To: Katrina Lake, Founder and CEO of Stitch Fix

Dear Katrina,

Watching Stitch Fix scale, fueled by a modest amount of venture capital and a major dose of revenue, has been exciting—and rare. You’ve built a real business that merges the best of shopping, styling and personalization to solve actual customer needs.

But now as a public company with a big business, the next stage of growth presents its own challenges. With many other competitive services in the market, shoppers have numerous options to turn to, and only the best will acquire and retain these customers for the years to come.

While your advertising costs are rising as you position the business for the next level, there is more Stitch Fix can do to stand out from the pack and prove to customers that the company really gets them—more so than any other styling service out there.

Here’s one idea about how to do it:

Launch The Prophecy Campaign and StyleProphet by Stitch Fix.

Steve Jobs’ famous quote, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them,” has powered an entire generation of entrepreneurs to build services and products that they believe fulfill an unrealized demand. Often times, what the entrepreneur thinks is demand does not exist in reality. Stitch Fix, on the other hand, continues to solve the real problem of matching the right style to the right person.

Even so, people don’t always know what they want or like. Stitch Fix, with its endless tables of data on each customer, is working to remedy this. Because the company, in many instances, knows more about its customers than the customers know about themselves, Stitch Fix has an untapped opportunity to put this at the forefront of its messaging. Marketing that focuses on data-driven insights and intimacy with customer preferences and needs would attract new customers and prove to current ones that your service is the fashion fortune teller everyone wishes they already had.

Here’s how it could work:

  • First, you could launch “The Prophecy Campaign,” aimed at retaining existing Stitch Fix users and attracting new ones. The first iteration of the campaign would be public and based on you and your fellow executives’ evolving styles. It would showcase how even the creators of Stitch Fix did not know as much as they thought they did about their preferences before the service, and that working with their stylists has given them a better grasp of their ever-evolving fashion needs.
  • This public campaign could translate into a second, private email marketing version, which would send each customer a personalized email cross-referencing what they thought they liked with which Stitch Fix-recommended styles actually took hold. Each narrative would remind customers that Stitch Fix is helping evolve their style in unexpected—and prophetic—ways. For instance, maybe over the course of a Stitch Fix subscription, a customer who wore skinny jeans out of habit now knows she prefers a straight cut. Importantly, this would be a one-to-one campaign; all personal data would stay entirely private and customer information would remain uncompromised.

These marketing campaigns could even morph into a more permanent conversation with existing and potential customers. You could release a new, free product called the StyleProphet by Stitch Fix that allows people to take a short quiz that answers questions such as “Which handbag are you?” or “Which winter coat are you?” in a BuzzFeed-like format.

At the end of the quiz, a player that winds up with a red Kate Spade bag would automatically be referred to five Stitch Fix-recommended purses that are all available at the click of a link, which would generate leads for the flagship service. The quizzes would not only help you gather more data on what’s trending in real time, but also act as a-top-of-the-funnel tool for attracting new customers.

Right now, you have the opportunity to further differentiate Stitch Fix’s services from the herd, while driving urgency and relevance for the company and increasing customer lifetime value. It all starts with showing how transformational Stitch Fix is for its current and potential customers.

This is one idea among many that would take Stitch Fix’s business to the next level. Let me know if you would like to hear more.

Richie Siegel
Founder and CEO
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