How Skinny Tie Madness grew year on year sales by 15%

Written by Martin Lucas

Skinny Tie Madness (STM) is an eCommerce business based in the United States who produce skinny ties, bow ties and accessories. They have been running since 2012.

STM contacted us because they wanted a growth strategy to drive more repeat business whilst growing their social media with a view to finding new customers.

The USA has a GDP growth of less than 2%. eCommerce as way of shopping is growing at 6.8% per annum. We generated 15% year on year revenue growth.

Our Approach

Research:  We used our ‘Gap in the Matrix’ method to understand opportunities the marketplace would be more receptive to and identify where the competition was missing out. Consider that every marketplace is a matrix of behaviours, words, images, engagement, the things you do, the things you don’t (and the same for the competition). Our methodology is to hunt the gaps and find the solutions; it works really well and you can judge that for yourself. Gap in the Matrix can be a very literal thing when it comes to the algorithms of social media platforms; Instagram has a particular open mathematic set up, so we looked for the terms that were appealing but had light traffic, similar to SEO strategic work, seeking the low hanging fruit.

Planning: We then took this insight and worked on it using our ‘Science of Decision Making’ invention, which is where you can understand why someone would buy a product and, in the case of fashion, what time of day they are more open to this. Time is key; you are less likely to want to buy a tie at 7:15am vs, say, underwear. Equally, there are moments over the weekend that would surprise you about buyers’ behaviours. It’s all about mindset.

Execution: The final step was to create the Four Pillars of Communication; these are four statements using behavioural science with the ultimate goal being that employees in any role at Skinny Tie Madness can use the pillars to keep them on point for the design, the voice, the words they write and processes they create. An example:

The best designs, biggest range of cool, on trend & on time.

Ties are led by your ego; you want to look good and feel good yet this is often an unconscious thought. We designed campaigns for STM using this pillar and as a reminder that we were representing a brand that cares about what it produces and isn’t shy in saying so.

Our Actions

Once we had the concepts down, we got to have fun using <Creative Science>. Our understanding of Creative Science means we’re very good at distilling down words, concepts, and imagery to create human-led campaigns. Off the back of this, we then create examples to test and show our team and off we go to build cool stuff like the below:

For social media, not everything is about the business and its product; it’s also about the essence you offer. In the case of Skinny Tie Madness, they represent that ‘feel good, look good’ moment, so we campaigned on exactly that. For example:


We also had some fun with the tie names as a giving season campaign:


And in newsletters and social we used GIFs - which I freakin’ love; retailing a story in six seconds - love it! This was from our Early Bird Black Friday campaign:


Our goal with social was quality. We grew all accounts with Instagram 5.1% which is above average and also reflective of a static growth level for the previous two years before we got involved.

Regarding newsletters, see below a screenshot from Mailchimp. The red line shows industry average open rates. The light blue line shows our results.


I prefer to be honest and as you can see, we didn’t quite get the brand voice and imagery exactly right at the start, which is represented by the huge peaks and troughs. We worked hard to test and refine these, and once we nailed these, we are consistently 2-3 times above the market average!

We also built automation funnels for new sign ups and new customers which have been well received with a fantastic average of over 50% open rates. The key to all of this is mindset and the practical science that makes up decision-making in the mind. You can check more of HOW we do it and the 12 disciplines here.

We continue to support Skinny Tie Madness and this is what their CEO, Parth Sharma had to say:

“I had spoken to so many agencies, I was kind of done, it took me speaking to a non-agency and these people who talked more about science and people than followers and posts for me to try them out. We haven’t looked back, appreciate they don’t bore me with science, they just make growth happen and I can focus on other things.”