Archive for the ‘clothing company’ tag
Mobber, which launched in June, is intended for companies and musicians who “want to BLAST something into the social media world.” A brand can start a “mob,” set a capacity and recruit fans to join all through Mobber; by joining, a user commits a tweet or status about the brand. When the mob reaches its capacity, all of the tweets and status updates are released at once, causing a social “bomb.”
“I imagine we were kicked off twitter because we may pose some threat to their promoted tweets and stream ads,” founder Billy Draper tells me. “Most of our mobs to date have been under 200, but if a heavy hitting Tweeter started a mob of 1000+, it would likely trend on a national scale.”
While it still has under 10,000 users, Mobber has done 30 mobs, the biggest of which was a 150-person mob that drove 1,050 clicks to rapper DeStorm’s iTunes album.
Draper says the last mob that got them kicked off was for a clothing company, Salute the Brave, that donates a package to an overseas soldier for every item sold.
“Hopefully we can resolve the issue with Twitter, but in the interim we will focus on Facebook and do our best to make it rain,” Draper says.
The service is really not very different from Twitter’s “Sponsored Trends,” except for the fact that Twitter doesn’t make any money off of it. While it’s definitely a double standard, you play by Twitter’s rules if you’re on its platform and there’s no way it will allow a direct competitor to their advertising dollars.
Twitter has not responded to a request for comment. I will keep you posted if they do.
No new t-shirt can feel quite as comfortable and soft as your old vintage t-shirt. If you have a new shirt that could use some softening, clothing company Octane suggest a quick bath in some salt water to fix it right up. More »
by Nick Stamoulis
As an SEO provider, you’d think that a keyword like “SEO” would be my number one priority, right? After all, that’s the industry I work in, it’s the services I offer and it’s a keyword that could potentially generate a ton of business for my company. In the US alone, “SEO” gets well over 2.2 million searches each month–that translates into some serious revenue for a company that can own “SEO” in the SERPs. But as I have discussed before, a high search volume doesn’t mean it’s the right keyword for you. “SEO” may be an important keyword for me to target, but it isn’t my number one priority.
One of the things that makes the SEO industry so unique is the sheer amount of players this industry supports. There are hundreds of SEO companies, consultants and experts across the country. Big agencies, one man operations, local SEO providers, industry specialists and more—and all of them are targeting “SEO” to a varying degree. But just like any keyword, only one company can be in the number one spot in the SERPs. In the case of “SEO,” it’s not even a company ranked number one; Wikipedia is! Think how many hundreds of SEO companies are pining after ranking in the top ten for “SEO;” I highly doubt most (if any) of them will make it. Does this mean they should give up on targeting “SEO”? Not at all! But it means their priorities need to change.
Let’s say you own woman’s clothing company that has both a physical and online store. Your physical store primarily serves customers in your town (maybe a few towns over if you carry really unique items) but you want to help your e-commerce site reach a more national audience. Obviously you sell things like dresses, blouses, skirts and so forth, so theoretically a keyword like “women’s dress” would be a great keyword for you to target. After all, it’s applicable to what you sell and you have plenty of content supporting your decision to target that keyword–but should it be a priority keyword?
In my opinion, a priority keyword is based on several factors. First and foremost, your priority keywords should be based on some of the more profitable products your company sells. But you have to temper the most profitable products with keywords that provide you with the most opportunity for success. Let’s say your clothing boutique makes the most profit by selling dresses. Instead of just targeting “dresses,” which is far too broad to make any real headway on a national level any time soon, niche it down to more specific, long tail keywords that still focus on your best selling/most profitable product but are a less uphill battle for your SEO. For instance, you could target keywords like “summer dresses,” “casual dresses,” “black dresses,” “strapless dress” and so forth. These long tail keywords should be a priority over just “dresses.” Obviously “dresses” is still going to be everywhere on your website and in your content, but it’s not the most important keyword.
Your priority keywords can also evolve with the seasons (either physical or based on consumer behavior). It doesn’t make much sense to keep “summer dresses” as a priority keyword in February, so maybe you target “sweater dresses” instead. Or maybe you do a push for “cocktail dresses” around New Year’s Eve. Priority keywords don’t have to be set in stone, and it could actually be potentially hazardous to your SEO if they are. You have to be willing to adapt to changes in users’ search behavior to make sure your website has the best possible chance at success.
