Ralph Lauren aims to boost appeal with younger consumers
For Patrice Louvet, the CEO of Ralph Lauren, the young generation is the future of fashion. Young shoppers are top of the group’s strategic targets, according to a statement from the group published at the release of its latest quarterly results.
To reach these young consumers, the company has pursued its move upmarket and has upped its investment in marketing, focusing on digital advertising and social networks.
For the year ended in March, the marketing budget increased 13% over the previous year. Among the year’s highlights, the label’s two runway shows enabled it to generate record revenue.
“Our goal is to recruit millions of new consumers into our brands each year,” said Louvet in a post-earnings call.
"We are creating differentiated experiences with our shows where we can engage consumers in new ways and amplify our messaging globally to in-store events and digitally.
“Our exciting collaboration with UK-based streetwear brand Palace and limited edition launches throughout the year, introduced the brand to new and younger consumers. As part of this, we activated our new Polo mobile app and partnered with influential specialty retailers around the world to reach trend savvy consumers where they shop."
The group is continuing to use cultural events to its advantage and is maintaining its relationships with influencers, having dressed Indian actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas for the couple’s recent wedding in India. Finally, the brand’s link-ups with the Wimbledon tournament, the US Open tennis and the American golf team in the Ryder Cup have strengthened its connections with the world of sport.
Fragrance is also a product category that has allowed the label to reach a younger clientele. During the last quarter, Ralph Lauren launched a campaign for the perfume “Romance” starring its new brand ambassador and top model, Taylor Hill. In a year, the number of the brand’s followers had increased by 45% for a total following, across all of its lines, of 15 million followers.
To win over both young and not-so-young customers, the group aims to promote its core products, but also to develop “underutilized” product categories. The group's brands will continue to offer prints, embroideries, solid colors, graphic designs and customization, whilst also developing their offering in the denim, coats, work clothes, shoes and accessories categories. The group also has high hopes for Lauren, its classic womenswear brand, to gain ground in this market, even if the brand’s distribution is concentrated mainly within North American department stores.
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