Spreading the Power of Optimism with David Oksman of Life is good

by Jenna Sindle
headshot_David Oksman

David Oksman, Head of Marketing at Life is good

Brand loyalty in the clothing industry can be difficult to achieve. The various assets that are involved in creating consistent messaging (from products, to blog posts, to storefronts, etc.) all affect who your brand attracts and retains as customers. We had the pleasure of speaking with Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) Boston speaker David Oksman, Head of Marketing at Life is good – an apparel, accessory and lifestyle brand – on keeping everything from the company’s sales to its products aligned and consistent with the Life is good mission.

Can you tell us a little about your role at Life is good?
My role at Life is good is Head of Marketing. Our Positive Purpose (or mission) to “spread the power of optimism” sits at the center of everything we do. We aren’t in the apparel business; we are in the business of helping people realize that what you focus on will grow. Whether you are in marketing, product, sales or operations, you are to be guided by the consumer and how the strategies or tactics you are working on are spreading this further.

Our Product does it through unique content; our sales do it through 10% of annual net profits being donated to help kids in need, etc.  In this way, everyone in the company is a marketer. It is my role to make sure that we are all aligned on how we fulfill our Positive Purpose and that we are amplifying the message to as many people as possible.

The roles that modern day marketers hold have changed and are still changing rapidly with the onset of so much digital content and sharing – how has this effected how you think as a marketer?
Here are 4 ways that I find incredibly exciting that the change in the world has impacted how we market:

  1. If you listen, they will come: Social media has made the idea of listening to your consumers incredibly important. We now have the tools to get real time feedback about what’s working and what’s not. What do they want and how do they want it?
  2. Speed is of the essence: We must be more nimble in today’s environment. Consumers expect us to engage in real time dialogue and provide experiences that transcend historical ideas of what it means to be hands-on. From product co-creation to culture driven content, we must prepare and have tools that allow us to be flexible and reactive.
  3. Stand for something: Consumers have more choices on how to spend their dollars. Because of this, consumers are choosing organizations that align with their values and stand for what they stand for. I believe that business can be one of the biggest drivers of social change in the world. It’s a virtuous cycle. The more consumers vote with their dollars for brands that focus on making the world a better place, the more positive change will occur.
  4. Content isn’t king. Storydoing is: It’s not good enough to be on Facebook because you have a business. Or to create video content because you think you are supposed to. Consumers see through that. Give them real experiences. Give them content that delivers on the essence of why you exist and content that tells them why they should care. We are about spreading optimism. We want people to feel joyful and empowered when they engage with us, so we share stories of our community and how they have overcome adversity and realized that Life is good. Your content needs to matter or else it’s just noise.


What are some best practices you can share for a successful B2C content marketing program?
Build for the snackable media world; consumers want bite sized pieces of content. Segment messages by channel; give people a reason to engage across multiple platforms. Lastly, make sure your content drives the end result. What KPI’s are you focused on? What more can you do to get consumers to the next step in the purchase cycle.

Content marketing is a river; be creative, try new things and learn. When you try something, two things happen, you succeed or you learn.