A modern data stack for Douglas
To be successful in today’s e-commerce world, a modern, scalable business intelligence landscape for extensive product, marketing and customer analysis is essential. For this reason, DEPT® has been supporting Douglas for 2 years as a service provider, enabler and partner in setting up a central data platform.
Data rows per month from 30+ data sources
The starting position
At the beginning of Douglas’s journey, DEPT® faced a challenge: A grown IT infrastructure with a database that was difficult to scale, slow processes and static tools all of which needed to be modernised to deliver a fast, scalable and flexible data stack.
Because the capacity of the existing system was limited, certain analysis could not be carried out to the desired extent and depth. In addition, there was an enormous amount of manual work involved in creating the report because data from different countries and companies had to be merged. Analysis that required a combination of data (e.g. tracking and marketing data) from different tools, made for long delays before insights could be gained.
The design of a modern data stack
Together with Douglas, DEPT® were able to identify optimisation potential in three key areas:
As Douglas’ own IT resources were limited for new integrations, Fivetran was recommended. This software can be used to extract data from various sources and load it into data warehouses. Notable: Today, Douglas is Fivetran’s largest customer in Europe.
Data storage and transformation
Douglas had already chosen the Snowflake cloud data platform, which DEPT® would have recommended. This tool fits perfectly with Douglas’ challenges and goals. DEPT® provided their own SQL Runner for the data transformation.
Data activation and visualisation
The collection of data is not an end in itself, it always serves to gain knowledge. To do this, however, the data must first be made visible and understandable. Accordingly, DEPT® conducted a thorough comparison of visualisation tools in eleven categories and over 50 requirements defined by Douglas. Tableau was identified as the best solution and is now gradually being established by Douglas as the central self-service tool.
The data stack in action
Thanks to the use of the tools mentioned, data management for Douglas is now significantly simpler, more efficient and more effective.
Standardised KPIs eliminated
Gone are the days of manually combining dozens of Excel files to create a simple sales report. DEPT® were able to make a significant contribution, ensuring that data from all Douglas subsidiaries are now available in the same format in one central location. The metrics are standardised across the company and Douglas has the assurance that “Gross Revenue 3” really does mean the same thing for Nocibe in France and Germany.
In the past, a high level of manual effort was required to create Excel reports that were sent to the board every week. Now the data for the reports is processed fully automatically, making it available in the visualisation tool, so that the C-level at Douglas has the current reports available every morning before the first coffee.
Basis for self-service
With the newly created data platform, the Douglas teams are able for the first time to carry out tool-supported independent data analysis on a larger scale. Standardised KPIs, Tableau training and the connection of new data sources enables them to easily find and visualise the data they need. Reports can now be created independently by the employees instead of demanding the valuable time of the IT department at Douglas.
Planning & Forecasting
Working closely with Douglas, Snowflake data is also used in forecasting tools for planning inventory and pricing. Additionally, to enable automated, data-driven decisions and to increase the degree of independence of the teams in the future, DEPT® are currently preparing a business case for the use of reverse ETL solutions such as Hightouch or Census together with selected Douglas departments.
Ready for a data-driven, digital future
Thanks to the modern data stack, Douglas saves around half a full-time position to a full-time position, according to their calculations. With data integration via Fivetran, data storage via Snowflake on Azure, DEPT®’s SQL Runner for data transformation and Tableau as a visualisation solution, Douglas has reached the first major milestone in digitisation. We look forward to continuing to accompany our customers on their way to a data-driven, digital future.
Thanks to its high level of technological expertise, DEPT® is the ideal partner for modernising our data stack. The implemented technology is not an end in itself but optimally tailored to our business needs.
Jonas Rashedi, Director of Data Intelligence & Technologies, Douglas
Global Lead of Data Practice
The beauty is in the design
Douglas inspires many ways to live individual beauty and is now Europe’s leading premium beauty platform.
DEPT® Hamburg has developed various solutions for Douglas spanning four years as part of the #forwardbeauty.digitalfirst strategy. In addition to focusing on optimising the online shop customer experience and content, we also deliver unique, creative content for other touchpoints.
