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Nowadays, most of the distance selling is made via the Internet. This enthusiasm can be explained by the desire to save time, but also to be able to compare prices and benefit from promotions (Molenaar, 2016). Europe, with more than 743 million inhabitants, 75% of whom use the Internet, is a golden opportunity for any company to develop its e-commerce. More than 67% of Europeans bought online in 2015, mostly clothing or sportswear. However, this rate varies greatly from one country to another, but the UK is the leader with 81% of its population having ordered on the Internet for the year 2015. (Mintel, 2016). Among the e-commerce players, La Redoute is specialized in clothing and home decoration brand that has managed to stand out over the years is one of the only french e-commerce to create, distribute and deliver in France and abroad, offering a high-quality customer experience. This success is in big part due to the various marketing communications innovations implemented by the brand that we are going to decrypt in this paper.
The organization: La Redoute’s main target is the 30-40-year-old stylish and classy woman who has a family, children. Concerning the products that La Redoute offers, one might usually think that high involvement products only concern houses or cars but regarding clothes, for example, fitting in and appearing sociable is important to many consumers. This factor makes clothing purchase involving for such buyers (Roberts, Manolis and (Jeff) Tanner, 2008).
La Redoute makes us of the “#MyRedoute” hashtag on various social networks (see Figure 1). Through it, they want to thank the people who take the time to promote their products and also want to inspire others and trigger the act of buying. They also carry out several operations on Twitter (Add-to-basket, The Voice…) that aim to highlight La Redoute’s innovation, to work on their brand image, as there are still a lot of people to convince. Social networks are a territory of innovation, and they have to assert their presence in these spaces. The aim is to manage to bring a large community together on all social networks, to be close to customers and make them committed to the brand.
Their primary objective through marketing communication is to re-establish the reality of the brand among the general public. But also, to offer the company’s employees a showcase of which they can be proud as well as developing its attractiveness among students and candidates for recruitment. In an effort to promote the brand, La Redoute made use of a new tool, influencers. Influencers are the power of word of mouth in a social context (Cakim, 2013). Influencers give more visibility to the brand and thus make it easier to get in touch with their target audience. The association is natural and of unparalleled value because these individuals have already established a relationship of trust with their subscribers, and therefore have the power to influence (Blogs.brighton.ac.uk, 2018). As their main target always was the 30-40-year-old woman with a family, to broaden its target audience to a younger public while staying consistent with brand values, La Redoute successfully decided to make use of influencers. For example, In October 2016, the brand launched a collection with, EnjoyPhoenix, n°1 beauty and lifestyle youtube in France (See Figure 2). She became a star of social networks over the years and has now more than 2.5 million fans on Youtube and 3.4 million followers on Instagram, her success is due to her perceived honesty and young girls trust and recognize themselves in her, she is a contemporary and connected young woman who loves fashion, just like her followers and potential buyers. The goal was to promote their brand and make it attractive to young people from 8 to 16-17 years old so the prices also had to be inadequacy, appealing to the greatest number of people (Son, Sun and Hughes, 2017).
This project is a logical following to the launching of “Mademoiselle R” in October 2013 to reach another, younger target. It’s a small community but it works very well. Also, La Redoute really wants its customers to perceive its desire to offer them the right products or commercial offers. The brand tries to have an impact on the effective register, by sending regular well-thought emails to their clients for example. This is the case of the “Birthday Special”: they rely on personal elements to justify the contract. They can opt for spectacular formats, as in the mailing “Private tour” or “Never seen so early in the season” where they present the latest collections. They tried to reward clients by giving advantages linked to their level of loyalty. This combines informational and emotional types of messages and establishes a true relationship between the brand and its customers, reducing perceived customer’s risk through a feeling of support and guidance. La Redoute has a database of 16 million addresses and produces some 250 million mailings per year (La Redoute, 2016).
POEM: Paid Media are the ones that the company pays for and that implies high costs and little or no interaction but La Redoute offsets this with remarkably high-quality content, for the business, this includes mainly web banners but also regular advertisements in the press, TV spots and posters.
La Redoute makes great use of its Owned Media, which are the one it controls, all the content that it has created: its brochures, newsletters, websites, Facebook pages, press releases, events, packaging, which is essential in the digital era but requires a great deal of organisation and good planning from the whole team in charge. Earned Media are those that the company obtains through user-generated content such as buzz (this can, however, be dangerous as uncontrollable and uncertain, sometimes negative), conversations on forums, facebook pages, tweets but also interviews or press reports. All these require high reactivity, that La Redoute has proven to have in the past.
Differentiate: La Redoute differentiates its product by always adding a classy and french touch to the look. Customers exactly know what the brand is about as this is constant from the brand since its foundation.
Reinforce: To reinforce their brand message, LaRedoute partnered with many personalities they believe incarnate their message and are known for carrying the same values in their public life. Those celebrity endorsers explain to their viewers why they like and support the brand.
Inform: To inform people about their brand, LaRedoute encourages customers to share with others what they purchased from them on social media social through different advertising campaigns, adapted to each social network every time. Those who publish the best content are featured and their pictures re-posted on the official website monthly. Persuade: The challenge is to persuade people that the brand changed and adapted to this new century while staying chic.
Current Communications: In the last years, while continuing their actions on Facebook and Twitter, La Redoute has put the focus on Instagram and Pinterest. They are very complementary social networks, well adapted to the brand for the inspirational aspects (fashion, decoration…) People look for images of their interests, it’s very different from Facebook or Twitter. It is less communal but allows to find real content about different interests and passions. The greatest advantage might be that it reaches people who are in the buying process, looking for products to purchase, such as wedding organization or arrival of a baby for example, so you can find them at the right time. (TUTEN, 2018).
La Redoute puts the user at the center of its marketing strategy. As a pioneer on social networks, the brand quickly understood that by interacting with users, it obtained better brand and site management, and greater exposure on the market with the buzz effect. The site has improved, gained in interactivity and modernity and constantly adapt to changing and emerging technologies.
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