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From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Free People: FP Me

Finalist in Social Media Tool


Specialty clothing brand, Free People, launched in the seventies as one of the first lifestyle brands. Today the company features the latest trends and vintage collections for women who live free through fashion, art, music, and travel. Social media has played a key role in giving the brand a voice as it has grown to over 100 stores in North America, with distribution through global, UK, and China sites, over 1,400 specialty retailers world-wide, nine boutiques in Japan, and nine boutiques in China. As trends in marketing continue to evolve, a higher demand for customer engagement has emerged. To meet these demands, Free People developed its very own Style Community: FP Me.

FP Me is an innovative online social platform built around customers and their style. Since its launch in February 2013, the program has transformed from a retail outlet into an integrated Style Community. Users have a variety of ways to engage with the platform that include creating a public profile, uploading and sharing style and inspiration pics, creating product collections, 'hearting' products, collections, and photos, and connecting with other fashion lovers. With these tools, users populate the site with user-generated content (UGC). A live stream of popular pics carousel the homepage, and pics and collections live on product detail pages, user profiles, and the Free People App. These site features are a customized development effort for the brand, ultimately fuelling a social network that blends fashion, technology, and community.

Strategy and Execution

Almost two years after its inception, FP Me is thriving. The program has evolved from a modest interactive Style Community into an all-encompassing Free People branded experience. What started out as an attempt to create stronger relationships with customers, has developed into collaborative in-store events, integration on the Free People App, dreamy retreats, and a hashtag that has garnered over 75,000 posts on Instagram.

The platform's success is centered on one, very important, underlying factor: FP Me allows the brand to focus attention, energy, and resources on its most important facet, the customer. Before FP Me, customer integration on Free People's BLDG 25 Blog or social media channels was erratic, and there were no retreats to Vancouver or Orange County for the brand's most loyal fans.

The first FP Me event took place in Los Angeles where over 300 customers enjoyed a live band, snacks and drinks, acro yoga performances, and a DIY dip-dye station. Since then, Free People has held events in the US, Australia, UK, and Canada, ranging anywhere from multi-day retreats, to one-day experiential excursions. Each event is purposefully designed to evoke the Free People lifestyle, and to whisk customers away into a Free People dream. Every last detail is executed in true branded fashion; from the flowers on the bed she sleeps in, to the beautiful outfits she wears each day. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed after an FP Me event, replied that they felt a stronger sense of FP Me community, and one customer was quoted saying, "I love how we were all from different places and had different stories, but we all connected so well. I've made friends because of this experience and it was one I'll never forget." FP Me events serve as the ultimate brand experience.

The program also creates an avenue for customers to be seen and heard. Each week, a top user is featured with a short interview on the BLDG 25 Blog and Instagram as the "Stylist of the Week". Inspiring images are pulled and credited from FP Me for the brand's social channels, and often FP Me users hold events in Free People boutiques or contribute to the BLDG 25 Blog. With almost two-million followers on Instagram, over one-million on Facebook, and a large blog following, social serves as a way in which Free People can interact and say thank you to loyal FP Me users.

Across events, social interaction, and content creation, what Free People finds to be FP Me's most important aspectis the full circle that it creates between customer, employee, and home office. The program allows for all to merge together and create relationships. In building these connections, customers come to treat Free People as they would a friend: with loyalty and love. FP Me is arguably the most personal loyalty program to date.


Video for Free People: FP Me

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Free People