Skincare for an international brand
The rebranding of the Douglas brand began in 2018 with an extensive CI update. The focus was on the redesign of the sensational 50-year-old logo, updating it with new, modern imagery significantly influenced by campaign images by star photographer Peter Lindbergh.
As part of this rebranding, DEPT® came into play for the first time. Since the CI update was primarily implemented for print in the first step, Douglas needed a competent partner agency to adapt the new CI from print to digital. Within this digital branding, we primarily translated colours, fonts and Peter Lindbergh’s photography into digital context. In addition, our UX and UI experts developed a completely new icon set.
First step: a gentle facelift
The next step was to make the newly developed CI visible. It became clear that the relaunch of the Douglas online shops would take some time, but that the rebranding had to be made digitally tangible as quickly as possible to maintain a brand presence, DEPT® implemented a facelift.
The new fonts, colours, stylistic elements and icons that were developed as part of the rebranding and translated into a digital guideline were used throughout the online shop. Distances have been recalculated and headers and footers have been revised. With these adjustments, the DEPT® UX and UI team was able to help the Douglas online shop achieve a measurable uptake in user experience. 2018 was the year the Douglas-wide rebranding went live.
Iterative rebuild in the background
Parallel to the facelift, DEPT® started with the redevelopment of the new shop. While netconomy was responsible for the technical implementation of the Douglas relaunch, DEPT® developed the UX and UI design. As part of the relaunch, DEPT® utilised animated micro-interactions to uplift the joy of use. Until the beginning of 2020, the DEPT® team worked with the tools Sketch, Abstract and Invision, at the beginning of 2020 the Douglas Sketch file was migrated to the Figma tool.
The first go-lives were already celebrated in 2019 – with the relaunch of the Douglas online shops in Switzerland, Austria and Poland. Based on these comparatively small markets, the upcoming German launch could be optimised thanks to generated learnings. DEPT® remain involved in the constant future development of the Douglas online shops.
Sustainable branding: design with a system
In contrast to a pattern library or a style guide, a design system not only contains reusable interface components but is a comprehensive description of a brand’s cross-channel design language. With the help of a design system, a wide variety of digital products, websites and apps can be designed uniformly.
DEPT® developed a component-based design concept for Douglas, which formed the basis for our shop relaunch in the first step. In addition, this was the basis for a new digital design system, which is used continuously for further holistic development and across touchpoints.
Alexander Storck – Head of UX, Douglas.
At the end of 2019, Douglas decided to implement a digital design system that we proposed as the future “single source of truth”. All creative elements are created within the design system, described in detail and made accessible to employees. It can be used internationally for the design of various components of the Douglas online shop. The in-house design system leads to a sustainable design process, which is constantly documented using the zeroheight and Figma tools.
Together with DEPT®, we can continuously optimise the digital beauty shopping experience in a customer-centric manner in order to further expand our position as No. 1 in the online beauty business in Europe.
Vanessa Stützle – EVP Ecommerce & CRM, Douglas
Douglas goes Live-Shopping
The demand for comprehensive online advice is increasing, and the closures caused by the pandemic have accelerated this trend. In March 2020, Douglas successfully launched the live shopping channel Douglas LIVE. After the summer break, the beauty retailer took the format to the next level with Douglas LIVE – THE LIVE CHANNEL FOR BEAUTY using the new Livebuy technology and a completely new look.
For the launch and the daily shows, we have the new digital branding including logo and style elements and content assets. The videos for Douglas LIVE are provided by DEPT®. To date, DEPT® has created content assets for almost 350 shows and accompanies Douglas on its way to becoming a one-stop inspiration platform for beauty & healthcare.
DEPT® and Douglas: highlights
- Development of a scalable, reliable e-commerce platform – multilingual, multi-currency, cross-location
- Fully integrated loyalty program serving more than 44 million loyalty cardholders
- Implementation of a transnational usable design system
- increased conversion rate
Director Marketing & Business Development
HYPEWEAR by ABOUT YOU – the first online shop for digital fashion
ABOUT YOU is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies and one of the leading online fashion retailers in Europe, driving innovative projects and seeing itself as an industry pioneer in digital fashion. ABOUT YOU approached DEPT® with the vision to create an online shop for digital fashion. The aim: making digital fashion items accessible to the general public. DEPT® supported end-to-end, as both consultant and implementation partner.
