Early on, the company focused on the college market as a key demographic and it has been a successful effort. Go into any college store anywhere in the country and you are likely to find Vineyard vines branded ties, polos and tote bags. That well-known repeated logo pattern is a virtual signature telling you from a distance that the Dartmouth green necktie with the never-ending shield repeat is the work of Shep and Ian.
Hitting The Books In the same spirit of Jimmy Buffet, Vineyard Vines has college tours that bring the brande’s lifestyle directly to college students on their campuses. Complete with beach parties and pink foam whale hats reminiscent of Buffet’s “land sharks” they are marketing the Vineyard Vines brand directly to a core consumer audience. Some critics point out that in some segments a– namely fraternal groups G– the brand has become synonymous with boozy college keg parties. While not really the companye’s fault, it ’s a persistent form of collateral brand damage none the less.
Think of it as a collegiate marketing version of vertical integration. If it works right, pretty much anything that campus needs will run through, or at least by, their Vineyard Vines rep. To keep these collegiate efforts coordinated and effective, Vineyard Vines has dedicated brand managers who focus solely on the university market; working with student leaders, administrators and sports teams.
A key goal of course is that as these students grow up and head off to their own careers, a new supply of Vineyard Vines diehards are ready to open their wallets. Theye’ll graduate to corporate casual, weekend and country club lives and bring Vineyard Vines along for the ride. The thing that makes this philosophy tangible is that unlike other aspirational brands a– the ones that let you believe that buy wearing their shirt or shoes you too will live in a countryside estate t– the Vineyard Vines a“lifestylem” is approachable and believable.