Chadwick's seeks input on its cover

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As part of Redcats USA's ongoing efforts to focus on the exclusive fashions available from multichannel apparel brand Chadwick's, the company recently sent an e-mail asking customers to help the Chadwick's design team choose an image for a fall catalog cover.

"We thought it was interesting to engage the customer in a different way," said Christophe Gaigneux, executive vice president of the Redcats Boston Apparel Group, about the campaign.

Ever since the Boston Apparel Group created an in-house design team for the first time last year, it has been executing a variety of offline and online efforts to try to put more of a focus on Chadwick's product and the design team. The e-mail, which was sent on August 24, is just one example of this strategy. It is the second time Redcats USA has executed this particular type of effort for the Chadwick's brand.

The 24-year-old catalog emphasizes its choice in leading women's fashion for affordable prices and offers a range of business and dress apparel, shoes and accessories.

The recent e-mail shows three different images with boxes under each enabling recipients to vote for their favorite. The copy reads: "Join the Chadwick's design team and help us choose our next fall cover." There is also an offer to receive $20 off an order of $80 or more for those who vote.

Normally, it is quite difficult to test different creative options for a specific book, Gaigneux said. However, the e-mail campaign gives the Boston Apparel Group an opportunity to do just that.

The Boston Apparel Group will use the information it gets from this campaign to help it try to understand how customers react to cover images in general.

In addition, the group will look for what direction customers are leaning, in terms of fashion preferences, for the fall season.

The image with the most votes will probably be used on one of Chadwick's higher circulation catalogs while the other two images will be used on books going out to a smaller group of names.

"We're trying to engage customers from a direct marketing standpoint but also from a branding standpoint," Gaigneux said.

Another goal of the e-mail is to encourage customers "to pick up and engage with the fall catalog," Gaigneux said.

"We are focusing more on the relationship with customers and having consistency across the catalog, Web site and e-mail," he continued.

So far, customers have been responding well to the campaign. "We are satisfied from a promotional standpoint," Gaigneux said.

New York-based Redcats plans to repeat the effort once or twice a season. "We don't want to do it too often, or customers will get tired of it and not want to participate," Gaigneux said.

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