Virtual Fashion – unlimited possibilities
First, the HYPEWEAR brand was created and the CI designed, both in close coordination with ABOUT YOU. DEPT® then conceptualized and developed the HYPEWEAR digital fashion online shop based on the agency’s own Algomart solution. As a last step, DEPT® created a teaser video for the high-profile launch of HYPEWEAR.
In addition to the fashion e-commerce business, ABOUT YOU aims to conquer the virtual fashion space and offer customers a wide variety of outfits. Virtual fashion allows creators to design pieces that are not wearable in real life or could not exist like this such as a jacket made of virtual flowers, a dress made of dancing tulle elements, or other unusual voluminous highlight pieces. There are different collections available in the HYPEWEAR shop; some of them are rare and limited in number, others are available more often. Customers have the opportunity to express themselves in a completely new way and to present themselves digitally; this is particularly relevant for Gen Z with regard to the fluid understanding of their identity.
It’s all ABOUT YOU
With the new platform for digital fashion, there are no physical limits to the customers’ own self-expression. HYPEWEAR is a first mover to offer digital fashion and, according to its motto ‘From Tech to Human’, the items are not only affordable for digital fashion fans, but also accessible without crypto knowledge. This makes the platform one of the pioneers in the market.
Fast First Mover – fast, simple and intuitive
The aim was to bring a first MVP of the online shop live in the shortest possible time to establish HYPEWEAR as the one-stop store for digital fashion items. The user journey was to be designed as simple and intuitive as possible, even for ‘non-web3 natives’, in order not to exclude anyone and to ensure that every user can purchase digital fashion items. In addition, brands should be able to sell their 3D fashion via HYPEWEAR to provide a large selection of different fashion pieces on the platform for the target group.
The metaverse has opened up a new, exciting world for companies and the fashion industry, which we at ABOUT YOU want to shape. With HYPEWEAR, we want to become the destination for digital fashion and the mainstream wardrobe of the metaverse. For this, we can rely on DEPT® as a strong partner in Web3 & Crypto.
Tarek Müller, co-founder and co-CEO, ABOUT YOU
An online shop for digital fashion based on the Algorand Blockchain
The selection of the appropriate blockchain was a key part of the project. The main focus was on ensuring that it was ecologically sustainable, fast, and had low processing fees (i.e. fees for mining and transferring the NFTs). DEPT® and ABOUT YOU selected Algorand. This blockchain has a minimal CO2 footprint and enables fast transactions between marketplace and customers.
Through the integrated CMS in the online store, ABOUT YOU can create and upload as many digital fashion items as desired. The occurring processing fees on Algorand are minor.
Thanks to the integration of custodial wallets, the creation of the crypto wallet in which the items are stored is handled directly for the customer in the registration process. This prevents a break in the customer journey, which would be associated with the time-consuming and complicated creation of crypto wallets and the subsequent connection in the store. Even Web3-inexperienced users can receive their digital fashion pieces with ease.
In addition to the 3D model of the respective digital fashion item and the NFT, customers also receive an edited photo of themselves onto which the virtual fashion piece is mapped. This step also fits perfectly into the entire customer journey and is kept as simple as possible. Customers can easily manage their digital fashion items in their profile and use the edited photos for social media.
Within just a few months, DEPT® and ABOUT YOU have created the first online store for digital fashion. HYPEWEAR pushes the boundaries of conventional fashion with three-dimensional fashion pieces. The platform acts as a digital milestone in this field, providing the impulse for many more future-forward, virtual projects.
The metaverse will continue to gain importance in the upcoming years and we see great potential here, which we want to explore together with the experts of DEPT®: We strongly believe in a transition phase of augmented reality, where your physical self presents digital fashion on social media, breaking down the boundaries of the previous fashion world and reaching an even larger audience.
