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Target gets personal on Periscope to tease Eddie Borgo collaboration

Following Target’s recent success with its Lilly Pulitzer collaboration through mobile and digital, the retailer is upping the ante with a live-stream event on Periscope to drive sales for its latest designer partnership with jeweler Eddie Borgo.

The Eddie Borgo collaboration was celebrated on May 20 with a promo event broadcasted through live-streaming service Periscope, in an attempt to generate hype around the collection. A recent partnership with Lilly Pulitzer sparked a shopping frenzy at Target locations and online, and the retailer is hoping for a similar result for the new accessory range, which will be released on July 12.

“The feeling of immediacy one gets from Periscope might translate to higher sales and impulse buying, especially given the Borgo line’s budget-concious price point,” said Mark Cluett, marketing manager at Polar, Toronto. “Target is doing everything right in that they are trying everything out there.

“Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, you name it and Target is somehow incorporating it into a new marketing idea,” he said. “It is win-win as these campaigns do not usually cost much and you get to pit them against each other to see which social network is driving the most sales and brand recognition.”

Social media buzz
For the Eddie Borgo collaboration, Target took to all its social media pages, including its numerous Twitter accounts to promote the live-stream event. While the live streaming occurred, users clicked the link bringing them to Periscope where consumers viewed the celebration of the line and got a sneak peak of merchandise to come.

“Periscope offers a chance for Target’s guests to get real-time, behind-the-scenes access to various Target moments, including designer partnership events,” said Jessica Carlson, Target spokeswoman. “Target’s Periscope segments during the Eddie Borgo for Target event not only gave guests access, but also gave guests a chance to hear directly from Eddie Borgo and learn just how easy it is to customize their own unique pieces from the collection.

“Periscope is a new platform and we are still testing and learning new ways to use it,” she said. “The Lilly Pulitzer for Target launch event was a great opportunity to garner excitement for the collection’s launch.

“For Eddie Borgo, we wanted to communicate what makes this collection unique and how the customizable component works. Periscope was a great platform to use because it gave us an opportunity to tell the full story about the collection.”

The hashtag #EddieBorgoForTarget was created for the collection and is being promoted through Twitter and Instagram.

Each product in the line of accessories is customizable, tying into consumers’ love of a personal shopping experience. The pieces in the collection allow for the addition of charms, studs and totems of the customer’s liking.

A live stream through Periscope supports the idea of personalization. It generates a more intimate marketing experience, and creates a personal bond with the consumer.

The stronger the connection consumers have to the brand or collection, the more likely they are to purchase with them.

The retailer has had significant success in its mobile and digital efforts, with recent digital sales increasing 38 percent from last year as showcased in its Q1 2015 results earnings call. In response, Target plans on furthering its efforts towards offering personalized, digital interaction with guests.

Although during the earnings call the Target executives did not mention Periscope or the usage of social media directly, it is clear that the Eddie Borgo campaign incorporates the idea of more personal digital engagements due to the intimate connection these platforms generate.

Partnering with well-known brands encourages users to generate the conversation themselves due to the cachet these designers have. It is imperative that Target capitalize on the potential these designer names have to generating a large conversation through social media.

“Social media is a part of guests’ everyday lives and we are always listening and evolving our social efforts based on the social conversation,” Ms. Cushing said. “Social media plays a key role in our campaign for this program.

Target leaned heavily on mobile to make the most of its buzzed-about tie-in with the Lilly Pulitzer brand, leveraging social media, SMS and email to target style-savvy young consumers (see more).

Immediately after the merchandise released, Target stores sold out of 90 percent of its Lilly Pulitzer line, suggesting that social media and mobile paired with a well-known name can hold promise for retailers.

Target plans on delving further into digital promotion and sales due to the increase in this area’s sales, mentioned during the call. An executive explained that during the Lilly Pulitzer blitz its digital efforts could not keep up with demand and Target plans on securing solutions to prevent that from happening in the future.

“In April, we were thrilled with the overwhelming demand for items from our collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, with most of the collection selling out in the first few days,” said Brian C. Cornell, chairman, president and CEO at Target, during the call with analysts. “We were disappointed, however, that our digital channels were not able to properly accommodate the surge in traffic at the time of the launch, and the team is working to address root causes and learn from the experience as we prepare for holiday season peak later this year.”

In another unique approach to mobile, Target drove sales with a recent digitally interactive art exhibit called Target Too that came complete with an accompanying application (see more).

The retailer continues its devotion to creating innovative, unique and quality products as well as representing that in its marketing plans. The live-stream event is just one of the many facets of that goal.

Target may choose to turn to live-stream and Periscope again during the upcoming summer months, which have a considerable potential for driving sales. However, when leveraging platforms like Periscope or any form of live streaming service brands must be aware of the risks involved.

“The constant pitfall of using a live streaming service is the unpredictability,” Mr. Cluett said. “It can be a huge risk and the whole world is there to watch it.

“That being said, it is also a benefit in that the brand can truly capture lightning in a bottle and prospective shoppers are in turn drawn to the unpredictability and realness the format brings,” he said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily