Being Likeable on Facebook or trending big on Twitter doesn’t always equate to bucks at the cash register. Marketers weasel their way out of disappointing ROI analysis by citing ‘engagement’ as the upside of it all and trotting out the old saw that the way to talk to customers is so different now yada yada, yada. ‘Experiential’ is the fancy new buzz word stand in for the term ‘special events’ and Fashion’s Night Out has been the big enchilada event in New York since 2009. The biggest block party in town concept spread to 500 U.S. cities and 30 overseas.
Four years later, FNO is no more, at least in the U.S.A. The reason for what is euphamistically called a ‘hiatuis” ? It cost a lot of dough and no one made any. The big players didn’t need the P.R. and emerging brands didn’t get any. Yes, It was fun while it lasted, but despite what your social media guru tells you, Steven Kolb is wrong. Retail success is measured by numbers and this Anna Wintour endorsed big night on the town ultimately
did not add up.
Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, when asked if FNO was a big money maker, Kolb replied: “I don’t think the success of it was measured only by numbers or money, but was really about engagement.…Everyone feels we had a great four years. It brought a lot of attention to retail, to fashion’s important place in retail. Everyone feels really proud of what we accomplished, and excited to take those lessons and continuing them throughout the year.”