Digital Marketing Case Study – Charles & Keith

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Having introduced an innovative and invigorating idea for the marketing campaign at Charles & Keith, Lim has launched a series of victories for the organization to gain in the apparel market not only in Asia but also worldwide. Due to the creation of a flexible digital marketing campaign targeted at a very specific demographic, Lim has propelled Charles & Keith to the fashion world stardom. By grasping the inimitable atmosphere of the Asian fashion market and translating its image into a language that can be understood globally, Lim paved the way for the company to enter the world economy.


Since Charles & Keith started as an Asian company with rather humble beginnings yet is currently striving to establish itself in the global market as a leading expert in fashion, it will be reasonable to consider the organization from the specified perspective. Therefore, the scene on which Charles & Keith will be positioned will be primarily represented by the global fashion industry context, yet also refer to the starting point of the company’s development. Namely, the setting of the global market as the core environment will be viewed.

After considering the realm of the global fashion industry, one will have to admit that the competitive rates are beyond intense in it. Indeed, with major brand names having established a semblance of monopoly over the fashion market, very few companies have a chance at introducing an innovative thought that could potentially revolutionize the industry.

Case Analysis

Defined Moment

As a company that was set out to be innovative, game-changing entrepreneurship in an already boundaries-pushing environment, Charles & Keith may not have the definitive moment that sparked its meteoric rise to the top. Instead, one may need to point to the digital marketing strategy that Lim designed as the tool for promoting Charles & Keith’s agenda in the fashion market and introducing its vision into the company’s marketing strategy.

Turning Point

For Charles & Keith, the pivoting point of its performance, when it stopped being merely another Asian brand and gained the potential for entering the global market, occurred a couple of years ago. 2011 can be considered the turning point of the company’s evolution when the organization developed a distinctive brand image. Namely, has become vastly popular across Asia as the source of luxury garments, Charles & Keith reached the pinnacle of their success, at which they have been staying ever since (Ramlan, n.d.). Thus, what could have averted potential customers for other brands due to the lack of seriousness became the crucial point of marketing development for Charles & Keith.

Marketing and Management

When considering the marketing strategy of Charles & Keith and the company’s approach toward management, one should mention the meticulous and careful nature of Charles & Keith’s framework for addressing corporate planning and the related processes. Charles & Keith has been extraordinarily successful with its digital marketing technique, which the company adopted since its very foundation (Ramlan, n.d.). Namely, the use of social media for product promotion and building brand awareness has been quite effective. In addition, Charles & Keith has been using social media as a means of involving its customers in the dialogue.

However, the mere engagement with social media would not have facilitated the stunning success that Charles & Keith started enjoying almost immediately after Lim developed a company-specific marketing technique. What allowed the organization to begin to trend in Asia, thus paving the way to its entry to the global market, was the use of YouTube and social media influencers as the vehicle for product promotion. By collaborating with YouTube influencers, Charles & Keith has become a brand that is extraordinarily easy to recognize.

Competitors Data: Comparison

As emphasized in the assessment of the market environment above, Charles & Keith is facing very tough competition in the Asian fashion retail market. Being a profoundly lucrative business, fashion remains a very difficult area for new companies to establish themselves in and conquer successfully, even with innovative solutions and products. When Charles & Keith entered the Asian fashion market, several major companies had already built quite a presence in it, thus creating a very competitive environment. Currently, the key competitors of Charles & Keith include Da Milano, Phive Rivers, Caprese, Hidesign, Zakaria Bags, Aldo, Ohvola, Zara, Calonge, and Matias (Ramlan, n.d.)..


Although the full list of the company’s potential rivals does not stop there, the ones mentioned above currently pose the greatest threat to Charles and Keith’s performance and success with customers. Overall, among the existing competitors, the following five can be chosen as the potential threat: Zara, Da Milano, Caprese, Hidesign, and Zakaria Bags. However, as the chart provided below shows, Charles & Keith is currently leading as the company with the highest levels of YouTube representation (SocialBlade, 2020)

Figure 1. Charles & Keith and Its Competitors: YouTube Statistics (SocialBlade, 2020).

Charles & Keith and Its Competitors: YouTube Statistics.
Figure 1. Charles & Keith and Its Competitors: YouTube Statistics (SocialBlade, 2020).

As the chart above indicates, the exposure on YouTube is currently very high for Charles & Klein compared to its rivals. Therefore, the organization has the full potential of entering the global market without the fear of being pushed onto its periphery. However, on closer consideration of the company’s YouTube statistics, one will realize that most of its viewers come from Asian backgrounds (SocialBlade, 2020). Therefore, there is a probability of the company failing to get the attention of its new, western audience and, thus, establishing its presence in the western digital market as well.

