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  2. 2. ‘‘It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.’’ Hardy Amies 2
  3. 3. Table of Contents 3 Table of Contents.................................................3 Brand Overview......................................................4 Introduction...................................................5 A Walk To Remember............................6 Current Allen Edmonds Man............8 Current Advertising...............................10 Competitors............................................................13 Target Audience..................................................17 Consumer Journey............................................18 Touch Points...........................................................30 Recommendations............................................64 Conclusions............................................................78 Work Cited................................................................79
  5. 5. LET’S TALK DRESS SHOES. 12 weeks, 12 in-depth interviews, 24 survey responses and a few gallons of coffee have culminated in the final step of the Allen Edmonds account planning process: crafting the consumer journey to buying dress shoes and selecting touchpoints with which the target interacts during each step. For each of these touchpoints, we also made recommendations on how to enhance the medium, including the types of content they should include and the messaging strategy behind the content. With our research, we hope to usher Allen Edmonds into a new era of top-of-mind awareness among millennials. We gathered support for our consumer journey, touchpoints and recommendations from primary and secondary research. We conducted 12 in-depth interviews and a media consumption survey of 24 men in our target. In the interviews, we discussed dress shoe shopping habits, buying processes, media habits, personal style and dress shoe preferences. Our media consumption survey focused on our target’s data usage to better enhance our touchpoint recommendations. Secondary research served to better explain our individual research in the context of all shoppers, making our recommendations more applicable to the overall target audience. 5
  6. 6. . A WALK TO REMEMBER: 1922: Company founded in Port Washington, WI, gained acclaim for high-quality, hand- crafted footwear. 1930s: Many small American companies saw a significant decline in sales, and Allen Edmonds was no exception. With a whole-hearted commit- ment to company values, the company continued to craft their product, awaiting a return to post-depression, healthy American buying power. Luckily, a new decade would bring major acclaim. 1939: Allen Edmonds was the “shoe of choice” for both the U.S. Army and Navy. They gained wide acclaim amongst Gener- ation Y as a trusted shoe, still looked upon today with sentimental value. 1950: American men began re-entering the white-collar workforce and Allen Edmonds walked from the battlefield back into the office. As a trusted brand of the previous decade, the company had strong top-of- mind appeal among professional men for its quality and American craftsmanship. 1981: President Ronald Reagan donned Allen Edmonds at his inauguration, beginning a tradition carried on by three subsequent presidents. The brand gained acclaim among college-aged men as the “formal dress shoe of choice.” Though they retained a fond emo- tional connection with the brand, older generations were too practical to invest large sums of money on Allen Edmonds shoes. The brand held its appeal almost entirely in the professional sector. 6
  7. 7. 1993: Bill Clinton wore the Park Avenue at his inauguration. 2015: Looking for Allen Edmonds wearers? Step into a might see one. Elsewhere? Probably not. Though company sales have remained steady, Allen Edmonds has struggled to bring in a new generation of young executives. With that, we present a new chapter in Allen Edmonds’history. 1989: George H.W. Bush wore the Park Avenue to his Presidential Inaugura- tion. Meanwhile, formal dress is still the workplace norm. Men are expected to wear suits with a formal dress shoe akin to Allen Edmonds. American-made was still an important feature, though foreign shoes began gaining traction, with Italian brands like Bruno Magli and Salvatore Ferragamo snatching many big-spending professionals from the Allen Edmonds customer base. 2001: George W. Bush wore Allen Edmonds at his inauguration. In the meantime, casual Fridays led the transition to business casualwear in the workplace. Though not everyone could sport the Steve Jobs-esque jeans and New Balance shoes, khakis and soft-sole shoes had clearly re- placed the once suit-ridden workplace. Allen Edmonds took the hit as men began spending less on the their dress shoes. 2008: Sales progressively declined in the midst of financial recession, and Allen Edmonds felt the hit. With a 25 percent drop in revenues be- tween 2007 and 2009, the company brought on a new CEO. In hopes of turning things around, the brand introduced a lower-priced line - AE by Allen Edmonds - to compensate for its deteriorating customer base. 7
