Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Falling in love with Lilly

Over the summer, I contracted some sort of virus that had me on the couch for a week drinking tea, eating apple sauce and watching one of my favorite shows, The Martha Stewart Show. The intro began and Martha walked onto the set wearing the most colorful and beautiful dress I’d ever seen! It was “Lilly Pulitzer” she said. Having grown up in Oregon, I had no idea what she was talking about.

The entire show was dedicated to Lilly. The audience, crew, staff and guests were all wearing Lilly! It was wonderful and made for the most colorful show. Being a very girly girl, it didn’t take long before I was intrigued with Lilly. The splashes of color and the hand drawn patters captivated me and left me curious about the story behind Lilly herself.

A spokeswoman from Lilly was there that day, a savvy PR woman I presume, who told the story of Lilly. Lilly was a young housewife who worked at a lemonade stand during the day. Spilling lemonade on herself often, she began to feel frustrated as her dresses became stained. She decided to make her own dress, a yellow one with a fun print on it. That way, if she spilled, it would be less noticeable. All these years later, that dress is now known as the “shift dress” and has truly reinvented American femininity through the years.

After the show I went online and checked out their website. I was impressed. The fun and feminine feel of the brand that I received on the show carried over seamlessly onto their website. They were on Twitter and Facebook too! Here it was the same, lovely feel.

Two nights ago, after a rough day at school, I bought my first Lilly dress online, on Ebay (I’m on a bit of a student budget). It comes in two days and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve already decided to start saving so that when I go to New York City for spring break I can treat myself to a Lilly dress for my graduation. Oh, I almost forgot, I ordered my first catalog last night!

I have seriously fallen in love with Lilly. I love the style, the story and the brand. It’s all thanks to Lilly and their innovative PR crew. Across several varying mediums, their messaging and branding was seamless. This is no easy task. On their Twitter and Facebook pages, they are quick to respond to enthusiastic fans sharing pictures and stories of their lives with Lilly.

In order to really get the maximum benefit out of social media, you really should be using it to dialogue with your consumers, potential consumers and key publics. The Lilly folks have this one mastered. They truly have one of the best Facebook fan pages I’ve ever seen. It’s stocked with all the info and photos you’d ever want along with fantastic desktop wallpapers to brighten anyone’s dreary day of homework.

It just goes to show that when done all the way, social media, when used in conjunction with other PR tactics can be extremely effective. Thank you Lilly, I can’t imagine my life without you now!