Have you ever wondered where your clothes come from?
Sure you have. Maybe you’ve noticed, even examined the tags. Possibly uttered a small sigh of relief when you saw that your shirt had been made in America; dismissed any gut-wrenching thoughts when you saw it had been manufactured overseas.
But what do you know about your clothes beyond that?
Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
This is the mantra of the newly established clothing manufacturer Everlane, whose mission is to sell high-quality clothing, honestly. They believe every product has a story, and they want to tell it in the most radically transparent way possible.
The idea of radical transparency is demonstrated in their “true cost” for each item – a sum of pricing for materials, hardware, labor, duties and transport. The cost is then doubled (versus marked up 8x, as in traditional retail) for the Everlane price. Not to mention, they give you extra information on the fit, how the style originated and even facts about the factory it was created in. It won’t be the cheapest item you have ever bought, but not the most expensive either.
Now you might be thinking: wait a minute – what secrets are all the other retailers hiding?
Just by offering all of this information to their consumers, Everlane makes people realize what they don’t know about their clothing and its production process. The current world of retail is tainted with skepticism and distrust because of what is hidden. Exposing the truth in retail production has not only challenged the existing status quo, but it has upped the ante for every other retailer out there.
Before searching ravenously for the nearest location, you might be interested to know that no brick-and-mortar Everlane stores exist. They are online only, to reduce costs even more for their customers. Don’t worry, their website is better than a store – and if you live in New York or San Francisco, they will deliver your clothes to your location, free of cost.
Recently predicted to be “the next J-Crew,” Everlane will be even less of a secret in 2016.
And hey, next time you’re shopping for clothes, do yourself a favor: know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
Today’s Google Doodle says it all. Alice Paul, a leader in the Suffragette movement of the 1910’s, was born today in 1885. The Suffragette movement can teach us a lot about Inspiring Action. People had been talking about a woman’s right to vote for decades. But these brave women knew that talking was not getting them anywhere. So they took action.
They did all the conventional actions that protests are known for. They marched. They organized. It got them some press. But it also got them ridiculed. Indeed, the name “Suffragettes” was first used in a derogatory way by a journalist, adding “ette” to the word suffrage to feminize the idea of freedom and thereby make it oh so cute. “Look at these adorable little women pretending to want to choose their leaders! Bless their pretty little heads!” But instead of fighting against that ridicule, they embraced it. They even hardened the G and began pronouncing it “suffraGETs” implying that they intended to GET everything they were asking for.
In 1909, Alice Paul and Amelia Brown took a brave action that they knew would land them in jail. They disguised themselves as cleaners at a banquet for English Prime Minister Asquith and other cabinet ministers. When Asquith stood up to speak, Paul and Brown threw their shoes and broke stained glass windows, screaming “Votes for women!” They were arrested and put in jail, where they began a hunger strike. Their jailers force-fed them with tubes.
The movement began selling a board game based on this story. It was called “Pank-A-Squith” (based on the names of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and Prime Minister Herbert Asquith). The goal of the race-style game was to reach the Houses of Parliament, the pinnacle of achievement for the campaign for Woman’s Suffrage. But first you had to get through the dark stuff. Like going to jail. And being force-fed. And laughed at. The game was sold in shops and could be ordered by mail. The proceeds went to the movement.
Board games were the social media of the time. Imagine daddy being forced to sit and play a game of “Pank-A-Squith” with his wife and two daughters. “Oh, poor Daddy! You’ve been thrown in jail for asking for your rights again!”
Next time you think your brand is too serious to make something fun or to engage in social media, remember Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. What would they do? Roll the dice. You might just win.
This is Brian Kelly, but you can call him ThePointsGuy.
Who is he?
Well, as he states in his twitter bio, he’s “living proof that frequent flyer miles and credit card points are not worthless”.
I was first introduced to ThePointsGuy, by our Chief Mark DiMassimo a few short weeks ago. I had just taken a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Newark. Situated uncomfortably in my middle seat, in between a snoring businessman and a mother holding her crying baby, I accumulated a total of one hour’s rest on the five-hour coast-to-coast adventure.
