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post #12316 of 13697
I think descriptions or maybe even names the same as the shirting would help streamline the brand and allow people to figure out what fit they want the most. Before dinner for the slim leg, After dinner for the slim straight. I think giving everything the same name gives consumers (like my brother who recently joined the loyalty program; I've been a member since the birth of Christ) some confidence that they know what the fit is going to be like, and though it isn't an apples-to-apples comparison between shirting and pants, it makes it a lot less confusing for people who don't have firsthand experience with the pants yet. (I imagine Justin and Paul probably aren't pleased with my opinion on this, but I really think it would be easier for future customers or people on the fence about the pants)

AND I'm positive this is on the short list of things to do, but an updated measurement list for everything would be great.

There are so many thoughts already about the loyalty program and all that jazz so I won't comment on it, but I can't think of a perfect way to get things done. The rewards program gives us the opportunity to get items at a steal of a price (my brother's been raving about the shirts he got when he made his first order, and I had bought him a Liberty Tattersall a couple years ago that got him to buy in the first place), and I understand its place. But it's so difficult to find a common ground; the fact that the rewards program exists is great for us, but almost cheapens the quality of the clothes to other people. For resale alone, people know that the shirts could have been purchased at 50% retail, so they expect to pay <50% of retail, since that's the de facto price for it at this point. I think a retail price is important, especially as the brand expands, and maybe ONLY keep the loyalty program for pre-orders of everything? So that way everything that makes it to the website/stockists is retail for everyone, and doesn't undercut the businesses trying to sell the products. This way, the loyalty members get to pre-order pieces they want, and the retail network (including the webstore) keeps its margins. And maybe promote it as a way to crowdsource fabrics and stuff at a markedly lower price and allow input into the direction of the brand via pre-orders instead of a blanket 50% off all. I don't know, just thinking here.
post #12317 of 13697

Again, not an expert or anything remotely close, but free membership does not provide the same psychological benefits. However, freebies are appreciated highly appreciated and don't hurt. Retroactively crediting people back a lesser amount than membership cost on their first purchases on purchase of membership would be nice. It provides a lower barrier of entry to membership pricing and lessens the sour taste to member's mouth.

 

On a side note, with regards to trouser fits, I have no idea on the silhouette of the trousers between Paul, riviera, etc etc. I try my best to be an info whore as well. I can see from the sizing c

harts that one is slimming than the other, but I don't know what they look like. Regarding the bloodline model, I had to google a bunch of the information to get a better idea on why the bloodline trousers were so good. I know you're fixing that soon with your blog posts, which pictures would help a lot with. Even if the your trousers are amazing, it's not easy to throw down 200 at reward pricing to try it out. A basic chino with the same sizing would help with that a lot, which you will have shortly.

 

 

Lastly, stock is also quite an interesting topic. I've been waiting about 4 months for Tees to be restocked in my size. I'm sure someone else would have already gone elsewhere like sifr or everlane. I don't mean for you to punch your own face, but it is something to think about. You sell out on certain sizes much quicker than others. Selling out is a good thing for you, but it may mean you don't produce enough for the demand you have. It may also mean other things as well, but that's the simple of it.

 

P.S. To everyone on the subject matter of having studied or not studied economics, it doesn't really make a difference. I'm sorry I claimed to have studied it at all. Please just see it as a small disclaimer that economics talk in incoming. It is a study of choices, and how you all describe your experience of purchasing or your choice not to IS economics. If you make sense and your logic is sound, you're gold.

post #12318 of 13697
I'll weigh in, because I've been eyeing WvG for years but haven't pulled the trigger.

I' m definitely in your target demographic: I work in a biz-cash office, I prefer traditional styles at work but off-duty like to wear some "interesting" stuff like EG and Spellbound, and I almost always buy from smaller companies that source from living-wage factories, whether MiUSA or MiJ etc.

To me WvG's competitors, at least among the SF set, are Epaulet, GV and MTM outfits like Luxire. I own a lot of EP pants and GV shirts, but why not WvG? I think the main reason is perceived consistency in fit and styles. I've been able to try on Ep stuff in-store, and with only a very few exceptions I know that a Rivet chino will fit me, for example. I think Mike at EP has been very strategic in how he's moved his clients upscale -- where the margins are higher.

It's not price: I've paid WAY too much for EG and GV at retail -- I'd pay $150-175 for a WvG shirt if that's what I wanted.

I don't get the sense that WvG is a coherent brand -- individually the pieces work, but it's hard to see what the vision is.

the pyschology of branding is crucial -- for example, when I spend $200 for an EG shirt, it connects me in some way to Daiki Suzuki, a cool Japanese dude. Same with all those kids who went apeshit for A&F a few years ago. Silly and irrational, I know, but there you go.

