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When Bluefly came to RLM, it was regarded as a struggling online retailer despite a loyal (if small) group of customers. Bluefly’s products were viewed as commodities, and the site was dismissed as a discount outlet.

RLM was brought in to re-position the company among press, industry influencers and consumers. RLM immediately recognized that Bluefly could no longer position itself as a discount store with an undifferentiated offering. Bluefly had the opportunity to transform into an iconic, lifestyle brand offering insightful commentary about fashion trends.

Strategy and Tactics

RLM’s strategic plan was based on contact with a cross-section of media and dialogue with Bluefly executives:

  • Re-position the company as “the ultimate hook-up for the most current in-season and on-trend fashions and accessories at a superior value”
  • Focus on the brand—not the products
  • Position Bluefly as more than an e-tailer — a facilitator of taste with a unique point of view on the culture of fashion
  • Highlight innovations such as the Flypaper Blog, creative promotions and contests, and Seasonal Boutiques
  • Personalize the story through media trained CEO Melissa Payner by establishing her as an expert in the fashion industry, offering unique insights

RLM developed Bluefly’s key messages to establish consistency regarding the brand to media and consumers. In addition, RLM began source filing Melissa Payner with influential media, highlighting her experience and providing media with insightful information that was immediately useful and newsworthy to them. RLM seeded media influencers with story angles unique to Bluefly to generate coverage. We developed pitches tied to the Bluefly brand that capitalized on the growing trends of online shopping, seasonal fashion roundups, holiday sales, creative promotions and content areas such as Fall Boutique and Black is Back.

RLM also developed stories highlighting Bluefly’s brand personality—sassy, keen, and always fashionable—and providing shopping tips tailored to specific print, broadcast and online news outlet audiences. RLM also worked closely with lifestyle reporters at national top-tier news outlets to ensure that anyone working on a story about fashion and online shopping had access to Bluefly’s expertise and insight.


As a result of RLM’s public relations program for Bluefly, they saw consecutive quarters of strong sales growth and a dramatic increase in site traffic. RLM left no stone unturned, generating copious coverage and buzz. Today, Bluefly is a success story that has been featured far and wide in outlets that include: