Instagram isn’t usually the first channel consumers think to check when assessing which jeans to buy during a shopping trip. Between the mass of touch points in a store and photos online, brands have a wide array of communication points in which to bring their products to life.

To renew interest in Lee Jeans’ brand, DEG focused on the use of the fastest-growing social channel, Instagram.

So how does Lee Jeans, a 126-year-old American heritage company, revive interest in its brand? DEG, a full-service digital agency, saw an opportunity to reimagine what the brand could look like and stand for on Instagram.

The Ask

At the beginning of 2015, Lee Jeans enlisted DEG to reimagine its social presence. The challenge? Create content that drives relevance and showcases Lee products to a younger audience. This meant tweaking the model that was working with an older, U.S.-focused audience, so that it would resonate with its Instagram followers. Finally, DEG was tasked each month to conceptualize how U.S.-based products could feel attainable to a demographic that isn’t Lee’s primary target audience.

The Answer

To renew interest in Lee Jeans’ brand, DEG focused on the use of the fastest-growing social channel, Instagram. DEG’s social team performed extensive research into photo styles, Instagram filters, product placements, storytelling, tone, and more to create a course-correction strategy for Lee’s Instagram account.

After developing a visual style guide, DEG was trusted to produce quality content that laddered back up to the visual style guide, while incorporating products that matched the brand’s initiatives. Due to the diverse audience on the channel, DEG had to find the right balance of lifestyle photography, product-focused photography, and video to re-engage the Instagram audience and attract new users.

Keeping true to its data-driven approach, DEG relied on ongoing analytics to measure success and help tell an impactful story. The team used data to test and refine its approach to creating visual assets for the channel. This included shifting camera angles, model poses, and incorporating crowdsourcing photography from fans and internal agency resources, all while telling a story about the brand that would resonate past the “like” of a photo.

The Result

DEG’s expert understanding of its client’s customers introduced a new identity for Lee. Lee’s Instagram profile and photos have a continuity and quality that previously didn’t exist. With this continuity, a new user base has consistently come back to Lee, looking for new products and photos in which to draw style inspiration. The channel has also seen massive organic growth in 2015. DEG’s efforts has resulted in:

  • A 129 percent growth rate year-to-date (YTD).
  • Lee surpassing 33,000 followers as of February 2016.
  • A 198 percent increase in engagement, shown as a percentage of followers

With increased engagement and user buy-in to the channel, Lee has trusted DEG to attempt even more creative Instagram projects, especially with the use of micro video, .gifs, and Instagram ads. More importantly, DEG’s work with Lee has empowered its consumers to now see the brand in a more positive light, creating an environment where fans seek to share their brand experiences by posting their own photos using the hashtag #LeeJeans.

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