“We went from having virtually no communication between teams to having one core, unified communication channel that connected our DTC visual merchandising, marketing, and operations groups.”
Converse Fosters a Positive Brand Experience with Retail Partners Globally using Workforce Experience
Founded in 1908 as a shoe company that originally produced rubber galoshes, Converse released its first pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars in the 1920s, and the rest is history. One of the most iconic and enduring sneaker and apparel brands in the world, Converse sells its products in over 160 countries.
With merchandise sold across thousands of points of sale, Converse was having a difficult time ensuring that partner retailers were receiving corporate communications, following brand standards and directives, and staying up to date on need-to-know information. Internal communications—including technical guidelines and best practices—were being sent by email. But once sent out, the Converse team had no way of knowing that communications were received, reviewed, and implemented as envisioned by HQ. With limited visibility into store-level activities, compliance with directives was suffering.
“In the past, we’d get a good idea of what was happening in the market, but it was really only a snapshot,” says Jamie Tolentino, Retail Marketing Manager at Converse.
The leadership team at Converse, Global Partner Markets was looking for a solution to enhance communication between the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Visual Merchandising, Marketing, and Operations teams, who were communicating primarily through email and text messages.
They have adopted WorkForce Experience to streamline communications and get better visibility into Converse’s international partner teams in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Today, the Global Partner Markets team can message employees and team members directly, share relevant documentation like standard operating procedures and brand guidelines with enhanced visual photographs and video, and provide guidance on product positioning, marketing campaigns, and day-to-day operations.
“The internal feedback from our employees has been overwhelmingly positive. Employees love the mobile app and the improved visibility to their schedules, and managers can create their rotas much more quickly and make sure they have the right people staffed at the right time.”
Real-Time Communication and Visibility
Converse enjoys two-way communication with retail partners without the need for external messaging tools. Partners quickly and easily ask questions, seek clarification, and access the latest reference materials, brand standards, technical guides, photos, and videos—and HQ has visual confirmation that stores are complying.
“We finally have proper visibility, can easily share documentation, and don’t have to wait days or weeks for email responses to come in,” says Thiago Rigo, Retail Director – Online & Stores for Global Partner Markets at Converse.
Improved Compliance with Informed Employees
Converse HQ uses WorkForce Experience to manage in-store execution and drive operational excellence at its partner locations. The solution helps streamline the delivery of directives, tasks, and surveys, allowing Converse to gauge compliance and provide timely feedback from the same app.
“Every month when we collect the results, if we see a partner is down, say, 12%, the first thing we do is go to [the platform] and see if they implemented everything we wanted them to do,” says Rigo. “We can ensure that merchandising and marketing standards are being followed, even if the store is halfway around the world.”
Better Team-Wide Communication and Collaboration
Converse uses WorkForce Experience to connect to its internal direct-to-consumer teams. With one tool for all their communications (from sharing announcements and the latest news, to having one-to-one and group conversations), they’ve noticed a significant uptick in alignment and response times. Now that the team has one place to go for all communications, they have a holistic view of what’s happening in other departments and can collaborate in real time.
“We went from having virtually no communication between teams to having one core, unified communication channel that connected our DTC visual merchandising, marketing, and operations groups. Suddenly, all of our partners can see what’s happening in the rest of the world—who’s doing what, what’s working well—and can start replicating those best practices in their locations,” Rigo says.
More Control Without Additional Headcount
Because they work with 24 different partners in various time zones, languages, and cultures, Converse’s Global Partner Markets team says they needed a tool that wouldn’t increase overhead but could get the same end result. With WorkForce Experience, the organization has better visibility and can easily share information on standard operating procedures, training materials, visual guides, and checklists without hiring additional managers to oversee each region.
“Converse products are sold in so many locations worldwide—there’s no way to have district managers in all of those places,” he says. “It helps us better leverage our traveling field teams so they can work almost like district managers on our behalf.”
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