Prioritizing your keywords is especially important for sites that target many different niches or sell a lot of products (like an e-commerce site). There are so many different directions you could take with your SEO it’s important to create some kind of road map to follow so you’re always getting the most value for your efforts.
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A guest post by Clare Evans of Bird and Co.
Though most social media failures may not be as spectacular as Kenneth Cole’s error—the clothing company infamously jumped on a hashtag bandwagon in 2011 and things went spectacularly wrong—social media can prove damaging for your reputation if you get it wrong.
In recent months, we’ve seen just how quickly your company’s failure can go viral. Overnight, the once respected health and wellness chain LA Fitness went from hero to zero, thanks to the power of Twitter. The story spread quickly and left some serious stains on the company’s good name. You can spend years building up a solid reputation for your business, but it only takes one rogue tweet to ruin everything.
Social media isn’t just about the potential harm to your brand’s good name, however. Social media is also a great way to monitor what people say about your business.
1. Respond to Brand Mentions
Dashboard applications, such as HootSuite and TweetDeck, are great tools for managing your social media and monitoring your reputation. Those applications let you set up custom fields that alert you every time your brand name is mentioned—whether folks use your Twitter or Facebook handle or not.
That means you can respond to all brand mentions, tweets of your posts, and negative comments. By responding quickly and doing your upmost to resolve the issue, you can preserve your company’s good name.
By responding to positive mentions, you can cement a reputation for excellence. You can prove that customer satisfaction is important to you, and you can show a more human side to your business. That will encourage people to use your services or to buy from you again.
2. Have a Social Media Crisis Plan
Even if you sensibly use social media, you should develop a crisis plan. If the worst does happen, you need to be quick to act to salvage your reputation. Whether the crisis is a rogue tweet or a negative brand mention, you need to know how to act in that situation.
If someone posts something potentially damaging about your company, don’t jump in and react rashly and rudely. Instead, message the person, ask what the issue is, and how you can help resolve it. Often, people don’t expect a reply; they will calm down if the issue is at least partly resolved.
Similarly, make sure you have a course of action to take should you receive some negative PR. Use your social media platforms to restore faith in your brand. But be careful not to actively shift the blame, especially if you are actually in the wrong.
3. Use Social Media Best Practices
To prevent a social media slip-up, you should outline social media best practices for your business. They don’t have to be strict guidelines but a general agreement about what content should (and shouldn’t) be posted. It may be advisable to stick to posting your work, relevant posts from your industry, images you’ve taken yourself, and a few human elements to your company.
Posts can be taken the wrong way over social media, especially as people can’t tell your tone of voice. Therefore, it is important to remain professional but show a little personality. At least this way, you are more approachable to your clients.
Your online reputation is often the difference between your making a sale or your losing one. The Internet has made it very easy for customers to research what real people are saying about you before they buy.
Clare Evans is a copywriter at Bird and Co.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Gossip)
Good Design Roundup
Good design doesn’t just mean pretty, it means functional too. Sometimes a website is born that combines those two things seamlessly. It’s like a miracle. Or more likely, people worked hard and communicated with one another, allowing design, functionality, and content to come together and deliver a clear and helpful message.
A functional website satisfies two important needs:
- People who’ve never heard of you before should be able to figure out what you do in less than thirty seconds, without clicking on anything.
- People who know about you should be able to get to what they want in 1-3 clicks.
A well-designed site must allow both to happen, while being aesthetically pleasing and providing relevant information. If you’re stomping your feet and whining that you don’t want to have to do all of those things at the same time, the Internet should be taken away from you and your bad web design. You can have it back when you’ve had some time to think about what you’ve done.
So, in no particular order, let’s see some good design!
Ript Apparel is a clothing company that specializes in made-to-order t-shirts that feature original pop culture designs contributed by independent artists. With the exception of a few reprints, the designs are only available for 24 hours, making each shirt they sell a limited edition collector’s item.
If you didn’t know any of that before now, it’s at least immediately clear from their homepage that they’re an apparel company and you can get a rad shirt with featuring a pirate-esque Super Mario water-skiing on a couple of Koopas
Due to their unique business model, they have no need for any kind of category page, so nearly all of their content can be reached within 1-3 clicks from their homepage. While there is, admittedly, not a lot of content on the homepage, everything above the fold is relevant and useful, and everything below the fold is devoted to engaging their users in a discussion.
Camera+ starts off with the bare minimum of what you need to know – it’s an app, it takes pictures, you can buy it for $1.99. Mission accomplished. To add some icing on that cake, the image of the phone plays a little video that shows you how to use the app, and if you want a more in depth tutorial there’s an intro video linked right above the ‘buy now’ button.
