For those unfamiliar with Buck Mason, it is a men’s brand of clothing that is only 5 years old. It focuses on quality and classic styles, a concept which is gradually but consistently catching on. It can be seen in brick and mortar stores, a startup of seven total, but also has the requisite e-commerce presence on the Internet. Though it is commonplace for new businesses in competitive industries such as men’s clothing to take a brash and bold approach to marketing, Buck Mason is bucking the trend and using what most people would consider to be old fashioned approaches to grow its business.
As a matter of statistics, word of mouth advertising is among the best and most reliable forms of advertising. And this is the method the company is currently using to attract new customers. If you are looking for an eye-catching logo or some type of flashy advertising campaign, you won’t find it with Buck Mason. In fact, their clothing line is reflective of their marketing approach (or the other way around). The colors are subdued, the styles somewhat plain, and their line of clothing has often been compared to going to The Gap.
Their entire product line has about 60 total products, but what has allowed Buck Mason to grow is by recognizing customer buying trends. Those trends have pointed to people wanting to buy durable fabrics over throwaway material, choosing longevity over style. In the long run, the extra money spent on quality will result in getting more for your dollar. It also might be the current trend of people becoming more environmentally economical by not having to throw away as much.
But the clothing is only part of the attraction. It is no secret that customer service is key to any successful business, so what Buck Mason’s founders have done is to create brick and mortar stores with an environment and ambiance that is just as relaxed as their clothing lines and expansion plans. While in pursuit of perfection when it comes to the quality of their clothing, they also understand that customer trust is essential for creating repeat business. Instead of trying to immediately sell many things to many people, they are seeking to grow their customer base through communicating stability.
One thing that is important to know about Buck Mason is their original business wasn’t making clothes but just selling them. They sold combo packages of t-shirts and jeans, but when their supplier couldn’t keep up with the demand they moved over to the manufacturing end. It has been said that the line of clothing offered by the Buck Mason founders amounts to what is basically their dream closet. This is actually very traditional advice, that if you want to start your own business look at what you like and what you buy – and duplicate it.
The growth of the business holds true to what is commonly known as the American Classic style. The niche is really not a niche, but a recognition of the American man returning to a clothing line that reflects the essence of a man – simple, something that doesn’t require much thought, yet looks good for most occasions. Apparently they have hit a sweet spot in combining quality with affordability.
Buck Mason is moving forward with a critical perception of the modern consumer – that today’s consumers are much smarter about the clothing they buy than ever before. They use an odd term, “cost effective” to describe the consumer mindset. It is much like buying a tool for your toolkit. It is not about whether the tool will do the job, but how effective is it to suit the purpose and how long will it last.
Though this comparison is in an entirely different industry, their approach it akin to what Steve Jobs did to make Apple what it was when creating the Macintosh. The people who were on the team said that Jobs was never happy with the number of steps it took to perform a specific function. If the user had to do four steps, Jobs said it needed to be cut to two. It was harder for the designers, but better for the user.
Buck Mason continues to use a similar approach in the design and manufacturing of its clothing line. An extra stitch means extra money, and a slightly longer manufacturing time. All these small things add up to increase the cost of manufacturing that will be passed on to the consumer. So perfection is process equates to a reduced cost for the buyer. In some ways it can be viewed as a minimalist approach to men’s clothing, but so far the approach has worked.