Radical Transparency – Everlane

Quite honestly, I never heard of this name until later in 2014. It caught my eyes on my Facebook feed – the New IT bag in a cheaper price favoured by celebrities (sadly, it was from style.com. I will definitely miss their editorial content). Now I am one proud owner of its Petra bag.

Everlane.com its online store

Everlane.com its online store

Everlane is a strictly web-based fashion & lifestyle brand, launched in 2010, from San Francisco, founded by a fashion outsider. They got instantly famous/popular by telling the ugly truth of the markup of designer apparel’s markup by their infamous Twitter campaign:

Infograph on Designer Brand's Markup

Infograph on Designer Brand’s Markup

Their fascinating story started ever since…

Radical Transparency is of course their Unique Selling Point (USP), providing affordable luxury-quality fashion and lifestyle products.  To top it up, they hired former designer director, Petra Langerova from Gap to lead their product development. (Their best selling bag is called Petra. Could it be a coincidence? Of course, NOT).

Take a look at these:

  • Sales reportedly grew more than 200 percent from 2013 to 2014.
  • At Feb 2015, the waiting list for the Petra bag was 7,500 long.

What’s the secret for success?

1. Transparency about the production and pricing (They never offers discount) – Education too

How Everlane's famous Petra Bag is priced

How Everlane’s famous Petra Bag is priced

2. Quality products at affordable price –

My bag was made in Italy with 100% Italian leather exterior and it was only US$395.The products were made in countries that are expert in manufacturing that line of products.

Screencap from everlane.com

Screencap from everlane.com

3. Stellar Designer – Petra Langerova (PR and relationships with fashionistas follow)

Imagine all the PR story follows and the credibility that was already built for her capability and creatively. (Read more Here)

Photo Credit: Fashionista.com

Photo Credit: Fashionista.com

4. Celebrity seeding and ePR

That’s what caught my attention first. Both Angelina Jolie and Olivia Munn were carrying a bag below US$400.

Screencap from the style.com article

Screencap from the style.com article

5. Pushed their messages of non-elitist fashion for the people with social

Hey, fashion can be for everybody. Own your luxury quality fashion item and look good. That appeals not only to the fashionables but average Jill like me.

6. Break Rules and operated like a tech company

Quoting style.com “The starting point for Everlane might have been fashion, but it was fierce social media know-how and a well-executed digital strategy that have quickly brought it to the forefront. Through Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, et al., Preysman and his team pushed their messages of non-elitist fashion for the people and transparency about the production and pricing. Both themes hit the nail on the head, tapping into two major consumer trends. ” (Read more Here). Having your t shirt delivered faster than a pizza, woot, I will sign up for it!

Here’s my route to my first Petra:

I Love my Petra Bag

My Little Journey to my first Everlane Petra Magazine Tote

While, I’m loving my bag and carrying it everyday possible, I showed the idea to a friend who’s been in luxury for a while. His first impression was nice concept but I can get my Uniqlo for similar quality for a fraction of its price. – Brutally honest but definitely true. My bag is priced right to me though ;-p

Advertisements

Daniel Wellington – A Social Media Golden Child

A couple years ago, Daniel Wellington or the word Nato Strap didn’t mean much to any fashionables. Launched in 2011, Daniel Wellington became an international sensation in the fashion watch world with huge social following especially on Instagram. They did it without noticeble investment in traditional paid media (Print, OOH, TV, etc). However, they invested strategically on digital especially on social media, riding on the trend of UGC (User Generated Content. It’s not a new concept. Burberry has done it well with artoftrend.com). The term “Nato”, originally from British Navy, is not widely used in the interchangeable straps watches world.

DW Site

Sleek & Simple Design

 

What’s their key to the great success? Let’s sum them up:

1. Clear and Concise Brand Story

The story began with a friendship across the world. Daniel Wellington is supposed to be a dynamic individual who has a James Bone Flair and wears his Rolex with a Nato Strap.The brand is supposed to be a tribute to the man with the same name. (Seriously, there’s never a photo of Daniel Wellington on the internet. I’m personally doubting the existence of such person.

