British lingerie brand Something Wicked offer customers evocative and provocative product ranges, while proudly flaunting their ‘made in Britain’ credentials.
Managing Partner Steff McGrath talks about the brand, masks, connecting with customers, events and distribution channels in this brief but all-encompassing chat.
BRIAN GRAY: Something Wicked is a relatively new brand, starting in 2013. What led up to your appointment as Managing Partner and what were your immediate marketing challenges to be addressed when sitting down at your new desk?
STEFF McGRATH: I came on board at the end of last year to head up the brand. I had always loved the product and the brand, and the opportunity arose to get involved. It has had a complete change in management structure, new investment and a new website. My first priority when I came onboard was to ensure everything was spot on in terms of production. All our products are handmade from start to finish in-house, and the fact that we are a British made brand is something that is really important to me. It was important to make sure we were ready for trade and able to upscale when necessary.
As you’ll well know, there’s no shortage of lingerie brands for consumers to choose from. Why should people buy something wicked from…er…Something Wicked ?
At Something Wicked, we believe in exploring the real you. The passionate, seductive, devilish you. The you that not everyone gets to see. We bring together the finest quality materials with sumptuous design to create the most exquisite and exclusive lingerie, so you can continue to explore your true nature.
We realise that in life we wear different masks. One for the boardroom, one for drinks with friends… We conform to standards set by others and hide our true nature. But no one wants to conform all the time.
We allow people to be their true selves. To be Something Wicked.
What characteristics do Something Wicked customers share?
What buyer personas have you created?
We have identified customers that are often successful and confident, they lead fast-paced, ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyles. They can come from many walks of life but something that unites them is the need for release, release from their fast-paced lives, release from the everyday, release from what’s expected of them. There is a side to all of our customers that not everyone gets to see. When they can lay themselves bare and be themselves, their true selves… and it’s for those moments and experiences that Something Wicked exists.
What three adjectives would you want your customers to associate with your brand?
Powerful. Seductive. Confident.
A well-positioned company seeks to ‘own’ one word in the minds of consumers (i.e. Volvo and ‘safety’). What would be yours?
The old adage still holds true that ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ Talk us through your marketing planning process. Also, how long does it normally take? How far ahead do your marketing plans cover?
Our process begins by taking a look at the wider market and other brands out there to ensure we can say something that is both differentiated and unique from the competition.
We also looked at our own brand to understand what we can say and how we can talk and act.
Once we have a really good idea of both of these areas, we need to look at the most important part which is making our brand relevant to the customers. We delve into their lives to discover what they really want to see and hear from a brand. This is where we connect on a more meaningful level with people rather than just on our products.
Typically our communication plan has a 12 month view relating to activity and budget focus, with detailed plans on a monthly basis.
A few months ago you attended the Dessous London lingerie trade event. What were your impressions of it and how beneficial was it to your company?
It was a great event, not only a good venue and location, but a good mix of people through the door. It came at the perfect time for us, as we were ready to reintroduce the brand to trade. We met a great combination of buyers, bloggers, and other brands, and have secured several trade orders from being at the show.
What has been your personal highlight so far with your involvement with the brand, and why?
It was really exciting to develop the shoppable videos that we have on our website. Not only was the shoot itself an unforgettable experience (there was cake everywhere!), but to be able to produce the videos with their unique technology behind them was amazing! They bring our collections to life perfectly and allow our customers to interact with the brand. They simply choose what they want to be – whether that’s powerful or playful, dominant or revealing, and a shoppable video to match their mindset or mood will play for them.
Good marketing is important for any company, not only to thrive but just to survive. What have been your key marketing learning points and observations so far?
The distribution channels used are important; we are more than just a B2C brand and must also consider B2B.
It’s about more than just creating beautiful products, we must connect with customers on a deeper level and identify with them as a brand.
A lot of brands talk about what people want to be or what people should be and we didn’t want to be one of them. We want people to be their true selves.
What has been your biggest marketing challenge so far, and what steps are you taking / have taken to overcome it?
When we began to look at the brand, we found that we had one of the best stories of quality, luxury and craftsmanship out there however when we looked at the wider market, we realised that the story of luxury and quality was already being told by many of other brands. We therefore knew that we had to connect with our customers on a deeper level.
By really getting under the skin of our customers we were able to develop a deep and vast understanding of them and the way they live their lives. We discovered that these highly driven, ambitious people needed a time to explore their inner nature instead of trying to be something they are not naturally… and we can facilitate that with beautifully made lingerie with a dark twist.
And what does the next twelve months hold in store for Something Wicked?
More international trade shows, gaining a presence in new territories, and a new collection in the pipeline!
Thanks Steff, and the very best of British (seems rather apt saying that) to you in your endeavours!
ARE YOU AN AMBITIOUS, MARKETING-LED, COMPANY IN THE SEX TOY, LINGERIE, FETISHWEAR AND EQUIPMENT OR DATING / EVENTS SECTORS?
If you’d like to be interviewed about your entrepreneurial journey and associated marketing issues that will be interesting to the Lascivious Marketing web fraternity, then get in touch!
Until next time!