Aritzia creates a lifestyle brand with the help of social media

ChristinaWild    November 14, 2017

Understanding the ways social media works for a business is so much more complex than simply considering a post’s “likes” or clicks. As the importance of social media in our lives becomes increasingly clear, it’s no secret that the most successful companies out there are the ones that properly align their business objectives with their social media tactics. The influence social media has on customers is endless, from impacting sales to increased customer satisfaction, so it’s no wonder, then, that those companies who fail to include social media metrics as part of their objectives find themselves falling behind.

Artizia: a true social media powerhouse

Aritzia is a design house and fashion boutique that was founded in 1984 in Vancouver and now has over 80 locations in select cities across North America. What began as a relatively small-scale Canadian boutique has now  turned into a fashion empire, with over 400k social media followers and customers like A-list celebrities Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner. Aritzia develops its own brands and is dedicated to quality, individual style and female empowerment. The company has managed to turn itself into a lifestyle brand that seeks to inspire, guide and motivate women across the continent.

By taking a quick look at any of Aritzia’s social media platforms, it’s easy to see that the brand embodies the modern-day woman. Photos of real-life customers in Aritzia garb pop up on the company’s Instagram page. Cool pics of realistic-sized models are posted all over Aritzia’s Facebook page. @ARITZIA on Twitter is much the same.

So what makes the Aritzia brand so successful on social media? The answer is relatively simple: Artizia’s values and business philosophy transcend into its social footprint.

By looking closely at four key business areas, it’s easy to understand why thousands of women choose Aritzia as their brand of choice:

  1. Employee Involvement

The importance of ensuring employee involvement and engagement is somewhat obvious. Higher levels of productivity, morale and a lower turnover rate mean happier employees who produce better work. Aritzia creates this sense of involvement by giving employees celebrity-like status across its social media pages. #StaffStyle has thousands of posts attached to it, most of which are of Aritzia employees flaunting their chic fashion choices while on shift at the store. The company also makes sure to retweet, mention and profile these employees, all of whom have thousands of followers as a result. In addition, Aritzia’s employee blog (which is private to non-employees), provides tips for selling, links to employee wellness programs and cute outfit ideas. “Aritzia makes me as an employee feel as if I really matter,” says Leah Colavecchia, an Artizia Style Advisor. “The tools we have in place, like our Inspiration Blog, come in handy when your shift starts in 15 minutes and you have no idea what to wear.”

  1. Customer Engagement

Much in the same way Artizia ensures its employees are involved and engaged, so too are its customers. Aritzia profiles popular bloggers, retweeting or posting photos of them in their Aritzia outfits, and initiating conversations with customers on these social platforms. On both Instagram and Facebook, Aritzia replies to all customer questions about specific items of clothing or sizing availability, inevitably developing close relationship with potential shoppers. Additionally, ensuring this engagement creates brand loyalty and increased sales by making the customer feel as if they really do matter.

  1. Product Development and Design

As a trend-setting fashion boutique, Aritzia is continuously pressured into developing new clothing items and pushing style boundaries. Part of this is done by creating a team of fashion-focused professionals whose job it is to not only create the product, but figure out how to push it to market faster and more affordably than its competitors. This is where Artizia’s social media popularity comes in handy. If the company is looking for immediate feedback on its new line of puffer jackets or cozy knit sweaters, a quick post about it on Instagram receives upwards of 200 comments.

The company needs to look no further than its own Support Staff (made up of Creative Directors, Visual Merchandisers and Retail Marketing Executives) who use social media as a collaboration tool, commenting, liking and drawing inspiration from each other’s posts. “I always look to other Aritzia girls for styling inspiration and new outfit ideas,” says Colavecchia. “It’s fun to find someone with a cool outfit at our Vancouver store and bring that inspiration back here to the store in Brampton[, ON].”

  1. Supply Chain and Operations

Aritzia is very clear and transparent about its supply chain operations. On its website, lists of countries where the company has suppliers and manufacturers is readily available. Also on www.artizia.com, the human rights initiatives Artizia is dedicated to, like the California Transparency Act and the International Labour Organization, which includes businesses, government and union workers in some of the countries Artizia has manufacturing bases in. This transparency, coupled with Artizia’s dedication to its environmental footprint, encourages customer stakeholders, a valuable member of any supply chain, to trust Artizia and its business operations.

Because Artizia is made up of several distinct brands, its supply chain consists of these member brands who must continually provide dialogue to each other and ensure business to business collaboration. Here’s an example: A city shopping centre may have an Artitzia and a Babaton store and may be thinking about opening a Wilfred store as well. So, Aritzia posts about the Wilfred grand opening across its social media platforms, collecting data and understanding what the Wilfred customer will look like before the store even opens. Wilfred is then able to tweak its store design, merchandise layout and inventory based on these metrics.

Lessons for Others

Aritzia is proof that the secret to successful corporate social media is the alignment of organizational goals to social media objectives. By looking at four key business areas, it’s evident that Aritzia’s goals of ensuring employee involvement, active and engaged customers, successful product development processes and efficient supply chain operations, are reflected across its social media platforms. The metrics Aritzia is able to pull from its social tools, like Instagram follows or Facebook shares, allows the company to understand the market and make informed decisions that contribute to overall organizational performance.

Organization: Aritzia
Industry: Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Leah Colavecchia, Style Advisor

Authored by: Christina Wild

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


References

Osman, M. (2017). SproutSocial. Social Media & Business: Are Your Brand Objectives Aligned? Retrieved from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-and-business/

Aritzia homepage. Retrieved from https://www.aritzia.com

Artitzia. (n.d.). Corporate Responsibility. Retrieved from http://us.aritzia.com/aritzia/corporate-responsibility/corporate-responsibility-footprint.html

Aritzia (n.d.) Vendor Code of Conduct. Retrieved from: http://www.aritzia.com/en/aritzia/corporate-responsibility/vendor-code-of-conduct.html

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