Nav Salimian is the Head of Marketing for Claudio Lugli—a family-run clothing brand that’s gone from being a struggling High Street shop to a global e-commerce brand that’s thriving as an online retailer. Since going digital, the vibrant statement shirts have become a big hit in celebrity circles and the global brand now boasts over 20,000 followers on Instagram. Here, Salimian shares what he’s learned from building his dad’s brand from the ground up.
Be open to change
Claudio Lugli is a rebellious, invasive brand. We’re very different from the norm and we’re trying to make a statement.
We supply our shirts to stores via wholesale, as well as loads of different stockists across men’s and women’s wear. That being said, a shift to digital had to take place in order for our business to grow. My dad once had seven stores, but one day I overheard my parents saying that they might close their final shop. It just wasn’t financially viable after 25 years.
My dad firmly believes in the High Street brick and mortar stores that give his customers the opportunity to touch and feel the garments, to receive personal customer service, and to meet the designers one-on-one. But people aren’t going into brick and mortar stores anymore; they’re mainly purchasing online. For him, it was a risk to take Claudio Lugli online, but I believed in the brand and knew it was the only way to stay competitive, and he believed in me.
Embrace social media
During my time working for a music management company, I’ve developed a keen sense of understanding what’s popular with younger crowds. There are these sub-community groups on Facebook that I’m a part of and one of them is called The Basement. It’s a community where you can share anything from the latest sneaker releases to concert tickets. It inspired me to create a group called Spotted in Claudio where I invited our customers to come and be part of our conversation. It’s growing and now it’s 900 members deep. I keep an eye on it and listen to what our customers are saying.
Give your customers what they want
On Facebook we’ll ask, “What would you like to see in the up-and-coming Claudio collection?” Someone might respond, “I want to see multi-coloured guitars”, “I want to see this particular car”, or “Would you do an animal kingdom print of dragonflies and wizards?”. It really could be anything. Not every idea is going to cut it, but we listen and follow through. The flying pheasant shirt, the multi-coloured horses…these are all based on the trade shows we’ve been to, and the customers we’ve met there. Having an active dialogue with your clientele is important and we want to ensure our customers are always getting what they want.
Don’t be afraid to invest in advertising
There are so many digital platforms and different campaigns that you could potentially run, but to us, it was really about finding a partner that we could trust and depend on to drive real results. AdRoll has been that partner to us for two years now. We rely on them to improve results, to show success, and for good communication with my account manager.
You can’t feel scared and unsure about where your money is going. I’ve spent a lot with Facebook and sometimes have questioned whether it was money well-spent. But you just have to hone in on one thing, test it, and take it from there.
Trust the process
Everything will take time. Results will not appear very quickly with prospecting—it could take up to 30 days for the other person to be involved in your funnel, then retargeted, and then eventually make that purchase. Patience is a virtue; you have to trust the process.
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