Here’s a lovely little sneak peek at one of the fresh new case studies from the 2nd edition of Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget, launching April 1, 2014! Lots of launch week goodies and a free teleseminar so make sure you’re signed up for The Juice so you don’t miss out.
Taylor Stich’s story below shows you how important it is to know what your one unique asset is and parlay that into your brand experience. Hook your brand onto the one special thing that no one else can offer (Tweet this!)
Brand at Work: Taylor Stitch
In 2009, Michael Maher, Barrett Purdum and Michael Armenta started Taylor Stitch on a funky street in San Francisco’s Mission District. Their dream? To create rugged, refined and practical clothing for men (and now women) by hand. The company aims to modernize staple clothing pieces for men and women by delivering great quality at a reasonable price with impeccable service.
Taylor Stitch’s greatest asset is that their clothes are crafted by hand, with quality and love, and that personal attention guides every brand move. “It’s a human-run business,” says Maher. “Our main goal when we started was to offer a uniquely personal retail experience to make our customers happy.” They empower everyone in the organization to delight the customer. Items are made by hand and sent by hand. When mistakes are made, the human touch prevails. “We understand that in a hand-crafted business, mistakes will be made. A shipment might be sent to the wrong person or a loose thread makes it by quality control. On the rare occasions this happens, we are truthful and up-front with our customers. If we screw up, we’re the first to admit it and fix the problem or discount items to make that customer happy. We look at a mistake as an opportunity to create a human connection and a great customer experience.”
This emphasis on happiness and humanness impacts hiring as well as the in-store environment. “We hire people who represent the ethos of service that we ourselves believe in, so, no matter whom you encounter in the store, you get a consistent experience that lives up to the brand.” Taylor Stitch also pays attention to all five senses when it comes to customer touchpoints: the types of pictures they use, the words they write, the store’s music and scents. “We come at retail from a hospitality perspective, not just a product perspective. We believe people don’t like to shop if they are uncomfortable, so we created something much more approachable,” says Maher.
No matter how large the business grows, Taylor Stitch is committed to maintaining that comfortable “neighborhood shop” feel. Loyal customers love to tell friends and family about how the business takes extra time to care. Taylor Stitch desires regular customers but they also want to be regulars in their neighborhood.
“Our customers send us thank-you and holiday cards,” says Maher. “Sometimes they even send jams and other little gifts. It’s amazing to receive such gifts from people that buy stuff from you. One of my favorite things to do is stop people on the street whom I see wearing our clothes and thank them.”
Obviously taking the time to not just make the clothes by hand but handcraft the customer experience on a very human level pays off for Taylor Stitch. At a pop-up market a few years ago, Maher gave a pair of pants to a fellow vendor. That vendor now orders and sells pants for the store. “It’s often the simple, human things that benefit everyone,” advises Maher. “When you do good things with no expectations and don’t force it, great things are bound to happen.”
Your turn: What is your brand or businesses one special or unique asset? Everyone’s got one…what’s yours? Please share in the Comments below!