Creating Impactful Consumer Experiences Rooted in First-Party Data
As third-party data regulations continue to expand to maintain consumer privacy, VF Corporation’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer, Velia Carboni, weighs in on how the company is in a unique position to leverage first-party data for more engaging consumer experiences. Check out her insights below on why privacy is one of the most important priorities for companies, and how consumer data can be utilized to create experiences that increase brand loyalty and awareness among consumers.
1. How important is privacy to consumers purchasing items online in this era?
Data privacy is incredibly important. Every consumer has to opt-in to share their data and we make it easy for them to opt out. It’s crucial to remember that it is a privilege to access consumer data and we must treat it with the utmost respect. In that regard, we compartmentalize all the data that is collected down to the brand and location where the data is stored to make sure it is secured and in adherence with local regulations.
2. VF has a diverse brand portfolio - how does the digital technology team utilize all the information to take consumer engagement to the next level?
Currently, our data is siloed between brands, but as we grow and evolve, we’ll start to utilize cross-brand data and build a new data environment. Being able to see the overlap of consumers from brand to brand and cross sell, allows us the opportunity to meet each unique consumer at multiple points of contact. A true differentiator for VF is that we have a wide range of brands and global customers compared to most other companies and brands, which are more vertically specific.
3. Experiential activations are huge - how do you create digital experiences for consumers?
Designing a digital experience for consumers starts the same way as an in-person experience with the product and the brand stories. Making sure that there is consistency in storytelling is crucial to making any activation successful. One of our biggest assets is the passionate teams we have in each of our brand stores which serve as brand ambassadors to our consumers. Our job is to create digital consumer journeys that match this level of passion and one way we do this is by focusing on the people behind the technology. We treat our digital technology team with empathy and create an environment where they are empowered to voice their perspectives. In turn, they can channel their passion, joy and knowledge into digital consumer journeys that are personalized and rooted in connecting consumers with the brands they love.
4. How do you increase the value proposition for consumers to opt-in and further the brand story?
For a consumer to opt-in, we must provide a value proposition for them. With brands such as Vans® and The North Face®, we have seen tremendous growth in our loyalty programs. However, the value is not simply discounts; these programs create a sense of community across our global audience. Our brands relate so closely to our consumer’s values that they want to feel a sense of belonging with like-minded individuals. We reward that opt-in with new product launches and in-store experiences to build those bonds with loyalty members.
5. In your words, where do you see consumer engagement in the next 5 years and how is VF playing a leading role?
Consumer engagement is going to continue to grow as the number of touchpoints with consumers grows. Whether we are building a community through SMS texts, a loyalty program or emails, we’ll continue to foster a family of consumers with shared interests and shared values. It's important for us to move away from product-specific messaging and focus on the brand as a whole and use values as the basis for any engagement.
We’ve proven that consumers can trust us with their data and that our brands provide value. Maintaining that established rapport allows us to create deeper connections and engage with consumers in new and innovative ways.