Branding and Identity Case Study for PopLush Embroidery
Lead Designer: Jeffrey Opp
Brand Manager: Megan Eckman
Build deep customer-brand relationships that sustain the business so it can provide fans with bold embroidery designs.
People who do some crafts or creative things such as knitting and cross-stitch but are not serious about sewing. This brand has a high percentage of tattooed librarians, body-positive belly dancers, and ex-roller derby players as fans.
For the rebrand, we worked with Lucky Break Consulting and conducted customer research, competitor analysis, and conversational research.
Ongoing research included: surveys, customer interviews, conversational research, website analytics, email metrics, club subscriber stats, and subscription churn analysis.
After rebranding and redesigning the website, to showcase the new bold color palette and eye-catching photography, the company observed a 70% expansion in returning user traffic.
These simple email templates put the focus on the content. They consistently provided an open rate twice the average for e-commerce. Some customers had engaged consistently with the mailing list for six years so we made sure to keep things similar enough to not spook them.
In retail shops and vendor fairs, the first thing a customer did was turn the kit over to see what was included, even though the contents are written on the front. Thus we made sure to include photos of the back and front of the packed kits on the website to answer customer questions.
This composite image is made up of a mixture of rendered pages, 3D models, and photographs to provide a clear image of what a packaged-up kit looks like. This solution avoids the excess glare involved in photographing cellophane and makes introducing new designs less time-consuming.
Most other kit sellers feature pastel thread designs on a white background. That's why we took PopLush in the other direction, using photographic sweep paper in the brand colors.
Since most of the audience is first-time embroiderers, having instructions in the kit paper was imperative to expand access to more users. We designed the front of each kit paper to boldly show off the finished design, to grab attention in a shop. Each kit paper then opens to teach the four basic stitches needed to complete any PopLush Embroidery design. The back of the kit papers included a stitch guide the customer could follow to sew the kit, including written directions and a link to the company's online How-To page where videos of each stitch reside.
We crafted an on-brand unboxing experience that delighted customers, boosted social media engagement, and supported a 5-star customer rating. In addition to branded envelopes and packing slips, we created 'superlative' postcards that could be used as artwork. The backside of the postcards contained timely marketing material. We also included a certificate of achievement in every order which the customer could sign when finished. Since this was usually their first time embroidering, having such positive reinforcement really made them feel like they had someone rooting for them.
These rack cards were sent to resellers to help show off the best features of the kits. The design was intended to work for both reseller employees and their customers.
What We Learned
PopLush Embroidery customers saw the kits as an escape, acting as a tactile pastime in a predominantly digital world. For some, it helped calm their anxiety or get them through a hospital stay. For most, it allowed them to feel productive and like they were doing something for themselves while watching TV with family. Nearly every customer bought the kit or subscription item for themselves, saying it was a gift they looked forward to getting.
Understanding and empathizing with the fears of first-time stitchers allowed this company to help people accomplish their goal of trying embroidery. They repeatedly told us it was so much easier than they thought it would be and loved feeling like they had someone holding their hand the whole time.