Battle Cry Quality…and Customer Service. And Community.
Posted: Oct 03 2014
Humble brag. We’ve got some good talent on the Coeur team. Not just athletic talent but we’ve got a few “smarties” as well. In addition to our quartet of Ironman Finishers, we’ve got prior experience with Retail, Private Equity, Apparel Production, Banking and the Law. That’s why it was easy to get everyone to agree that we needed to be laser focused as a company. Everyone knew that, in theory, we needed to pick one thing that we were very, very good at and focus on that strength.
The theory fell apart a bit when we tried to pick that “one thing”. We did narrow it down to three but couldn’t go lower than that. The three were Quality, Customer Service and Community.
Here’s the case we made for each of the three:
Quality: It sounds like marketing speak but we really do strive to have the absolute best quality in the market. Period. We also think we’re accomplishing this goal. There are more expensive triathlon, cycling, and running kits on the market but if you look hard, we think you’ll find that they can’t come near our quality. Again, we hope this doesn’t sound overly self-congratulatory but our gear is made from the thread up here in Los Angeles. We work directly with the mill to formulate the softest performance fabric in the market. We then add unique, performance features like our seam-free chamois and then we layer on fashion-forward designs. The final step is to have the sewing done by the flat out best factory in the U.S. for performance apparel.
Of course, quality and value are forever linked, so we finish up the equation by selling at price points that are extremely competitive. A very experienced gentleman in our factory said it best when he said that anyone who pays more and thinks they are getting more is getting “suckered”.
Our view is that price does not mean quality. Some companies charge more because they actually have someone else make their clothes and they have to cover the additional mark up and frankly, some companies charge more because they run inefficient operations and have to cover the extra expense. That's why we encourage people to look around and do their research. We feel very confident that we'll come out on top when compared to other Made in the USA women's brands. That's why we initially said that Quality was the one area where we would focus.
Customer Service: They get embarrassed but we love to brag about our customer service team. They’ve got one mission and one mission alone and that is to take care of the customers. We’re in it for the long haul and we know that being a “turkey” about returns is a great way to lose a customer. In a way, we think our Free Shipping falls into the Customer Service category. While we love for our customers to buy from their local shop, we know that Coeur isn’t everywhere yet. So, some of you have to buy online. If you do, we feel like we owe it to you to get your order to you free of charge.
I guess in reality, we'd prefer to never give someone a reason to even reach out to our customer service team but we'd be telling a fib if we didn't say that the great feedback we get doesn't make us happy. We also, know that by and large customer service is lacking in a lot of companies. So that's why it gets a strong vote to be on the top of our list.
Community: Finally, there’s the Coeur Community. In addition to making the best gear in the market, we have a strong desire to create a community of encouraging and supportive women. Endurance Sports can be intimidating sometimes and nothing makes us happier then when we hear about our customers or ambassadors supporting each other.
While it is unlikely that a clothing company can change the world, if we can get one person off the couch and into a lifestyle of health and fitness, we'll feel like we have won. Then, if that one person gets two friends to get on their bikes, or put on their running shoes....well, I'm sure you get the picture but in a way, that's our real mission.
Our ambassador team is the embodiment of the community we're trying to create but deep down, we hope everyone who wears Coeur feels some tiny sense of obligation to bring a friend on their journey.
An old boss used to say that in the long run, people will not remember what you said or did but they will always remember how you made them feel. Now this is going to push the "corny" meter into the red but it's true. We really hope that everyone associated with Coeur feels loved.
And that is why Community is on our list.
So there you have it. We never did select the one thing that would set us apart. We're going with three. Quality, Customer Service and Community.
Now put on your running or biking shoes and get out there and get some exercise! You (and we) will be glad you did!