A Merchant’s Job: Teasing and Pleasing
Like many women, I'm in lust with J.Crew. I just don’t know how it does it, season after season, catalog after catalog, offer after offer, email after email. It continually tantalizes me with merchandise that inspires me to stop everything and place an order. Who can resist?
In a recent catalog from J.Crew, in addition to spread after spread of craveworthy collections, the apparel retailer snuck in a little “surprise” tucked in between pages 20 and 21 — a 20 percent off coupon “to get you excited for fall.” Then, back between pages 56 and 57, it included another surprise — a personal shopper for you to call when you need expert advice. Best of all, the service is completely free, and available online or over the phone.
At my local J.Crew store, the efficacious stylists assemble combinations for me that are both creative and realistically daring for my wardrobe needs. On its website, J.Crew prompted me with its Very Merry Gift Guide and headlines about “Need Immediate Gift-ication” and e-gift cards. In short, the brand had me at hello.
The merchants at J.Crew understand that tantalizing is their full-time job. They put the art of teasing and pleasing their customers at the top of their to-do lists each and every day (and at every brand touchpoint), not just during the holiday season. Under the direction of visionary Millard "Mickey" Drexler, J.Crew continues to raise the bar for others in the apparel industry with innovative, customer-centric merchandising practices.
Jenna Lyons, J.Crew’s creative genius, new president and merchant extraordinaire, inspires her team to add flair to every offer. On the higher price point end, check out its “Give Sparkle” Jewelry of the Month Club. Or, on the lower end, its colorful collection of men’s socks and shoelaces for boots or sneakers billed as “Necessary Luxuries.” In just about every product nook and cranny you look, Lyons and her team of magical merchants motivate their customers to take action — no small task in these recessionary times.
J.Crew is a go-to brand. As a merchant, I believe this brand is worth studying — independent of what category you may be creating products in or for what target market you may be appealing to. The “teasing and pleasing” magic lessons are yours to discover.