Marius Bingener, Teamlead Content Development, ABOUT YOU
Visit the HYPEWEAR online shop
Director Marketing & Business Development
A personalised Ralph Lauren gifting experience
Luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren was founded in 1967 and is a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home furnishings, and other licensed product categories. For over five decades, their long-standing reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands, sales channels, and international markets.
For Holiday season 2021 and beyond, Ralph Lauren challenged BYTE/DEPT® to find a way to elevate their existing gifting experience within the digital space.
The challenge: developing a strong bond
The aim was to provide users with a more immersive and personalised method of picking the perfect gift, matching their interests with compatible products available on the Ralph Lauren website. They wanted to develop a strong bond between the brand identity of Ralph Lauren, the digital assistant, and the customer, breaking any barriers of communication and supercharging the journey to finding the perfect gift.
This was coupled with a desire to be pioneers in cutting-edge communications with customers, tapping into emerging, innovative mechanics to bring the gift experience to life.
The solution: a gifting chatbot
Combining data-driven insights from previous gifting chatbots with innovative Instagram platform features, we built one of the first branded Instagram chatbots available in the industry and worldwide.
We optimised the conversation structure based on data collected from the Messenger and WhatsApp gifting bots we’ve previously run, to ensure the best experience for users throughout the Holiday season and beyond. We know how the customers behave and what they like when shopping for gifts, and have taken that to the next level on Instagram.
A personalised journey
The conversation takes you through a personalised journey towards discovering the perfect gift – just like you would in Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on London’s Bond Street.
- Tell us who you’re shopping for and their style
- Match their style with the perfect gift using bespoke Taste Profiles
- Refine your search with dynamic filters (such as price or outerwear) that remember your search history and tailor recommendations accordingly
- NLP functionality that would take you to specific product pages when certain trigger words were typed e.g. ‘jeans’
- Get bespoke product recommendations from a dynamic product feed
We made use of powerful discovery features including automated replies to story @mentions, and DMs to drive new conversations cost effectively. We also built a series of creative assets that were channelled into Ralph Lauren’s paid campaigns to drive traffic to the bot.
One of the first branded Instagram chatbots in the world
Our gifting chatbot saw excellent results in its first few months.
Average of 12k monthly users over Dec 21 – Mar 22
We’ve seen very healthy traffic into the bot, with 3.5x more users on Instagram compared to Messenger and WhatsApp combined.
82% organic traffic
Over 80% of users are introduced to the bot organically, making it very efficient compared to paid media campaigns. Essentially high quality traffic at zero media spend.
6 minutes average time spent on the bot
This is 3x higher than the average time spent on our other gifting bots, showing that users are engaging well with the bot experience.
2.7% click through rate to website
Almost 3% of users that land on the chatbot visit the website and show purchase intent.
0.4% users handed over to Customer Services
Only 0.4% of users required a handover to a live Customer Service agent. This is one of the lowest rates we’ve seen in the industry.
With the chatbot now successfully rolled out in 4 markets (UK, IT, DE and FR) across 4 languages, we’re looking into further expansion across more global Ralph Lauren markets for 2022 and beyond.
Lead Technology Planner at BYTE/DEPT®
Building a modern shopping experience for C&A
C&A is one of the leading fashion companies in Europe, with over 1,300 stores and 25,000 employees across 18 countries. Every day, over 2 million customers flock to its physical stores, or visit its online site looking for high-quality fashion at low prices. C&A turned to DEPT® to review and refresh its technical architecture in line with its extensive rebrand.
Flexibility and scalability – key factors in a digital world
The collaboration between C&A and DEPT® began in mid-2020. Initially, we were tasked with maintaining and further developing the front-end of the previous online store. However, the monolithic e-commerce platform it was built upon was unfortunately restricting the retailer’s digital growth. In today’s digital world where user expectations, trends, technology, and broader market factors change so quickly, a flexible and scalable system is key for companies who want to act instead of react.
