Last week the nice gents from Indochino came to class and spoke about how they were using online marketing to their advantage. This Vancouver-based company is revolutionizing how legions of fashionable men get suited up. Indochino is the perfect story about how what is normally a very personal experience can be brought to the online space. Think about it: having a custom suit made is usually different for everybody, but always has the human element. You come in, pick a style you want, touch the fabric, maybe talk to the tailor who will measure you and give you some advice on what kind of style works for your body shape. A pocket square? Sure, I'll take that. Ties? Bowties? Maybe a cravat?
The main problem retailers in the real world face when transitioning part of their operations online is that they risk losing that "personal touch". Especially with an activity that is as exacting as having a suit done, having that expertise behind your back is important. Another thing about having custom suits done is that it can be arduous. Like coming in, getting measured, choosing fabric, picking the cut of your suit, waiting a few days, going back to the tailor...ad nauseum.
That being said, Indochino isn't the only online retailer for custom suits. A cursory search yields competition like Black Lapel, 7 Regent Lane, Blank Label and Modern Tailor just to name a few. All 5 companies (Indochino included) compete on a variety of factors such as price point, quality and ease of ordering. They all offer fairly identical experiences. But somehow it's Indochino that stands out from the pack. Here are two reasons why:
1) Indochino makes it easy for you to find them
When you first search up Indochino you'll immediately notice the Google ad on top. If you're logged into Gmail while searching for them, the form will autopopulate with your email address and all you have to do is click that button to subscribe to their newsletter.
Indochino makes it dead easy to keep up to date with them, they practically do it for you! The company also has an active Facebook presence they use to interact with their audience and drop the occasional promotion.
They are equally active on Twitter where they use the platform as a customer service tool, guiding people and pointing them in the right direction:
2) At the same time, they bring the online experience offline.
No matter how good Indochino's customer service is, there are still some thing that need a tailor's touch. Even if Indochino's willing to send you a free measuring tape there's the off chance that you'll bungle up your own measurements. No matter how excellent the photos are on their website, there's nothing that beats feeling the fabric yourself and seeing a suit...in the flesh.
Enter the Travelling Tailor. Indochino took to cities like Vancouver, New York and San Francisco and set up a pop-up retail shop where men can come in and see the suits, feel the fabric and have a "fit specialist" get their measurements right. The entire premise behind Indochino is that unique online shopping experience, and by having the Travelling Tailor they're giving people a taste of what Indochino is like. Having a custom suit done is a very tactile experience, and at the Travelling Tailor event you can get some help from a personal stylist and add some additional flair to that crisp outfit.
Indochino is truly bringing fashion to the people. No longer is the crisp, well-tailored suit the sole domain of the fashionably dressed. The best thing about Indochino is that it's making fashion accessible to thousands of men who just need a good suit that fits them properly. It makes things easy. So whether you're a satorialist or a fashion rube, give the good folks at Indochino a try.