The Simple Strategy For Attracting Customers And Celebrity Endorsers

James Rostance speaks with Ryan Palmer, Co-Founder of The London Sock Company to find out about the single marketing strategy that has helped him build a leading fashion business in just 4 years.

Content Covered:

  • The single success strategy with a wide range of benefits
  • Applying that principle to other areas of business
  • Catching David Gandy’s attention, his support and investment into the company

– This week on The 414, get noticed for the right reasons to build your brand, attract customers, and celebrity endorses. Hi, I’m James Rostance and welcome to the 414 each week with some of the greatest minds in marketing, and joining me today is a man who’s built a leading fashion business in just four years by concentrating on a particularly powerful concept in marketing. Hello, Ryan Palmer.

– Hello, James.

– So, Ryan, in setting up and getting the London Sock Company to where it is today, you’ve focused on a particular strategy. Could you tell me a little bit about that, and explain its significance?

– In today’s world, it’s never been easier to start a business, but it’s also never been harder. Standing out for the right reasons has been something that we’ve worked really hard on, whether it’s connecting with a celebrity, a retail buyer, or a direct customer. With so much competition, so much advertising, so many people trying to target people about all types of messaging and marketing today, standing out for the right reason is what’s gonna get you noticed over someone else.

– Okay, so what areas of business can this be applied to?

– I think it could be applied to all areas of business in general, and also all areas of marketing, from creating an opportunity with an individual, through to communicating with your customers, there’s so much advertising noise that it’s so important that you understand who exactly you’re trying to target, and trying to find something that’s gonna connect with them, that’s gonna resonate with them, so that they’re gonna actually pay attention to what you have to say.

– Okay, so David Gandy is one of the world’s leading male supermodels, and an international style icon, and you manage to not only get his attention, but also get him involved with your company. Could you tell me the story behind that? So we knew that David had been gifted some socks through someone that we met, and we also were aware that he’d worn them during London Collections Men back in 2014, but we wanted to do something that was gonna get on his radar, something that was gonna get us noticed for the right reasons. We were told that it was his birthday coming up, we thought, well giving him a gift box of socks was probably not gonna be something that was gonna get him overly excited, so we decided to get one of my friends who just happens to be a world-class cocktail mixologist to invent a cocktail for him that we aptly named the London Gandy. We wrote down the recipe, we framed it in a mahogany wooden frame, and we put it on top of the 15-pair box of socks with a personal note which said, “Our friend was really excited “to invent a cocktail for you. “The one condition is that we get to buy you your first one.” So we wrote the message, we took it to his agency, and we said how do we get this gift box to David for his birthday? And they said, “oh, if you just leave it on the table, “we’ll put it in the room with all the others.” And at this point we’re thinking, how many gifts does he get? And their response was, “Well, we’re sending “an Addison Lee Minivan around “to his house later this afternoon.” So at that point we thought, okay, well, there’s a very, very small chance that he’s even gonna open it, let alone see it. And little did we know, we received an email the next day from David himself saying how much he adored the London Gandy. He’d love to meet us for a drink, and three weeks later we were sat around Donovan Bar in the Brown’s Hotel, drinking the London Gandy. That ended up into actually quite a large night out, and my business partner actually ended up passing out at his house at about 5 o’clock in the morning. You can actually see that picture, as well, on our website, so for anyone who’s interested, they can. From that point, David was really very open and supportive to us. We would meet him every month for a coffee or a gin and tonic. He would give us advice. There would be a lot of business challenges that we were experiencing, and that progressed very, very naturally into a friendship, but then also, when we were looking for investment, David was very keen to get involved, and it’s gone from there.

– Ryan, thank you ever so much for joining us today.

– Thank you for having me.

– In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about Ryan’s successes in attracting a raft of celebrity supporters, then visit the414.net to watch extended coverage in the 414 EXTRA. I’m James Rostance. Thank you for watching.

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The 414 EXTRA

This is where we get the chance to look a little deeper into the most interesting elements of the content that we’ve just covered in the main show

Ryan shares with us his advice for marketers to put into effect the driving principle that he used to build a leading fashion business in just 4 years.

He also covers the growth effect they experienced as well as the importance of authenticity.

– Hi, I’m James Rostance, and welcome to The 414 Extra. So, this is where we now get to deep dive into the content we’ve just covered in the main show. And joining me still here is Ryan from the London Sock Company.

