Daily Insights

How Mall Brands Keep From Burning Out

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | May 28, 2019

Bath & Body Works wants to be more than another musty, old mall brand, as its increasing sales indicate. Despite a flat first-quarter for its parent company, here’s how the retailer is burning up the digital platform on its own.

It’s all about aesthetics. Although it sells fragrance products that are notably difficult to push online, Bath & Body Works doesn’t hold back when it comes to dolling up its site with splashy colors, effects, and font styles to appeal to all the senses. And instead of fragrances and lotions, the brand tends to prop candles up the most on its homepage—a smart move, given that the wax wonders are what made the brand a cult favorite to begin with.

But banking on nostalgia isn’t always enough. Bath & Body Works also does a solid job of promoting buy-one-get-one offers across its homepage, ushering scent-addicted shoppers to sink deeper into the path to purchase. Bath & Body Works carries out a similar strategy on social media, where it flaunts a fruity and flowery appeal to its 9.4 million Facebook followers and leverages re-posts of influencer hauls on Instagram according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. Finally, the brand found solace in having a fallback—splitting its site and store into two different brands, the White Barn brand and the original Bath & Body Works brand—encouraging people to spend more time in each of them.

That said, only time will tell if Bath & Body Works’ tactics will keep it out of the brick and mortar bust. But once-beloved brands should look to the former when considering how to re-mold their marketing strategy for the new consumer.