Quoted directly from Daniel Wellington’s Official Site:

DW /Brand Story

Words Only

2. Clearly defined persona & Target Audience

Persona

Daniel Wellington himself is the ultimate brand ambassador –  gentlemanly and refined, yet completely unpretentious. (According to Fashionbeams.com). Mr Wellington has a colorful personality and a great sense of style.

The design is simple –

  • the Nato Strap
  • the Leather Strap
  • A Watch for all Occasions summed that up

Target Audience:

For the modern style conscious male, but, ‘not just for men”.  (How clever is that!)

Stylish men, but not just for men

3. Well-rounded visual appeal on the right platform – Instagram

Shows how watches can match with different seasons/occasions by the easy change of strap (now everyone knows the NATO strap..) the over 917K fans is a good indicator of its success. It’s definitely thew golden child of Instagram – the visually appealing platforms for the fashionables

Daniel Wellington Has over 710K fans around the world, way more than its Facebook following. The place of all the quality content.

Daniel Wellington Has over 710K fans around the world, way more than its Facebook following. The place of all the quality content.

4. Strong Word of Mouth Network

That’s actually the top secrets of their success. They seeded out thousands of watches to numerous bloggers in different sectors and offered their fans a unique/personalised 15%-20% discount code for their fans to buy the watches directly from DW’s official site (of course, they do free shipping to lower the barrier).

As Shown in their Tmall Flagship Page

As Shown in their Tmall Flagship Page


Benefits of Extensive Bloggers outreach

1. Credibility – they are influencers. They built up their flowering and their own brand. It’s simple endorsement. They don’t need to be all fashion bloggers, as long as they poise a lifestyle followers aspire to.

2. Content – bloggers are content generators. Content is king. This is exactly what bloggers are good at. They create very impressive photos with the watches under the hashtag #DanielWellingtonWatches. With the bloggers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) starting the trend, others follows and a social culture of taking visually appealing image with DW watches is a cool thing to do.

3. Traffic – it’s all about sales at the end of the day. With the personalised discount, bloggers are more willing to direct traffic to DW’s site and encourage their fans to purchase – internet word of mouth.

4. Quality User Generated Content (UGC)

As the led by the fashionables, a social culture of #DanielWellingtonWatches have been formed. Quality UGC is ultimate consumer engagement. #DWpickoftheday offering no incentive but featuring the photos on DW’s official Instagram has been a great way to keep the momentum going for more quality UGC. It’s a symbol of style if your photo is picked. DW won the exposure and also the heart of the consumers – double win.

Featuring quality UGC (User Generated content

Featuring quality UGC (User Generated content

6. Board & Decentralised distribution

DW is sold in over 450 points in APAC and over 35 major online stores. They ranked no. 11 in the top watch brands in terms of sales on 11.11 in 2014. Their first ever store is in LCX Hong Kong. Rumor has it. The sales is impressive as well. As for Tmall, DW does play by Tmall’s rules, offering discount, coupon, 50% off here and there, even for online activation didn’t require such deep discount.

DW's Tmall Flagship

The Key to DW’s success is their smart use of social media and bloggers outreach. Whether or not, the brand is a one time hit or could emerge to an icon in fashion watch is still unknown. They just launched a new watch Dapper. What do you think?

(I did ordered mine online using one of the bloggers’ discount code 😉 Online Shoppaholic ME)

16 Things only Single Asian ladies Would Understand

single ladies

Cosmopolitan always came up with the most amazing titles and sometimes the content you can relate – 12 Problems Only You, the Single Friend, Understand is exactly what I can relate. For Asia ladies, I’m gladly to offer my interpretation of the points and add up a few more.

Let’s verify the list together:

1. Perpetual third-wheel hangouts.
[True] Be it totally into each other, can’t take the hands off each other or they are having a huge fight. Only in my case, the two loving people are my best friends. I’m happy to be the third wheel all the time and usually not just snack is around, there’s also beer and a cute puppy. Same also applies to my straight married friends, thank god for the cute kids they parent!

thirdwheel

2. Getting pity invitations to things.
[True] Thank goodness for that! Especially during holiday seasons when most of your friends are back home spending time with significant other and family. You get extra lonely when you used to have a “hometown” to go back together with your SO and you now are stuck in Asia with a family that doesn’t really celebrate the season.