Intellectually I know that WvG makes superior quality shirts at loss-leader prices, but I haven't made that emotional connection.

As for the tote program, yeah, it's a barrier. I work in journalism, and the sense that everying on the Web should be free has decimated the industry. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that people are too cheap to spend 10 bucks a month to fund quality journalism. But they are. Just like the tote program -- sure, you get the benefits as soon as you buy a second shirt, or whatever, but why can't I get that benefit RIGHT NOW, and why do I have to pay for it upfront?
post #12319 of 13697
"I would probably punch myself in the face followed by a shot to the nuts if I knew how much business I have lost due to not having stock in key sizes."

Er, please don't. But please do recognize that having ample stock of basics in typical sizes is key. I'm right down the middle, wear Medium tops, 32 waist, 9.5 shoes, and while I know I'll almost never find stuff my size on sale, I do expect to be able to buy at retail...

you also asked for marketing suggestions -- I'm no expert, but I do know that if you're going to be online only the shopping experience has to be fun, simple and seamless. Right now, unfortunately, the WvG website could use a little bit of "best practices" cleanup. (as an example, when Everlane came out, I bought a couple of their shirts because the web site was so appealing. Turns out they're junk, but I did drop $45)
post #12320 of 13697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1 View Post

I'll weigh in, because I've been eyeing WvG for years but haven't pulled the trigger.

I' m definitely in your target demographic: I work in a biz-cash office, I prefer traditional styles at work but off-duty like to wear some "interesting" stuff like EG and Spellbound, and I almost always buy from smaller companies that source from living-wage factories, whether MiUSA or MiJ etc.

To me WvG's competitors, at least among the SF set, are Epaulet, GV and MTM outfits like Luxire. I own a lot of EP pants and GV shirts, but why not WvG? I think the main reason is perceived consistency in fit and styles. I've been able to try on Ep stuff in-store, and with only a very few exceptions I know that a Rivet chino will fit me, for example. I think Mike at EP has been very strategic in how he's moved his clients upscale -- where the margins are higher.

It's not price: I've paid WAY too much for EG and GV at retail -- I'd pay $150-175 for a WvG shirt if that's what I wanted.

I don't get the sense that WvG is a coherent brand -- individually the pieces work, but it's hard to see what the vision is.

the pyschology of branding is crucial -- for example, when I spend $200 for an EG shirt, it connects me in some way to Daiki Suzuki, a cool Japanese dude. Same with all those kids who went apeshit for A&F a few years ago. Silly and irrational, I know, but there you go.

Intellectually I know that WvG makes superior quality shirts at loss-leader prices, but I haven't made that emotional connection.

As for the tote program, yeah, it's a barrier. I work in journalism, and the sense that everying on the Web should be free has decimated the industry. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that people are too cheap to spend 10 bucks a month to fund quality journalism. But they are. Just like the tote program -- sure, you get the benefits as soon as you buy a second shirt, or whatever, but why can't I get that benefit RIGHT NOW, and why do I have to pay for it upfront?

Maybe Peter1 is saying something that hits home to majority on SF and that's a real problem. I am by no way knocking the brands but I am not like those brands. The construction techniques and fabrics are simply better. I don't mind be compared to Epaulet because Mike is a great guy and has a great business but the two brands are not similar. EG, on the other hand is my competition and Daiki tells a good story. We both have stockist and we both cater towards a fashionable client that appreciates not only design but wants to buy American Made goods.
Now if you don't agree with my aesthetic and fit that's a different issue and I can't help anyone their.
As the discussion goes on longer patterns are forming and I am curious to wonder what is really what. The rewards program is what it is but if you see something you like and don't feel compelled to buy into the rewards program why wouldn't you buy into that product anyway? If you are buying EG or GV you are paying retail ( unless you are a sale shopper) and WvG retail prices are very similar to EG and GV. So, if you like a shirt trying it at retail seems like the right thing to do. If you don't like it you send it back for a refund just like you would do with the other brands. If you do like it and think you will buy one or two items a year it only makes sense for you to join the club, with the savings made from the rewards program you can still buy GV , Epaulet, and EG with the money you saved from WvG.
Let's take RKD for example ( most people are familiar with him here) this dude shops like its his job. He buys a LOT from me but he still buys EG and the other brands he likes such as RRL. The buying process doesn't need to be just WvG because of the rewards program. You still have options.

