How Lilly Pulitzer Boosts Branding With Social Insight
Most marketers in the fashion or retail space know how critical it is to tie social efforts to quantitative results. Yet many still develop initiatives around products, concepts or messages they're trying to promote, as opposed to needs their customers want to fulfill. Don't be fooled. Creativity may win industry awards, but marketers need to ask themselves how that translates to sales.
Then there's the other approach — the one that focuses on what the customer wants, as opposed to what the business thinks they need. Lilly Pulitzer, a household name in the resort-wear category, is the quintessential customer-centric brand, building a playbook filled not only with innovative ideas, but also insight to support them. The brand says it stands by its original print designs above everything else, and it underscores this by reinforcing its iconic aesthetic across every department.
Lilly Pulitzer's 5x5 campaign is a great example of this undertaking. The initiative itself revolves around a series of original prints produced by a team of in-house artists. Each one is inspired by fashion, seasons, holidays, and so on. Lending to their charm, the images are published to the brand's social channels at 5 p.m., five days a week. This gives Lilly Pulitzer's fans something to look forward to every day.
On Instagram, images tagged with #Lilly5x5 have generated 4.4 million engagements since they were introduced, which accounts for 33 percent of Lilly Pulitzer's total Instagram engagement. They consistently rank among the retailer's top pins on Pinterest, too.
What sets Lilly Pulitzer's campaign above the rest, however, is how the brand has delved into this visual data to engage both social and nonsocial audiences. I've listed three of the company's most notable initiatives here:
1. Enriching the e-commerce experience: Lilly Pulitzer uses a custom-built gallery to feature five-by-five images on its homepage. Each image drives to the brand's Pinterest page, where consumers can engage with more than 500 prints. Since images on Pinterest link to product pages, Lilly Pulitzer can easily tie Pinterest content to referral revenue.
Apu Gupta is the co-founder and CEO of Curalate, the leading Social Commerce company with offices in Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, and London. Prior to launching Curalate, Apu was COO & CMO at MedPlus Health Services. Under his leadership, MedPlus raised $25MM in venture funding and became the second largest pharmacy chain in India. Apu was also an early employee of WebEx from its Series A through IPO. Apu holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas, Austin and a MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Apu has been recognized as an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in the Emerging Entrepreneur category and is a Fellow in the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship program.