Q&A: How Le Creuset started telling their own eCommerce story

How do legacy brands stand out and reach new audiences in the digital era? Here's how Le Creuset cooks up their eCommerce strategy.
Updated on September 26, 2023

Some brands are ingrained in popular culture. Le Creuset has been a household name since 1925, universally recognizable for their colorful cookware.

From enameled cast iron cookware to stoneware, stainless, silicone and more, Le Creuset is renowned for its cheerful French kitchenware that endures through generations of meals, memories, and traditions.

How does a legacy brand like Le Creuset stand out and reach new audiences in the digital era? We talk to Andy Denton, who leads the brand’s eCommerce strategy and optimization.

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Can you tell us about your role and what you’re focusing on?

I manage our strategy and the digital marketing for the eCommerce portion of our business.

What I love about Le Creuset is that we’re transforming this 94-year-old brand, where the DTC side of the business is in its infancy. We’ve historically been a wholesale business and we relied on our retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Williams-Sonoma to tell our story.

Now we’re finding that we need to be great storytellers ourselves. The ethos that we’re communicating today is that we’re the “First, the Finest, and the Favorite”. There are a lot of cookware companies out there, but Le Creuset is the premier brand. We have a great product, great brand awareness, and great consumer affinity.

It’s a nice situation for a marketer to be able to sell such a loved product. All we have to do is present the best information we can and move out of the way. What I’m working on next is communicating that story, and to convey how our robust catalog is unique in our industry. We truly do have something for everyone and for every use.

How are you reaching your audiences today?

Traditionally, we have our marketing/communications side of the business, which focuses on brand awareness and the upper funnel. My side is the eCommerce side, which is more individualized and bottom-of-the-funnel efforts. Through the help of Criteo, we’re retargeting those lower-funnel consumers to make sure that we’re top of mind.

The next iteration of that is prospecting, to grow digitally and widen our reach. We’ve always done prospecting, but we’re getting better at it each season.

What channels are important to you? What’s become more or less important?

I focus on paid search, remarketing, and retargeting. When we started our online business, we leveraged select affiliate partners to get our presence known. As the digital side of the business matures, the focus is now on search, retargeting, and programmatic prospecting.

What I’m focused on is growing our own audience, maturing our CRM, and nurturing those consumers along the consideration path.

We’re growing very well and very fast digitally, at 60% rates year-over-year. The challenge is to keep this going as long as we can.

How are you using data?

The data is hugely important. I’m the analyst on our team as well, and I look at my data constantly. It’s not even a daily thing, it’s a constant thing.

That gives you familiarity. You can spot any anomalies that are occurring, whether good or bad. By continually looking at and playing with the data, you identify opportunities to drill deeper.

What trends or tactics are you preparing for?

In the last 12 months or so, there’s been a big focus on modernizing our strategies and leveraging automation. If we expect to continue our growth as quickly as we are now, then we need to automate more.

Because of that, aspects like the remarketing of our audience through Criteo is huge. Taking audiences and building lookalikes out is dramatically important. Then we need to not only optimize, but to really build our ad campaigns at a scale that meets our goal expectations.

Next, it’ll be capturing new audiences and finding where we can succeed in different niches. There’s so much opportunity, and it’s a lot more cost-effective to do that research online, versus in a real-world setting.

What are you proudest of in your work at Le Creuset?

We have a strong team. We’re putting together the pieces of the puzzle to succeed as a brand, for the next iteration of our business. It’s exciting times here and I’m proud to be part of that team.

What advice do you have for other marketers?

Dive deep. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day, but I try to carve out significant time in my schedule for deep thought and analyzing the business overall.

It’s important to read and research opportunities that might propel the business to the next level. If you’re not aware of how the marketplace is shifting, or what the new trends are, you’re going to just be a reactor and not an innovator.

Gabriele Dane

Gabriele is a product marketing manager focused on celebrating Criteo’s customers and their successes. Her work has been featured in Nieman Lab, Quartz, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Money, and Mashable. She enjoys geeking out over digital trends, data science, and well-placed Oxford commas.

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