Susan Hires a Boss

What should The Mountain do now?

The Three Wolf Moon shirt is about the tackiest thing I’ve seen in a while. And that includes the Snowy Owls shirt my hubby got as a gift and - Surprise! - came from the same line.

And yet, it became a top selling item on Amazon through the power of story telling.

Not the company’s story (unfortunately for them), but the stories users made up about the shirt. How it made them attractive to women. How it changed their life. How theirs is broken because it didn’t come with super powers. Now, when you wear the atrocious thing, you have something great to say about it and not an excuse of “well, my mom gave it to me.” It’s no longer white-trash garb. It’s ironic and you’re in the know if you’re wearing it.

To date, the company has been written up in the Washington Post, NY Times and Chicago Tribune. Other shirts in the line are getting similar snarky reviews on Amazon, though none have gone viral like Three Wolf Moon.

So what should The Mountain do now?

Checking out the company website, you can see the hasty attempt at communication and community. There’s a forum (with one member so far), a blog (under construction), a shop (under construction) and news (under construction). So someone wants to try to capitalize on the surge in publicity and capture new fans.

The way I see it, The Mountain is reacting rather than acting strategically. It’s one thing to zig to capture market; it’s another to zig at the whim of the market. Embrace the publicity, print more shirts, promote initiatives like the Wolf Reserve.

But don’t allow this to distract you from your strategy. It’s easy to feel like the publicity is about you, about your shirt, about your brand. But the remarkable here was the reviews. And unless you’re willing to commit to changing the marketing of The Mountain line to a woot!-style snarkiness, it will fade.

Build the communication tools and the community, by all means. Just for your real community, not the ironic crowd that is driving this blip of attention. For your true fans, the ones who love your shirts for real.


posted on May 25, 2009 under