Behind the Bandits
Neon Bandits Eye Candy May 23, 2016 10:46
Showcasing the Neon Bandits lifestyle on our social channels is an important aspect of building our brand. We have been lucky enough to get some amazing pictures during our first year, and we wanted to take this opportunity to show off some of our favorites. We aren’t going to lie, choosing only a few pictures to showcase was tough!
Our buddy Conner Schuh (@i.conik) stops at nothing and is risk averse both behind his camera and in life, so risking his life hanging over a building was nothing to get us the best. Conner is seriously talented, check out his full website here.
Bay Area-based action sports enthusiast Gina Kaprielian (@gkapri) has sent us pictures of her skateboarding, snowboarding, wake-boarding and just straight chilling in Neon Bandits. This particular image captures Neon Bandits living life to the fullest.
Our friends at the Ohio Dreams Action Sports camp sent us this picture of the world famous Slip N’ Fly being introduced to Neon Bandits. Stay tuned for more pictures coming out of Ohio this summer!
Hawaii-based adventure man, Dan Worden (@adventuremandan) decided it would be a great idea to do a backflip off a cliff in Neon Bandits, bright idea.
Katelyn Grafton (@katelyn.grafton) knows how to strike a pose in Neon Bandits…
Looking to tee up in some unique places? Our pal Jordan Griggs (@thedapperdrive) loves doing the same!
How to Wear Neon Bandits July 08, 2015 10:55
Believe it or not, their is a right and wrong way to rock a Neon Bandit sock. Sport the sock too high and you look like Steve Urkel, rock the sock too low and well to put it kindly you look like a loser. So what is the happy medium? Thanks for asking.
To wear a Neon Bandit sock perfectly, follow the guide and graphic below:
- When you are putting your socks on, pull them all the way up as high as they go
- Grab the middle of the sock (around your calf) and gently pull them down just a little bit so they are no longer stretched (the key is you do not want to see any of the patterns / lettering on your sock stretch or look distorted)
- Wait for the compliments to roll in about how fresh your calves look
We aren’t trying to be rocket scientists- we just want you to look good, is that too hard to ask?
Socks are in the Ring July 02, 2015 11:52
We are excited to throw our socks into the ring for the Ad Club's Brandathon in Boston. We ask that you do us all a favor and vote for us! Cast your vote by clicking here.
Check out the Neon Bandits "sizzler" video we put together for it below and #grabapair!
Behind the Product Names June 29, 2015 09:00
Coming up with names for our socks was one of the more challenging parts of developing Neon Bandits. Sammy and I both knew that generic names weren’t going to cut it and simply having product identifiers like “NB001” as style names, especially at the outset of building our brand, didn’t have the personality that we were going for. Being boring never jibed with who we are as a brand. As such, we went back to the basics (and not in the new “basic” way.) As I’ve mentioned, Sammy and I grew up in a close-knit family, so going back to basics meant kickin’ it old school…
The first sock name that we came up with was “The Ozz.” And contrary to what you may think when hearing “Oz”, the name has nothing to do with the “Wizard of Oz.” Instead, the sock is named after our family dog, Ozzi who passed away suddenly just a few weeks before we launched. Ozzi was an energetic, loyal and loveable dog- and was the poster child for being “man’s best friend”.
Now, growing up, Sammy slept in the room right next to mine. And every night, I would be kept up by her (not) so loveable frog, Flippy. Sammy got this frog as a tadpole from the a local toy store when she was five years old, and despite our parents best efforts, the thing lived to be 15 years old! Note: this is NOT normal for grow-a-frogs. And thus, we decided on to further immortalize Flippy by naming our branded tube “The Flip”.
And last but not least, “The Dawson,” and no we’re not paying homage to Dawson’s Creek, but rather Dawson Drive, the street that Sammy and Dan grew up on. Known for producing some of the greatest athletic talent and brainpower on the East Coast, “The Dawson” nods to the neighborhood where we grew up.
So, even though things may appear to be a bit random, we promise there is meaning behind (most of) what we do.
Did any of the names inspire you? Share the story and be sure to #GrabAPair of your favorite Neon Bandits.
Here we go Week 3 June 22, 2015 19:11
Well here we are- week three of Neon Bandits being a “real” thing. Sammy and I knew what we were getting into when we launched the business, but to actually experience the ups and downs of being in business is really something else.
The unique aspect of running a business is that you are always busy and can always be doing something- whether that means social media planning, PR outreach, customer service, talking with potential customers or checking in with existing customers—it has been a busy (and great) first few weeks!
We’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks. And a few key of those key learnings are as follows:
· Planning is essential. Whether we are planning our social media posts for the week, or forecasting future product, getting “behind” is not an option. If are behind you’re in trouble. Things move too quickly to get held up on something.
