Dressed For Success: 4 Incredible Marketing Tactics Gilt Man Uses Online

    Since 2007, New York City-based Gilt Groupe has provided an exclusive, unique online luxury fashion flash sale experience. Originating as an invitation-only site, the site has since burgeoned into a luxe lifestyle powerhouse, feeding the growth in across-the-board menswear sales. Gilt Man was launched in 2009. While Gilt Man’s online storefront is immaculate, carrying nearly every aspirational brand imaginable, that is only part of the experience. Gilt MANual is an online magazine featuring tips and how-to’s from some of menswear’s most prominent and passionate contributors. Gilt MANual is almost universally recommended by anyone interested in menswear, even those who don’t shop at Gilt. Gilt has rapidly grown into a major corporation. Here are 4 lessons small-and-medium retailers can take from its success: 1. Provide fashion forward how-to’s and advice for your market 2. Use Tumblr to make your products more lustworthy 3. A par excellence selection of guest bloggers 4. Inspiring philosophy of essential menswear items   1. The Definitive Menswear How-To Section: For a novice, buying menswear can be intimidating. The options are endless, the quality varies wildly, and if you’re not situated in a cosmopolitan center, the selection can be limited. What is a gent to do? Fortunately, the Internet exists, as does Gilt MANual’s how-to section.       Written by a very passionate set of menswear enthusiasts and legitimate style icons, the how-to section handles just about every novice and intermediate question about menswear you can imagine, all without a hint of sarcasm (which is a rarity on the Internet these days). There’s even a form for newbies to submit a question to the how-to crew. In terms of creating value for your customers, there is precious little more valuable than having a forum where you can patiently and selflessly guide new customers through the ins and outs of your industry. What Retailers Can Learn From This:
  • Providing a respected how-to section on your website that aims to completely satisfy the customer is a fantastic way to provide value and create loyal customers.
  • If non-customers are directing those who are new to your industry because the advice is so good, it will create bulletproof leads.
  • Organizing a definitive industry how-to section provides you with unflappable legitimacy.
2. Use Tumblr To Make Your Products More Lustworthy: Every social network has that thing it does best. Although Tumblr is marketed as a “short form blog”, it has sort-of become a platform for posting lustworthy images, especially of clothes. Kind of like how Instagram started as an easy way to take and share artistic photos and disintegrated into the least common denominator it is today. Many menswear aficionados have used Tumblr as an inspiration board, and Gilt’s runs with the best of them. Gilt’s Tumblr features original and re-blogged pictures of their products in real life settings. It’s incredibly seductive. What Retailers Can Learn From This:
  • Tumblr is a visually-rich, very popular social network with an emphasis on artistic imagery. This lends itself to making your products incredibly desirable, if you’re creative.
  • Many of the Internet’s most popular menswear blogs originated on Tumblr. If your product has a presence on Tumblr, it’s an excellent chance to network with other like-minded folks.
  • Providing original, high quality images may lead to your company’s Tumblr site going viral.
    3. A Par Excellence Selection of Guest Bloggers: Guest bloggers for your company creates a two birds, one stone scenario. Having experts not previously associated with your company gives you organic credibility; for bloggers, it provides an opportunity to gain superb readership, and increased awareness of their portfolio. As Stephen Covey would say, “it’s truly a win-win scenario”. Gilt MANual takes this advice and turns it to 11: some of their guest co-respondents are bona fide high profile style icons. Gay Talese contributes; Nick Wooster pops in now-and-again on Gilt Man’s Youtube show. Maxim Magazine editor Jesse Will drops knowledge about really expensive cars. Investment Banker Evan Rellie drops knowledge about really expensive everything. In terms of opinion and think pieces, you are not getting the views of amateurs. These are people who have attained the status of legend. Don’t let this intimidate you; keep the idea of getting icons in your field of business to contribute to however you plan to market your wares a goal, and work towards it. What Retailers Can Learn From This:
  • Having guest bloggers on your site creates relevancy for your brand.
  • The more illustrious the guest blogger, the more attention your site will garner. This may take time, and it may take money, but it is an investment in your marketing and your brand, with the ultimate goal of increased product sales.
  • Always be willing to return the favour.
      4. Inspiring Philosophy of Essential Menswear Items: Gilt MANual’s Essentials project  - also known as “100 Things Every Self-Respecting Guy Should Own” –  differs from other menswear blogs – and even other sections of the Gilt MANual – in a fascinating way. While it presents classic items – essentials of a man’s wardrobe – the writers don’t specifically tell you what brand to buy. Instead, they cover the item’s rich history, how its use transformed over time, and why you should own it today. The project covers obvious items like aviator sunglasses, wingtips, and a good tailor, to more esoteric items such as Go to Hell pants and colorful linings in one’s sportscoat. It’s not a hard sale so much as seducing you into a lifestyle of owning quality, timeless products. Also, the writing alone will deliciously tantalize you. What Retailers Can Learn From This:
  • Giving a well-written history for your products will only make them more desirable.
  • Designating products as “essential”, especially with iconic columnists, gives you an undeniable voice of authority.
  • Dubbing certain products as “essential” is a perfect marriage of the logical and the emotional.
          Written by Steve Ramsey (steve@wishpond.com)      

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About the Author:

Nick is the Director of Marketing at Wishpond.

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