June 30, 2005

london marketing soiree

BAR seth godin2.jpg

The London Marketing Soiree with Seth Godin [my favorite marketing writer/guru] is less than 2 weeks away.

Please sign up if you're coming [166 have so far].

[SPEAKING OF SETH:] Here's a wonderfully salient thought from him:

I don't think I'm being harsh... Iíve seen far too many great ideas fail to believe that Iím being cynical in this post. You may have the greatest thing ever, but if it doesnít match a prevailing worldview in the market where you hope to tell your story, youíre invisible.
And as I'm reading this I'm asking myself, what worldview does English Cut fit in, especially in the American market? Thoughts?

Posted by hugh macleod at June 30, 2005 1:38 PM | TrackBack

What worldview?

Maybe the increasing importance of the individual over the standardisation imposed by the corporation. The democratisation of basically everything. Therefore, in having something made for you by someone you can touch and relate to and know and in having something that is unique to you and therefore, in some way, not at all corporate.

Posted by: Malcolm at June 30, 2005 4:21 PM

How about our overblown sense of entitlement combined with more money than we know what to do with?

Or is that to cynical?

-The other Parmet

Posted by: Sue at June 30, 2005 4:33 PM


My guess as to the story one tells oneself when they buy English Cut:
* I'm more sophisticated than average, even the average suit buyer.
* I'm very successful, so much so that I can afford a hand-made suit.
* I believe that this suit will help me look really, really sharp and professional.
* This suit will help me feel more confident and "in charge"

Posted by: John at June 30, 2005 4:49 PM

"Overblown sense of entitlement..."?

Sounds like my kinda people, Sue ;-)

Posted by: hugh macleod at June 30, 2005 5:39 PM

I was wondering how these suits look when worn over an official Gaping Void t-shirt. I don't know if that's exactly "haute couture" but it's a photo I'd like to see.

Then again, maybe you need to think of Gaping Void ties.

The cynic in me says the current worldview has more to do with buying the suit because you're promoting it, therefore it's "cooler" than any other $3,000 suit. Nothing against Thomas or the quality of his work.

There's probably something to telling your kids, "I bought it from a blog." I dunno.

Posted by: RichW at June 30, 2005 5:52 PM

I'm totally with Malcolm on this, as I've already said:

"To me, the English Cut story is not necessarily one about luxury goods. It's about celebrating 'small is beautiful.' It's about enabling an artisan whose medium is cloth. It's about handcrafted versus mass-produced. Now that's worth $3000.

It's not quite the same as witnessing the the last of the Navajo rugmakers. (They have their own sheep grazing on small farms, shorn their own wool, dye their own yarn with wild plum, sagebrush, lupine flowers, and wild walnuts among other natural ingredients). Yet it evokes a bit of that "this just might be the last generation" aura.'
(from "The Open-Ended Brand", http://evelynrodriguez.typepad.com/crossroads_dispatches/2005/06/the_openended_b.html)

I was at world-famous publicly-owned Pike Place Market in Seattle last week. And here is a bit of backgrounder from the Market Heritage Center:

"The Pike Place Market began as a place where consumers could 'meet the producer' and buy directly from farmers. These words also extend to artists and craftspeople..." and "There is a difference between a public marketplace and a shopping mall - a difference in how the marketplace functions as a social setting meeting the human need to be with others."

I think Thomas' blog in the blogosphere-as-public-market is a virtual "meet the producer" stand where we can meet and mingle with the artisan and business owner who created the product we are purchasing. I think there are plenty of Americans weary of the malling of America, and welcoming of a market feel more akin to Pike Place.

Posted by: Evelyn Rodriguez at July 1, 2005 1:03 AM

You're right Hugh, I think this is the key to Seth's book and should have featured in the title. As for its relation to English Cut, well my worldview of that is that the customers feel that it reinforces their superiority in terms of knowing what is inherently superior. It's an ego thing - like most purchases.

Posted by: john dodds at July 1, 2005 1:28 AM

"I hate those fucking Europeans" - isn't that the worldview in the US? perhaps you could emphasize the fact the great British suit is so "different from the shit those continentals wear". Position the suit as what to wear to feel effortlessly superior to Continental Europeans.

Posted by: james governor at July 1, 2005 10:50 AM

The prevailing worldview among men is that they are bored stiff. Show them how English Cut will be exciting to buy and exciting to wear. And, $3,000 is a lot less expensive than a Porsche. Don't underestimate how many men will spend $3,000 in their search for significance. Most of them have at least that much in their available credit card balance.

Posted by: Chris Busch at July 2, 2005 6:25 AM