Mizzen+Main Thinks Men Need More Friends

It's kind of lonely being a guy. Mizzen+Main reports that just 30% of men say they've recently shared their feelings with a friend, and only 25% tell their friends, "I love you."

With a campaign called "Bring Back Male Friendships," Mizzen+Main wants to help men bond -- and look better while doing so. Bethany Muths, chief marketing officer of the Dallas-based company, tells Retail Insider about the effort.

Retail Insider: Many men know that they are not great at maintaining friendships. What made you think this would be a good activation right now?

Bethany Muths: The undercurrent of our brand is that we're for the serious guy who doesn't take himself too seriously. And we're always promoting that mentality. This started with the guys in our office talking about making a campaign about spending summers relaxing with family and friends. And then it kicked in. They're all saying, "Wait, what does that look like? Because I'm kind of lacking in male friends." And we started researching it and found lots of conversations about this, especially coming out of the pandemic. Friendship is very relevant.



Retail Insider: How are you bringing it to life?

Muths: We kicked off with the Mizzen+Main Bro-Am, asking people to tell us about their planned golf trips. We've got about 4,000 guys participating, so we're sending them all swag.

And the campaign itself, which we created in-house, leans heavily into camaraderie. And while we used some models, some of the people in the shoot work for us and are genuinely good friends with each other.

There's also a microsite, and people can take a quiz about friendship.

Retail Insider: What are your expectations for the campaign?

Muths: We want to drive revenue, of course. But I also hope that someone viewing this campaign who may not know about the company will say, "This brand gets me." And once they make a purchase, they'll see that our clothes make them feel confident and comfortable.

Retail Insider: How do you describe the brand to people who haven't seen your clothes?

Muths: We're known for our performance fabrics that make people say, "I feel great when I wear this." We make great products and have lots of repeat purchases.

Retail Insider: How do you balance your D2C efforts with your growing retail presence?

Muths: We started over a decade ago at pop-up events. And physical stores make sense. Our shirts are stretchy, super comfortable and move with you. So it's important for the guy to touch and feel the product. That's difficult with ecommerce. So we've always believed in an omnichannel approach, and much of our success comes from wholesale relationships with stores like Dillard's and Nordstrom.

We're growing rapidly. We just opened our seventh store today, and plan to add four more this year. Our ecomm business is growing nicely, too.

Retail Insider: Who do you consider your main competitor?

Muths: The one I hear most often would be Peter Millar.

It's a great lifestyle brand. I would like to think we infuse a little bit more personality in our clothes, but they are our most direct competitor.

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