J. Crew Triples Sales, Introduces Personal Shopper Service
posted by Stephen Wong ~ 23/01/14
Category: Retail
Australian retail brands tend to be like moths to a flame when it comes to the short term gains of a good sale - and understandably so when they are under pressure to meet their sales forecasts. 

However, a good idea, a good brand or product story, can still have an exponential effect in terms of positioning retail brands and creating customer loyalty.

From catalogs to content

Like ourselves, J.Crew has a long history of selling via catalogs (ok, catalogues). So the transition to creating online content over and above the basic deep-etched product and price variety has probably been a very natural transition for them. 

Add to that a great new brand differentiating story and you have to think they are on a competitive winner. The thought is that even long-established brands, which generally don't spring to consumers' minds as new and now, can sweeten their offerings by infusing their brands with a compelling narrative. A generic brand can differentiate itself by telling a story that emphasizes human interaction.

From "me too" to "me different"

J.Crew has been around since the early '80s, but has recently entered something of a design-driven golden age that has seen its revenues more than triple since 2003. And even inspired its fans to start blogs that do nothing but sing its praises. A far cry from its early days as a preppy alternative to Gap or Banana Republic. A more idiosyncratic, fashion-forward aesthetic played a big part in this, but even more important was J. Crew's decision to focus on personal service and customer relationships. J.Crew's Very Personal Stylist service, launched in late 2012, which uses in-store tablets to tell detailed video "stories" about various clothing articles to shoppers, and hooks them up with professionals who can put together an outfit or take care of holiday shopping, all free of charge.*

Sound simple and obvious? In essence yes. But we believe it's our job, as advertising and marketing professionals, to help brands navigate the process of applying this simple methodology to their marketing plan.

(*Source: Fastcodesign.com)

Image: jcrew.com
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