progress — By rhone ceo nate checketts
2020 to 2021. It already seems like a daunting transition. Uncertainty abounds and will, to some degree, continue, and yet, as with each new year, I find so much hope in what lies ahead.
If you recall from your Greek mythology, hope was the last item in Pandora’s box. Or, as Stephen King put it, “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” But hope alone will not change anything. If things change in 2021, it will start with our individual decisions to drive change, down to the way we treat our planet, the way we take care of our bodies and our minds, and perhaps, most importantly, how we treat each other.
As I look back at 2020 for Rhone, like any company this year, we faced our share of ups and downs. We had moments where we felt we helped create real change, like the initiative we launched in April called Brands x Better that united over 150 brands, all contributing upwards of $4m to various COVID relief non-profits. But we also had our challenges, and some of those challenges were then passed onto you as a customer, reader, or friend of the brand. And so, as I reflect on the tally of wins and losses, I am reminded of a phrase I heard that has stuck with me this year: “All we can do is more.”
We are committed to building Rhone. But we won’t be content if we’re thought of as just a clothing brand, even a great clothing brand. We are committed to creating a brand that really stands for something better and helps drive value in your life. To do that, we need to be concrete about what we are working to achieve. I believe in transparency, and I want to share with you our company goals for 2021. They center around the belief that if we are not making your life better, then we cannot and should not exist. So all of our goals are oriented towards that end.
RHONE GOALS FOR 2021
Become the Number One Rated Brand in Our Category for Customer Experience.
Specifically, we are reorienting our policies and communication strategies and increasing our team size to take even better care of you. Have an issue with a transaction, an older product, or want gifting ideas? We are committed to creating a connection with our customers, building a community, and providing you with a great experience. This means everything from ads you see to the site experience, to the checkout process to shipping communication, and of course, the end product. This also means creating great content that adds real value to your life, content that makes you proud to put the Captain’s Stitch on and reminds you to continue moving Forever Forward in the Pursuit of Progress.
Build More “Essential” Products for Life Today.
We know you need products that live up to the new reality. I have heard countless times from friends and family this year that all they have lived in since March is Rhone. Our products are built for comfort and quality, but we need to continue to expand our incredible Essentials line to ensure we never sell out, so you know you can get the foundation of your closet here, no matter what time of year it is. We have some amazing product launches coming your way that range from the essential to the extraordinary. I’ve never been more excited about what is coming down our product pipeline than I am now.
Focus on Making Each Product Worth Every Dollar You Spend.
I was fortunate to spend two years of my life living in Italy. I fell in love with the Italian culture and way of life. It’s almost impossible not to. One thing that stood out to me is that the really great merchants only discounted their products twice a year and only when necessary. These days there are so many promotions that it’s hard to cut through the noise. We do not design or build our products to discount them. We make them to be great products worth every dollar you spend. To be honest, this year and in years past we have discounted more than I would like. I get it—everyone appreciates a good deal, and I’m the same way. But if our products aren’t worth the price we charge, then it’s disrespectful to our customers who pay full price. Our focus will be even more dialed in as we make each product worth every dollar you spend, which is why going forward, you will see fewer promotions and deals from us. We will continue to offer great opportunities to buy during key parts of the year, especially when we make too much of a product and we need to make room for the amazing new arrivals that are already in the works.
Thank you for sticking with us, for not just following but joining in and helping us build a brand we are proud of, a brand that matters. I believe 2021 will be a great year for us—not just at Rhone but as a human family. Hopefully, this year, we have all learned a bit more about what is truly essential for us in our lives, and we will continue to take that forward with us as we navigate past this pandemic and beyond.
With gratitude, hope and a commitment to be our best,
Nate Checketts, CEO