– Hi, James.

– So Ryan, what I’d like to ask is what advice would you give to marketers to put into effect the principle which you put forward of getting noticed for the right reasons?

– I think really think about who you’re trying to target. What’s gonna resonate with them? Put yourself in their position. Whether it is a retail buyer, whether it’s a celebrity, or whether it’s a direct customer. It’s really trying to find a connection point with them. Find something that you know is gonna resonate positively with them. And I think that’s the difference, and I think that’s what is gonna get you noticed for the right reasons, and that’s what people are gonna really connect with.

– Is this something that you’ve always had right from the beginning of doing the company, as well?

– I think from our perspective, we didn’t really have any experience with fashion or manufacturing or branding, and it was really trying to connect with the right people and understand how we could get support around us to help accelerate our journey. And we very quickly found that actually getting the support from individuals was so important, and building that network was so important just to help us really kind of understand what direction we think that we should be going in. So getting those people to want to support you, I think for us, was our first challenge. And that’s really where we realised the power of getting someone wanting to help you. But it’s also really trying to get them understanding why they want to help you.

– Okay, so was there a kind of a multiplier effect and for this happening and with the company taking off? And at what point did you notice that then?

– I think when we’re trying to build the business, there’s been so many different factors which have played a significant part in our growth and our kind of continued success. Although we still have a long way to go. But I think, absolutely, I think people will ultimately buy from people, and I think the challenge in today’s world is there’s just so much. There’s so much communication from advertising. There’s so much content being pushed to everyone. Everyone is being targeted with advertising all the time, whether it’s online, whether it’s walking down the street. And trying to raise yourself above that and trying to understand what you’re gonna be able to connect with someone over someone else, I think it is a really important lesson that we did learn quite early on, and has definitely helped us make sure that we’re connecting with the right people in the right way.

– And would you say there’s an element of authenticity about your approach to all this? On how would a level of authenticity help, or how has it helped you with this?

– Yeah, I think that’s a really good question ’cause I think the most important thing is that it is 100% authentic. I think that people can tell whether someone is just trying to get something from them to benefit themselves. And whenever we’re approaching anything it’s trying to understand, well what value is there gonna be for that person? Whether that is the customer, whether that’s the celebrity. And I think that being authentic is so important, and I think it’s the only way that using this strategy can be successful. ‘Cause it’s about building relationships. It’s about building a rapport. It’s about building a strong communication channel with whoever it is that you’re trying to target.

– And this is both then both customers and endorsers?

– I think it’s a strategy that fits across everything. So whether it’s an end-user customer, whether it’s a buyer of a department store that you’re trying to connect with to help understand why your product is gonna be great for them, or whether it’s a celebrity endorser. Why should they get behind your brand? Why should they support you? What are they gonna be interested in? Is it actually more of the business side or is it more of the advertising side? Is it paid side? There’s lots of different reasons that drive people. Maybe it’s social. So maybe it’s a charitable angle. But I think really understand what drives that individual, what their targets are, what their interests are. Put yourself in their shoes. And then once you understand that, I think that then makes what you do much, much easier.

– Okay. And I guess, finally then, I have to ask, why did you choose socks? What was the driver for that?

– Good question. We do get asked that quite often as you’d not be surprised. I came from the corporate world, as did my co-founder, where men have very few opportunities to express personality and get noticed for the right reasons. Less guys are wearing ties, and everyone’s wearing the same colour shirt, the same colour trousers, the same colour shoes. And there was very kind of few brands that we were really kind of feeling excited about, that celebrated the objective that we wanted to have, which was about helping guys get noticed for the right reasons. When you wear our socks, for example, we make sure that the designs that we do, the colour ways, the tonalities, we work very closely with stylists. It’s about getting noticed for the right reasons. It’s not crossing your legs and someone seeing your socks and thinking, oh, well that’s a bit novelty. It might be quite funny, it might be quite colourful. For us it’s about style and it’s about confidence. And we have so many customers that will contact us now saying, well, I’ve got these lucky pair of socks. And they might be red and they might be pink. And it’s when they pull their socks up in the morning and they’re wearing these socks, because they’ve had positive comments about it, they feel like they can go and smash the day. And I think that was a really important aspect for us, creating something that people were gonna get noticed for the right reasons.

– Perfect. Ryan, thank you ever so much again for joining us.

– Thank you.


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