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Lessons from the Best Hoodie in the World

Huddle up. Story time. Lessons to be learned.

The entrepreneur, Bayard Winthrop (bet he's a descendent from those Mayflower Winthrops; they loved America too!), called the Editor of Slate Magazine back in 2012 to say he'd created the Hammacher Schlemmer (as in best of) sweatshirt, and to add fabulous to great, it was totally made in America. He sent him one.

Bemused, Farhad Manjoo ran the story, and two years and the opening of four new factories to meet the demand later, American Giant is truly the Jolly Green Giant of sweatshirts that even come in the color green.

A few things of note. They are $89 dollars, not cheap, cheap, cheap at all. You still have to wait a few months to get one after you order it. They are fabulous; they are form fitting; they are made of great cotton. In short their sweatshirt is a great product.

Many of you have great products and services. They are in the 'best of' category for sure.

You take out ads. You do social media. But when we ask you how many we can send out for free, you balk a bit. Bayard understood you have to create your own pr. Here are some things we think he did right.

  • He targeted Slate. Why? Don't know, but we can assume it was because he felt that the editor would recognize that the demographics of his readership would like hoodies. Nice one.

  • His product was not ordinary. When he said it was the best hoodie ever made, he believed it was. It had things that set it apart from the other hoodies out there. What about your product sets it apart?

  • He surely didn't do that one call only. Not every one sent out brought the viral return Slate did, BUT nothing ventured, nothing gained, and you have to keep at it to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Know the demos for what you sell. Then see who can elevate you to those demographics. Four new factories in America created by one Slate article. Extraordinary.

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