Some Stylish Marketing with The Wardrobe
My high school basketball coach always used to say, “Look sharp. Play sharp.” On game day, we would always wear our green ties to school and that phrase was what we heard at practice the day before. That advice is even truer in everyday life. If you dress well, you’ll have more confidence — allowing you to accomplish your goals. That is exactly what The Wardrobe is helping college students do.
You can listen to the episode and read the transcription below. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, YouTube, or anywhere else you get your podcasts by searching “Creativity Killed the Cat”.
— Intro —
Hey there all you beautiful people! Welcome to the Creativity Killed the Cat podcast. My name’s Andrew Chwalik and I’m going to be helping you develop creative marketing that won’t break the bank.
Before beginning our episode, I’m going to share a fun fact because fun facts are fun. I waited to drink until I was 21 years old. It was difficult to battle all the peer pressure, but it was a value I wanted to keep. And I did!
Alright, on with the show!
Remember, I take one small business or brand and develop some creative marketing concepts that could be implemented as soon as you finish listening to this podcast. College was a ton of fun. My mom always said it would be some of the best years of my life and she was absolutely right. I met some amazing people, learned a massive amount on an array of subjects, played sports, started a business, and grew as a person. For me, business and entrepreneurship was a huge theme of my four years as an undergraduate. Actually, the company we’re going to be talking about in this episode is a college startup! Since we’re talking about college, let’s keep that topic rolling.
— Marketing Chat —
College is a phenomenal environment. I’m sure a ton of people say that, maybe even your parents used a similar phrase to encourage you to go. I’m not saying that just to say it. I’m saying it because it’s true. Sit back and think about it for a moment. When else will you be in an environment where you have a state of independence, yet protection from the real world? When else will you be able to explore a multitude of various subjects without needing to worry too much about commitment? When else will you be surrounded by thousands of peers who are working for a better life? College is such an interesting stage in life.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten all that philosophical stuff out of the way, I want to tell you a little about my college experience to help set the mood. I graduated from a high school that had 67 students in 2012. When I say 67, I don’t mean in my graduating class, I mean in the entire high school. Yeah, it was pretty small. That small school mentality carried over with me when I was looking for universities to attend. I knew I wanted a smaller school and those were the types of universities I sought out. Eventually, I ended up taking a tour of Walsh University and fell in love. We spent 4 wonderful years together. I used to tell one of my best friends that if I ever found a girl that makes me feel the way I do about Walsh, I’d know she’s the one.
While I was a student there, I got extremely active all over campus. I was in the honors program, played on the men’s soccer team, and “accidentally” signed up for 12 campus organizations during my freshman year. I was an active member in each one. As the years went by, much too quickly if you ask me, I started figuring out what my passions were due to all of the activities I was involved in. By sophomore year, I was elected student body president and was developing a business plan for my first company. My experimentation with those 12 clubs and numerous other activities helped me slowly discern where my true north was located. Servant leadership to my community and entrepreneurial creativity that helps others.
I’m telling you this story because if you decided to attend college, you have the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only to soak in incalculable knowledge from brilliant people but the opportunity to find yourself. I know that sounds a little corny, but I’m dead serious. College is the time where you don’t have to be afraid of failure because you have a massive support system to back you up. This is the time where you can try out everything under the sun to help you find your true north. Join clubs. Go to events. Meet new people. Get a mentor. Study hard. Learn your faith. Read. Make friends. Go to concerts. Explore your city. Go on dates. Pull all-nighters. Start a business. Act like a kid. Be an adult. The opportunities are endless, don’t let them pass you by.
I say all this because college is what you make it. So make it legendary. You only get a few years to make that happen. I want every person to enjoy it as much as I did. I’m also telling you this because one of my college roommates is taking this advice and living up his senior year in style.
— The Wardrobe —
Paul Robertson and I roomed together in Stein my senior of college. We knew of each other before living together but didn’t have much of a relationship. Now, I’m happy to call him one of my best friends. However, the one thing that I learned quite quickly was that Paul loves clothes. He probably had 45 shirts, 30 pairs of pants, and 20 pairs of shoes. I thought he was nuts. Extremely fashionable, but nuts.
