How Cubitts nailed their branding

Cubitts has more than 100,000 loyal customers and their frames are worn by the likes of Madonna and Helena Bonham Carter. So, how did Tom Broughton do it? The short answer: trying things out and following paths that felt right.

How Cubitts got people talking

Cubitts founder Tom Broughton knew nothing about marketing in 2013.

Now, Cubitts has more than 100,000 loyal customers and their frames are worn by the likes of Madonna and Helena Bonham Carter.

So, how did he do it? The short answer: trying things out and following paths that felt right.

Here are some of our favourite things he learnt along the way:

1. Find the strategies that work for you.

When Cubitts started investing in Google and Facebook, they didn’t see the returns they’d expected.

Why? They have a longer purchase cycle.

Most of Cubitts’ customers don’t convert in 28 days. Some hear about the brand, forget about them, then seek them out years later when they need a pair of glasses.

So, Cubitts switched up their marketing, focusing on long terms wins and repeat purchases.

Nowadays, they don’t chase short term performance metrics. They’ve built a memorable brand, crafting strong messages that leave a lasting impression so consumers come back when they are ready to purchase.

2. Make the most of customer service

Service is remembered long after price is forgotten . For Cubitts, after-sale care has helped them hit a Net Promoter Score of 88 and encourage repeat business.

Once you buy a pair of Cubitts specs, you’ll get free repairs, free lense changes (in case your prescription changes) and a yearly rehab service which includes cleaning, polishing and re-hinging.

Customers are also treated to a new cleaning cloth, designed by an up-and-coming artist, every six months, helping to build an attachment to the brand. Cubitts’ first cloth design was based on the saying  “spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch,” so as a bonus it got people talking too!

Think about what happens after your customers buy. How can you continue to delight them?

3. Weave meaning into even the smallest of details

Each pair of Cubitts specs features a butterfly rivet. This important design element was invented by one of the Cubitts brothers more than 100 years ago.

The symbol is immortalised in the ground around King’s Cross, where it was used to hold together the granite blocks which supported cranes working in the area. It symbolises longevity and is a unique way to feed Cubitts’ brand story into the product.

Not many people know the story behind the rivet. But when someone does find out, usually their reaction is, “That’s really cool!” and feel compelled to tell someone about it.

4. Make the customer experience unique

Cubitts’ shops work because they show off their brand values at every touchpoint.

They have designed how their customers are greeted, how their stores smell, what the lighting is like, how the products are displayed, and so on.

They then track their success with a marketing funnel, starting by counting how many people are in the area (awareness). Then, they track how many people come into the store (consideration) and finally, how many people buy (conversion).

Find the channels that allow you to showcase your brand. And don’t be afraid to come up with your own ways to measure its success.

5. Use your product to generate PR

Ever heard of a pair of glasses made out of potatoes or put together using hair? The answer is probably no.

Cubitts 3.png

Cubitts has made specs out of potatoes and hair, have grown frames out of mushrooms and have gathered materials to make glasses from the banks of the Thames. Customers loved these weird ideas and it’s a great way of gaining press.

The key to doing this well is authenticity. Don’t do strange things for the sake of being quirky, but find meaningful, fun ways of showing something different.

If you’d like to hear more of Tom’s fab marketing learnings, check out the full chat here.

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