How Billabong keeps its brand relevant in the digital age

From backyard beginnings to global brand, the surf label is continuing to evolve in the e-commerce space

From humble beginnings on the Gold Coast in the 1970s, to growing global household name, Billabong’s brand journey has been about consistently evolving to meet customer needs. And its expansion into digital is no different.

Speaking at the Online Retailer and Ecommerce Expo in Sydney, Billabong’s group ecommerce manager, Tora Brophy, said the surf retailer’s aim is to constantly evaluate how to showcase its brand in the best fashion possible. To achieve this, Billabong sees the concept of fewer, bigger and better as vital to every interaction.

“Our aim is to create a targeted, more streamlined form of communication with our customer,” Brophy said. “Our goal is to cut through and engage, tailor our communications to specific campaigns and make them more relevant.”

Storytelling is also core to engaging with customers, and Billabong has extended this through its digital channels, inspiring through story while at the same time always linking back to a product, Brophy said.

“The most important thing is to engage with our audience and making them captive,” he said. “It generates social conversation, online and in-store, reaching both new and existing customers. It’s about complementing the lifestyle with the product.”

To facilitate Billabong’s business goals, Brophy said the brand has continued to invest in global platforms and focus on customer centricity.

“The single most important thing is to put the customer at the centre of every interaction,” he said. “We’re trying to provide a first-class experience with our customer and we’re trying to think of new and innovative ways to captivate our audience.”

When it comes to the omni-channel experience, Brophy put success down to connecting the dots to create a seamless customer experience.

“Technology is really serving as the enabler by removing global shopping barriers,” he said. “This forces us to have to stay ahead of the shopping curve.”

According to Brophy, omni-channel has also meant moving away from the typical siloed structure many legacy organisations have operated, to delivering a more integrated experience through cross-functional collaboration.

“One of the challenges of omni-channels is the complexity of them, how to integrate them and how do you make that experience as seamless as possible,” he continued. “With these channels, you’re dealing with everything in your portfolio, such as social, customer service, B2B, in-store – they’re all variables.”

Another challenge Brophy raised in the omni-channel process was improving the customer journey via actionable insights.

“It’s all about gaining visibility across the region,” he said. “We have complete transparency as to how we operate online, but how that translates in-store is still a challenge.”

Ultimately, embracing omni-channel is about providing a unique experience and helping customers transition from each channel as fast as possible, Brophy said. “It’s about giving the customer the freedom to engage and shop how they want, when they want and where they want,” he said.

But while technology may be the enabler, brands must look at how to use it effectively as part of the overall business process. Billabong is in the midst of an omni-channel platform redesign using NetSuite, to ensure the customer remains at the centre of all interactions.

“The remainder of the year and going forward, we’re going to continue to focus on doing fewer things, bigger and better, continue to build up our global platform and continuously improve our customer experience,” Brophy added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

What does the CMO of 2017 look like?

The marketing landscape continues to evolve, and leading marketers are working hard to ride the wave. So what does it take to stand out from the pack?

Andrew Haussegger

Co-founder and CEO, Green Hat

The real asset of small data – getting granular unearths opportunities

When most marketers use the word ‘data’, what springs to mind are large sets of numbers, Excel spreadsheets, cloud-based IT systems and complicated algorithms. Big data speak is the mot du jour. There is even a big data Week in London called the Festival of Data.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Digital Transformation challenges for CMOs

New problems are rarely fixed by applying old thinking. In the last decade, a combination of circumstances has evolved that requires new thinking from marketers. This new thinking takes advantage of the digital environment and transforms business as we know it.

Mark Cameron

CEO, Working Three

Blessing of new technology we are enjoying the latest products. We could not imagine that we will get in the future these kind of product...

Ernest S. Bull

10 examples of cutting-edge marketing tech - Slideshow - CMO Australia

Read more

it is natural that agriculture needs innovatons. I'd say that it's a must. by the 2050 there will be 1/3 more people on the planet and no...

mariobros77

How a new digital and data strategy for agriculture is helping farmers innovate

Read more

Need to improve your customer journey? We're excited to announce that we are holding that we are holding two more sessions of our sellout...

Proto Partners

Customer journeys: The new differentiation battlefield - Customer insights - CMO Australia

Read more

Thanks Mark. A third of customers leave brands after one negative experience, thats why it is ever so important that we optimise EVERY in...

Proto Partners

Customer journeys: The new differentiation battlefield - Customer insights - CMO Australia

Read more

Hi Kyle -- great piece. I couldn't agree with you more when you say that we as marketers are in the business of choice. I actually wrot...

Matthew Willcox

Tapping behavioural science for consumer influence

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in