September 16, 2022
If you’d like to build the future of retail, look no further than Gap Inc.'s Customer, Digital, and Technology (CDT) organization. While roles vary, CDT has one common goal – to lead Gap Inc.’s ongoing transformation as we adapt to a digital-first world. Deepening customer loyalty is a critical component of this; the Loyalty team within CDT leads the strategic direction for rewards programs across all brands, including acquisition, retention, and engagement.
Learning what it takes to drive digital transformation through loyalty programs at the largest specialty retailer in the U.S. can come from lessons learned both at work and in grad school. Look at what fuels Melsha, a Sr. Manager for Banana Republic’s Loyalty team, who has been at Gap Inc. for almost five years. Melsha combines her analytic and creative sides to create and manage her brand’s strategic loyalty plan. Her day-to-day involves identifying key financial targets, analyzing data and customer trends, and developing customer engagement strategies to drive sales and customer affinity. While working remotely from the San Francisco Bay Area, Melsha has been pursuing a master's degree on the side and was recently promoted as a people leader within our org. Read on to learn how she finds balance throughout her workday.
4:00 AM: I am an early riser, and believe it or not, I wake up daily at 4-4:30 AM without an alarm clock. I meditate, check my calendar, and plan my day. Around 5:15 AM, I head to CrossFit, a passion that I developed years ago, that challenges me physically and mentally and affords me time with some incredible people that push, motivate, and encourage me. After completing a tough workout, I feel like there is nothing I can’t do!
9:00 AM: After I drop my daughter off at childcare and make myself a good cup of Black and Bold coffee, I start my workday. Every day is different at work, but I enjoy that because it keeps my days interesting and challenging.
Today, for example, I worked on managing the loyalty component of our Friends and Family event. It’s one of my favorite semiannual events, where our rewards members get early access to shop our elevated product line. Preparing for this event takes cross-functional partnership and a lot of time! Ahead of the launch, I meet with various business partners to discuss objectives and financial goals, marketing support, and key project milestones. As a rewards member, I usually visit my local Banana Republic Factory store during early access, and it’s amazing to see all the team’s hard work in action. Once the event ends, I share results with key business leaders including performance, engagement metrics, and lessons learned to improve future events.
12:00 PM: Around noon time, I break for lunch, but it’s also my time to get recharged for the afternoon. I sometimes listen to a podcast for some inspiration, or maybe just a laugh. Today, I queued up Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche’s Brown Ambition. They've taught me about making smart career decisions and how to build wealth for my family.
3:30 PM: I block work time in the afternoons for some dedicated time to learn more about my customer. At Gap Inc., we have “Words To Live By,” or values, that represent our company culture. “Be Customer Curious” is the value I identify with most and practice daily, where we commit to listening, learning and understanding our customers, so we can create products and experiences that meet their needs.
Banana Republic’s Rewards program caters to card and rewards members and offers personalized benefits such as free shipping on $50+, member-only exclusive offers, and bonus points opportunities when members shop across our iconic family of brands. Our rewards members are an important part of our customer base because they spend more annually and shop more across the brands compared to customers that are not a part of our program. In my role, I am responsible for retaining and engaging our rewards members by building programs that are exclusive to Banana Republic Factory. To do this, I understand their consumer behavior and look for marketing opportunities to promote Banana Republic Factory Store and Rewards Members benefits, including email and site placement, direct mail, store signage, and paid media.
7:00 PM: After dinner and time with my family, I read and write papers for the courses in my Masters in Organizational Management program. I believe this program will help me progress throughout my career and help me contribute to Gap Inc. in impactful ways. I really enjoy going to school while working full-time because I get to apply what I am learning in real time.
'Fit Check with Melsha
Working at a company that prioritizes optionality is key in growing my career and balancing school and time with my family.
What makes you proud to work with us?
Working at a company that prioritizes optionality is key in growing my career and balancing school and time with my family. I’m also inspired by Gap Inc.’s culture and how intentional we are around tackling inequalities. In my career, I haven’t always worked in inclusive environments but my experience at Gap Inc. is different. I love working here because of the amazing people I have met that have become friends and mentors.
Personally, I’m proud to bring optimism to our team. If anyone thinks it can be done, no matter how outlandish it sounds, it’s me! I am the first to encourage others because I am confident in our team and my own ability. I work as if we will get it done and we will do it well together. I also bring authenticity. I enjoy building relationships by being myself and caring about others. Earlier in my career, I would try to have a “work self” and a “personal self” – that is not only exhausting, but I was also missing out on building real, meaningful relationships.
Tell us about your style.
My personal style is sporty-romantic. I wear many hats as a wife, mom, business professional, and student, which means I’m on the run (a lot)! When it comes to my every day, you can catch me in Athleta’s Salutation Stash Pocket II Capris or Tights, along with a Gap sweatshirt or Old Navy Project WE shirt with an Athleta waist bag flung across my body. When I want to be a little fancier, I embrace my romantic style with a dress from Banana Republic or Banana Republic Factory.
Did Melsha’s workday inspire you? Learn more about how you can join the Customer, Digital and Technololgy (CDT) team!