The Vince Camuto brand is putting the power in the hands of its customers.
In a presentation titled “If the Shoe Fits” yesterday at the FN CEO Summit in Miami, Leah Robert, chief communications and strategic development officer at parent company Camuto Group, revealed how the brand is leveraging feedback from dot-com customers to help inform its upcoming collections.
“Our founder, Vince Camuto — he started in the complaints department of a store on Fifth Avenue — and he always used to say, ‘If you ask the customer what they like, they’ll give you everything you need to know,” Robert said.
Using that sage advice, the brand partnered with retail analytics company First Insight to launch a digital “game” for consumers, through which it tests 10 products at a time (including items from previous and upcoming seasons).
“We looked at all the data, and we saw a high level of commentary, so we understood the sentiment around product,” Robert told the crowd of executives. “We knew what would work, we knew if the shape was successful, we knew what they thought about the material — all of the data of an online shopping experience.”
She added that Camuto Group tested the program with its own online database and with third-party groups and received similar results. However, Robert noted, the Vincecamuto.com customer provided more detailed feedback because “they were excited to be involved in the evolution of the brand.”
Faced with an uncertain marketplace, the Vince Camuto has been able to utilize the results to make smarter decisions about its product strategy. “It helped us better understand what we needed to deliver and how quickly. Because we’re in the business of delivering the right product at the right time at the right price,” Robert said.