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Deepening customer engagement has been a critical strategic priority for officials at Vera Bradley this year and, according to CEO Rob Wallstrom, that continues to be the case.
“Marketing and brand building are critical investments as we work to bring new customers into our brand and strengthen our bond with our existing customers,” Wallstrom said during the company’s second-quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday, according to Seeking Alpha. “As you know, we are investing approximately $8 million in additional marketing this year. We are very happy that Theresa Palermo joined us at the end of June as our new Chief Marketing Officer and she has hit the ground running. Our primary marketing objectives are to generate brand awareness, evolve our brand perception, drive store and site visits, and inspire brand engagement.”
Wallstrom noted the launch of the I Am campaign, which delivered more than 500 million impressions through a combination of print and digital media. The campaign focuses on storytelling and relatable moments, and will continue into the fall season.
“We know that there is not a magic bullet when it comes to the right media mix,” Wallstrom said. “However, we are working to deepen our consumer engagement with the continued focus on print, combined with richer content on social media, increased emphasis on public relations, and more targeted digital media spend. We believe this combination will ensure we have both a broad rich as well as a well-targeted nimble, cohesive, and integrated campaign.”
What’s more, Vera Bradley officials are working to further leverage consumer data to ensure relevant communications.
“We are really encouraged by the movement in our social media metrics from the first quarter to the second,” Wallstrom said. “We are casting a much wider blogger net and our blogger impressions increased from nine million to 11 million, not only due to increased blogger events, but because our new products are attracting more influencers and giving them a lot more to blog about.”
Total PR impressions tripled from 2 billion to 6 billion due to increased media, Facebook, Instagram, and blogger placement. From the first quarter to the second, Instagram likes increased to 1.3 million, new Facebook fans increased 84%, and Facebook impressions grew 78% to 13.8 million.
“Our marketing efforts will build throughout the balance of the year increasing awareness and engagement,” Wallstrom said. “We remained committed to our long-term strategic plan, which is designed to drive traffic and bring new customers to Vera Bradley. We will continue to innovate and modernize our products, increase exposure to our brand and offerings by prudently growing our distribution points, and drive brand and product awareness through our elevated marketing efforts. Sue and I will update you on our progress against these elements of our strategic plan later in the call.”
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