Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
May 14, 2019 • 09:00 am ET
include; first, win over a new generation of consumers; second, energize core products and accelerate high potential under-developed categories; third, drive targeted expansion in our regions and channels; fourth, lead with digital across all activities; and fifth, operate with discipline to fuel growth.
Starting with win over a new generation of consumers, as we outlined at Investor Day last June, our goal is to recruit millions of new consumers into our brands each year. To achieve that, we've been elevating our brand-building content and increasing our marketing investment with a focus on channels that matter most to consumers today mainly digital and social. In fiscal '19, we increased marketing spend by 13%, on top of the 10% increase in the prior year.
Highlights from the year and key learnings included two unique fashion shows that generated record levels of global engagement for Ralph Lauren. We are creating differentiated experiences with our shows, where we can engage consumers in new ways and amplify our messaging globally to in-store events and digitally. Our exciting collaboration with UK-based streetwear brand Palace and limited addition launches throughout the year, introduced the brand to new and younger consumers. As part of this, we activated our new POLO mobile app and partnered with influential specialty retailers around the world to reach trend savvy consumers where they shop.
We continue to leverage the power of cultural events and influencers, notably Ralph's incredible custom designs for the wedding of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in India and our successful exhibition at INNERSECT, one of China's most innovative platforms for creatives from the world of art, food, fashion, and music.
And lastly, our partnerships and high visibility with Wimbledon, US Open Tennis and the US team at the Ryder Cup, reinforced Ralph Lauren's authentic connection to the world of sports. As a result, we saw healthy growth in our number of Instagram followers with a 45% increase to last year to reach over 15 million followers across our brand handles. In the fourth quarter specifically, marketing highlights included our spring 2019 runway presentation, which transformed part of our Madison Avenue flagship into an immersive, Parisian-inspired Ralph's Coffee experience.
We're also leveraging key categories like Fragrance to recruit a new generation of consumers. In Q4, we launched a new campaign around the iconic Ralph Lauren Romance fragrance, featuring our new global ambassador Taylor Hill. And just a few weeks ago, you may have seen our Family is Who You Love global campaign, which captures a modern take on family, however you define it. It is a positive and powerful message about inclusion that has resonated with consumers and across Global press.
We are gaining traction with younger consumers as we engage with them in new, relevant, and exciting ways. We are in the early stages of this journey and are focused on building momentum among both millennial and Gen Z consumers globally.
Moving on to our second key initiative, energize core products and accelerate high potential under-developed categories. In the