Viral vineyard vines

Viral vineyard vines

As the Miracle clan prepared for our beach trip this week, I moved from mildly amused by the colorful new vineyard vines store in Georgetown to borderline obsessed. While I had admired the slice of Martha’s Vineyard life offered in the store since its opening and had even directed visitors staying with us to check it out, I hadn’t taken the purchase plunge myself.

Once I started buying, I couldn’t stop. Why? The store is not just about the merchandise, nor is it just about the Vineyard lifestyle (or the “Good Life” as they call it) – it’s about being a part of a great entrepreneurial dream. In the words of founding brothers Shep & Ian:

shepianties.JPG“In 1998 we started vineyard vines on Martha’s Vineyard, and we’ve been having the time of our lives ever since. We’re brothers who decided to leave corporate jobs in New York City to pursue the American Dream. With no money and little experience, we set out to make ties that represent the finer places and things life has to offer. We’re pleased to have expanded beyond the shores of the Vineyard and now offer much more than just ties”.

I can guarantee this is a critical part of their merchandising, because they tell “Our Story” across all customer touchpoints – catalog, in store, on almost every single page of their website, and even the polo short tags read “vineyard vines by shep & ian”. On the whale-life.JPG section of their website, you are transported out of e-commerce and into a robust online realm that is what vv is selling beyond clothes including:

The Dream – media clips and videos that show the brothers telling their story. A great Entrepreneur clip shows them going from $2m in sales in 2002 to $372m in 2006.

Customer Communityphotos of everyone from Violet Affleck to everyday other vv customers wearing the clothes doing everything from getting married to boating with Walter Cronkite (no kidding). You are invited to send in yours too.

Whale Tales – the stories of notable customers told with photos of them modeling their favorite vv outfits.

This is a remarkable case of a business sharing its story – not just by telling it, but inviting you to participate, meet them, come to their events, and contribute your own stories and photos as customers are also a part of “Our Story“.

I wonder how many other business I patronize also have remarkable stories that they aren’t telling? Or do they just not want to invite me in?

2 Replies to “Viral vineyard vines”

  1. I love the fact vv will also “personalize” a pattern for special events. They did a red stapler patterned bag for a Staples Corporation event a few years ago.
    They are also doing the Clemson Tiger Paws! They know how to make things special!

  2. It was so weird. I’d never heard of this company until your blog. Same day I got home in my mailbox was a newsletter from Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI. I’d been there the year before and so I guess I’m on the mailing list. Anyhow, half the newsletter was about a regatta sponsored by noneother than Vineyard Vines. It’s so weird when things like that happen.

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