Harvard Business Review - "What Lilly Pulitzer Learned About Marketing to Millennials"

April 04, 2016

IMG_5571-924x462.jpgGoing after millennials can be a challenge! It's a hot topic for retailers as millennial consumers encompass roughly 80M people and $600B in annual spending in the US alone (source). Like many brands, Lilly Pulitzer wanted to understand millennial shoppers. They recognized though, that they have a wide demographic of customers, often saying "we like to say we dress women from 9 to 90" so they wanted to approach this new territory strategically. 

In this Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, Lilly Pulitzer shares how they leverage AgilOne, social media, in-store customer information, and more to fully understand their younger customers and encourage them to engage in a way that’s true to their overall strategy. Lilly Pulitzer has dramatically increased their data driven marketing efforts, and seen big return on their investments.

10 Highlights From The HBR Article

1. Lilly utilized AgilOne to combine data from their CRM system, website, & in-store interactions into a single, unified, platform to understand their consumer journey and preferences.

2. Their research reaffirmed the importance of online shopping for younger buyers - in a survey, 85% indicated that e-commerce was their preferred means of shopping.

3. Millennials showed a willingness to spend morelilly on brands that focus on quality & authenticity.

4. Millennials liked the story of Lilly herself - identifying with her as a young entrepreneur!

5. Lilly historically pictured mothers passing their love for Lilly on to their daughters - but with data, they discovered millennials held enormous power to encourage other demographics.

lilly36. Although spending among millennials wasn’t as high as other segments, they formed a  larger % of the customer base   than Lilly realized, and were one of the highest engaged.

7. Segmenting marketing efforts with past purchase history was more effective than segmenting on demographics. So instead of trying to tailor our direct mail and email messages according to a customer’s age, they began to rely more on data and analytics.

8. Customized mailers delighted Lilly’s customers - they actively took pictures of the mailer and posted them on social channels, generating greater brand awareness.

9. Check out the article to learn more about Lilly's success with  their Target partnership in 2015

10. (My Favorite!) Lilly was the first fashion brand to work with Snapchat to offer branded Snapchat filters for users that visited Lilly stores! Snapchat filters delivered 97% more engagements than on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter combined.


Want to learn more about Lilly Pulitzer's Journey? 

LillyPulitzerCover-876105-edited.pngRead Lilly Pulitzer's Full Case Study here: