Positioning, Messaging, and Thought Leadership Overhaul  

Brought into a net-new role as Returnly's Director of Content Marketing, my focus for Q4 2019 through the end of Q1 2020 was three-fold:

  1. Work with CEO, Sr. Marketing Manager, and Product Marketing Manager to roll out new brand positioning (company, platform, and product), messaging pillars, and editorial style guide

  2. Lead content marketing efforts to elevate and support Returnly's thought leadership platform

  3. Collaborate with PR and other communications professionals to create thought leadership content on behalf of our CEO and CTO  

While my role was impacted by a 1/3 reduction of our workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I'm proud of the contributions I made to help reinforce the Returnly brand as a trusted leader in the post-purchase direct-to-consumer e-commerce space.


Below, I've outlined what I was able to accomplish before my departure from Returnly on March 31, 2020.

1. Laying the foundation for public-facing messaging, executive communications, and thought leadership content

When I was brought on board, Returnly, a late-stage financial technology startup, was in the process of a brand refresh. Initially, I worked with leaders across the organization to update brand positioning, public-facing messaging, in-app communications, and editorial guidelines. Ultimately responsible for content marketing efforts, this was the perfect opportunity to help me understand the businesses' key differentiators, customer base, competition, and reputation in the e-commerce landscape -- everything I needed to create a strategy to help evolve Returnly's thought leadership platform.

The Goal:

Position Returnly as the only returns platform powered by data science and financial technology capable of giving direct-to-consumer brands the ability to turn returns into a winning edge in the highly competitive e-commerce landscape.

The Result:

Foundational elements that tell the story of Returnly's unique ability to help its customers exceed their shoppers' expectations by delivering instant gratification at the point of return -- i.e., extending credit to let shoppers get the right item before having to return the one they don't want.


Elements worth noting include:

Company tagline:

A return experience like no other

Positioning Statement: 

Returnly is the only return solution that lets customers get the right item before returning the wrong one -- with zero risk to the merchant.

Value Proposition:

The best returns experience is built with Returnly. With Returnly in place, brands give browsers the confidence to buy. When purchases don't go as planned, Returnly uses financial technology to help brands exceed shopper expectations, save more sales, and earn repeat business. 

Bringing it all together: The Website

When the rebranded website went live it showcased the new company, platform, and product positioning -- reinforcing Returnly's position in the marketplace as a financial technology leader uniquely equipped to help e-commerce businesses turn post-purchase experiences into competitive advantages. Click the image below to check out the Returnly website.

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2. Elevating the thought leadership platform with new insights and relevant content

A bit of context: In the e-commerce space, a lot of data has been gathered and shared about shopper behaviors and trends. Shopper personas, in fact, have been well defined and documented. And this information is used by most direct-to-consumer brands to improve shoppers' pre-purchase experience, streamline internal operations, and plan marketing efforts. But nothing had been done to help these businesses better understand "returner" behaviors; creating the perfect opportunity to elevate Returnly's position as a thought leader in the e-commerce space.

As a returns platform powered by data science and financial technology, we had unique insights into return and exchange trends and post-purchase shopper behaviors. I oversaw the development of Returnly's 2020 State of Returns Report which broke new ground by defining the returner personas shaping the e-commerce landscape. With this report, we were able to present new insights and relevant content to better help our customers meet customer expectations, boost brand loyalty, and increase sales through returns. -- and elevate Returnly's standing as trusted thought leaders in the direct-to-consumer and financial technology community. 

Thought Leadership Content: First-ever data report eBook of its kind

Check out the first-ever consumer-centric returns report. Unlike other return reports that analyze

logistics data, the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report includes findings from our year-long look at consumer returns behavior.

Thought Leadership Content: Executive presentation for online event

To spread the word and celebrate the release of Returnly's first-ever data report, we organized a live webinar with e-commerce thought leader Steve Hutt. Here's the deck that was created to support the conversation between Steve and Aaron Schwartz, Chief Business Officer at Returnly. 

Thought Leadership Content: Live (and recorded) online events

In addition to organizing and hosting a webinar to review the Returnly 2020 State of Returns Report, I partnered with e-commerce industry thought leaders, founders, and advisors to create live events to share helpful information and insights with our enterprise customers and prospects. You can catch these on-demand recordings by clicking on the images below.

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3. Supporting strategic partner, agency, and in-house thought leadership content marketing efforts

I also collaborated with our public relations agency, strategic partners, communications consultants, and in-house subject matter experts to create content to amplify executive presence, reinforce brand mission, and raise awareness of Returnly's products, services, partnerships, and customer successes.

Thought Leadership Content Created for Strategic Partner
Samples: Executive Bylines
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Blog Articles
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United by Blue - Proving the power of business can do good

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March 2020 Roundup: A List of DTC Thought Leadership Content Too Good Not To Share

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Returnly Q1 highlights include Adweek award for Best Returns Solution

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Bloomberg Interviews Returnly’s CEO: Using tech to exceed modern shoppers’ instant expectations

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Four strategies DTC brands must revisit to succeed without Amazon

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Fintech to the rescue: Expand globally. Deliver simplified, localized return experiences.

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