What a difference a year makes. After being stuck in the “Average” category in both our 2011 and 2012 Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail reports, J.Crew finally made the leap to “Gifted” in 2013, increasing its Digital IQ by 31 percent to come in No. 13 out of 71 U.S. retailers. A big part of J.Crew’s success has been its social media efforts, which have gone from zero to 60 this year. On Twitter alone, where the official @JCrew account didn’t publish an update for almost the entirety of 2012, the retailer established a regular and original voice, tweeting on average between two to three times per day, varying the content and engaging consistently with followers and fans. But J.Crew’s digital strategy involves far more than just increased social media presence. They’ve also grown significantly when it comes to emerging platforms and especially with video, producing beautifully-shot short films like March’s “Shiny Ponies” and May’s “Pretty Swell” which have already garnered an impressive 216K+ and 88K+ views, respectively. In the interview above, L2’s Head of Research & Advisory Maureen Mullen discusses the whole of CEO Mickey Drexler’s digital vision and the many things his company has done so well over the past year.

To download an excerpt from this year’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail study (released yesterday), and to watch an animated video highlighting key findings, click here.

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