It’s a logical consequence of the ever more saturated market in SL that content creators work together and try to find synergy in that to make their brand stronger. I’m not talking here about the old duos, like Sachi and Damen over at Adam ‘n Eve, who have been together since 2005, but the new, marketing based brands that have heavily influenced the way we perceive SL content creating these days.
Armidi was one of the first brands where multiple creators worked under one brand name. Starting with the creators of Elephant outfitters, after their rebranding to Armidi they hired talented creators to succesfully make their brand into a tue powerhouse in SL .What is going to happen with whatever Armidi rembranded itself in since last fall, is a mystery. Sometimes you just try too hard to create a hype and it will backfire. However, Armidi designers Emma Gilmour and Juliette Westenburg now are about to open up their own collaborative brand, which without any doubt will be all kinds of awesome. Because both creators are skilled and have a unique sense of style.
Lelutka started as Minnu Palen’s skin shop MMS. Soon thereafter Thora Charron took up the male skins for the brand, and gradually the sisters have succesfully rebranded and expanded their empire over all kinds of avatar apparel from skins and hair to clothing, shoes and accesoires with the help of other creators joining for a period of time. Some of them were already known designers, like Marni Grut, from Royal Blue, others like Valena Glushenko had a small shop but learned so much during their time with LeLutka that they are now established creators with awesome brands of their own. Always though, the Lelutka brand breaths quality and there is enough knowledge about fashion and techniques within the team to assist the less experienced creators, and what ends up in the shop is consistent with the brand, even though, if you look well, you can see the signature of the individual creators.
And there are more examples of creators teaming up. Essential Soul Studio has recently absorbed DmD poses, Leezu and Courtisane, though not under the same brand have a very close relationship, and doing well… again.. common characterisic is the over all quality of everything in the shop, and consistency in their presentation.
Now, you’ll ask.. why on earth are you writing so much without coming to the point? I’m getting there my dears… I just wanted to underline this development in SL and what is needed to make it work, which in my opinion is a precious marketing mix of product, price and presentation.
I was over at Casa Cheerno this morning, another brand which has been expanding ever since their start from edgy male fashion and skins, to, more recently, also female apparel and skins. Kira Ahn from Dekade recently closed her own shop to join Casa Cheerno and is making hair and female skins for the brand now.
In the female fashion section I saw some over the top shoes, ot my taste, but reasonably well displayed, but then, I spotted some jackets with horrible green edges, like they cleared the background but forgot to clean the images up. Older stuff has the same edges, but white. So apparently the person who is making the female fashion for the brand, is learning… but not fast enough to keep up with the Joneses.
It didn’t make me feel comfortable to buy anything from that section at all. Now I realise that this is not Cheerno Destiny’s work, but he owns the brand. If I were him, I’d be weary to have another creator using my brand name and putting displays up which are absolutely under par with what I usually would have in my shop. As far as I am concerned, it’s hurting the brand, and if I didn’t know better (and I’m arrogant enough to think that a LOT of shoppers indeed don’t know better) I would not recommend Cheerno to my friends.
What are your thoughts about multi creator brands? Should it have one signature, or show the diversity of the creators, even if that means a difference in quality as well?