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Hugo Boss pushes black-tie menswear via digital guide

January 7, 2013


German label Hugo Boss is targeting style-minded male consumers through a digital campaign that gives four simple ways to update the look of a tuxedo.

The “Go All Black” guide is presented on the main page of the brand’s ecommerce site. Hugo Boss could trigger digital purchases since, rather than asking consumers to purchase a full suit online, they are being encouraged to purchase up-to-date accessories for one that they already own.

"Hugo Boss is synonymous with classic black-tie," said Paul Farkas, cofounder/CEO of ULN Ultra Lifestyle Network, New York. "Sources traditionally known as authoritative in fields should consider branded guides as an effective, deserved ecommerce tool."

Mr. Farkas is not affiliated with Hugo Boss, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Hugo Boss did not respond before press deadline.

Black-tie affair

Hugo Boss’ tuxedo guide offers “four ways to stand out in black tie.”

Visitors to the ecommerce section of Hugo Boss’ Web site can click to the guide from a promotion on the main page.

Hugo Boss Web site 

The label also sent an email to push the guide on the evening before New Year’s Eve. However, it seems as though the brand is pushing post-holiday online sales since items would not have arrived in time for New Year’s parties.


Consumers who click to the guide are shown five slides above a selection of merchandise.

The first side introduces the shopping guide.

The next slide is dedicated to bow ties. The label states, “’Black Tie’ implies the bow tie. Opt for a pre-tied or self tie option in silk, sequins or velvet.”

Bow Tie slide 

The following slide tells users to add cuff links to a black-tie look. The label states, “Wear your individuality on your sleeve and express your sense of style with unique cuff links.”

Another slide pushes the Boss Black white dress shirt as the perfect fit for all black-tie occasions.

Shirt slide 

The last slide tells male consumers which shoes to wear with a tuxedo. It states, “A tuxedo is traditionally worn with loafers, but for a more modern look try a patent leather lace-up.”

Below the slides are 27 products suggestions that consumers can purchase to try the tips in the guide.

Items range from the Tied Silk Bow Tie in various materials for $55 to the Patent Leather ‘Cristallo’ Dress Shoe for $375.

Product selection  

"Nuances are important, and while it is refreshing not to see boxy transactional buttons, the calls-to-action are a bit buried," Mr. Farkas said. "Also, the branded advice is especially suited to culminate with bundled accessory package opportunities.

"Overall, the black-tie campaign was seemingly better suited to come out a couple weeks ahead with room for promotional sales tied to holiday celebrations," he said.

Hugo Boss often tailors digital campaigns to either male or female customers, which is a smart move to gain attention on a crowded medium.

For instance, the label bolstered the womenswear shopping experience on its ecommerce site through a virtual dressing room designed in partnership with Eat.Sleep.Wear. blogger Kim Pesch.

Female consumers could create their own outfit on Ms. Pesch using apparel and accessories that were organized by trend in the game-like dressing room (see story).

In addition, Hugo Boss pulled all the stops in its email campaign for a limited-edition, racing-inspired timepiece to reach affluent males.

The email contained a large image of the Special Edition Boss Black Racing watch as well as an ecommerce link and link to a video that shows the special features in 60 seconds.

These elements allowed Hugo Boss to reach affluent males who favor practicality, entertainment and virility in an email campaign, versus the emotional and life-improvement messages to which women will respond (see story).

Campaigns such as these help Hugo Boss position itself as an authority on each gender's style.

"With consecutive seasonal or annual guides, there is an opportunity for compound value and continued market dominance toward definitive category authority," Mr. Farkas said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York