While the pandemic caused many proverbial doors of opportunity to close, other doors were pushed open. That was the case for Talia Handler, CMO of men’s basics brand Mack Weldon. Handler, who most recently worked as an e-commerce strategy consultant at TikTok, jumped from the agency side of marketing to her new position at 10-year-old Mack Weldon in May 2021.
“We benefited from working from home — from people who want to be comfortable, but still look great,” said Handler of the digital-first brand’s latest campaign, on the Glossy Podcast. “It has been amazing to see that growth over the past few months with our new integrated campaign and our more integrated go-to-market approach.”
The TV-centric campaign Handler was referring to was centered on “the expression ‘buy some time’ [and also] what we now call our Daily Wear System, which is the sum of all the parts of everything that we make that works together,” she said. Since its launch in 2011, the brand has expanded it product line from underwear to T-shirts, socks and sweatpants that together “produce radically efficient wardrobing,” Handler said.
For Handler, taking on a new role at the company during the pandemic carried more benefits than not, including engaging with its “amazing brand fans,” she said. “We bring in our customers not to help us design a product, but to help us perfect it for the uses that they want to apply it towards,” said Handler.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Joining the Mack Weldon team
“For me, there were two key things. [First was] passion. Mack Weldon is in a special place in its brand’s trajectory, where everyone involved still has [their] heart and skin in the game for many reasons. Then the other was the [situation] where there is this amazing brand and products, and amazing brand fans… But it needed more brand fans to be a part of its next stage, going from an amazing performance marketing brand to a truly global integrated brand. It’s a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity. My time at TikTok was [about] seeing what was happening in e-commerce, DTC, retail and mid-market spaces, and seeing all the shifts. I [thought] I could bring a lot to the table there, not only with my integrated marketing experience, but also my most recent media platform experience. It seemed like a perfect time to dive in.”
Customer loyalty, advocacy and engagement
“Once guys lock in, they stick with us. We see [that] in … engagement with our Weldon Blue loyalty program and in engagement [with] our marketing emails; people respond to them. Many of our communications are signed by [people on] our customer experience team, and people write back and say, ‘Hey Maurice, thanks so much. I just got these shorts. I love this color.’ For us, from a loyalty perspective, [it’s about asking], How do we build upon the loyalty that we have and harness their advocacy? [How do we] give our customers the tools they need to share their experiences in a way that’s natural for them?”
A 360-degree approach
“TV takes the most money out of your budget still, in this day and age… As we think about every single point in the marketing funnel, from TV and all the way down … [we want] everyone to walk away and understand who Mack Weldon is. It’s going back to the fact that people who know us love us, but we’re still quite unknown. We’ll start, over time, to see how those integrated marketing efforts are building our bottom line in the short term and helping to keep customers more engaged and [learn] more about us. And we can start to track that over time, to prove and also respond to that long-term change in customer sentiment.”