The E.L.B.D has been a project slowly bubbling away ever since I first founded G&G in October 2014.
The past two years have been invaluable market research; I've been able to speak to hundreds of women about what they really want from their wardrobes.
I’ve touched on why and how the E.L.B.D came about in previous blog posts, as well as as our slightly unorthodox decision to fund it via Kickstarter, and now I’m keen to share some of our key learnings from the whole experience.
It is safe to say that this adventure has been a learning curve; we’ve pushed ourselves hard to offer something new and innovative to the oversaturated market of women’s clothing but it has been an incredible experience and one that I would definitely recommend to others.
If anyone has any questions on the whole shebang, do feel free to drop me an email.
Timing is everything, and was probably the most difficult part of the project to manage. Video production always takes longer than anticipated; although we eventually made our pitch video in-house, we spent a lot of time talking to different production teams and haggling with editors. We'd originally scheduled our production to commence in August, but the Italian mill we'd chosen to work with unexpectedly closed for the entire month, throwing a slight spanner in the works, to say the least! Because the cloth was so unique we had no choice but to wait until they re-opened a month later. All these set-backs were ironed out with some careful planning, but for future projects we'll be allowing even more time for unexpected, uncontrollable 'acts of God' and I would advise others - especially those working in niche, specialist industries - to do the same.
2. Social Media
This one goes without saying, so I won’t dwell too heavily on it. But create a buzz; shout about your campaign. We based our social media posts around the different E.L.B.D looks we had created, teasing one out each day rather than releasing everything in one go.
Facebook ads were fantastic too, especially as they allow you to monitor the reach and impact of your posts, so we really got a feel for what made engaging content, and what drove pledges.
This may not be true for every Kickstarter campaign, but our best backers were our existing customers. Out of our 79 backers, 32 were existing customers, and we knew a good handful more.
There are two important lessons here: firstly, treat your customers right, and secondly, don’t be afraid to leverage your network. We had been slightly worried that our customers wouldn’t appreciate hearing from us more that usual. But if anything, they appreciated the involvement and felt touched to have been included in making part of G&G’s future.
And Finally... The E.L.B.D in 2017
As 2016, and this very exciting project draws to a close, we are looking forward to the year ahead and what it has in store. Savile Row quality and fit meet G&G class and elegance in the E.L.B.D and we are very proud to bring it to the market.
We’ve reached international markets (we had several pledgers from L.A., Malaysia, Denmark and Greece), as well as being able to offer something new to existing customers. As the E.L.B.D is a dress for every woman, every day and for pretty much every season, we are looking forward to taking it into 2017 and dressing women around the world.
We heard the need for beautiful basics with a ‘bespoke’ twist and answered; in 2017 we’ll be looking to reinvent more wardrobe classics with this unique 'measure-yourself' element.