When Coach snapped up Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade for a combined nearly $3 billion as part of its ongoing restructuring plan, it appears to have been as much a data play as a brand play. And the newly formed “luxury conglomerate” has big plans for its new trove of customer data.
Know Your Audience, Then Get to Know Them
The three brands that make up the new company, which has been dubbed Tapestry, together capture data on tens of millions of households, 80 million in the U.S. and 120 million globally, CEO Victor Luis told Glossy in an interview. A database of that size comprised of luxury brand shoppers is a valuable asset, and Tapestry is looking to capitalize on it across its brand portfolio.
The Kate Spade acquisition was part of Coach’s strategy targeting millennials, who Luis told Glossy make up 60 percent of Kate Spade’s customers. Coach hopes to leverage this data to gain valuable insight into the generation’s shopping habits and preferences.
By linking the customer databases of the three companies, Coach is circling the wagons to gain a more holistic view of its customer base, and help Tapestry more effectively target the demographic groups in its sights. It’s not just the collection of this data, but the rigorous and insightful analysis of it that is the source of Coach’s real prize.
Fashion Brands are Taking a Page From Startups’ Playbook
One competitive advantage Coach hopes to gain is the ability to push product out to market faster and based on real-time supply chain intelligence, which is made possible in part by the newly acquired customer data. By proactively monitoring what’s selling and what isn’t, combined with the insights into customer habits, Coach is, in essence, adopting a business model more like a startup.
And that’s exactly what Lisa Pomerantz, CMO of Bottega Veneta (the luxury brand owned by Keurig) said brands should be doing. Speaking at the Decoded Fashion Summit in New York City earlier this month, as reported by Glossy, Pomerantz said luxury brands should look to startups
“for their agility and their ability to move fast; those are the fundamentals of how luxury brands need to act today.”
Many fashion brands are taking a reactionary approach to customer trends, largely driven by better data acquisition and analysis. As a result, they’ve boosted the speed they get new products from concept to store shelves to a dizzying degree, from an average of 12-18 months down to as little as four weeks, according to Glossy.
Inorganic acquisition of customer data, synergized relationships between jointly owned brands and more intelligent analysis of the data collected is giving brands the chance to get up close and personal with customers in a way never before possible. As the successes pile up, expect even more brands from all corners to follow suit.