LIFE’S A PARTY FOR LILLY LOVERS:
GROWING & STRENGTHENING LOYAL BRAND
COMMUNITIES WITH NEW PRODUCT OFFERINGS
Alexandra R. Glazer
March 11, 2013
From sailboats, to buttons, birthday cake, lipstick or African critters, Lilly Pulitzer has a
print for it all. I am Alexandra Glazer of Glazer Consulting and I will be the Account
Coordinator on the Lilly Pulitzer Alcohol Brand Extension Account. Lilly customers are not like
most other retail customers, because buying Lilly Pulitzer coincides with portraying a certain
lifestyle. In Oxford Industries‟ words, a lifestyle brands are “those brands that have a clearly
defined and targeted point of view inspired by an appealing lifestyle or attitude”. There is a cult
following that forms this brand community supporting the label. In some ways these existing
customers make introducing new product offerings more simple, because of the already existing,
easy to access and eager audience. However, because there are such loyal fans, each new product
must be strategically examined to avoid damaging this strong bond between customer and brand.
The attachment Lilly lovers have formed for the brand is part of the reason why Lilly Pulitzer
often asks consumers for their input. Though the company is actually not that large, there are
only 17 retail stores nationwide, its presence feels larger because of the enthusiasm behind the
brand. Lilly originally became best known for their sundresses, but over 50 years later they have
become known for a lot of their lifestyle products. Most customers are not one-time buyers but
rather own several items to fully outfit their life in Lilly, outside of just retail. One of the most
highly coveted items is actually the Lilly Jeep Cherokee or Lilly golf cart, the ultimate sign of a
real Lilly fanatic. If Lilly fans will flock to anything with the Lilly print and script logo, why not
introduce a colorful and classy alcohol brand extension that fits in with the company? Through
much research, it was proven just how perfectly this idea fits with the already existing marketing,
partnerships, products and overall content they use. Suggested will be a partnership with Skinny
Girl Cocktails, to a form an exclusive limited time offering, Skinnylilly. Glazer Consulting has
prepared a multifaceted marketing plan surrounding social media with three steps: an awareness
campaign with Facebook contest prior to the product launch, a Foursquare & tracking widget
implemented throughout the launch and the Shake it Up: Cocktail Picture Contest after the
product has been in stores.
It all started with a juice stand…
The year was 1959 in Palm Beach Florida - Lilly Pulitzer was a New York socialite
working at a juice stand when she developed a line of colorful dresses to hide the citrus stains
she was getting on her clothes. Jackie Kennedy was photographed often wearing these classic
pieces, and soon enough everyone else desired the new and innovative clothing line as well.
Eventually, Pulitzer no longer wanted to own the company, and so it was bought by Sugartown
Worldwide Inc. in 1993 and then again by Oxford Industries in 2010 for $60 million (New York
Times); however, Pulitzer does still remain active. Before acquisition Oxford‟s operating
income was just over $40 million until Lilly Pulitzer boosted sales and increased income to just
under $70 million (2011 Annual Report) (Exhibit A). Oxford Industries “acquires additional
lifestyle brands [they] believe fit within [their] business model” (2011 Annual Report). Their
mission which further explains why Lilly Pulitzer operates the way it does says, “lifestyle
branded products create an emotional connection with our target customers [and] can command
greater customer loyalty and higher price points at retail, resulting in higher earnings” (2011
Annual Report). From 2011 to 2012, comparing the second quarters, Lilly Pulitzer increased net
sales by 24.5% proving just how financially stable this company is (2012 Quarterly Report)
Lilly‟s customers are primarily affluent, female tastemakers, between the ages of 16 and
45, with preppy influences, who likely started wearing the brand at a young age and continued
doing so through adulthood. There are certainly different degrees of “Lilly Lovers”, but there
exists a particular segment with an obsession. One interviewee expressed, “I surround myself
and my closet with everything possible that is Lilly”. Because the brand of Lilly itself has this
much power over its customers, there is virtually no competition because nothing can substitute
for a Lilly dress. In other words, the brand personality is comprised of “thinking” and “feeling”
thoughts. “Thinking” Lilly would be symbolized by someone stating, “Lilly is preppy
excellence, classy, and the unofficial uniform of the preppies.” How people feel about Lilly
would be expressed through a customer stating, “I am young, independent, and stand out when
wearing Lilly. Lilly adds a pop of color and an element of fun to each and every day.” At the
core of Lilly Pulitzer are the building blocks the company is primarily associated with and
operates on such as socialites, patterns, color, classy, preppy, east coast, and more. Their
extended identity is comprised of partnerships, lifestyle products, men‟s clothing and more. A
full look at the core and extended brand identity can be found in exhibit C.
