Meet Jack Wills, the lifestyle brand for cool and chic university students, launched in 1999 by Peter Williams and Robert Shaw in Devon. Their brand oozes British culture and heritage with a modern twist. They have more than forty stores across UK and Ireland, with nine of those stores in Central London and have recently launched in America, Asia and the Middle East.
In twelve years, this brand has become a household name amongst the preppy and Sloane university crowd, with 2011 profits at £10million. What can we learn from this uber~ cool brand?
a) KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE The Jack Wills brand targets affluent school and university students in the sixteen to twenty-four age demographic and hence many of its stores can be found in university towns and seaside resorts, near where their target audience is located.
b) BE UNIQUE The brand has a very unique identifiable logo of a pheasant with a top hat and walking stick. This logo is well recognized as the Jack Wills logo.
c) UNIQUE ADVERTISING STRATEGY Jack Wills did not use conventional advertising but instead relied on word of mouth viral marketing. At the start, they implemented a successful product placement strategy within their target audience.
Their most notable event is the Jack Wills Varsity Polo, which invites young people to engage with the brand and there are other great events like organized ski trips in the French Alps for university students.
d) MAKE THE MOST OF THE “BRITISHNESS OF THE BRAND” With the UK pretty much secure, the Jack Wills brand has been easing its way into America, Asia and the Middle East, sticking to its core audience and playing on it’s British heritage and culture in these markets.
e) USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE The Jack Wills website also has a whole area dedicated to the “Seasonnaires”. All the Seasonnaires are constantly tweeting about how great their summer is and as more customers join in, it is clear that Jack Wills has used Social Media in a very clever way to create a brand community. They have over 450,000 Facebook Likes and one-hundred thousand Twitter fans.With Twitter increasingly becoming a customer service tool, Jack Wills has a dedicated team of employees monitoring followers’ tweets and responding to questions. It is believed that Jack Wills get hundreds of mentions a day on twitter.