H&M is one of the biggest apparel retailers in the world. Linda Li Steiner, its head of customer activation and marketing, has been able to bring back-to-back innovative concepts to market. The H&M veteran launched a small-footprint store in Brooklyn in the last year. She drove the brand's entry into virtual worlds, with the debut of the H&M game on Roblox.
It is not easy to try new things in a big organization. It makes it easy for everyone to see the same thing. New experiences, activations, events and marketing campaigns are truly innovative and different from what we have done before. It is necessary for us to stay relevant and exciting for our customers.
Having previously worked on the company's merchandising, expansion and e- commerce teams, Li Steiner has been able to experience how everything works together. She said her approach to her current role is to reinforce the strong leaders on her team and make sure their efforts are working together to drive objectives. Some of the leaders are experts on data and insights.
The H&M Williamsburg opened in November and will stay open through the rest of the year. Along with penetrating a unique and eclectic community of Brooklynites, the store is to offer customers an unexpected H&M experience and shine a light on its competitors. The featured product assortment and theme are changed a lot. Sport and spring fashion concepts have played out thus far. The learnings to date from the rotating activation have shown that it is driving loyalty.
H&M has the chance to learn about what works with younger customers on a platform with big brand potential. The last couple of years have shown that embracing some type of virtual space would make sense for us. All customers are starting to participate in these worlds. As players progress to different levels in the game, different rewards open up. User engagement and satisfaction ratings have gone up over time. Traffic has been driven by user-generated content.
The team effort that goes into these projects is something that Li Steiner is hesitant to acknowledge.
She said that today's marketing is everything. It touches every single function in a retail organization if you think about it that way. To get something activated in the right way, everyone has to be involved.
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