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It’s fair to say the future is now. The advancements we’ve seen in technology have influenced every aspect of how we live and will only continue to do so. And while there are noticeably immediate effects across the board, one particular area has captured our attention: marketing. And we at The Underwear Expert are, of course, all about underwear marketing.
Marketing continues to evolve throughout our economic experiment in capitalism. Eventually the best, most brave, and positively risky new ideas stick — and soon become the status quo until the next advancement arrives. Two prime examples come to mind: Gillette Razors and Nike Sportswear.
The way we buy razors now is all thanks to King Gillette. He spent a personal fortune creating, patenting, and selling the handle for his new disposable razor. And then he spent nearly 2 years giving them away. Radio contests, carnivals, grocery store bonuses, free gifts in mail boxes. King Gillette travelled up, down, and across America in the late 1800’s giving away 1/2 of his invention. Only then did he release the blades that go with it. Those were for sale. The rest is marketing history, and a permanent change in the way we buy and sell razors.
Nike was only a shoe company when it started in the 1950’s. The shoes were reliable and athletic but certainly not the brand and market king we’ve come to know. In the late 1980’s that changed. Up until that point marketing and advertising hinged on an ‘us vs. them’ focus that was a result of years of the cold-war back and forth. America was us-vs-them with the Russians, and most brands used a similar competitive marketing strategy to sell their items.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Nike was one of the first companies to understand that our universal way of thinking needed to stripped down as well. Nike transitioned and began to sell more than just shoes. They became a lifestyle company — in product and advertising — the marketing of which has made them permanent leader’s in sports apparel for over 2 decades. And that brings us to underwear.
It is 2014 and the world has gone digital, the Internet is still evolving and the world of inventive marketing – especially underwear marketing – is evolving with it. Underwear, underwear sales, and marketing have become a microcosm for the way items are sold and bought in the 21st Century. And it would be fair to say, that with underwear, everyone is experimenting with the future while living in the present.
Knowing this, we’ve assembled some of the most innovative underwear marketing strategies we’ve seen so far. We hope to identify the new and exciting, as well as what we can expect in the future.
These various strategies are very much like the underwear itself: some are cutting edge, some of perfected versions of the basics, and all are worth checking out.
1. Bjorn Borg: A Singular And Deceptively Simple Web Experience
Of all the websites on the Internet, commerce/sales websites are among the most visited. These digital stores for the digital market place are in equally constant competition for consumer traffic. Sales websites take on all kinds of coding design, the product of which is a plethora of hard-to-navigate, over-complicated designs. Or boring and woefully under-designed ones.
What makes the Bjorn Borg site such an elegant example of underwear marketing is its web platform. The website is assuredly a commerce site, but it is extremely simple to navigate and puts the underwear front and center.
Best of all, unless you move on to purchase the items in your cart, you never leave the home page. This is particularly important — that singular strategy that keeps everything on view has managed to simulate the experience of a physical store, a place where you might by something else because it is on display or pops into your peripheries.
Navigating the Bjorn Borg site feels like every day shopping, and a prime example of basic e-commerce done well.
2. Happy Socks and Baskit: Instagram, Tumblr Feeds Lead To Visually Stunning 2nd World
More recently, Internet marketing strategies have focused on the fusion of user and consumer. Companies are in an exciting place when the two become one. The ability to disseminate information, imagery, and merchandise is put into the hands of the masses. The cost-effectiveness of this strategy cannot be denied, nor can the insanely grand reach.
This has allowed for secondary marketing platforms to open up on sites that aren’t commerce-based. Instagram is a prime example of a place where differentiation between user and company is hard to see, but amazing brand imagery is not.
Happy Socks has one of the best Intagram feeds out there. The colorful images are well-suited for the playful company’s products and reputation. We can’t chart the numbers of how many socks are being sold through the Happy Socks Instagram account, but we can say that it keep the company’s image up to par with the digital age, always on our lips, and definitely on our feet.
While Instagram is focused on both community-based post and promotional ones, it is hardly the only media outlet being used as a secondary platform by companies. Tumblr has emerged as a platform for companies to disseminate imagery efficiently while maintaining greater control. Tumblr is a supplemental bog for several companies, and a place where there are no direct sales but endless great content. Some of the best Tumblr accounts are image-heavy. And that is where Baskit excells.
The Baskit Tumblr is consistently updated with images from their official site and ad campaigns. The layout is assembled in a wonderfully fun-to-navigate disarray — a true feast for the eyes. Tumblr allows for following and comments so previous fans of the brand as well as newcomers can get updated every time a picture is added. It is yet another example of driving web traffic on one platform in a way that will positively effect sales traffic on another.
3. Cocksox: New Website Design Makes Gatekeeping Fun To Follow
Websites, like stores, need to have a personality. But more than that, they need strong direction. Think about visiting an Ikea (some would say the ultimate experience in store directionality). Consumers are guided in a very specific pathway through the store, past couches and towards meatballs. This is nothing new and Ikea didn’t invent store directionality. They did however find a new, more obvious and more fun way to present it … almost like a ride.
Remember what it’s like to visit outlets and large department stores. Think about the row after row of clothing racks, spaced out on a carpeted section in the center of the store with nothing but a tile walkway around it. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, as if lost at sea in a giant ocean of hanging blazers.