New Product Offering for Lilly Pulitzer
Glazer Consulting has made its mission to determine what the best product for Lilly
Pulitzer to expand into will be. Oxford Industries believes “a successful lifestyle brand opens up
greater opportunities for direct to consumer operations as well as licensing opportunities in
product categories beyond our core” (2011 Annual Report). In order to make this determination,
a vast compilation of research deemed necessary. The team thought carefully about what Lilly
Pulitzer could be lacking and what kind of product would make sense for this company.
Ultimately, the idea that spurred the most excitement and promise was a Lilly-branded line of
alcohol products. This seems to make complete sense as the company sells everything needed for
a party sans the actual alcohol to fill the cocktail shakers, wine glasses, and pitchers. While some
concerns are inevitable, Lilly Pulitzer promotes the idea that Lilly girls enjoying their cocktails
with patterns such as Drinks on Me, Spike the Punch, and Scorpion Bowl. In addition, in 2011,
Lilly Pulitzer paid tribute to Gosling‟s signature drink, “Dark‟N Stormy” by creating a limited
edition print featuring the Goslings bottle available in only a few select items. The marketing for
this print included the words “our new party friend”, “happy hour” and clearly displayed the
Gosling‟s logo (Exhibit D). In fact, many articles were published commending the “refreshingly
fashionable pair” (Newport Stylephile). After all, does this idea not seem to fit in extremely
well? In order to further explore the concept, the Glazer Consulting team had to determine what
kind of alcohol would sell best and how it would be marketed. With the remaining questions still
unanswered, the team sought out and approached Lilly‟s loyal fan base with the potential idea for
Meet the Lilly Lover Mentality
Lilly Pulitzer fans are unlike many others; the brand has cultivated a strong, opinionated,
and energetic following, otherwise known as a brand community. These fans enjoy being
involved with the brand as much as possible, and often contribute valuable insights that give the
company accurate direction of how to proceed. Interviews and a survey were administered and
Glazer Consulting received great results. Starting off very generally to confirm the team‟s
thoughts, fans were asked to think of words used to describe Lilly Pulitzer. To no surprise, many
of the words overlapped including “colorful prints”, “playful”, “timeless”, “classy”,
“whimsical”, “summer” and so forth. The team also thought it would be important to get deep
inside consumer minds and find out what Lilly really means to them. Here are quotes that truly
showcase the consumer‟s product infatuation:
“Lilly Pulitzer Successfully branded happiness; wearing Lilly seeing Lilly, owning Lilly
makes you happy”
“I surround myself and my closet with everything possible that is Lilly”
“I love the lifestyle the brand promotes. Her pieces are timeless and I will be able to
wear for life”
The company has never come forth and said what exactly it is that they are promoting,
rather they leave the interpretation up to customers through their happy go lucky, always summer
attitude and imaginative prints. The fact that so many people can be on the same page, idealizing
about this lifestyle that Lilly Pulitzer represents, is extremely powerful. One survey respondent
said, “I love both the Lilly style and what being a Lilly girl is all about”; to someone else in the
brand community, you just know what „being a Lilly girl‟ means without having to describe any
further. In terms of habits, 92% of respondents said that they purchase Lilly products because of
the print or pattern, following with 70% being because of brand loyalty. Another finding was that
80% of those surveyed, follow Lilly on at least one social media site and also have participated
in a social media sweepstakes, contest, poll, etc. We found that the largest motivator for
participating was because the prize was enticing with 62%.
Fans Back Brand Extension
After getting basic information from Lilly Lovers, the alcohol brand extension concept
was introduced. When fans were asked if they would purchase an alcohol product if it was
available, 92% agreed that it was an exciting opportunity, and of that, 82% suggested that
cocktail mix would be the best area to penetrate. One respondent noted, “People are so loyal to
their wines, where they are made, and the vintage, I think a cocktail mix would work better.”
