Tailored Brands, the company that owns Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, has been facing headwinds. Traditional retail strategies aren’t working out as planned, and a tuxedo rental partnership with Macy’s did not meet expected revenue targets, further enforcing the difficulty that retailers are having engaging millennials and adapting to digital strategies. The company’s recent fourth quarter results sent the stock tumbling, and even the successful Jos. A. Bank’s 3.6% rise in same-store sales missed forecasts.
So what’s going on?
Tailored Brands doesn’t have a pricing problem, so they realize more discounts are not the way to go. They have cleaned up operational inefficiencies, and the wind-down of the Macy’s relationship could be a blessing in disguise. Online and innovative players such as The Black Tux are certainly a threat, but appear to be attempting to break into Tailored Brands’ brick-and-mortar territory, with a similar rental partnership with Nordstrom.
So what’s up with Tailored Brands?
An Online Communication and Personalization Challenge
Recent news about their website overhaul shows Tailored Brands is aware of the importance of adapting to online trends.
In the 1980’s when a customer walked into a Men’s Wearhouse, it was a unique experience. It was all about meeting each customer where they were at. It was “Selling with Soul.” A man could walk in and be completely taken care of. His needs were addressed, from style advice, sizing and tailoring, to preparing for a big event. It was personal.
But the world has fast-forwarded. E-commerce matters, and messaging online customers is a critical component to acquisition and retention. When reaching out, cold promotional batch and blasts and static triggers won’t cut it. According to BCG, brands that use technology and data to offer customers personalized experiences are seeing revenue increases of 6-10%, 2-3x faster than those that don’t.
Tailored Brands must take another game-changing step toward a 1:1 customer experience online and hold true to the values that have made them such a recognizable brand. But how do you “Sell with Soul” online?
By using true Artificial Intelligence and true automation to speak to every customer as an individual and keep them engaged. And this doesn’t happen by using manual trigger tools and generic batch and blasts.
Let’s take myself as a mini-case study.
- Living in Los Angeles
- 38 years old
- Interested in easy-to-maintain clothing
- Married and career focused
- 5 items tailored in 2 months
Why should I get the same email as a 16-year-old teenager buying his first suit to go to prom in Chicago? My style is completely different, so why get the same recommendations? I’m less price sensitive, so why get the same discount?
Additionally, the teenager opens email much less frequently than I do, and I check my emails and shop online in the evening, compared to the teen’s patterns in the early afternoon. Doesn’t it make sense to get an email at the time we are each most likely to be engaged online?
Let’s take another example…
I come to the Men’s Wearhouse website to buy a shirt. Let’s also assume an elderly woman from a different region is looking to buy her husband a shirt.
We both abandon our cart.
I might respond great to an “abandoned cart” email. But the elderly woman might respond better to an “ending soon” promotion. With a generic trigger tool that makes the marketer build out workflows, will both of us get the “ending soon” message? Or will we both be overwhelmed with both messages? There is no automation or predictive aspect if a platform doesn’t use Artificial Intelligence to make this decision. This also includes decisions on timing or on recommendations. A static, linear trigger series simply does not scale and wastes time and precious contact attempts with your customers.
I may have a high customer lifetime value (CLV), while the elderly lady who rarely goes online and only buys an occasional gift is low CLV. Will a generic trigger tool communicate in a way that turns low CLV customers into high CLV customers? Will it keep high CLV customers (who are VIPs and responsible for a big chunk of revenue) engaged and continuing to purchase?
You’re probably beginning to notice something…
Tailored Brands needs more than just segmentation technology. They need more than generic behavioral triggers based on an isolated event. And they definitely need a technology that actually utilizes AI in marketing automation correctly, not a tool that simply pays lip service to some buzzwords.
In these examples above, a marketer needs to consider hundreds of factors and attributes, and the context of an entire customer lifecycle, for each and every individual. Then the marketer needs to react with a dynamic message, sending the right content at the right time, to increase the statistical probability that I will respond. How much manual work would that require to do correctly? How many mistakes will be made? That’s why Artificial Intelligence in customer communication is so important. Simply put, it’s scalable personalization.
When I get a truly 1:1 message, as a customer I think, “Wow, these guys get me! It’s just as pleasant as my experience visiting the store!” I’m engaged and I’m much more likely to make another purchase.
This lets marketers focus on big-picture strategies for creative instead of fumbling with hundreds of personalized workflows. Artificial Intelligence gives you an out-of-the-box solution that adapts to each person on the fly. AI makes sure the right creative gets to the right person at the right time for them. Manual trigger campaign technology can’t adapt like this.
At ReSci, we’ve built Cortex, a platform that uses Artificial Intelligence to help marketers and retail businesses communicate with customers at an individual level based on behaviors, demographics and hundreds of other variables. We have the only product in the market that applies customer predictions to decision making and completely automates all the touches in the customer lifecycle. Cortex will help scale your marketing and communications and grow your revenue better than ever before.
What does it boil down to?
If Tailored Brands can keep to their core principles and values and separate themselves from the competition by applying their personal touch online… it won’t take long to see positive results. They’re going to like the way things look. We guarantee it.