SYDNEY: To truly understand your brand’s customers, you have to understand yourself, according to the chief marketing officer of Australian online fashion retailer The Iconic.

The Iconic made a conscious decision to brand-build from the inside out, which has involved much soul-searching. “Are we a fashion company? Are we a retailer? Are we a tech company? What’s the overlap? What does it mean?” Alexander Meyer said at Mumbrella’s Retail Marketing Summit in Sydney recently.

“Along that journey, we realised there’s a completely different type of denominator that connects our passionate people. That common denominator is a passion around problem-solving, breaking down barriers, making life easier for the sake of human interest,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s report: How The Iconic uses storytelling and brand purpose in online retail.)

One way The Iconic’s purpose is coming to life through the efforts of mirroring internal culture and the external brand is diversity.

With team members hailing from 38 different nations and backgrounds, Meyer saw the need to present this diversity to the brand’s customers.

“We decided, consciously, to go full force on diversity and inclusion when it came to model selection. We decided to have curvy models and different ethnic backgrounds, different sizes, genders and ages to try to cover the whole representation of the Australian population and the global human population,” he said, while discussing The Iconic’s annual swimwear show, which drew praise from Australian media as a ground-breaking diversity initiative for fashion.

“We had people wanting to buy a bikini from us for the first time ever because they had the feeling it would fit their body shape. In the past, they felt like they couldn’t which really surprised us,” said Meyer.

The move drew a whole new range of customers for the e-commerce company. “We were never able to make a decision because we didn’t have sample sizes of products that would fit different body sizes,” Meyer said.

“We didn’t have a guidebook. So we took the safe route. But once we had defined that purpose, we actually took the decision and realised we had to do this. This is who we are. This is what we represent.”

Sourced from WARC