You could argue that it loses a little functionality by lacking any sort of navigation – if you want to know more about the product you have to scroll down, getting into finer and finer detail the farther you go, but there’s no way to go straight to the information you’re looking for without skimming all the information available. Still, the page isn’t that long – it tells you everything you need to know without being verbose, and it does so using excellent photography and consistent attention to spacing.
Crowdrise holds a special place in my heart because the entire site is laced with humor, which as we’ve mentioned before, rules the internet. This is another site that knows how to keep things simple. Nearly any information that you could be looking for is available in one of those top five drop-down menus (though they could probably stand to make it a little more obvious that those are, in fact, drop-down menus).
And if you don’t know what Crowdwise is about, the navigation and slideshow text is full of keywords to clue you in that their mission is, as the tagline says, to give back. Crowdrise is an easy, secure way to raise money for good causes, and they provide that service with a great sense of humor.
These guys break the 1-3 click rule a little bit – but you don’t actually have to click the big pink button to find out what they do, you can just scroll down. And to be fair, the big pink button is – you know – big. And also pink.
Strawberry Jam combines all your social media feeds so that, for example, if you’re friends with all your coworkers on Facebook and/or Twitter and they all suddenly decide to share the same link to the same article at the same time, you only have to see it once. And if you already knew that, you need only fill out the form to sign up for the beta. One click and done.
This is another app – which you can see from the handy pictures of it shown on both i-Phone and Android screens. For newcomers, all the basic info about what the Trip Lingo app does – it helps you learn other languages so you can communicate with locals while you travel – is right there when you arrive on the page, no clicking necessary. For people who already know what it is and simply need to have it now, there’s a big shiny button to get you started. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s a big ol’ features section right below the fold.
Foodzy is another addition to the craze of turning diet and exercise into a fun social networking game. The site combines fun, colorful, retro-style illustrations with a clean, to-the-point design. Their purpose is laid out in three steps at the top of the page, there’s a cute video to watch if you’re still not sold. If you’re already shouting sign me up there’s a big green button at the top, just for you.
Louise Fili specializes in packaging design for restaurants and food products, which is what it says in that big red bar. Her work is divided into clear categories which are listed along the top, and she combines beautiful photography with a minimalist design to showcase her art. This is another example of a website that’s lacking a lot of text content, but portfolio sites are one of the few cases where that’s not terribly necessary. Portfolio sites should be carried by the work you’re presenting – if you have to mince words to convince people why they should like your art, you’re doing something wrong.
Editorial sites often have a problem with spacing; they get caught up in trying to fit as many interesting headlines on the page as possible and forget that if they aren’t easy to read, no one is going to read them. GOOD doesn’t fall into that trap. The site is pretty and easy to read, there’s a nice balance of images, content, and negative space, and the title changes from ‘Good Morning’ to ‘Good Afternoon’ depending on what time it is, which is nifty.
It’s hard to explain what Evernote is, since there isn’t really anything else like it out there (it’s not quite a blog and not really a social network), but they do a pretty good job of presenting the basics. If you already know what Evernote is and want it, the download button is right there in the middle of the page. Plus the logo cleverly combines an elephant (because they never forget) with a standard page icon, and I’m a sucker for clever logos.
These guys don’t do anything terribly fancy as far as visuals, but they don’t need to. Squarespace is a site creation software and they follow the rules to the letter – the who, what, and why are spelled out for you above the fold and the call-to-action is the first thing you see (as it should be). Any other information you desire is available within 1-3 clicks and overall, their site reflects the clean, elegant professionalism of the product they offer.
And that’s it! Ten beautiful websites for you to fawn over and strive to emulate. If you have any that you think should have been featured (or any good design, not just websites but logos, posters, email blasts, etc.), let us know!
A new site called Frank & Oak wants to take the headache out of clothes shopping for men between 20 and 35.
The site is a new product from men’s clothing company ModaSuite (a startup based in Canada and backed by Real Ventures). With Frank & Oak, CEO Ethan Song says the company is aiming at a younger audience (ModaSuite’s customer base is more in the 30-45 range), so the clothing is more affordable and the process is simpler.
