EXPRESS doesn’t just sell stylish clothes to trend-setting young women and men. The brand invites customers into a world of fashion, music and runway glamour, providing video from photo shoots, interviews with popular bands and lively interactions with customers via social media.
Behind the progressive marketing strategy is EXPRESS’s secret weapon, Lisa Gavales, EXPRESS Chief Marketing Officer.
Gavales has made sure EXPRESS marches at “the beginning of the parade” when it comes to social media and new marketing strategies. Tens of thousands follow @EXPRESSLisaG on Twitter. And who wouldn’t want to, as she shares pictures from runway shows in Jamaica, posts her EXPRESS pick of the day, and even gives individual followers personalized recommendations for the most flattering dresses?
In a Q&A, Lisa shares her insights on why EXPRESS ventured into Facebook commerce last year, ways she measures social media success, how they helped set a Guinness World Record, and what the future of retail marketing holds.
EXPRESS was an early adopter of social media, and this spring it made its whole catalog available in a Facebook store. When many others are waiting to see how Facebook commerce plays out, what made you jump right in?
EXPRESS caters to 25-year-old customers. We have to be out in front. Our customers are savvy and experimental, so we have to be too. It’s also a matter of weighing the risks and rewards. The downside to having Facebook commerce was low, and the potential upside was high. We like to be at the beginning of the parade, and if there’s not too much risk in being there, we will be. At the very least, we’ll be there sizing up the opportunity.
How do you turn ‘likes’ into sales?
Communication that is based on conversation allows a brand to also talk about itself when there is something to say. When we have a best seller, promotion or new product, we announce it with social media first. The customers who ‘like’ us are always in the know. ‘In the know’ typically translates into interest, and interest translates into sales.
In addition, there is no other communication medium that allows us as brands to speak to our customers multiple times a day. When a customer ‘likes’ a brand, they are saying that they want the brand to always be front of mind for them. It doesn’t get any better than that.