This is a great example of how an online brand can bring real humor and personality to their email correspondence. Allowing your communications staff to have leeway to be interesting and unique sets you apart from the competition.
A friend of mine was telling me about these new subscription fashion services. You answer some questions about your tastes, set your budget, and they’ll mail you a box of clothes.
The premise was intriguing—can a stranger dress me better than I can dress myself?—and so I signed up for a few of the services. In truth, I can’t really afford any of this, but I was curious about the business model and the process.
Also, I was sort of drunk and it was Thursday night and, okay there was no friend, it was just, you know, the internet…
The three I signed up for—Trunk Club, Five Four Club, Frank & Oak—have the pretense of being somehow exclusive (hence “club”), but they aren’t. In fact, as I’ve learned from all of them, if you merely show interest, the companies will reach out with great urgency to enroll you.
The most persistent of these is Trunk Club, which assigns you a real-world personal stylist, who of course doubles as a salesperson.
I ignored two follow-up emails from my assigned stylist Christina (Chase — It’s your stylist at Trunk Club and Trunk Club — Still interested?) because I never really intended to give anyone my billing information and because both seemed like the kind of boilerplate emails that computers send.
Then I got a voicemail! —which, okay, I also ignored, but no hard feelings, Christina, I ignore voicemails from just about anybody who isn’t calling to give me money.
I’ve written before about how odd it is that our generation is surprised by and even fearful of human interaction (see: modern grocery checkouts), and I confess to being surprised that my digital fiddling resulted in a phonecall.
But if at first I thought this aspect of Trunk Club was overly aggressive, the back-and-forth I’ve just had with this Christina has reminded me why humans are actually the best:
Subject: Last Chance — Start your Trunk Club Membership
I haven’t heard from you since you signed up for Trunk Club. Are you still interested in the service? If so, let me know when we can quickly chat. I only need a few minutes, and then I’ll put together your first trunk.
If you’re no longer interested, that’s totally fine — please just let me know so I can update my records.
Despite the voicemail, I still wasn’t sure if this came from a computer or a human, but either way I didn’t want more email, so I responded:
I’m afraid that I’ve died, and that my supremely unfashionable family has decided to dress me for the big day themselves. This pains me in ways my necrotic flesh can never feel again. From beyond, I do want to express my gratitude for the “last chance” offer that you personally scribed to me. For now, I’m a permanent member of a very different “trunk club,” trapped in an outfit unfit for the hellish party to which I’m likely bound. Please update your records accordingly.
Cheeky, I know, but I really didn’t think anyone would actually read it. How wrong was I:
Count C. Augustus,
It pains me to hear that you have ventured over to the dark side where, in exchange for blue blazers and Bonobos Weekday Warriors, you are forced to wear a black tuxedo circa 1431. And to sleep in a box.
Should you ever thirst for the warmth of a well-fitting cashmere sweater and a cold beer over Blood Type B and…death…you have my contact information. I’m not sure you’ll be able to make a phone call in your bat state as your hands will be really little. Too small to handle a Nokia flip phone, if you ask me.
Until then, give yourself a break and treat yourself to something nice from time to time. Years from now after refusing our service will you be like Brad Pitt (I mean, Louis de Pointe du Lac) and ask:
I bid you adieu.