No Product Ready at Launch? Content to the Rescue (B2C CMY Finalist)

Editor’s be aware: We’re sharing insights from Content Marketer of the Year finalists on the weblog earlier than we announce the winner at Content Marketing World in September. This is the first yr we’ll identify a Content Marketer of the Year in two classes – B2B and B2C.

How does an organization launch with out merchandise and nonetheless handle to hit $12 million in gross sales in its first yr? You guessed it: a superb content material technique.

Today, that firm, enterprise capital-funded Away, has offered greater than 1,000,000 items of baggage and is valued at greater than $1 billion.

Jen Rubio, Away co-founder and chief model officer, leads the empathetic, audience-first strategy to enterprise constructing. Her work at the firm landed Jen a spot on the 2019 B2C Content Marketer of the Year finalist checklist.

Audience-first business-building leads with #content material at @away. @jennifer #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Why she caught our eye: Jen supplied a glimpse into the philosophy that propelled the firm into rarefied air at the high of the shopper model pyramid in a Yahoo Finance interview. “We found a way to build a brand that emotionally resonates with people and really connects with them,” she mentioned. “Where before, luggage brands were just selling bags, and I don’t think that’s what consumers are looking for today.”

It’s no shock Jen and the Away staff have their finger on the pulse of what customers need. In the firm’s early days, they surveyed 800 folks to discover out what they wished from a suitcase (sturdy, straightforward to pull, and simple to carry), in accordance to the Yahoo Finance story.

But Jen and her co-founder, Away CEO Steph Korey, additionally considered their very own journey experiences. In truth, the two credit score a damaged suitcase on one among Jen’s journeys as the catalyst for the concept behind Away. But Jen by no means overlooked the incontrovertible fact that it’s the journey, not the suitcase, that individuals get enthusiastic about. “We didn’t get into this because of an obsession with luggage but because of an obsession with travel,” she advised Forbes.

Jen’s path to leveraging the obsession she shares with a neighborhood crammed with prospects, observers, and lively admirers holds many classes for content material entrepreneurs.

Pay for content material, get free product

Today the international Away model is understood for customer-focused merchandise that assist create nice journey experiences. The direct-to-consumer enterprise is understood for its distinctive shopping for expertise tailor-made to millennial customers. The glossy, well-designed baggage items mix perform and magnificence at accessible costs and have caught the consideration of celebrities, the style business, and Instagrammers by interesting to vacationers prepared for his or her subsequent journey.

But in 2015, when the first manufacturing run of suitcases hit a delay and wouldn’t be prepared by the holidays, Jen turned the drawback into a possibility. Away created a gorgeous hardbound e-book that got here with a present card for a suitcase that will be accessible after the holidays.

The e-book, The Places We Return To, served as an early promotional piece, that includes almost 40 high-profile journey photographers, writers, and different creatives speaking about their favourite locations. Instead of paying contributors, the model gave them a present card for a suitcase.

The e-book included stunning tales that helped the firm construct a neighborhood of stylish globetrotters and different potential prospects excited about journey content material.

The 1,200 copies of the e-book offered out. Everybody who purchased the e-book, which got here with the present card, basically purchased a suitcase.

Everybody who purchased a e-book from @Away, which got here with a present card, basically purchased a suitcase, says @jennifer. Click To Tweet


Focus on the expertise

Away’s success owes rather a lot to its partaking and highly effective content material. Jen and the staff give attention to aspirational content material and storytelling by the on-line (free) and print ($10/quarterly concern) Here Magazine. The superbly designed journey publication celebrates folks and locations through the use of journey journals, photograph essays, interviews, and metropolis guides to inform private, sincere, and compassionate journey tales.

You hear the emphasis on the journey expertise in almost each line on the publication’s web site, beginning with the mission assertion on its About web page:

“Here Magazine tells compelling, considerate, and distinctive journey tales by the lens of native, inventive, and influential folks.

“We give attention to folks as a result of they’re the pulse of a spot, defining the tradition, and creating connections price sharing. Whether about an artwork collective in the Caribbean or a hip-hop star in Vienna, every journey journal, photograph essay, interview, and metropolis information is a window into the means we see the world.

“Published by Away, a global lifestyle brand designing thoughtful objects to make traveling more seamless, Here celebrates personal, honest, and inclusive travel storytelling. Get the magazine in print, online, and sign up for our newsletter to get it in your inbox, too. We’re Here for you, wherever you are.”

Unlike conventional baggage corporations, Away steers away from speaking about product-focused options and the perceived luxurious of the gadgets. Instead, its content material has made it a trusted supply for journey info, traits, insights, and inspiration.

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Let your prospects promote the product

As former head of social media at Warby Parker, Jen understands how to harness the energy of on-line communities.

Instagram permits the model to discover visible storytelling and work together with customers straight. It additionally supplies a wealth of user-generated content material. Some of the firm’s highest-performing posts on the platform are images posted by Away prospects with the hashtag #awaytravel.

Away thanks every poster and tags them in the caption. It additionally options some reader posts in its This Week You… sequence of Instagram Stories.

Each #Instagram poster is thanked by @Away and is tagged in the caption, says @carlajohnson. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

This strategy has constructed an lively and engaged neighborhood of 117,000 followers. The superbly curated pictures generate 1000’s of “likes” and lots of of feedback.


Be prepared for change

Today, all Away model channels showcase considerate and genuine content material designed to get folks enthusiastic about the experiences a suitcase makes attainable.

In the future, the daring staff plans to additional evolve its content material technique by discovering new methods to amplify the voices of the Away neighborhood. Ultimately, Jen and crew look to buyer suggestions and response to develop (and typically pivot) their methods.

.@Jennifer & @away staff look to buyer suggestions to develop (& typically pivot) their methods. @carlajohnson Click To Tweet

That means Jen and staff repeatedly assess, pilot, and implement new platforms, companions, and applied sciences. They’ve already experimented with a podcast, celeb partnerships, and a pop-up lodge (Chez Away) in Paris throughout Fashion Week, and expansions of the model are to embrace wellness merchandise and journey attire, in accordance to Forbes.

No matter what course Jen and the firm pursue, share-worthy content material is bound to end result.

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Be amongst the first to be taught the 2019 Content Marketers of the Year – the opening act to Scott Stratten and Henry Rollins’ keynote displays. Register in the present day for Content Marketing World Sept. Three-6, utilizing code CMIBLOG100 to save $100. 

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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