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Kohl’s and Fifth Harmony sing the praises of combining social with sales

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June 26, 2015

Fifth Harmony members are Candie's new celebrity spokeswomen

Fifth Harmony members are Candie’s new celebrity spokeswomen

Kohl’s junior apparel brand Candie’s created a sensation through social media after announcing a partnership with singing group Fifth Harmony, and is now taking the viral commotion to retail by driving sales through social channels.

On June 23, the brand announced that the new Candie’s Girls are the ladies of Fifth Harmony and fans took to social media with their excitement of the news, sharing photos and related content. The brand quickly jumped to leverage this excitement by encouraging Fifth Harmony fans to purchase merchandise through social media on digital and mobile.

“The line between ecommerce and social media is blurring fast and Kohl’s seems to hit a marketing home run here, by inextricably linking the popularity of Fifth Harmony their in-house Candies brand,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development at Unbound Commerce. “A big miss in the context of mobile, however, is that Kohl’s has not mobile-optimized the Candies page for their social click-through traffic.

“Their target demographic likely uses mobile far more than desktop and delivering a standard ecommerce page for all this highly pre-qualified traffic is likely costing them a lot of conversions,” he said. “Another flaw is that the Candies look and feel does not follow through the mobile shopping experience, since clicking any of the categories simply lands a mobile shopper on the standard Kohl’s mobile category page.”

Social support
The brand took to social media to publicize the partnership and fans flooded these channels to pledge their support and excitement surrounding the sponsorship. Posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram read “So excited to announce our new Candie’s Girls… Fifth Harmony,” along with images of the women sporting the brand’s apparel.

Candie’s hashtag for the campaign, #5HxCandies, started to trend within hours of the announcement. Fans of the group made a noticeable stir through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram sharing a significant number of images and content related to the spokeswomen.

The brand quickly realized that this was an opportunity to drive digital sales through these platforms. Candie’s took to Twitter sharing a post with an image of a computer screen and a member of Fifth Harmony.

The text directed users to Candie’s Web site to view clothing that the women of the group are wearing, along with a fashion quiz and more images related to the group. Similar posts were featured on Facebook and Instagram, in which pictures of the apparel were shared with a link to purchase.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 5.06.50 PM
Candies encourages users to shop through its Instagram account

Customers shopping for the merchandise are directed to Kohl’s retail Web site, as the brand is exclusively available at Kohl’s.

The brand received over 500,000 on posts regarding the Fifth Harmony announcement. More importantly, the brand received an extra 10,000 followers over social media platforms succeeding the news.

Gaining that many followers in such a short time shows how beneficial partnering with these big name stars can be. Celebrities have such a large reach and can take a campaign to a much more substantial level.

Through the addition of these followers the brand can now market its merchandise to a much greater audience and direct higher sales.

Youtube and sales
It is not just traditional celebrities that have this pull. Candie’s will also be leveraging the audience from YouTube character, Miranda Sings and expects its social channels to triple in followers.

YouTube channels are becoming an increasing staple in the marketing industry and brands are becoming more cognizant of their reach.

An executive from Coca-Cola at the 2015 Integrated Marketing Week detailed how the brand uses YouTube and its stars as a jumping-off point to experiment with marketing innovation and connect with millennials (see more).

Driving sales through social media such as what Candie’s has done with Fifth Harmony is simple way for brands and retailers to increase sales. It takes minimal effort for the brand to link out merchandise and generates a seamless journey for shoppers to purchase.

Recently, fashionable apparel and accessories retailer Hennes & Mauritz, commonly known as H&M, boosted its sales with curated lists of trending items in the form of a blog post on social media, playing on consumers’ love of pictures and snackable content (see more).

“Mobile is too important to the success of a campaign like this one to be short-changed,” Mr. Kerr. “A dedicated mobile landing page is minimum ante and would greatly enhance both user experience and the conversion percentage that drives the mobile ROI.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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