Case study: Using brand health to get internal buy-in with M.M.LaFleur

April 9th, 2024

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Elly Strang
Women wearing M.M.LaFleur

We had a chat with our friends at female founded womenswear brand M.M.LaFleur about how they're setting strategy for the year ahead.

  • M.M.LaFleur Director of Brand and Integrated Marketing Maria Costa uses Tracksuit to uncover insights and set marketing strategy.
  • This data is also being used internally for cross-functional team buy-in on brand marketing efforts.
  • “As we considered how best to allocate our budget for 2024, we worked with the Tracksuit team to figure out where our investment might have the greatest impact. It was very clear from the data we received via Tracksuit that moving the needle on consideration would have a meaningful impact on our customer acquisition goals,” Maria says.

M.M.LaFleur is a start-up born out of the Big Apple 🗽🍎 its mission is to empower women and take the work out of getting dressed, so women can focus on what matters to them.

The brand is also known for introducing the world to ‘Power Casual’: the clothing equivalent of work-life balance.

While M.M.LaFleur originally began as a professional workwear brand for women, they expanded their offering when there was a rise in people working from home and workplaces becoming more casual in their dress code, during and post-Covid. Now, their clothing range includes polished everyday wear, in addition to work clothes (but just as stylish, ofc).

M.M.LaFleur VP of Brand and Creative Callie Kant says she sees building brand as a way to become memorable in the minds of consumers.

“In a world with ever-increasing, louder marketing messages, it has gotten even harder to target customers based on behavior (due in part to things like the waning ability to use cookies). Brand marketing has become an even more important way to break through the noise and leave a lasting impression on customers,” she says.

Some of the ways M.M.LaFleur is investing in its brand include activations at a retail level to get customers interacting with the brand in-person, exploring ways to further build their community and working with aligned influencers that share common values.

In action, M.M.LaFleur has done things like hiring an all-female brass band to march along the street in front of its new store for its grand opening, attracting neighborhood attention and stopping passersby; curating a digital magazine featuring wardrobe advice and career tips called M DashOpens in new tab, as well as running its Ready to Run programOpens in new tab, which dresses female political candidates in the US for success.

Ahead of this year’s US elections, more than 200 candidates will receive free clothing loans and complimentary styling from M.M.La Fleur’s in-house stylists. The brand will also capitalize on this program from a retail perspective by curating a ‘Ready to Run’ capsule for consumers to shop, featuring its best-selling OrigamiTech and washable silks.

“Brand activities need to be cohesive and memorable to stand out from the crowd,” Callie says. “Additionally, the public's perception of inflation and the economy right now makes it especially difficult to convince customers they should try your product. In the US, the presidential election will also take up a lot of attention and airspace.”

Using brand health data to uncover insights 🔧

Tracksuit has been working with M.M.LaFleur for just over a year to track consumer perceptions of their brand in the US. Some of the key brand value propositions consumers associate with M.M.LaFleur include trendy, quality, unique and stylish.

According to Tracksuit’s data, M.M.LaFleur is winning its category on the statements, ‘Is a quality brand’ and ‘Is innovative’ when it comes to consumers who are aware of the brand (and its competitors).

However, the data showed a job still to be done when it came to converting consumers from awareness through to consideration – and M.M.LaFleur leading in the brand associations with that particular group of consumers.

There was a big difference in quality perception from those who were aware of the brand but don't consider it versus those who do consider.

The team also saw that there had been a downward trend of those who were aware seeing that M.M.LaFleur "makes clothes that match my lifestyle", though those that did share that sentiment were 2x more likely to consider purchasing the brand.

“Because we are a growing brand in a crowded category, we need to deploy marketing resources as effectively as possible,” Maria says.

“As we considered how best to allocate our budget for 2024, we worked with the Tracksuit team to figure out where our investment might have the greatest impact. It was very clear from the data we received via Tracksuit that moving the needle on consideration would have a meaningful impact on our customer acquisition goals.”

M.M.LaFleur hypothesized some consumers could have an outdated view of the brand still offering formal workwear only, and they needed to educate them about their evolution within their campaigns.

But before they could create a marketing strategy to win over their external audience, they needed buy-in internally from key stakeholders.

Setting the strategy and getting buy-in 🤝

It’s hard to argue with third-party data, so the M.M.LaFleur team used the tangible insights from their Tracksuit dashboard to present to their team and back up their theories on what was happening in their marketing funnel.

Tracksuit’s data is now being used internally to facilitate cross-functional buy-in on brand marketing efforts.

“We’ve found that establishing KPIs in advance of projects and reporting back on them, as well as developing a full-funnel plan to showcase what the efforts will look like in all channels, to be most helpful when seeking cross-functional buy-in on brand marketing efforts,” Callie says.

M.M.LaFleur has also set their strategy for the year ahead to focus around some of the brand’s unique selling points around quality and being made for everyday life. The goal is to re-educate part of their audience on the fact that their brand has expanded beyond a professional workwear brand.

“This year’s efforts focus on moving our target audience from awareness to consideration more quickly by getting in front of press, tastemakers, and women of influence through a mix of gifting, partnerships, and events, as these are the women who can help us to change our brand perception for their audiences,” Maria says.

“We’ve also developed a calendar of brand experiences, visual updates, and exclusive in-store promotions in our retail locations to give new audiences a reason to stop by. We think of our stores and showrooms as ‘consideration hubs’ because customers can experience the quality of our products firsthand within a much shorter timeline. Those who shop retail convert at much higher basket sizes, from their very first purchase.”

Tracksuit’s benchmarking tool was also a helpful tool for M.M.LaFleur to set a realistic goal for consideration to increase over the course of a year, based on retail category averages.

This is a work in progress, so stay tuned on the results. We’re super excited to be on this journey with M.M.LaFleur and helping track their brand movements 🙌

Growing consideration in 2024 📈

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Callie says M.M.LaFleur will be measuring the impact and efficiency of their marketing efforts by concentrating more on consideration versus awareness, and moving consumers down the funnel.

The womenswear brand will also be looking into more out-of-home activations and tapping influencers in different media (like TikTok and newsletters).

“Newsletters (such as Substacks) will be a big opportunity for brands this year, as people are increasingly shifting their attention from social media and their phones to more personal-feeling emails,” Callie says.

Maria echoes this, saying their team is excited about the partnerships they have lined up this year so far, with stylists like Allison Bornstein and Substack notable Harling Ross Anton.

They’re also excited for their upcoming summer launch where they will debut a new swimwear collaboration and celebrate with fans, press, and partners at Talea, NY’s first female-and-veteran-owned production brewery.

“It’s really exciting to embark on setting creative strategy with data to back up the decisions we’re making, and for the data to point us toward a more memorable, personalized approach to getting in front of new audiences,” Maria says.

Thanks so much for sharing your smarts with us, team!

Follow M.M.LaFleur’s journey on their websiteOpens in new tab and InstagramOpens in new tab.


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