I know it was last month the queen officially relaunched Ivy Park sold out clothing line but man the branding and marketing strategy wowed me. When I see pictures and youtube reviews I still go crazy about how she owned this brand, made it hers and introduced it to the world, it was everywhere on social media.
Let me start with how IVY PARK came about.
It was introduced in 2016 but the joint venture of Beyoncé and Topshop was officially announced in October 2014 but in November 14, 2018 Parkwood Entertainment( founded by Beyoncé) acquired total ownership of the Ivy Park brand from co-founder Sir Philip Green following allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.
Back to 2016, On March 31 when Beyoncé officially launched Ivy Park by revealing two covers for the May issue of Elle magazine, the sportswear line only included tops, bottoms, swim wear and accessories.
She said that her goal with the line is to “push the boundaries of athletic wear and to support and inspire women who understand that beauty is more than your physical appearance”.
That same day, Beyoncé also released a promotional video, titled “Where is your park” that gives viewers a glimpse of her workout routine, samples of the clothing line and a narration explaining the origin and significance of the brand and its name; Ivy, representing her daughter who is named Blue Ivy Carter, and Park representing Parkwood Park in Houston where Beyoncé used to go to exercise and find personal strength.
Feel the power of Beyonce as she also covers the month of May issue of Elle UK Magazine wearing her newly launched clothing line outfits…
So, On April 4, 2019, the queen announced a collaboration between that Ivy Park and Adidas which marks the relaunch of the Ivy Park brand also aimed to put out shoes, performance gear, and lifestyle apparel. At this point, I believe everything changed!
On the official Ivy Park website, Beyoncé statement says
“This is the partnership of a lifetime for me… Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader”
A week before the official launch of the collaboration, Beyoncé started with subtle intro telling us about Ivy Park and the collaborations, I knew something since I knew about the brand back in 2016.
Pictures started coming up on Instagram, promotional videos and unboxing of the adidas x IVY PARK collab on IG with official launch date for January 18… Leading up to the launch, I started to see more photos and videos of Beyonce wearing the merchandise, both in her Instagram feed and stories. But what really intrigued me about the campaign was how she tackled influencer marketing. She sent celebrities and others who have large followings a sample of the goods.
It was the biggest move and mood so far so good. (Who does that?)
The boxes ranged in size from full scale clothing racks with the most notable pieces to smaller boxes that included shoes. Celebrities who received the box include her sister Solange, Kelly Rowland, Michele Williams, Ellen DeGeneres, Cardi B, Kendall Jenner, Ciara, Missy Elliott, Reese Witherspoon, Yara Shahidi, Hailey Bieber, Chloe X Halle, Janelle Monae, Diplo, Missy Elliot, Zendaya, Rita Ora, Laverne Cox, Quincy Jones, Celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, La La Anthony, Kim Kardashian and so many others.
I think I first a picture of Hailey Bieber on Ivy Park, truth be told my mind went wow wow wow (like an ambulance), after which I saw it on others, I saw Reese’s video, Yara … I exclaimed, “this is a movement” to whoever heard me.
It wasn’t a surprise that the merch was sold out few hours after its launch to the market.
According to different reviews, the IVY Park came to represent. The attention to detail, innovation, versatility, comfort-ability, fashionable and chick, and can be worn anywhere. She made sure the ensemble was what people would want and love to wear.
You can see the big difference between these and the previous one of 2016.
The marketing and branding
Beyoncé is a shining example of how a public figure and a brand can intertwine, she has plenty of branding experience, through the ups and downs of her career, Beyoncé has steadily built a brand that encompasses not only her music but also her style, beliefs, and personality.
How has she done it?
- Telling her story and marketing with authenticity
- Remaining largely consistent while taking small risks
- Being honest in the face of controversy
- Branching out through brand collaboration
Earlier this year, she announced the launch of her women’s sportswear line, Ivy Park, and the buzz immediately began. It wasn’t just the marketing budget or loads of advertising that kicked up intrigue about Ivy Park, she went back to her root, it was the story and the reasoning behind the clothing line launch
“to create clothing that women could feel comfortable and strong wearing, and to bring light to the notion that beauty goes far beyond physical appearance”
Remember the video from her childhood park posing the question “Where’s your park?”?
Before Ivy Park hit physical and online stores, it had already generated a tremendous sensation online and established a steadfast presence among fans. Its initial impression on social media appeared on Topshop and Nordstrom’s Instagram two weeks prior to the launch. Soon after, the brand began marketing digitally on its own Instagram account and Facebook page as well – @WeAreIvyPark reached 31,000 followers in under an hour.
BE YOUR OWN BRAND
The promotional video ends with Beyoncé– leaving room for self-exploration and discovering inspiration within. This is no excessive advertisement by one of the top celebrities in the world. Ivy Park allows a woman to brand herself however she desires: “It can be anywhere we create for ourselves, that place we need to go when we need to fight through something.” Ivy Park symbolizes self-assurance, confidence, inclusion, and diversity—this is their marketing strategy, different from other leisurewear brands out there. Ivy Park isn’t putting labels on women or forcing them to be a certain size.
She used the influencer marketing strategy by sending celebrities and others who have large followings a sample of the goods who in turn posted on their various social media platforms thereby pulling their own crowd to the brand.
It’s a time-tested and proven strategy that many brands employ when they are launching something new. Beyonce took this strategy and elevated it several notches to make receiving the samples a remarkable experience for those who received them.
There’s nothing new about influencer marketing, you can elevate the experience you deliver to influencers, people who are accustomed to getting gifts and samples from all kinds of brands, make it impressionable let them feel honored and excited to share. But know the influencer you’re using, you have to be able to trust that they will rep your brand to your satisfaction.
It may cost a bit more, or take more time and effort to transform common approaches into something that is indeed remarkable, but the benefits of doing your work in a way that stands out are worth it. That’s definitely how it played out for Beyonce.
Be remarkable from the very beginning
When you look at Beyonce’s Instagram feed, one thing you’ll notice is that most of her photos don’t have captions. But with the Ivy Park photography, where she models all the products in the line, the same caption reads on six different posts “adidas x IVY PARK E-comm takeover
The intention of her and her team for this launch was to “take over” by giving people something worthwhile to talk about with regard to their new merchandise. Don’t limit your goals to sales numbers, Include how you want your potential customers to feel about your work and what you’re producing.
Whether you want them to feel like your brand is “everywhere” over a specific time period, or to be delighted or excited about the various elements of your campaign, set some time aside for you and your team to plan the elements of your campaign that will deliver on that intention.
Give your product launch the best chance it has to succeed, by planning to be remarkable from the start. Get the ball rolling by setting your intentions of how you want to show up and what you want the outcome to be. Then let your imagination flow as you build a plan to make it possible.
Today, consumers want to feel connected to brands and always remember to give consumers what they want and how they want it. You might not satisfy 100% of your audience but take care of the more than 50% you got and find or brainstorm on how to catch the remaining percentage.