

• Content over product. This may seem traditional, but as an actual acquisition strategy, not many brands have successfully employed content marketing. Super Street proclaimed, “Brand voice is so powerful. Brand stories and content ties your audience to your brand.” We couldn’t agree more, because it’s not about making one sale; it’s about creating a lifelong relationship. While promotion pushes product, content develops context from the get-go and in the coming year, you’ll see an increased focus on content-rich experiences across the acquisition ecosystem of leading retailers. 

• Brand values as key to the customer experience. Kenneth Loo of PR firm, Kenwerks, is passionate that brands NEED to stand for something today! This is actually how to innovate, and this is how to bring new customers to you. It’s also authentic. If you look at brands like Alex and Ani who have such embedded corporate values, it’s obvious it works: they’ve made it to the IR 500 list for a second year in a row and continue to post market-leading growth figures. They’re a company that’s “+energy” inside and out. 

• Using retention to optimize acquisition. American Apparel is planning to go full steam ahead with a focus on loyalty. Rather than spending tons of money on ads and billboards to attract customers, they know that they can be more efficient and effective in generating revenue by targeting retained and loyal customers and then using data from these segments to focus their acquisition mix. If you’re a data nerd, this is totally provocative thinking and just what you’d expect from an on-the-edge brand like AmApp.

Stay tuned for more blog posts live from Fashion Digital! Join the conversation and share this post using the #fashiondigital hashtag.

Kristine Lowery, Content Marketing Manager at Sailthru