NEW ORLEANS: Shinola, the lifestyle brand, has built loyalty through “The Foundry”, a members only group enjoying benefits such as seeing and buying products before official launch, exclusive offers, and private online shopping events.

Dennis Kopitz, Director/Ecommerce at Shinola, discussed this subject at the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) &Then Conference in New Orleans.

“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. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Shinola builds loyalty with The Foundry.)

Invitations to join the Foundry are determined not just by the number or value of purchases an individual makes, but on various further indicators, like brand engagement, that demonstrate they are “true loyalists” to Shinola.

“We wanted a program that brought people in who were buying product at all the different price points, [and with] lots of different frequencies,” said Koptiz.

“Really, what we were looking for was people who were engaged – people that not only purchased from us, but talked to us through our customer-service programs, and had social posts about us.”

The Foundry reflects what personalisation means to Shinola “and what personalisation is not for our brand”. For many companies, he noted, it’s about product recommendations, and retargeted marketing efforts.

“While those things are really important for a brand, what we’re talking about from a personalisation standpoint really has nothing to do with that,” he said.

For Shinola, personalisation is achieved by establishing a true connection. Kopitz explained: “Looking to go to the next level, it is: How do we create a much deeper relationship with our customers?”

Second, the aim is “delivering that value in a pre-emptive manner … anticipating their needs. I think that’s really the core of personalisation”.

“What really works well is when you can identify those additional needs outside of brand and product and deliver them in a pre-emptive way when people didn’t even expect it.”

Sourced from WARC