3. Getting set up with everyone’s crappy leftover friends.
[Not So True] The thing is when you reach to a certain age, even the crappy leftover friends are no longer single. You’ll just end up with other single ladies at the events and complain about how hard to find a guy and drink to whatever reason.

4. Having to hear tons of platitudes like, “You’ll find someone,” every time you talk to your friends.
[True to the MAX] “You’ll find someone.” “The best is yet to come.” “It’ll be your turn soon.” are among my top three. I know you mean it when you say it. It just gets a bit annoying for me to realise the fact that I haven’t found anyone. Maybe, I’ll find someone at the age of 90 or maybe I never find “the one”. It matters, but if that’s the way it is, let it be. Yes, thank you for being there for me! Please do continue include me in all the family events and consider me as an adapted sister or some sorts. I don’t mind =)

singlehood

5. Getting asked, “Whatever happened to so and so?” like they were The One and you blew it.
[Semi-True] Luckily, my ex is still single. I would feel jealous if he’s with someone now. It’s just my nature. I do wish him well but there will be a small part of me feeling jealous. There were times when I realised all the guys I rejected in the past are all married with kids now. If it’s not right, I shouldn’t deprive the guys’ right of seeking true happiness by dominating his heart with someone who didn’t cherish it(aka, me).

6. Watching your super-happy friends in couples being super-happy. This is wonderful on some level, it really is. And on another level, a reminder that you might never have that, why, God, why.
Direct Copy & Pasting and it’s [COMPLETELY TRUE]. The sad part of me is crying over this…

7. Dinner parties where you’re sitting in between two couples because you’re the only single person there.
[Totally True] I’m used to it now. It’s couples, kids and me. I think I blend right in. That fact that I love kids helps a lot. I can direct my attention to the cutest things on earth.

8. Your friends only call you when their partners are out of town.
[Not True] I’m super lucky to have friends who do care about me genuinely and call me on a regular basis. Of course, they call me when their partners are out of town too. I’m glad to be on the caller list.

9. Your friends think all your traumatizing online dating stories are hilarious.
[True] They have been supportive and listening to my stories. OK, I’ll drop OKC. It’s Not an easy place for find meaningful relationship or even relationship to begin with.

Online-dating

10. Friends who tell you, “Never get married,” when they’re fighting with their partner and therefore you lose all hope in love.
[Not True] All of my friends are happy married and at least they still have faith in their marriage. That has to come down to the fact that most of my friends did get married out of love not the social pressure of getting married under a certain criteria (eg. age).

11. Your friends always want to partaaayyyy with you.
[Semi-True] They want to party with me not because they are bored in their laidback life, but also they want to cheer me up and make me feel cherished as well. Oh yes, my drinking has been cut down but still have some wild nights.

Stay cool

12. Partnered friends want all your hot single gossip.
[Not True] They do know I have no gossip and no guys on my radar. Sad, but it’s true.

Points to add up:
13. You check out the ring fingers whenever you meet a new guy at social settings.
It’s not that you are desperate, but you just automatically check out the ring finger and see if the guys’s married. We a good moral girls. Keep your hands off from the married guys.

When you see the guy’s ring finger is empty, you go like:
Phew

When you meet his beautiful wife, you go like:
Ironic

14. At extensive family gathering or at school reunion, people who haven’t seen you for a while would ask “When will you invite me to your wedding?”

Sod it! I don’t even have a guy in my radar. Do you want me to marry myself and send you the invite? I know you mean no harm asking and just want to break the ice. But 8 out of 10 times you asking a single ladies, the answer would be very likely to be “I don’t have a boy friend yet.” I have to fight the urge everything to tell them not to ask me any more. If I’m getting married, I WILL TELL YOU. Not that you will be invited. Still I WILL TELL YOU. AND I DON’T MEAN IT if I Say “I don’t have anyone yet. Could you introduce someone?” I just wanted to say it to shut you up. Don’t follow up. BUT if my parents asking for something similar for me. They MEAN it.
banquet-fp

15. “You are just too picky.” – Or the implication of ” there must be something wrong with you if you are still single.”
I don’t want to get married or partnered with simply because I’m lonely or the societal norm says so. If I mean someone who I really want to spend the rest of my life with, I’ll make a commitment. That doesn’t necessarily has to be marriage. I just haven’t met the someone who will make me settle yet. So Save your criticism and accept that fact that singlehood can be happy too.

