Go behind the scenes of today's top ecommerce brands to see the strategies leading to their growth.

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Hear about Spoke’s “Fit Finder” test and other ways they’re scaling this smart menswear brand.


About this episode:

  • How Spoke has changed the buying experience for trousers
  • How a commitment to one persona drives the brand’s marketing strategy Why this brand is obsessed with tone, voice, and content


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Full Transcript


Ben Farren: My mother would tell you we sell trousers on the internet… which would be entirely accurate. We are a thread consumer e-commerce menswear brand, selling menswear with an emphases on fit, we think fit comes first, fit matters most and yet traditional retailers do a horrible job delivering on it, and we believe that we’re the digital storefront and 21st century supply chains, we can do much better.

Emily Strang: Hello, welcome to Spoke, come on in. This is where it all happens and this is Otto.

Emily Strang: So this is our customer service team, then we have our operations team that sit here.

Ben Farren: We sell clothes in two hundred sizes where most brands would offer twenty, and with that sort of granularity to deliver a much better fit to our customer.

Emily Strang: I think what’s so special about it is how utterly focused we are on what the business is, who we’re for, and why we exist. So it’s an incredibly empowering mission and it really leaves a sense of commitment to what we’re trying to do and that’s really about solving fits for all man. It’s almost transformational thing that happens when men unlock their fit and their size and it literally puts a spring in their step.

Alicia Thomas: At a high level what does your marketing strategy look like?

Emily Strang: Our marketing strategy is really driven by our commitment to this one customer and this one type of customer, this one type of personality profile, and everything is driven by content that we think he would genuinely find useful or interesting. So that has informed everything from the creative concepts that we’ve developed all the way through to the channel mix and it’s really driven by a belief in sticking to what matters to him and standing against the sort of convention of fashion brands and sort of talking loudly on channels of the safety fit, which is why we over index very consciously on our tone of voice and our written content, every social media post is slaved over in the most beautiful sense and I think that there’s the wit and the playfulness that we bring to our content really speaks to this type of customer.

Ben Farren: I think for most of our customers, hopping around in a small badly lit fitting room at department store is, you know, the inner circle of hell and so swapping that out for a digital experience actually sounds pretty good to them from the onset.

Ben Farren: Of course it raises some challenges on getting that fit and that sizing right without people being able to touch, and feel, and try things on could be a challenge. But the short answer is we’ve developed a set of online tools and messaging, specifically our fit finder, that asks you a series of questions you might only answer to like your height, and your weight and how tall and uses clever algorithms to figure out or predict what it thought in those range of sizes you might be best matched with, and we couple that with frictionless service experience, so delivery and shipping free both ways, we have a hundred day money back guarantee and all of these things lower the risk and lower the barriers of trials so that even if we don’t get it right the first time it’s a pretty painless experience iterating your way to that perfect fit, and then of course as you’ve found it you can apply it like a cookie cutter to the rest of the range and order anything else in your size reasonably expected to fit first time.

Emily Strang: Emails to us are really at the heart of everything that we do and the reason why they’re so important to us is the ability to talk to our customers from the heart is a horribly queasy expression, but we believe that so much of our base is loyal so many of our customers are interested in hearing about why we chose a wool from an Italian Mill in Milan and not Puria, why we’ve chosen a Riri hardware zip instead of going for a stainless steel. These sorts of questions are only able to be given justice to in an email format, and I think one thing I’ve been most struck by is how many people get in touch totally unprompted to tell us how much they enjoy reading our emails.

Emily Strang: It’s incredibly satisfying knowing that the tone that we’re striking with that sort of content is truly resonating and it gives us a sort of confidence that our strategy that’s built around this one man from a perspective is absolutely ringing true, so we have constant coos for our copywriter to be given a pay raise and to give that man a beer because they genuinely make him laugh and that is the ultimate reward for the content that we’re producing. So that’s a sort of relationship-building retention tool, it is of critical importance to us and we believe that if we crack the content in our emails and if we can pull together a bit of narrative and visuals that do this story justice we know that all the other channels will fall into place.

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