  8. 8. CURRENTALLEN EDMONDSMAN:AllenEdmondsaspirestobeamillennial-friendlybrand,butit’scurrentlyconveyingadifferentimage.It’sperceivedasaprofessionalbusiness-wear brand that is “the American dream personified in shoe form,” with many in our target describing the brand as shoes their dads wear. Regardless of the pair they purchase, men trust Allen Edmonds shoes to last. Those familiar with Allen Edmonds appreciate its commitment to high quality, but brand awareness is very low among our target. When it comes to appealing to millennial men, the brand will need to change the way it’s perceived. 8
  9. 9. “I picture someone who is in his 50s and is well off. I see people from the East coast who go to country clubs and wear sweaters around their necks. They wear their loafers by the pool.” Jacob Scholl, interviewee 9
  10. 10. CURRENTADVERTISING:Current Allen Edmonds advertising efforts primarily consist of print ads, display ads and social media. The print ads are composed primarily of photographed shoes set against dark backgrounds. Display ads show an Allen Edmonds shoe and link to the company website. Social media is a major part of Allen Edmonds’ advertising effort, but that will be discussed later. WEBSITE:The Allen Edmonds website was recently re-vamped to a darker color scheme and visual homepage design. The site does not have the “fashion lookbook feel” many of its competitors have. Features could be more streamlined, but the website offers effective purchase functionality overall. CATALOG:When it comes to its catalog, Allen Edmonds focuses solely on images and short descriptions of its products. While many catalogs in the apparel industry have evolved visually and digitally to display images of models wearing a company’s products and serve as inspiration to its consumers, Allen Edmonds’ catalog appears to be stuck in the past with its plain imagery. 10
  11. 11. The Allen Edmonds storefront reflects the look and feel of its products, sticking to neutral tones and classic design. Prevalent store features include yellow-white lighting, oak wood paneling and patriotic knickknacks, which come together to produce an unrefined look contradicting the luxury of Allen Edmonds’ products. The store has the feeling of being in a father’s home office, as it reflects stereotypical Baby Boomer interests such as golfing and bartending literature. The brand’s American values and pride is displayed throughout the store. STORE: 11
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  13. 13. (Sole Mates): COMPETITORS PART 2 13
  14. 14. “Style over fashion” Since its founding in 1983, J. Crew has prided itself on redefining the preppy professional. J. Crew provides on an array of pieces that can seamlessly transition from the office to an after-work happy hour. Classic pieces matched with quirky prints and bright colors fill J. Crew’s product repertoire, giving the company high brand-awareness among put-together young professionals hoping to make a tasteful fashion statement. Customers have come to expect quality and integrity from both in-store experience and J. Crew’s products. J. Crew constantly revamps its retail experience, offering unique partnerships with various makeup, fragrance, electronic and shoe brands to serve as a one-stop shop for its millennial shoppers. Famous wearers: Michelle Obama, Diane Kruger, Josh Duhamel, Adam Brody J. Crew 14
  15. 15. “A company with a history of value” Since its founding in 1818, Brooks Brothers has served as the tas- temaker for professional men’s fashion with a country-club-esque touch coveted by millennial men. Brooks Brothers is the country’s oldest clothing retailer, outfitting Union officers in the Civil War to Barack Obama today, and upholding strong traditions and commitment to its values for nearly two centuries. Since launching the ready-to-wear suit in 1849, the brand has managed to stay prevalent by providing a one-stop shop for casual and formal wear. Famous wearers include 39 of the 44 U.S. presidents, Andy Warhol, Stephen Colbert, Reese Witherspoon. Featured on TV & movies: “Mad Men,” Great Gatsby (2013), men of “Gossip Girl” Brooks Brothers 15
  16. 16. The following brands have been selected as direct competitors to Allen Edmonds based on price point, quality, style and similar brand perception. During department store visits, shoe retailer websites and in-depth interviews, the following brands shared close vicinity to Allen Edmonds in terms of brand-awareness for the product category. These brands include: Santoni, Bruno Magli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Red Wing Shoes, Cole Haan, Ecco, Johnston Murphy, Alden, Rancourt, and Clarks. DIRECTSHOE COMPETITORS: 16
  17. 17. PART 3 TARGET AUDIENCE: 17 Our target consists of 21 to 35-year-old men. These men are either college upperclassmen or just beginning their first couple of years in the professional workplace. Our target works in or studies professional fields such as law, finance and banking. Men in our target aspire to become self- made men, and aim for success in everything that they do. Men in our target are style-conscious, but have yet to establish a personal style. In trying to solidify a fashion identity, our target focuses on finding versatile pieces for his wardrobe and is willing to pay more for quality products. Our target appreciates the classics, yet constantly seeks new inspiration for his professional and everyday look.
