Close
 

Free leggings: Clever marketing tactic or sneaky practice?

  • Opinion
  • October 27, 2016
  • Fiona Kerr
Free leggings: Clever marketing tactic or sneaky practice?

Not many people know about this, but I recently took a leave of absence from shopping.

Shock horror!

I decided that for the (long) month of September, I wouldn’t buy any material possessions – no bags, shoes, scarves (and I saw a really nice one at Seed), beauty products, jewellery or accessories. Nothing. Nada. No matter what sale/discount/special was thrown at me, I was determined to stay the course and not succumb to temptation. Funnily enough, I kept going and lasted until halfway through October! So basically, it was like doing Lent. I gave up shopping pleasures for 40 days.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s how I found myself with a free pair of leggings.

Let me explain. I was flicking through Facebook, and came across an advert that was offering leggings for free. That’s right – a product for free, all I needed to do was pay the shipping fee. Shipping was calculated at US$34 and I clicked ‘Buy’. After all, I was simply paying shipping and getting the leggings for free!

Obviously out of practice, I neglected to factor in the exchange rate and NZ$50 popped up on my credit card.

I really hadn’t meant to spend $50 on leggings from The Girlfriend Collective. I was still on my hippy/free love/damn possessions high from not shopping for 40 days … and afterwards, I felt a little bit tricked into the purchase.

The advertising proclaimed them “The best pair of leggings you’ll ever own”, with messaging that included “Your favourite leggings are here”. The company clearly has a vision to develop high performance clothing with an ethical/green angle, as the leggings are made from a custom fabric created from post-consumer recycled water bottles. The output is a fabric that is roughly 79 percent recycled micro polyester and 21 percent spandex. The micro-denier polyester yarn provides wicking capabilities (meaning you can keep cool when hot and warm in colder situations) and the spandex allows for a snug fit to your body shape for compression benefits. This recycled fabric is then blended with a new fabric called ‘Tite Tech’, which is soft and smooth on both the inside and outside of fabric. It prevents pilling, and is completely opaque.

The company’s founder, Ellie Dinh has said that the offer was born from an idea that "instead of going the status quo and giving more money over to the advertising companies, we decided to spend that money giving leggings to our customers and asking them to spread the word for us." In essence they are creating an army of brand fans from the word go that will spread the brand message and drive word-of-mouth recommendations. After all women like to talk about stuff, and they love talking about getting a bargain.

The Girlfriend Collective has a code of ethics that they adhere to in all their business practices. They are certified fair trade, and follow standardised guidelines to protect the integrity of workers’ conditions and wages. The company is based out of Seattle but the factory is located in Vietnam, so the cost of the shipping is via UPS couriers. They helpfully point out in their FAQ section on the website, that (obviously) the further away you live the more shipping will be. The average cost is US$22 for a package to the States, so US$34 seems about right for a NZ delivery. They even have a UPS calculator available so you can see that there’s either no mark up or a limited mark up on the shipping.

This offer only applies to the first batch of leggings. Pre-orders will be collected and dispatched for arrival in early December, and once they get up and running with multiple clothing options they won’t necessarily be employing this pricing strategy. As a risk guarantee, they also have online tracking available BUT you cannot return the pre-order purchase of your leggings. 

So – clever tactic or sneaky practice?

Well, I can’t confirm 100 percent as I won’t get the actual leggings until December (I hate delayed satisfaction, I’m a consumer damn it!) I hope they are everything the company claims – high quality, functional and better for the environment.

But I can say that I find the concept intriguing. What a great way to encourage a trial! Again and again the concept of trialling products comes up in my discussions with clients – how do we get consumers to try our product or service? How do we get them to switch? How can we “break” market leader preference? The common belief is that consumers are exposed to over 5,000 ads and brands per day. So why wouldn’t you want to stand out from the crowd?

In fact, it’s imperative that you do - we're past the age of information and we're into the age of experience. Sampling practices have been employed for a number of years, but this idea flips it on its head. The Girlfriend Collective are putting their money where their proverbial mouth is. It’s not a new strategy for manufacturers, but certainly not the usual route: “Hey consumer. Have our product for free – just pay the delivery cost” does seem to give some weight to the proposition.

And the benefit is I (could) get an awesome pair of leggings for only NZ$50.

All I know is that:

  1. It got my attention and cut through the clutter (Facebook is chock-a-block full of clutter.)
  2. I completely buy into the brand’s proposition of sustainability and ethical practices.
  3. It made me break my no-shopping fast and I’ve told a lot of people about the offer and the brand.

I’ll wait with bated breath for the package to be delivered. To be continued ….

If you can’t wait to find out – check out this review.


This column was originally published on Kerr's LinkedIn blog

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Bonnie Brown’s Blooming ‘Brella: Winner of the Blunt + Idealog + Generator umbrella experiment

  • News
  • May 25, 2018
  • Elly Strang
Bonnie Brown’s Blooming ‘Brella: Winner of the Blunt + Idealog + Generator umbrella experiment

The grand winner of the Blunt + Idealog + Generator umbrella experiment has been announced – congratulations to Bonnie Brown of Studio Bon, who will see her design turned into a limited edition Blunt umbrella. Watch this space for details on how to buy one in the near future, or get your pre-order in now. In the meantime, we chat with Brown and have a closer look at her winning design.

Read more
 
 

Save money or save values?

  • Opinion
  • May 25, 2018
  • Courtney Devereux
Save money or save values?

As the next generation become top spenders, it is up to them to communicate their values to the market. Below you’ll find examples of local, ethical, mindful and sustainable retailers to support, well also upgrading your wardrobe.

Read more
 
 

#Trending: Shop to showroom

  • News
  • May 25, 2018
  • Sarah Pollok
#Trending: Shop to showroom

Stores are starting to display only sample products are on the rise. Sarah Pollok looks into the new showroom experience hitting our retailers.

Read more
 
topics
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 
 
 

Debunking diversity myths surrounding hiring practises

  • Opinion
  • May 24, 2018
  • Rose Lu
Debunking diversity myths surrounding hiring practises

Flick Electric software engineer Rose Lu has often been the sole woman or sole non-white person in the room in her career, and recently assisted with Flick's hiring process for new engineers. Here, she shares some key learnings on how to hire for diversity – and how to get around the obstacles that often pop up.

Read more
 
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita@tangiblemedia.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}