· Brand building takes time. Neon Bandits is not going to be a one trick pony. We are going to be a brand- we are more than socks- we are a lifestyle. And this takes time to develop and build, and while you all may only see the end result on our website and social media, we promise you that Sammy and I have been doing a lot behind the scenes work to make the Neon Bandit brand more than meets the eye.
· Our family and friends are great. Family and friends have helped raise the initial awareness of our brand and have been tremendously supportive. So once again, thank you!
What will the next 3 weeks of Neon Bandits look like? Well, you will just have to wait and see; we are confident that you all will enjoy what’s to come! And if you haven’t already, make sure to you Grab a Pair!
Neon Bandits Launch Party June 17, 2015 09:56
Last week we were lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family at the Neon Bandits launch party at Shojo in Boston. The party was put together by our friends at Polina PR and was sponsored by Deep Eddy Vodka and Shojo.
As the launch party began to fill up, Sammy and I could not help but think how lucky we are to have such supportive friends and family. As with any new venture, this close-knit network is important to have to lay the foundation for a strong brand moving forward.
Some highlights of the party included an amazingly decorated (and Neon Bandits inspired) hand-made cake made by a team member, unreal scallion pancakes made by Shojo and some great Vodka drinks mixed and served by the Deep Eddy team. Everyone who attended had a blast in our #GrabAPair inspired photo booth and went home with a pair of Flip socks.
The Thinking Behind #Grabapair June 08, 2015 22:08
When Sammy and I were developing a fun and unique product for Neon Bandits, we knew if we were going to have success out of the gate, we needed to have a splashy and unique campaign to launch with the socks. As with any bootstrapped concept, we didn’t (and still don’t!) have the unlimited funds that more well established companies have. Given this, we knew we had to develop a campaign that consumers would want to share with friends—it would have to be loud, in your face, and eye catching.
After months of brainstorming around various concepts, we thought of “Grab a Pair.” Sammy and I were actually driving together when we thought of the concept and we knew right away that we had our launch campaign, as it hit on so many levels. The double meaning had us in stitches. We knew this concept would allow us to develop fun, edgy, and engaging creative that would catch consumers eyes on social media and make them want to share it with friends.
In addition to the visual component, we were really excited that the call to action encouaged people to join in on the fun- tag people who need to Grab a Pair, show us how you Grab a Pair, etc. This social element of the campaign was just as important to us as coming up with the right creative. As a new entrant in the marketplace, we needed to make sure our campaign encouraged our initial base of friends to expose Neon Bandits to their friends so we could have that organic buzz and reach.
Both Sammy and I are confident that the Grab a Pair concept has staying power. You will continue to see ways in which Neon Bandits uses this fun play on words to build organic buzz and raise brand awareness.
Now that you have the logic behind Grab a Pair, if you haven’t already, go on and Grab a Pair!!
Who we Are May 30, 2015 18:14
Plain white tube socks are boring. A thought so basic was and is the driving force behind Neon Bandits. And however simple you may think designing and producing a fun sock is… think again. And again. And again.
The Neon Bandits concept was thought up almost three years ago now, when my sister (Sammy) and I were both working in the retail field- I was working for a sports apparel company in the marketing realm and Sammy was working for a retail consulting firm, when we both came to the realization that that men didn't have a well-designed action lifestyle sock option. Bringing it back to basics, dudes look goofy when they wear dingy white tubes with shorts, and shouldn't be caught dead wearing dress socks with a lifestyle sneaker.
With this need in mind, Sammy and I developed Neon Bandits. Yes, we are well aware that fun socks exist- but we think they exist in silos. Athletic socks can be loud, but are designed for athletic performance. Dress socks can have funky patterns, but aren’t designed to be worn with shorts. And a straight lifestyle sock can blend design and comfort- but lack a defined purpose.
So, with Neon Bandits, we have created an action lifestyle segment. We're not going to tell you when you can and can't wear your socks (well, Sammy might…) but we've designed Neon Bandits to be worn as you live. Whether you are skateboarding, hanging with friends, shooting hoops, even brunching, when you are rocking Neon Bandits, you never need to worry about being labeled as plain or boring, or gasp, having your sock slip down your leg.
To bring Neon Bandits to where we are today took a lot of patience, trial and error and most of all, support from family and friends. (Sounds so cliche, we know. But it's true!) Sammy and I come from a close family; our parents taught us to pursue our passion. Over the course of the past few years Sammy and I have become increasingly passionate about our brand, products, and working together as a killer brother-and-sister duo.
Additionally, throughout this start-up journey, we have had the pleasure of working with many old friends, and have made some some truly awesome new ones. We would like to thank all of you for your help and support to get Neon Bandits, and Sammy and I, to where we are today, launching this bad boy, and know we appreciate your continued support on this exciting journey.
So. What's next? It’s all about making your calves look as good as they can.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and grab a pair.