Social Media Case Study: Graham Withers Clothing Company


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Social Media Case Study: Graham Withers Clothing Company

  1. 1. Maeve EggersDecember 22, 2011Graham Withers Clothing Companyand Social MediaGraham Withers is a Brooklyn-based men’s clothing company specializing in hand-crafted neckties, bowties and pocket squares. In the four years since co-foundersDave Roma and Paul Hanan started the company, they have enjoyed severalsuccesses that Dave attributes largely to social media. “Since developing our onlinepresence, we’ve been getting a lot more press and write-ups from bloggers as wellas wholesale inquiries from retailers.”Graham Withers has an active presence on many platforms and a small, engagedaudience that they are looking to expand.BackgroundDave and Paul started the company in early 2008, initially handmaking ties duringnon-business hours in a whipped cream factory on Long Island. Paul, who works atthe family-owned whipped cream factory, and Dave, who works as a web developerat a NYC ad agency, are longtime skateboarding buddies. Their involvement in theNew York skateboarding community has played a large role in the development ofGraham Withers.Skaters were the duo’s initial market. Graham Withers began by selling their ties tofriends, and later at local markets and events in Brooklyn. Several skaters woreGraham Withers ties in skateboarding videos and people outside of Paul and Dave’scircle started to take notice, leaving comments on video posts and photos askingwhere they could get Graham Withers ties.Once they noticed a growing demand, Dave created a Graham Withers websitewhere people could order merchandise. The website links to the Graham WithersTumblr blog where Dave and Paul post regularly.By 2010, demand for Graham Withers products exceeded the supply Dave and Paulcould produce themselves. They found a NYC manufacturer, an industry veteranwho works with some big names in the men’s fashion industry, to take overproducing their line.Social Media Marketing
  2. 2. Because of the skateboarding scene’s overlap with the art, music and fashionindustries, Paul and Dave already knew photographers and filmmakers happy tohelp produce marketing content and bloggers eager to disseminate it.Friend, fellow skateboarder and filmmaker Richard Quintero shot and producedmany videos for Graham Withers which have been successful in terms of socialsharing, including a commercial for their 2011 Summer line. Several blogs repostedthe commercial including (one guy in the video is shown brieflydrinking a Guinness). While they post their videos on their website and across thesocial media platforms they use, Dave and Paul have decided against creating aYouTube brand page. “It’s important to us that the people that work with us alsobenefit from the relationship,” Dave explains, “so we are trying to push people to ourwebsite but also to Richard Quintero’s Vimeo page.”The partners consider Graham Withers a lifestyle brand and they’ve been usingsocial media mainly to build their brand image. Dave maintains the Graham WithersFacebook page and Paul handles the Twitter account where they post about thingsthat interest them as well as new product information. They are active onInstagram, sharing photos of skateboarders, other menswear brands they like, andplaces of interest in Brooklyn.Graham Withers consider Twitter and Tumblr to be the most successful platformsfor them, with Twitter followers doubling in the last 12 months and Tumblrfollowers, reblogs and interactions increasing every day. Facebook has been theleast beneficial in terms of user interaction, but Graham Withers feels it is animportant platform for developing the brand’s personality. “Facebook allows us toconnect to our personal Facebook pages which increases our exposure, and featureslike photo albums cultivate the brands image.” They continue to regularly updatecontent on the Graham Withers Facebook page as well as use their personalFacebook pages to post updates about Graham Withers.How can Graham Withers use social media to increase brand awareness andengagement? Should they concentrate efforts on increasing user engagement onFacebook or focus on continuing to grow the platforms that have already provensuccessful for them? Should different platforms be used to accomplish differentbrand and marketing goals?
  3. 3. Website