The advent of e-commerce, social media and novel technologies have inspired brands and companies to walk an unusual path.
Due to the roadblocks of getting new brands and products into brick-and-mortar stores and traditional distribution channels, new brands turn to digital strategies by setting up their own online store and reaching out to customers via social media to create hype and drive sales.
There are surprising advantages of launching a new brand in this way – direct communication lines with potential and new customers and in-house marketing creative gives these brands and authentic voice that stand out amongst the big brands. Customer behaviour and feedback can provide valuable data to drive superior product development, customer service and the overall brand experience.
These are the brands which deserve applause.
A Pretty Picture: Away Travels
Away, a luggage-maker endorsed by Millennial travellers, can be considered a social media maestro thanks to its formidable use of Instagram. While established luggage brands have attempted to embrace a digital strategy, few have been able to match the effectiveness of Away. Packing in convenient price points, sleek design and meticulous construction, Away disrupted the travel and luggage industry with its visual strategy and storytelling abilities. In addition, they have managed to tap on the trend of accessible customisation, allowing customers to inscribe their initials at a cost that competitors cannot match. Using a combination of stunning lifestyle-based teasers and influencer marketing, the company managed to garner a rock-solid fanbase comprising Millennial travel addicts. As a result, most of Away’s current Instagram posts are authentic, user-generated images of real consumers using its luggage.
The Right Fit: Gymshark
While using influencers to create brand awareness is not a novel idea, few brands can claim its influencer program to be as effective as Gymshark’s. With authenticity at the core of its brand values, Gymshark used sports and fitness influencers with sizeable followings and genuine interactions to forge powerful connections with its target audience of fashion-conscious gym rats. These social content creators are also responsible for generating hype about the brand’s upcoming products, providing honest opinions about the apparel. Consequently, the influencers also double up as Gymshark’s ambassadors and are responsible for driving sales during product launch and meet-and-greet sessions.
Product Innovation: THINX
When THINX was launched in 2015, the company had a singular vision: to provide hassle-free, multi-use menstruation products that removed the need for pads and tampons. Touted as “as one of the best inventions” by TIME magazine, THINX’s moisture-wicking, leak-resistant underwear has indeed proven to be life-changing for women. Strong word-of-mouth marketing on social media and customer reviews have helped boost sales for THINX, who has emerged as a strong player in the billion-dollar feminine hygiene industry.
Community Building: Peloton
For many, Peloton is more than a mere indoor cycle start-up with streamable content – it’s an experience. Its social media strategy focuses on building a community of cyclists via its employees: fitness instructors who conduct the classes via Peloton’s vast online library. The instructors operate like celebrities in their own right, with larger-than-life personalities and commanding online presences. They draw massive crowds during meet-and-greet sessions, hyping up thousands of Peloton users to cycle along during the live riding sessions. This has given rise to thousands of tight-knit fitness communities who use Peloton to tune into cloud-based streaming services and exercise alongside other like-minded spin enthusiasts. Peloton bikes also incorporate social media into their software, allowing users to compare scores and interact with their friends in real time during the sessions.
There’s no denying that D2C companies, with their impressive use of social media and user-experience strategies, are disrupting traditional industries and global standards to cater to a modern audience. B2B companies should follow suit if they wish to see growth in profits and customer base.