16. “You are not getting any younger.” “You biological clock is ticking.” Especially from your parents or someone older than you.
Of course I know I’m not getting any younger. Does that mean my chance of finding love is lower? Even with child-birth which has more to relate to age, there’s a solution to it. I can freeze my eggs. So when I am finally ready to have kids (I’ll make sure the kids grow up with a loving family), I can take them out and have an IVF. That actually cease a lot of women’s nightmare.

16. Being the “Case Study” of the extensive family.
Yes, when you reach a certain age and still not married. The negative sigma attaches to you. In extensive family gathering, on the surface, they would ask you about your love life and the gossip would go around as a negative example. “Look at your Cousin, she missed her chances and now she has to be an old lady. Don’t follow her path.” etc etc.

17. “How’s your sex life?”
Non existence. It’s not NYC back in the 90s. It’s not sex and the city. Unless, I want to dress up every weekend and get my slut face on and try hitting on non super hot guys, the true is I don’t score that much, or at all. You reach an age that the clubbing/hooking up scene seems too small and you see the same people. And the thing is you don’t even the the guts to talk to guys unless you are pissed drunk. That wouldn’t make you more attractive. So, nothing. Nada. I’m not interested in meeting guys online just for casual sex. Sex life related question can be tough.
samantha quote

It’s never easy being single in any culture. The loneliness will haunt you and the overly loving coupled up friends will make you jealous. Just do whatever make you feel good and ignore what others think of you. You only have to be responsible for you own life. Done something you regretted? Learn from it and MOVE ON. Life is too short to be sad or to spend it not to the fullest to your full advantage.

Chin up, Cheer up and have fun!

powerpuffgirls

My Takeaway from Yahoo OMS 2014

IMG_2651.JPG

I’m getting old and forgetful so before I completely forget why I disappeared from my office for a whole day. Here’s a summary of my key takeaway from the Yahoo OMS 2014, Hong Kong.

Statics:
2014, Hong Kong people spend avg. 148 mins daily accessing to the internet through their mobile devices, which is a 12% increase compared to last year.

Surprising? Nope. Any new engaging ad format on Mobile? Not that I’ms aware of. Tough cookie to crack.

Tumblr:
Top 3 Tumblr countries in the world:
1. US
2. Brazil
3. Japan

56% of the users are aged 13-34 (opps, I barely make the cut, ;-p) with quite even gender distribution, 51% female and 49% male.

I’m so glad that one of the countries I look after is on the top 3. My colleague and I were discussing why Japan is so up high on Tumblr use?

My take?
1. Tumblr is similar to Twitter that you don’t have to know your followers or the people you follow. You can remain completely anonymous, which fits their overall culture of being private and shy.
2. Tumblr is a very visual appealing platform with amazing animated gifs. With the Menga culture so deeply rooted in the Japanese culture, Japanese audience is no doubt easily fascinated by the visual/animated appeals.

Your take?

Intent of Use – Facebook Vs Twitter Vs Tumblr
social comparison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally came Entertainment –

“Put Brands into Popular Culture and Popular Culture into Brands”

This is a key way to make your brand up to date and appeal to the current social media savvy, content seeking generation. You have to be either very funny, very touching or completely incredible to be a social media/viral babe.

Words of wisdom
Don’t tell stories for Digital.
Tells Stories. Take advantage of Digital.

Many marketers, especially digital marketers, would fall into the trap that we have to create stories for digital. Viral campaign was such a buzz words a couple years ago. However, not all videos were made with the goals of getting viral would actually make it. Truth is, many just fail. Why? You have to have a GREAT story to begin with and the devil lives in the execution. It’s not that random low quality, flash of genius video don’t get viral, but these videos were usually not made to be viral.

I was responsible for a couple of semi-failure, myself. It’s hard to have a “brand-right” viral video unless your brand is embracing the risk. “Safe” can get you nowhere.

Speaking of successful campaign, here’s the tips:

“Think like a Marketer, Act like a Producer.”

Of course. It’s much easier said that done. Let’s see how it’s done well.

