To: Scott Sternberg, Founder of Entireworld

Dear Scott,

I followed Band of Outsiders since the beginning—seeing it end when and how it did was unfortunate to say the least, but it’s great to see you’re back on your feet with Entireworld.

Building a traditional basics brand today is a somewhat futile quest, riddled with endless products and price deflation. The way to make it work, then, is to build a basics brand by not building a basics brand. The current manifestation of Entireworld reflects this counterintuitive strategy, but something is still missing.

Products are the vehicle to realize the brand, but they are not the end themselves. Entireworld’s price points are much more democratic than Band’s, but what are you going to do with this democratization? Answering this question will further differentiate your brand and put it on a path to scale without the heavy investment that most other direct-to-consumer and digitally-native brands require.

The digitally-native direct-to-consumer playbook is not always easy, especially compared to wholesale. It requires building an audience from scratch, and relying on press or celebrity placements isn’t enough—that’s just marketing. But Entireworld can take advantage of its direct connection to customers, building a network that goes beyond community—a place where customers are exchanging value and creating a true dialogue that responds to and interacts with your own manifesto. Creating this mechanism is what sets leading brands apart from the herd.

Here’s one idea about how to do it.

Launch myEntireworld.

In your launch video, you spoke about the concept of utopia, and what it means to you. This concept, however, means something different to each person. Your brand has the opportunity to use its products as a vehicle to capture, catalog and build on the infinite manifestations of utopia, all of which will feed into a shared idyllic, and ever-evolving experience called Entireworld.

Here’s how it could work. Each purchase comes with a card that asks the buyer to think of where the product—cozy socks or a white t-shirt—fits into her utopia. The shopper can submit her answer—either as physical mail, text, video or another form of media—which Entireworld can both display online on product pages and on brand-wide mood boards. Perhaps the white t-shirt reminds one customer of the first time she saw James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Or, maybe her new pair of socks are meant to replace a long line of mismatched pairs, lost on laundry day.

This accomplishes a few important things:

  • It gives you a wealth of customer feedback and language to learn from and use to market your products. Customers talking about how products impact or enrich their lives is the best sales tool a brand could ask for.
  • All of this commentary would then fuel mood boards, collections and products for Entireworld, creating the ultimate feedback loop that is only possible as a direct-to-consumer brand.
  • Soliciting this feedback will then encourage customers to share experiences organically—you could even make a template to facilitate sharing on Instagram—further spreading the brand and its products.

You have the ability to strike the perfect balance between a brand with a point of view and one that is constantly in flux and reactive to the point of view of its customers—something few brands, if any, have been able to achieve. This would create the global language you spoke about at launch—your products would be the vehicle that inspires and carries the language. It gives meaning to a commodity, which is what you set out to do in the first place.

This is just one idea among many that would ensure Entireworld capitalizes on the promises outlined in your manifesto. Let me know if you would like to hear more.

Richie Siegel
Founder and Lead Analyst
Loose Threads

P.S. Please, please get rid of the automatic discounts for new users when they sign up for an email. You’re introducing promotionality when no one asked for it, which is impossible to undo (remember your wholesale days!). Your price points are democratic enough that you can be a full-price brand—and a full-price utopia.