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InsideFMM | August 2, 2015

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Neiman Marcus’s Online Marketing Strategy

Last week, Marsha Collier forwarded “The Book” from Neiman Marcus. Printed on the digital front: “In Case of Fashion Emergency, Open Cover!”

I laughed as the title, “The Book”, reminded me of the infamous “BOOK”  in The Devil Wears Prada.

Devil Wears Prada "The Book" Runway Magazine

Devil Wears Prada - "The Book: Runway Magazine"

Opening this digital masterpiece, I was greeted with this note:

Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could predict our personal futures as well as we can forecast fashion? Unfortunately, we can’t say exactly when the current economic challenges will abate or when the pace of the recovery will accelerate. We can only be optimistic. Fashion always looks to the future. What we see on the runways leaves us with a clear idea of what’s to come… – Karen Katz, CEO, Neiman Marcus

Let’s start with the personal message from Katz. It’s well written, reassuring and speaks to me not only as a Neiman’s customer, but as a consumer concerned with my financial future. The message is expertly tailored and assures me that Neiman’s understands my state of mind and is taking my concerns into consideration when making purchasing recommendations for me.

The book is divided into sections. “What’s To Come,” shows me how I can use one or two fall trends to update my wardrobe, instead of purchasing an entirely new one.  It’s perfect for the consumer that’s budget conscious. All the clothing and accessories that Neiman’s recommends are versatile and mix their fall trends – red/leggings/leopard/motorcycle jackets – together in simple day to night outfits.

“All Dressed Up and Someplace to Go,” captures my attention, it’s a bit more romantic and aspirational.  The clothing and accessories are luxurious. The message of this section begs for indulgence. In my opinion, indulgence in just one item this season isn’t financially irresponsible. As I discussed in Quality vs. Quantity, I’m willing to pay for quality and give up quantity. Quality clothing and jewelry purchases have represented successful milestones in my life. Neiman’s has successfully captured that belief in this segment.

The icing on this fashionable cupcake are the social features (style ideas, tips from style experts). Style tips and beauty advice are why certain consumers spend hours reading blogs, participating in forums and religiously visit sites like Weardrobe, Polyvore and Closet Couture. But all online consumers are technology connoisseurs, addicted to Facebook or Twitter. Shopping on a  retailer’s website and subscribing to that retailer’s email list may be the epitome of  social engagement for them. Recognizing this, Neiman’s integrated social features into their website (Insite) and informs their customers about these features through email marketing.

From its email to digital look books, look books to the e-commerce experience, Neiman Marcus has created a seamless experience for their shoppers. I must give digital kudos to Neiman Marcus for investigating the needs of their customers and taking steps to understanding what is truly important to them.


  1. Interesting that “nothing is new.” Neiman Marcus has used “the book” as their name for their direct mail catalog since the days of Stanley Marcus. He name it “the Book” to give it the import of being the be-all and end-all of fashion. Good to see them adapting it to new media.

    • You are a source of daily inspiration, knowledge and amusement. Thanks you!

  2. Chelsea

    I'm curious to find out what “social features” you're referring to on the NM site? Personally I have only shopped at Neiman Marcus online once, which resulted in a painfully complicated return/exchange process when the hat I bought didn't fit. From that point on I was bombarded multiple times a day with poorly-targeted email solicitations, and had to request to be taken off the mailing list 3 times before it stuck. There's very little about this brand that reads as “digitally savvy” from my perspective, but clearly you've had a much different experience.

  3. Hey Chelsea – This post was written last year. It was about the digital Christmas catalogue they put out for Holiday. It wasn't about their site. Sadly, Neiman Marcus is anything but social. They social they do has is extremely lacking. I don't shop their stores, I don't shop their site and yes, I unsubscribed from their constant mailings. This was the ONE instance that I found that I loved. And a month later, the catalog (built on Zinio) crashed. The catalogue was embedded on the post until it took down our site. I wanted to let part of the one good experience I had stand. I don't know if Neiman Marcus could ever be social to tell you truth. Too much politics and fear of change amongst their corporate heads.

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