Last weekend I spent the day in Chichester, ostensibly to start my Christmas shopping; but truth be told looking for cosy but indulgent lounge wear. I spent a happy half an hour checking out one of my favourite brands, Mint Velvet, whose winter marketing campaign I love.
As I rifled through the cashmere jumpers and lace backed camis, this got me wondering why I was prepared to pay premium prices for items I could easily get in other shops for less. The answer was brand. Mint Velvet has created a brand that speaks to me and my aspirations. Here’s why.
Mint Velvet is what I call ‘an elevated brand.’ And elevated brands do three key things. They enable, they entice and they enrich. The combination of these three elements creates synergy – where the whole is greater than the parts.
Mint Velvet Enables
Enabling means that a brand is very easy to do business with because it solves the customer’s problem in the simplest way possible, and in a way that requires the least time, energy and stress. Customers feel that their individual constraints e.g. affordability or location are recognised and understood. They feel that the brand acts in their best interests and as a result they feel empowered.
Ways Mint Velvet enables include:
- Stores are simply laid out, making it easy to find the items you’re looking for.
- A clean easy to navigate website.
- A straightforward delivery and returns policy.
- A size guide to make sure the items purchased are a perfect fit.
- A clear statement about their Christmas returns policy.
- A personal shopper in-store to help with your wardrobe selection. This is a great innovation because this is often a period of change and turmoil for their target customer (women in their 40’s and 50’s) as they go through relationship breakdown, illness and menopause.
Mint Velvet is very clear about exactly who their target customer is, and has designed the shopping experience to meet her needs. They’ve anticipated the key questions shoppers are likely to ask, and answered these in advance, making shopping with the company a simple, stress-free experience.
=> How can you make the customer experience as simple and stress-free as possible? How, like the example of employing personal shoppers, could you go the extra mile to help your customers solve their problems?
Mint Velvet Entices
Elevated brands make both the products and the shopping experience as interesting and stimulating as possible to the senses, heart and mind. They delight, captivate, please and entertain their customers. They draw their customers in, and as a result they feel compelled to explore the brand further.
There are numerous ways in which Mint Velvet entices:
- The products themselves are sensual, glamourous and made of the finest materials.
- The founders are inspired by the Scandi concept of Hygge (creating a feeling of warmth and cosiness) which lends itself perfectly to a winter marketing campaign. They created a Hygge collection with soft to touch pieces perfect for a lazy Sunday morning, an afternoon stroll or creating a home spa. And they offer tips and advice on how to hyggify your life in their web based magazine.
- Beautiful, evocative, Instagram worthy photography which makes you want to explore the brand further.
- The use of expressive, evocative language across all medium.
=> How could you make your brand more enticing?
Mint Velvet Enriches
Elevated brands make customers feel proud and good about themselves because they believe they’re acting in alignment with their values, dreams and aspirations. As a result they feel connected to a community of other like-minded people who share their values and love the brand as much as they do.
Research has proven that enriching is the most important of the three elements as it has a catalytic effect, elevating the brand above its competition.
An interesting way Mint Velvet enriches its brand is through its We are Women podcast, hosted by the award winning journalist and comedian, Viv Groskop. The podcast celebrates women with interviews with inspirational and pioneering women. From DJ Jo Whiley to the actress Anna Friel to the Executive Director at Women for Women International UK, Brita Fernandez Schmidt. The interviews are seriously good, and well worth a listen.
=> How can you create a community of people with shared values as a way of enriching your brand?
Not Familiar With Mint Velvet?
Founded in 2009, Liz Houghton, Jane Rawlings and Lisa Agar-Rea set up Mint Velvet because they were inspired by what was missing from their own wardrobes. As working mothers, the trio wanted “to wear the trends in a relaxed way; to be fashionable, but not feel hampered by it”.
The company trades from 90 concessions within major department stores, 38 stores located in characterful buildings in historic market towns and its simple, easy-to-shop website. It has outlets in Switzerland, Holland and Dubai, and is looking at further international opportunities.
I hope you love Mint Velvet as much as I do, and this article has given you inspiration and ideas that will help you to take your brand to the next level, and create an elevated brand.
Thank you as always for reading my articles.
Question: What’s your key takeaway from this article? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share in the comments box below.
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