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Bergdorf chooses mail to market extravagant beauty event

April 20, 2012


New York-based retailer Bergdorf Goodman has chosen the traditional direct mail route when marketing an extremely lavish beauty event, and if any retailer has the customers to give this kind of promotion legs, it is probably Bergdorf.

Bergdorf is marketing an in-store and online promotion with the tagline, “the more you spend, the more you save,” where consumers can save up to $200 if they spend $1,000. There are certainly Bergdorf customers who can afford to participate, but will many of them do this?

“I think the real question isn’t whether direct mail is the best way to promote this offer, but whether the discount offer itself will motivate the Bergdorf customer base,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stephens, PA. “Frankly, Bergdorf is effectively offering only a 20 percent discount and the price of getting that discount is pretty high.

“Even a beauty junkie like me would have a hard time finding $1,000 worth of beauty products to buy in one shot,” she said. “This will appeal to those who want to stock up on their La Prairie and other super-premium skin care products, but I doubt it will be anywhere near as successful as the more typical beauty ‘buy some, get more free’ type of offers.”

Ms. Danziger is not affiliated with Bergdorf, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Beauty is pain
The Bergdorf mailer was sent out earlier this week to hype the event that started yesterday and ends April 22.

Consumers have the ability to save money and receive free products when they buy from Bergdorf’s ecommerce site at or head in-store during the timeframe.

Shoppers who spend $1,000 can save up to $200 and those who spend $500 are discounted $75.

Bergdorf mailer

Individual brands also have their own rewards for shopping.

For example, consumers who spend $350 on La Mer products receive a Small Miracles Collection featuring Crème de la Mer regenerating serum, eye concentrate and hand treatment.

Also, consumers are treated to a foam cleanser, skin caviar luxe cream and skin caviar liquid lift in a white La Prairie bag with a $500 brand purchase.

Bergdorf mailer

Or, consumers who spend $150 on Jo Malone products are treated to a fragrance-combining kit featuring a lime basil and mandarin cologne and a grapefruit cologne in a travel case.

Meanwhile, if shoppers spend $125 on beauty online, they receive free shipping with the check-out code BEAUTY.

Furthermore, consumers who spend $1,000 or $500 online receive $200 and $75 off, respectively.

Bergdorf Web site

Female marketing
Whether or not this campaign works, Bergdorf is most likely the retailer with the customers to excel.

Consumers who have the means to spend $1,000 on beauty products likely do not care whether or not they receive $200 off, but the other part of the promotion is free products.

The point of the campaign is that consumers are getting rewarded for buying at Bergdorf, which is a tactic many brands use to build loyalists.

Bergdorf’s target audience for this promotion is the extremely affluent female consumer. This shopper is likely older and has grown up with traditional marketing including print and mail.

Therefore, mail was probably a good way to incentivize consumers to come in-store.

Bergdorf has a long history of connecting with consumers through dedicated mail pieces for merchandise.

For example, Bergdorf used its spring magalog to explore themes including tailoring, new collections, patterns and New York culture through advertisements, editorial and multichannel touchpoints (see story).

Furthermore, the retailer showcased its high-end spring shoe styles through an independent catalog last month (see story).

“Direct mail works very well for department stores which generally know who their customers are and maintain active communications with them through direct mail, as well as email,” Ms. Danziger said.

“Direct mail works well with high-net worth customers like Bergdorf Goodman attracts,” she said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York