Bombas Socks is a patented sock company that was filed in June 2014 and published in March 2015. In 2014, the company's founders appeared on an episode of Shark Tank and landed a deal with Daymond John for $200,000 in exchange for 17.5% of the company, in addition to the financing of the company's inventory. It brands itself as "a direct-to-consumer comfort-focused apparel brand with a mission to help those in need."
HOW BOMBAS SOCKS LAUNCHED
Bombas Socks developed an intellectual property around making a better sock, in which there was a honeycomb-structured weave that fit the consumer perfectly at the right places. A patented sock company, Bombas Socks was filed in June 2014 and published in March 2015, with its basic design secured until 2029. Its credited inventors are David Heath, Ian Velardi, and Aaron Wolk, all from Armonk, NY.
In 2014, Bombas Socks appeared on an episode of Shark Tank and landed a deal with Daymond John for $200,000 in exchange for 17.5% of the company, plus the financing of the inventory of the company. Bombas is one of the biggest Shark Tank successes and has been profitable since 2016, bring in approximately $50 million in revenue in 2017.
The company used to sell its socks through traditional retail stores, but after appearing on Shark Tank, Daymond John advised and motivated the founders to focus on e-commerce/online sales and move away from brick and mortar sales. Within the two months after the Bombas Shark Tank episode aired, the company made $1.2 million in sales and sold out its inventory, completely. Bombas Socks now runs and has branded itself as an "online-only model" company. The company brands itself as "a direct-to-consumer comfort-focused apparel brand with a mission to help those in need." According to the company, "One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated."
- As per Kate Huyett, vice president, operations & user acquisition, Bombas, "Facebook has been the most consistent performer at scale of any ad channel."
- Bombas has also used podcast ads since 2014.
- Other advertising channels include Twitter, Pinterest, and non-branded search.
- The company also launched a Muhammed Ali-inspired collection of Bombas Socks to market and channelize the "retro-greatness of Muhammed Ali."
AUDIENCES TARGETED THROUGH EACH CHANNEL
- Bombas sells socks to men, women, and kids. The company also engages with customers who share the same social cause as it. It focuses on homeless people, the LGBTQ community, underfunded schools, and local women’s shelters.
- Bombas’ second ad set on Facebook targeted US men and women over the age of 18.
- Bombas tags kids, women, and men on its Instagram posts with no specific information on their demographics.
- On Pinterest, Bombas' boards include Bombas — Hiking Socks, Bombas — Women's Merino Wool Socks, Bombas — Women's Socks — Lifestyle, Bombas- Holiday 2018, Bombas — Women's Marls Socks, Bombas — SKI & Snowboard Socks, and Bombas Socks — Join the Hive.
- Bombas, through Twitter, markets its socks to its 14,000 followers — men and women who follow them rigorously.
LOCATIONS AND MARKETS OF FOCUS:
Bombas sells socks online, mostly to customers in the United States and Canada. The company also sells to other countries internationally for a flat rate of $45. The names of these countries or target markets were, however, not disclosed. Bombas donates socks to Giving Partners in all 50 states of the United States through over 1,700 partners.
AD SPEND, PRESS, AND MEDIA SPEND ON ADVERTISING:
According to Kate Huyett, Bombas handles annual budgets of approximately $3 million across online and offline channels. Podcasts tend to generate 2-3 times more returns than expected and have resulted in 15% to 40% of new paid customers for Bombas. She also mentioned that "the overall podcast budget is no longer in the testing phase," suggesting that the company has a baseline where it can spend profitably. To gain more ROI on ad spend, Bombas set up two ad sets within a Facebook account and tested it against its existing ad account setup, which resulted in a two-times increase in product purchases and a 23-times increase in sales per ad set.