Charles & Keith: Monthly Subscribers.
Figure 2. Charles & Keith: Monthly Subscribers.

As the charts above show, although Charles & Keith has seen quite a surge in the number of subscribers and vies recently, its progress has been very uneven. The lack of cohesion of the company’s progress in the chosen social media platform can be explained by the fact that the organization has been experimenting with brand image and representation (Singh, 2016). The observed trends are quite different from those of Charles & Keith’s competitors, whose growth is much more linear and even. However, the extent to which these organizations have been enjoying success among their target clientele is also significantly lower than that one of Charles & Keith, as the YouTube statistics show.

From the perspective of the Digital Marketing Theory, considering the impact of social networks is critical in examining the competitiveness that a company has in the economic environment of its choice. Therefore, analyzing Charles & Keith’s use of social media as the vehicle for promotion is also a necessity (Baker & Saren, 2016). Likewise, the dynamics of subscriptions for the company have seen peaks and valleys, as the chart in Figure 2 shows.

Another way of considering the intensity of competition in the specified industry and particularly between the specified brands is to look at their Instagram views. Being extraordinarily popular with the target audience of Millennials, the specified social media vehicle is instrumental in promoting fashion industry brands. As the existing statistical data shows, Charles & Keith has been enjoying approximately 1.2 million Instagram followers lately (CharlesKeithOfficial, 2020). Compared to the rest of the rivals, the specified number is quite big, which means that the company is quite competitive in the fashion industry (see Fig. 3). Moreover, the company is likely to survive and even thrive in the global market, where it will have to face pressure from even greater fashion industry corporations.

Instagram Subscribers: Charles & Keith vs. Its Competitors.
Figure 3. Instagram Subscribers: Charles & Keith vs. Its Competitors.

As the assessment of the Instagram popularity of the specified organization’s shows, Charles & Keith has a rather moderate success among its Instagram clients. In turn, Zara seems to be the brand of the greatest influence in the specified social media. Given the tremendous difference in the number of subscribers for Charles & Keith and Zara, it would be unreasonable for the latter to start competing with Zara immediately. Instead, the organization may need to focus on creating an innovative way of attracting a greater number of views and subscribers than Zakaria bags first, and then slowly transferring to a new strategy for addressing the competition with Zara. Another important tool for comparing Charles & Keith’s popularity to that of one of its rivals is the assessment of its Facebook communication effectiveness.

Charles & Keith: Facebook Competitor Analysis
Figure 4. Charles & Keith: Facebook Competitor Analysis (Zakara Bags, n.d.; Hidesign, n.d.; Caprese, n.d.; Zara, n.d.; Da Milano, n.d.; Charles & Keith, n.d.).

The analysis of the company’s Facebook activity and the performance of its competitors in the specified environment shows that Charles & Keith currently has the greatest presence in the specified environment. Despite Hidesign and Zakara Bags also being quite competitive, they are nowhere near the popularity of Charles & Keith on Facebook, which shows that the organization has a clear competitive advantage. However, it is worth noting that Facebook has not been quite popular with Charles & Keith’s target customers, which means that the company could use greater exposure in other types of media.

Similarly, Charles & Keith is quite popular at the sites that are less driven by entertainment but, rather, can be considered as the tool for developing business connections. For instance, considering Charles & Keith’s LinkedIn profile, one will realize that the organization has quite a large number of followers, especially compared to its core rivals. However, it is worth noticing that the organizations such as Zara still have an unmatched number of followers compared to Charles & Keith (see Fig. 5). The disproportionate number of people following the companies’ LinkedIn profiles shows that Charles & Keith should work better on its business representation. Although the current program aimed at attracting Millennials has been truly stellar in its effects, Charles & Keith may need a more serious approach to become better known at platforms such as LinekdIn. Namely, the organization could consider establishing a unique corporate philosophy that would make it shine among the rest of the competitors.

Charles & Keith and Its Competitors: LinekdIn Followers
Figure 5. Charles & Keith and Its Competitors: LinekdIn Followers (ZakaraInternational, 2020; Hidesign, 2020a; Caprese, 2020; Zara 2020a; DaMilano 2020; Charles & Keith Group, 2020).

As the diagram above shows, most companies except Zara have a very scarce LinkedIn representation. On the one hand, the idea of appealing only to the target audiences, who do not seem to favor LinkedIn as a communication platform, seems legitimate. On the other hand, these companies, Charles & Keith included miss out on a lot of opportunities in terms of employee engagement, talent management, and professional collaboration. Therefore, developing the LinkedIn profile of Charles & Keith may be a necessity.

