December, 2023

How Listening Sells: GQ’s Viral Product Launches and Leadership

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How many of us really speak directly to our customers and when was the last time we went on their customer journey?

In this episode of Commerce Talk we are talking all about filtered-down insights, the need for psychological safety in innovation, and why it’s important to just be quiet in meetings every once in a while!

With agility in its DNA, across 60 years of business, GQ Thailand has been evolving and shedding its roots from being known as an apparel brand to a problem-solving tech brand that is there to help change your life by simply listening.

With a focus on insights-led product development, GQ’s viral product launches have been successful because they resonate with consumers and address the real problems they face. From white shirts that get easily stained, to boxers that are really warm and uncomfortable, GQ Thailand takes pain-points and removes them for their customers.

From the GQWhite Shirt – the Ultimate White Shirt & GQWhite Masks – The #1 selling reusable face mask in the region, GQ Perfect Polo, GQ Perfect Pants, and GQ Cool Tech Underwear, and more, GQ Thailand has managed to sell without having to adhere to the time consumption that fashion-based retailers usually face.

In this episode of Commerce Talk, we are sitting down with George Hartel, the Chief Commercial Officer for Supara Group – GQ Thailand, Southeast Asia’s Leading Technical Apparel Brand. Specializing in innovative apparel that solves everyday problems.

With over 20 years of transformation and multinational business experience, George brings with him a rare and refreshing outlook that challenges the status quo of traditional retail, advertising, marketing, and leadership. From advocating for more “ugly advertising” to removing the filters on what it takes to really understand your customer’s journey and needs.

We’ll chat about all of that and we’ll delve into…

  • The importance of reconnecting with consumers and understanding their challenges
  • Why authenticity and rawness in advertising can be more effective than polished and perfect content
  • How to create a safe and innovative culture within a company is essential for growth
  • Why leaders must actively listen and engage with their teams and consumers
  • GQ’s focus on synthesizing innovation rather than predicting the future has been a successful approach