It's a tough digital world for marketers.
As consumers quickly jump from new technology to even newer technology (see: the move from desktop to mobile), they are outpacing advertisers and leaving brands behind just as they master the latest medium. Brand marketers are also having to deal with consumers who are not interested in seeing ads in their feeds or on the pages of websites they visit—and are using technology to block them.
That leaves many marketers with a conundrum. With an abundance of options available to consumers across most categories, brands must compete to even be heard. But for e-commerce fashion company Revolve, focusing on where and how they communicate with their core consumers has allowed them to grow a fiercely loyal fan base.
Although digital can pose its own hurdles, the upside is it provides brands with more access to consumers, Raissa Gerona, VP of brand marketing and strategic partnerships for Revolve, explained to Marketing Dive. Through interactions, Revolve, a fast-growing online apparel company that made over $400 million sales last year, has been able to figure out what resonates with their core consumer on both a content and product level.
“We’ve used that to our advantage to grow our brand awareness and that has really helped to grow our business overall in the last five years,” Gerona told Marketing Dive.
The upside of being digital first
As an e-tailer, Revolve has the advantage of being digital first. But what allowed them to stand out among their competitors is their content strategy, according to Gerona.
In the past five years, the 13-year-old California-based company has focused on learning what their customer likes and the way she engages with Revolve.
The brand can communicate more frequently with their target consumers—a mid-twenties or early-thirties millennial woman with spending power—because they are always glued to their phones, Gerona said. But Revolve has also had to learn to engage with their consumers beyond their inboxes via the various social channels they frequent, such as Instagram, where Revolve has built up its most dedicated following of 1.1 million followers.
What’s central to Revolve's communications is “making sure we feel authentic," Gerona said.
“The millennial customer is incredibly smart and savvy, and the more authentic and organic we come across with her, whether that's from a product standpoint or content strategy, the more she resonates with the brand,” Gerona said.
Revolve's strategy starts with curation and what they display on the site, from the brands they sell to the copy they post. The team knows that their consumer wants to stand out and feel unique in the pieces she’s wearing, which has allowed them to tailor their content and ultimately earn consumers’ trust.
In the last couple years, Revolve has put more energy toward their branding budget and has seen a growth in customer loyalty.
One strategy Revolve took to lift engagement was to work with social media influencers and fashion bloggers. That approach is resonating really well with their audience, according to Gerona.
That shouldn’t come across as a surprise to marketers given the popularity of influencer marketing with apparel and beauty retailers. Despite some concerns over metrics from marketers, Twitter research shows that influencers are almost as trusted as friends.
The most recent influencer campaign Revolve carried out married Revolve's digital presence with a human touch, which is key for building loyal followers. During the Coachella music festival, Revolve invited a handful of influencers to the event and saw a lift in sales thanks to their brand posts.
“We saw that the week prior and the week during [Coachella] were the biggest weeks ever for us, so it just continues to give us confidence that this is what our consumers are looking to, this is what our consumer wants to see and obviously it's reflecting on sales,” Gerona said.
Revolve gained close to three billion impressions in just one weekend, stemming from press and influencers posting on social. Their hashtag, #revolvefestival, was even trending during that time and was used over 6,000 times in the first weekend alone.
Whether consumers need advice about what to wear to their best friend’s bachelorette party or where to travel next—for Revolve, what matters is the way you say it and the way you present it.
“The best way to connect with consumers is having a story and almost a heartbeat to your brand,” Gerona said. “Whether it's on the homepage, email or social, making sure everything we put out there feels lifestyle oriented and making her feel like she’s friends with us, that has allowed us to make that connection over and over again."