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  20. 20. The spark begins the dress shoe buying process. The spark can range from word-of- mouth to an invitation to an event. The consumer feels excited to embark on the shopping process, and perhaps a bit anxious since men’s dress shoes are an investment. The shoe-buying journey now splits into two categories: a want and a need. A ‘want’ can simply be an urge to buy shoes, whereas a ‘need’ relates to an event, thereby giving a deadline. STEP1:THESPARK 20
  21. 21. RESEARCH(WANT) STEP2: The research step signifies when the consumer searches through available products. He can talk to friends, read online reviews and search for style inspiration on blogs. The research step represents when the consumer decides which brands and styles he wants to pursue in the next step. On the ‘want’ path, the consumer takes his time, assessing resources at a leisurely pace. 21
  22. 22. STEP2: RESEARCH(NEED)The research step for the ‘need’ journey moves at a faster rate. The consumer still goes online to find products and asks his friends for opinions, however he can’t use all of his resources if he wishes to meet his deadline. 22
  23. 23. STEP3: EVALUATING OPTIONSDuring this step, the consumer tries on his desired shoes in person to check the fit and style. The consumer wants to make sure that if he’s paying for the large price tag, the product meets all of his criteria. The shoe must be stylish, durable and can’t go past his budget. 23
  24. 24. STEP4: JUSTIFICATION(WANT)In the justification step, the consumer identifies a pair of dress shoes. However, he isn’t quite ready to buy. Since purchasing will be a big investment, he hopes to eliminate any uncertainty or hesitations about the product. He goes through his closet to see what can accompany his new shoes, asking himself how realistic the purchase is, and and consults his friends for approvall. For the ‘want’ path, this step also can take more time because the consumer doesn’t need the shoes for a certain event. Additionally, the consumer has the option to end his journey here. 24
  25. 25. Although the ‘want’ journey is more laid-back in comparison to the ‘need’ journey, it also has a higher risk of ending. Due to the carefree nature and lack of a deadline in the ‘want’ path, the consumer doesn’t have to purchase the shoes. If the store is out of his size for immediate purchase, or the shoes don’t fit with anything else he owns, he has the option of ending the journey here. It’s disappointing, but ultimately isn’t a big deal. No harm, no foul. POSSIBILITY OFJOURNEY STEP4: TOEND(WANTONLY) 25
  26. 26. STEP4: JUSTIFICATION (NEED) During the justification step for the need path, the consumer is hopeful the pair he found will work.He’s already tried them on, so they need to do a quick evaluation to make sure it’s a realistic purchase. Like the ‘want’ path, he is going through his closet and asking his friends to make sure that the pair of dress shoes is going to work. However, unlike the ‘want’ path, he can’t stop here if the pair of shoes he really likes doesn’t work out. Luckily, he has a couple pairs in the back of his mind from the evaluation step that he will have to make work. 26
  27. 27. STEP5: POINTOF PURCHASE This is the last step in the consumer journey to purchasing men’s dress shoes. At this point, the consumer has chosen a pair of shoes and is buying them. He is happy with his purchase because he knows he did the research to find the perfect pair, regardless of whether the path was a want or need. The consumer is happy that he took the time to explore his options and knows that his pair is the right pair for his particular lifestyle. 27
  28. 28. STEP6: CONTENTMENTAfter the point of purchase, the consumer experiences a sense of contentment. He has gone through all of the necessary steps of research and evaluation, which led him to the best option. The consumer is now a confi- dent owner of a new pair of high-quality dress shoes. 28
  29. 29. 29 “Youcanhaveanything inlifeifyoudressforit.” EdithHead
  30. 30. TOUCH PART 5: 30
  31. 31. POINTS 31
  33. 33. TOUCHPOINT#1: IN-STORE RETAILMARKETING Allen Edmonds’ storefront conveys the look and feel of being in your father’s home office. The store reflects stereotypical Baby Boomer interests like golf and bartending. Allen Edmonds also showcases its “Made in America” values by having an American Flag proudly displayed in the front window, and copies of the the Declaration of Independence placed throughout. The brand’s pride in its products can be seen throughout the store in the numerous 3D diagrams emphasizing the craftsmanship and quality of its shoes. They do not have pictures of models and rely solely on “Master Fitters” for visualization of complete outfits with Allen Edmonds shoes. 33
  34. 34. TOUCHPOINT#2:PROMOTIONSAllen Edmonds only advertises its promotions to customers connected to the brand’s social media and the companymailinglistinordertomaintain an image of luxury to new prospective buyers. Allen Edmonds publicizes seasonal sales, typically offering discounts between 15 and 30 percent, most prominently on Instagram, Twitter and the company email newsletter. 34
  35. 35. TOUCHPOINT#3: PRODUCTPLACEMENT Allen Edmonds current- ly places their products in GQ, MAXIM, Burn Notice, White Collar and Suits.New promotions are typically an- nounced on the company’s website. 35
  36. 36. CONTENTMARKETING& NATIVEADVERTISING From our extensive research we concluded that Allen Edmonds does not take part in Content Marketing or Native Advertising. TOUCHPOINT#4: 36
  37. 37. TOUCHPOINT#5: SOCIAL MEDIA 37 Allen Edmonds uses various social media platforms to interact with both potential and loyal customers, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and its company blog.
