L2 released the Best of Mobile Insight Report in January, detailing best practices from the top brands in mobile. Tory Burch’s Tory Daily app was selected as the best mobile app in Fashion for its integration of content and commerce. The app has been downloaded 700,000 times to date, and is a daily destination for the majority of the Tory Daily visitors. We spoke with Tory Burch Creative Director Honor Brodie to find out what differentiates a brand blog with low visits and one with recurring traffic. A few tips we picked up from speaking with Brodie:
1. Create content, not marketing material. Last week, Tory Daily posted about Larry David’s new play “A Fish in the Dark” and the favorite restaurants of photographer Douglas Friedman. Posts do link to Tory Burch products, but not every one centers on Tory Burch products or even fashion. Brodie – who oversees the blog – has worked as a journalist for Vanity Fair and InStyle, which is evidence of the commitment to storytelling on the blog.
2. Global message, local channels. A third of the Tory Daily traffic is from outside of the U.S., with an engaged audience in China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Tory Daily content doesn’t vary for specific countries, but is posted on local social channels Sina Weibo and WeChat and leverages local influencers. For the opening of the Kerry Center flagship store, Tory Daily published a Shanghai issue featuring local talents and insiders Leaf Greener, Melvin Chua and Elle Décoration China editor Leon Sun.
3. Maintain authenticity. If a post features a tastemaker in a Tory Burch look, the team asks that she accessorize with her own accessories. Because in Brodie’s words “This is how people dress.” While the goal of a brand blog is sales, visitor will not check in daily without that authenticity.
Full Q&A below:
Tell us about your background in print.
I started my career in print in the West Coast office of Vanity Fair. As the West Coast Editor’s assistant, I learned the art of putting Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood Issue together—from booking celebrities to organizing photo shoots to orchestrating the Oscar party. Two years later, I joined InStyle where I was an editor for twelve years. At InStyle I started as a reporter and celebrity booker. When I moved back to New York, I graduated to writing cover stories and editing features. I learned the importance of deep reporting, packaging issues and extending print content to television and the web.
What do you take from your experience and how do you mix it with Tory Burch’s commerce goals?
A magazine background teaches you how to edit—to focus and sharpen the messaging around an idea—be it a seasonal launch or an editorial feature. It also teaches you how to be consistent (or deliberately unique) in every medium you communicate from digital to editorial, social, print marketing, or store windows.
I love to tell stories and at Tory Burch there is a real story to tell. Tory’s lifestyle defines the vision for the brand and creates a clear focus for the type of content we create both commercially and editorially. Every collection has an inspiration— be it a trip to Marrakech or a film from the late 60’s. We take that inspiration first seen on the runway and blow it out across our channels when the collection arrives.
One of the standout features of your app is the find in-store feature next to add to cart. When was that added, and how often is it used relative to the e-commerce button?
We added Find in store to our product detail pages at the end of last year. Because it is a new feature we are still gathering performance data but anecdotally the feedback from customers and our retail team has been very positive.
Tory Daily posts music, interviews, and other types of content not directly related to Tory Burch clothing and accessories. What drives these posts?
Our editors cover a wide range of topics: style, culture, entertaining, music, business and philanthropy. A playlist from Randall Poster, a feature on Oscar de la Renta’s resort or an interview with entrepreneur Misha Nonoo do not directly relate back to commerce, but they are an extension of Tory’s own interests and those of our team. And when editorial content does support the business, we want it to be interesting and authentic. For instance, when we photograph a tastemaker dressed in a look from our collection, we prefer she wear it with her own accessories. This is how people dress. The stories that perform the best consistently include our style guides, interviews with tastemakers and any content that features Tory’s personal style and inspiration. We launched Tory Daily in 2008 and followed with the app in 2012. The majority of Tory Daily visitors read our content daily through our app. We have received nearly 700,000 downloads to date. Newer readers find us through the ToryBurch.com or through content syndicated to our social channels, in particular, Instagram, Pinterest and Weibo.
Where are most Tory Daily readers based? How does content translate to audiences in different countries?
We syndicate our Tory Daily content across all of our social channels; however, each has a specific goal so the content is interpreted differently. In China, we utilize our Tory Daily content on Weibo and WeChat on a consistent basis. As a company, our point of view is global which extends to our daily editorial content. When we open a flagship, we create dedicated issues celebrating the city where we are opening the store. For our Kerry Center opening, we created a Shanghai issue that featured local talents and insiders like blogger Leaf Greener, Melvin Chua, and Elle Décoration China editor Leon Sun. These tastemakers gave their tips to local restaurants, museums, and interesting boutiques. The content on Tory Daily is global. It is available on our international sites. One third of traffic to Tory Daily comes from outside of the United States. We see a lot of engagement from China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Japan. We are working on translations, but since we place such a premium on visual storytelling, the content is still engaging to non-English speakers. A picture tells a story and needs no translation.
What are some of the challenges of creating the Tory Daily site and app?
It often takes longer to create a new layout in digital than in print. And what’s labor intensive to develop is not always intuitive. This is why it is so important that a strong relationship exists between the editor, art director and developer. To drive innovation and efficiency our editors, art directors and developers collaborate closely on anything new. What’s exciting is when we launched the site, it was a super small team and it took a long time to create a story. We have grown, expanded our coverage and reach. Tory is as excited and involved as she was when we launched. The editorial team, led by Anne Monoky, interacts with the entire company. Ideas come from everyone.