Macy's has launched a new blog, mBLOG, that will feature tips from Macy's staff as well as from experts from such sites as Fashionista.com and FoodRepublic.com.
It is not surprising that Macy’s is launching the blog - the department store is a social media leader for its industry. It recently took the top spot in NYU’s Luxury Lab’s think tank’s annual Digital IQ Index, which ranks specialty retailers according to their online competence. Macy's also doubled its number of Facebook fans from 900,000 to 1.8 million as the result of its "Million Dollar Makeover" campaign this year, according to Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, via the Chicago Sun-Times. The department store spent $120 million of its $1 billion marketing outlay on digital-media spending, he said.
Yet, despite its social media savvy, Macy's must contend with Federal Trade Commission guidelines regarding brands using popular bloggers to promote their products. Retailers have adjusted their relationships with these influencers to meet regulations - and thus developed a wide range of new models. In some cases, the brands makes no bones about the ties. In other cases, the retail brand does not want to give the appearance of a blogger getting paid to influence his or her readers. Macy’s appears to be falling in the second category with its focus on general topics.
Each Day of the Week A New Topic
To develop a regular readership, Retailing Today reports, the blog will dedicate each day of the week to a specific topic including women's fashion, men's fashion, home, accessories and beauty. On each day of the week, experts from Macy's and around the industry will provide tips in the form of how-to videos, reviews, blog posts and more.
Bip Ling Promotes Forever 21
Contrast this approach with the one US fashion brand Forever 21 is taking in the UK: it has signed on fashion blogger Bip Ling to represent it as it prepares to open its second store there - a flagship establishment on Oxford Street. There is little doubt about Ling’s relationship with Forever 21: she stars in the chain's latest ad campaign for its high summer and autumn collections. As Forever 21 senior marketing manager Linda Chiang told Retail Week: "Bip is the 'It' name in fashion. She has her finger firmly on the fashion pulse and has a fun and creative sense of style which embodies the Forever 21 brand."