From a monolithic platform to a headless microservice architecture
C&A needed a customer experience platform to act as its central digital touchpoint and support omnichannel consumer journeys to ensure a seamless shopping experience. The retailer had already developed an innovative architecture concept, and planned to replace its legacy platform with an edge-based, headless microservice architecture with SPA front end. Together with C&A’s in house teams, DEPT®:
- developed an agile product strategy and roadmap;
- set up a cross-product design system;
- developed new front- and backend components;
- implemented a new, modern technical architecture.
Product strategy and roadmap
To effectively pursue the goals of C&A’s digital strategy, as well as the overarching business and brand strategy, DEPT® worked with C&A’s Product and UX team to develop a medium-term, agile product strategy for the new online store.
We first developed data-based customer value propositions for the target groups of the online store. We mapped out an ambitious Webshop Vision Statement 2024 as a landmark for the product team. Together with C&A, we set strategic milestones and defined associated key results, to ensure the online store’s success is continuously measured and can be made visible to key stakeholders at any time.
To bring the online store strategy to life, we set up an agile workflow that leads directly to a dynamic, strategic product discovery and roadmap. Since expectations and impulses around digital products change at lightning speed, the online store will be strategically reviewed in regular alignments in the future.
Collaboration and process
From the very beginning, DEPT® established a broad collaboration with various stakeholders at C&A – from brand and marketing teams to IT and research units. This was an important basis for the success of the project, as it enabled a common understanding of how brand purpose and brand value propositions could be translated into the digital realm. Possible solutions based on consumer insights were developed with the help of collaborative ideation and co-creation sessions, and the results were tested using interactive prototypes. In order to routinely generate ideas for new functions and services in the future, the collaboration between the C&A user research team and the product managers was integrated and intensified – a new power force that will not only further develop the online store in a user-centric manner but also make it more innovative.
Architecture and technology
The technical solution conceived by C&A was further elaborated and implemented together with DEPT® to create a microservice approach. This scalable and flexible infrastructure enables optimal time-to-market performance, and enables personalised offers, content, and services to be delivered to the users. At the same time, the solution can grow seamlessly with future requirements.
Due to the complexity of the project and the associated complete renewal of the architecture, the development of the new online store was divided into several stages. Stage 1 included the redevelopment of the store frontend for the customer journey up to the shopping cart, as well as the introduction of a new backend. Both components are hosted “on the edge” on a high-performance and scalable serverless infrastructure from Cloudflare. The generation and delivery of content to users is done via a worldwide CDN (Content Delivery Network), with thousands of nodes.
A new, modern headless CMS became the central tool for content maintenance across multiple channels such as the online store and the C&A app. Because the backend and commerce engine remained unchanged in Stage 1, interfaces to the legacy system based on GraphQL were developed in collaboration with software company novomind. This enables the parallel operation of old and new technology, and conducts ongoing A/B tests for 10% of the users. The connection of these APIs and all other third party systems like Reco-Engine, PIM, etc, takes place via a newly developed gateway, which provides the data in a consolidated form to the frontend; a modern and server-side rendered single page application based on React.
Product design, user experience and content
The entire user journey through to checkout was redesigned. A comprehensive set of content modules provides space for engaging, inspiring content that embodies freshness and modernity. Large-scale images and strong portraits combined with close-ups create an emotional connection, while striking typography succinctly brings user-relevant content to the point.
The header is now cleaner and clearer; there is a new navigation concept for the mobile and the desktop versions. New and more balanced product listings provide a better overview and support the user to make an informed buying decision.
Easy-to-understand labels and a focus on sustainability communicate the brand promise and good value for money. A user-friendly filter gives customers the most important options directly at their fingertips. The products on the details page now have a new arrangement, with a clearer buy box and integrated size advice, helping to underline the modern look and feel of the new platform.
The design system as the single source of truth
Built from scratch, the new C&A design system is a living digital ecosystem that grows and changes in symbiosis with the e-com products. It enables teams to develop a consistent experience for users as the new single source of truth for a common digital language. This increases efficiency and strengthens cross-functional collaboration, even for external partners. In a collaborative approach, our product design team worked closely with the client to develop and define the overarching guidelines such as digital branding basics and content principles. Shop-specific foundations, components and UX patterns are provided with guidelines and numerous best practices to offer the best possible orientation and guidance for a consistent experience.
