We have a retail store in the middle of Melbourne, but it’s not in a high-traffic retail location. It sits amongst a collection of skyrises that house law offices, accountancy firms and financial institutions. The thinking at the time was that by being close to our target market – ‘men in tall buildings’ – we’d be in prime position to attract them. The reality is these men don’t have enough time to stop in to do some suit shopping, or in our case discover a brand that has something different to offer. They prefer to do their shopping when it fits in with their schedule (on the weekends or online). Consequently, while there is plenty of walk-by traffic, very little of it actually walks in. Furthermore, we don’t open late nights or weekends because that particular part of the city empties out.
So there are a few challenges. But to make it work, we have to try things. Our first range doesn’t arrive until July/August (the lead time for manufacturing tailored clothing is around 6 months), so we have an 8 week window to use the store to test our ideas. For some background, the product in store right now is made up of 4 seasons worth of old stock – much of it doesn’t go together and it’s not quite right for the target market. As a guiding principle, we felt that the idea of Kit could only work if we were comfortable selling the product to our friends, so we’re hamstrung until next season arrives. In the mean time, we’ve picked out a small range from what’s in store that goes together, allowing us to simulate what our range will be like.
Our first attempt is to express what a 5 day wardrobe can do. But what’s a 5 day wardrobe? Well, it’s ten items from Kit that have been designed to go together: a suit, 5 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, a sports jacket and a raincoat. With these ten items you can get 25 different combinations, removing the everyday challenge of finding an outfit that matches.
So we set up a corner of the store in which we used mannequins and a small wardrobe to demonstrate the ten items, as well as five different outfits they provide. We printed two posters and stuck them on the wall – one with just images, the other with words explaining the 5 day wardrobe. We then put a decal on the front window with another 5 mannequins, a wardrobe and an explanation of the 5 day wardrobe.
Test, fail, learn is how we’re treating this. This is the first iteration. We’ll get some feedback, make some changes and refine the message. The goal is to find a hook that makes guys get the idea immediately. We’re not there yet, but this is progress.