Glazer Consulting is not oblivious to the fact that alcohol could spur some concerns about how
this could affect Lilly Pulitzer‟s image. 64% of those on the survey answered that the idea does
not bother them or that they love the idea and that it fits perfectly with the brand. Though this
was a high percentage, the sensitive segment concerned the team, thus Glazer Consulting took
the idea to corporate to get some additional feedback.
While listening to the fans is always important, companies must ultimately make
decisions based on what is best for the brand‟s overall image. One employee gave some great
advice on how to approach the brand extension:
“We want to keep the brand as 'family friendly' as possible... we often promote how a
Lilly Girl loves to party and enjoys her cocktails, but I don't think we'd ever go into
alcoholic products that would so drastically tie us to that image”
Glazer Consulting took that notion to heart and thought about how to get around this
negativity that may result. One idea brainstormed was to do a partnership with another company
that has a similar existing image and mission. When the team shared this possibility with the
employee, she agreed this was the best angle to take to best combat any negative retaliation
toward the brand.
Current Marketing Techniques
The company has several different marketing approaches that they take, most with the
underlying theme that they don‟t need to spend much money on advertising expenses because of
their loyal fans. These techniques include social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and
Pinterest with widgets, sweepstakes, contests, polls etc., brand representatives, guerilla
marketing, promotional events, partnerships, and the personal accounts of Lilly Lovers. On
Facebook alone Lilly boasts 477,000 likes, with 67,000 on Twitter, 55,000 on Pinterest and lastly
47,000 on Instagram. Their social media sites have had history of successful campaigns
including Lilly Love, Next State Print, Cracker Tracker, Get the Squeeze, and Lilly Loves Greek.
Glazer Consulting has concluded the determining factors that must be included in the
product launch of a new Lilly Pulitzer product offering, in particular this alcohol brand concept.
Being consistent with the signature colors and patterns on the bottle‟s artwork will be important.
It is apparent fans are definitely interested in having this product, but there are concerns about
the negative connotation surrounding the existing “family brand”. Lilly‟s strong social media
presence and history of online campaigns makes it clear that fans are very engaged online.
Proceeding Properly: Analysis
Glazer Consulting has come to several conclusions on how to properly precede in the best
interest of Lilly Pulitzer. First, the alcohol brand extension will be a limited edition, cocktail mix
line to prevent from any permanent brand dilution and negative connotation associated with
irresponsible drinking. There will be a social media campaign implemented with enticing prizes
to encourage participation. While it is recognized that there are concerns about brand image, if
Lilly has partnered with Goslings‟ in previous years and come out strong, no issue should be
anticipated if this brand extension is strategic in its marketing.
After much conducted research, Glazer Consulting has found a solution that allows for an
alcohol brand extension while keeping brand reputation successfully intact. Lilly was able to
avoid attacks with Goslings because it was approached appropriately and consumers had an
attachment to the Dark‟N Stormy beverage. Glazer Consulting‟s solution for this is to form a
partnership with Skinny Girl Cocktails to co-brand and develop a limited edition, low calorie,
special product under the name “SkinnyLilly” (Exhibit E). Skinny Girl has established
themselves in the industry as sophisticated and classy, not to mention the company is extremely
financially stable as the fastest growing “ready to drink” beverage in the spirit industry, seeing
388% growth in just 2011 (Hsu).While partnering with an already existing company not only
makes financial sense, the limited edition aspect and co-brand will prevent any permanent
associations of alcohol to the “family brand” of Lilly Pulitzer. Another key element to this brand
extension is the fact that the line has been chosen as a cocktail mix as opposed to hard liquor or
beer which has an entirely different negative connotation. When marketed appropriately,
“Cocktail Mix” conjures up an image of older socialite women, casually sipping a drink at a
friend‟s garden party.. Launching SkinnyLilly under these two very reputable and established
companies, we believe, will deter the sensitive segment to any attacks on the sub-brand. In
perspective, Lilly Pulitzer already produces several alcohol associated products: cocktail shakers,
pitchers, wine glasses, coozies, tailgate coolers, in addition to blatant alcohol named prints
including scorpion bowl, drinks on me, spike the punch, mint julep, etc. If the brand is already
treading so close to the line of promoting alcohol, with little concern to these products, it seems
slightly hypocritical for consumers to lash out.
