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Ralph Lauren’s strategy for digital brand building

Kicking off the Drapers Digital Festival 2018 at The Brewery in London this morning, Ralph Lauren’s senior vice-president of digital commerce international, Valeria Juarez, revealed how the US heritage brand is digitally reaching out to consumers across the globe.  

“We want to bring the brand to life by connecting emotionally and digitally with consumers,” said Juarez. Working across “a complex ecosystem” of brand partners, Ralph Lauren seeks to create “a symbiotic relationship” to help consumers understand the brand.

One way the brand engages with the consumer is through its customisation offer, which allows shoppers to personalise their clothing both online and in store. Similarly, the brand has recently created limited edition collections to appeal to core consumers.

“The limited editions really resonate with fans and allow us to engage consumers with areas they really like,” Juarez explained.

Projects such as the brand’s “see now, buy now” catwalks, in which the seasonal shows are broadcast across the world via the internet, and influencer campaigns on social media “bring the brand to life for customers”, he adds.

To fully engage the consumer with the brand, Juarez also stresses the importance of creating campaigns that interact with customers across platforms: “Whatever we do online we make sure it works with the whole eco-system that we have,” she says. “We don’t see what we do as only offline.”

The brand’s Polo campaign stretched across the online store, with fit tools and styling guides, but also was prominent on influencer marketing, and in an outdoor campaign across London buses and billboards.

“We are bringing to life the iconic products,” said Juarez.

Across international markets, social media and social commerce also help the brand come to life and engage the consumers.

“The young generation is very connected with social platforms and we try to be relevant across the correct platforms for these geographies,” Juarez said. She also noted that the more developed social commerce market in Asia requires a tailored approach. For example, the brand works with “wearistas” in Japan, who use the fashion app “Wear”, to enable click-through purchases and also works with messaging app WeChat in China.

Looking forward Juarez said the key areas of focus for the brand include brand elevation across digital, personalising and treating each consumer as an individual, creating a seamless online and offline experience, and expanding and localising their offer across the market. 

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