Socks – a lesson about story & fandom

Once upon quite a long time ago, there was a sock company in Vermont. They made socks. They sold them to department stores in the US. These decided they wanted to make more profit on socks. So they started buying crap socks from China in bulk, instead of good socks.

These people from Vermont decided they weren’t in the business of crap socks. They found out that they are in the business of making virtually indestructible socks. So much so that if you buy a pair and they give out, you can send them back. And they’ll send you a new pair. For free.

While they nearly went under in the process of reinventing themselves, eventually things worked out so well that now, in a town of some 2000 people, 550 are employed by the sock company.

They figured out they’re really good with durable yarns. That’s why they’re called Darn Tough. And that story was so remarkable that it got picked up in Fast Company.

That’s how I found them and became a fan.

I believe that stories like these are what really make that America is great already: finding and mining a sustainable niche (not coal) and adding so much value there that you make true fans.

How does that work for your brand?

Kevin Kelly wrote a great article about it: 1000 True Fans

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