Together with DEPT®, the strong partner at our side, we have built a state-of-the-art webshop. The new platform fulfils the wishes of our customers, reflects the modernity of our brand and forms the basis for our ambitious growth targets.
Ulrike Otto, Head of Digital Experience, C&A
A unique Web3 experience for H&Mbeyond
H&Mbeyond is the innovation hub of the well-known Swedish fashion company H&M Group. Together with startups and innovators, its team drives forward future-oriented projects. After speaking at DEPT®’s 2021 Meta Festival, Head of H&Mbeyond, Oliver Lange, approached us to create the first-of-its-kind, Metaverse project for the H&M brand: the Virtual Showroom.
A central point for meaningful exchanges
In keeping with the current zeitgeist, H&Mbeyond approached us with the idea of expanding H&M’s physical showrooms with a digital showroom. Based on the former, it should reflect the brand’s identity and values, just virtually instead of physically. A space without opening hours, where a wide variety of target audiences such as influencers and stylists, customers, employees, and the press can meet and learn more about H&M and its collections. The Virtual Showroom was to serve as a central point for meaningful exchanges in an immersive environment. Targeted tours by the H&M showroom team were intended to inform the audience about current trends and topics such as sustainability and new, innovative materials.
The number of visitors, countries of origin and the average time spent in the individual areas (which can be helpful for future brand activations), were defined as KPIs for this new showroom. KPIs including click rates of downloadable materials and qualitative feedback from showroom guests and media stakeholders are to follow soon.
Bringing collections to life
How can we experience clothing when we can’t touch it or wear it? What added value does a digital experience offer visitors and customers? Together with our partner Journee – The Metaverse Company™, we explored solutions to these questions to develop a virtual, custom-fit world for H&M. In the H&M Virtual Showroom, content on H&M’s innovation topics and sustainability efforts are presented, alongside ‘information zones’, designed especially for the press or users interested in a conversation.
The look of the showroom is based on the DNA of the H&M brand, with appropriately designed areas for the most important topics such as the ‘Sustainability Garden’ (where information on the innovative material ‘AirCarbon’ is shared), or the H&M Home influencers meeting area.
The ‘Campaign Room’, accessible through a portal, is where the new H&M Innovation Stories campaign ‘Cherish Waste’ is interpreted in a fascinating new way. Here, Creative Director Ann-Sofie Johansson and Concept Designer Ella Soccorsi give insights into the design process of the collection and the campaign, as well as the materials used in the clothing. The highlight of this room are the six main pieces of the collection which dominate the room as detailed, oversized 3D graphics. The flowing movement and vivid colours of the graphics really bring the pieces to life. Special Collections, in particular, lend themselves to the creation of such individual spaces, with a wide variety of brand activation options and providing unique, added-value for the visitors and the H&M showroom team.
From vision to (virtual) realisation
We developed all of the components mentioned above together with Journee and in close cooperation with H&M. The vision of the showroom grew piece by piece; our strategists developed the concept, and the designers brainstormed, scribbled and designed creative mood boards based on the creative direction of the campaign and the H&M brand DNA.
With the help of H&M’s user insights, we designed the user flows for the influencers, stylists and journalists at an early stage, which provided the necessary guidance during the creative process. With the design ideas sharpened, we continued to optimise the concept and content until everything could be implemented (virtually) by Journee, using Unreal.
The first test tours in the Virtual Showroom, plus the positive feedback and ideas received from H&M stakeholders, helped us to round off the H&M Web3 experience. Paths were rerouted, trees moved, images swapped, and descriptions added.
An immersive user experience
The three avatar designs represent an important message: the need for more diversity and inclusion in fashion. With the avatars, users can move freely in the Virtual Showroom, so we paid special attention to user guidance, orientation and the order in the rooms. Even inexperienced users can navigate through the showroom with the help of various aids and explanations, helping them to discover everything in a playful way. Thanks to the separate rooms and different areas in the H&M Virtual Showroom, users can explore and experience the brand and the respective collections, or they can quickly find what they are looking for by simply teleporting to their desired destination.