Peter1, I hope one day you give WvG a whirl but I can tell you this with certainty. My customers have a connection with me for sure. Hell, I don't know when the last time you partied with Daiki but I can rattle of shit load of people on SF that have fun with me. Not to insult you or make you feel bad in anyway but I am here pretty much 24/7 for my customers.
I feel I personally make a strong product and I back it 150%. I am a little lost with the lack of a cohesive collection, true. However for my point of view why would I make a whole collection if the majority are in the mind set of " I only know his shirts and tees so why would I try the rest", that is a HUGE waste of money on my part. I figure if I dial in all the pieces one at a time and launch the as items I will gradually get to the point where a whole collection will be easy to put together. I have to look at things from not only a design perspective but a financial perspective.

Peter1 and anyone one else if you are ever in the DC area you may stop by try stuff on and we will probably have drinks and food to. I think that's pretty standard in the WvG world. If you are ever in Toronto, Richmond, Dallas, or Pittsburgh I have stockist there that you could try things on from.

I would really like one or two stockists in Cali. The bulk of my sales come from Cali, anyway.

I think I am going to play around with the shipping idea or if you buy at retail over $200.00 and keep the garment you will get a membership.

1. It might help attract the clients I am trying to target. ( sorry sale shoppers)

2. Shipping is an issue with most people and having the ability to return something is a good thing.
a. interestingly enough once a customer of mine dials in their size I get very very few returns ( knock on wood).
b. I have to have a b. because that's good english

3. My stance on quality speaks for itself and I will beef up the website to make that known to potential customers.

Any other ideas would help. I would like to get the ball rolling.

Best,

Mauro


Peter1- hit me up mauro@wolfvsgoat.com and I will send you a shirt to try maybe this will help!
post #12321 of 13697
lol i have a stressful job and thus i stress shop

my only correction will be that i used to buy at least 2-3 items per season from EG. that has dwindled and ive bought 1 item from EG in the past 2 seasons. the fact is, i went for EG because of their unique fabrics and prints ... but consistently WvG has had identical (sometimes just different color) prints so no point now. I'd rather have WvG's fit anyway since im too skinny and not jap (lol) so dont like the boxy bohemian look. that being said, i continue to buy RRL but not from EG. although mauro likes to rag on me how bad the quality is of RRL
post #12322 of 13697
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro View Post

I know some thought this one up but I am to last to scroll through.
Would this be favorable to everyone? You could opt into the rewards program as normal or you could buy $200.00 worth of retail clothes. If you buy something for $200.00 or more you would get a membership. I have tons of great stuff at 200.00 and more and the customers I am catering towards already spend $200.00 on shirts, pants, and more. This could be an idea. Is there a down side?

Offhand, this sounds like a great idea. There would have to be some way to close the loophole on buying and returning an item just to get the rewards membership, like maybe just crediting back everything after the first $100 if you decide you want to keep the membership. I'm sure it merits some additional consideration and hashing out of details before implementing (possibly send a temporary password to start out in case people want a full refund so there's no active code kicking around for a non-member?), but it seems like a small tweak that would reduce the barrier to entry for people who are on the fence.

As far as marketing stuff goes, most of my experience centers around geodemographic and psychographic profiling, and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that there wouldn't be a ton of surprises profiling your customer base. There might be some interesting takeaways in terms of which markets or web sites to target if you wanted to do run a localized advertising pilot, but that may not even be relevant. The data sources I work with are unfortunately too broad-based and generalized to capture something as niche as

I don't know whether there's any value to be gleaned from these guys, but UMD has a small business development center (as do a lot of universities) that offers consulting and resources for small businesses: http://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu/
post #12323 of 13697
to sum up the most prevailing suggestions (not in order of importance):
- keep up stock on key wvg basic items and have them always available online
- get your measurements up for each item
- consistency, consistency, consistency
- fix the website
- better descriptions of products
- marketing
now the above are pretty obvious and mauro knows these ... problem is time, money, and prioritizing the above

other important items but are more business decisions:
- figure out your customer base and what they want
- figure out cohesive brand story/direction
- reassess loyalty program in offering retroactive membership with $x+ purchase
post #12324 of 13697

Hopping onto this late, and after reading all this, not much to add other than -- you offer an affordable product, that even on my grad school stipend, I can end up purchasing things from you. But more so than that, you back it with confidence, and I have not been let down by any product of yours, thus I keep purchasing.

 

Also, I think what amazes me, (and a lot of my friends who I talk to fashion about) is what you just said, Mauro: we actually interact with you. I know I haven't met you in person, but you taking our feedback, or even just knowing my size when I email you, I think that's pretty awesome and it makes me want to purchase from you all the more.

