Branding and Performance Are Becoming More Closely Aligned

When it comes to ecommerce, brand building and engagement are becoming increasingly complex as technology develops and platforms emerge. This means marketers are constantly trying to understand where they need to focus their attention while improving business performance at the same time.

Executives from Kate Spade and skincare brand Starface World both agreed that the key to unlocking consumer loyalty lies in a brand’s consistent messaging that cut through the clutter of our busy world to drive engagement.

Speaking at ADWEEK’s Commerceweek in New York, Amanda Bopp, vp for North America marketing and ecommerce at Kate Spade, and Kara Brothers, president for Starface World, discussed their differing approaches to online customer loyalty, with the former taking a long tail approach due to bag and accessory sales falling within a longer purchase cycle than skincare products.

Bopp outlined Kate Spade’s focus on online behavior among its consumers, prioritizing those who left reviews on the website as having the highest commercial value. Those reviews have two benefits—they show a customer who cares, while informing potential future customers along the way—and it is something the brand aims to reward and encourage.

“Engagement for us is an enabler to loyalty,” she explained. “It is something that happens on the way to making that purchase.”

Thinking of social media in a commerce environment means a focus on younger consumers. Unlike beautifully designed handbags, the Starface World team has the challenge of promoting pimple patches—a product that is not usually visually engaging. The brand has been gleefully defying those expectations.

Despite being an acne product, the brand has not shied away from making consumers laugh on social media, building a 2.5 million-strong following on TikTok.

“We want to be silly. We want to be playful. Our entire content team thinks in that lens. And on social media, it’s back to the engagement: Were we funny? Did anybody share this, or did it fall flat? That’s the barometer that we use,” explained Brothers.

She admitted that being an independent company, Starface was able to trial and experiment more, especially by being an early adopter of new platforms.

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