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How do you make a tagline a national movement? At Swirl, we grab some glitter, hit the streets, and set out to spread happiness around the world.
In the summer of 2014, Swirl began its work with Kipling, an iconic handbag and accessories brand known for its bright prints, fun colors, and monkey key chains. As the fastest-growing brand within the VF Corporation, Kipling had an opportunity to increase their brand awareness—so they came to Swirl to make it happen.
Their tagline, “Make Happy,” permeates everything they do. For Kipling, it isn’t simply a tagline—it’s at the core of the brand. We lived and breathed that line, and let it inspire us to create a series of nationwide activations all with one goal: to make people happy.
We started in San Francisco, our own backyard. Kipling had just opened a local brick-and-mortar store—and we saw an opportunity to transform it into a bright, cheerful beacon of happiness in the heart of downtown San Francisco. We let that happiness spread from the store to the entire city block for a daylong event activation called Make Happy SF.
We introduced ourselves to our new neighbors by delivering dozens of cupcakes to office buildings, handed out flowers to brighten up a busy lunch rush, and gave busy BART riders a coffee, a Clipper Card, and a reason to smile during their commute. Plus we rewarded a few lucky Kipling fans who make happy in the community with surprise gifts inspired by their passions. Everything we did brought a little happiness to those around us.
The results were beyond expectation. Not only did we see tons of activity in social, but the SF Kipling store saw an 80% increase in foot traffic and a 20% increase in retail sales that very day. Even more, ecommerce sales saw an 81% increase in sales in the San Francisco market during the following month.
This is only the beginning. Our success in San Francisco inspired a new initiative for 2015—a national Make Happy movement. In the year ahead, our goal is to elevate the Kipling brand, continue to increase brand awareness, and drive product sales while spreading happiness across the country. Next we headed to New York, the second stop on our Make Happy Tour. After that, another two activations and three photo shoots means 2015 is going to be a busy year—and we couldn’t be happier.