Men’s socks are not the most glamorous, exciting or fashion-forward pieces of apparel to talk about, but there is one company in the industry, GOLDTOE, which I believe other companies, in and out of the apparel industry, can learn from, especially as it relates to product marketing.
A few days ago, I needed to buy a couple of pairs of navy and black dress socks, so I went to a nearby department store and found my way to the GOLDTOE display rack. While searching through the various styles, I found the one I wanted, and on the package of navy socks I noticed a small hang tag which read, “True-Blue ID — Tell Navy From Black.” How brilliant. How simple.
For some reason, I have a hard time telling the difference between navy and black dress socks of the same style, and I would often have to spend some time near a bright light or window comparing the two and trying to decipher one from the other. Now, with an ingenious grey stripe sewn into the toe of the navy socks (the True-Blue ID), all I have to do is look for the stripe and presto, I can tell navy from black.
What I love about this form of product marketing and innovation (yes, innovation, because I’m not aware of any other dress sock manufacturer that does this) is that it doesn’t take the form of digital technology, mobile technology, social media, big data, content, in-bound, or any other modern-day marketing buzzword, phrase or trend. Instead, it’s a simple stitch of thread that makes the difference and helps set GOLDTOE a part from the competition.
I can only imagine that GOLDTOE realized the need for the True-Blue ID by simply opening itself up to feedback and comments from loyal customers and fans, and this is what I believe more companies, B2C and B2B, need to do. By welcoming, encouraging and listening to customer feedback, comments and even outright complaints, I believe companies can find their next product innovation, feature and/or capability and, in doing so, they can more effectively differentiate themselves in the marketplace.