The same vastness can be detrimental to commerce websites, so it is easy to see why directional instruction is a crucial aspect of marketing strategy. It makes it easier to shop but also plays in the very human instinct for pattern and order.
When Cocksox recently relaunched their site, they banked on that idea of order and created a gateway concept to their landing page. You are given two choices when you arrive, activewear or alpha male. Though there is a bit of crossover between the two, the directional split sets you off on a shopping journey — an odyssey if you will — that is enhanced by color and design along with great and reliable products.
4. Gregg Homme: Unity In Design That Suits The Brand’s Personality
“To thine own self be true” is one of Shakespeare’s greatest quotes. And applied to marketing tactics on the Internet, it could be tweaked as “To thine own website be true.” Knowing your brand, and creating a website that is easy to navigate while being influenced by the brand’s style is no small coding and design feat. But it is the place where design and marketing meet to create a memorable experience.
Gregg Homme‘s website is a prime example of this one-two punch. The website is as dark, leathery, and sultry as the brand itself, but also incredibly singular and easy to navigate. This means that the draw of design will get you there and the ease of purchase will get you out with a pair or two coming in the mail.
5. Garcon Model: Markets With A Little Help From Their Friends
When it comes to fundraising, nothing has swept the Internet like crowdsourced funding. It is hard to believe that what we see now with platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe started way back in 2005, when Howard Dean’s primary campaign showed us how the Internet would soon be used.
Since that watershed, we’ve seen an explosion in the crowdsource platform with great new ideas being backed by millions of people around the world. Even larger purveyors have gotten into the mix with the “Veronica Mars” movie and new Zach Braff film being funded through Kickstarter.
Garcon Model got into the Kickstarter game this year with a fun campaign to launch their second season. The successful campaign was filled with images and videos, and proved that you can have a base following committed to your product with enough excitement and support to help perpetuate a brand. And not to mention, cement themselves as permanent players in the game.
It was an exciting venture from Garcon Model in that it was one of the first brands to launch an entire season with Kickstarter. It played so well into the modern capabilities of the Internet, and allowed Garcon Model fans to become part of the overall process. The campaign was over 150 % successful.
6. Aussiebum: Stunning Artwork Is A Major Part Of Their Underwear Art
In the age of image-based content, no one does it better than AussieBum. The brand has a brilliant marketing strategy that utilizes fantastic graphic design. When it comes to fashion, we’re used to seeing model photos and fantastic photography, both of which AussieBum has.
But what brings them to a higher level is their conceptualization of each look in their catalogue. Every look has a unique name and color or style-coordinated graphic to go along with it. Some are straight drawings, others are a blend of photography and illustration, but all are fun, exciting, and visually stunning. Over and over again, we can’t get enough. A large part of marketing is creating buzz as well as keeping us intrigued. The graphic content that AussieBum puts out and does both brilliantly.
7. Boxerfy: Underwear Of The Month With A Millenial Twist
Boxerfy has created a boutique service unlike other companies out there. Essentially it’s an underwear of the month club, which at first glance does not seem too unique. Flowers, wine, book, knife, and appliance of the month clubs are nothing new. Even before the Internet was a glimmer in our eye, this marketing/ model existed in a door-to-door and catalogue-based capacity. Boxerfy brings the concept into the digital era.
Boxerfy utilizes trends and concepts in a way that is preferred by their target customer base of Millenials. In an age where craftsmanship and expertise are preferred (and easily recognized and researched), the Boxerfy model is a great concept that proves how the world of marketing and sales is improving and changing constantly.
8. Andrew Christian: (Great Video Content + Customer Contests) X Lifestyle Awareness = Success
Andrew Christian knows who buys their brand. More so, they know what they are doing. They have put in the time, money, and stylistic effort to form more than just a product, but to promote a fully-visualized lifestyle that is associated with their brand.
But Andrew Christian has more to it than great imagery alongside their web-based merchandise. The company also offers memberships, “Andrew Christian Bucks,” contests, and fantastic video content. By doing all of this — and doing it well — they create and craft an absolutely full package (no pun intended) for their consumer base.
Andrew Christian is creating a home away from their website, a place where their loyal followers will come not just to shop but also to watch, play, and hopefully disseminate around the web. This is a truly spot-on strategy that shows how extra effort to create a world can pay off in spades.
9. Mack Weldon: The website is alive … ALIVE!!!!!
Websites have gone through significant changes in the almost two decades that we’ve been visiting them. So when Mack Weldon broke out their clickable-video-functionality website we were through the moon. Each section of Mack Weldon’s sales sight has a video of a model dressing or undressing.
Here we stress the continual form of the word: dressing. Unlike other sites where static images of models stand, perfectly lit like statues the Mack Weldon model is a moving image. It gives us an opportunity to see the clothing in action, something we’re not used to on websites (except in highly produced commercial styled videos). These moving images don’t feel like videos, they don’t even feel like commercials.
It’s almost as if we’re sitting on the side of a runway. And we are impressed.
Are there any marketing campaigns you follow? Have you seen any new and exciting marketing campaigns that caught your fancy? Let us know with a comment below or by tweeting @underwearexpert.