How ShoeDazzle Utilizes Celebrity Influence To Tell Their Brand Story
Kimberly Tobman

It’s not surprising that a company originally co-founded by Kim Kardashian West has achieved global recognition and sublime popularity. However, even after the most notorious Kardashian sister’s departure, ShoeDazzle has continued to thrive and beat out competitors within the market.

The tactful efforts of Kimberly Tobman, ShoeDazzle’s SVP of Marketing, can be attributed to the company’s sparkling reputation and upward trajectory. She explains to what extent celebrity influence impacts the brand and where the company is headed in the near future.

For only being conceived in 2009, ShoeDazzle has been able to successfully rise above competitors within the e-commerce shoe industry. In terms of marketing, what strategies can you attribute to the ease in which ShoeDazzle competes in this popular sector?

The biggest challenge for retailers is engagement and retention – how do you keep customers coming back? Online, it’s even harder because customers have thousands of options available at their fingertips. ShoeDazzle proudly launched in 2009 with an innovative approach to online shopping. We were a new fashion brand, co-founded by one of the biggest fashion influencers of the time (Kim Kardashian), with a price-point that made high-fashion style affordable. We also launched with our VIP membership program which was different than what other fashion brands were doing but also not truly a “subscription.”

The membership gives us the ability to keep our prices so low by asking members to come to our site at least once a month. They don’t have to buy anything and if they use our “skip the month” feature, they won’t be charged. If they are charged, they have a “credit” that they can use to shop on the site.

What’s amazing is our members come to our site way more than once a month. We bring in hundreds of styles every month and are a source of fashion inspiration to our customers. But what has kept our customers coming back month after month and year after year is the merchandise we offer. We focus on quality, trend and style while keeping our prices impressively affordable. It will never be enough to have an innovative shopping experience if you don’t give potential customers a true reason to come back and shop.

Since its inception, ShoeDazzle has enjoyed considerable celebrity influence. As it was co-founded by Kim Kardashian West, and previously utilized the expertise of Rachel Zoe, to what extent do famous figures influence the brand?

The ShoeDazzle brand launched with the mission to make celebrity style and the personal stylist treatment attainable for everyone who loves fashion – no matter what the budget. Of course, the influence that Kim Kardashian had as co-founder of ShoeDazzle in 2009 played a huge role in our initial success. We have consistently aligned with celebrity partners throughout the years to continue that story because celebrities offer great style inspiration. Our brand and merchandise evolves as the fashion world evolves, but as a fashion brand and styling service, we are proud to continue working with celebrities to excite our members and gain new points of view.

We always look for partners who are true to our brand story and are passionate about ShoeDazzle. In October 2016, we launched a collaboration with Keke Palmer and what we love about her is that she LOVES fashion, but isn’t married to high-end. She truly mixes “high/low” fashion in her wardrobe and loves to share those tips with her fans. Her message of being true to yourself as you express yourself through fashion, is a story that resonates with our brand and our customers.

When ShoeDazzle was acquired by JustFab in 2013, on the marketing side of things, were there significant shifts or changes in tactics that coincided with the acquisition?

Upon the acquisition, the main focus was to bring ShoeDazzle back to the original brand and program that women fell in love with when it launched. In 2012, ShoeDazzle went through a lot of transitions and veered from the original VIP membership program and attainable fashion brand story that it launched with in 2009. The big change was moving ShoeDazzle back to the program it launched with, and the trajectory of the business since the acquisition in 2013 has been tremendous.

Though ShoeDazzle exists as an online platform, how important are face to face marketing strategies in garnering new users?

As an exclusive online retailer, our biggest customer acquisition strategies are rooted in digital advertising with a fair amount of TV. While we definitely have initiatives that support customer acquisition through face-to-face marketing, driving to a website is most effective from online channels. That said, without brick-and-mortar, we could easily miss out on opportunities to personally interact with our customers, but we have made a very conscious effort to build up programs to meet with customers in person, continue to engage them for feedback and also reward our best customers in very personal ways. It’s key as an e-tailer, you don’t forget that there are real people at the other end of your site who have opinions and ideas that you can’t always understand from data.

What has ShoeDazzle done recently to continue to innovate and be the go to e-commerce shoe destination and what can we expect to see in the near future?

With a name like ShoeDazzle, it’s pretty clear that our fashion foundation will always be in shoes. But we also pride ourselves in being a fashion and styling inspiration resource for our customers. We launched apparel on our site a year ago and in September of this year, we were thrilled to offer extended sizes (up to 3X). Our members get dressed “shoes first”, but we decided to expand our brand to more than just shoes . Over the next year, you will see us build on our complete fashion brand and explore new collaborations. Our team thrives on giving our members something fresh and new and that innovation continues to drive our brand forward.