Creating a consistent customer experience
Competing in an increasingly complex industry, HUGO BOSS needed a more strategic marketing approach for its thousands of stores, located in every market across the globe. “These new generations of customers are demanding and critical,” said Richard Breaux, Head of Strategic Brand Marketing at HUGO BOSS. “We have touch point complexity. We have stakeholder demands. We have seamless commerce that we are up against all the time.”
In 2016, 28 communications departments across HUGO BOSS were operating in isolation. There was limited alignment and collaboration between the divisions, as teams were using disparate tools and Excel spreadsheets to manage marketing plans and processes. From a business perspective, these methods were inefficient, leading to different areas of focus and, ultimately, an inconsistent customer experience.
“We went from having lots of Excel spreadsheets, project management documents, meetings, and workspaces, to needing only one platform,” said Breaux. “Consistency is what was needed at the end of the day to make our brand experience valuable to our customers.”
Rolling out Percolate by Seismic
HUGO BOSS partnered with Percolate by Seismic to orchestrate its marketing campaigns and to manage its campaign content and visual assets. To get started, HUGO BOSS customized the tool according to its branding and campaign structure. For consistent tracking, every campaign and content asset was given pertinent strategic and technical metadata.
“We were able to really customize every bit of the platform in terms of the color of the campaign and the structure of the campaign,” said Tayfun Kuelhan, Manager, Strategic Marketing at HUGO BOSS. “This gives us the ability to create consistency and to really analyze all the campaigns.”
Key information and assets for campaigns are organized together, making it easier for teams to understand marketing campaign plans. “The key benefit of Percolate by Seismic is that all the information from all the channels involved is contained within campaigns, both in the brief section and the workspace section,” said Kuelhan. “If our marketing director asks us a question, instead of asking all the channels separately, it’s all already in Percolate by Seismic.”
HUGO BOSS implemented Percolate by Seismic smoothly across multiple geographies with the help of a point person to manage the launch. “We were able to quickly go from 2 departments to 30 departments within a 3 to 6-month time frame, and then rolled it out to 25 different markets within the first 9 months,” said Breaux. “Percolate by Seismic was very quickly accepted…because the hunger was there to have the tool in place. We could sing a song about how many daily requests we’re getting from people to get access. It hasn’t tapered off at all either.”
HUGO BOSS held onboarding workshops, but employees found the tool easy to use. “Percolate by Seismic has quite intuitive usability,” said Breaux. “I’ve never heard anyone in any market complain that they were confused or that they needed an extraordinary amount of help to figure out where things were. I think that people can start without having a workshop–which is quite unique.”
“The Percolate by Seismic solution really helps to organize ourselves so that we can be sure that we are sending a consistent message to our customer at the end of the day. Being more integrated and aligning all of our storytelling across all customer journey touchpoints allows us to deliver a more consistent message to our customer. This means that they are able to understand the brand better, which leads to sales.”
Finding efficiencies in marketing processes
As a fashion brand, it was important for HUGO BOSS to use Percolate by Seismic to manage thousands of digital images to ensure its visuals were used consistently across the world.
“The amount of visual assets that we have within one season is quite extraordinary,” said Breaux. “For one season we may have approximately 6,000 images in our campaigns and it is difficult at times to keep track of the latest version. Asset management is important and makes an impact on our business.”
Percolate by Seismic’s calendar function is particularly useful to HUGO BOSS for managing its 100+ fully integrated global marketing campaigns. “We have a two-brand strategy and it really helps that we have a team function where you can really jump between the two calendars or even show them both in one calendar,” said Kuelhan. Campaign briefs are accessible via the calendar, along with a campaign’s comment history, making it a massive time-saving tool for marketers around the world.
“The messaging and commenting function is really great and cuts down on us receiving the same question 10 times since people can see all the historical comments and what is going on,” said Kuelhan. Breaux added, “There were certainly lots of unnecessary follow ups and unnecessary meetings going around that then disappeared once we had Percolate by Seismic in place.”
HUGO BOSS streamlines its social media campaigns and workflows by scheduling and publishing directly from Percolate by Seismic. This also has a sizable global efficiency benefit. “It’s just a natural process for the social media team to set up an image, come up with a caption, and then go through the approval workflow,” said Kuelhan. “It only requires a few steps, and is approved in much less time than using the email approvals we used prior to that.”
All in all, by aligning teams and streamlining processes, Percolate by Seismic helps HUGO BOSS to effectively address its business needs.
“The Percolate by Seismic solution really helps to organize ourselves so that we can be sure that we are sending a consistent message to our customer at the end of the day,” said Breaux. “Being more integrated and aligning our storytelling across all customer journey touchpoints allows us to deliver a more consistent message to our customers. This means that they are able to understand the brand better, which leads to sales.“
Increasing transparency across the global organization
Percolate by Seismic helps HUGO BOSS align its communications departments and effectively share information with key stakeholders, saving time and increasing transparency.
“We can open the tool and show them within the tool rather than preparing a PowerPoint…And now that Percolate by Seismic is part of our daily vocabulary, everyone knows that it exists,” said Breaux. “If someone doesn’t know something, they’ll check Percolate first. And if they don’t have access themselves, they’ll just ask someone to open it up and then they’ll take a look together. It’s completely integrated within our daily business.”
Improving business agility
The global pandemic is disrupting business models, causing businesses to rethink their strategies. HUGO BOSS is no exception. “With COVID-19, we were confronted with an extraordinary situation where we had to close all of our stores and therefore all of our revenue streams suddenly turned off, making us completely reliant on e-commerce,” said Breaux.
”With Percolate by Seismic, we pivoted our entire marketing plan, which previously would have taken three or four months, within weeks. We’re more efficient in our processes and we’re more agile. We’re able to respond to a more demanding market and deliver a consistent message across the e-commerce experience.”
“With Percolate by Seismic, we pivoted our entire marketing plan, which previously would have taken three or four months, within weeks. We’re more efficient in our processes and we’re more agile. We’re able to respond to a more demanding market and deliver a consistent message across the e-commerce experience.”
Going forward, HUGO BOSS plans to use the tool to support its four strategic fields of action: Refocus the brands, refine the way it sells, innovate the way it operates, and drive digital transformation.
When asked about HUGO BOSS’s marketing transformation strategy, Breaux brought up optimized 360- degree marketing campaigns. “When we talk about 360-degree alignment and campaigns, it means that we deliver a consistent experience in our store windows and across all our communication channels, including social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest,” said Breaux.
“With the help of Percolate by Seismic, we put most of our focus on our integrated marketing campaigns because they have the most impact. When we say ‘360’ we mean big.”