While the last decade has shown a spike in the popularity of fast-fashion brands that release thousands of new items every day, Ted Baker takes a different approach to building a successful brand with staying power. The quirky, British lifestyle brand came to Mention Me in 2018 to help the ‘No Ordinary Designer Label’ to drive customer loyalty and capture offline conversations.
This in-depth case study will dive into Ted Baker's strategy for successful referral marketing and will showcase the wider impacts the insights had in driving the brand’s customer advocacy success.
In order to successfully compete in a market that is ever-growing and ever-evolving, Ted Baker had to focus on both continuity and growth simultaneously. As a brand famous for its juxtaposition of sophistication and a splash of fun, Ted Baker faced a common challenge — it had to stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impact on its customers. In the current age of inboxes being flooded with all-too-familiar marketing emails, Ted Baker had to think outside the box to stimulate growth.
Despite the brand's commitment to top-quality products and luxury-level service, this wasn't enough to weather the storm of changing market dynamics. The challenge didn't lay in attracting attention — after all, Ted Baker is a strong leader in the premium clothing and lifestyle category — but rather, traditional ways of advertising were no longer as effective as they once were, and therefore a data-backed, customer-centric approach was needed.
It was this realisation that convinced the brand to try referral marketing with Mention Me to capture ever-present word-of-mouth recommendations.
Through AB testing, the brand was able to better understand what messaging and incentives worked best for their customer base. By analysing which elements of their referral campaigns really clicked with their different cohorts, the brand was able to unlock helpful customer advocacy insights that shone a light on what was and wasn’t resonating with their customer base.
The challenges faced by Ted Baker were not unique; they mirrored the concerns of many fashion brands worldwide who were swimming against a current of competitive discounting and fickle customers – all in the name of building and nurturing customer loyalty.
Traditional loyalty programs and blanket marketing efforts were failing to capture the nuanced desires of the modern consumer. The challenge lay in creating an approach that embraced individuality and authenticity – two attributes deeply ingrained in Ted Baker's brand values. In order to truly thrive, the brand needed to transform customers into not just repeat buyers but enthusiastic advocates.
The rise of social media has revolutionised the way customers engage with brands. It has created a platform for consumers to directly interact with their favourite brands and share their opinions, whether positive or negative. Ted Baker had to harness the power of social media to turn casual shoppers into loyal customers.
The secret to Ted Baker's success is its meticulous dedication to the art of optimising the customer journey – a journey that goes beyond simple business transactions and evolves into a captivating narrative of brand engagement. Ted Baker's venture into the world of referral marketing was not a standalone strategy; it was tightly woven into every step of the customer's omnichannel shopping experience.
Recognising that the customer journey didn't start at the point of purchase, Ted Baker ensured that every touchpoint, from discovery to post-purchase engagement, was carefully curated and personalised.
When working with Mention Me, AB tests revealed that Ted Baker customers were more motivated to 'give' an offer to friends rather than 'get' for themselves and preferred a discount of £25 – rather than 10% – on their next purchase. Insights like this helped Ted Baker understand its customers better and give them the exact rewards they needed when they needed them.
The customer journey was meticulously designed to evoke emotions, build connections, and inspire advocacy. Ted Baker recognised that the journey itself was aligned with its commitment to quality and curated style. Seamless navigation, visually appealing layouts, and intuitive interfaces were the bricks that paved the path to a captivating customer experience.
From personalised shopping recommendations to exclusive previews, Ted Baker proactively engaged its cohorts of customer advocates in a dialogue, fostering a sense of partnership and exclusivity rather than a transactional relationship.
Ted Baker recognised that beneath the surface of every transaction lay important insights about messaging preferences and signals of interaction along the buyer journey, which held the key to customer advocacy success. Ted Baker deployed Mention Me’s AI-powered analytics tools to delve into the heart of customer behaviour. From browsing patterns to purchase histories, to referral patterns, all potentially relevant digital footsteps were tracked and analysed to create a narrative of consumer preferences for each customer segment.
This data-driven approach was a testament to Ted Baker's commitment to customer-centricity. By mapping the winding path of customer actions, the brand could predict a customer’s Propensity to Refer® , curate personalised recommendations and create a seamless customer journey that felt tailor-made. This alignment between data and customer experience was the cornerstone of the referral program's success.
The brand recognised that in the age of instant communication, every customer had a voice, and that voice held immense potential. In order to harness this potential, Ted Baker implemented a comprehensive feedback loop that solicited input at every touchpoint of the customer journey. By actively inviting customers to participate in the brand's evolution, Ted Baker fostered a partnership that meant more than just a transaction. Customers were not just consumers; they were collaborators, contributing to the brand's growth and evolution.
This active incorporation of feedback didn't just shape the referral program; it became a key pillar of their wider customer advocacy efforts. When customers saw their suggestions materialise into tangible changes, a sense of ownership emerged. This transformed customers into advocates who weren't merely referring products; they were endorsing a brand that genuinely valued their opinions.
Lessons Learned and Best Practices
Ted Baker's exploration of referral marketing revealed many valuable lessons that other brands can take on board. While complex referral programs could potentially overwhelm potential advocates, Ted Baker's streamlined Mention Me referral platform served as an example of the strength of simplicity. By ensuring that the referral process was effortless and the rewards compelling, the brand succeeded in fostering improved engagement and participation.
Through its referral program, Ted Baker's persistent dedication to encouraging customer advocacy has given the company a definite competitive advantage. Ted Baker harnessed the authentic enthusiasm of its customers to attract a new wave of loyal customers through referral marketing. This forward-looking approach not only positions Ted Baker as a trailblazer in customer advocacy within the fashion industry but also as a curator of lasting customer relationships.
Looking to the future, Ted Baker sees bright potential. Through the constant evolution of its referral program, thoughtfully aligned with the ever-changing currents of consumer dynamics, the company is set to unlock fresh markets and demographics. The brand's success in placing customer advocacy at the heart of its marketing strategy has set up its referral program to be both successful in the short-term and the long-term as a sustainable channel for future revenue growth through its customer base.
Ted Baker’s customer advocacy program with Mention Me resulted in improved metrics across the board including increased Net Promoter Score (NPS) and higher Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
In short, Ted Baker's journey into referral marketing and customer advocacy is a lesson for all fashion retail brands looking to put customer love at the heart of their marketing strategies. By optimising the customer journey, identifying customer advocacy insights, and personalising the nurture journey of customer segments, Ted Baker has not only overcome challenges in the fashion retail market but also created a playbook and North Star customer engagement and growth through earned channels.
As the fashion industry continues evolving, Ted Baker's unwavering commitment to excellence and customer-centricity positions it as an exemplar for effective referral programs that resonate deeply with customers and promote genuine loyalty. Ted Baker's narrative is a testament to the notion that while fashion trends may fleetingly grace the spotlight, the enduring power of authentic customer love remains forever relevant.
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“Working with Mention Me is a joy. Implementation was quick and easy; we really were up and running
in no time. ”
Head of Customer, Ted Baker