Reiss Brand Breakdown: Fashion Marketing


At first glance, Reiss seems to have an impressive retail following. The London-based fashion brand, with a rich history spanning over half a century, has successfully expanded its reach across the UK and Ireland. It boasts an in-house atelier and design team, establishing itself as a leader in the fashion industry. But, in the ever-evolving world of search marketing, how well is the brand performing?


In this breakdown, we'll take a closer look at Reiss's search marketing strategy and make recommendations on how it can enhance its campaigns. I’ll cover important details from display and video ads to advertising research keywords. We'll explore what it’s doing right and what it's doing wrong as well as how its competitors are currently outperforming it.

Brand Breakdown Overview:

1.       Strategy

2.       Current display and video ads  

3.       Product listing ads (PLA)

4.       Text

5.       Competitors

6.       Advertising research

7.       Keywords, and

8.       Recommendations on how to improve the store's campaigns overall.


 For this strategy breakdown, I'll utilize tools such as SEMrush, as well as Google and Facebook's transparency tools, to analyze the paid search strategy of Reiss and its competitors. Using this information, I'll provide recommendations and insights to enhance the performance of Reiss's campaigns.



Reiss: Google Videos

Reiss has been making a name for itself in the fashion industry since 1971. It has positioned itself as a global modern menswear and womenswear fashion brand.


Reiss is currently running the summer Mirage campaign, but that does not include YouTube ads. Despite the fact that the campaign is placed on YouTube organically, they're only running Facebook ads.


These pics (above) are a few sample shots from the video campaign itself.

This is massive untapped potential to leverage YouTube, particularly for remarketing to those who have visited the website but haven't converted. Plus, it's a chance to do cold prospecting on discerning customers interested in this brand or its competitors.

Reiss: Facebook Videos

As seen below, YouTube is currently running clips of the summer Mirage video that has been airing for a while now.


The messaging of this campaign is aspirational; it’s expressing London’s rich heritage, while maintaining a reputation as a modern and cosmopolitan fashion capital. Reiss is staying true to its roots while also staying modern. The brand is running multiple ads with similar messaging across various platforms, including Facebook. The messaging seems to be doing well, so Reiss can leverage YouTube by repurposing the videos with different crops and cuts.

Reiss: Images

Reiss has been promoting their seasonal campaign through various image ads. These ads feature male and female models showcasing the brand's latest collection against the backdrop of their video campaign. The ads are highlighting multiple key clips from the campaign. By adding even more variations of these ads, Reiss could incorporate more aspirational messaging and highlight the promotion itself.


Reiss has also run older mid-season sale advertisements in the past. However, this brand typically doesn't offer discounts unless it's off-season. The messaging in these older ads differs from the current campaign. Incorporating diverse creative like this, with different ad copy, could be beneficial for Reiss's current promotions


Product Listing Ads


Among Reiss's shopping ads, we see that the women's clothing selection is more prominent.


The women's market is seeing increased demand, as evident in the popularity of wool blend coats and dresses. Currently, product titles are structured around the brand, color, and product type. This strategy is effective because many consumers search for products by brand. Reiss is optimizing their product titles by targeting specific brand keywords, making this structure ideal for its products. However, depending on the product, the title structure can be adjusted. For example, the title could be revised based on the product type, model, or other factors while maintaining the overall brand and product type structure.

PLA Positions


Reiss' product listing impressions (above) show a focus on promoting more shopping-branded types of spend. This is evident from the increase in keywords and search terms. And, there’s been a significant increase in ads over the past year, with keywords increasing by about 64 percent and ads by 55 percent compared to the previous year. "Reiss dresses" is the top branded search term, while "emerald green cocktail dress" is the number one non-brand search term.


To remain competitive and profitable, it’s important for the retailer to maintain both branded and non-branded positions in the search rankings.

Reiss: Text

We can see here (below), the ads currently running for text.


Reiss is employing a variety of ad text customizers for the season, to make a strong push for the new promotions. The men's suits, which are a brand staple along with men's shirts, are featured in many of the ads. Some of the headlines may seem basic, but they are targeting a significant portion of branded messaging that people are already familiar with. As a result, it's directing traffic to the homepage with minimal copy and some text customizers. That seems to be working well. However, Reiss should test different messaging and headlines to further improve performance.

Reiss is also using dynamic search ads. These types of ads allow Google to crawl the website, acting like paid SEO while displaying the retailer's ads at the top of search results for remarketing. It can also help target a specific page or category the store wants people to visit, without having to dynamically update the headline. Plus, the ads can have different descriptions based on the landing page. In this case, it appears that it's using suits and jackets in the men's categories to aggressively push these ads.


Competitors: Otrium Video

Shifting the focus to Reiss’ competitors, we’ll start with Otrium, another strong retailer.  


