When it comes to the items one chooses to display in their home, it’s a matter of personal taste.
Few brands understand this better than stylish home furnishings retailer Z Gallerie. Their latest brand-wide initiative—called Style Personalities—is built upon a simple style assessment, the result of which is being used to create personalized shopping experiences for customers who visit their site or any of their 60 retail stores nationwide. Imagine: tailored landing pages, emails, ads, social images, catalogs and even interactions with store associates focused on the stuff you love. It’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s fundamentally driven by a growing penchant for interactive experiences and visual content.
In the following Q&A, Loren Mattia—Content Marketing Manager for Z Gallerie—describes the who, what, where, when, why and how behind this unique omnichannel initiative, along with some key results.
1. Tell us about Style Personalities. What’s the experience like for the customer?
Style Personalities is a brand-wide initiative developed by Z Gallerie’s marketing team, built on the foundation of a personal approach to style. It all starts with a fun and interactive quiz that gives us a sense of the customer’s aesthetic. By answering a series of quick questions (e.g., “Which style of wall decor do you prefer?”), consumers are driven to one of five potential results, or Style Personalities. This ranges from our primary consumer aesthetic—Glamorous Regency—to Calmly Collected.
Once they’re in our system, the idea is to engage shoppers with personalized content and messaging across a variety of consumer touch points, including our digital site, print catalog and brick-and-mortar stores. From there, customers who take the quiz receive personalized recommendations—product suggestions, social content and even digital ads—all tailored to their own sense of style.
2. What was the inspiration behind the campaign?
Over the last couple of years, viral quizzes have taken the social landscape by storm, but few retailers in the home furnishings space have capitalized on it.
The modern consumer is looking for retailers that are invested in building personal relationships.
We saw a quiz as the perfect starting point.
Another source of inspiration was the fact that we didn’t know a whole lot about our customers’ different style preferences. We’ve become known for our glamorous and distinctive pieces, but our furnishings and decor can appeal to a wide array of aesthetics, from more traditional to ultra-modern.
The five different results are a way for us to embrace Z Gallerie’s primary aesthetic, while at the same time broadening our appeal to customers who may describe their personal style in a slightly different way. It’s allowing us to showcase our products in a new light, without alienating consumers who come to us for that fashion-forward regency look we’re known for.
3. How did you develop the different personalities? What type of analysis was involved?
We started by identifying what we’re known for in the retail space, or our “sweet spot” – and that’s the Hollywood, fashion-forward, glamorous look. We needed to identify that style first before we could differentiate it from the others. Unsurprisingly, 45% of respondents have received this result so far. While this confirms that many of our customers gravitate toward this Hollywood look, it also tells us that we need to start increasing our market share in the other four styles in order to attract new customers with different tastes.
To identify the remaining four Style Personalities, we looked at the competitive landscape. How could we appeal to customers who shop the competition without straying from our brand essence? From there, we looked at our current product lines and top performing content across social to identify the remaining personalities that further differentiate us from the pack. All in all, we came up with five personalities, giving us a way to attract new shoppers while staying true to our core customer.
4. What impact will each personality have on the type of content a customer sees?
We worked very hard on ensuring that the follow up marketing for this quiz was not only shoppable but resourceful. After completing the quiz, the customer is driven to a custom landing page that features products aligned to their style, social content from Pinterest and Houzz, as well as shoppable UGC (user-generated content) from Instagram (via Curalate Fanreel).
We also made it a point for these landing pages to highlight related styles that are similar to their result, in case the result they received isn’t fully resonating.
In addition, customers will receive a three-part email welcome series to help paint a clear picture of their style, followed by customized messages throughout the year. To continue supporting the initiative throughout the holiday season, we sent segmented emails to customers who had taken the quiz with customized gift recommendations related to their Style Personality.
As it turned out, this personal touch led to some of our highest open rates of the month. Our launch email was among the top three most opened emails in November, even beating out Black Friday.
5. How are you spreading the word? What are the main distribution channels for driving awareness around the quiz?
For this program, all of our channels will be utilized to reach as many of our existing and prospective customers as possible. Around the end of September, we released the quiz on social media, with social influencers (see an example of how this came to fruition below), in digital advertising, and in all of our stores nationwide.
Since this relies so heavily on virality in social, we’re utilizing advertising across most of our social channels, including Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, as well as creating social content to really give color to each personality.
We’ve gotten some great feedback from our store employees in the field too, who are using the quiz as a tool to get a better sense of their customers’ style so they can suggest a product that is tailored to their taste.
Another big push was to aim to get our email subscribers to take it. Our Spring ‘16 catalog is dedicated to Style Personalities, showcasing room inspiration, new products aligned to each Style Personality (or “Personality Pieces”), and more, which will expose even more existing and prospective customers to the system.
And that’s really just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting program that will continue to grow.
6. What teams were involved in getting this initiative off the ground?
What started out as a series of casual lunch meetings with our CMO and a few members of our small marketing team has become so much bigger. Once we developed the quiz and personalities, a ton of teams became involved – our field teams, photo stylists, merchandisers, designers and senior leadership teams. All are versed in Style Personalities.
We see Style Personalities as a foundation of not just marketing but our brand.
7. Did you come across any unforeseen challenges in launching the campaign?
While we’re confident that our quiz will give customers an accurate result based on how they answered the questions, one issue that we considered is – what if a customer’s result does not resonate with them or speak to their taste?
Thankfully, one of the most exciting and intentionally designed components of Style Personalities is their relationship to each other. The logo for the quiz—five interlocking circles—shows how each personality is related to the other, so that customers can bring in elements from complementary styles if they don’t feel 100% committed to one or the other.
8. What do you think the reaction will be from your customers? Why?
So far, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve had many conversations with our store associates, who have a wealth of information. They’ve let us know that the quiz has been a great way to start a casual conversation with customers while also getting to know them and their needs.
Taking a closer look at the data, it’s clear that personalized content—both in stores and online—are driving a higher customer engagement. Display ads that feature personalized product images are generating 1.5x more engagement than our average digital ad. Additionally, we are seeing a 1.4x lift in average order value for customers that engage with the Style Personalities program.
9. What are you looking to learn from this initiative?
Bottom line is that we’re looking to learn what our customers styles are and widen our appeal to more prospective customers. But, once we have a substantial pool of data, the sky’s the limit. We may tweak the way we merchandise our products, adjust our overall marketing strategy, and much more.