Let’s Get Social: Lessons Learned from Coach

Dec 16, 2008 9:15 PM  By

Designer handbags from Coach aren’t just accessories—they’re a way of life for the brand’s enthusiasts. The retail giant capitalized on this line of thinking last Christmas through a series of social media marketing tactics.

These included an exclusive online social network that made Coach followers feel just as distinguished as their sought-after accessories. This helped to create advocates willing to spread the word to friends, resulting in increased customer loyalty and additional revenue.

The social media marketing tactics
Coach showed great insight and understanding of its target audience, employing social media marketing tactics that appealed directly to its potential customers. Shoppers registering online at Coach.com found many different ways to become a part of the exclusive, online accessories community, including:

  • Coach Clique. This online social network for loyal Coach enthusiasts provides members with access to insider information and advice. And the social media content found in this club not only engaged visitors by creating lifestyle connections, it worked well with Google’s universal search. A few of the benefits of the Coach Clique include:
    • Downloads. Different options included Coach-branded computer screensavers and wallpapers. These were regularly updated with fresh content, keeping registered users coming back to the site to get the very latest designs.
    • Astrological Purse Match. An “In the Stars” page helped visitors find the perfect bag based on their astrological sign.
    • Star Favorites.This page featured star interviews discussing their favorite Coach accessories, while also giving potential online customers the ability to view or listen to video and audio clips of the star’s work. “Mandy Moore’s Fall Favorites” is one such example. Coach streamed audio of the musician’s latest work, descriptions of her favorite Coach items and a link to e-mail the page to a friend.
  • Wish List. Registered customers could create their own wish list, which could then be e-mailed to their friends and family. This made shopping on the Coach site a social event.
  • Address Book. Through this feature Coach.com registered users create an online address book with shipping information for everyone on their gift list. And best of all, Coach sent out e-mail reminders so that registered customers wouldn’t forget to buy a holiday gift for someone on their list. By interacting with their customers, Coach was able to not only entice them to use their site, but kept the conversation going throughout the holiday season.

The revenue
Since launching Coach.com in 1999, the accessories merchant has used successful social media marketing tactics to increase customer loyalty and profits, and last Christmas was no exception. Third quarter online sales were up 68% with a net sale increase of 28%for fiscal 2007.

The takeaway
A carefully planned website aimed at a target demographic has helped Coach boost online visits and sales. Through the Coach Clique, the retailer created a community for its customers, giving them the information they wanted, such as trend news, horoscopes and downloads. And it was this information that kept them coming back for more. Including graphics and video created content was conducive to Universal Search and provided a new way to communicate with customers.

Take a cue from the Coach success story and get to know your prospective customers. Then develop a social media marketing plan that creates an online community built for them. By engaging customers in a way that keeps them coming back, you’ll strengthen brand loyalty and ultimately increase sales.

Lisa Wehr is CEO/founder of digital marketer Oneupweb.