Digital Disruptors: Rockar, Tommy Hilfiger, Moleskine

22 Mar 2017

Posted by Andrew Henning



The automotive market process hasn’t changed in a long time, yet consumers are indicating that they want it to: 45% of drivers would be more likely to replace their car if buying one was more like shopping for food or clothes. (Rockar Research)

There aren’t many industry disruptors, so Rockar has a great opportunity to lead change. Their all-digital dealership model takes car buying to the shopping centre, their first showroom in Bluewater, Kent puts them amongst high street brands. A few cars are on display but the browsing, test-drive booking and purchasing is done virtually through screens and tablets.

Simon Dixon, founder of Rockar says: “When looking at the success of Rockar so far, it is clear that challenging the historical approach to car buying is the way forward. The 21st century needs a car buying process that matches what consumers want and Rockar provides it.”

Other industry disruptors to note are:

Audi City showroom in Mayfair uses modern technology like video walls and multi-touch tables

The Landmark Car Company in London has morphed its showroom into a much more comfortable space with a library, cinema and art gallery



Tommy Hilfiger

The traditional business model for fashion has always been one of waiting and anticipation. Collections are shown on the catwalk, then 6 months later the line is ready for consumer purchase. The problem is the market is changing – not just for fashion but across the board. Consumers don’t want to have to wait, they want things immediately. “The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner,” says Narayan Janakiraman, assistant marketing professor at the University of Texas, Arlington.

Tommy Hilfiger adopted a ‘see now, buy now’ approach for its #TommyNow event. During New York Fashion Week after the runway show every item was made available on and the worldwide stores – a number of pieces sold out immediately. A number of other outlets pop-up shops with digital touchscreen shopping walls, a live video stream on that you could shop from. You could also buy items through behind-the-scenes videos and images on Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.

Other industry disruptors to note are:

For London Fashion Week 2015, Burberry used Snapchat to give fans a glimpse of its collection a day early

Chanel, who initially refused to make its products available online launched a YouTube channel

Rebecca Minkoff reported a 168% increase in sales in-store and online after its offering immediate purchasing of the runway lines in September 2016




Known for their classic high-quality notebooks, the Moleskine brand has taken this very traditional product and market to the next level. They now offer several ranges of ‘digital’ notebooks and have mastered the art of partnerships with other forward-thinking businesses.

They have collaborations with:

Evernote - which is used to store and tag uploaded note

Adobe Creative Cloud - upload via app and files are converted to SVG format

Livescribe – use the books with the smartpen to create and store notes through the Livescribe app

They even have their own Smart writing set with digital pen to capture each pen stroke and transfer your freehand notes from page to screen in real time.

“We live in an analogue / digital world,” wrote Moleskine in a blog post. “We move from low-tech to high-tech every day, from analogue to digital, from notebook to smartphone. Most of us use multiple sources and platforms for collecting thoughts, ideas, to-do lists, etc. Unfortunately paper and digital don't usually speak to each other. Moleskine and Evernote have collaborated to re-imagine how individuals keep their best ideas with them wherever they sit along the analog-digital continuum.”

Moleskine has embraced the connected world and in many ways the Internet of Things - the traditional notebook may not be able to connect itself digitally, so they’ve bridged the gap with technology. They are managing to create a good balance between heritage and quality, and allowing users to still enjoy the pleasure of writing on ‘real-world’ materials, but also embracing the digital needs of customers.

On the Radar:


A smaller notebook company that is worth noting as they are in the same space as Moleskine and have two products that are very interesting:

RocketBook Wave – a notebook that uses Pilot Frixion erasable pens technology. Once you’ve filled the notebook you pop it in the microwave for a few seconds and the ink disappears, allowing you to use again. Each book has about 30 uses.

RocketBook Everlast – has just gone through Kickstarter to get funding (and did impressively well!) and is now in Indigogo for further funding. It’s a book that also uses Pilot Frixion pens but the pages wipe clean and are reusable.

Both books work with the RocketBook app that allows pages to be photographed, saved and uploaded to places like Dropbox or Google Drive, they have a superb icon system at the bottom of each page - depending which icon you cross out it will tell the RocketBook app where to send the page automatically.

Check back next month to see which other industry disruptors are on our radar or sign up to stay updated.

Andrew Henning
Posted by Andrew Henning

Andrew is Chair of Apprenticeships for BIMA and he is the founder and CEO of Redweb. He has been in the design industry for over 25 years forming Redweb in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers. Today, Redweb has over 160 staff with a turnover of £12 million. The digital agency is proud of its Bournemouth location and ability to build an enviable client list including Cancer Research, Farrow & Ball, Department for Education, Home Office and Organix. Outside of the agency, he is a member of BIMA's Central Council and founder of the Digital Day initiative. Since 2013 the event has enabled over 10,000 school pupils to meet digital professionals whilst raising their awareness of digital careers. In Bournemouth he has created Digital Wave. A 1 day conference for young people with leading speakers from the digital industry. In 2016 over 1,000 young people attended. As Chair of the BIMA working group focused on Apprenticeships within digital, Henning's remit is to raise awareness of current schemes, dictate future policy and ensure with the new levy, that BIMA members are maximising their opportunities collectively.

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