In analyzing Otrium's search marketing strategy, it appears it’s prioritizing the protection of its brand. Otrium is allocating its $5,000 monthly budget to target branded terms with variations. However, it’s competing with – almost ‘cannibalizing’ - retailers it should be collaborating with, and uses different messaging. While it's promoting discounted prices, Otrium isn't necessarily emphasizing its brand. Interestingly, it has included Reiss prominently in its video messaging; it mentions Reiss as one of the brands it carries.

Competitors: Otrium Image

Reiss faces competition from other retailers, like Otrium, offering heavily discounted products. This competition pits discounted prices against purchasing directly from the designer.


Competitors: Otrium Text


Otrium is putting emphasis on being a fashion outlet and highlighting the various brands it carries in its ad copy.


Competitors: Autumn Cashmere Text



The next biggest competitor is Autumn Cashmere. Its approach involves targeting several Reiss-branded keywords among its keyword list. The retailer’s ads also feature discounted messaging, similar to Otrium.


Competitors: PLA

Karen Millen is another serious competitor, although not as noteworthy as the others. However, It devotes more of its advertising budget on shopping compared to other networks in competition with Reiss.


Advertising research


Reiss has experienced a significant increase in their monthly budget, now standing at $5,000. This represents a seven percent rise compared to last year. That can be attributed to its strategic focus on targeting branded keywords. It may have lost some non-branded and branded keywords due to increased competition and retailers.


The graph  illustrates the upward trend in its budget over time.

Position Changes

Reiss has experienced a shift in its keyword positions across different search terms.


While it has gained good ground in branded keywords, Reiss has lost some positions for lower volume keywords like 'Reiss asymmetric top' and 'Reiss blazer dress'. It's possible that optimizing for certain keywords may be more profitable for its budget than others, and it's important to consider the cost-benefit analysis of protecting the brand versus targeting specific keywords.


The competitive landscape shows (below) there is some overlap among these retailers in targeting branded keywords.


Reiss has a noticeably larger number of branded keywords, which puts it in a strong position. Autumn Cashmere only has one branded keyword, which is just a small part of its overall brand portfolio. This means that while it may not be competing directly with Reiss on all fronts, it still poses a threat to Reiss' market share.



The current strategy for landing pages is sending a majority of traffic (50 percent) to Reiss’ home page, with an additional 27 percent directed to the men's promotion special.


While driving traffic to the home page can be effective for some campaigns, it's important to consider the user experience. In this case, sending traffic to a more targeted category page like the men's promotion special can provide a better user experience and increase the likelihood of conversions.


Keyword Overlap

Reiss is not targeting any non-branded keyword terms, which sets it apart from its competitors.


While other retailers are targeting some non-branded terms, they aren’t targeting every category of Reiss' products. This lack of overlap in keyword targeting may actually be beneficial for Reiss - it allows the company to focus on its branded terms and maintain a strong presence in those categories.

Market Explorer

The Reiss brand looks to be currently experiencing a downward trend in the market, as shown (below).


Despite being an established player with a large audience, Reiss's market mix of direct, organic, and paid traffic is not growing proportionately. Other established players in the market, such as Gap, Asos, and Myntra, are also in this space. Now’s the time for Reiss to take action to stay ahead of the competition. To avoid becoming a niche brand, Reiss should expand its branded traffic or increase its budget. One potential solution is to form strategic partnerships with retailers to reduce the cost of branded traffic. By collaborating with other established players in the market, Reiss can maintain its competitive edge and prevent further decline in its market share.

Domain Vs Marketing Dynamics

According to the metrics, Myntra leads the pack with a commanding 27 percent market share. Asos is nipping at its heels with 26 percent, while Reiss trails far behind in 20th position with just 0.07 percent.


This is largely due to Reiss's poor SEO performance in keyword terms and its limited paid traffic efforts compared to other brands. The market is highly fragmented, which is why Reiss has struggled to make a real impact. Although Reiss has made some progress in increasing its market penetration compared to last year, it still pales in comparison to the overall market share. At this point, Reiss is barely holding its own against its competitors – it needs to step up its game if it wants to truly compete.


Recommendation Recap


There are a few changes Reiss can make to improve its position in the world of online retail search marketing.

  • Reiss needs to dig deeper into its wallet and expand beyond branded search to keep up with competitors like MyNtra, Asos, and Gap.
  • Collaborating with retail partners would be a smart move to keep branded cost-per-clicks down.
  • Making changes such as map pricing or creating a collaborative Google ads budget can also help.
  • Reiss could benefit from running more display and YouTube creatives for remarketing, similar to its competitors. By focusing on these strategies, Reiss can remain competitive without breaking the bank on non-brand search terms.
  • Plus, utilizing existing Facebook creative can help the brand scale and expand at an affordable rate.

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About the Author

Ted is the founder of TGQ Marketing a PPC, Analytics and CRO agency focused on client results.