Karen Millen Recalibrates Brand Strategy Putting Women In The Forefront

Karen Millen franchise
Karen Millen Luxury Women's Clothes and Fashion

Karen Millen is a multinational British-born womens clothing retailer; we specialise in tailoring, coats, footwear, and eveningwear.

16/12/2017 18:00 | Retail & Stores

The leading UK fashion retailer, Karen Millen has a newly formed all-female leadership who are changing the name of the game in retail strategy from a commercially driven marketing to a product and in-store customer based experience. The dream team was formed at a time business had suffered operating losses that were at a £10.5m peak, profits plummeted by 8% and sales dropped by 10% globally. Beth Butterwick was brought in as the fashion brands new chief executive officer, Emily Tate as chief financial officer and Charlotte Ellis promoted to customer director. In a recent interview with The Drum, Ellis expressed:

The brand really took the opportunity [with the new management] to step back and look at what the customer really wanted and what we done thats different to the rest of the high street.

Prior to kicking off a gargantuan piece customer research, Karen Millen revamped its internal structure to be more in tune with its customers needs and expectations.

We are the voice of the customer in the business. And were also the voice of the brand for the customer; so rather than working in traditional silos, which a lot of retailers still struggle with (particularly when youve been going for 35 years like Karen Millen has) were now incredibly agile and progressive in our mind set.

The business strategy is now being driven by the brand strategy having listened to our target audience.

The research they conducted revealed two types of customers women who emotionally invest in a Karen Millen piece for a special occasion whether it is a job interview, a wedding or a cocktail party. Then there are women who wear Karen Millen for practical reasons almost as a uniform so they dont have to worry about what to wear every day. In order to engage with both types of customers, traditional beginning of season and above-the-line campaigns had to be replaced by a year-round, content-led strategy.

Weve started to layer content into big moments in season that resonate with the brand beyond product. Were seeing that across the fashion space, but I think at the premium market its not being adopted so we wanted to be ahead of the game. Weve also increased paid marketing but weve focused on paid media on social media channels namely Facebook and Instagram as well as programmatic and retargeting, said Ellis.

Women Who Can is one of the campaigns born from Karen Millens dream team where, through editorial content, social activations and in-store events, women empowerment is heralded through inspiring women in business, sports and technology. The campaign aims to equip women with the tools, knowledge and support to achieve their goals by partnering with Step Up, a career development club run by women for other women. As the leading fashion retailer brand recalibrates, it is beginning to reap fruits of its labour.

Simply put by Ellis: Taking that leap as a brand when youve been doing one thing for so long and deciding its not the right way moving forward and make that change has been fantastic. Weve seen social and database growth and direct digital sales have really benefitted. Its still relatively focused on the UK but we are seeing success globally [across 60 international stores].


post a comment

The Comment will be public. If your are interested by this Franchise, please fill out your personnal details on the request information form.

Characters remaining: 250