We had four pages in that catalog, starting with a double page spread and then two additional pages, as we all became poster kids for Lands End. This was also the start of my reputation as "Embroidery Boy". I put the logo on everything!
Our ad agency, Kalmar Ad Marketing, came up with a great campaign, "Hot Stuff". It was young, hip and featured a series of incredible images by some of the finest artists in photography at the time. We wanted to put the "Hot Stuff" logo on shirts for trade shows, but had a serious time constraint.
We sent the artwork to Lands End on a Monday, had the stitched proof by Wednesday morning, approved the order by the end of the day and had our shirts ahead of schedule, in time for whatever convention we were all working at the time. The service was incredible and I sent a letter thanking their president.
Lands End loved our story so much that a week later they had a photographer contact us to schedule a shoot at the next convention, which I think was WPPI. We had no idea what they were going to do or how they would feature us, but the exposure was remarkable. Not only was Hasselblad in a few million catalogs, but they tied in the logo on a picture of the shirt in a black and white newspaper campaign which ran nationally. They even tied us into the copy.
From that day forward, I've never used another company for corporate logos. Lands End has never let me down. While mistakes have occasionally happened, their sense of customer service and quality is outstanding. No arguments, immediate resolution and not once in all these years has a rep ever said to me, "I'll have to check with my supervisor." Each rep has the power to resolve problems and make decisions.
Just a fun sidebar story. My son was just a few years out of college and relatively new to the business world. He was working with a client in Boston who was considering logo-wear for the company's employees. In a casual conversation he asked Adam, "Know anything about Lands End corporate wear?" He handed my son the catalog and Adam replied, "Yeah, my Dad's company uses them all the time. Let me find the shirts he made up...Hey, there's my Dad!" It was the new catalog and he had never seen the spread.
So there are few points this morning that tie back to the story...
- Build your reputation on great service. It's a key ingredient to developing a strong brand.
- Always work to exceed customer expectations.
- Make yourself habit-forming!
- Say "Thanks" when a vendor truly goes out of their way for you. You never know how showing appreciation might help you down the road.
- Always handle customer service challenges quickly and in one conversation whenever you can.
Happy Throwback Thursday everybody!