I Doff My Cap to... HEAT

Matthew Hayes
Managing Director
Topic
I doff my cap

The experience economy is booming. And what could be more of an experience than a mystery box full to the brim with exclusive and on-trend luxury fashion items? Well, that is exactly what is on offer from HEAT and just one of the reasons why I doff my cap to the brand.

Coined “the only luxury fashion box with a guaranteed value”, consumers are given the option to purchase a box that contains designber products with an RRP value up to three times its – a deal which makes the luxury items more accessible to a younger generation with less financial freedom.

The contents are handpicked by experienced stylists using stock from over 75 leading brands in the sector.

Each ‘drop’ of boxes is limited, with a caveat that once they have sold out, consumers have missed the chance of getting their hands on the exclusive items, as they will not be restocked. As boxes are typically geared towards luxury streetwear, this is a model that is largely understood and welcomed by the target audience.

In many ways then, the purchasing of a box is an experience within itself, and yet another reason I doff my cap. And this is something I have discussed previously – when a brand creates an experience with their offering, it evokes deeper emotional responses and bonds with its customers, which ultimately helps generate better results for the business.

More than a box

The boxes are a key element of the HEAT offering and play a much bigger role than simply containing the high-end items inside. After all, the offering is one of a ‘mystery’ box. Customers will already be feeling a heightened sense of excitement upon placing an order so receiving the package must live up to, if not exceed their expectations.

So, the package itself must form part of the product and ultimately, the experience of receiving and opening the order.

And to ensure this was the case, HEAT sought the help of innovative luxury packaging provider, Delta Global and together, they have been able to achieve a solution that taps into the power of emotion. The look, feel and purpose of the boxes are able to influence the experience of opening it. Fundamentally, a positive feeling about the former helps ensure a positive outcome of the latter.

But while I doff my cap to the way in which HEAT have been able to add value to their already-high value offering, it is not the only way they have done so. Rather, the brand’s sustainable proposition can also be credited.

Sustainability

HEAT had already established a name in luxury streetwear before it re-evaluated its brand in 2020 to keep up with changing customer needs. In this case, this had a lot to do with sustainability, which is becoming increasingly important among the brand’s target market.

The offering is largely marketed at the Gen Z and Millennial demographic, who have been found to be more willing to pay a higher price for ethical products than the generations that have come before them. For a luxury offering therefore, this was an important awakening.

But what’s more is that HEAT’s values were already centred around sustainability. Its business model has been built in a way that aims to reduce the issue of waste and landfill contribution in the fashion industry and instead creating a circular economy. Its constant stream of items is supplied by brands looking to offload surplus product without having to throw items away or heavily discount them, which can negatively impact the reputation and value of the brand.

So, while the contents of boxes were already suited for the increasingly ethical target base, the redesigned packages that had been created with the help of Delta Global ensured all aspects of the product met their needs.

Now, all it came down to was communicating this value to them.

The power of influencers

Before relaunching the brand with its updated packaging, HEAT had established a following on social media through its influencer marketing strategy. While the designer garments and accessories appealed to the Instagram generation, remaining relevant to shifting customer behaviours required something more.

Of course, sustainable boxes did this, but it needed to be communicated to the target market in order for it to be effective in attracting more of them to follow and ultimately, purchase from the brand.

And like mentioned in previous instalments, the power of influencers helped with this too. Upon relaunching, an Instagram campaign which saw some of the platform’s famous figures post and share images of their new boxes began to appear on users’ feeds, prompting increased interaction and engagement.

But rather than targeting any and every user who fit the description, efforts were focused on a more exclusive group, and thus, only those influencers who were followed by these individuals were asked to work on the campaign.

And proving just how successful this approach was, the first drop of boxes sold out within a week of the relaunch.

Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at Champions’ sister company, Influencer Matchmaker, explains why.

“The key to a successful brand and influencer pairing lies in a solid understanding of the business and its customers. Fundamentally, the values and image of the influencer must match those of the brand, as well as those shared by its customers.

“The influencer will be representing the brand in front of their audience, so it is vital that they convey the right message, as any misalignment could negatively impact the brand’s reputation.

“If executed right, the brand will be presented to a wider audience base via a figure they know and trust for recommendations.

“Ultimately, influencer campaigns touch upon human-to-human marketing tactics, which makes messages much more relatable and trustworthy than those communicated through a brand’s own channels. And as a result, are often much more successful in increasing brand engagement and generating interest.”

What HEAT has done is the perfect example of how brand partnerships can be entered into at various points in a supply chain. While their purposes differ, what is created is an offering that provides much more value to the end consumer.

Not only does this improve the overall experience a customer has with the brand, its services and final product, it provides the brands with greater exposure and strengthens their positions in the market too. It’s a win-win and it’s the reason I doff my cap.

Matthew Hayes
Managing Director