Remaining Close to your Customers

Dec 07, 2004

By John Hennessy

Business 2.0’s Nov. issue has an article about Marc Ecko, the founder of Ecko Unlimited. This former graffiti artist and seller of hand painted T-shirts started a clothing line 11 years ago. The company currently does $400 million in Ecko branded fashions, gets $600 million from licensing revenue and another $110 million for a line of Ecko-designed clothing for rapper 50 Cent.

Despite growing his company to a billion in sales, he knows he has to stay close to his customers. If there is a movie opening on a Friday night in a suburban mall, he has to be there. According to Mr. Ecko, “The minute you pay someone else to do that and report back is the minute you lost touch.”

Mr. Ecko believes that the point of sale is where people make the emotional connection that leads to purchase.

Moderator’s Comment: What are you doing to remain relevant with your customers? How close are you to your customers?

I had not heard of Marc Ecko before this article. Two things caught my attention:

  1. Mr. Ecko understands the importance of staying connected with his customers in order to remain relevant, and;
  2. How he used this approach to build a billion dollar business in 11 years.

Time spent with shoppers is time well spent. If you’re not willing to demonstrate loyalty to your shoppers by taking the time to understand their preferences,
someone else will invest the time and, like Marc Ecko, reap the rewards.

John Hennessy – Moderator

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