CommerceNext co-founder and Forbes contributor, Veronika Sonsev, dug deep into the unique Rebecca Minkoff marketing tactics — a pioneering effort to fuel growth through both social media and girl power.
Nobody combines millennial marketing and female empowerment like the Rebecca Minkoff strategy. The fashion industry isn’t lacking in female icons, but the idea of an apparel brand authentically embodying and inspiring female empowerment has been more elusive.
Minkoff is unusually accessible on social media. When scrolling through Rebecca Minkoff’s Instagram, you find a comfortable, relatable pattern — a perfect balance between Minkoff’s own personal posts and branded clothing posts. On the site and throughout the industry, Rebecca Minkoff sports a complete #superwoman archetype, and her customers love every story and t-shirt dedicated to it.
From events to experiential in-store technology to inviting bloggers to walk her runway, Minkoff executes every marketing tactic with the goal of connecting directly and meaningfully to her fellow superwomen customers.
This article was originally published in Forbes: How Rebecca Minkoff Built A Fashion Brand Fueled By Female Empowerment You can also dig in deeper by reading the full article below.
HOW REBECCA MINKOFF BUILT A FASHION BRAND FUELED BY FEMALE EMPOWERMENT
Breaking into the fashion industry isn’t a cakewalk—or catwalk. Like in many industries, incumbents have the advantage based on their longstanding relationships with buyers and media influencers. Rebecca Minkoff decided to break tradition and build her fashion brand her own way.
Rebecca Minkoff, Cofounder and Creative Director of her namesake company, is very accessible. As a millennial designer, she wanted to speak directly to her customers and build a relationship with them at scale. She’s uniquely active on social media for a founder—the Rebecca Minkoff Instagram is half lifestyle, half Rebecca herself, and content often revolves around female empowerment. Even though consumers may not directly know Rebecca herself, they feel like they are part of her #superwomen world.
This approach propelled the company to generate over $100MM in sales, and more importantly, deeply embedded itself into the hearts, minds and closets of its consumers. To understand exactly how her company does it, I talked to Rebecca Minkoff about her non-traditional approach to building her fashion brand.
Veronika Sonsev: One of the main ways you connect with consumers is through social media. Rebecca Minkoff has almost 800K Instagram followers and over 900K followers on Twitter. How has social media helped you get your message out?
Rebecca Minkoff: Our overall brand and social content aims to inspire our followers to lead a more fearless life. In addition to our Rebecca Minkoff Instagram and Facebook accounts, we have RMSuperwomen group on Facebook and RMSuperwomen handle Instagram. In those channels, we share inspiring stories of women leaders and encourage women to take courageous steps in their life. We want to create a tribe for smart, ambitious women. Today, more than anything, the brand is about belonging to the tribe and what that tribe stands for.
We also use social media to have a deeper connection with the consumer by including behind-the-scenes photos and incorporating my personal life. We optimize the messaging based on what we think customer needs are based on the time of day and year. For example, in the new year, we encourage our followers to set bold and fearless goals.
Sonsev: Working directly with bloggers and influencers is another strong strategic move. How has that helped you drive awareness and sales?
Minkoff: Bloggers ushered in a democratization of fashion, where real-life women can evangelize brands and dictate style, not just magazines and runways. Traditional fashion brands only wanted to work with editors, but we saw bloggers as a strategic part of getting our story out.
We actually get a higher return on investment with up-and-coming bloggers who are not jaded and work hard for the brand. Depending on the goals of the program (e.g. regional launch, new product launch), we find the right influencers to meet our needs, offer them a great product and ask them to share on social channels. We really value our blogger relationships and try to build them out long-term.
Sonsev: Traditionally, Fashion Week was an exclusive experience for fashion influencers and buyers. You took a unique approach, opening Fashion Week up to consumers and incorporated bloggers. What motivated that strategy?
Minkoff: Incorporating bloggers into our runway show was Uri’s idea [Uri Minkoff, Rebecca’s brother and CEO]. He recognized bloggers had already been attending front row and thought it would be interesting if we gave them a chance to walk down the runway.
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