Leon Bailey-Green talks to Sarah Maskell, founder of Oola Lingerie, about working with Philip Green and marketing her online store.
Tell us about your time working alongside Philip Green. Did you get to work on any of the Arcadia e-commerce projects?
Philip is an intuitive retailer and has the ability to make the retail business seem simple. He is very focussed and his constant message is: focus on your customer, develop the product that she wants, at the right price and ensure you manage your stocks correctly and you will trade successfully.
I was not involved with any Arcadia e-commerce projects. Before starting on Oola Lingerie I had no e-commerce experience I was very lucky to be introduced to experts within the field who provided invaluable contacts and direction.
What is your PR strategy, how will you position yourself against other Plus Size lingerie brands?
Oola Lingerie is building its awareness in the media through a comprehensive PR Campaign.
We are concentrating our PR on product and feature placement in women’s consumer publications in both print and online media with a clear message that “Oola Lingerie is a plus size brand designed for larger women on plus size women”.
We also have plans for 2009 to work with a plus size celebrity to endorse the brand and are in discussions with other media partners to endorse various plus size activities in the media.
We are also currently researching and are in talks with various sponsorship campaigns. We hope that Oola Lingerie will become a well known name by the end of the year.
How will you maximise this PR strategy with online channels?
We are already having success with online portals i.e. AOL and e-zines like iStylista, sofeminine and Handbag.com.
There are also specific plus size websites 100hundredpercentpeople.com and biggirlsblouselondon.com who are regularly featuring what we are doing.
At the time of writing this question your website isn’t #1 on Google for ‘Oola lingerie’. Do you have an SEO campaign planned to rectify this?
dgm have worked with us from the beginning advising us on the SEO. Our ranking in Google continues to improve.
We are now appearing on the first page of Google for ‘Oola Lingerie’. A website needs to have a heritage in Google and we should achieve number one over the next couple of months.
You’re working with dgm on your affiliate campaign, how is that going?
We now have 100 affiliates signed up to the campaign, increasing both our brand awareness and sales volume.
And finally, what is the best piece of advice you have been given about launching an online store?
It is imperative to think about the marketing of the website from the beginning and that the SEO is incorporated into the initial design and coding of the website.
Our online marketing partner worked closely with the web development team to ensure the SEO requirements were built into the website from the start.