Seeking new ways to engage and reward its social audience, as well as to broaden its reach on Pinterest, fashion retailer CUSP by Neiman Marcus made a new exclusive product -- the Rebecca Minkoff Elle handbag in red -- available only through Pinterest for a limited time.
The effort resulted in nearly 3,000 new followers, as well as a 20% increase in pinning and a 35 percent increase in repinning from Neiman's website, the brand says.
According to its website, CUSP is "a new contemporary concept by Neiman Marcus" that "hand delivers the latest must-haves" from designers and up-and-coming names in "hip store and online environments."
"We have the bag depicted on multiple social channels, but they're all linking to our Pinterest board," says Jean Scheidnes, social media managing editor for Neiman.
As of August 13, Scheidnes says the bag had not yet sold out. She declined to provide a figure for the number of bags sold through the initiative.
However, according to Apu Gupta, CEO of Pinterest and Instagram analytics firm Curalate, about 200 to 300 bags were available.
"I look at this as an interesting opportunity -- a user sees content and clicks through to land on a secret page on the Neiman Marcus website. [Consumers] cannot actually search for the page on Neiman Marcus, so [the brand knows] people are arriving on the page via this campaign," Gupta says. "I think that this is going to point toward interesting co-marketing opportunities in the future featuring brands on retailers' Pinterest boards in compelling ways."
According to Scheidnes, Minkoff is a key vendor for Neiman and the bag in question is a key launch for the Minkoff brand.
"Given Minkoff and [fashion blogger] Bryanboy's strengths in social media, we were confident we could build nice buzz for it and we wanted to experiment with rewarding our Pinterest audience," Scheidnes says.
Bryanboy is a friend of Minkoff and named the bag after his grandmother, Scheidnes says.
According to Gupta, Neiman wanted to do more than just gain followers.
"We identified that they have this great relationship with Minkoff, who gives them from time to time products they can feature exclusively in whatever channel they want, so we came up with the idea, ‘What if we took some of the products and featured them on a specific channel?'" Gupta says. "We said, ‘Wouldn't it be cool if as a result of paying attention to [the brand, consumers] were given exclusive early access to a cool product?'
That enabled Neiman to tie a specific product to an action that a user takes, he adds.
"I think it's important that this isn't going to be a one-off type of thing. It's about Neiman Marcus putting more attention behind Pinterest and really taking an experiment and testing their learning and [planning to] do more going forward," Gupta says.
On August 13, Neiman hosted a Google+ Hangout to discuss fall trends with Minkoff, Bryanboy, Neiman Fashion Director Ken Downing and SnobEssentials.com Chief Editor Tina Craig.
"It's all sort of part of this larger idea of rewarding your fans with content that is uniquely leveraging the platform that the content resides on," Gupta adds.
He also notes this is "an early experiment" and so "while I think they could probably do more to promote it, they are intentionally taking a slightly more measured approach to this."
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT