At the helm of Coach’s innovative marketing is Sandeep Seth the global chief marketing officer and North America president. Though Seth has been at the company for less than two years, his impact can be clearly seen and felt. Prior to Coach, Seth rose through the ranks at Proctor & Gamble, working at the company for nearly 24 years.
Seth said the keys to Coach’s new and improved brand storytelling are two things: giving up control and moving from product-centric to more purpose-led marketing. In April, Coach launched Coachtopia, which is the brand’s new sub-brand featuring circular-forward ready-to-wear designs. Prior, it tapped progressive celebrities including musician Lil Nas X and actress Camila Mendes for its In My Tabby campaign.
“In September, when we launched our evolved brand positioning of expressive luxury, the big pivot we did was put the consumer at the center of what this brand stands for,” Seth said. “That meant talking about how Coach can play a role in inspiring the next generation to have the courage to self-express and feel confident to achieve what they want. … For example, the latest Tabby campaign brought in emotional storytelling, [centered on the notion that] what you carry in your bag is more than just items. It’s your emotions, it’s your dreams.”
With its new focus on self-expression and expressive luxury, Coach has seen significant growth. In fiscal 2022, Coach accounted for 73.6% of parent company Tapestry’s total net sales. Coach’s revenue was $4.92 billion, up from $4.25 billion in 2021. The brand’s largest revenue contributor was its handbags, representing 38% of its total net sales.
As Coach contributes to Tapestry’s ambitious revenue goal of $8 billion by 2025, Sandeep said the brand is going all in on tapping into digital platforms and allowing consumers to assist in writing the brand’s narrative.
“Every day is a learning [lesson]. We are spending so much time in external immersions with our partners from different media platforms, plus we’re learning what the best brands are doing — not just within our category, but across any category. Sometimes inspiration comes from completely different sources,” Seth said. “Marketers very often rely on the way things were done in the ‘Mad Men’ era that doesn’t exist anymore. The new world is really about content, consumers and speed. … The fluidity with which you have to manage your brand today is a very important part of a marketer’s job.”
Aside from giving more creative control to Coach’s consumers, Seth said Coach’s marketing strategy moving forward will include a focus on increasing brand love among new and existing brand shoppers.
“Today, we are doing way less of the push-down-the-funnel performance marketing, [in favor] of more brand building. And it’s resulting in better overall economics for the brand,” Seth said.
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