Lately, Naadam co-founder Matt Scanlan has been juggling leading three fashion brands — on top of being CEO of his 6-year-old cashmere brand, he’s the CEO of Thakoon and the interim CEO of Something Navy — and making regular appearances on QVC.
For someone who’s easily distracted unless he has a lot of work in front of him, selling stuff on TV is a good outlet. “If you’re an instant-gratification person like I am, I don’t think there’s anything better than this,” Scanlan said on the Glossy Podcast.
It also plays into his strategy of selling Naadam’s sustainable cashmere products across as many channels as possible. Beyond TV, “that means online, working with multi-brand retailers and having your own storefront or collaborating with others,” Scanlan said. He plans to have eight brick-and-mortar Naadam stores by the end of 2020.
Scanlan talked about the marketing value of sustainability, the draw to work with recent Glossy Podcast guest Thakoon Panichgul and the guerrilla marketing campaign that got attention from the police.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation, lightly edited for clarity.
Becoming a QVC convert
“QVC’s amazing. Don’t knock it until you try it. Such a powerhouse! The largest demographic is slightly older. Naadam’s core online audience is probably somewhere between 25 and 35, and this audience probably picks up at around 30, 30-plus. And they have big audiences in areas of the country where traditionally our brand hasn’t been represented, and that’s incredibly valuable. I’m putting Naadam and our product in its full form in front of millions and millions of eyeballs.”
Selling everywhere there’s a buyer
“Brands need to exist everywhere all at once for a consumer. That means online, working with multi-brand retailers and having your own storefront or collaborating with others. We are definitely planning to scale that retail channel out. We just opened a store in Hudson Yards. We’re planning another five stores for next year to bring us up to eight by the end of 2020.”
Millennials want sustainable products that much more
“When Naadam first started, and I would tell people, ‘I’m starting a sustainable sweater company,’ a lot of older people told me, ‘That’s stupid. No one cares about sustainability. What does it cost?’ Most people wanted me to talk about price and product and not talk about the sustainability thing. And I was confident that if it mattered to me, it was going to matter to a lot of other people. I don’t think I’m unique as a consumer, I think I’m a really average Joe consumer. So my intuition is that a lot of the things I like and are normal to me are also normal to 90 million other millennial shoppers in the United States, regardless of socioeconomic circumstance or location.”
“If you shopped a $75 black sweater in September and you live in New York City, you are a cohort and you have thousands of other people we bucketed you with, so we can market to you specifically, so that we can either support repurchase behaviors or continue to speak to you the way you’re responding to. You get a series of marketing touch points that play to that psychology and that kind of purchase behavior — everything from digital advertisements to emails to what the website will look like. Everything we do is AB tested and everything has multiple versions of it for different customers. Years ago, I knew this was where it needed to go; we just didn’t have enough information. This is what the data should be for, right?”