The Frock Shop | Case Study

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Challenge

CASE STUDY – Scope of Work (March – June 2015)

The Frock Shop is Chicago’s premiere designer dress rental destination located at 2150 S. Canalport Avenue. Founder Jennifer Burrell created a unique concept that allows woman to rent evening and cocktail dresses for a fraction of the actual cost. Despite being a staple in the Pilsen community, The Frock Shop only had a few small media mentions and media coverage before hiring Samantha Frontera as their main publicist. When she was hired in March 2015, Samantha faced some challenges as a public relations representative. First, The Frock Shop is not easily seen or accessible to those on S. Canalport Ave in Chicago. The store is located within the ‘Lacuna Artist Lofts’ and is not a storefront.  Ultimately, not having a storefront decreases a store’s foot traffic and requires more marketing and public relations needs. Additionally, The Frock Shop had a national competitor moving into their niche industry opening a store-front location in Chicago, ‘Rent the Runway.’ This posed to be an issue to The Frock Shop, because Rent the Runway has a similar concept and business model.

Our Work

Samantha Frontera began reviewing the brand, The Frock Shop and through her research revealed three key points. First, it was vital to create a brand strategy that would educate the public of The Frock Shop’s history within the Chicago fashion industry. This would include information regarding founder, Jennifer Burrell, and her mission when starting The Frock Shop. Overall, this brand strategy would help to develop the public’s awareness of her importance as a fashion leader in the city. Secondly, it was important for our media relationships to know about and understand the benefits of buying from The Frock Shop, especially for those individuals in need of a specific ensemble. Lastly, by educating consumers and developing their growth of understanding they would begin to believe the advantages of shopping locally. Consequently, the consumer would then choose to shop at The Frock Shop over other brands due to our strategic campaign delivery.

Creating and developing a story to highlight Jennifer Burrell’s journey while starting The Frock Shop was a key component for a successful media campaign. Burrell’s story needed to be expressed in a way that illuminated her dedication to high fashion and her personal connection to the brand she created. The Frock Shop was established five years ago after Burrell noticed a number of unused evening gowns and cocktail dresses in her closet. Accumulated, these dresses would equate to a large sum of money. Burrell recognized the need for a store that encourages woman to rent these statement pieces instead of purchasing them. The Frock Shop is one of the only local stores allowing consumers to do so. This campaign, highlighting the uniqueness of the brand, led to several media placements in fashion blogs and television spots within the first few months of The Frock Shop’s campaign.

The Frock Shop’s target audience (women 16-35) was another area of development the campaign to focus on. A client, such as The Frock Shop, would strongly benefit from a media placement in either a fashion blog or fashion related broadcast (television/radio)- specifically a morning or noon program. During these times their key demographic would be exposed to the brand, and the concept behind The Frock Shop, leaving them encouraged to visit the actual store. These media placements allowed for viewers to understand the many different products and brands that The Frock Shop carries. As well as the accommodating nature of the store, due to its smaller size.

Lastly, it was vital to make the benefits of shopping locally at the Frock Shop known to fashion bloggers and lifestyle magazines. Ultimately, The Frock Shop is interested in helping women of every shape find their perfect `ensemble. Due to this they carry an array of sizes (0-22), which is not commonly found at competitor stores. The Frock Shop also offers sizing assistance seven days a week via text and e-mail. This allows for customers to ask questions regarding specific pieces they are interested in renting. The Frock Shop also offers its customers “accident insurance” as well as covering any dry cleaning charges. The Frock Shop’s main goal is to provide women an economical alternative to purchasing pricey evening gowns and cocktail dresses, allowing them to look and feel their best for less.

Results

Within the first few months of launching The Frock Shop’s PR campaign strategy placement included:

·      Chicago Sun Times (Chicago Newspaper)

·      WGN (Chicago News Station)

·      Halfstack (Online Magazine)

·      WCIU (You and me this Morning)

·      The Native Stilo (Fashion Blog)

Examples of Earned Placements:

 

Chicago Splash Section of Chicago Sun Times

WGN-TV Placement Fashion Show/Prom Trends

Halfstack Magazine-How To Rock a Designer Dress Without Breaking the Bank

The Native Stilo-Hollywood Glam at the Frock Shop

WCIU-TV Valentine's Trends at the Frock Shop