I try not to let snobbish and pompous thoughts infiltrate my conscious, but with a long day of work on the horizon, I couldn’t help but peak my eyes over the seat in front of me and glare into the first class cabin.
Like a child jealous of his best friend’s toy, I thought to myself “I want that. No, no, I NEED that.”
The idea of kicking my feet up in luxury quickly escaped my mind. As a recent postgraduate, the hypothetical of taking first class excursions is likely more than a decade away, if not more. In my current situation, it’s just outside the realm of possibility.
ThePointsGuy would say otherwise.
ThePointsGuy would probably tell me about the different champagnes that they offer. He might even tell me about the time a personal Italian Chef named Enrico brought him a Thanksgiving meal while he was 35,000 feet above the Atlantic. But he would almost certainly tell me that he did it all by using earned miles and credit card points, before explaining that if I took his advice, I could too.
And perhaps I could. He makes it all sound so easy with his 10-step process for beginners like myself.
Brian Kelly has been taking advantage of flier miles and credit card points since he was a 13-year old booking his father’s business trips.
This hobby of maximizing points and earning great deals only grew to an obsession when he was flying 180 days out of the year as a Wall Street road warrior. It wasn’t until people started taking notice and asking for tips and advice that he realized he could turn it into a profession, and so he did. In 2011, he kicked the Wall Street gig to the curb and started growing his site, www.ThePointsGuy.com, where he shares his unique skill to 1.5 million visitors a month.
He knew there was an entire world of luxury travels that people were missing out on, not because they didn’t have the money, but because they didn’t know to properly take advantage of the deals offered to them. And so he sought out to change their behavior. Through his website and social media channels, he began building a following. Now, with over a million devotees, ThePointsGuy is educating the masses on how they too can trade in the hostel bed for a 5-star suite.
Bon Voyage indeed.
To see the full case study on ThePointsGuy, click HERE.
The final episode of Season 1 features a very special guest with a unique story. Ben Rothfeld is the founder of Plannerben Anecdata, a planning consultancy that helps marketers and their agencies cut big data down to size.
Rothfeld and Host Mark DiMassimo have a long and storied history. The partnership started over two decades ago when they first began working together as colleagues for Kirshenbaum & Bond. When DiMassimo decided to leave K&B to launch his own agency, Rothfeld agreed to leave his post at a San Francisco brand consultancy to become the very first employee at DiMassimo Inc. Cooped up in Rothfeld’s parent’s Greenwich Village co-op apartment, their journey began. After a few start-up years, Rothfeld went on to a storied strategy, analytics and data career, including a long stint as Axciom’s Global Marketing Strategy Director and Bloomberg LP’s Global Content Strategy Lead.
Now, after 20 years of inspiring action, Rothfeld joins DiMassimo on his “Inspiring Action Podcast” to cover a variety of topics such as: Analytical Investigation, Google cars, the future implications of the internet and much much more!
Key #9 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here
Every business and brand that grows has a Golden Goose.
Sometimes that’s sales. Sometimes it’s direct mail. Other times it’s e-commerce and a digital, affiliate network. Sometimes they tell me it’s “word-of-mouth.”
For a while, whatever it was, it produced the Golden Eggs. It worked. And the Goose’s enemies were marketing and branding. Or perhaps they were the Goose’s servants, such as when the marketing team was really the sales collateral team. Or the direct mail team. Or the in-house studio.
“Our salespeople sell and they’re starting from zero.” “We’re the leader in our category, but no one knows it.” “This channel is just getting too expensive – we need what’s next.” The Inspiring Action Moment is launched with sentences like these.
Our clients have some things in common. They can’t wait two years or even six months for “the brand campaign” to start working. They can’t tolerate poorer sales numbers while they invest in getting more famous. And they aren’t willing to match large advertisers dollar-for-dollar in order to capture a share of the market.
