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What Marshall McLuhan can teach you about lifestyle and fashion eCommerce?

Herbert Marshall McLuhan or Marshall McLuhan as he is popularly known. Born in 1911 Edmonton, Canada. He was a professor, philosopher, and public intellectual. His graduate work at Cambridge University initiated the work and started McLuhan’s eventual move toward media analysis.

He is responsible for coining the famous expression “The Medium is The Message”,

So what does the medium is the message really mean, why is it so important that Marshall McLuhan got so much attention for it?

The genius lies in the paradox of the statement, in its deliberation. For instance when you receive a message the content of message is the message, there’s nothing that lies in the form. Form never was the considering factor, it was the content that mattered.

McLuhan’s genius was to emphasize the form as the primary driver to the content. He argued that, throughout history it has the medium that was more important than the message that was communicated. The oral culture as compared to the print culture was more audio based than visual.

He believed that the medium of technology used to communicate shapes all aspects of our society, family, work and individual. The electronic media of his age, were he thought extensions of our nervous system. They were unifying people and encouraging participation and on the flip side conforming people to an ever greater level.

What he thought was emerging was a global village, it was so in line with the future that he predicted “the world wide web” 30 years before its invention.

Now that we are in an internet age, what does McLuhan’s “The medium is the message” can do for your lifestyle and fashion brand.

In relation to lifestyle and fashion ecommerce brands, the medium is the digital, the internet.

Focus on single Message of “The Medium”:

The Medium is the internet and it signifies with multiple messages, for instance freedom, communication, communities, free information and transparency. Your brand need to focus on one message of the medium.

An apt example would be Everlane.

They have created a brand that stands for transparency that was never been shared so eloquently. Retail was not the space where there was transparency. Customers didn’t knew where your clothes were made or what it costs to make.


Provide a solution.

Being the first conscious brand to providing a solution. Since the beginning of tragedies in third world countries in lifestyle and fashion. Earlier brands were not able to provide a solution to customers, merely a work around or assurance.

H&M and Forever 21 have touted more ethical initiatives as of late. H&M just announced a $1 million prize to whoever comes up with a way to help it reduce waste and pollution; Forever 21 made plenty of noise about the installation of solar panels in its LA.

Their site has a lot of details regarding the cost breakdowns, shipping costs and logistics.




Own the message.

They have went even further with transparency. Featuring all their factories on their site with a specially mention of worker conditions and main emphasis on sustainability and ethically sourcing.

Filed under: fashion e-commerce

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Kann collective is a multi disciplinary design studio that drives a brand centric solution for forward thinking and design conscious brands in lifestyle, luxury, creative and art domain.

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