By  on September 26, 2007

After correcting product issues and doubling its sales since 2003, August Silk is ready to promote its product again with its first ad campaign in almost five years.

The better knit resource, which industry sources estimate to bring in more than $70 million in wholesale volume, is spending 3 percent of its sales on a marketing campaign that swaps traditional print ads for mall kiosks, cooperative advertising with retailers and a new Web site.

"It's not going to be how many pages we are going to take in Vogue," said Don Horning, president and chief executive officer of August Silk. "For our product and our ultimate customer, we are looking for innovative ways to use our limited marketing dollars to strengthen and build the momentum we have."

Designed by Pulse Creative LLC, the "as" campaign, which features fall and holiday tops, will run from September through December on kiosks at about 25 select malls nationwideThe ads feature a woman wearing an August Silk top, often set against fantasy-like, elegant backgrounds.

Ads will also be featured in limited print, like Playbill magazine, which "lays around the ultimate user's home a lot longer than the typical monthly magazine," according to Horning. In-store appearances and other cooperative advertising will make up a chunk of the spending.

The firm just launched, which does not offer e-commerce, but informs consumers about product offerings and retail partners. "Customers have less time and want more information," said Horning. "The thing most frustrating is to go to the store and not find it, so we try to make the shopping experience easier for the ultimate consumer, by showing them our products and connecting them to retailers who carry the product."

Horning said the campaign is a crowning effort to turning around the brand, which had "a difficult period" in 2003 and 2004. "Everybody got too focused on price and cheapened the quality of the yarns — had we stayed on that road we would be out of business," Horning said. "We earned this the old-fashioned way by hard work, focusing first on the product, because there's nothing more important than quality product. Our prices haven't really changed, but we put a lot more quality and perceived value — we figured out on the back side how to get it done."As the company has doubled its sales from that period, improved sell-through performance in its more than 1,000 department store doors and added sportswear to the lineup, August Silk finally is ready to promote itself again this fall.

"Because our product is finally right, we want to reposition ourselves with the ultimate consumer and validate our strength," Horning said.

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