Strategic Objectives builds buzz for Lands’ End
October 01, 2013 | Rebecca Harris | Comments
In July, the Toronto-based PR firm took some key influencers and media to New York to meet with the Lands’ End PR team when they held a holiday preview for U.S. media. “It was short notice, but it certainly planted the seed that Lands’ End was coming,” said Deborah Weinstein, co-founder and president of Strategic Objectives. “So when we sent out our invitation to a preview of Lands’ End here in Toronto, we had a pretty fabulous turnout.”
The official Canadian launch took place on Sept. 18, and was held in a pop-up store with 50 mannequins outfitted in Lands’ End clothing. Weinstein said 25 media outlets attended and the news coverage generated 7.5 million impressions in one week. Since Lands’ End doesn’t have a separate Canadian Twitter account, Strategic Objectives also ran the Twitter feed for the day, using the hashtag #landsendCA to distinguish it from other tweets and help track impressions.
Weinstein said the goal of the PR efforts and advertising campaign, which was developed by Padulo Integrated, was to build awareness of the e-commerce site and the Lands’ End brand itself. The Wisconsin-based company, which is owned by Sears Holding Corp., sells casual clothing and home furnishings, often with a nautical twist.
“Lands’ End does have a fair number of Canadian shoppers registered to its website and catalogue, but research told them that overall, [the brand's] awareness in Canada was low,” said Weinstein. “It was really important for them to take their story to Canada and tap into this marketplace.”
The e-commerce site is designed to keep the guesswork out of the added costs of shopping with a U.S. retailer. At LandsEnd.com/Canada, Canadian shoppers can see upfront how much shipping and duty will cost. The prices are the same as the U.S. prices, but are shown in Canadian currency at the current exchange rate.
Strategic Objectives is now working on PR programs for the holiday season, which Weinstein said will involve a fair amount of product placement, whether it’s outfitting the media or showcasing the clothing on blogs.
Weinstein said her PR shop landed the account because of a referral from Rick Padulo of Padulo Integrated. Strategic Objectives has considerable retail experience and was the PR firm for a number of U.S. brands coming to Canada, including Whole Foods, Marshalls and Menchie’s.
“Lands’ End came up to do some research and focus groups last April and we went out and met with them,” said Weinstein. “It was pretty much an instant click. And we’ve been working together ever since.”