Shinola, the maker of high-end watches and other luxury goods, has built a strong brand identity and affinity based on its commitment to bringing manufacturing jobs to the iconic, blue-collar city of Detroit, Michigan.

But Dennis Kopitz, Director/Ecommerce at Shinola, told the Data & Marketing Association's (DMA) &Then Conference in New Orleans that the company has sought to take its customer relationships to the next level by providing an elite, far-from-blue-collar service for its best patrons.

Dennis Kopitz

Dennis Kopitz, Director/Ecommerce, Shinola

These consumers, he explained, are invited to join The Foundry, an invitation-only rewards program. "I call it the 'secret society', because it's not something you can sign up for with us – and it's not something where we would publish how you get in," Kopitz said.