Why Skinny Girl?
Skinny Girl has been chosen for a number of reasons as the right partner for this brand
extension. It is not just about Lilly having a partner, but it is about having the right partner. This
partnership seems seamless because of their very similar core and extended values. Both brands
pride themselves on being feminine, with a sophisticated, classy, and flirtatious theme. In
addition, Lilly‟s slogan “Life‟s a Party, Dress Like it”, fits well with Skinny Girl‟s mantra,
“Drink like a Lady” (Exhibit E). The Skinny Girl image portrays the idea that if you are going to
enjoy a beverage, make sure you act like a lady while you do - and this is continually important
in maintaining the high end image that both brands choose to portray. Not only does Skinny Girl
say to drink like a lady, the celebrity endorsement of very accomplished Bethenny Frankel
(founder and previous owner), says be a role model as well. Bethenny is a well-respected
celebrity chef and socialite who originally gained her stardom being on Bravo‟s Real
Housewives of New York City. Since then, she has had 3 of her own TV shows, 4 self-help
books, an array of other products under the Skinny Girl brand, an exercise DVD and more. She
alone has almost 875,000 Facebook followers on her personal page not including any of her
additional brands or their presence on Twitter, Blogger, or other sites. Combining two networks
of fans with a strong brand affiliation is very positive for SkinnyLilly; fans are going to flock to
this product as many of them are already overlapping customers. And of course, the financial
stability and success of Skinny Girl makes the company an appealing partner. Partnering with
Lilly makes sense for Skinny Girl, as the company will sell to a potentially untapped market of
women. This will not only serve as strengthening the Lilly Pulitzer brand community, but as a
bonus for the Skinny Girl brand that is already on the rise. Getting the product to stores will be of
no issue as Skinny Girl already has accomplished an effective supply chain with established
distribution partners, vendors, etc.
Marketing a product is the most crucial element in ensuring that any product will be
successful. Fortunately for Lilly Pulitzer, they take advantage of marketing products through
social media because of their well-established online fan base which costs little to no money in
advertising. Glazer Consulting has prepared three marketing suggestions to implement for the
marketing of SkinnyLilly Cocktail mix. There will be 3 phases, of which each will have their
own marketing campaign.
Phase One: Generating Awareness & Buzz
In Phase 1, before Skinnylilly actually hits stores, there will be a Facebook campaign
focused on generating awareness for the product. In order to get fans excited for the launch in the
coming year, Lilly will reach out to its audience asking them to choose what the flavor and name
of this cocktail mix will be (Exhibit G). In order to add another element of fun, Lilly lovers will
also submit a short description/story behind the name of the cocktail and why it is relevant to
Lilly. The best flavor as determined by other Lilly Lovers will become the name that is used for
SkinnyLilly. What this means is that after all entries are received, the Lilly community will be
able to actually vote on five of the best entries. Entrants will need to accumulate votes, which
will involve a plethora of sharing, comments, likes, etc. and even more word of mouth. The
winner will also receive a Lilly dress of her choice from the summer collection as something to
look forward to. This shows that Lilly really cares about its customers by getting their input and
giving back by rewarding a Lilly dress which is something exciting to a consumer.. The
objective of this campaign is to generate as much hype and awareness for the product as
possible. If people are excited about the launch, they will talk to others about SkinnyLilly and
anticipate its arrival to stores. In addition, providing such a large opportunity for Lilly Lovers to
be so active in brand decisions makes fans feel closer to the brand.
Phase Two: Tracking Campaign & Foursquare Specials
After SkinnyLilly has been officially launched and reaches stores, it is important to
continue the buzz and get fans to the stores to buy and try the product. Similar to earlier
campaigns with Florida‟s Natural Grapefruit Juice and Barnum‟s Animal Cracker, Lilly will
create a “cracker tracker-like” (Exhibit F) widget through the Facebook page for consumers to
check in where they have found the product, maybe add a photo, and share their experience and
excitement. Connecting the widget to the location-based social media app Foursquare will allow
this to be even easier. Anyone can log in to Facebook and then check in through Foursquare,
activating a “Newbie” special, notifying all of their friends of their actions and their location.
Check-ins with photos and comments will be available to add and will be mapped on the
“Cocktail Country” tracker map where anyone can click to see the nearest sighting (Exhibit H).