 

I'll leave the strategy to you and this "think tank," but keep it up.

post #12325 of 13697
I think videos of the creation process would be cool - showing what exactly goes in to the garment. Maybe compare items from competitors directly? Probably without naming names though.

Similar thought to the capsule collection: Make a core set of clothes - maybe business ready type clothing. Separate the more quirky, fun stuff in a "separate diffusion" line. It seems Epaulet is having success doing that currently.

Maybe a small point, but regarding shipping - I remember getting items sent to me via priority mail. Maybe switch to first class? It's not that much slower, but is cheaper. I imagine Mauro isn't making money off shipping, but I think it'd provide an incentive to some customers to be more willing to give items out a try if they have to pay less.
post #12326 of 13697
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkoreandude View Post

to sum up the most prevailing suggestions (not in order of importance):
- keep up stock on key wvg basic items and have them always available online
- get your measurements up for each item
- consistency, consistency, consistency
- fix the website
- better descriptions of products
- marketing
now the above are pretty obvious and mauro knows these ... problem is time, money, and prioritizing the above

other important items but are more business decisions:
- figure out your customer base and what they want
- figure out cohesive brand story/direction
- reassess loyalty program in offering retroactive membership with $x+ purchase


Are you a lawyer or something? Dude if it keeps snowing like this I am going to flip the fuck out. I am thinking of coming into town if you want to grab lunch or something. Any other locals game? I am starting to get cabin fever.




If anyone wants a break from all the the positive feedback another blog post has been added and it's a fun little read.

http://www.wolfvsgoat.com/blogs/blog/12518457-pigment-dyes
post #12327 of 13697

Stepping back from the idea that the site's retail price should be the same as rewards members' pricing - that wasn't too popular, and I understand why.


I think that giving a one-time discount of 50% off the first purchase of an item (and it can be limited to shirts so Mauro doesn't get someone buying a suit or other expensive pieces for 50% off) would be better than saying "buy the item at retail and if you like it, keep it and get a rewards membership."

 

We're talking about getting people in the door, and offering that discount up front will do that. The price the new customer ends up paying will be the same price for the shirt and membership, but you don't force them to get the membership up front. That keeps rewards membership the same price ($100) and keeps current members happy. Implementing the system wouldn't be easy to do right, but definitely doable.

 

Just a thought.

post #12328 of 13697
can't today son ... have a client lunch meeting

but game next time smile.gif
post #12329 of 13697
Quote:
Originally Posted by dribas View Post

Stepping back from the idea that the site's retail price should be the same as rewards members' pricing - that wasn't too popular, and I understand why.


I think that giving a one-time discount of 50% off the first purchase of an item (and it can be limited to shirts so Mauro doesn't get someone buying a suit or other expensive pieces for 50% off) would be better than saying "buy the item at retail and if you like it, keep it and get a rewards membership."

We're talking about getting people in the door, and offering that discount up front will do that. The price the new customer ends up paying will be the same price for the shirt and membership, but you don't force them to get the membership up front. That keeps rewards membership the same price ($100) and keeps current members happy. Implementing the system wouldn't be easy to do right, but definitely doable.

Just a thought.

I think a first time purchase at 50% off with a one time use code per person is doable on the shopify platform. I think that may be the best route. It allows people to try on the product, assuming it fits well then they can make that call.
This spring/Summer I have a whole tropical theme just like a bunch of other designers. I think you will see more cohesion by May or June. I will give Fall'14 a shot at more of a true collection but it might not happen but it will for sure for Spring'15. I won't stop doing the special shirts. I am just having to much fun with those.
post #12330 of 13697
Quote:
Originally Posted by who8mahrice View Post

I think videos of the creation process would be cool - showing what exactly goes in to the garment. Maybe compare items from competitors directly? Probably without naming names though.

Similar thought to the capsule collection: Make a core set of clothes - maybe business ready type clothing. Separate the more quirky, fun stuff in a "separate diffusion" line. It seems Epaulet is having success doing that currently.

Maybe a small point, but regarding shipping - I remember getting items sent to me via priority mail. Maybe switch to first class? It's not that much slower, but is cheaper. I imagine Mauro isn't making money off shipping, but I think it'd provide an incentive to some customers to be more willing to give items out a try if they have to pay less.

I think it was brought up a little earlier too but detailing through pictures/videos of what makes your clothes stand out. Whether that is in the item description or in the blog. Someone earlier mentioned searching around for all the terms you used on your bloodline trousers, it'd be great to be able to see all the different things on your clothes and why it is quality.
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