Building the social and metaverse muscles to deliver modern marketing and customer obsession was a priority for Iconic’s Chief Customer Officer in his first year.
Dean Chadwick Last year, he joined the specialty retailer in the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer. caught up with CMOs It follows the successful return of the brand’s Runway X fashion show to an in-person event format on November 2nd. The 6th edition of this production, a famous event on the Australian fashion calendar, uses the Web 3.0 components introduced at the event to not only demonstrate diversity and inclusion, but also provide mixed reality immersion. did.
“Historically, we’ve been known to take Runway X in new directions. When we were thinking about this year, we thought about the organization’s vision and how we wanted to align on the future,” said Chad. Wick said. CMOs.
“The Iconic is an 11-year-old digital native retailer born in the cloud. Technology is at the forefront and center of our business, and we also have a strong social conscience. Given our foray into 3.0, it was important to think about how to educate ourselves and our customers, and subtly participate in that as a space.
For Chadwick, the driving force became less about the “metaverse” and more about “connecting and merging the real world.” As part of the programme, physical models on the catwalk showcased more than 170 of his looks from major national and international brands such as Manning His Cartwell, Jack + Jack, Mimco, Peta + Jayne and Mosman. .
As a nod to the metaworld, there were also metamodels featured via onstage metamirrors, showing virtual avatar representations of real people in the metaverse. Debuted and auctioned an NFT containing a digital portrait designed by a Bianca Beers. This was coupled with two seasonal styling sessions and wardrobe refreshes each year for the next decade. The physical prizes are worth a total of $20,000.
As with the first foray into metaversethis year’s Chadwick’s Runway X represents a clear case study in modern marketing.
“It’s a great example of how we brought it to market. It’s physical entertainment, it’s a good piece of work, but the lens was very social.” he explained. “We showcased products and hundreds of looks across models, and the talented lineup was an incredible display of diversity.
“Hundreds of influencers and media participated in the conversation before, during and after the show. While the live event lasted just 32 minutes, the conversation stretched across Australia for weeks.”
Influencers were sent packs before the event so they could start conversations, and the show was live-streamed on YouTube, Meta, and TikTok.
“I don’t think many brands have the courage or permission to launch this kind of marketing campaign,” comments Chadwick. “Traditional media is still very important to the media mix, but it has been really great to take Runway X in that direction.
“We were playing well on social, but we built that muscle. We could think of Runway X as a brand moment and who we represent, but It allowed us to have a holistic retail lens to achieve and deliver sales results.”
Social commerce is clearly part of the retailer’s broader strategy, and Chadwick flagged efforts to enhance that capability through The Iconic’s in-house social and paid performance teams.
“We want to show up where our customers are, on the channel where our customers are, so we want to be able to buy the look and build range from the content we provide,” he said.
It’s the dawn of the Metaverse, which Chadwick described as being at “the low-fidelity end of this next era of technological disruption.” But with 65% of his customers under the age of 34, and Gen Z being the fastest growing cohort, doing interesting things to engage audiences in new ways is The Iconic. is essential for
“Web 3.0 and the Metaverse are on the minds of many boards and executive teams. We’re trying to figure out how we can be commercial,” he said.
Chadwick also recognizes that creators and communities play an important role in this new Web 3.0 world. “We always want to engage with these things, but it’s hard to predict where it’s going. Internet dial-up he modem he phase,” he said. rice field.
So learning internally has been an important part of the process this year. Chadwick noted curiosity growing as the team tried to make sense of the metaverse.
“Like any business, there is work to be done. You need to trade, grow your business, gain market share. But you want to make sure part of the lens is on innovation,” said Chadwick. “It’s always been core to who we are. We were the first start-up to revolutionize the online fashion business. We don’t want to lose that essence. We’re 11. A grown-up startup, but still a young retailer.
“It’s important to push the boundaries, but in a careful way – there’s still business to do.”
Chadwick also quoted Erica Berchtold, CEO of The Iconic, on the need for brands to continue to find uniqueness in a world where most retailers are now digitally capable.
“Erika talks about the safety car coming out when Covid hits so everyone can catch up to improve our platform and capabilities in this digital space,” he said. . “Yes, yes, it is important for Iconic to have a clear moat of our uniqueness and differentiation in the market, to remain who we want to be, and to aggressively seek to gain more market share. to be able to play for
Become the first Chief Customer Officer
Runway X bills itself as a milestone in Chadwick’s first year as Iconic’s first Chief Customer Officer. This role has seen marketing integrated with product features as well as customer service, a trio that is crucial in optimizing the customer experience.
“How we are represented on e-commerce platforms through our range of products is another important buying part of the journey,” says Chadwick. “So if a customer knows what they want to buy, they can come and buy it in a seamless way. If not, we create moments that help inspire them along their journey through our platform. increase.”
Chadwick says it’s important to take the position, listen, ask questions, see what’s working and your business strategy, and consider how you can improve your work and your brand. I said yes.
“I am lucky to join an organization where the business is strong and the brand is incredible. further, protect who we are, and enhance the great work that is happening.
“This customer organization gives us the additional mandate of being customer-obsessed at every touchpoint. We want to drive a more exemplary customer journey. , we want to keep our culture as part of our brand and improve our business so that we can compete in the long term.”
Other advantages The Iconic endorses Chadwick are its size, large customer database, and Gen Z connections. He said the expansion of the lifestyle range and the addition of brands such as Gucci Sport are further victories.
And as Customer Chief, Chadwick has many avenues to drive growth. “From my point of view, the main customer role is his modern version of CMO,” he said.
“Marketing should always be broader than communication, and having other means is very important. Another thing is to embed a commercial understanding of the business throughout the organization. We know that when we pull, this is generated by the obligations of that customer above.”
The Iconic already had powerful ways to listen, learn, and measure how customers were feeling, but the optimization opportunities Chadwick found centered around last-mile deliveries. I have.
“This is even more important than the marketing materials we send out to entice customers with our product range in terms of how they feel about Iconic,” he said. All leading and lagging indicators need to be handled appropriately as they are relevant.Looking ahead in the years to come, we will definitely drive a step change in customer loyalty and see how much our employees shopped. , it’s even more important to get hooked on how much you bought and when you last bought from us.
“The great thing about e-commerce businesses is that you get so much richer data through behavioral activity – intent-based searches, traffic, what people are looking at. It’s not about NPS, it’s about combining it into a more coordinated picture from one end to the other to get a real sense of what people are feeling. ”
Having been Virgin Velocity’s CMO for several years, Chadwick knows what a loyalty program is and what it looks like. He believes that this previous professional experience, whether rational or intangible, pertains to how to organize around the customer and manage a large customer base to deliver the right amount of value. He said it would definitely provide insight.
“We are entering a more competitive environment. We need to make sure we bring in the right customers that span that loyalty continuum,” he said. “I focus as much on post-purchase behavior as I do on bringing new things back into the shopping loop at The Iconic.”
According to Chadwick, The Iconic has a strong customer value proposition, including free shipping, a return policy, and an assortment of products. “We start with the product, the whole flywheel starts there, and we have an assortment that people want to buy,” he added.
“The customer organization has allowed us to revitalize our team under the new structure in a way we have never seen before. It allows us to lean into our obsession and loyalty.”