In 2004 LUX had two classes of service and product: ‘regular’ or ‘black label elite’. If you wanted better/faster then you bought Black Label, otherwise you got plain ol’ regular. Nothing fancy.
We advertised in magazines like everyone else.
We did OK, we would make whatever people wanted. We were pretty much for sale to the highest bidder, didn’t matter whether we liked what we were making or not.
Then in 2010, we hit the wall,
we didn’t seem to be going anywhere we liked, and were increasingly making things we just didn’t like, until eventually either we had to throw out the whole business model, or throw in the towel.
So with everything to gain we started afresh.
Step 1. Was to start treating everyone like they were a family member, or if we couldn’t manage that, at the very least like they were Kylie or George Clooney.
You get the idea. We started giving superstar service to everyone, regardless.
Clients, employees, friends we are all of us in this together.
Step 2. When you proclaim that times are tough you end up doing nothing but icky work because that’s what it's easy to sell.
So step 2 was to make only things we loved and were passionate about.
If it wasn’t 'Hell Yeah!'
then we didn't do it.
Seth Godin sums this up nicely ‘The reason you don't have to pander is that you're not in a hurry and you don't need everyone to embrace you and your work. When you focus on the weird, passionate, interesting segment of the audience, you can do extraordinary work for a few (and watch it spread) instead of starting from a place of average. Go ahead and make something for the elites. Not the elites of class or wealth, but the elites of curiosity, passion and taste. Every great thing ever created was created by and for this group.’
Step 3. We swapped our Unique Selling Point *we make things out of washable glove leather* to a unique selling package *we make amazing things for amazing people, out of amazing leather, packaged beautifully, with the best customer service team on the planet, no quibble guarantees, so lovely you’ll keep coming back over and over, we will make you love us :) , and we love working for LUX *
Step 4. We stopped all advertising, and instead focused in on maintaining and growing the clients we already had. Once we had identified this as our mission, it saved so much time and frustration. We think of our business as a community and we do work that supports that community.
And it’s worked, our special sauce ingredients of lovely leather, great quality, respect for all, do good work, make things that are beautiful, don’t worry about pleasing the masses has worked it’s magic.
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