If there’s one piece of clothing most guys don’t like thinking about, it’s their underwear.
Does anyone really want to research new underwear styles, fabrics, fit, and price? Wouldn’t you rather find great underwear you like so you can buy it over and over again without thinking about it?
Mack Weldon, a men’s apparel company that sells “smart underwear for smart guys,” seems to think so.
Over the past few years the company has been trying not just to advance the comfort and performance of men’s underwear but also to simplify buying it, says Brian Berger, founder and CEO.
Berger’s main contention is that, when guys find a new style of underwear they like, it’s often replaced or changed. That’s because most underwear is sold through third-party retailers, like department stores, that want to keep merchandise fresh. To make sure retailers are happy, according to Berger, “brands have to constantly introduce new products into that channel.”
But that’s counterintuitive to how people actually shop for underwear. “What customers want,” says Berger, “is to know you’re getting what you got last time — what you’re comfortable with, what worked.”
Creating a better fit
Mack Weldon believes in perfecting the product and giving consumers an easy way to keep buying it. With that goal in mind, Berger recruited a top team from apparel brands, such as Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour. His designers looked at some common flaws in men’s underwear and attempted to solve for them.
So Mack Weldon boxer briefs, for example, have waistbands inspired by cycling shorts, so they won’t curl over. Undershirts have longer tails and higher armholes, so they won’t untuck when the wearer bends over. And dress socks can also go with casual shoes, for guys who fall somewhere between business and casual outside the office. Mack Weldon even integrated silver filaments into the fabric to reduce microbial activity.
“We’re the first lifestyle brand to blend silver with cotton,” says Berger. “It keeps you cool and dry, and you can blend it with something like cotton and have something that feels very natural, and not synthetic, but still has great performance action.”
Berger says that, more and more, consumers want to know the story behind the product. “If you’re just someone trying to find a better mousetrap,” says Berger, “it stops for you at ‘this is more comfortable.’ But a lot of guys want to know about the details. They want to read the back stories and know about fit, fabric, and functionality.”
Perfecting the customer experience
Because Mack Weldon is trying to achieve perfection, the products go through rigorous testing and design iterations before they hit the market.
Once the products are ready, Mack Weldon sells direct to consumers through a customer experience that was created from scratch. It’s based on three things:
- A pricing model that never offers sales but gives discounts based on volume.
- Direct-to-consumer sales that eliminate having to please retailers.
- A high-functioning product that offers consistency and innovation.
This strategy is working. Mack Weldon’s data shows customers are returning after their first purchases and buying more. And while about half of the company’s sales come from underwear, t-shirts, and socks, a newer line of sweats are growing as customers learn that they can get a better product more easily — each and every season.
And maybe, it could be enough to get them to really care about their underwear.
This post is sponsored by Mack Weldon.