A small lingerie retailer for “the woman who’s outgrown Victoria’s Secret,” Journelle deals in beautiful bras and all things lace. With three stores in Manhattan and a growing online presence, Journelle gives women an intimate, luxurious shopping experience.
The stores feature chocolates in the dressing room and a fluffy bathrobe to avoid getting dressed again when searching for new sizes.
“The mission is to encourage women to indulge, buy something beautiful, and to feel great wearing it,” Laura Maurer, Journelle’s social media and marketing coordinator, said.
It’s Maurer’s job to inspire that indulgence online, to virtually convey the chocolate-in-dressing-room feel. She makes sure that brides-to-be and general lingerie enthusiasts have fodder for their Pinterests. She alerts newsletter subscribers of the latest store’s incoming collections and keeps Facebook fans up-to-date on sales.
Journelle is small (the company’s corporate team consists of 10 people), but that doesn’t prevent them from growing their brand through enticing content.
Pay attention to detail
Like in every online store, each product on the Journelle site is accompanied by a description. The difference here is that a bra might be described as “Versailles, without the drama,” “lemon drop meets macaron,” or “downright illuminating.”
Because Journelle wants to appeal to smart, ambitious women, the content on its site has to reflect the brand’s own intellect.
A product description might seem like a small feat, but a clever pun could make the difference between customers exiting the tab and clicking “add to bag.”
“That’s definitely a priority, having clever copy on our emails and designs, along with great images. It’s important to us,” Maurer said. “You see Victoria’s Secret, and everything is sexy or very sexy or super sexy or the sexiest.”
Journelle has a challenge with some social marketing, because most users won’t share their latest underwear purchase on Instagram or Facebook.
Maurer said she’s “trying to figure out a way to get around that and get users to create content and share and feel comfortable sharing.”
Maurer mentioned eyewear brand Warby Parker as a brand to emulate in the future. This May, they hosted an “Instagram photo walk” through New York. Part scavenger hunt, but mostly just genius product placement.
“Not only was it fun and they got some great pictures, but now they have all these things on the Internet tagged with Warby Parker,” she said. ”I’d love to do something like that, but what product to do it with is the challenge.”
“Pinterest is huge, it’s like our third highest driver of traffic,” Maurer said, adding, “Not just social [traffic]. Anything.”
Having lots of followers looks good to investors and can inspire new fans, but if social media tactics don’t increase sales, they may be a waste of energy. Maurer said she struggles between wanting followers and needing to focus on driving revenue. She realizes that, especially with a luxe brand like Journelle, not all “fans” are customers.
She dedicates some platforms to “brand building” (Instagram, Tumblr) and others to promotional duty (Facebook), knowing that both are useful. But in the wide sea of social media opportunities, it can be relieving to cut out stagnant channels.
“We unfortunately don’t have a very big Twitter following, which is kind of a bummer,” Maurer said. “But Twitter doesn’t drive any sales, so I kind of don’t really care.”
Put a face to the name
CEO Claire Chambers’ blog, Journellement, introduces customers to Journelle employees, showcases new designs, and features Q&As with the designers themselves.
Her “musings” section includes an ode to The Standard Hotel in Miami and brief notes from Paris lingerie fashion shows. It’s honest commentary from one entrepreneur to other women who are not simply customers, but fellow connoisseurs.
In combination with their other content efforts, this genuine voice allows Journelle to compete with its larger counterparts and translates their intimate in-store experience online.