Saturday, May 20, 2017

How #RompHim leveraged digital marketing to bring its idea to life

While checking my twitter feed early this week, I stumbled upon a hashtag (#RompHim) trending in New York. Curious to know more, I started searching the topic and followed it rigorously across social media and news websites for a week. Here’s what I found: RompHim is a romper designed for men! The brand claims to ‘revolutionize the men’s fashion industry’ by extending the onesie style (traditionally perceived to be limited to babies and women) to men, and is currently dividing Americans in a debate.

RompHim launched its product on Instagram and promoted it at events like Coachella and the Kentucky Derby. Days after its launch, the brand went live on Kickstarter with a crowd funding campaign where it beat the initial goal of raising $10,000 in mere 4 hours! By Saturday morning it had raised more than $332,000, thanks to more than 2800 backers (the numbers continues to climb, by the minute)! Despite its popularity on Kickstarter, the brand is attracting mixed reactions on the internet – twitter for one is a RompHim meme paradise. However, in spite of receiving mixed feedback and initial negative media, today RompHim is taking the internet by storm!

The idea of RompHim helped me put our learnings from the introductory class in perspective. It shows how digital is continuously changing the way we market our product - RompHim was ideated by four MBA students (yes, you read that right!) over drinks. However, they believed in their idea and were smart enough to use digital to test their product and raise funds. It is interesting to see that RompHim’s success is completely attributed to online marketing. Additionally, it shows how brands can leverage digital to identify their niche target audience and build campaigns to influence them. RompHim faced backlash on the internet in the initial few days of its campaign launch. However, the brand proactively monitored online sentiment to address concerns and eventually survived its harsh critiques by engaging with them online. Their first signature style of RompHim is already sold out on their website, reflecting the audience's interest in the product.

Finally, as a strategic communications professional, I am curious to see how and what brands communicate. In this case, RompHim claims to ‘Revolutionize the male fashion industry’ by breaking away from stereotypes and it is trying hard to do so through its strategic messaging and creative positioning. This is similar to what iconic brands like Dove (#mybeautymysay) and P&G (always#likeagirl) did through their powerful campaigns. As a society we are constantly conditioned to view things one way or another – we view women as fragile and men as strong; thin as beautiful and fat as ugly; pink as feminine and blue as masculine - we stereotype people, frame language and symbolize things. It's interesting to see how brands like Dove, P&G and now RompHim are challenging stereotypes through online media.

It is true that RompHim is burning the internet with its bold move to re-frame masculinity as we know it. Sure, men in rompers could appear funny – but is masculinity that narrow?

Primary links:
Additional readings:
Dove campaign:
Always campaign:

No comments: