Ralph Lauren’s Multichannel Approach Turns Prospects Into Customers

Founded by its namesake in 1967, the Ralph Lauren Corporation is one of the premier names in fashion retail. Besides high-end clothing, the brand is also known for its accessories, housewares, footwear, fragrances and home goods. The company sells its products both at its own stores and other retailers, and employs direct mail, email and social media to turn prospects into customers.

(Much of this marketing activity is tracked by Who’s Mailing What!, where you can actively follow all the leading brands, your competitors, or both.)

In March, Who’s Mailing What! received an unusual direct mail package. Measuring 7″ x 9-1/2″, the white carrier envelope was blank on the front, and had only the Ralph Lauren logo and New York address on the back flap. But it had a little heft to it, and with good reason. Inside was a textured faux alligator skin clutch, made with heavy cardboard. Although it’s not obvious from this picture, it was pretty convincing.

Once the latch was flipped, a catalog was revealed. Over 36 pages, the catalog presents the label’s Collection Accessories for Spring 2013. A real red alligator purse was one of the items shown.

This is the front of another recent mailing. This self-mailer promoted the opening of the retailer’s new children’s store in Connecticut. As with the cover, the interior pages show kids wearing clothes bearing the iconic polo player.

One of the dozens of emails tracked by Who’s Mailing What! from Ralph Lauren was sent in February, promoting new Spring updates to its classics looks. It also links to the company’s other Web content, which includes lifestyle-based features.

Because of the company’s devotion to high-quality photography across its channels, its Pinterest page is chock-full of boards that showcase the company’s brands in bright, cheery 4-color.

The company’s official Twitter account is quite active, directing followers to its website, and including photos of the latest fashions, as well as some of its retail stores.

Yes, Ralph Lauren is one retail brand that’s worth following because of its effective coordinated effort across all direct marketing channels.

Paul Bobnak is the research director of Who’s Mailing What!, the most complete and fully searchable collection of direct mail and email in the world. He can be reached at pbobnak@napco.com.