More than a year after becoming part of Jet.com, Walmart’s e-commerce subsidiary, Modcloth, is using the resources of the retail behemoth by rolling out an influencer marketing campaign intended to reach new audiences.
The company’s new digital influencer campaign, “Say It Louder,” features celebrities like rapper Lizzo, country singer Cam, songwriter Victory Boyd and musician Kacy Hill. The group was selected due to their commitments to empowerment and inclusivity — core tenets the company has touted since its founding in 2003.
Mike Janover, svp of marketing at Modcloth, said in comparison to previous marketing strategies, this campaign includes more in-depth editorial content in the form of video and blog posts across mediums, including in its print catalog, website and social media. On platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, Modcloth is pushing out content using strategic targeting and paid media intended to improve slowing customer acquisition in recent years. The ads will be targeted primarily to millennial women ages 18 to 34, with an emphasis on shoppers in their mid-20s, a demographic that has been particularly lucrative for the brand.
The foundation for the campaign came from qualitative and quantitative research conducted at the beginning of this year among nearly 4,000 women, including both current and prospective customers, according to Janover. Key findings showed a general misalignment on Modcloth’s core customer, low brand visibility for new shoppers and misconceptions that the company caters to special occasion apparel.
In order to address these disconnects, Modcloth decided to pair what’s working — namely its uplifting, inspirational tone — with what’s not, to improve customer retention and woo new shoppers. For Say it Louder, this involved a continued focus on diversity and body positivity, areas where Modcloth has received widespread positive feedback, given the company has long featured women of all sizes in its marketing and offers sizes ranging from XXS to 4XL.
“Modcloth is a brand built around inclusivity,” he said. “We have a no Photoshop pledge around photography of models. We celebrate individuality around style, ethnic backgrounds and approachable price points in a full size range.”
A recent post on Modcloth’s Instagram page
As a result, content from the campaign included four women of differing shapes and sizes sharing personal stories while wearing the latest Modcloth designs. Imagery used for the campaign was also curated to showcase diverse use cases for Modcloth apparel in an attempt to spotlight its everyday functionality.
“The design has pretty much not changed dramatically, but what has changed for us is the styling and how we bring that to life,” he said. “There’s a deeper investment in photography and more investment around styling. It helps [the customer] envision those styles in multiple types of formats, like work or date night.”
Furthering Modcloth’s cause, the team found that those who responded to the survey held less negative sentiment about Modcloth’s association with Walmart than expected following initial outcry about the acquisition in April 2017.
“I anticipated that the Walmart halo and its association with Modcloth would still be a real pressure point,” Janover said. “But as we went through the research, we found there is a cohort of customers that, because there’s an affiliation with Walmart, will choose to select out, but it’s a small minority in the grand scheme of things. Most customers see beyond that.”
Ultimately, having Walmart resources at its disposal has been crucial to Modcloth’s ability to tap into an “endless supply of capital and resources,” Janover said. It also helps the company focus on digital marketing strategies, building upon its push into brick-and-mortar: The company opened its second fit shop this week, located in San Francisco, following the debut of its first store in Austin in 2017.