Claire’s chases after ‘Gen Zalpha’ with piercing brand refresh

Claire’s chases after ‘Gen Zalpha’ with piercing brand refresh

Dive Brief:

  • Shortly after postponing its IPO, Claire’s announced a piercing brand refresh promising an updated experience and a “bold and inspiring attitude.”
  • “Pierced by Claire’s” focuses on a visual identity that includes a new logo, a conversational voice and updated branding. The retailer is also introducing the digital character Pierce, who will be present across the brand’s marketing efforts, according to a company press release.
  • Claire’s will offer a free pair of earrings every month for a year to certain people who get a piercing done at its stores. Claire’s loyalty members who have opted into email qualify to receive a pair valued up to $17 each month when they purchase a piercing starter kit in-store from July 13 through Aug. 13, per the retailer’s website.

Dive Insight:

Claire’s is ready to help the next generation get their ears pierced.

Gen Zalpha, a cohort of younger Gen Zers and older members of Generation Alpha, has been a focus for the retailer’s marketing efforts. The retailer last year, for example, built a virtual destination on Roblox wherein players could accessorize avatars and, in turn, purchase those items at Claire’s brick-and-mortar stores.

The company is pushing its current relationship with the generation even further, supported by a full-funnel marketing plan that includes TV ads. The digital character Pierce will assist shoppers through their piercing and online shopping journeys, with additional phygital characters supporting its marketing as well.

“For more than 40 years, we have created a deep connection with our consumers through our industry-leading piercing business, delivering an experience they can trust, styles that excite them and a memorable visit to Claire’s,” CEO Ryan Vero said in a statement. “Piercing creates a deep connection with our consumers and draws new people and returning customers to our brand and stores every year, and we are proud to build on that legacy to meet the next generation.”

Pierced by Claire’s will also personalize efforts through EarPrint, or the ability for customers to create distinct ear designs through multiple piercing selections that express their personal style. The concept is similar to rival piercing company Studs, which provides “Earscaping,” or the service of personalizing piercing and earring stacking for an individual look.

While Claire’s has been a stalwart in the piercing space for four decades, the service has become more popular among other retailers. Five Below, CVS and even Target have introduced piercing in some stores.

Ear piercing is also an opportunity to drive shoppers into physical stores. “If [retailers are] really trying to get and drive consumers into the store, this is a way to do it,” Jen Cullen Williams, jewelry industry consultant and founder of Jen Cullen Williams Communications and Consulting, said in an interview with Retail Dive last year. “You can’t do a piercing through any type of virtual medium. It has to be an in-person touch and feel type of thing.”

Claire’s, which has 2,300 stores in 17 countries throughout North America and Europe, has broadened its footprint through a partnership with Macy’s and an expansion of its tie-up with Walmart.

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