OSCAR’S FOCUS GROUP: In an effort to get even more in touch with its online followers, Oscar de la Renta’s social media personality and senior vice president of global communications Erika Bearman will host a focus group next week as the company gears up to launch a “top-secret” product specifically geared for the digital space. The twist: she will select the sampling via Twitter of 12 individuals who she feels are most representative of the brand’s social media following.

Following Oscar de la Renta’s pre-fall runway show in New York City Monday evening, Bearman tweeted to her almost 168,000 Twitter followers: “beauties, help me with something? I need a focus group made up of my followers” with a link to her Tumblr page with a message that read, “I need you. I’m working on a top-secret project and I need a focus group. Tweet @OscarPRGirl with the hashtag #shhh in the next 24 hours and tell me why you would be my perfect confidante.”

This story first appeared in the December 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The above message, accompanied by OscarPRGirl’s Twitter avatar, also took over the homepage at oscardelarenta.com, and was posted on Facebook and Instagram. “We’re working on a product that is going to be targeted to our social audience, so who better to help us make some of the decisions about that product than the people that we’re targeting it to?” Bearman said after the show.

So far over 1,000 have applied via Twitter — and Bearman and her team plan to narrow it down to 12 within the next few days for the Dec. 18 focus group. “It’s the first time we’re doing anything like this, but my feeling is that it’s going to be extremely valuable insight,” Bearman added, noting that this could be something the brand plans to permanently implement into its digital strategy.

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