Jones New York is rolling out a more personal, relationship-based marketing campaign for 2007.
In addition to a new ad campaign and continued philanthropic alignments, Jones Apparel Group is forming a VIP program for customers of its core line and has signed Lloyd Boston to a two-year contract as “the official Jones New York style guy.”
“Jones New York is at many times the most expensive thing in our customer’s closet, and we want to treat them in a way that makes them feel special,” said Stacy Lastrina, Jones Apparel Group’s executive vice president for marketing and creative services. “What we do everyday is try to keep a 35-year-old brand interesting and relevant and still attract new consumers.”
After piloting the JNYinsider VIP program with Macy’s West last year, the company is expanding the incentives program with Macy’s East this spring. Last year the program began by inviting 600 of Macy’s West’s best Jones customers to become members with special privileges — including viewing the collections before they hit the floor via seasonal look books, exclusive events, a direct line of communication to JNY via a dedicated e-mail address, complimentary alterations and shipping on out-of-stock items, and gifts (last year, a JNY purse and cashmere sweater) — and 250 opted in. “Think about that as a resource,” Lastrina said. “Two hundred and fifty of your best customers.”
Among the exclusive events the JNYinsiders are invited to are Lloyd Boston visits. The “Today” show and “Full Frontal Fashion” regular has worked with the brand for about four years but has just signed an exclusive deal.
As the JNY style guy, Boston gives tips to women through mail, via jonesnewyork.com and during department store visits, for which he tours the country for JNY events, emceeing for department store fashion shows, answering questions and helping women shop.
“On the ‘Today’ show, I get to talk to millions of women at a time, but now I get to meet them and get their feedback,” Boston said. “It’s a challenge at times, because women will ask anything. It makes me blush at times or, rather, bordeaux.”
These personal shopping experiences mirror Jones’ third-year involvement with the Women’s Leadership Exchange. Since 2005, JNY has set up booths at the group’s conferences, helping female entrepreneurs — whether millionaires or just starting out — create a wardrobe for their meetings, social events and downtime.
“These women are incredibly busy with almost no time to shop. We connect with them at these conferences and then bring them back in to shop,” said a spokeswoman for Jones. “We also use them as mini focus groups.”
It’s also the third year for Jones New York in the Classroom. The company is building its philanthropic involvement, which this year will include a public service announcement featuring Jones Apparel Group chief executive officer Peter Boneparth with his favorite teacher for the TeachersCount campaign, for which First Lady Laura Bush also modeled.
Of course, Boneparth will not be the brand’s only model this season. New print ads for Jones New York Signature and Collection feature a more elegant message, according to Raul Martinez, chief executive officer and executive creative director for AR, the New York-based creative agency that has worked with the brand for seven years.
For Signature, Camilla Akrans shot model Carmen Kass in Miami Beach, and the ads feature the watercolor flowers that are steeped in the brand’s history. For Collection, Craig McDean shot models, including Shalom Harlow, against a white backdrop and the brand logo.
“Not only did we want to focus on product, but we wanted to take it to a much more elevated fashion message,” Martinez said.