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  58. 58. SOCIALMEDIA: BLOG 58
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  62. 62. TOUCHPOINT#6: WEBSITE The current Allen Edmonds web- site features a black, gray and gold color scheme and visual home page. The site has good overall purchasing functionality and pro- vides visitors with an organized and easy-to-navigate interface. The bot- tom portion of their page provides links to their social media. 62
  63. 63. 63 “I like the convenience of shopping online. You can look at it anywhere and the options are endless. I don’t have to go to a bunch of places, so it’s quick.” Michael Braverman, interviewee
  65. 65. RECOMMENDATION#1: IN-STORE RETAILMARKETINGTo appeal to the target through its storefronts, Allen Edmonds would greatly benefit from providing relevant visuals. The target responds best to relatable visual stimuli for inspiration. Furnishing the storefront with images of models wearing Allen Edmonds in everyday situations would allow for those in the store to visualize themselves wearing the product; Allen Edmonds should focus less on a branded image and more on style. Images showing men with looks that go from day to night will help the target visualize wearing the product in the justification step. To further capitalize on the target’s search for inspiration, Allen Edmonds should revamp its “Master Fitters” with a sleek, new look to spark style imagination. Given the pricing and quality of their shoes, the brand should consider redecorating stores to give off a more sophisticated, high-end look. 65
  66. 66. RECOMMENDATION#2: PROMOTIONSThe target is skeptical of spending $300 to $400 on a pair of shoes, however creating promotions a first time purchaser could make the Allen Edmonds investment more attractive. We understand that Allen Edmonds doesn’t want to come off as “cheap”, so we recommend the brand create a special program for shoe buyers preparing for a first real job or big event. For example, giving a free tie with shoe purchase as a celebration or “good luck” token for an interview. We want the target to connect with the brand by feeling inspired and self-made, values important to the Allen Edmonds Man. With a tagline like “Dressing America’s Greatest Since 1922,” the target would feel part of a legacy of success, and instead of having to fit into the brand’s mold.This would benefit the evaluating options and point of purchase steps in the journey, because it gives the target a benefit to purchasing Allen Edmonds over another brand. 66
  67. 67. RECOMMENDATION#3: PRODUCTPLACEMENTAllen Edmonds should be doing more product placement in mediums rele- vant to the target. Almost all of our interviewees in primary in-depth interviews mentioned watching “House of Cards,” which would be a logical place to showcase Allen Edmonds products. We also recommend that the brand tie placements into social media, whether as retweeting these shows when they start back up, or Instagramming a picture of Frank Underwood wearing Allen Edmonds with the caption, “Check us out in season three of ‘House of Cards!’” This would be beneficial for multiple steps in the consumer journey, such as sparking inspiration, justification by visualization and contentment when the target sees favorite characters wearing Allen Edmonds products. 67 Check out Frank Underwood sporting the #ParkAvenue the Season 3 Premiere on Netflix!
