It can sometimes be quite the challenge for brands to start their transition toward digitization. Even with knowing the value in doing so, for many, there is a limited capacity to make this possible. INDG, a company that develops technology for digital product experiences, has made this a more feasible concept for brands. Their goal is to make “every product playable,” by combining the science of technology with the artistry of computer-generated content. From configurators to virtual stores, the company helps brands digitize their entire product portfolios and drive marketing content directly from it. Whether it is creating virtual samples at high speed, or interactive consumer-facing photorealistic content for a marketing initiative, you need deep expertise in CGI, automation, software development and, of course, the ins and outs of fashion to do this all successfully. This is a rare combination that INDG possesses and has managed to effectively utilize in helping their clients make this transition.
The benefits of CGI have long been recognized by a number of different industries, but for fashion, it has always been a challenge due to many reasons, but mainly because of the nature of the products and the need for a certain elegance in their presentation. INDG offers their fashion and luxury clients visual asset production and the option to implement a customization platform. Bastiaan Geluk, Head of Digital Fashion at INDG says, “We believe that customization goes beyond just being able to modify product details to match someone’s personal preference. It should be a complete experience from the moment of your first contact, to holding your purchase in your hands and enjoying the result. It is a way for a brand to be closer than ever to consumers.” INDG develops custom technology, specific to the needs of each client, that delivers an interactive buying guide for brands. This helps lead consumers to the perfect product for them. Although technology is one of the key factors in guiding consumers to that perfect product, there is also a need for many unique visuals. This requires a variety of different assets to be produced. “At INDG, we specialize in this content creation at scale, increasingly through software such as CLO, but also including custom software that was purpose-built in-house,” says Geluk. CLO has been integral for this particular component of the company.
He continues, “Garment creation and drape simulation has been a challenge for a long time. CLO is a key part of our current pipeline for apparel and footwear alike. It allows for non-destructive workflows that are fast and agile. The close connection it has to the actual input we receive, such as tech packs, is key. Additionally, it has become the tool of choice for many fashion brands. This allows us to work seamlessly in collaboration with our clients.”
Although Marvelous Designer is primarily used in the film and gaming industries, the company has also found much success in visual asset production with a few tools in particular. “The manual retopology tool in MD9, along with the dedicated sculpt and UV layout modules, allow us to carry out complicated tasks within the same simple user interface, while keeping edibility of apparel, footwear and accessories intact. This is very valuable to us, as we normally have to process large numbers of models fast,” says Geluk.
In helping brands take the first step toward going digital, their operating model has been to start by providing a temporary outsourcing of capacity. This is followed by a transitional phase to allow those brands, that wish to do so, to insource the foundational work like library building, fabric digitization, and virtual sampling. These first steps provide a brand with large advances in speed-to-market and operational efficiencies. Once that process has been solidified, INDG is typically the partner to supply visual content for marketing touchpoints such as:
- Virtual samples used internally for design and development
- Virtual sell-in where renders for sell-in are created and used for internal marketing
- E-commerce where high-end consumer facing assets for marketing and e-comm are developed
- Customization through photorealistic modular assets and configurators
- The development of high-end consumer facing dynamic assets for advertising through digital marketing
In addition to that, they provide the software solutions, like the customization platform mentioned earlier, that leverages these photorealistic CGI assets. This is when digital starts to truly add to the top-line in a significant way. Geluk says, “We’ve noticed that getting into digitizing the product portfolio can be challenging for apparel, footwear and accessory brands. We focus on making those entry points easier by providing 3D assets based on their existing input like tech packs, design sketches or factory information. From there, we can provide and demonstrate the usage of those assets for the next steps in the process towards design, marketing, sell-in or consumer-facing configurators and advertising.” He continues, “Leveraging machine-learning, virtual reality, and digital collections, brands will be able to execute marketing in completely new and interesting ways.”
For more information on the company and how they assist brands with going digital, visit indg.com.