Subscribers just go to the Frank & Oak site and enter their clothing preferences. Then, once a month you get an email newsletter with a list of items for sale, curated to your interests — Song compares it to a personalized men’s fashion magazine. (At first, I thought a monthly newsletter didn’t seem frequent enough, but Song that men in their 20s and early 30s don’t want to buy clothes more often than that.) You select up to five items, which are then shipped to you free of charge. The ones you don’t like, or that don’t fit, you send back, and you pay for the ones you keep. The goal, Song says, is to create “the most hassle-free experience I’ve ever had.”
This isn’t the first startup built around the assumption that men would rather get something shipped to them than have to go out shopping — the most extreme example is probably Manpacks, where men can sign up for deliveries of underwear, socks, and other necessities. Song says that a better comparison to ModaSuite/Frank & Oak’s business model would be a site like StyleMint or ShoeDazzle, except focused on men’s clothing.
Song also emphasizes that this isn’t a flash sale site, where companies are often trying to sell off excess inventory. Instead, ModaSuite designs the clothing itself, and has direct relationships with the manufacturers. That means it can deliver high-quality products at a relatively low-price, he says — on Frank & Oak, shirts cost about $40 and accessories cost about $25.
Oh, and TechCrunch readers get a special discount. Enter the code “TECHGO” and you’ll get $10 off your next purchase.
Posted by neilpatel
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
Because I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs I learned early that working for yourself was a great way to make money and improve your lifestyle. However, even though I had this early drive to build businesses, I didn’t always know the right way to go about building or marketing them. In fact, through trial and error I eventually discovered what it takes to build and market a successful business, and the following five lessons are what I think to be the most important.
Being the category leader is not the only way to be successful
Everyone seems to think that if you’re not number one then you won’t have a successful business. I know I fell into this trap early in my career. Whether I was working as a marketing consultant or SEO, I tried to be number one, but it didn’t take me long to discover that being the best and being the category leader is not the same thing.
In some cases, you are number one when you dominate in revenue, number of users or market position. In other words, it’s pretty clear you are number one. For example, according to StatCounter, when it comes to browser, it’s pretty obvious who rules:
But if you are in a less-developed market, number one is often perception, which you can control with marketing. Listen, a company with a product that’s inferior to competition, yet gets a lot of media buzz, will seem like the category leader.
The clothing company American Apparel is a great example. Constantly in the media, whether for good things or bad things, American Apparel seemed unstoppable. In the case of AA, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing one of their ads or hearing about them in the news. What did they do to make that happen?
- Controversial policies – American Apparel doesn’t outsource and often includes employees posing for their soft-porn ads, both great topics for the media to report on.
- Adopt a social cause and make noise about it – American Apparel is behind two social causes, Legalize LA and Legalize Gay, both causes that bring them attention.
- Break the mold for good – The majority of employees at AA are immigrants who are paid more than twice the minimum wage and offered low-cost, full-family healthcare. (It’s unfortunate that 1,500 were illegal, but the CEO claims they used fake papers.)
- Defend your values tooth and nail. The CEO of American Apparel is unapologetic about his unorthodox polices, values and views, which adds further fuel to the fire.
Of course some argue that the AA CEO is a sleaze ball who undermines all of his good. Others argue that his behavior is part of the brand’s DNA.
Are they market leaders? Not when it comes to market capitalization. That title belongs to Burberry Group at $552.2 billion. But you wouldn’t know it if you watched the news. In 2008, the Guardian named American Apparel label of the year and in 2009 Time magazine named the CEO one of its finalist for most influential people in the world.
My point is American Apparel went from a small clothing manufacturer in 2003 to a successful business in less than a decade because they were constantly in the press. You can usually compete with the big dogs if you figure out how to get a lot of press and buzz.
Focus on the opportunity, not the market leader
Another myth about market leaders has to do with market growth or saturation. For example, early this November comScore came out with data on US smart phone market. Here’s the data as a graph provided by Asymco:
What should jump out at you immediately is the all the blue on the top of the graph. That stands for all the opportunity out there for getting smart phones into the hands of people who don’t use smart phones. In other words, it doesn’t matter who the market leader is. The game is far from over for newcomers.
Good marketing means you look at what your competitor is doing, especially if he is the market leader, but you also look around them…you look for the opportunity that others are ignoring and, if it is there, taking advantage of it without having to take on the big guys.
Thinking like a customer is essential
It’s important to remember, however, that just because you are getting so much attention doesn’t mean you will be successful. Marketing rule number one is to solve your customer’s problems.