  68. 68. RECOMMENDATION#4: CONTENTMARKETING &NATIVEADVERTISINGContent Marketing and Native Advertising currently hold popularity among the millennial generation. These kinds of advertising work within the customer’s lives and interests without feeling invasive. 68
  69. 69. 69 Content marketing is sometimes called brand journalism or brand- ed content. This type of advertising rarely mentions the brand itself, but positions the company as an authoritative thought leader in a subject area. Content marketing aims to build long-term trust with consumers, providing valuable material for their customers with- out asking for anything in return. Some relevant topics for content marketing for Allen Edmonds are articles about style advice, wed- dings and career tips. An article like “10 Best Things to Say in an Interview” or “How to Make the Best First Impression” would appeal to the target by providing content that is useful to them. This con- tent would provide inspiration and interest the target without bla- tantly advertising the product. In the consumer journey, this would help with sparking a reason to buy, justification and contentment because the customer can relate to and trust that the brand cares for the consumer outside of just the product. Native advertising is a form of advertising dressed up to look like editorial content and placed in publications. This form of advertising can take the form of sponsored stories on Facebook, sponsored Tweets on Twitter, sponsored e-mails, or sponsored articles on websites. Native advertisements are all paid for by the company, and therefore operates with the purpose of encouraging consumers to purchase from the com- pany. Allen Edmonds could create a Buzzfeed quiz such as “What Type of Shoe Should You Buy for Your First Interview?” or a web- site article such as “Your Personal Guide to Dress Shoes.” These would appeal to the target market by providing relevant content, and work for the company as a mode of sale. Native advertising would reach the consumer throughout the journey to dress shoes, including the spark, research, justification, evaluating options, and contentment steps. CONTENT MARKETING: NATIVE ADVERTISING:
  70. 70. RECOMMENDATION#5: SOCIALMEDIA Through our media consumption survey, we found that Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and blogs are all used and viewed on a regular basis by the target. From these results, we concluded that having Allen Edmonds focus on adjusting their messaging strategy and content on these social media platforms would effectively enhance the target’s journey experience, especially while at the research and spark steps. Allen Edmonds already uses these social media platforms, however they fail to provide interesting and differing content on each separate account. The brand should try to curate a variety of topics that provide a tangible benefit to the customer across all platforms. While the focus of its accounts are on the products, Allen Edmonds should work to position itself as a lifestyle brand. This can be accomplished by sharing stories, videos, and photographs of relevant and interesting subjects, such as city landscapes, drinks, food, weddings, interviews, and style advice. INSTAGRAM: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGE Allen Edmonds’ account lacks blue verified badge status since Instagram introduced the feature in December 2014. Verified badges ensure authenticity and help people easily find the public figures, celebrities and brands to follow. Allen Edmonds holds a strong legacy with presidents wearing the brand at their Presidential Inaugurations and celebrities wearing shoes to charity events and award shows, however, they do not capitalize on the brand’s clout within these highly respected circles. Instead, Allen Edmonds’ focus on quality and craftsmanship seems forced, and makes it difficult to identify the brand’s esteem through this medium. Recent research by TrackMaven indicates filters affect engagement, as Inkwell, May- fair and unfiltered pictures drove the most interaction. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin found people engage with unfiltered, professional-looking photographs more than comparable images distorted by filters. Quality photographs also generate higher shopping rates. Allen Edmonds provides an eclectic mix of pictures on Insta- gram, some professional and polished, others pixelated, over-saturated and grainy. The brand would benefit from establishing a higher standard for all its images, consistent with brand quality, to ensure a cohesive presentation of its shoes. 70
  71. 71. 71 INSTAGRAM: ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: Cole Haan AllenEdmondsalreadydoesagreat job of responding to consumers on Instagram, unlike Cole Haan. How- ever, Cole Haan does a phenome- nal job of balancing user-generated content, its own professional photo- graphs of Cole Haan products, and photographs of timely, creative, or interesting settings and items. Allen Edmonds should attempt to mimic this type of content, furthering brand image and increasing the potential for more followers. Rancourt & Co. Rancourt & Co. provides eloquent descriptions of its shoe lines in captions that fluidly con- nect the shoes’ high-end mate- rials to the brand’s esteemed cli- entele. Creative timelapse videos captured within the Rancourt fac- tory effectively break up the mo- notony of the picture stream and depict the care with which shoes are made. Brooks Brothers Brooks Brothers captures brand essence through the quality and style of pictures on its Instagram ac- count, while keeping posts interest- ing and engaging. Allen Edmonds should embody this method, making sure each photograph fits within the overarching message of the brand. Similar to Cole Haan, Brooks Broth- ers does a great job of making sure each post relates to and intrigues the target market. Brooks Brothers does not solely focus on products, but it post about things relevant to the ev- eryday life of the consumer. J. Crew By integrating fun copy, bright col- ors and a well-curated combination of music, culture, travel, art, archi- tecture and sports, this account ef- fectively captures the essence of J. Crew. Allen Edmonds would benefit from positioning itself as a lifestyle brand and doing more to reach out to artists, musicians, athletes and relevant businessmen to appeal to its target. The brand should also think about what is going on in the world and what the Allen Edmonds consumer is focused on beyond the brand. In offering content that will interest its followers, Allen Ed- monds will foster a natural relation- ship with potential consumers. This will influence the way the brand is perceived, beyond the quality con- struction of its high-end men’s dress shoes.