The kind of brand building they need is the kind that makes the selling more efficient right away. They need the kind of brand building that improves their return-on-marketing-spend right away, and then just keeps getting better.
And often they need more than a marketing revolution. They need at least an internal culture evolution as well. They need a team with a new common understanding of what it takes to succeed at the next level today.
This is what we mean when we say “inspiring action.” The great thing about an Inspiring Action Moment is that it can lead to the most exciting and impactful era for a business. Are you ready for yours?
In many ways, Santa was the perfect client for DiMassimo Goldstein. We specialize in direct-to-consumer, life-changing brands. That pretty much describes jolly old St. Nick, right? He sees you when you’re sleeping, for crying out loud. It doesn’t get any more direct-model than that. And, every December 25th, he changes lives all over the world in one night. (We still don’t know how he does this, by the way.)
We advised him against Twitter. We think every action a client takes should be on brand, if it is to inspire. And our research showed that Santa’s brand was more inspiring when he stayed mysterious and never spoke to his customers through technology. But he saw some internet guru talking about “if you’re not on Twitter, you don’t exist” and he mandated it. Thanks, Vaynerchuck.
Yes, we were fired by Santa. But look on the bright side: now we have room for a life-changing, direct-model client. The new business elves are standing by.
And, for a stocking stuffer, here’s a behind the scenes look at how it all went down.
Key #8 of 10 to Inspiring Action: 10 Keys to the Future of Marketing. Download our summary poster of the 10 Keys here.
I led a brainstorm with a new client just the other day.
Their list of “growth blocks” was so like what other marketers have said, I thought I’d share them with you (and let you in on a powerful solution):
“We have the goods, but we don’t connect with the audience as well as we should,” admitted the COO, who had previously been the CMO.
“Seems like there are two kinds of creative people — those that understand the product and those that are great at talking to the audience. Unfortunately, we’re having a lot of trouble finding the overlap,” said the marketing director, still working through the grief of the recently ended agency relationship.
The internal creative director continued: “Most people don’t define creative excellence the way we do either. To us, it’s all about results first, and yes, being true to our brand. But that doesn’t seem to inspire or hold the attention of the best creative people. Plus, how do you literally put two messages into one communication. Isn’t that going to hurt results? I’m confused …”
Prioritize Creative Excellence.
What works better for growing a brand and business: great creative or powerful sales activation?
Here’s an intensive analysis of all 700 cases in the files of London’s respected Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), which found that companies with both outperformed those with either by a wide margin.
In fact, they found the two most important factors for success were advertising spend and creative excellence (as measured by, believe it or not, awards). Of those two most important factors, creative excellence even edged out size of budget as the most important factor.
In an increasingly crowded marketing landscape, great brands win. Great brands are built by great experiences, amplified by communications that move people powerfully. Smart marketing organizations are full of great strategists and brimming with great strategies ready to be tried. Most simply fail to be executed with great, on-strategy creative.
The Creative Director of the Dollar Shave Club is also the guy who made himself famous with a Google Experiment that got him a copywriter job in a top agency (budget $6). His name is Alec Brownstein, and he’s also the co-author of two best-selling comedy books, an award-winning copywriter, a film director and, yes, currently the creative director at the Dollar Shave Club. Spearheading one of the world’s fastest-growing and innovative companies, he’s quickly established himself as one of best outside-the-box thinkers in the industry.
Brownstein is also the mastermind behind the above mentioned “Google Experiment“, an inspiring example of how creative problem solving and persistence can put you in a position to succeed. The experiment gained him some overnight fame, but more importantly, it landed him a job. Listen in as Brownstein tells host Mark DiMassimo about how an unemployed International Relations graduate with zero marketing experience was able to catch the eyes of some of the industry’s most highly touted executives.
And, if you’re into laughing, you may want to order his books HERE and HERE. These books fit perfectly on a coffee table or even a bathroom, right next to your razor which you probably got from signing up to the Dollar Shave Club HERE.