By working in true collaboration throughout an iterative process, the requirements of H&Mbeyond’s innovation approach were optimally understood and implemented. In the future, the Virtual Showroom is expected to host events such as launches, meetings, and concerts for larger audiences, all in addition to the presentation of new collections.
“H&M’s Virtual Showroom is designed as a space for brand activations such as fashion campaigns. These are brought to life in a whole new and exciting way, combining innovation, digitalisation and sustainability. It makes me very proud to see how much energy, heart and soul our colleagues across countries and departments have put into this project. We are looking forward to exploring the potential in the countries of the Central Europe region and beyond.” Thorsten Mindermann, Regional Manager, H&M Central Europe.
Director Marketing & Business Development
Refreshing a century-old brand for today’s world
Alongside DEPT®, Wilson repositioned themselves and authored a proactive, authentic mission for the brand and business: “empower every human to live life like an athlete.”
On this foundation, we set out to refresh the brand identity and execute a digital launch strategy for Wilson Sportswear from concept through production.
The need to stand for something
Wilson, the iconic American sporting goods brand, came to us at an inflection point.
The company had been at the centre of sport for over a century, making world-class hard goods like balls, bats, rackets, clubs, and gloves to give athletes an edge. While their products were well-known by athletes around the world, they were preparing to launch their first-ever apparel line and recognised that the brand needed to stand for something bigger.
We started by shaking down the brand through a visual audit and interviews with employees and athletes to understand brand perception and the role that sport plays in their lives.
We learned unequivocally that sports matter. They add meaning to our lives. They teach us things.
How to persist. How to work together. How to fail. And most importantly, that what lies within is bigger than anything that lies ahead.
You don’t reinvent a 100-year-old brand. You find its soul and give it room to grow.
No primetime athletes.
No cut-throat competition. No winning or losing.
Our creative showed only everyday athletes who play for the love of the sport.
“Athlete” is considered a title reserved for a chosen few. It conjures up ideas of physical ability and big-name fame. When people think “athlete,” they think of the ones they see on TV. Blood, sweat, and tears. Walking out of tunnels, arms raised in victory.
Our go-to-market strategy for the first year of Wilson Sportswear was to challenge these stereotypes by representing the athletic spirit that lives inside us all and plays on without expecting anything in return.
Spirited collaboration despite the odds
Design and product development, in sync
The timing of our brand identity work allowed BASIC/DEPT® designers to explore and refine a new visual language for the Wilson brand at the same time their internal teams developed the inaugural Sportswear collection. As a result, we were able to influence everything from packaging to hang tags, even branding on the collection itself.
Empowering a global team to create with long-term consistency. We crafted an all-new brand book consisting of a design system, photography guidelines, and company culture material.
A familiar format to carry on the conversation. For year one, we proposed orienting the brand around biweekly “drops.” This construct was proven in the category and gave Wilson a way to establish a heartbeat of product stories based on cultural moments, capsules, and collaborations.
Remote content production
The restraints of the pandemic didn’t hold us back. We were able to safely plan and produce multi-day shoots in LA to sustain the launch phase and months of drops to follow.
Producer, Brand & Advertising NL
A new affiliate programme for branding and performance
The power of partnerships within affiliate marketing relies on accurate data insights. Unilever-owned international beauty brand, Paula’s Choice, teamed up with DEPT® to launch an affiliate programme to reach new customers, while forging stronger bonds with existing influencers. Success was brought to life through the platform Partnerize, bridging the gap between performance and branding.
A new affiliate programme
Paula’s Choice stands for fair skincare. With each product backed by scientific research and unlimited ambition, the brand is growing rapidly. This growth led the company to reevaluate its affiliate programme, which led to two main goals being established:
01 Create an extra revenue stream based on content
02 Reach new customers through affiliate collaborations
We set up the affiliate program in Partnerize as broadly as possible. Partnerships were established with both traditional affiliate publishers and influencers with whom the PR team of Paula’s Choice had already built good relationships. In addition, Partnerize provides additional data insights into product performance and customers that were previously untapped.
