Patagonia Manchester Store Launch: Social Media Case Study
How We Helped Patagonia’s Flagship UK Store Build its Own Community
Having chosen Manchester as the location for their new UK flagship store, outdoor brand and environmental saviours, Patagonia needed a promotional strategy that would ensure the international brand made a connection at a local level.
Hailing from Ventura, California, Patagonia has seen huge amounts of global growth in recent years. Between 2010 and 2016, total global sales more than doubled and the brand now owns more than 68 standalone stores across Europe, Asia, and the US, as well as dozens of valuable wholesale accounts worldwide. Building on this surge in popularity in the UK, Patagonia sought to open a national flagship store in Manchester, eventually choosing a site on the city’s busy King Street.
Approaching us in Summer 2017, the brand wanted help developing a promotional strategy for their new store. While building awareness was to be an important part of the strategy, they wanted to go further. As well as getting the message out about the new location, and getting people visiting the store, they wanted to ensure that their mission statement was at the centre of the campaign so they were engaging the right people. Most importantly, though, they wanted the campaign to help them connect with local people and lay the foundations for an owned community that they could use and build upon to ensure the longevity of the store.
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Building anticipation within the local fanbase
To start creating hype around the store, we proposed a three-stage sequence of Facebook and Instagram ads. These built awareness, stoked anticipation, then got people to hunt out the new store themselves. Using custom audiences nurtured over previous projects that Nativve had completed with Patagonia, we tapped straight into the most dedicated local fans. By combining the targeting with creative assets that had Patagonia’s core message front and centre, the ads were more effective, more economical, and got more people excited about the store launching.
Driving footfall with collaborative community events
On top of a store launch, Patagonia wanted to use collaborative, in-store events as a pivotal part of the campaign. As well as driving footfall, these were to work to align the new store with the communities it wanted to be at the centre of. By teaming up with Manchester Climbing Centre and Patagonia’s ambassadors, multi-location events attracted Patagonia’s core audience to come experience the new shop. In-store events like the Worn Wear Tour — where Patagonia fixes outdoor gear from any brand — got people engaging with the brand’s values and drove high-value footfall.
Like launching new retail concept, Outsider Store, we proposed a selection of social advertising targeting strategies that would pack out these events with the store’s future customers. By pinpointing attendees in custom audiences and engaging the audiences of collaborators, we could make sure the events were full and that Patagonia’s message reached even more of the right people.
Building an owned community around the store
Underpinning all aspects of the campaign’s digital strategy was a commitment to forming a community around the new store that could be easily accessed for any future marketing efforts.
This meant that, as well as developing and building on custom audiences that could be targeted in ad campaigns, we were going to focus our efforts on growing the store an Instagram following. For this we proposed employing a campaign of organic and paid social, re-marketing techniques, and working closely with Patagonia staff to develop a voice for the store.
How did we do?
Over the duration of the store launch, adverts from the campaign reached over 500,000 Patagonia fans, old and new, and were seen more than 1.5 million times. At the awareness stage of the campaign, these ads did more than just inform people the store was opening; they gained thousands of engagements, developed a specialised custom audience, and helped to inspire hundreds of people to go and search out the store on foot.
Of the four events that we helped to promote throughout the launch, our advertising was responsible for getting thousands of people interested and attending- more than 91% of all attendees. But that wasn’t all. By picking and working with the right media partners during this part of the campaign, we helped entrench Patagonia’s brand further within the communities that were most valuable to it and got the new store in front of prospective Patagonia shoppers a further 350,000 times.
Over the course of the four month campaign, we also helped grow the store’s Instagram followers from nothing to more than 3,000. Combined with the newly developed audiences as the result of the advertising campaign, this meant, far from being a flash in the pan, the store could sustain the momentum of the promotion long after the launch.
Are you an international brand looking to engage consumers at a local level? Or are you opening a store or retail concept and want your ideal customers to know about it? Maybe we can help. Tell us about your exciting plans here.