How Schott NYC Leveraged Paid Social to Launch New Market

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
a man wearing a suit and tie

Schott NYC has been around forever, but the iconic brand must continue to evolve if it is going to compete in the modern, digital age. The apparel manufacturer and retailer has produced fine leather goods for more than a century and is known throughout the industry for inventing and perfecting the motorcycle leather jacket.

Despite its status in apparel’s hall of fame, the brand needs to continue to evolve in the modern age, and attract new fans if it is going to flourish for another 100 years. Part of the retailer’s long-term plan is to grow its direct-to-consumer channel both through its digital properties and its growing portfolio of physical locations.

Two years ago Schott NYC opened a location in Chicago and earlier this year embarked on a partnership with Brand Networks to promote the store and grow its social following through a paid social media marketing campaign.

This spring Schott NYC and Brand Networks partnered on a month-long, social media campaign, designed to bring awareness to the brand and drive traffic to the Chicago store. The overall strategy was to promote the store through the use of Chicago-inspired content, and personalize the brand’s social presence in the market.

“Traditionally on social media we promote the Schott NYC brand, not a specific location,” says Jennifer Goldszer, VP marketing, Schott NYC. “Brand Networks came in to help us to identify and utilize the local brand ambassadors that we have working for us in our stores. The people who work for us in our Chicago store know the customers that are coming into the store better than anyone else. They are in a unique position to be able to speak directly to those customers.”

To personalize the social experience for its Chicago customers, Schott turned over the reins of its Chicago store’s social media to its store associates, with a big helping hand from Brand Networks.

Brand Networks sent its social expert to the Chicago store to mentor the associates on the finer points of social media including how to best utilize photography and interesting and innovative content to make connections with followers.

“We have run social campaigns, but never in this way before,” says Goldszer. “The people who are managing our social are not social media experts. They have great ideas and vision and they understand the product, but they are sales associates. Having Brand Networks come in and create a content calendar and identify successful posts really helped maximize the campaign as a whole.”

Schooling Schott’s subject matter experts on the finer points of social media strategy was just the first half of the campaign. The second phase of the month-long social media blitz was ensuring that the right people saw the posts. People who were either fans of the brand, or were likely to become fans, were targeted through a paid social media campaign run by Brand Networks.

“We focus entirely on paid digital advertising,” says Kyle Psaty, VP marketing, Brand Networks. “A lot of companies in Schott’s situation when they launch a new store would tailor the communication on their local feed and would start posting. But organic reach on social today is very low and it is impossible to reach a targeted audience with an organic page. Maybe they would generate a hundred followers and one of them would see their posts every week. For us it's all about using paid digital to make sure our clients get much faster results.

“For Schott NYC, we looked at the markets that are most likely to purchase luxury products like leather goods. In addition, we were able to take some of Schott’s data in terms of their best and highest value customers and match those against look alike audiences so we can target people that share common attributes to those individuals.”

The strategy worked. By combining Schott’s associate’s unique product and customer knowledge with Brand Networks ability to target the content to highly relevant customers the brand was able to drive awareness and foot traffic to its Chicago location. During the one-month social campaign, Schott enjoyed a 27% increase in average weekly traffic to the store, a 66% increase in average spend, and an impressive 111% in total sales.

“It was really helpful for us to learn these processes and techniques for the Chicago store and then roll it out to our other local markets,” says Goldszer. “We continue to post and drive traffic and raise our engagement.”

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