Reach specific target groups and create additional revenue streams with an affiliate programme
The partnership between DEPT® and Paula’s Choice produced an affiliate programme that hit all main goals within three months of the launch.
- 40% of affiliate revenue was generated by content publishers at the beginning of the customer journey, of which 36% was through influencers
- MoM turnover increased from 43% to peak at +94%
- 82% of those purchasing through the affiliate programme were new customers
Combining the strengths of performance and influencer marketing to build on strong existing partnerships, our strategy contributed to the growth of additional sales and the brand’s customer base.
From start-up to the UK’s most used fitness app
Doing a workout of your preference whenever you want, wherever you want. A dream for many. Thanks to Fiit, this dream has become a reality for many fitness beginners and enthusiasts. Since launching as a start-up with a unique business plan, it has grown to be the most used fitness app in the UK. How did they get there? DEPT® and Byte (part of Dept) gave them a little push in the right direction.
Making fitness accessible to everyone, everywhere
Fiit is a fitness app with the goal to make the world’s best fitness classes accessible to everyone, everywhere. From intensive HIIT workouts to peaceful yoga classes – the app offers it all. To measure its success, Fiit depends on free trials. But in the highly competitive fitness app market, how can you stand out?
The idea and business plan were there, but the company still needed a well-defined digital marketing strategy to reach its goals. This is where DEPT® and Byte (part of Dept) came into play. We joined forces to help Fiit with their social, search and affiliate strategies.
Our way of working
Taking over the UK
Together with Fiit, we set up marketing strategies that have shown incredible results, with the indication that Fiit is taking over the UK when it comes to the world of fitness:
- Most downloaded fitness app in the UK
- Most used fitness app in the UK
- Highest 30 day retention rate in the UK
Being the most used fitness app in the UK has brought Fiit one step closer to reaching its goal. But, this incredible result is not where Fiit’s journey ends.
We will continue working closely together with Fiit to launch their hardware products by moving into e-commerce, while investigating possibilities to roll-out in more countries and move them towards becoming the most used fitness app worldwide.
An immersive digital experience for the future of at-home fitness
As a longtime player in the fitness industry, Interactive Fitness Holdings, Inc. is pushing the field forward with a new smart bike that transforms at-home cycling into an immersive adventure. From heart rate training and instructor-led classes to dodging dragons or riding under the sea, the Capti bike merges physical cycling with an ever-evolving digital platform that offers something for everyone.
They tasked DEPT® with designing an intriguing digital experience to capture pre-orders and generate excitement around the smart bike’s launch.
Because Capti leverages immersive design and gamification to draw their audience into the world of fitness, we approached their website with a similar sense of fun and adventure.
We fused imagination and cutting-edge technology to reflect the innovative nature of their brand while positioning them at the unique intersection of home fitness and virtual gaming.
To gain an in-depth understanding of the smart bike and the vision for the new brand, we conducted an immersion workshop with the Capti team and tested out the beta product.
We then synthesised our collective insights to set measurable goals, establish clear expectations for our collaboration, and develop a strong foundation for the new digital experience.
Elevating the physical product with digital design
With a focus on development, integrations, QA, and animations, we designed a digital experience alive with whimsical creatures and engaging content to drive demand and encourage users to explore the Capti brand.
We worked alongside the members of Character and Outerspace to elevate Capti’s look through an intentional color palette, elegant silhouettes, powerful videography, and a visual language reminiscent of video games—down to the glitchy green highlights and futuristic typography.
We showed off the unique physical features of the bike and its interactive technology, from the 24” touch screen to the Terrain Adapted Resistance™. Our teams also developed a timeline to illustrate the evolution of their products, leveraging the company’s history to build trust and anticipation for their newest release.
Building a narrative to drive pre-sales
Through rich animations and renders, engaging lifestyle content, and digestible copy, we developed a dynamic narrative around the smart bike’s functionality.
We pulled stats, graphics, and animations from the games and incorporated them throughout the site to educate people about the product and inspire them to join the Capti community. We also used the bold aesthetics of the new brand to create a cohesive experience across platforms, fully immersing users in the Capti world from the moment they discover the website to their first smart bike adventure.
Head of Marketing US
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