How Boll & Branch achieved a 30% lift in conversion rates with customer predictions

In the competitive landscape of direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce, personalization is a key differentiator.

Boll & Branch, a prominent DTC linens company, used Faraday to provide customer predictions that guide their marketing strategies.

The problem

Boll & Branch was looking for a more accurate way to effectively segment their customer base so they could deliver more personalized and relevant content.

With a wide range of products and a diverse customer demographic, it was crucial to understand more about their customers, their preferred products, and channels.  They found that their initial segments had no correlation to specific products or marketing channels, limiting their ability to launch an effective personalization strategy.

The solution

To address this challenge, Boll & Branch used Faraday's persona predictions to identify customer personas that represented distinct socio-economic clusters. Each persona had preferred products and marketing channels.

This approach differed from a traditional persona exercise in which a brand must either form personas from a qualitative process (e.g. surveys, focus groups, etc.) or leveraging pre-computed personas like PRIZM codes.

With qualitatively derived personas, a brand can't easily assign new customers to a persona, unless a customer responds to survey questions. Given most customer surveys have single digit response rates, this limits a brand's ability to segment their customer base.

Pre-computed personas have the benefit of being universal, but are generic demographic clusters vs. specific patterns derived from a brand's data. This often results in persona segments with little variation in customer behavior.

Faraday's persona models leverage rich data on nearly every U.S. adult–allowing for universal assignment–paired with an AI clustering algorithm that builds personas from a training set provided by a client's own customer data. The results are customer personas that can be applied to all known contacts in a brand's customer base, while also reflecting the socio-demographic nuances across this dataset.

Data integration and persona development

Boll & Branch used the Faraday platform to identify three distinct personas based on a set of socio-demographic factors. They then were able to see that these segments had distinct purchasing behavior, preferences, and other relevant metrics.

These personas were then assigned to individual customers in Boll & Branch's BigQuery data warehouse, providing the metadata needed to support their personalization initiatives.

Personas + attribution

Traditionally, Boll & Branch thought their demographic skewed older, and as a result they invested heavily in radio advertising. Pairing Faraday's personas with Boll & Branch's internal attribution system allowed them to see what kinds of customers were coming from which channels, what discount codes different personas were responding to, and what products they were purchasing.

An example of this was the marketing team's identification of their highest value persona, whom the team nicknamed "Jen": a wealthier, settled, homeowner, that preferred clean modern aesthetics.

This qualitative insight gave Boll & Branch the confidence to organize marketing towards the Jen persona - from branding, product design, prospecting, all the way down to engagement and retention.

As Daphne Chow, Senior Manager of Consumer Strategy & Analytics puts it, Faraday helped Boll & Branch "see what kind of consumer we are seeing as crucial to our success, and our whole organization has rallied around that goal."

For example, they could see that individuals in the Jen persona were heavy users of social media, and as a result began being more strategic with their channel mix.

Knowing Jen also allowed them to conduct focus groups and surveys with members of that cohort, where they found they were influenced by interior design personalities - guiding them to a successful partnership with the star designer, Nate Berkus.

Personas + email campaigns

Because every contact in their system was assigned a persona, Boll & Branch could also use these assignments to power their email campaigns. The team designed personalized content for each persona: not only did they use creative that aligned to the socio-demographic makeup of each persona, they also were able to draw insights about what products each of their customer personas over-indexed on, allowing them to select highly relevant product recommendations for each persona.

This approach ensured that each customer received content that resonates with their unique preferences and needs.

The results

The implementation of Faraday's personas into Boll & Branch's marketing strategy yielded impressive results. By delivering personalized experiences through targeted email campaigns, the company achieved a 30% lift in conversion rates. This significant improvement underscored the value of utilizing advanced predictive analytics to drive personalized marketing efforts.

Boll & Branch's partnership with Faraday exemplifies the power of data-driven personalization in ecommerce. By identifying distinct customer personas and tailoring marketing messages accordingly, the company was able to enhance customer engagement and drive higher conversion rates.

Or, in the words of their Chief Digital Officer, Katia Unlu, "Faraday is in our DNA."