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In November 2021, Anine Bing launched the Nico Bag, a $350 baguette style in a houndstooth fabric. It sold out within 24 hours and accumulated 4,500 new email sign-ups by those entering a waitlist to purchase when replenished.
“We had a sense that sales would exceed expectations, so we were able to place backup orders [with our manufacturers],” said Olivia Gentin, Anine Bing’s COO. “The style checked all the boxes for us as a brand: It was timeless and classic and in our signature houndstooth fabric. Plus it was versatile — you could wear it day to night. It was unique — there wasn’t anything else like it in the market. And it was at a reasonable price.”
According to Erin Cerminara, Anine Bing vp of global communications and brand marketing, its launch also marked “the first time the brand had executed a 360-degree global marketing campaign, using all of [its] channels: social, digital, retail and wholesale.”
The brand celebrated the launch with a dinner the night before at NYC’s Carbone restaurant hosted by Anine Bing, the brand’s influential founder. (Bing herself has 1.1 million Instagram followers.) Guests included models Stella Maxwell, Chanel Iman, Marie von Behrens-Felipe and Kate Bock, author Gabby Bernstein, and jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher, among others. They previewed the bag via posts from the dinner.
The brand also seeded the bag to other influencers in advance of its launch, to stir up demand. “Getting our products into the hands of influencers is a critical tactic in our overall brand marketing strategy,” said Cerminara. “It allows women who are influential to organically advocate and storytell around our brand and our product, which is extremely valuable.” Over 100 Nico bags were seeded “extensively, globally, to all of the brand’s key markets around the world,” including Maxwell, Iman, Bock, Caro Daur, Babba Rivera and Tsutsumi Hoang.
She added, “We knew it was important to have a tiered approach and establish repetition, so we were seeding to all tiers of the influencer pyramid. That included macro-influencers, who are going to help us drive awareness around the brand and product, but then also micro-influencers, who would help us drive conversation.”
In addition, the campaign included out-of-home advertising, which was a first for the 10-year-old brand. Ads were placed on billboards, taxis, buses and alongside city streets in New York, a priority market for the brand.
“We created a robust marketing campaign that was anchored on one single style, which we’ve never done,” Cerminara said.
The campaign was a success. “We had people calling our stores worldwide to see if they had the bag, because it had completely sold out,” said Gentin. The brand declined to share the quantity of bags produced.
Since the launch of the original houndstooth Nico bag, the brand has launched the style in two other fabrics: a cream and black fishbone, and a beige plaid. In September, it launched a smaller size of the bag, for $300. Another plaid option will launch this month.
It’s also expanded its collection of leather handbags beyond the Nico to include the Colette, Cleo and Maya bags. It will be building on all of these designs, introducing them in new colors, fabrications and sizes throughout 2023. It will launch an additional seasonal handbag collection, with styles in the $300-500 price range.
Anine Bing is ending 2023 with bags as its fastest growing category. The brand, best known for its apparel, also sells shoes, accessories, jewelry and fragrance.
“It’s something we’re very proud of, because it’s a hard category to break in to,” Gentin said. “It’s hard to be successful in this category, because you’re competing with all the European luxury houses.”
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Spate trend watch: Skin care’s biggest marketing claims
The search terms for top-growth skin-care marketing claims on Google tell the story that the customer is more educated than ever before. Today’s beauty customer even knows how to search products based on formulation, including by searching for things based on whether they’re oil- or water-based. When it comes to searches for the top-growing search term across face care products, which is “energy,” , consumers are seeking out Shiseido’s Essential Energy Hydrating Cream and Origins’s GinZing Oil-Free Energy-Boosting Moisturizer, according to digital trend forecasting agency Spate. When it comes to searches for “dewy,” Tatcha’s dewy skin collection is driving growth.
As for water- and oil-based searches, they’re still consumer-driven, “pointing to an opportunity for brands to come in and own the terminology,” said Yarden Horwitz, founder of Spate. “However, emphasizing the importance of nuance further, consumers search for water-based moisturizers and cleansers, while they primarily focus on cleansers in their oil-based product searches.”