How resilience, agility, and focusing on what matters most lead to success in both retail and in home building.
Who knew Ralph Lauren had their own Bitmojis? In a recent webinar featuring Matthew Shay, President & CEO of the National Retail Federation, and Patrice Louvet, President & CEO of Ralph Lauren, the two men discuss the importance of resilience and agility in 2020. Hired in 2017, Patrice is a brand guy and was brought on board to, “write the next great chapter of the iconic brand.” How the company interacts and engages with consumers is where Patrice centers his attention. And that is why, when the pandemic hit, this rather traditional brand stepped outside the box and designed their own Bitmojis for Snapchat. Launched in August, there have already been more than 3 million downloads. Building amazing partnerships with social media in recent years is one of the company’s greatest strengths.
An “opportunity in crisis,” the shift to digital moved light-years ahead in 2020.
Heavily focused on what the digital age wants, Patrice believes digital will become like electricity – we won’t notice it, but it will be everywhere, and it will power everything. An “opportunity in crisis,” the shift to digital moved light-years ahead in 2020.
What was most interesting about this webinar is how retail and home building share many of the same challenges and goals. To move the company forward in the Twenties, Patrice has 5 primary areas Ralph Lauren is targeting:
- Elevate and energize the brand – bring in a new generation of consumers.
- Shift to direct-to-consumer. Stores will continue to play an important role, but online sales are growing.
- International expansion
- Develop high-potential, under-represented categories
In the homebuilding industry, the pandemic along with a tech-savvy generation of home buyers has accelerated the digital revolution. Sales centers will still play an integral role, but much of the interaction between builders and buyers will take place virtually. International barriers are being toppled as builders crisscross “the pond.” Landsea Homes and Sekisui House (Woodside Homes) are just a couple of examples. And, builders are constantly working to develop under-represented categories – affordable housing for one.
Also needing attention are four areas affected by Covid that Patrice believes are here to stay:
- Health and safety have become a huge factor in human behavior and will continue to be for quite some time, if not indefinitely.
- The move to connectivity – people are not going to quit using apps and having home deliveries. Mom and grandpa just learned how to do all that!
- Consumers are looking for a personalized experience.
- Importance of values and purpose, “What difference will we make?” Consumer response to companies focusing on these has been amazing. Authenticity is a core Ralph Lauren brand value.
With the world staying home, resilience, agility, and focusing on what matters most have become critical to the success of every business.
Three valuable lessons Patrice learned from Covid:
- Focus on what matters most
Companies who quickly learned these lessons and adapted have survived and even done well.
This insightful webinar brings home the importance of your brand, company culture, and marketing. As home builders, our industry tends to not be on the cutting edge. We have been building and selling homes the same way for 100+ years. Builders have been making strides forward, but nothing prepared us for the events of this year. With the world staying home, resilience, agility, and focusing on what matters most have become critical to the success of every business. Engaging with consumers online is key. This is where Zoom, Online Sales Counselors, CRMs like TopBuilder and Lasso, chatbots like those powered by AtlasRTX, and online marketing tools including Interactive Floor Plans, Virtual Tours, Matterport Tours, and Visualizers play an integral role. Focusing on what the digital age wants, and thinking outside the box (Snapchat Bitmojis anyone?) to write the next great chapter of your iconic brand are keys to success.
On a final note, Patrice talks about citizenship and sustainability. Companies like Ralph Lauren cannot be successful if they don’t take the lead. Consumers and partners expect it. “People will remember you for what you did and the way you behaved.” These words hold true for home builders as well.