Michael Kors’ Marketing Success Story
The past 4 years have been incredible for the team at Michael Kors. They’ve grown their revenue by more than $3 billion, and they’ve grown net income by more than 500%. What’s their secret? Well, for starters, Michael Kors’ marketing team has undertaken several incredibly noteworthy campaigns. Let’s take a look at some.
A) The HENRY Effect: Michael Kors’ marketing seems to target HENRY (“High Earners Not Rich Yet”) consumers. These are the people who make between $100,000 and $250,000. This segment is increasing steadily not just in the USA, but all across the globe. Even after admitting the fact that HENRYs individually have a far lower spending threshold than ultra-affluents, there are 13 HENRY households for every ultra-affluent. That is why with a total of 22.3 million households, the HENRY segment is a critically important part of the consumer market. With $550 handbags and $350 watches Michael Kors is becoming a better choice for HENRYs, as they can flaunt it without putting too much burden on the pocket.
B) Instagram Marquee Ads: In 2015, Michael Kors became the first brand to use Instagram’s new Marquee video ads. It created 3 videos for its Marquee campaigns starring Lily Aldridge walking, shopping, eating and cycling around beautiful Paris to showcase the various shoes and their versatility from Michael Kors Jet Set 6 Collection.
Michael Kors Instagram videos featuring model Lily Aldridge
After this campaign, the brand forged a partnership with Instagram and Facebook to create a custom audience of the hundreds of thousands of Instagram users who saw the Marquee ad. With the help of Facebook, those customers were targeted. It drove 200,000 people to the Michael Kors’s website over a 30-day period. Not just that…it enhanced the traffic to its Jet Set and shoe product pages by 2.6 times.
C) #WhatsInYourKors Campaign: In 2013, Michael Kors came up with a digital media campaign with the help of Twitter and Instagram under the title “What’s In Your Kors?” The idea of the campaign was simple- based on its accessory base, Kors invited fans to accessorize their wardrobe for the upcoming holiday and summer season. They asked followers and fans to upload photos of what they’re carrying around in their beloved handbags.
This was a great early visual user generated content campaign that really tapped into the individuality of each Kors customer. An interesting thing to note here is that they used the same hashtag alongside style tips and advice. If you want to learn how to recycle the unique hashtag for a long term social media campaign, this is perhaps the best example. If you want more advice on picking the right hashtag for your UGC or visual commerce campaign, check out this post.
D) Mother’s Day Contest: In 2012, Michael Kors’ marketing team rolled out a campaign called “What She Wants” for Mother’s day. Though it was integrated with Facebook, it was the first time that brand made its campaign mobile-compatible. The idea was to reach out to daughters in need of last-minute gifts, affluent consumers who are also mothers and aspirational consumers who want to win products. The entire content was located on the Facebook app and consumers were able to win one item chosen by Mr. Kors from the summer collection each day for the next 13 days leading up to Mother’s Day.
It worked in a simple way. A countdown to Mother’s Day appeared on the page Friday and told consumers that they can return on Monday for the sweepstakes. The brand also sent an email featuring a campaign slogan. Users were directed to the Mother’s Day section of the ecommerce site after they had clicked the email. Besides, The Michael Kors Twitter account was using the hashtag #WhatSheWants to stimulate a conversation. For example, @MichaelKors tweeted, “Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Get her #WhatSheWants!” and linked to the ecommerce site. That wasn’t the end of the campaign…all the Mother’s day products were displayed on a Pinterest board named What She Wants.
E) Jet Set Campaign: As everyone on the earth knows that China is a huge market, each and every big name wants to have a presence there. Michael Kors just followed that trend. In 2014, Michael Kors opened its first flagship store in Shanghai, and the brand developed a campaign around the event called “Jet Set Experience”. To create noise around this campaign, Michael Kors started to post the content related to travel on Sina Weibo. Then they built the entire contest around WeChat and Sina Weibo to upsurge the interaction with users. Once they established enough dialogue with the masses, they collaborated with the prestigious fashion magazine called Elle China. Along with that, it also created alliances with many social influencers to get the base of credibility. To make a better use of those influencers, the luxury brand also created microsites where influencers could show their versions of the jet set lifestyle. To make it aspirational, which should the main goal of any contest, users had the chance of attending the Jet Set event.
F) #MKTimeless Contest: In August 2012, Michael Kors’ marketing strategy included a two-week contest on Instagram, asking users to share pictures of their favorite Michael Kors watch with the hashtag #MKTimeless. The winner got a limited edition watch. But this time, Michael Kors integrated Tumblr as well in its campaign. The user- generated images were called “Arm Parties” and they acted as an inspiration board for enthusiasts looking for accessory styles and ideas.
Even without Tumblr account, a user was able to participate by using the hashtag #MKTimeless on Instagram. Besides, Michael Kors continuously reblogged content found on other blogs on the site to further attract the Tumblr community. The tiles were seven across and laced with a quote by brand founder, Michael Kors. Mr. Kors’ quotes revolved around watches and accessorizing with jewelry. The results of the campaign were more than satisfactory.
- 50% growth in followers of the brand’s Instagram account
- Over 6,800 user-generated photos submitted with hashtag #MKTimeless
- 3,000 entries submitted within the first 24 hours of the contest
- A brand Facebook post with the contest rules received 19,000 ‘likes’
To conclude… It’s too obvious that social media has been the fulcrum of Michael Kors’ marketing adventures for last 5 to 6 years. And it’s understandable too…simply because it is the modern place where most of the people all across the globe dwell. And thus it becomes the appropriate mode to catch and target them, as DNA of any marketing campaign is incomplete without public participation. To learn more about visual UGC, check out our visual commerce best practices e-book and our rundown of the most exciting UGC concepts for 2017!