The art of subscription aids a provider in its efforts to provide a service or product that a user will release funds to said provider on a regularly schedule basis (weekly, monthly, etc.). We have seen various subscription models take form in our financial lives, but the most prominent in today’s society is Netflix. By charging users a set fee per month, Netflix allows users to watch as many dvds as they want, shipped one at time, in the privacy of their own homes. Once you are finished, you send it back and they then send you another one. This business model has revolutionized how we rent movies (along with digital), and is one of the main reasons that brick and mortar rental places are almost extinct.
Companies such as Fresh Neck and Tie Society employ the previously mention “Netflix” model, but instead of dvds both companies offer a selection of ties and accessories that can be worn and then returned for new items to be sent in their place during the life of the subscription. While the “Netflix” model is a common method, other companies are utilizing a model that is more akin to a “Book of the Month “club. In these circumstances a subscription entitles a subscriber to receive an item or items that they keep on a regularly scheduled monthly or semi-monthly basis. However similar to a book of the month club, companies such as Bespoke Post and Birchbox have taken this old school model to new heights.
The Netflix Way
Tie Society offers only four levels but expands on its selection by not only offering ties but by also offering other accessories including tie bars, bow ties, cufflinks, and pocket squares. The standard plan allows members to have one item out at a time. The membership levels cap out at allowing members to have up to ten items out at once. Similar to Tie Society by offering neckwear and accessories for subscribers, Fresh Neck diverges from its competitor by offering a tiered membership based on brand access. Thus with a more premium membership a subscriber will gain access to more premium brands. Fresh Neck also goes one step further by allowing subscribers to keep items for a discounted price. (Update: Tie Society also offers all items for direct sale at 40-60% off retail to members.)
The Book of the Month Club
How would you like it if a box of style goodies showed up on your doorstep every month like clockwork? Billed as a discovery commerce platform, Birchbox offers consumers a personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop various beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on the market. At a modest twenty dollars a month ($20), a Birchbox subscription entitles members to receive a monthly collection of sample products that are tailored to individual needs and style. Birchbox offers products for both men and women with men’s boxes containing grooming products in addition to lifestyle accessories ranging from hip socks to tech accessories (see a review here).
The Bespoke Post offers a style box of the month in a very similar fashion to Birchbox, however that is where the similarities end. For a slightly higher fee than similar services ($45), Bespoke Post offers a monthly themed box that includes full items not just samples. The total retail value of any given box often times greatly exceeds the monthly membership fee. One of unique aspects of Bespoke Post is that membership allows an individual to preview the next upcoming box. With this preview one can choose to accept a box or to skip it. If a member skips a box they are not charged for the month.
The old phase “Membership has its privileges.” is certainly true when it comes to the new ways in which we are able to discover new ways of adding to our own personal style. By building upon and adapting existing business models, companies like Bespoke Post and Fresh Neck are seeking to reinvent how we discover and utilize the latest in styling products. Adding a convenience that has rarely been seen before in the menswear space, these companies (and others) are blazing new trails that may be destined to change the way that business is done.