Italian fashion brand Benetton has launched a radio station to provide a soundtrack to its website visitors’ lives. The company says Benetton web radio, integrated on its Benetton.com website, provides an easy-listening “soundtrack perfect for surfing the web, working or general background music,” with songs from bands such as Coldplay, Adele and the Manic Street Preachers.
Social media and fashion advice sit alongside the integrated radio station on the redesigned website. As well as a United Blogs of Benetton superblog and a This Week area, with the latest fashion looks, photographs and videos and advice for special occasions, there are web sharing tools that allow visitors to share photos, videos, clothes and content.
In addition, says the company: “A fully-fledged virtual personal stylist will guide online visitors through a colourful world creating a unique and special shopping experience that will continually draw the brand closer to consumers.”
Benetton has built its Facebook following to more than 530,000 through a campaign launched this January, and also communicates with consumers through Foursquare and Twitter.
“This is another step in the digital metamorphosis of Group communication,” says Benetton. “By engaging with the new Web 2.0 and social network languages, it has rapidly achieved great results in terms of visibility, appreciation, traffic and participation by a worldwide audience.”
A further feature on the new-look website is a digital ‘freebie’ section, which represents, it says, a “taste of all the new, amazing web and mobile apps Benetton will launch from September to Christmas.”
Our view: We’re interested in the Benetton idea of providing the soundtrack to your life through its web radio. A computer user can listen to any radio station through their equipment – but this one comes with a retail brand attached. It’s an interesting idea and one that theoretically could be a huge opportunity if it became a real must-listen to, spreading the Benetton brand effectively. Will a formula of easy-listening tunes be enough to achieve that? Time will tell. But in the meantime, a transactional website seems a must for the brand if it wants to increase its sales to all these engaged consumers as well as its social media followers.