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As a young lad fresh out of Ohio University I got my first sales job at WAKR-AM radio in Akron, Ohio. I used a very sophisticated sales strategy: Drive around and call on everybody using a lame pitch.

"You don't want any radio advertising, do you?"

"No."

One day I called on a tailor in West Akron. He made custom suits and shirts. "Wow, this is cool!" I thought as I looked at all the bolts of fabrics you could choose from.

He gave me a crash course in custom clothing--how to choose the right shirt collar length for your face shape, the benefit of real buttonholes on a suit sleeve, the proper drop and break of slacks and more.

Sadly, I couldn't become a customer. One shirt cost half of a week's pay. Years later I returned and ordered ten shirts for $1500. (It was the 90s ).

I thought of that guy when I read Craig Garber's post about the $4,000 suit.

What would you tell a tailor selling $4,000 custom handmade suits who came to you for marketing advice?

Here is the tailor and his challenges:
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/m...orth.html?_r=0

Here Craig details how he would handle his marketing and positioning:
Double your net profits - $4,000 Suit problem solved: - Craig Garber
#suit
  • Profile picture of the author DavidG
    Thanks for the link Joe - a really good read...

    Goes to show anybody could increase their bottom lines no matter the situation.


    David
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    What a fun gig this would be!

    There is a nascent trend toward dressing up and Mr. Frew is in a perfect position to take advantage of it.

    I'd start by picking a professional sports team. One NOT in NY.

    I'd send a special invitation to each team member via FedEx. It would include a beautifully printed booklet telling Mr. Frew's story, about the process and its history, and how Mr. Frew only makes 25 suits each year.

    The invitation, which would have an expiration date, would invite them to call a certain travel agent who would take care of all the arrangements to fly them to NY, set them up in a suite at The Pierre and schedule the fitting in that suite.

    Price: $15,000. Subject to increase without notice.

    After one team's invitations expire, move on to the next team.

    I'd also have Mr. Frew include a subtle trademark on every suit. like a single gold thread in the notch of the lapel. So members of this most exclusive fraternity could salute each other.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Joe,

    You brought back a flood of memories for me.

    First, Jerry and Judi Healy. Jerry was the "star" at WAKR for many years, Judi, his wife, wrote for the Akron Beacon Journal. Here is a story on the power of advertising...

    I was on the cover of the Buchtelite, the U of A newspaper...and I sent copies to Judi (and all the local weeklies)...Judi calls and orders one of my OFF KEY Singing Telegrams, to be delivered to Jerry ON AIR.

    It was a huge hit and resulted in a ton of business and other interviews culminating with a a Fred Griffith TV appearance which took us to 1,000 dollars a day and a need to drop out of AU.

    This experience taught me the power of the media and how they LOVE to report on local people with unique twists to their businesses.

    In high school, me and a buddy would spend a couple of weeks in Chicago, where his grandfather lived...and was the tailor to Al Capone and other gangsters of the day. Very interesting stories he had to tell. I guess Al wanted ONE of a kind suits and paid well for them...as did most of his clients.

    Now, on a copywriting note, a good story helps, find the letter for the 6,000 dollar golf clubs...

    And to build any business, show your client how to use the media to build business...a book by Jeffrey Lant is a good choice for this.

    Thanks Joe for the memories.

    gjabiz

    PS. And my eldest is an OU grad, in Creative Writing, never knew such a thing existed...but she got a great education at the Hudson on the Hocking.

    Also, the references are to Jeff Paul and Dr. Jeffrey Lant...Paul on his golf clubs letter, Lant for the Unabashed Self-Promoter's Guide

    AND...a little inspiration: the story of the OFF KEY SINGING TELEGRAM BUSINESS

    http://sowpub.com/story-singing.shtml
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    • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post


      Now, on a copywriting note, a good story helps, find the letter for the 6,000 dollar golf clubs...
      And if I'm not mistaken, the letter didn't include any pictures either...
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  • Good stuff Gordon. I went to Akron U for a bit before heading to Athens.

    By the time I got to WAKR Adam and Bob were on in the morning.
    ADAM JONES stories - Bob Allen retires
    Great radio days we'll never see again.

    And you are right, golfers still wear those crazy pants. This company is growing like mad:
    Loudmouth Golf Outstanding Golf Pants

    Speaking of expensive golf clubs--here in Lost Angels several Korean golfers play Honma clubs from Japan. An average set is $4,000-$5,000. That's just the irons.
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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener
    Great read, very thought inspiring. Thank you for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author KyleGolemMedia
    Loved reading the story and Craig Garber's review was really refreshing.

    There are zero reasons why Frew couldn't charge 5k or more for the 4k suit. I doubt there's really a price point for his market.

    Those people are in it to blow money and look nice. Hell, in some cases to look like they're blowing money lol.

    Very good stuff though. Thanks for the share!
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  • Profile picture of the author ERPLeadsWriter
    I consider the more 'realistic' solution to be #3. Providing something else other than the main product as a more stable source of cash is a simple concept a lot of people can understand. In fact, I wonder if it should be the default option for every business that counts on Frew's type of refined craftsmanship.

    I keep mulling over #2 which is good but at the same time I think it is really important to focus on the craftsmanship part to emphasize why it's worth jacking up the price. One of the comments below the NYT article says the article implies a lot more than just the state of craftsmanship in the face of an economy. I think it might also touch on how people can understand (or worse, misunderstand) what the art is worth.

    It pains me to admit that I too expected some of those comments to be laced with flames peppered with the words "indulgence", "extravagance", and "worldly" among others. However, I think it just goes to show my own exposure to people with quite the harsh view towards artisans.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    I want one now, just because it's $4,000.

    Marc

    PS. Who else here also doesn't agree with Garber's "only" three ways to make more money in business?

    PPS. This guy's biggest problem in one word: leverage.
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    • Profile picture of the author svedski
      Originally Posted by Marc Rodill View Post

      I want one now, just because it's $4,000.

      Marc

      PS. Who else here also doesn't agree with Garber's "only" three ways to make more money in business?

      PPS. This guy's biggest problem in one word: leverage.
      Not that those 3 ways are "groundbreaking" in any way, shape or form (they are so obvious a 5-year-old could come up with it...the fact is that he stole it from Jay Abraham (if anyone cares).
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  • I would do it differently. I would sell to Dubai, to the Far East, to India. I would sell the experience of travelling to New York for a fitting, all taken care of as part of a package full of upsells. I would play on their desire to tell their friends their suit came from a New York tailor and the fantastic experience that went with it.

    That would have to happen through carefully placed stories in the press, or personal blog, about one such Saudi king who took up the offer. Just an example, but you get the idea. You couldn't achieve this through traditional advertising.

    I would do the same as Pusateri and sell the fact the guy makes 25, or 12, suits a year. I also like the hotel suite fitting concept, as part of a package that sells them on the city, too. Add a private dining experience with a top chef, VIP tickets to football/baseball/basketball/whatever, a helicopter tour of the city. Whatever you can think of.

    If you give the super rich something their friends cannot have, no matter how much money they have in the bank, then they will pay more for it. When you're at $4,000 for a suit, $40,000 for a suit fitting and associated experience isn't out the question.
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    Nick Hall
    Covert Copywriting - Your Secret Sales Weapon

    Nick@covert-copywriting
    www.covert-copywriting.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Anton Yulianto
    very inspiring. Thank you for sharing
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