All You Need For Success Is … Empathy?

Written by Tom Fairey

9 March, 2022

Snag Tights Founders Discuss The Superpower Behind Social Advertising

Brie Read and Tom Martin found Snag Tights with a simple goal: to provide tights that fit the women (and men) who want to wear them.

Tights historically have not fit most people. They were great if you were a size 2, and terrible if you were a size 4X. What Brie and Martin did was redesign them, change them, make them fun and comfortable to wear, and make them easy to fit and stay up all day.

The idea, by their estimate, was very simple. The real drive came one day when Read was walking in public and her tights fell down — to say it was a spectacle is an understatement, but when Read processed the event later with her friends, they all shared similar stories.

Read, whose background is in marketing for high-growth businesses, went and bought all the tights she could find, measured them all, and tried to understand why none of them seemed to fit. The finding was surprising: all tights had the same size waist, the only thing that varied was in leg length. Read redesigned tights to expand the width of the waist, thigh, and leg — yeah, it was that simple.

Over a relatively short period of time, Read built a team, explored manufacturing options, and, QED, had a tights company. She met Martin, who developed a technical architecture to sell the product, and they raised money and did a photoshoot. Martin built a one-page website in two hours at a bar and they launched two days later. Using a Facebook ad, they had their first order 3 hours after going live.

Read was once described to me as being adept at black magic when it comes to Facebook ads. She has some advice to pass on.

Her Winning Facebook Ad Philosophy Is Simple: She Starts A Conversation

“It comes down to having a conversation with people,” she told me on a recent episode of my entrepreneur podcast, Back Yourself. “There are just people and there is you, and you are talking to them, and you need to do it in the most effective way possible, and you need to do it in an engaging way, and you need to do it in the most efficient way you can.”

The company, the website, and its social media advertising are all closely linked, with the products finely integrated with the ads, which are a direct reflection of the people buying the product. The pictures in the ads look like the person who is viewing the ad, which is quite the opposite of most fashion advertising these days — or advertising for anything at all, which is generally aspirational.

Snag increases their chances at conversions by guiding customers through an easy-to-use website where the goal is simplicity.

Tips To Make Social Media Ads Work Successfully

Snag, Read, and Martin built their company with simple tools, simple strategies, and simple messaging. It is intensely focused, but it’s not particularly complicated.

When it comes to social media, Snag realizes that buying clothes can be an intimidating process. To that end, Read follows a handful of rules:

  • Use customers for models, or have your models look exactly like your customers
  • Answer every single comment that a user makes
  • Listen very carefully to what your fans are saying to you
  • If someone suggests a change or makes a complaint, take that as feedback and incorporate it as much as you can

In customer research, Read and Martin heard from customers whose retail experience gave them the impression that the fashion industry hated them, and expressed this hatred with intimidating shopping, aggressive advertising, unrealistic models, and clothes designed for bodies that basically don’t exist.

Snag’s first big day was when they sold £50 of product. Today, 17 months in, they have crossed the £50,000 a day mark. 70 percent of their customers are returning customers in an industry where that rate is usually closer to 10 percent.

Martin said the bottom line is that they sell products that customers can make an emotional connection to.

“We don’t hate them,” he said. “We actually quite like them. And we give them good product.”

Read sees good growth prospects, with a huge untapped remaining market. (It helps that tights don’t last that long and that many people have a dozen or even two dozen pairs.) Last year, the company had a frustrating multi-week period when they ran out of product.

A Top Founders’ Mind-Blowing Communication Strategy: Stop Communicating So Much

While Snag socially makes it a point to respond personally to every bit of customer communication they receive, as company leaders, Read and Martin take the opposite approach. Read turns off her email notification and rarely responds to them. Martin does not even answer the phone, seeing most phone convos as a total waste of time.

Have something you want to ask him? Make it a one-sentence WhatsApp message, and make it good.

The Takeaway

Sometimes boring, entrenched businesses need a shakeup, and that’s what Brie Read and Tom Martin did for tights. They made tights that fit the people who want to wear them, they sell them on a one-page website, they only use facsimiles of their customers as models (if not the actual customers themselves), and they listen carefully to what their customers have to say and act on it accordingly.

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