Why we had to start another factory.

Two years ago we started Hiut Denim Co. It’s reason to exist is to get the town making jeans again.

A little context

My home Town used to have Britain’s biggest jeans factory. It made 35,000 pairs of jeans every week for 3-4 decades employing 400 people. That’s a lot of jeans. And also, a lot of skill.

Then in 2001 the factory closed. It had fought the battle of who could be the cheapest. And it had lost. We will never win that battle again. Harsh. But true.

But we decided 4 decades worth of skill and knowledge shouldn’t go to waste. But this time, we will fight a different battle. We will fight a battle based on quality and ideas.

The Hiut Denim Co was born to get the town making jeans again. That is its reason to exist. Its purpose.

Your purpose as a company gives you strength to fight the battle that lie ahead.
So the dream is get everyone their jobs back. It is not the job of dreams to be sensible or logical. It is the job of dreams to be nigh on fucking impossible. To scare the holy shit out of you. To push you beyond what common sense says you can do. That’s the job of dreams.

I feel like a fraud here saying that we are going to get 388 people their jobs back because I don’t know if it is indeed possible. Have you ever told someone what you are going to do, and even as you say it, still be full of doubts as to whether you can. That’s what I am feeling right now.

The reality is our coffee budget is bigger than our marketing budget.

That is why we had to start a second factory?

In order to afford the finest labour and use the best materials, our business will have to sell direct to our customer. Mostly. Of course, we will always supply some of best independent denim shops in the world, but this won’t be how we make our money. But it will help to get the word out.

So our website is very important to us. And when you don’t change your style of jeans that often, you have to give reasons to your customers to remember you.

It took us a while to figure this one out, but along with a ‘Jeans Factory’ we have to start another factory. A ‘Content Factory’. To give our customers a reason to come back and say hello.

The internet has changed the world. It has levelled the playing field for the small guy. There are many tools to tell the world we are here now. They are very powerful. And very free. But, also, available to everyone else. So we have to learn how to use these tools well. Or die.

There are just two of us in the ‘Content Factory’. James joined us from ‘The Bowls Club’. That is not some posh name for a design company, but rather the name for the, well, ‘The Bowls Club’. He was the barman. And he was bored. Bored is good. He won’t want to go back there. Not once he has been to interesting.

So, the two of us, know what we have to do. We know that it our job to make films, to take pictures, to write blogs, to share great stuff. In a busy world, our competition is this: People are just busy. To grab their attention, we have to remember a simple rule: Be interesting.

We are very much in learning mode at the ‘Content factory’.

And, we haven’t even started some of the campaigns we have been working on for Vine, Instagram and Pinterest yet. We know we have to make great films, and that is being worked on too. We have tons to learn. But we feel we have learnt a ton just in the last 12 weeks. Who knows what we will learn in the next 12 weeks?

These are some insights learnt. So far.

Twitter

It isn’t about how many followers you have, but how engaged the ones you have are. Engagement is the thing that matters most.

Key Insights:

Write. Good. Shit.

Share. Good. Shit.

Google+

Our job is to be found. Google+ helps us get found. Being ‘Searchable’ matters. Google will never drop search.

Be searchable. Google+ helps you do this.

Instagram.

Beautiful photos work. Beautiful photos plus ideas works best. Good writing helps a good photo. No doubt.

It’s all about us.

Pinterest.

Use your eye, and your good taste to find things that connect with your customer.

It’s all about you.

Vine.

6 seconds to tell your story can be a very long time if its dull.

Be funny. Or, even better, be funny as hell. Or die quick.

Newsletters.

Put time into them. Find great stuff. And share it. No one likes a friend who just talks about himself.

Give. Give. Give. Don’t just Sell, Sell, Sell.

Medium.

It’s insanely easy to use, and the most beautiful writing platform to share your ideas. Want to big on Medium, start early. Start today. The people who get on the train first, get a seat.

Write long. Write good.

Analogue.

Digital needs analogue. Print is not dead. Cheap print is dead. Great print is having the time of its life.

Don’t do lots. Just do amazing.

Like I said, we are learning at the ‘Content Factory’. Vertical learning curve. We are not experts. Although James can pull a good pint.
But we are in the stadium fighting each day to get people’s attention. To tell them we are here. And we make a great pair of jeans in our other factory.