When MIT students Aman Advani, Gihan Amarasiriwardena and Kit Hickey saw a need for comfortable yet professional-looking business wear, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to create their prototype men’s Apollo dress shirt. Inspired by athletic wear and NASA fabrics, the dress shirt was stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating.
“Success on Kickstarter proved that there was demand for our product,” says director of marketing Dan Weisman. “So we got to work figuring out how to actually manufacture the shirts and developing additional products to go with them.”
The culmination of their work was Ministry of Supply, a high-performance business wear fashion brand that launched in 2012. With a focus on the human form, function and urban style, the company then created pants, socks and a women’s line. Business skyrocketed. They now have a successful e-commerce operation as well as brick-and-mortar stores in seven U.S. cities.
“The web has allowed us to be truly international.”
Dan Weisman, director of marketing
Google tools helped this stylish startup get off the ground. “We had to figure out how to go from being a Kickstarter with one product to a real company,” Dan says. “Our goal was to double our sales every year.” They soon started using AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to reach their core audience of young professionals.
Today, 80 percent of their advertising budget is spent online, and AdWords and organic search together account for nearly half of their sales. Google Analytics provides business intelligence, so the team can make smart, data-driven decisions. As Dan describes, “it’s the heart of how we look at and understand our marketing efforts.” G Suite tools, including Gmail, Hangouts and Docs, keep the operation humming. “We might be a small company, but we have employees and business partners all over the world,” Dan explains. “It’s crucial that we’re connected in real time.” And YouTube videos educate consumers about the benefits of their products and how they function.
Ministry of Supply has 41 employees.
Ministry of Supply has sold to over 200,000 customers worldwide since their founding. They’ve shipped to 137 countries, with 12 percent of their business in international markets. Dan estimates that they’re growing 62 percent annually. While they’ve done some traditional advertising, “Google tools are at the core of the business,” says Dan. “It’s gratifying to see our creations come to life. And with access to a widespread audience, we hope Ministry of Supply can someday become a household name.”
For more information on the Ministry of Supply case study, visit http://economicimpact.
Content provided by Google.