After years of working in men’s fashion, Kirk Hinckley knew that the humble bow tie could use a refresh. He found that most bow ties on the market were overpriced, poorly made, and tossed into a display drawer as an afterthought. So in 1994, he and his wife, graphic designer Corinne Hsu, started The Bow Tie Club to sell high-quality, fairly priced bow ties, all made in Maryland. They’ve since sold over 30,000 products in 50 countries.
Although Kirk initially relied on printed media to advertise his products, he evolved his advertising strategy as the internet grew. "Back when we started in 1994, our customer base was limited to bowtiers who received our printed catalog. Later, when we discovered Google tools, our reach became the whole world and the international business took off!" said Kirk.
How Google has helped
- Google Ads
The Bow Tie Club began using Google Ads in 2000, and the tool helped them reach new customers around the world. “Google Ads is an integral part of the international business,” says Kirk. “When people click on a Google ad, they’re looking for something – they’re ready to buy.” Today, about 20% of the company’s sales come from overseas.
Google Ads also helps The Bow Tie Club target certain countries and gain an accurate picture of where demand is high, so his business can allocate spend accordingly.
- Google Analytics
The Bow Tie Club uses Google Analytics to gather insights that help improve their online presence. “It’s hugely important for understanding what the customer wants, refining our product, and creating a better shopping experience,” he explains.
They sell bow ties to people in countries all around the world, including Australia, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Norway, and Sweden. With so many regions to cover, Google Analytics has helped The Bow Tie Club see who’s visiting the website and ensure maximum conversions.
“There’s a reason why we named it The Bow Tie Club,” says Kirk. “It was always meant to be a community for people who want to be a little different. And now, with the web, bow tie lovers from anywhere can be a part of that community.”
“Even though we’re a small business, we’re an international business thanks to the internet.” Kirk Hinckley, Founder & Co-President