How to Market a $1,500 Pair of Socks
How do you sell a $1,500 pair of socks?
- Market them during one of the coldest, snowiest winters in history.
- Make them from a difficult-to-find material. In this case, the material is Cervelt, the down of a New Zealand red deer, which boasts only one advantage over cashmere: It is scarce in the high-end sock market.
- Stock a limited amount.
- Tell everyone that the item is "the most exclusive sock in the world."
While this all sounds far-fetched, it is exactly what Harry's of London did—and as far as we know, it has worked. The socks are not sold out yet, but it has only been a month. Much like Kanye's $120 T-shirt, they are sure to sell out by the end of winter. Who doesn't want a pair of socks that is dry-clean-only and worth about 500 pairs of normal socks (i.e. an entire promotional program)?
The luxury retail market (socks, or otherwise) offers lessons in upselling and price markup. In sales, it is easy to compromise your asking price to gain a client, but it is not worth it. You don't want to trick your clients into spending too much, but you do want to show them that the products and creative ideas you offer have value. To get access to your promotional know-how, they need to spend money. You are the Cervelt to their cold feet. When you look at it that way, you are offering them a huge bargain. 500 pairs of socks for their consumers are way better than one pair of machine-wash-non-friendly dress socks.