Astound Commerce ups digital engagement game for revered lifestyle accessory brand
Adrenaline sports enthusiasts—including surfers, skaters, and snowboarders—exert an influence on the general culture disproportionate to their relatively small numbers. They demand high-quality watches and other accessories conducive to the practice of their sports, and project a certain idiosyncratic style that is immensely appealing to consumers at large, particularly young consumers. Since 1998, Nixon has built a premium watch and ancillary accessory brand around surf, skate, and snow culture. Its products dominate the niche, with a fiercely loyal customer base that extends beyond sports practitioners to collectors and fashion-conscious consumers.
Nixon wanted to develop closer relationships with its customers on a global scale and felt constrained by the architectural limitations of its marketplace. With products sold primarily in small, specialty surf, snow, and skate shops, any future growth would need to come from the growing D2C segment. Unfortunately, the company had inadequate mechanisms in place for such ventures. Astound Commerce was brought in to remedy these deficiencies—and fast. Nixon wanted a complete redesign of its digital presence in time for a pre-Cyber Monday launch in 40 countries.
Nixon’s strong brand story had already built the company a small but loyal customer base, but it wasn’t conveying that story or creating compelling customer experiences digitally. And while its appeal has been historically male-focused, Nixon wanted to expand its business model by creating product lines that would be attractive to female consumers. To leverage the passion of its existing customers and make it visible, we developed a compelling experience-driven commerce ecosystem in which social media integration would play a pivotal role to help Nixon reach a new audience of consumers, both fans and collectors. We also wanted to reinforce the personalization experience of customizing a new watch in-store by translating the process into a digital one. We not only had to reimagine the user journey and shopper experience on the Nixon website and social channels; we also understood that Nixon required a world-class commerce platform to power the enhancements to its digital experience.
In roughly four months from discovery to deployment, we developed a comprehensive global rollout for Nixon on Salesforce Commerce Cloud. We devised an iconography system that improved consumer understanding of Nixon products and enhanced the online customer experience. This solved a lingering problem for the brand: digital customers didn’t grasp the large physical dimensions of the company’s watches and were occasionally unhappy. That issue is essentially a thing of the past. To leverage the broad network of influencers and partners that champion the brand, we enhanced the reach and power of these allies by providing flexible templates that allow greater scope for storytelling. We also implemented a Configure platform that let consumers customize and personalize options, essentially allowing for the creation of bespoke watches. Finally, we helped Nixon bring its digital initiatives in-house, partnering with the company to hire a solutions architect and train an internal digital marketing team, and we’re helping optimize and run the Configure SaaS platform.
Nixon found itself hobbled by an out-of-date marketing plan. Its products had a devoted constituency, but they were mostly purveyed through small retail shops. Direct-to-consumer sales were minimal—a sobering reality given that D2C commerce is the clear direction for retail’s future. Astound’s program assured Nixon a digital presence commensurate with its highly respected and tremendously popular brand and provides a blueprint for other specialty producers in need of digital solutions.