*This is the second in my monthly series, Local Marketing Masters Spotlight, where I highlight local businesses that are doing something really cool with their marketing. If you have suggestions for my next one, please contact me!*
When you’re a college freshman, trying to carve a new place for yourself in the world, working to establish your own style, dressing well is a must. So you might just fool yourself into thinking that you need to spend every last dollar of your already miserly paycheck on brand new Buckle jeans and American Eagle tank tops. News flash: Not. Necessary. Why? Thanks to local stores like:
How I Heard
I must admit, when I first heard of Threads, I was (like I mentioned) a college freshman, skeptical of “secondhand clothes.” Someone else’s wardrobe? Why would I pay money for that? However, a year or so after graduation I started attending networking events in the St. Cloud area, and I met a local retail shop owner: Kim. She had just started an (adorable) boutique called Evelie Blu Boutique that I had recently become obsessed with, so when I met her I wasted no time in singing my praises.
That was when I found out that she was also the owner of Threads. As I got to know her and her other store better I thought, I should really give Threads a try, since I love Evelie Blu so much. Turns out, it was a great decision. Ahh, the power of networking.
Who they are
This high-end, well organized store buys your gently used name brand clothes and resells them. Not really a revolutionary concept, but at Threads, it’s done really, really well. The clothes they take in are high-quality – they aren’t just some teen’s cleaned out bottom drawer of faded, overused articles. So it’s entirely possible that clothes you buy at Threads will last just as long as brand new pieces you might buy elsewhere. Which. Is. Awesome.
Threads will purchase your gently used, fashionable clothing items and then resell them at an affordable price. You can either opt to be paid in cash, or to be paid in store credit and get 20% more back for your items. They also have a prom dress resale program that I totally wish had been around when I was of prom age, where you can sell your old prom dresses on consignment through the store.
What they do well
- Threads excels at being relevant. When your target audience is college-aged women interested in affordable fashion, you have to make sure your messaging is in line with theirs. That’s where their social media skills come in. With posts like #OOTW (outfit of the week), #reThread (where they copy a celeb’s outfit with clothes from the store), and #NewMerchMonday (highlighting new items they’ve recently gotten in), fashionable young women can’t help but follow. So relevant.
- They know their target audience is
cheap. Let me rephrase, they know
their target audience is budget-conscious. So they make it easy to fine more ways to save. They have a punch card program to receive awards as you spend money at Threads. It keeps you coming back, and reminds you that they appreciate and want to reward you for your loyalty.
- Threads knows how to reach their audience where they are – and does so in a non-intrusive fashion. They could easily send out an email daily, or even weekly – but that’s not the case. Instead, emails only come maybe twice a month, and each time I WILL read it. I always think to myself: “Are there deals in here? There must be, because they don’t send these that often.”
<<<< For example, this email right here caused me to go into Threads that day and buy a pair of pants for $3 (not to mention 2 tops and a skirt that were not on sale…)
- On top of all the marketing and advertising techniques that I love, the girls who work there are what really keep me coming back. Friendly, fashionable and extremely helpful, I look forwards to walking in the door. Whether it’s helping me piece together an outfit or chatting with me about which dress I look better in, they never disappoint me with their customer service.
What it (likely) cost them
If one thing is true with effective marketing, it’s that often it takes more time than money to really be successful. Such it the case with Threads. Their social media presence makes that evident. It takes time to put together outfits from the store, to find celebrity outfits to compare to, and to actually go out and post these items on the various social channels they use. Combine that with the printing of their loyalty cards and writing/designing & using email (which I discovered is through Constant Contact) and you’re looking at maybe $1,000 – $2,000 a year. The real value of their marketing lies in dedicated, knowledgeable employees who live and breathe the Threads brand and promise. That doesn’t have a price tag.
Threads Resale Boutique is proof that businesses can be successful on a limited marketing budget, and that’s just one of the reasons I love them. I am a bargain hunter at heart, so places like Threads are near and dear to me. As a loyal fan, I will continue to look forwards to social media posts, rack up my loyalty card punches, and get excited over email offers.