You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it bears repeating…you must make a product that meets an obvious need. Over time I’ve developed a method when it comes to business and product development. It’s called the SIMPLE method:
- Simple – A successful product will take the guesswork out of how it satisfies a customer’s problems. Febreeze, for example, is simple…spray and kill odors. You get it immediately.
- Interesting – Furthermore, a successfully marketing product puts distance between it and other commodities by explaining what makes it different. All products are a commodity. The iPhone…it’s a commodity, namely a smart phone. But not just any smart phone. It’s got apps, Face Time and now Siri.
- Meaningful – But just because you figured out a problem to solve doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. The problem has to be meaningful. Look at Square, for example. It allows small businesses to easily collect payments via credit cards. Most of these small businesses will tell you they were losing money because they couldn’t take credit cards.
- Productive – Like being simple, a product that customers will like helps them do something they currently do…but faster, easier or even cheaper. In other words, the product doesn’t complicate the customer’s life, but offers a convenience.
- Long-lasting – A successful product will have longevity. It will provide a meaningful solution to a customer’s problem that will be more than just a fad. And it will go through multiple generations.
- Entertaining – This last point is important because it explains the popularity of sites like Facebook or video games, which everybody can argue are not productive ways to spend your time. However, they provide excitement and enjoyment, which is meaningful to you.
I wish I’d thought of this method before I even started in business, but maybe I can help you avoid the mistakes I made and get successful in less time than I did by sharing it with you.
Free advertising can be your best promotional tool.
If you don’t have a lot of cash and you are trying to market your company online, don’t worry, as companies have been able to succeed without spending much money on marketing. This fact becomes apparent when you see that social media advertising spend will only be $4.4 billion or 7% of online ad spend by 2016. The reason is that to set up a social profile doesn’t cost anything and ongoing costs are low.
When I was trying to grow one of my first businesses, Advice Monkey, I paid over $5,000 to three different companies to market it. Unfortunately I got zero results, so I decided I was going to learn how to do it myself. Here is a list of six marketing ideas I used that didn’t require a huge budget:
- Blog – By now it should be obvious that blogging is a great idea for generating traffic and attention. But I still run into entrepreneurs who dismiss it for one reason or another.
- SEO – A few companies that have leveraged SEO fairly well are About.com, Wikipedia, Craigslist, Amazon, and Zappos. And an example of a smaller company that has done this is Bargaineering, which was acquired by Bankrate for 2.8 million.
- Guest poster – An easy way to get your company out there is to write guest blog posts on other blogs. From TechCrunch to Huffington Post, there are thousands of popular blogs on the Internet. And the one thing all of these blogs want is more content.
- Speak at conferences – You don’t have to spend a lot of money travelling to regional conferences, but occasionally splurge and got to a national conference. You’ll get more exposure.
- Talk shit – People tend to pay attention when someone talks trash. For example, I once wrote a blog post on Like.com and how they were messing up with their marketing efforts. Shortly after that the CEO called and offered me consulting work.
- Do interviews – I cannot tell you how many times I simply emailed someone and asked if they would like to interview me. Blogs and media sources are always looking for content…and interviews are an easy way to get it.
Check out this article if you want fifteen other big marketing ideas for your small budget.
Social media can absolutely drive sales
I pretty much jumped head first into social media when sites like Blogger, Twitter and Facebook came on the scene. However, it took me quite a while to figure out how to use them correctly so I could drive traffic and sales to my website.
Did you that for every hour we spend on online, we spend about fifteen minutes of that hour on social media sites? This is according to Neilson:
And did you know that about half of that time we are looking at products and services? The lesson is that if you want to build a sales relationship online, social media is your best bet.
A good example of monetizing social media is Joie De Vivre, a California company that operates luxury hotels. Every Tuesday the company tweets exclusive deals to their nearly 13,000 followers who have only a few hours to act on deeply discounted deals. Joie De Vivre typically books over 1,000 room nights with these types of deals, rooms that might remain empty.
Even large companies like Virgin use social media effectively. Richard Branson says that their approach to social media is with a healthy sense of fun and attractive offers. For example, the fourth highest sales day for Virgin America came when they tweeted, “$5 donated to KIPP Schools for every flight booked today.”
Some of these lessons may seem obvious, others not so. I know it took me a several years to figure them all out, but once I did, building successful business got easier and easier. This is not to say that if you follow these lessons above you will be guaranteed a successful business. You will improve your chances, however.
What not-so-obvious marketing lessons have you learned during your years in business?