Kipling: Live In The Moment

2017 | Edinburgh

What do you think of when you hear the word Kipling? Mention the brand to the average Brit and the inevitable response is “what, the cakes?”.

It is unlikely that you will associate it with a stylish range of bags, identified by a furry monkey mascot. That was the problem Kipling experienced: little brand recognition in the UK and an association with French Fancies.

Whilst the cakes may be exceedingly good, the bags have a lot to recommend them too. Kipling set great store by the functionality they bring to their range. They make bags for busy people - people who need something practical that fits their gym kit, work gear and babies’ bottles, but still has room for the day-to-day.

w 4.2k More loyal Imaginistas We generated 4.2k more loyal Imaginistas for the CRM database, split between Facebook likes and email sign-ups. As a result, Kipling are able to follow up with further content, product and promotionm to a warmed up legion of Imaginistas.


Our brief from Kipling was to generate sales and create a base of loyal customers, which they could market directly to, using CRM.

However, not only was brand recognition on the wane after many years out of market in the UK, they had a small budget with which to compete.

At the outset of our relationship with the client, we focused on understanding Kipling’s target customer: the Imaginista.

Who is the Imaginista? She is a woman who cares about appearance but not fashion; who lives for inspiration and fun, but also has passion for her work. Imaginistas are not fashionistas – they have an individual style; their happiness is more important than their look.

They span a number of life stages. As such, Kipling has created a range that covers the many and evolving needs of their target customers. An Imaginista might be studying, just started her career or juggling childcare with a high flying job. Kipling will have a bag that helps them get the most out of their day.


THE insight

The Imaginista Attitude

We used our proprietary planning tool, the Consumer Connection System, to delve into the Imaginista lifestyle and attitude. We created the Imaginista from over two hundred attitudinal statements and traced her communication habits over sixty bought, owned and earned touchpoints.

One thing was clear when we pulled the data. Imaginistas are seriously social creatures – and not only in a ‘social media lurker’ sense. They use social media to help shape their lives, to say something about themselves and to connect.

Social had to sit at the heart of the strategy. As an activation pillar it also offered us the ideal mechanism for targeting. Users reveal their attitudes and personality on social media in a way that they do not in other spaces.

Given the budget constraints, we concentrated spend on Facebook where there was the highest volume of Imaginistas to target. We would use a single minded approach to reach the Imaginista in the environment in which she was most likely to be, and the one in which she was most likely to reveal her personality.

Our strategy hinged on art and science – whilst promoting messaging that was innately Kipling (“stylish functionality”) we used rich data to pinpoint the Imaginista and take her on a journey relevant to her life.

We sifted through available data to find the nuggets – those that pinpointed a user’s attitude and those that would pinpoint a user’s ‘moment’. A combination of first party and second party data allowed us to precisely target the Imaginista with the right creative for her life.


THE solution

The first step was to introduce the Imaginista to the brand. We found our ideal audience by taking her top indexing traits on CCS and mapping those to Facebook targeting options. This allowed us to translate CCS attitudinal mapping to Facebook interest targeting.

Kipling brand awareness has been dropping in the UK, and it was highly likely that the Imaginista would not fully grasp the Kipling brand proposition. In this first stage of activity we served the target customer with vibrant, lifestyle related content. This brand-led creative, served in a carousel format, allowed the consumer to interact with the advertising unit, swiping through each image to see different bags and images that represented the different needs of the Imaginista.

The next stage was to take her on a journey relevant to her ‘moment’ in life. We identified five ‘moments’ that corresponded to life stages. Kipling bags are about ‘stylish functionality’ and each bag allows the Imaginista to fit more into that moment of her life. The 5 moments are Work (Work bags), Leisure (Gym bags/weekend bags), Kids (School bags), Travel (Suitcase), Everyday (Handbags). 

We worked on an advanced social strategy to ensure she was served the right creative. We used three data sets to match Imaginista to creative: her interaction with creative, her Facebook profile attributes and Kipling’s own CRM data. We uploaded the Kipling CRM database into Facebook, segmented by purchase and email history. We then used Facebook Custom Audiences to find those groups of customers on the social platform.

This gave us a combination of attributes inferred by behaviour alongside self-declared attributes. We set up a number of different rules to ensure each person was warm to the brand before they were directed to the site to buy a product, and to ensure that the appropriate CRM option was matched to the person to build a loyal fan base.

We knew video would be key in bringing each moment to life – with a brand proposition of ‘stylish functionality’ it was video which would best illustrate how the bags fit into the Imaginista’s life and provide functionality above that of other brands. Kipling provided us with a video for each moment, and we retargeted those who had engaged on the main carousel ad with the relevant video. Not only was video a key asset, but it provided us with further insight into a user’s disposition to the brand. We used ‘percentage of video viewed’ as a loyalty signal, and this worked alongside our other attributes and signals to help determine future retargeting paths.

These rules were worked out prior to the campaign going live. However, the wealth of data available on Facebook also makes for advanced optimisation strategies. We rejected the ‘set and forget’ mentality and optimised based on the learnings coming through. A key example of this was that people were more likely to ‘like’ the Facebook profile later in the evening - probably because this was when the Imaginista could relax and engage with content. We upweighted bids in the loyalty focused ads from 7.30pm onwards. We pulled sales reports by age range, and adjusted bids on all activity based on the estimated average value of a customer of each age segment.

In the social space it would be all too easy to flood a platform with various moment creative – however, engagement rates would suffer and spamming could damage the brand. A fantastic customer experience is paramount to Kipling. To avoid a poor user journey, we developed a complex set of rules that allowed us to smartly prospect and retarget, and – as importantly – to stop advertising if faced with disinterest. These rules were built from the smart use of data.

Given what we know about the Imaginista and her love of social media, it was imperative to showcase Kipling as a brand who not only respected her space but gave her content relevant to her frame of mind.

w 4.2k More loyal Imaginistas We generated 4.2k more loyal Imaginistas for the CRM database, split between Facebook likes and email sign-ups. As a result, Kipling are able to follow up with further content, product and promotionm to a warmed up legion of Imaginistas.
E 225% increase in sales We achieved an impressive 225% increase in sales between September and December (when we implemented the new strategy) compared to the preceding period.
A Finalist of the DRUM Marketing Awards This campaign has been nominated for the Social Media Strategy Of The Year at the DRUM Marketing Awards 2017.
A Finalist of the Marketing Society Star Awards We have also been nominated in the Media Category of the Marketing Society Star Awards 2017.

"When we approached Carat, our main objectives were to generate sales and to create a base of loyal Kipling customers. They really understood our audience and how to engage the Kipling Imaginista. We couldn’t have been happier with the sales and the insights the campaign produced. The campaign generated audience insight and a new customer base that we are now using to shape the future of our business."

Jurgen Derycke Senior Omni Channel Marketing Manager
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