The QVC’s stunt with Miss Pissy & the Great late Joan Rivers is simply genius

Act 1:
At one of the red carpet after-party, Ms. Joan Rivers, stormed out from the party with whipped cream on her face. With such a controversy personality, this potential “assault” attracted media attention. All the entertainment news was picking this up.1393683251_joan-rivers-article

Later, a “secret” clip was revealed in the internet. The “attacker” was actually Miss Piggy from the Muppet. At that moment, the public knew it’s not some common cat fights between celebrities. It’s indeed a stunt, but it’s interesting enough to keep you follow.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/bmjjiKSklVA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

More juicy and scandalous photos here.

Act 2:
A video documenting of Ms. Rivers & Piggy’ decade-long hostility against each other came up with interviews of other celebrities, with their speculation on the fight. Of course, the celebrities were carefully chosen. My favourite has to be, the girl from “Precious”, she went like “Seeing the cake thing, just broke my heart”. Her face was priceless. – This is pure entertainment.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/4fxMm34ebMs” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Act 3:
Finally, the devil was revealed – Ms. Rivers and Piggy is going to battle on who’s better by going on QVC, a traditional TV shopping channel and see who can sell more in a day. Yes, the devil is QVC. Even though at that point, you knew the stunt is for QVC, you still want to know who won. The winner, of course, is QVC, who finally can tab into the younger generation and had the most social day.

 

There’s even a Muppet Wiki Page dedicated to this campaign.

What else did I learn? Yes, something for fellow marketers. Listen to your audience before coming up with the idea for a campaign. It’s not something new but as a marker, sometimes, you simply get ahead of yourself and forget the basic.

  1. Make your campaign goal as simple as possible.
  2. Listen to your audience and analyze your product’s strength. Identify a topic worth the campaign
  3. Work closely with your partners – trust them and be understanding

That’s about it. Hope it’s entertaining enough and it’s something you don’t know here. Got questions, please comment and let me know.

[Must-Read] The ultimate gentlemen’s guide to style

It takes as much as effort if not more, to be a stylish gentleman as well. 

Worth reposting (fromhttp://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/the-ultimate-gentleman-cheat-sheet-every-man-needs.html):

Enjoy!

Evening Etiquette for the True Gentleman

Evening-Etiquette

Guide to Wearing a Suit like a Real Gentleman

wearing-a-suit

 

Tying a Scarf for Style and Warmth

scarf-tying

 

Gentleman’s Guide to Shoes. Because Women Look at your Shoes. Yes Really.

guide-to-shoes

 

Complete Gentleman’s Guide

guide-to-all-things-gentleman

 

Suit Tailoring for the Beginner Gentleman

suit-tailoring

 

Guide to Choosing the Correct Belt for the Occasion

mens-belts

 

You’re not in College Anymore. Your Clothes Should Fit Properly

proper-fitting-clothing

 

Bourbon vs. Whiskey Read Carefully.

bourbon-vs-whiskey

 

Buying (Pre-owned) Rolex Watches

rolex-watches

 

Pairing the Correct Wine with Food is a Sexy Skill

pairing-wine-with-food

 

Gentlemen are Remembered for How Well They Entertain

entertain-like-a-gentleman

 

Guide to Wet Shaving (The Lost Art)

wet-shaving

 

Buying an Engagement Ring Like a Knowledgeable Gent

buying-engagement-ring

 

Gentlemen Don’t Need a Guide, Just Dating Reminders

gentlemans-guide-to-dating

 

Regional Food Knowledge for the Carnivorous Gents

guide-to-regions-of-barbeque-sauce

 

Rockin’ a Mustache Like a Gent

mustache-guide

 

Choose the Right Color Clothes to Fit Your Personality

clothes-color-and-personality

 

Gentlemen Know How to Drink Whiskey

drinking-whiskey

 

Valentine’s Day is a Real Gent’s Time to Shine

guide-to-valentines-day

 

Gentleman’s Neckwear Flow Chart

choosing-neckwear

 

Gents Wear Tuxedos and Tie Their Own Bow Tie

PrintGentleman’s Etiquette Mantra

lost-art-of etiquette

 

Be a Gentleman, Not a Saint

how-to-be-a-gentleman

 

That’s a Great Head of Hair Sir

picking-a-new-mens-hairstyle