Nordstrom recently announced that Sam Lobban of Mr. Porter will join the retailer as the vice president of men’s designer and new concepts. The move supports Nordstrom’s focus on internal development in its menswear category, including private label, an area where retailers are focusing their digital efforts.
Private label continues to grow as a priority within the digital ecosystem, with major players such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon launching new fashion-forward private labels. L2’s Amazon Intelligence report found that Amazon has launched 69 apparel, shoe, and jewelry labels, and this number continues to grow. Retailers must implement digital strategies to increase the visibility of these offerings in the highly competitive market. The question is how.
Mr. Porter stands out from competitors with its approach to launching its private label Mr P. While brick-and-mortar department store locations have historically used in-store product placement and competitive pricing to drive private label sales, an online consumer base requires Mr. Porter to innovate using digital marketing tactics. Mr. Porter leverages its brand site to promote the private label by including Mr P. products in prominent collections on the homepage that link shoppers to more information. Furthermore, the Mr P. landing page features a video series highlighting various artists who help align the collection with the values of simplicity and quality.
Mr. Porter also leverages Instagram to foster reach and engagement. Using promotional posts on Mr. Porter’s primary social handles, Mr. Porter grew the Mr P.-specific Instagram account to 42,000 followers in eight months. Though this is significantly smaller than Mr. Porter’s following of 988,000, Mr P. followers generate more than three times as much engagement, indicating that Mr P. is creating content that’s relevant to the sub-account’s audience. However, only time will tell whether Sam Lobban employs similar tactics in his new environment.