The Ladies Who Lunch (And Content Market): A Saks and Bergdorf's SMACKDOWN - Insights

The Ladies Who Lunch (And Content Market): A Saks and Bergdorf’s SMACKDOWN

by NewsCredMay 9, 2014

Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue might as well be in an eternal staring contest with one another down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan like the true rivals they are. And in regards to content marketing, don’t let their glove counters and ladylike composure fool you: they’re both ruthlessly intelligent titans.

Run by high-end department store management company Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman was founded in 1899 and reached a $163 million mark for net profits in 2013. Saks ran a net profit of $63 million in 2013, with a history that reaches back to its founding in 1867.

So, which of these venerable beauties has the most stylish content marketing? Let’s see, shall we?

Content Innovation

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Saks: The Saks POV blog isn’t particularly innovative on its face, though it does smartly integrate social media with text-based blog content. Design is what makes the blog special — and isn’t that appropriate? The lines between social and editorial blur visually, giving the audience an experience that doesn’t feel fragmented. In a product vertical that tends to have clunky visual content and must marry the aesthetics of a wide variety of curated brands, it is no small feat that Saks has accomplished this successfully.


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Bergdorf Goodman: The most innovative component of Bergdorf’s content marketing strategy is the range of audiences it appeals to on its 5th and 58th blog. It manages to reach out to the tourist crowd, promising chances to win shopping sprees. It reaches out to fashionistas with its product announcements. It manages to reach out to the media, too, with high quality visual content that leaves other, uglier press release pages behind.

Winner: Draw.

Usefulness to Consumer

Saks: As with any luxury product, the concept of usefulness is fairly high on Maslow’s hierarchy. That being said, the consumer that Saks is targeting — namely, one with large reserves of disposable income — will definitely find the Saks POV blog useful. Product reviews that don’t reflect a desperate need to sell, and posts about events like the Met Gala and a Phillip Lim boutique opening in South Beach don’t read as gossip but as need-to-know-information for a woman interested in luxury fashion as well as luxury fashion circles. The usefulness of the blog lies in its outreach to those already in those circles.

Bergdorf Goodman: What makes Bergdorf Goodman’s 5th and 58th blog unique and useful is that it includes thoughtful details such as a calendar of events in its flagship, tastefully designed advertisements for winning shopping sprees, and a well-designed area for press. The last component is more telling than you’d think: the press is, after all, a useful consumer of information and is also capable of sharing content about the retailer with their large audience.

Winner: Draw.

Social Strategy

Saks: One simple thing that brands often overlook is the design elements that make it easy to share or that plant the seed to share in consumers’ heads. Saks’ blog keeps its visual elements incredibly social, including smartly placed share buttons within each blog post. Another thing the brand does to stand out in a saturated digital fashion market? Spreading its content out across multiple channels, departing from basic Facebook and Twitter profiles to YouTube and Pinterest as well as Tumblr and Instagram.

Bergdorf Goodman: Much like Saks with its emphasis on visual content platforms, Bergdorf’s places importance on dazzling visual content across social media channels. One of the things that makes this social content stand out is the relevant mix of in-store photos, creative product shots, runway materials, and brand-related sketches. Making sure your audience doesn’t experience visual fatigue while scrolling through your brand’s feed is crucial to keep them engaged, and Bergdorf’s gets an A+ in executing this tactic.

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Winner: Draw. These brands are far too classy to duke it out.

By Lauren B. Mangiaforte, NewsCred Contributor