  72. 72. TWITTER: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGE Allen Edmonds uses a multitude of hashtags, though it should try to stick to only a few hashtags to describe their brand. Allen Edmonds also loses a chance to encourage interactions from customers by failing to reach out in a personal way. This could be done by asking them to tweet at the Allen Edmonds account using designated hashtags or including pictures of their Allen Edmonds shoes for the chance to be featured on a social media account. This would showcase Allen Edmonds shoes in an interactive and engaging way. It would also provide a platform for the target to visualize wearing Allen Edmonds products. While the brand has recently increased Twitter usage, it needs to tweet at more relevant times of day to keep up with other brands. ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: Cole Haan While Allen Edmonds has great customer service, Cole Haan pro- vides immediate calls-to-action on its profile. The brand encourages followers to tweet @ColeHann in its bio, enhancing customer engage- ment with the Cole Haan account. Cole Haan also does a great job of keeping content relatable, fasci- nating and current. The brand not only advertises products, but also Tweets, posts stories and shares pictures that make consumers want to spend more time on the page. Unlike Allen Edmonds, Cole Haan fits its brand into the lives of the tar- get market. Cole Haan also draws in customers with better promotion on Twitter of its sales. Rancourt & Co. Rancourt & Co.’s Twitter account links to its Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo and other social media accounts, creating a seamless audience experience. The brand also effectively connects poten- tial customers to outlets offering more information and oppor- tunities to buy Rancourt & Co. shoes, such as personal style blogs and retailer websites. Allen Edmonds would benefit from ap- plying some of these tactics to better connect followers to useful resources while they compare dress shoes. Brooks Brothers Allen Edmonds could follow Brooks Brothers’ lead in publi- cizing its celebrity promotions and product placements in a creative manner on Twitter. Brooks Brothers also puts to- gether content that interests readers aside from its product lines, such as wedding style tips and company history. J. Crew Nearly every single of J. Crew’s tweets links to a featured product on their website. These posts follow an adaptable formula: clever cap- tion, professional photograph and link to the product being advertised. This subtly offers potential custom- ers the option to learn more about a product that catches their eye. Allen Edmonds needs to establish a similar photographic standard for its images and offer followers easier access to the products featured in the tweets. 72
  73. 73. FACEBOOK: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGE While Allen Edmonds has wonderful customer service, it could be more fun and personable in its responses. Often times, answers are straight- forward where the brand comes off as insensitive to the customers’ wishes. Also, the brand should try to post content relevant to the consumer showcasing its products. Allen Edmonds should include more customer content on its Facebook page. Though the brand occasionally reposts a user-generated picture, it should make more of an effort to showcase customers’ style. ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: Cole Haan Allen Edmonds should model its pictures after Cole Haan’s profes- sional photos. Cole Haan’s images are aesthetically pleasing; feature interesting subjects and provide value to the consumer. Cole Haan does a great job of mixing up con- tent, showing both products and relevant topics similar to its other so- cial media. On Facebook, the brand also features sales from its blog, en- couraging first-time buyers to visit the website and make a purchase. Rancourt & Co. Rancourt & Co. consistently posts unique content to its Face- book page, including videos, arti- cles and pictures not posted on Instagram. Loyal customers have no incentive to follow a brand on several social media platforms unless they will see unique con- tent on each, and Rancourt & Co. successfully avoids this problem. Allen Edmonds should learn to curate content specific to each platform of social media, instead of posting repetitive pictures, vid- eos, captions and links to its vari- ous accounts. Brooks BrothersAllen Edmonds should mod- el itself after Brooks Brothers’ number of posts, as the latter has mastered how to produce the correct amount of posts each day. Brooks Brothers, simi- lar to Rancourt, posts things that are specific to the Facebook page, such as videos of how its clothes are made and videos introducing a new seasonal line or clothing collection. J. Crew J. Crew offers followers a constant stream of relevant and up-to-date content. The vast majority of cus- tomer posts on its Facebook wall express love for J. Crew’s products. However, when loyal customers do have questions, a J. Crew represen- tative promptly answers questions or directs them to more information. Allen Edmonds can learn from J. Crew’s strong customer service. By being responsive, Allen Edmonds can boost engagement, showing customers the brand truly cares about opinions and questions. 73
