How things have changed for David Lauren in the past five years.
In his keynote speech, Polo Ralph Lauren's senior vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications recalled his minimal technology experience in 2000 when he joined the company to spearhead the launch of Polo.com. "In fact, I think I learned how to turn on a computer a year before," he said jokingly.
Since then, Lauren has been a vital component in Polo.com's success. The partnership venture with NBC just marked its fifth anniversary and now receives three million hits monthly.
The 34-year-old used his summit presentation to detail how the site helps drive home the Ralph Lauren lifestyle message.
"What my dad started nearly 40 years ago was not just about a tie, it was not about a shirt, it was not about a dress, it wasn't about a fashion show," Lauren said. "What Ralph Lauren does that's special is tell a story. He tells you a world. He takes you into a world that you have never seen before, that you thought you might have seen. It's cinematic, it's movies, it's a world that is inspiring, it's a world that takes you from Santa Fe, from the West, to Nantucket and old English estates. It gives you something that makes you dream. What he has done has really helped to set the standards for what lifestyle marketing is."
Lauren started his career as a sophomore at Duke University, when he launched Swing magazine for intellectual twentysomethings, which was initially distributed from the back of his car. He eventually published it nationwide in a partnership with Hachette-Filipacchi.
When he joined the company, Lauren's challenge was to develop a way to bring his father's essence to life on flat screens.
"The task was to develop a media company, and we met with NBC, who is our partner," Lauren said. "We looked at a bunch of different ideas on how to get into the Internet world, and how to get into the media world. It became very, very simple, actually. We looked at our ads. We looked back and said, ‘What makes Ralph Lauren unique?'"
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