I mentioned about finding your true north. Paul did just that when officially beginning his startup called “The Wardrobe”. It’s a platform that helps college students trade clothing they’re ready to part with for new styles. Here’s how it works. Let’s say I’m ready to change up my style just a bit. I’m ready to ditch the athletic look and go for something a little more professional. I can list my stylish athletic clothing on The Wardrobe platform. Someone might see my cool Nike pullover and want to buy it. We meet up on campus. He gets the pullover and I get paid on my Wardrobe account. Now, I can search for some professional looking attire. I find a nice blazer in my size and meet the young man on campus to make the exchange. I can pay with my Wardrobe account and now I’m looking fly in my new jacket! Pretty cool concept if you ask me.
Now that you know how The Wardrobe works, it’s time to get creative. Super creative. Because Paul has some big expansion dreams and I want to see the platform spread across the country. Plus, he’s already been doing some creative marketing on campus and around the community by chalking information about the Wardrobe. What a great idea. Now it’s my turn.
Currently, the process is managed through Instagram, which I think is a great initial strategy. Fashion brands and influencers have made Instagram what it is today. That means it’s vital to get people checking out and following the Wardrobe profile. The best way to do that? Business cards. For multiple reasons. Number one, it makes it easy for potential users. If you have a sharp looking business card with your Instagram handle prominently placed, people can simply type it in and follow in seconds. Number two, you meet so many people as an entrepreneur. You’ll be giving your elevator pitch to countless people. Craft that conversation in a way where you’re able to give them your card after you drop that last impactful line. Not only does it make you look more professional, but it will also help you better connect with potential mentors and investors. Number three, as a fashion brand, you need to have a little professional flare to show off the brand. You can do that with a great looking business card and in the way that you hand them to people. Make it seem effortless. Pull one out of your jacket pocket and act like you’re James Bond handing your number to a lovely lady. Everything you do should now be representative of your brand.
Plus, I know I reference them a lot, but Vistaprint can get you tons of business cards for cheap! They also look pretty darn good. I just printed 500 cards for my marketing agency and it only cost me $32. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.
In the fashion world, you see a large number of partnerships being formed by businesses, brands, designers, you name it. Follow that same example. Work with campus organizations that have a similar vision that revolves around fashion. One example could be to forge a partnership with the career center on Walsh’s campus and the campuses you’re looking to expand to. The career center works to prepare students for a job after school and the interviews that go along with it. As you know, interview attire is often quite fashionable. You need to look presentable if you hope to land that dream job. The Wardrobe could partner with career centers to help teach students the right type of clothing to wear to certain interviews. Maybe you could even provide deals to students in need of a tie or blazer. Actually, Walsh University’s Career Center hosts a professional attire fashion show/etiquette dinner to show students what to wear in interviews and how to act professionally in all scenarios. It’s a fun little event that you could potentially sponsor or help host. Hey, you need to look sharp if you hope to play sharp. I think my high school basketball coach actually told me that.
Since we’re talking about potential expansion opportunities, why not develop a brand ambassador program. That’s something you could start implementing right now and would be beneficial for your ambassadors and The Wardrobe. Select a few students who already have a stellar sense of fashion. Pick them to represent your brand. Give them your beautiful new business cards to hand out. Maybe provide them with a gift card to Marshalls or TJ Max. What? They have fashionable clothing at an affordable price. Bring them on your team to help promote the platform. Trial this type of program at Walsh, where you can test out a variety of different options. Once you’ve figured out the best way to manage it, then you can use it to start spreading to other campuses when the time is right. This tactic has been effective for a ton of brands, some that aren’t even college-student specific. Since you’re focusing on the student population, this will make it even more effective for The Wardrobe.
— The Wardrobe —
Boom. Paul and The Wardrobe now have some creative marketing ideas that won’t break the bank and will get even more people looking fresh in no time. And hey, with this startup, Paul now has a purpose for the massive wardrobe that he actually has. I dig it. If you want to up your fashion game and check out The Wardrobe, hop on Instagram and go to @the_wu_wardrobe, you’ll be glad you did.
— Closing —
Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for joining me on this episode of Creativity Killed the Cat! I hope you had as much fun as I did and were able to take away some creative marketing ideas that YOU can start using right now.
If you’re still stuck and need a little extra creative juice, head over to creativitykillscats.com to find some more content that will continue to get your creative gears turning. Plus, you can reach out and let me know if you want your business or brand as the theme for one of our future episodes.
Keep saving those cats. I’ll see you all on the next episode of Creativity Killed the Cat. In the meantime, if you’re in college or about to be, make sure to take full advantage of it. I personally guarantee it will be worth it.