BravandBerlin – Bold and Brave, but missing a digital edge…

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2013 started off in style at Bravand towers with the team jetting off to the beautiful but very cold city of Berlin. Our mission? Bread and Butter 2013 – the ‘tradeshow for selected brands’ that promises buyers and retailers of street and urbanwear a three day bootcamp in what’s new and different.

9am – 3 coffees down and an interesting 6.30am flight (All planes are kept in the sky by Richard’s mind power alone, apparently). A quick side step to catch a glimpse of The Brandenburg Gate and we make our way to the old Tempelhof airport – raring to get inspired by how these Brave and Bold brands were using digital technology to drive both interest and orders.

Now don’t get us wrong – we weren’t expecting augmented reality catwalk shows or a new breed of cybermannequin – but the only thing that came close to being interactive was an 8ft x 3ft touchscreen floor map – well designed, but shoved into the bottom corner of the venue – we suspect we were the only ones that played with it.

This was at an event where almost everyone in the entire room would suffer separation anxiety after five mins without their smartphone.

We saw screens – lots of screens, from LEDs looping grey and interestingly shot brand films to huge screen walls simply giving backlight to static imagery – in fact, our favourite was a stand with no less than 3 ipads installed showing nothing at all. Nothing says urban and next gen than a dormant touchscreen tablet.

It certainly seems that the brave and bold are missing a trick – from brand-led initiatives such as interactive look books, configurators and brand experiences through to more functional tools like iPad order forms and sales lead managers. These things are simple to do, needn’t cost the earth and can turn a good trade show into a great trade show for any brand, new or established.

Here’s to seeing whether next year’s event delivers any truly brave and bold efforts with digital.