ZoZa.com was pitched to the investors as the 'three-peat' performance of Mel and Patricia Ziegler.
Founders of the Banana Republic and The Republic of Tea, they're seen as consummate trend-makers and marketeers.
It worked with the VC community. Heck that's why I joined up with them - the old catalogs and the Tea canister's label text were excellent.
The clothing pitch seemed pretty good - "These clothes are for an active lifestyle. They look good, wear well, and are easy to care for. Beyond that they are made of performance fabrics allowing a wider range of activities than other casual wear."
The "We made Banana Republic and We're back!" pitch may of done some good, but had no legs. Much to everyone's surprise multiple appearances in the media had little to no effect on sales, or in many cases site visits. I credit this to the intense media saturation of the late 90's. It might of worked in the 80s.
The Zen pitch was not effective. While resonating with a small number of our customers it in-and-of itself did not bring people to the site. We spent tons of money on Mind Crackers, and no small amount of money on our Zen master, and incredible amounts of time. At one point there was a fair amount of work done on a book, co-written by Mr. Ziegler and his Zen master, to be published by ZoZa.com. It was to be titled "The ZoZa Mind Crackers."
Most of the measurable effective marketing was thought up by Brian Laliberte, our too late arriving COO. These mostly electronic coupon programs and e-mail news letters w/discounts.
We had 100% turnover in the marketing department. One day I came in and Mr. Ziegler had removed the entire 6 person department. Unfortunately these were the people who understood the Internet.
By the end it was reduced to Mr. Ziegler and Trish Donnaly, who put up a brave fight.
Aside from NYTimes and SF Chron articles which got good distribution there were some online articles...