Everlane: A Case Study

March 26, 2018

I would like to start this post with a disclaimer. Everyone I know will attest to the fact that I am a huge Everlane fan. Therefore, I am somewhat biased when I say this:

Everlane is doing some of the best marketing out there right now.

A company founded on transparency, Everlane makes ethical clothing at a pretty killer price point. And 2018 has been the retail brand’s best year yet. After opening their first permanent retail location in New York this winter — a store I’ve been told still has lines out the door on the weekends — Everlane just launched their first line of underwear.

Now, I know a “first line of underwear” might not sound like a big deal. And it totally shouldn’t. But for some reason, I’m REALLY excited. And all my friends are, too. So, I got to thinking: What is Everlane doing that has my basic demographic of human anxiously awaiting every single product launch? I work in marketing and know exactly when I’m being sold to, but for some reason when it comes to Everlane, I fall for it every single time.

So, let’s dig in and see just what they are doing right. Other retail brands: Listen up.

Make every launch the launch of the century. 
When Everlane launched jeans earlier this year I was more excited than when I graduated from college. I wish I was kidding.

Most brands launch a bunch of new products every season with ads that basically say, “Hey! It’s fall, check out 100 new things in our store!” Everlane doesn’t do that. Sure, they introduce new products throughout the year, but they make a point to launch specific new items with tons of fanfare — teasing their fans with wait lists, sending emails about how the products were made, and telling everyone on their mailing list exactly why they should be extremely excited to part ways with their money.

This is smart for a few reasons. Rather than spreading excitement that can be lost over a whole bunch of items, Everlane educates their fans about why they should be invested in every piece they purchase. For example, when they launched their jeans they showcased the factories they were made in, and highlighted their efforts to conserve water during production. This not only makes people excited for the specific product launch, but it also educates consumers on Everlane’s larger commitment to sustainability, which makes you feel good about buying more from them.

 

Add a human touch.
I am fairly certain I could pick half of Everlane’s employees out of a lineup. The brand does a great job of using their social channels to give you a peek behind the curtain, allowing their followers to better understand their culture and the people that make up their brand.

They use Instagram Stories to educate followers about their brand, holding weekly “Transparency Tuesday” sessions where followers can ask questions that various employees will answer. They also do a great job of using social to give fans sneak peeks at upcoming launches.

I visited Everlane’s offices the last time I was in San Francisco, and it was basically a walking billboard for their company. Everyone was in head to toe Everlane. It’s obvious their employees love the brand, and it shows through in everything they do.

Let influencers help.
Highly followed Instagrammers were among the first to receive Everlane’s new underwear, and boy were they excited. I saw more than a few of my favorite Instagrammers giddily open their (beautiful) packages, and share the news about the launch with their followers in the week leading up to the launch. Sending personalized packages like this not only gives Everlane tons of free(ish) publicity, but also helps to create a network of loyal fans that will likely be willing to share other new releases in the future.

The brand also does a great job of broadcasting influencers and celebs wearing their clothing, resharing photos on their social channels, and even doing retargeting of articles that detail that Everlane bag that Meghan Markle was carrying around, or Angelina Jolie’s favorite Everlane shoes.

Make friends with your customers.
This is by no means revolutionary, but every time I mention Everlane on social, they respond right away. And they don’t stop there. Everlane is currently in the process of (maybe/hopefully) opening more retail locations across the country, and rather than just blindly popping up in what they believe to be a trendy neighborhood, they personally reached out to fans in those cities to ask where they think would be the best fit. Even if they don’t listen to me, what way to make me feel valued.

P.S. to my employer reading this blog post: I’m not moving to New York.

Make a good product.
At the end of the day, even great marketing can’t make up for a bad product. Investing in quality materials, and making sure you’re educating your fans about every choice you make can help create a loyal army who are more than willing to open their wallets to buy your goods.

Seriously, their shoes/coats/jeans/shirts are amazing. Check them out. (See, they’ve brainwashed me!)