Is AI the key to legacy brands’ revitalization?
Faced with a new selling landscape and the advent of direct-to-consumer apparel sales, family-owned luxury lingerie brand Cosabella turned to artificial intelligence (AI) tech. CEO and creative director Guido Campello told the story in a session at the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo 2018 (IRCE) in Chicago. He was joined by Vish Ganapathy, managing director at Accenture.
“We realized that we had to speak a different language, we had to use different terms, but there was no way to test everything,” Mr. Campello said.
With that in mind, Cosabella implemented technology like a machine learning solution, which allowed the brand to pursue advanced A/B testing, and an AI marketing platform to identify trends in how its promotions performed.
Mr. Campello said the company also used AI to help with email targeting and product personalization for its intimate apparel sales.
“The pattern recognitions were a big deal for us,” Mr. Campello said. “We would see these blips and be able to react. That kind of data crunching, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish [without AI].”
AI allowed the company to hone its images and ad copy by recognizing trends, A/B testing and acting on them the same day. Mr. Campello showed examples of the website, with its AI-optimized look, feel and messaging.
As an example, Mr. Campello said that a 35,000-variable test had revealed that customers received the copy “family-owned since 1983” far better than other options, such as deal offers.
“Everything you see on our site right now are things that I would have never approved of,” Mr. Campello said. “I would have looked at aesthetics differently, I would have looked at script differently, I probably would have looked at language differently.”
“AI itself is simply a means, it’s not the end,” added Mr. Ganapathy. “It opens up the aperture in what else you can do. It opens up the possibility for you to analyze data in a much wider manner.”
For a brand like Cosabella, which was dependent in its heyday on celebrity models like Sharon Stone and Heather Locklear, this ability has opened the door to successes like the rollout of an entirely new product category for an AI-identified segment.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How useful do you see AI technology being in turning around once-popular brands and retailers? What opportunities and dangers do you see in using AI to formulate marketing and branding approaches?