One’s a stylish creative, the other creates (and curates) style. Jade Seah, local influencer and content creator goes up against Philip Kitcher, Vice President of StyleHaul’s Asia Pacific office, as they talk about the digital movement that’s rapidly giving fashion and beauty industries a makeover.
Philip Kitcher and Jade Seah were part of the Singapore Media Festival’s first SMF Ignite, held at the PIXEL Studios yesterday.
What do you like most about what you do?
Philip: I feel very lucky to have a job that allows me to meet so many different people from diverse backgrounds – it gives me an opportunity to share different experiences, to learn from so many people, and I think it keeps my perspective on the world, and on life, very broad and open.
Jade: I enjoy the freedom to do whatever I want, and I enjoy the creative process. So it keeps me fresh and my mind active. It is a constant challenge to think of new things to do and that is actually the part I like the most.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge of content marketing in today’s fashion and beauty industry?
Philip: I think one of the biggest challenges of content marketing for influencers is persuading clients and brands to make that leap of faith. There’s a lot said about the shift of dollars from traditional media spend into digital, but there’s still probably not enough cases that will give confidence to some brands that this is the way to go. There’s still a conservative mindset that we have to deal with. Generally speaking though, once the client/brand has experienced and seen the benefits and return of investment, they’ll be back for more. StyleHaul has seen a 100% repeat business record – so it’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s just persuading clients and brands to see the advantages compared with traditional mediums that we’re used to.
Jade: It is a challenge to always be creative because at the end of the day, this is my job. The other challenge is to sell the content. So I actually find both parts equally fulfilling in their own ways.
Share with us one aspect of your job that amazes you the most?
Philip: One aspect that always fascinates me is the development of original content by the StyleHaul teams. In the US, there are original scripted dramas with amazing and dynamic storytelling executions being developed for different genres, where influencers and YouTubers are integrated into the show. I’m also continually fascinated at the speed at which this industry is changing. I think technology is allowing us to do more than we could say three, four years ago. So I think we’re seeing some amazing developments, different styles of storytelling – much more ambitious, less traditional. And this bodes really well for the future, particularly in Asia, where the learning curve is very inspiring. Young creators take this on board and develop their own unique approach to storytelling.
Jade: What amazes me is that followers would make the effort to engage with me. When I ask them questions, they would answer. They shared with me their thoughts and their views, and I really appreciate that. It feels less than a one-way street, and more like talking to a friend. I think that is really the difference between the online space and the traditional media. On the online space, people can just drop you a comment. They can like it or say they hate it, but at least you will be able to know.