case study: design a coach tote

The current case study at BlogHer Business is about how Coach ran a campaign to have consumers design their own Coach bags. The company wanted to engage a younger market, and the campaign was successful: they had 3200 submissions and had 6 million “engagements” with the site. The company told the agency “We want consumers to put their DNA on our bags” – much as Fiskars realised users wanted to tell the story of their life rather than talk about tools. The campaign invited users to “design the next Coach totes”, and the prize was that for the bag that was selected by Coach, they’d create the bag and throw a party for the creator and your friends in your local store. They gave users some patterns they could choose to use and uploaded it using share tools, named it, wrote about it. They had 3200 entries. Were picked up by over 30 blogs (interesting: that doesn’t really seem like a lot?)

They sold the bag in a limited edition for $220 at the store where the designer lived near, and a few other stores. But it was essentially a PR product, not that they really wanted to make money off the bag. I wonder whether the novelty of this kind of campaign will wear off? Will consumers get sick of this? Especially if their input is not sufficiently listened to by the company – after all, the bags weren’t really sold. Did the designs really influence the way Coach designs their bags? (Yes, they say towards the end – they went through all the designs looking for trends and inspirations.) They didn’t promote the bag chosen – is this a slap in the face to the creators?

There are three reasons why people participate, says Jamie Dicken from Brickfish, the agency doing this campaign, and that’s done similar campaigns for Victoria’s Secret and other brands.

  1. I can do it – I can drag and click and create something quickly and easily.
  2. I’m a creator – it’s my goal in life to create a bag for Coach.
  3. I want to be a celebrity. 25% of young people believe they can be a celebrity.

Pretty interesting presentation – though there are quite a few other similar campaigns around.

23. July 2009 by Jill
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