Recently I discovered the think tank for digital innovation L2 which made my life easier thanks to their greatly valuable reports that rank major brands in different industries according to their digital IQ.
The definitive benchmark for online competence, Digital IQ Index® reports score brands against peers on more than 350 quantitative and qualitative data points, diagnosing their digital strengths and weaknesses, giving each of them a deserved IQ rank. From pharma to luxury and fashion, everything you need is there to reality-check your brand, strategy, competitor or industry.
The latest report of L2 for 2011 was especially interesting for me because of its rather “local” and not-a-million-budget campaigns character, namely the European Niche Fashion Brands. It is the second report on fashion for the season following the Global Fashion Digital IQ ranking which put on spot the genius in the field, proving that fashion industry is an important area to watch for digital innovation, as I outlined before here.
The ranking measures the digital aptitude of 46 European niche fashion brands with annual turnover between €25 million and €250 million across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile. Each gets a Digital IQ score and a corresponding class of Genius, Gifted, Average, Challenged, or Feeble.
None of the brands in the study made it to Genius and and a staggering 70 percent of brands were characterized as Challenged or Feeble. Unfortunately these brands still lag behind from the big player not only for their smaller budget as the study reveals but rather for the lack of integrated and efficient digital presence.
A glance at the study
Highest IQ in the ranking have Agent Provocateur, Ted Baker, Stella McCartney and Superdry, all headquartered in UK. From the Italian brands ahead are Moncler and Moschino. France is represented by Lanvin e Jean Paul Gaultier.
A key take-away is that brands with e-commerce averaged a Digital IQ scored on average 35 points higher than those not selling online.
Italy and France continue to lag behind their British peers by a considerable margin.
Mobile is only for genius. Only 33 percent of the brands provide any mobile experience—18 percent have developed a mobile-optimized site and 17 percent have developed applications.
Many European fashion brands have largely ignored the digital phenomenon. Investing in emerging digital platforms, at what is likely a fraction of the future cost, may be the litmus test for which niche brands become iconic versus irrelevant. The big disappointment for me is Italy where the highest penetration of facebook and smartphones is largely underestimated from fashion brands that invest the lowest budget on digital compared to the rest of Europe and the world, but I still that one changing soon…