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Loft unzips shoppable looks, social media guide via canine-supported partnership

Ann Inc.’s Loft is continuing its celebrity-supported sales blitz through a collaboration with Instagram star Chloe the Mini Frenchie, enabling fans to watch a mobile video featuring the four-legged star, shop ideal looks for pet-related events and access tips for achieving social media stardom.

The retailer is teaming up with the popular canine and her owner, Loni, in a bid to target animal lovers and promote its apparel pieces for pet-related events, such as dog birthday parties. Loft is bringing the furry friend-centric campaign one step further, however, by showcasing Loni’s guide to making a pet become a social media star, highlighting various mobile-first techniques that digitally-savvy consumers can leverage.

“It is a brilliant idea to tie shoppable outifts to styles that Chloe and Loni like,” said David Naumann, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners. “When shoppers have a warm feeling associated with the styles endorsed by Chloe, they are more likely to make impulse purchases on their mobile devices.”

Every girl’s best friend
Loft’s latest campaign – which comes on the heels of a recent celebrity-starred sales initiative – aims to cast a light on what it refers to as every girl’s two best friends: a canine companion and a new wardrobe.

The famous pup and her owner are featured on a designated portion of the apparel brand’s site as well as in several Instagram posts, underscoring Loft’s desire to target social media-savvy millennial customers with relevant content.

Loft drummed up interest in the Furry Friends & Family campaign by sending a mobile-optimized email to subscribers and kicking off the promotional period with an event held in New York, during which Chloe made an appearance at Loft’s Flatiron store.

Consumers can also click the link in Loft’s Instagram bio to be taken to the campaign landing page, which features a thirty-second YouTube video of Chloe and her owner, Loni, walking down a city street. Chloe then stops in front of a Loft location, into which Loni enters before emerging with several accessories for her pet.

Individuals may watch the mobile-optimized clip on their smartphones before scrolling down to browse Loni’s curated outfit suggestions for pet-related events, such as a dog birthday party, snuggling session or doggy date. Consumers will be able to shop Loni’s looks and purchase them directly from Loft’s mobile site.

“People love pets and they are pervasive across social media platforms, especially the use of videos on YouTube,” Mr. Naumann said. “Chloe, the cute French bulldog, will tug on the emotions of shoppers and will definitely help increase brand awareness for Loft.”

The brand has previously relied on social influencers to promote its products through mobile video and shoppable outfit collections, suggesting that this strategy resonates positively with its core audience.

Loft is also driving sales of its spring apparel line by collaborating with actress Busy Philipps on a series of humorous videos, with several snippets appearing on the retailer’s Instagram account and including a link to purchase (see story).

Instagram has proven to be one of Loft’s most lucrative social channels.

Last spring, the apparel marketer attempted to ramp up its followers and raise awareness of its seasonal pieces by rolling out a photo contest on Instagram over the course of seven days, proving that establishing an emotional connection with consumers on social media is still key for clothing retailers (see story).

Social media star guide
Despite its reliance on tried-and-true social influencer marketing tactics, Loft is attempting to differentiate this campaign by giving shoppers access to Loni’s guide to social media fame, which is applicable to consumers as well as their pets.

Individuals can swipe through four tips to optimize their Instagram posts and create a meaningful relationship with their followers. The first tip advises consumers to develop an overarching theme and keep content consistent.

Chloe the Mini Frenchie’s main themes are travel, charity and fashion, which made the Loft partnership relevant for her audience. Loni also recommends social media users to post one to four times a day, with at least four hours in between each Instagram post.

The second tip advises social enthusiasts to share more content via mobile videos, as this medium enables pets’ personalities to shine through more clearly. The penultimate tip focuses on building a community by following similar accounts and liking or commenting on their posts.

Users should also take advantage of creative hashtags and location tags, which can help more consumers discover their content.

Finally, users should have fun with their posts by tying their usual topics into current events or memes. Social media provides an easy way of joining existing conversations with a unique spin.

“Adding social media tips is a unique way to offer added benefits to shoppers who enjoy social media and want to increase their followers and maybe have aspirations of being a star,” Mr. Naumann said. “If the social media tips are helpful, shoppers will have a stronger relationship with the brand and will become more loyal.”