Branching Out: Successful Spin-off Titles Expand Coldwater Creek’s Brand Territory
In the case of Milepost Four, which was sold in July to RKC MAIL LLC, Coldwater Creek also proves that it’s smart about staying close to its core customer. It made sense for Milepost Four to be marketed by a company that had more affinity with male customers, Shonk-Simmons says. Coldwater Creek’s customer database is nearly all women.
Acknowledging Your Roots
There’s less cost and risk involved in selling more to consumers who already know and like your company—your core customers—than it is to acquire and convert prospects from the ground up, says Dick Hodgson, president of direct marketing consulting firm Sargeant House, in Westtown, PA.
It makes sense, then, that Coldwater Creek starts with core customers from the Northcountry file to find prospects for Spirit of the West and Coldwater Creek Home. As Northcountry carries a broader product mix that includes both housewares and apparel, data analysis indicates which customers would be most interested in receiving one, or both, of the other titles.
Shonk-Simmons confirms that there is a good deal of customer cross-over between the titles. “You always hope to cross-pollinate.”
In prospecting for its catalogs, Coldwater Creek rents lists that work for all titles, but also finds unique opportunities for each book alone, says Shonk-Simmons.
Coldwater Creek also participates in cooperative databases to find profitable suspects and supplement its knowledge of consumer behavior within its sales categories. Models are another tool the catalog company uses to identify cross-sell, upsell and reactivation opportunities.
Bridging the Brand
At Coldwater Creek, the creative is produced in-house, from product photo shoots to layout. Because the brand is created internally, says Shonk-Simmons, it makes sense for management to keep production in the family for the spin-offs, too. “We have a great creative team that really knows how to bridge the brand,” she states.