J. Crew reaches a new level of customer engagement
Every company wants to make the customer feel like the centre of the world, but J. Crew actually went ahead and did it.
Taking out a full-page ad in New York magazine, J. Crew’s creative director Jenna Lyons penned a hand-written note to show the triumphant return of a much-loved ’90s swimsuit.
But why did she do this? And what was the importance of it all?
Well, the ad was in response to one customer’s open letter to the brand about how she missed the delightful swimsuits she wore when she was younger. It helped that this particular customer was actually freelance fashion writer for New York magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
Still, Jenni Avins’ plea for the stylish swimsuit to return gained traction across the web, with many others stepping forward to share their wishes for its return.
“What I want is smooth, taut fabric that stretches from my shoulders over my chest and ribcage, with hip-high leg holes and an open back to expose my skin to sand, sunshine, and seawater,” wrote Jenni in her post on New York magazine’s The Cut blog. “I want it available in evocatively named colors like hibiscus, marine, and bottle green (in black, it’s simply unstoppable.)”
So, when Lyons announced that they would be re-releasing the swimsuit range, it seemed only natural for her to reply in New York by writing “Dear Ms. Avins, Your wish is my command… within reason. XO Jenna.”
Why is this so important then?
Because it’s an excellent example of a brand actively listening to what its customers want and acting upon it quickly. J. Crew could have just ignored Avins’ wishes and the droves of letters customers may well have sent in about wanting a beloved product back. Heck, I know there’s some items in my wardrobe that have seen far better days and I’d love to have back. But I’m sure if I wrote a letter to H&M asking for another jumper with a knitted wolf on it they’d shoot me down (it was totally worth a try).
And here’s the thing. Far too many of us think that if we ask brands for something they’ll just ignore us. That’s not how any brand should work to build loyalty and fuel customer engagement. Instead, brands need to always be engaged and ready to reply to all manner of customer queries, criticisms, and admirations.
Hopefully, we’ll reach a stage where it isn’t a big deal when a brand replies to a fan.