  74. 74. YOUTUBE: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGE Allen Edmonds should use targeted YouTube videos on an on-going basis to extend its reach, drive channel engagement and grow its sub- scriber audience. Currently, Allen Edmonds posts on a sporadic basis, and covers a very narrow range of topics. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google, and SEO discoverability is key. It should brand their videos with titles, tags and descriptions that link to featured products or related blog posts. This would help to connect viewers with the brand across a multitude of platforms. ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: Cole Haan Cole Haan posts a variety of videos that accurately depict the brand’s image. Allen Edmonds can learn from the brand by using YouTube as more than a way to showcase handcrafted shoes. Brands can use YouTube to benefit consumers by offering style advice, helpful tips for interviews and suggestions on how to make a great first impression with your boss. Rancourt & Co. Building a brand essence is im- portant. Allen Edmonds is already known for its high-quality prod- ucts, but this image doesn’t reso- nate in the quality of the brand’s YouTube videos. In just three months, Rancourt & Co. has post- ed several high-quality videos that bring potential customers into the factory to meet the brand’s crafts- men and women, and see the shoemaking process. Seasonal videos act much like catalogs and look books are eye-catching, and help the viewer picture wearing Rancourt & Co. shoes. Brooks BrothersIt would be extremely beneficial to Allen Edmonds if the brand would capitalize on its partner- ships with celebrities and prom- inent figures, similar to Brooks Brothers’ current tactics. The brand could create interest- ing videos describing spokes- persons’ experiences with the brand. By taking this approach, Allen Edmonds would be able to showcase its high regard within several professional in- dustries. J. Crew J. Crew’s YouTube videos often feature pop culture figures inter- esting to viewers. The brand also features different parts of the de- sign and manufacturing process, from fabric dyeing to fashion shows. Allen Edmonds could take a page out of J. Crew’s book by making videos about the different materialsitusesinitsproductsand featuring famous bloggers and figures wearing Allen Edmonds shoes. 74
  75. 75. PINTEREST: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGE Pinterest serves as a great marketing tool driving targeted engagement and harnessing the power of visual storytelling. This platform’s versatility expands outside of just social media, and as exemplified by Nordstrom, can be used additionally as an in-store promotional tool and salesperson app. Allen Edmonds would benefit from posting more regularly on its Pinterest account, and paying attention to picture formatting. The brand should also take a closer look at which posts receive the most favorites and re-pins, and use that information to build stronger content. For in- stance, lifestyle brands often feature models or customers wearing products as part of a greater ensemble. Allen Edmonds needs to post more pictures of people in its shoes, as opposed to simply photographs of shoes set against plain backgrounds. ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: Cole Haan Cole Haan does a phenomenal job of making sure its pins are aes- thetically pleasing, relatable and fun. The brand features pictures of its products, but also destinations, art, food, drinks and events that are relevant to the brand’s consumers. The account does not overwhelm followers with its products, and pinners are more likely to follow for the brand’s unique images. Allen Edmonds only has a few boards, which blend in together in content. Cole Haan keeps posts interesting and colorful, making each board stand out and draw pinners to the content. Rancourt & Co. Rancourt & Co. recognizes the im- portance of helping potential cus- tomers visualize the well-dressed man they wish to emulate. Allen Edmonds misses this opportunity on Pinterest by focusing mainly on photographs of products set against plain white or dark ma- hogany backdrops, rather than photographs of people wear- ing Allen Edmonds shoes. While these types of images certainly have their place, Pinterest is bet- ter geared toward inspirational, creative and stylish pictures. Allen Edmonds should harness this so- cial platform to share images that inspire shoppers to emulate the classic style associated with the Allen Edmonds brand. Brooks BrothersAllen Edmonds should follow Brooks Brothers’ lead by creat- ing boards to inspire its custom- ers. The brand pins engaging content that helps to