Neiman Marcus is moving into fall with a “Live Your Luxury” campaign, encouraging customers to inject a little more of their own personality into their wardrobe. Daz McColl, chief marketing officer, says the idea is to edit out stuffiness, reminding people that fashion can be more about personal expression and less about tradition. He tells Retail Insider more about how it’s approaching luxury marketing right now.
Retail Insider: Tell us what kind of vibe you hope to create with the new lookbook and fall campaign.
Daz McColl: This is a new positioning for us, with “Live your luxury.” As people are coming into a balanced, more predictable way of living, we started thinking of that as an opportunity to reposition ourselves for the future. We did a lot of customer research and identified core characteristics of what luxury means to them today.
One of the biggest insights is that they look to us to influence their interpretation of style. We also learned inclusivity means more than it ever has before. And consumers don’t like this idea of luxury being up on a pedestal.
Retail Insider: Does that change the way your approach them?
McColl: It means further evolving our strategic integrated retail strategy. So we’re building relationships and connecting the brand to our customers, but also to our platforms and people and content. It’s about creating that sense of trust in our fashion voice.
Retail Insider: What does "Live your luxury" really mean?
McColl: It means luxury isn't something you reserve for some perfect experience or perfect outing. It’s something that you can have in your life because you choose to, and you get to do it your way. And we’re trying to look at all that through the lens of customer experience.
Retail Insider: Give us an example.
McColl: Our fall book. Traditionally, we had a female fashion model on the front and a male on the back.
This year, it’s just one image -- a group of people, including a transgender woman, which is a first for us. So we’ve removed some old-school structures to be more like the world today, blending men’s and women’s, so it’s inclusive, diverse, full of energy and self-determined expression.
Retail Insider: One interpretation of “Live your luxury” might be that it’s about fashion that’s more for everyday -- casual versus dressed-up. Is that part of it?
McColl: No, luxury is a state of mind. We shot parts of it in a supermarket because we’re saying that if you want to wear an amazing pair of sparkly, silver over-the-knee Stuart Weitzman boots to get your groceries, go right ahead. That might be your version of luxury. We want to inspire people to bring luxury into their lives that way, and help them do it.
Retail Insider: Fashion can be pretty pretentious. Let’s talk about the woman in the amazing peacock-blue dress, apparently cleaning her swimming pool.
McColl: Fashion isn’t as pretentious as it used to be. I do think it certainly has its aspirational qualities. That's important, and everything we do should be elevated. But I also like to think that it's about inspiration, and showing people there's no perfect model for what fashion should be anymore.
Retail Insider: How has your role as a fashion authority changed? There’s been a decline in the clout of fashion magazines, and a meteoric rise in bloggers and influencers. Where does Neiman Marcus fit in?
McColl: People consume so much content today–their learning and discovery is much broader and more diverse. People are influenced by family and friends, as well as people they've never met whom they see on Instagram. It’s a democratization of taste. It’s not as easy as it used to be, picking up a magazine and saying, "Here are the five must-haves for fall."
McColl: Yes, that’s a fun way of showing the role we play in styling and engagement. It shows it’s not just about Neiman Marcus having the products. We’re about helping you find you in this world of possibility.
These are running on connected TV, including Hulu, and on YouTube and all our social channels.
There are three versions of this, but in all, about 300 video elements to this, covering both the advertising and editorial. We worked with a production company called Young Hero.