Finally, when considering the extent of Charles & Keith’s competitiveness in the digital market, one will have to assess the company’s competitiveness in the target market. Namely, the number of visitors per day needs to be calculated from each of the companies’ websites. Thus, the extent of their popularity with their target audiences will be identified.

Site Traffic: Charles & Keith and Its Competitors (Daily).
Figure 6. Site Traffic: Charles & Keith and Its Competitors (Daily).

What, Who, Why, Where, When, and How

To explain how Charles & Keith has managed to climb to such tremendous success with a truly meteoric rise, one should consider several crucial aspects of its marketing campaign. The company has been targeting rather young audiences, primarily, Millennials, by appealing to social trends in the Asian market in a very elaborate way. Namely, the focus on the role that luxury plays in the Asian culture has served its purpose of making the organization propel to the top of the market. The specified clarification answers both the questions of what and who, since it shows that Charles & Keith has been producing luxury fashion items, mostly bags and shoes, appealing to the Millennial public.

In response to the question of why the reasons for Lim’s smart digital strategy to work have been quite obvious. As the Millennial audience grew into adulthood, their influence in the Asian market has increased, defining trends both in products and in the ways that could be used to market them. As a result, the importance of digital tools in advancing the products that Charles & Keith offered to its target customers has grown, making the organization to utilize social media tools as the main mode of communicating the company’s core messages. Finally, addressing the issue of how, one should focus on the improvement of some of the current representation issues, including the weak position on LinkedIn and the subsequent lack of focus on a particular demographic.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The stellar success that Charles & Keith has seen in the Asian market since its entrance into the specified setting can be explained by the unique approach toward digital marketing developed by its marketing experts. Whereas other companies oscillate between different audiences and platforms in an attempt to grab the attention of every single demographic, Charles & Keith has been consistent in its focus on Millennials and the use of popular media for engaging with its potential customers. However, even though Charles & Keith has been doing outstandingly well in its target setting, several changes toward its approach to digital marketing could be suggested.

Additionally, Charles & Keith could use a better focus on the platforms that introduce a more mature and serious look at relationships with buyers and customer engagement. For instance, the company could update its LinkedIn profile and develop greater ties with the said community by offering anything from discounts to participation in events to training opportunities and other options for its target demographic.

Thus, the organization would warrant the title of the company that speaks to the needs of its clients. Finally, opportunities for collaboration must not be overlooked when developing a digital marketing strategy. Charles & Keith could use a lot of support from organizations that operate in the fashion industry or are related to digital marketing so that Charles & Keith could advance in the specified environment.


To analyse the case of Charles & Keith and its future opportunities, one will need to focus on answering several critical questions. These include:

  1. How can the company improve upon its current digital marketing strategy by targeting new environments and engaging with new target audiences?
  2. What other types of demographics apart from millennials can Charles & Keith attract, and what customer segmentation can be used to appeal to the newly identified audiences?
  3. Is it reasonable to market to iGen customers, and what digital marketing techniques and media tools can be used for this purpose?

The answers to the specified questions will help to understand how the company will need to evolve in order to garner the support of a wider audience. Moreover, the organization will need to advance in the global market along with the current one, which means that Charles & Keith will need to focus on western audiences as well. Therefore, the exploration of the opportunities for cross-cultural communication and the selection of appropriate digital marketing tools should be the priority for Charles & Keith presently.

Reference List

Baker, M. J., and Saren, M. (2016) Marketing theory: a student text. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Caprese (2020) About. Web.

Caprese (n.d.) Community. Web.

CapreseGirl (2020) Caprese Girl. Web.

Charles & Keith (n.d.) Community. Web.

Charles & Keith Group (2020) Charles & Keith Group. Web.

CharlesKeithOfficial (2020) Charles & Keith. Web.

Da Milano (n.d.) Community. Web.

DaMilano (2020) DA MILANO Leathers Pvt. Ltd.. Web.

DaMilanoItalia (2020) Charles & Keith. Web.

Hidesign (2020) Hidesign. Web.

Hidesign (2020a) Hidesign. Web.

Hidesign (n.d.) Community. Web.

Ramlan, N. (n.d.) Charles & Keith. Web.

Singh, A (2016) Managing public relations and brand image through social media. New York, NY: IGI Global.

SocialBlade (2020) Charles & Keith. Web.

Zakara Bags (n.d.) Community. Web.

Zakara International (2020) Zakarabags. Web.

ZakaraInternational (2020) Zakara International. Web.

Zara (2020) Zara. Web.

Zara (2020a) Zara (current and former employees). Web.

Zara (n.d.) Community. Web.

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