For Rebecca Minkoff, the coronavirus pandemic is a chance for her namesake business to accelerate pre-existing plans.
That starts with reexamining the brand’s dependence on its own brick-and-mortar stores versus wholesale. “We always had a plan to have the ratios be more equal, and I think this has forced that to happen,” Minkoff said on the Glossy Podcast. “I see a strong desire to return to physical retail when this is all over.”
The tighter focus also extends to the brand’s social media strategy. The content that’s been proven to work on shut-in customers, she said, usually features Minkoff herself. “I’m not trying to sound egotistical, but that’s what drives the revenue and the clicks and the sales,” she said. “So we’re saying, ‘Enough with any other type of franchise or content pillars; we are going to do what works and what gets the customer excited.’”
Minkoff talked about how she’s helping to focus attention on smaller, women-owned businesses, what she thinks of TikTok and why she had to take the podcast interview from her bathroom floor.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Physical retail versus wholesale
“We always had a plan to have the ratios be more equal, and I think this has forced that to happen. I see a strong desire to return to physical retail when this is all over. My 2-year-old looked at me yesterday and said, ‘Where are all the people, mom?’ And I almost started crying. We crave connection and community, and we can’t have that right now. And shopping can be that. I’m hoping and optimistic that [whatever businesses are] left at the end of this, people will want to go out to the stores and shop and touch and feel and be part of that.”
How the brand is communicating with shut-in customers
“My team is begging me for TikTok, and I’m going to do it. I just haven’t gotten there yet. I’m not intimidated by it, I just want to launch on a new platform that I can pay attention to and have the bandwidth [for], and I haven’t felt like I’ve had that yet. We’re also on a text message platform called Community. That’s been really great. Consider that the most intimate form of social communication. I’m texting people all day long. We’ve seen a lot of brand engagement there and also great conversion. When we do something special for [that community], they’re our highest converting audience.”
The content strategy: Focus on what works
“The biggest shift is that we always try to ride a fine line of how much is me and how much is the brand. And also showing UGC [user-generated content] and influencers. If you look at the feed right now, it’s product, it’s me, and that’s kind of it. I’m not trying to sound egotistical, but that’s what drives the revenue and the clicks and the sales. So we’re saying, ‘Enough with any other type of franchise or content pillars; we are going to do what works and what gets the customer excited.’ We don’t have more people working on the team — it’s myself and our social media manager. She’s probably the one I talk to the most every day.”
Expanding on Minkoff’s Female Founder Collective
“We’re about to launch a directory that is 7,000 women-owned businesses you can directly shop from. All these tiny businesses that we depend on as small businesses are being hit the hardest versus these major corporations that have cash to use. My goal is, instead of getting all your supplies from one place, do the research, take a look, buy from these women-owned companies.”