Foursquare operates on location based marketing and brings in clientele through checking in
with certain badges and specials. The “Newbie” special is for first time check-ins that usually
comes with a discount. Retail stores of SkinnyLilly will be asked to activate a 25% off Newbie
special for anything in the store other than SkinnyLilly, therefore benefitting more sales and
driving traffic to this said liquor store (Exhibit H).
Phase Three: Shake it Up: Cocktail Picture Contest
The final phase of the SkinnyLilly marketing plan is the Shake it Up Cocktail Picture
Contest. This part of the plan will go live two months after SkinnyLilly products are in stores.
The rationale behind this is that there will be ample buzz from the launch and tracking
campaigns; however, the excitement may begin to wear off after two months. To prevent any lag
of sales during this limited edition product cycle, there will be another sales peak provoked after
the picture contest details are revealed through Facebook. Glazer Consulting is also anticipating
many fans to go out within the first two months to purchase the product and may not return back
to the store as quickly for round two. The picture contest asks for loyal fans to create their
favorite cocktail using SkinnyLilly and post the ingredients. However this is just part one; fans
must also take a picture of themselves in their favorite Lilly dress while enjoying their cocktail
and featuring the SkinnyLilly bottle in the photo. In order to drive traffic back to the stores, as
this picture campaign requires a bottle to be in the picture, fans will be obliged to return to the
store, purchase additional product, and experiment with recipes. By posting different recipes, this
will give other fans ideas of how to use their SkinnyLilly and provoke more drinks, thus more
bottles purchased! As usual, a prize is a large motivator for Lilly Lovers, so cocktail shakers and
glassware sets in the SkinnyLilly print will be rewarded to the contest winner.
Skinnylilly will be in stores from spring through fall of 2014. In order to best market the
product the following will be the schedule of marketing materials and when they will be
distributed through proper Lilly Pulitzer channels. Phase One will roll out one year prior to the
launch of the campaign and it will be 5 weeks long which gives enough turn over time for
creative. After the product is in stores, phase two will launch and be available for the length of
the campaign. The last part of the campaign will be implemented after 2 months and will last a
total of 7 weeks. Winners and 10 runners up will be announced 2 weeks after the competition
Life of the Party
Oxford Industries Income Statement, 2011-2012
Lilly Pulitzer 2012 Operating Income
De La Merced, Michael J. "DealBook." Prep Stays Hot as Lilly Pulitzer Is Sold for 60 Million
Comments. New York Times, 21 Dec. 2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
Hsu, Tiffany. "Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Leads Spirits Growth with 388% Boom." Los Angeles
Times. Los Angeles Times, 09 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
"The Newport Stylephile." The Newport Stylephile. N.p., 5 July 2011. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
"Oxford Industries, Inc. – 2012 First Quarter, Quarterly Report." Oxford Industries, Inc. - Quarterly
Report. N.p., 06 June 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
"Oxford Industries, Inc. - 2012 Second Quarter, Quarterly Report." Oxford Industries, Inc. - Quarterly
Report. N.p., 30 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
"Oxford Industries, Inc. – 2011 Annual Report." Oxford Industries, Inc. - Annual Report. N.p., 30 Mar.
2012. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.
"Really? Bethenny Frankel‟s Skinnygirl Is Fastest Growing Brand in the US." Really? Bethenny
Frankel's Skinnygirl Is Fastest Growing Brand in the US. BrandManager, 9 May 2011. Web. 11
"Skinnygirl Cocktails Are Fastest Growing Liquor Brand, Report Says." NBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 11
"Stick to Your Brand Even When the Sky Is Falling." Digital Surgeons. N.p., 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 11
Parece que tiene un bloqueador de anuncios ejecutándose. Poniendo SlideShare en la lista blanca de su bloqueador de anuncios, está apoyando a nuestra comunidad de creadores de contenidos.
¿Odia los anuncios?
Hemos actualizado nuestra política de privacidad.
Hemos actualizado su política de privacidad para cumplir con las cambiantes normativas de privacidad internacionales y para ofrecerle información sobre las limitadas formas en las que utilizamos sus datos.
Puede leer los detalles a continuación. Al aceptar, usted acepta la política de privacidad actualizada.