Manned Rocket

With a little gender rebranding, this boutique really took off.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes to brand effectively, you have to change targets. Even if the market is a smaller one, the payoffs can be huge.

Before

Stephanie Shearer, 32, opened her Denver boutique, Soul Haus, in 1999 to focus on young, hip fashion for men and women, with a breadth of labels typically found only in New York and Los Angeles. But Shearer soon discovered that too many women were browsers, not buyers. The female shopper seemed to be on the prowl for the perfect outfit at the perfect price. Men, however, had different needs: Price was less a consideration than style.

During

Shearer started tracking the conversion rate of browsers into buyers by gender. She also watched her street to determine the demographics of passersby. It soon became clear that men not only dominated her Capitol Hill location, but were also strong shoppers.

Going against the axiom that women's fashion drives retail, Shearer closed Soul Haus in July 2001 and reopened it in August as a shop for men. She added distinctly male touches to the décor and began stocking boxer shorts, shoes and other accessories to dress her clientele from head to toe. Service became a driving force, with alterations completed in an hour and merchandise hand-delivered.

After

In the first four months after Shearer decided to redesign the company to focus solely on men's apparel, sales at her store increased 25 percent. It just goes to show that, even in retail, one size doesn't fit all.


Elizabeth J. Goodgold is CEO/chief nuancer of The Nuancing Group, a brand consulting firm in San Diego, and author of the monthly newsletter Duh! Marketing.

Contact Source

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Are you paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.

Latest on Entrepreneur