Casual Male Goes Social With Branded Network Site
BoldXL.com features articles, blog posts, and videos on issues facing big and tall men, as well as fashion tips--all in a tongue-in-cheek voice that pokes fun at upscale men's fashion properties. The content is chosen to encourage larger men to comment rather than simply read. For example, a spotlight of Seat guru--a Web site devoted to rating the seats on various airlines with regards to size and comfort--garnered a number of comments where readers shared their tales of being jammed in small airplane seats.
According to Ric Della Bernarda, CMO of Casual Male Retail Group, that's precisely the kind of interaction the company is hoping for. "This is the first time we've tied traditional e-commerce with social media marketing," Della Bernarda said. "We'll be testing to see if there are other kinds of functionality we need to add, like the ability to create profiles, but for now, we're seeing promising levels of interaction."
When asked why the company chose to launch its own site as opposed to going through an established network like Facebook or MySpace, Della Bernarda said that the interactive team, which manages Casual Male Retail Group's five other sites, saw BoldXL as a more direct conduit to increasing online sales.
"There are a lot of options in the space like YouTube, Facebook, and many others, but they all have different back-end functionalities," Della Bernarda said. "We thought that this was a good way to combine traditional branding and social networking, and tie it directly to our online marketplace." BoldXL visitors can access a plethora of big and tall apparel from brands like Ecko, Calvin Klein, and Casual Male XL's private labels through links to ShopBoldXL.com.