Sheike GM Sandra Kennedy reveals shift in product and marketing strategies

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Womenswear retailer Sheike has shaken up its marketing and product strategies over the past two years, chief executive Sandra Kennedy has revealed to Ragtrader.

With stores closed during the lockdowns, Sheike’s customers have turned to the online channel for style advice and brand interaction.

Kennedy said the change pushed the company to create more brand-focused content and provide customers with a storytelling experience.

“A big part of the changes we noticed was our customers’ behavior and how they approached their purchases and interacted with the brand,” she said.

“No doubt in the first year we saw this change, but in the second lockdown we certainly felt it even more.

“So we focused more on brand building and storytelling, especially on our digital channels.

“It allowed us to develop a good understanding of how and when we spoke to our client, which really resulted in a more personalized individual approach.

“It gave her much of the same experience that she would typically come to our stores for,” she said.

Additionally, the style requirements of Sheike’s customers were changing – from event wear to casual styles.

This shift has allowed the company to explore new categories, Kennedy added.

“We made a very conscious effort to continue to listen and adapt where we needed to.

“Our design team really immersed themselves in this space and created more ‘all-occasion’ products.

“We’ve traditionally been known as an event destination and so we’ve had to increase that offering of what we call ‘all occasions’ products – dresses and sets that have the versatility to transform and be styled for multiple uses and not just limited to one occasion.

“It also opened up a lot of new categories for us, like swimwear.

“It’s really allowed us to strengthen that offering, which has led to really nice customer demand,” she said.

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