Data deep dive: Sadie Sink x Kate Spade
16-year-old actress Sadie Sink’s credits include American Odyssey, Blue Blood and The Americans, but her breakout role occurred in Netflix’s global hit original series - Stranger Things. Sadie plays Maxine ‘Max’ Mayfield and joined the young cast as a regular in Season Two. Sadie’s most extensive and long-term partnership to date has come in the form of Kate Spade New York; who tapped her to become the face of their Spring/Summer 19 campaign in January. But just how well matched are Kate Spade and Sadie Sink?
16-year-old actress Sadie Sink’s credits include American Odyssey, Blue Blood and The Americans, but her breakout role occurred in Netflix’s global hit original series - Stranger Things. Sadie plays Maxine ‘Max’ Mayfield and joined the young cast as a regular in Season Two. Sadie has demonstrated an inherent appreciation of fashion since she burst onto the scene. A Chanel ‘darling’ (the house offered to dress her for multiple events); she starred in Miu Miu’s ‘Whispers’ ad campaign and made her runway debut walking Undercover's Fall 2018 show at Paris Fashion Week. Rising through the fashion ranks over the past year or so due to her mounting fame and near Pre-Raphaelite beauty; Sadie is no stranger to style collaborations or brand endorsement. An Ambassador for Nike’s React campaign in 2018, it has just been announced she, and the rest of the ST cast, have partnered with Pull and Bear to produce a capsule collection– just ahead of the Season 3 premiere. Arguably Sadie’s most extensive and long-term partnership to date has come in the form of Kate Spade New York; who tapped her to become the face of their Spring/Summer 19 campaign in January. You may have noticed the starlet sitting in the front row at the ubiquitous US label’s Fall presentation at New York Fashion Week in February, alongside fellow brand muses KiKi Layne and Julia Garner.
But just how well matched are Kate Spade and Sadie Sink?
Kate Spade launched in 1993 as a handbag brand that stood for optimistic femininity. Now a style staple offering clothes, shoes, jewelry, home décor and accessories; it commands an audience of 3.6m on Facebook, 2.6m on Instagram and 881K on Twitter. Kate Spade’s audience is 87-92% female across channels, sitting firmly within the 21-29 age bracket. At present, only around 19% of its customers are aged 17-20. With the US as its core market and New York understandably its top city, the brand has a small presence in other global territories such as the UK and Canada. Despite its competitive pricing, Kate Spade shoppers have relatively high-end brand affiliations such as Vogue, Michael Kors and Tory Burch, with a very strong fashion focus in terms of influences (Lauren Conrad, Nordstrom) and likes and interests (clothing, fashion, jewelry).
If we compare Sadie’s audience profile, she actually appeals to a younger audience, with a primary share (40.12%) sitting within the 17-19 bracket and secondary (38.22%) of 20-24s. This is reflected in the celebrities that Sadie’s audience are influenced by; displaying preference for Selena Gomez, The Jonas Bros and John Green. Kate Spade brand ambassadors have been diverse over the years, including the likes of 97-year-old influencer Iris Apfel. However, it appears that in the past two years, it has made a concerted effort to work with younger talent. A millennial favourite, the brand always aimed to appeal to a relatively young consumer with its vibrant, playful designs. In this sense, it seems Kate Spade is eager to cement and reiterate this position to carve out its spot within the shrinking US bag sector, and its choice of fresh, aspirational, rising star actresses is a clever way to do it.
Sadie Sink’s audience likes and interests are less fashion-focused and lean towards punk music, young adult, graphic novels and fantasy. Though there are a few brand alignments such as Victoria’s Secret, Sadie’s followers have much more high-street and consumer focused brand affinities such as Marvel, Urban Outfitters, MTV, H&M, Vine and Coca Cola. Sadie’s geographical data also differs from the brands; being slightly more spread out across the likes of Brazil, UK, Italy and Mexico. However her top country across platforms is the US. New York does rank as her top city on Twitter, though it is relegated to third position on Instagram, behind Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
Purely on comparison of demographic appeal, Sadie Sink and Kate Spade aren’t the most likely of partners on paper. However, in a competitive consumer landscape, it is brands that think creatively about opportunities for expansion and ways to target new and diverse audiences that will have the most impact. Strategically, Sadie opens the brand out to new territories and a younger market, but she also adds a secret sauce: niche influence. Due to her affiliation with Stranger Things, Sadie attracts a dedicated community of fans rooted in the subcultures of science-fiction, fantasy, horror and comics, as well as nostalgia seekers who grew up in the 80s. These types of consumers are powerful purchasers that Kate Spade could now tap into. The combination of Sadie’s command of these groups, with her growing reputation as ‘one to watch’ in the luxury fashion space, could provide a winning formula for brand advocacy
Though Sadie’s public persona is fairly diluted when we look at her personality archetype data, the majority of her followers see her as Desirable and a Purist. This bodes well for a fashion collaboration, as it suggests a reputation for being sophisticated, stylish and charming. A recent vegan who is passionate about animal rights; Sadie is also smart choice for the brand due to her wholesome, moral and kind characteristics. In its 2017 ethical trading policy, Kate Spade expressed a commitment to responsible sourcing and value ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices, so there is a good fit from a principle perspective. Sadie Sink is a well-liked person, perceived to be attractive and innocent. In a tumultuous year for the brand, following its founder’s untimely and tragic suicide; Kate Spade is wise to align itself with a celebrity that only 0.5% of her audience believe is at all controversial.
Now to state the obvious. Of the Kate Spade S/S19 campaign cast, Sadie has by far the widest reach, claiming a total audience of 4.93 million. Sadie also claims the highest instagram engagement rate (15.21% organic, 13.08% sponsored). To put that in context, it’s worth noting ST co-star and Sadie’s BFF Millie Bobby Brown’s engagement rates hover around the 8.49% engagement figure, despite having over four times Sadie’s following. Thus, any brand looking to raise awareness and bolster reputation would be wise to work with someone like Sadie.
In conclusion, though there are intrinsic advantages to working with such a popular name - the partnership isn’t an obvious choice. Kate Spade has certainly done its research and ended up with a partner who not only offers increased awareness and visibility, but access to an engaged, mobilised market for potential sales conversion.