Kenneth Cole Transitions to Customer Centricity

The Challenge

Kenneth Cole Productions is a global fashion house that designs and sells a range of stylish footwear, apparel, and handbags. The company was founded in 1982 in New York City by Kenneth Cole and is well known for being socially conscious, often using advertising to show support for social causes.

Kenneth Cole has always sought to create a meaningful connection with its customers based on who they are and what they stand for; not just as consumers, but as individuals. This commitment had become increasingly challenging to maintain given the retail industry’s major changes over the past 10 years. Consumers have more choice than ever, and Kenneth Cole needed to adapt its marketing strategy to match.

The marketing team felt that they weren’t effectively speaking to their customers, cultivating brand loyalty, or building advocacy, and these challenges were cutting into the company’s profit margins. The marketing team recognized that they needed to consolidate and enrich their customer data in order to successfully understand their customers and engage with them more meaningfully.


The Solution

The Kenneth Cole marketing team turned to Custora to help mine the insights hidden in their customer data. While they felt that customers loved their brand, they weren’t sure that the customers felt that same connection returned from the brand. With Custora, they wanted to ignite, connect, and deepen their customers’ love of the brand with personalized digital experiences.

“At Kenneth Cole, our inspiration has always been driven by our unique and diverse consumer base,” said TJ Papp, VP of Digital/Ecommerce at Kenneth Cole. “Creating a connection for shoppers who purchase our products is critical to inspire loyalty and ultimately drive success in the digital retail landscape. Custora has been a valuable partner in helping us deepen our customer analytics capabilities as we look to create a superior experience for today’s shoppers.”

In working with the Custora team, the marketing team at Kenneth Cole identified three strategic priorities for better customer-obsessed engagement: identifying and cultivating VIPs, acquiring high-value customers and reducing churn to drive retention—all with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue by 1.5%.

"Custora has been a valuable partner in helping us deepen our customer analytics capabilities as we look to create a superior experience for today’s shoppers.”

TJ Papp
VP of Digital/E-commerce

The Results

Using Custora’s predictive analytics and machine learning solutions, the Kenneth Cole marketing team was empowered to identify their high-value customers, as well as customers likely to have an affinity for certain categories and products. They began by testing the affinity segment for men’s suits with an email marketing campaign in which Custora’s predictive algorithms identified the customers most likely to purchase a men’s suit. The Kenneth Cole marketing team was able to then frictionlessly build this audience using Custora’s natural language segment builder, learn who comprised the segment, then push these contacts into their email service provider (ESP). During this first test, Kenneth Cole sold more suits in one day than they had in the entire previous week.

Kenneth Cole’s marketing team is just getting started. They plan to continue using predictive affinities to better learn about and communicate with their customers. Next up on the team’s roadmap: launching a predictive churn prevention program, a VIP program, and a high-value customer acquisition program.


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