Jason Nickel is not only the founder and manager of Brooks Brothers’ social media presence, but also serves as a brand ambassador. He began working at America’s first clothier in 2007 and since has been a jack-of-all-trades, living the brand from how he takes his scotch to the very "nickels" he places in his well-polished penny loafers. In addition to creating thriving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+ communities with his team, he acts as a sartorial counselor to a less fashionably-inclined collective audience and as historian for any queries that can and often do occur. His typical daily duties vary from teaching how to tie a bow tie (tricky in 140 character bursts) to addressing questions about the origins of the button-down dress shirt collar (which Brooks Brothers invented in 1896, by the way). BrooksBrothers.com about.me/jasonnickelWhat makes social media so special at Brooks Brothers? If you ask Jason he’ll say, “It’s the approach. We strive every day to be the best salesman, in the best store on the best day of the year. No tailor calling out sick, no item out of stock…we always go above and beyond for the customer. And it’s as simple and as hard as that.“ As service at Brooks Brothers is a core value and has been since they first opened its doors 194 years ago (their first transaction happens to have been a loan), the question became how to offer the same unparalleled experience across all social spaces. Jason helped to created a culture of social service, developing work-flows uniting different departments from store operations to merchants to customer service to work together to both listen and respond. And questions vary from standard customer service inquires to which tie goes with which shirt for that job interview (both equally challenging questions to answer). Responses are quick-the team averages less than 24 hours for full resolution. Most important, feedback on all topics varying from the rise in a new trouser to the usability of the redesigned website is carefully passed "up the chain," a process that ensures that customers are heard, their suggestions heeded, and brand loyalty secured. There are more than a dozen creditable menswear blogs out there, however Brooks Brothers' Of Rogues and Gentlemen stands out as one of the leaders. It educates those who desire a modern yet appropriate take on etiquette and all things sartorial, amongst other more fun gentlemanly topics, however without overtly selling its wares making it a credible non-commercial source of information. The voice is that of a teacher not a lecturer, making menswear less intimidating and Brooks Brothers (hopefully) more approachable to the next generation. And it seems to be working; over 80% of blog subscribers are new to file. Hashtags notoriously have a very short lifespan. When Jason and team approached twitter, they decided that to stand out they needed a movement of sorts. Thus, #BowTieFriday was born, otherwise known as the demise of Casual Fridays (One can imagine that they’re not very popular at the Brooks Brothers offices). The hashtag has become a tradition, with hundreds of individuals sharing photos weekly. And perhaps more importantly, bow tie sales have steadily climbed as well-more than 50% in the last two years.
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