Hush quietly debuts customer magazine


Loungewear cataloguer Hush knows the meaning of “soft
sell”. Not only is its merchandise made from cashmere,
angora, and cotton flannel, but its communication with customers
is gentle as well. Each edition of its weekly enewsletter
contains recommendations about other companies that customers
might like, along with book and music reviews and seasonal
recipes. Of course, there are still mentions of Hush offers and
promotions, but they seem secondary to the newsletter’s main
content.

The main reason for this, says Hush founder Mandy Watkins, is
that she wants to offer customers something “a little
different”. Another difference customers will have noticed
lately is that they no longer receive catalogues with their
purchases.

Hush had previously sent a catalogue with every product despatch,
but as customers probably already had a catalogue at home from
which to order or were comfortable ordering online, says Watkins,
this autumn Hush launched a customer magazine that she describes
as an extension of the newsletter.

The aim of the Hush magazine is to allow customers to enjoy the
company’s recommendations away from the computer, preferably
whilst wearing their latest Hush purchase. The first edition was
12 pages printed on A3 matt paper. In addition to website and
entertainment recommendations and additions to the Hush range,
the debut issue included a Q&A with Lyn Gardener, whose house
Hush has used for the past four winters’ catalogue shoots.

Currently available only to customers who place an order, the
magazine isn’t promoted on the website and doesn’t automatically
get mailed to the customer database. “We’d like to get to
the stage when customers are actively requesting the
magazine,” says Watkins, “but we realise that it’s a
work in progress at the moment. There’s a big difference in
designing a catalogue and designing a magazine!”
Despite featuring other companies and brands in the
magazine-after Gower Cottage Brownies was highlighted in the
magazine and the enewsletter, its sales rose significantly,
Watkins says-the publication doesn’t carry third-party
advertisements. This way, Watkins has the “creative
freedom” to feature whatever she likes.

Whilst this approach may not seem the most commercial, it helps
to establish the brand, says Watkins, adding that at the few
fairs where she exhibits, customer feedback usually centres on
Hush’s newsletter. “People tell me that they love it and
that it’s the only [enewsletter] they read, and personally it’s
something I’d prefer to receive,” she says. The newsletter
reminds people of the company’s existence, so despite its
noncommercial approach, Hush still sees an uplift in sales after
each broadcast. So far, the magazine seems to be a hit for Hush
too, as at press time Watkins was due to publish the second
edition.

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