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How Revolutionary Is On’s Customer Relationship?

Our weekly brand-by-brand “7 commandments” analysis of basic CRM Marketing tactics

On (“On Running”) is the maker of ​​Swiss performance running shoes and clothing. Born in the Swiss alps to revolutionize the sensation of running, let’s see if On hits the mark when it comes to building customer relationships.

Be Transparent 8/10

Scrolling down On’s HP, we spotted a press page link which led us to a couple of product announcements. The most recent press release was for the launch of the third edition of Cloudventure. The brand’s transparency page and Impact Progress Report gave us some insight into On’s internal activities. While On doesn’t seem to be in the news a lot, they’re pretty open with their operations.

But we have to deduct some points here because On needs to make its transparency efforts more visible – and include the people behind the brand in it a little more.

Incentives and Perks 5/10

Logging into On’s website, we weren’t welcomed with any freebies and no offers were given to us as we moved through the website. (most websites we’ve analyzed offered some perks right away) However, we were offered free shipping at checkout and saw a refer-a-friend link at the bottom of the HP.

The absence of perks and incentives made us feel like On wasn’t interested in helping customers save money – which is something customers appreciate even more when the economy is still in recovery mode.

Incentives and perks are a must for brands as they help create a satisfying customer experience that builds brand loyalty. We hope On considers introducing discounts, sales and other freebies to its customers.

Be Helpful 10/10

During these trying times, giving back is necessary. So for this commandment, we check how socially responsible a brand has been.

On has Give Back Days where employees are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and give back to their communities however they can.

The brand reports: “Collectively, we volunteered over 4000 hours to community causes. We supported the elderly, helped out in food banks and worked on environmental initiatives, just to name a few ways in which we turned out for others.”

Letting employees decide how they want to support communities is a great way to encourage them to give back. And, judging by the our experience after analyzing more than 50 brands, we can safely say it’s a unique initiative that we don’t see enough of.

Be Relevant 10/10

With climate crisis statistics looking grim, customers are more eco-friendly and buying from brands that help them live green – or promote other zeitgeist-relevant causes. Some of On’s sustainability initiatives include:

  • Redesigning its packaging to have a low impact on the environment. Less ink, less plastic, and no more paper slips.⁠⁠
  • On shoe boxes, socks and laces packaging are all crafted from 100% recycled materials. And its apparel packaging from more than 99.9%.
  • The brand also has a ⁠⁠circular subscription service Cyclo, a fully recyclable running shoe available only by subscription.

We totally love how On shares its sustainability initiatives in detail. Big ups to On for walking its talk. Better yet, RUNNING!

During COVID-19, ​​ On gave employees extra time off to rest and recover in addition to their regular paid vacation time.

In addition, On has a Home Try On special, where customers have 30 days to enjoy an On product in indoor workouts. Customers who aren’t satisfied with the product at the end of the 30 days can just send it back to receive a full refund. What’s not to love 🙂

Finally, the brand shows a fair level of diversity in the models it uses.

On gets an ‘A’ from us for relevance.

RealTime Personalization 5/10

Logging into On’s website, we were allowed to choose a gender. Choosing the women option, we were presented with gender-specific content.

On has a shoe finder tool that helped us find the right running shoe. We really liked the product options we were offered.

On upselling and cross-selling: When we added a pair of Cloud X running shoes into our cart, we were presented with some socks to add to our purchases.

Heading back to the brand’s HP, it wasn’t personalized in realtime to reflect our online behavior and the item we had left in our cart.

When exiting On’s site we weren’t tailed by ads on social media or the otherwise one the internet to remind us of items left in our shopping cart.

In all, On’s realtime personalization effort slows down its CRM performance.

Master UX 10/10

Navigating through On’s website was an easy and smooth experience. We could shop by weather, sport and other categories.

The brand has an expansive product filtering criteria and the product pages were detailed enough to help us make a purchase decision.

On also has a comparison tool that allows customers to compare products side by side. We think this is an awesome UX feature to have.

Leverage Social Media 8/10

On has an active social media presence and a solid social media following. At the time of our analysis, the brand had more than 700k followers on Instagram, almost 26k followers on Twitter, and almost 445K likes on Facebook.

On Instagram, the brand posts in high frequency and makes great use of IGTV to promote its products. We also see On staff as models and some user-generated content. (nice!)

On Facebook, the brand post links to articles on its websites, product promotions and videos.

On is active on Twitter and its posts receive a healthy level of engagement compared to other brands we’ve analyzed.

In all, On’s social media strategy is platform-specific. This is great as a one-size-fits-all approach never works in social media marketing. But we think On should consider conveying its brand’s personality more to hit a 10.

Time for our verdict.

Overall, On is getting 56/70 here (80%) – enough for a solid 4-way 13th place tie out of the 54 brands we analyzed so far.

Our Advice to On

To perfect its basic customer relationship marketing tactics, One needs to make realtime personalization a priority.

This can be done by using data to power realtime personalization of customer communications. Seems like the key that will lead On to win gold in the race to build a great relationship with customers.

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