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Sears, Lacoste approach Father’s Day differently to build community

Retailer Sears and French apparel label Lacoste are both inviting Instagram selfies from dads in anticipation of Father’s Day on June 15.

While Sears offers the winning participant a vacation and other entrants member points, Lacoste plans to post winners on its Instagram account. Both companies will likely see their Instagram communities grow, but those who submit to Sears are asked to go the extra mile by posting on its Web site and becoming a member.

“The campaign is highly engaging, whether it’s dad posting a selfie or mom or one of his kids entering on his behalf,” said Jamie Stein, vice president of public relations at Sears Holdings, Chicago.

A spokesperson from Lacoste did not comment by deadline.

Compare and contrast
Both brands promoted the contests via Facebook and Twitter, but approached the outcome in different ways.

For the Sears contest, submissions can include any person with a mustache. The mustache can be drawn on the person’s face, or entrants can use a sticker or hold a finger to his or her upper lip. Genuine mustaches are also accepted.

Sears has posted various products on its Instagram page with the hashtags #DestinationDad and #SearsMoments to further promote the initiative.

The winning entrant in the Sears competition will win a weekend getaway trip to Lake Arrowhead, CA, for the “first-ever Craftsman MAKEcation.”

There, the winning dad “will take his making skills to the next level with master classes from hardcore blacksmiths, rugged woodworkers, cigar rolling aficionados and barbeque pit masters – and have the opportunity to hang with a celebrity.” Runner-up prizes include a Craftsman Quiet Lawn Mower and Craftsman MACH Series tools.

As a bonus, every entrant earns $5 in “Shop Your Way” points or 5,000 points. Plus, “Shop Your Way” members can vote for their favorite mustache submission, which will enter them into a sweepstakes for 250,000 in points, or $250.

Lacoste’s marketing technique was done on a smaller scale to accrue user-generated content.

The apparel label requests submissions on Instagram, asking consumers to tag a picture of dad in his Lacoste polo #CelebratingDad. The best submissions will be featured on the brand’s Instagram page. However, there is no additional reward aside from recognition from the brand.

Also, Lacoste hints at its heritage by incorporating its signature polo into the contest.

Showing support
Sears took an out-of-the-box approach to building up its rewards program with an initiative that turns consumers’ fitness achievements into loyalty points.

As Sears increasingly moves towards becoming a membership-based retailer, mobile is a key way that the retailer is engaging with its Shop Your Way loyalty members. The newest iteration of this is the “Points for Progress” program that rewards consumers with points in exchange for tracking their health through wearables and applications (see story).

Over the past few months, Sears has also reported an increase in mobile conversion rates thanks to enhanced user experiences that are faster, more personalized and require fewer steps to check out.

Following a significant jump in mobile traffic during last year’s holiday shopping season, many retailers are focused on improving the mobile user experience with an eye toward doing a better job of converting this year’s holiday traffic into sales. However, while conversion rates are growing, they still remain comparatively low, pointing to mobile commerce challenges such as small screen size, price sensitivity and device fragmentation (see story).

Due to Sears’ extending presence online and involvement with social media, the initiative has already received ample response.

“We’re pleased that the program is resonating,” said Ms. Stein.

“We’re just a week into the campaign and we’ve seen more than 3,100 uploaded photos to the Shop Your Way contest page and an additional 2,500 votes from the Shop Your Way community on the photo they think is best.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York