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Young Hawaiian brand uses interesting membership model

By Shelby Stanger
October 07, 2009 6:24 AM

BAYVI, pronounced "BaySix" or "Basics" is a fairly new brand that was showing at Class at ASR. Ron Peterson, an owner of BAYVI, said the brands is an artistic brand for people committed to their "basic passions," like surfing.

BayVI row of T'sStarted four years ago in Hawaii, BAYVI sells to better boutiques and select surf shops in Japan, the UK, and Portugal and the along east and west coasts of the states.

While the business is still small, it has quadrupled its numbers every year since starting for the last four years, even in this year's rough economy.

All clothing is made in downtown Los Angeles while some of its board shorts are made overseas.

Each of its tees is hand treated and all prints are made with eco-friendly water-based inks.

One of the most interesting tactics the brand uses is a membership marketing and sales campaign. Crews hand out membership cards at select events and to people they see on the street with links to the BAYVI website so consumers and fans can sign in and become a member of the brand.

The Bayvi teamMembership entitles users to create designs for the brand, contribute feedback on the line, create events for BAYVI, and get deals on members-only exclusive designs that they can purchase only at select retailers that BAYVI partners with. BAYVI members also appear in the company's ad campaign.

BAYVI started with 100 members in Hawaii and now have 17,000 members across the globe. Peterson said having a membership- embraced brand has been great because they become a huge part of the brand direction and design. Think social marketing -- but for apparel.

Bayvi T While the brand has good penetration at the top boutiques like Restir in Japan and in top accounts in Hawaii, it recently opened an office in California and are looking to grow business up and down the California coast.

For 2010, BAYVI will keep distribution tight and will expand their product range adding more tees and boardshorts to the line and adding jackets as a new category.

Peterson, who worked as a buyer for Town and Country before starting BAYVI, funded the startup of the brand by putting $275,000 on credit cards with partners George Pai, Bruce Chen and Leila Peterson.

Today everything has been paid off and he says they are in a great position to grow, Peterson said.


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