educate the pinner. For example, the “Did You Know…” board includes diagrams with names of differ- ent parts of shirts, suit jackets and shoes. Brooks Brothers also provides inspiration to its con- sumers through its “Style Icon” board. J. Crew J. Crew expertly balances promo- tional content and lifestyle images on Pinterest, positioning the brand among leading fashion brands. The brand image balances clas- sic and youthful, tailored and free-spirited, thereby appealing to everyone from back-to-school shoppers to stalwart supporters of high fashion through its Pinter- est content. J. Crew uses its dif- ferent Pinterest boards to capture the different interests of its diverse target market. Allen Edmonds should create boards specific to the younger demographic while maintaining the brand’s already loyal older demographic. 75
  76. 76. BLOG: RECRAFTING ITS IMAGEWhile the blog gives the brand a personal touch, posts lack consistency and are incredibly sparse. As one of the company’s oldest social media engagements, the blog boasts a meager average of 14 posts per year and doesn’t offer opportunities for customer engagement on the site. While the blog occasionally discusses things beyond Allen Edmonds products, the main focus is on the company itself. Allen Edmonds should focus the blog as a channel for inspiration. The blog should be visually driven rather than text-heavy. Redesigning the blog to make the content more cohesive, aesthetically pleasing and well organized would also help keep consumers on the page. Cole Haan Cole Haan’s blog gives off a fun, inspirational vibe. Allen Edmonds could take after Cole Haan’s blog by offering style advice and ideas. Cole Haan’s blog has a seamless and clean look, helping drive consum- ers to look through all of the brand’s posts with easy navigation. Allen Edmonds could work to follow the same linear style for a more cohe- sive and navigable site. Cole Haan does a good job of speaking directly to the consumer when writing posts, giving readers an insider view. Allen Edmonds also misses an opportuni- ty to capitalize on building inspiration for their consumers by dismissing the social media platform, Tumblr. This microblogging platform allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can re- blog photos or posts that then show up on their followers’ homepages. Tumblr’s re-blogging aspect would has strong potential as an owned platform for Allen Edmonds. Rancourt & Co.Rancourt & Co. is a master of sim- plicity. Majority of the brand’s blog posts offer insights and informa- tion while remaining short and to the point. This allows the brand to post more frequently and cover a wide range of topics on the sur- face level. Allen Edmonds needs to be more consistent in posting blog posts, without large lapses of time between each post. Ran- court&Co.alsoorganizesitsposts with common tags, such as “new shoes,” “weekly new release,” “before and after,” and more. This helps readers find articles on top- ics they would like to learn more about. Brooks BrothersThe clean-cut and well-designed Brooks Brothers blog has a us- er-friendly interface that fits within theoverallbrandimage.Theposts are often written in a conversation- al, polished tone, consistent with the perception and reputation of the brand. Once again, Brooks Brothers balances product-based and lifestyle-related content. J. Crew ALLEN EDMONDS CAN LEARN FROM: 76 J. Crew’s blog fits seamlessly into the brand’s website. It is primari- ly visually driven, with brief article titles accompanied by a diverse array of pictures describing the at- tached content. The blog is set up much like Tumblr, using pictures to grab readers’ and lure them to read additional content. The shoemaker would benefit fro dis- playing its shoes and suggested lifestyle images to create content furthering the readers’ perception of Allen Edmonds as a classic and timeless brand with an under- standing of the modern business- man.
  77. 77. RECOMMENDATION#6: WEBSITE The Allen Edmonds website would appeal to a younger target market by incorporating its different social media platforms on the website. Examples of this are a live stream of Allen Edmonds’ Twitter and those tweeting about the brand as well as a feature stream of happy customers incorporating Allen Edmonds into their everyday outfits. 77
  78. 78. CONCLUSIONS:Through our primary and secondary research, we crafted this con- sumer journey as well as corresponding touchpoints for the new Al- len Edmonds man. These touchpoints aid the wants and needs of the consumer throughout his journey to purchasing dress shoes and correspond to his media consumption habits.. By focusing on these mediums and using our recommended messaging strategies, Allen Edmonds will be able to interact and attract the target. 78 WORKSCITED:
  79. 79. 79 Katie Anderson, Grammar Queen Spencer Barry-Jenkins, Visual Engineer Ashley Diddell, Visual Engineer Kiersten Kuc, Word/Social Media Wizard Veronika Sebek, Grammar Queen Alexis Schaefer, Commander in Chief MEET US: