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British retailer Topman has relaunched its music and lifestyle platform Topman CTRL with a renewed focus on social media and sharing.

The site will be curated by Radio One’s Huw Stephens, with additional input from special guests, and aims to attract new customers by driving readers back to the clothing retailer’s e-commerce site.

Topman says it will “bridge the gap between social media content and traditional music and cultural media platforms.”

Stephens will upload content to the CTRL feed directly and via Facebook, with exclusive mixes via Mixcloud, video footage and web TV episodes from YouTube and images through Instagram.

He said CTRL aims to bring the worlds of music, social media and technology together. 

There’s so much out there on different sites – Mixcloud, YouTube, Twitter – this’ll be a home for all of that stuff. It’s also about listening to what the people that use the website want to listen to as well, so it’s a big project but a really exciting one and very creative.”

From April users will also be able to upload their own content to CTRL, including gig reviews and questions for Stephens.

Topman said it is employing an editor to curate the user-generated content and hopes to have new material posted on a daily basis.

While the content will be promoted instore, Topman said it hopes users will discover the site naturally through social media channels.

The use of a bespoke platform such as this is a smart approach to driving brand loyalty and customer acquisition. Rather than creating a promotional site that simply pushes out branded content, Topman is seeking to attract its target demographic of males aged 18-25 by creating a hub for topics that are relevant and engaging.

Social media is also the perfect delivery method and should help position CTRL as a lifestyle site rather than something more corporate.

It could prove to be an excellent way to extend the brand online, as long as Topman doesn't turn to product placement too heavily.

David Moth

Published 13 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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