How These Millennials Used Social Media To Build A Multi-Million Dollar Global Brand


[By: Kate Racovolis] [Forbes] [Read More]

Credit: Instagram.com/thedailyedited ft. Hailey Baldwin in a recent campaign

Credit: Instagram.com/thedailyedited ft. Hailey Baldwin in a recent campaign

From side hustle to global company, leather accessories brand The Daily Edited started out when two millennials, Alyce Tran and Tania Liu, were looking for a creative project outside of their day jobs as lawyers.

Based in Australia with Tran in Sydney and Liu now in China, where the products are made, this business operates like many international brands of our digital age. But there is one key difference. The Daily Edited was not only born on social media, but its success is largely owed to one platform in particular: Instagram.

The Daily Edited is among a growing number of businesses that are using social media from inception to grow their customer base and drive sales on a global scale, first locally, and then internationally.

Alyce Tran, Co-Founder of The Daily Edited (Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

Alyce Tran, Co-Founder of The Daily Edited (Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

From side hustle to global company, leather accessories brand The Daily Edited started out when two millennials, Alyce Tran and Tania Liu, were looking for a creative project outside of their day jobs as lawyers.

Based in Australia with Tran in Sydney and Liu now in China, where the products are made, this business operates like many international brands of our digital age. But there is one key difference. The Daily Edited was not only born on social media, but its success is largely owed to one platform in particular: Instagram.

The Daily Edited is among a growing number of businesses that are using social media from inception to grow their customer base and drive sales on a global scale, first locally, and then internationally.

The Daily Edited turned over $3.8 million ($5 million AUD) at the start of this year, and the company is set to reach $11.5 million ($15 million AUD) as 2016 draws to a close. Tran and Liu, both 30, also recently opened The Daily Edited’s first retail store within Australian department store David Jones, which has contributed to the brand’s earnings this year, but it’s really digital media that has generated such fast growth – also accounting for the 15% of sales that come from all over the world. “The biggest drivers of traffic to our site are our social channels but obviously Google and product placement on influencers, celebrities and press also generate sales leads for us,” says Tran.

“[Our company] wouldn’t be in existence if it weren’t for social media,” says Tran. Deciding not to take on investors early – although there were offers – Tran and Liu wanted to keep control over their business, even if it meant having to operate on a smaller budget to start. “Social media was a completely free way for us to get our brand and our aesthetic out into the market.”

Their success, interestingly, began with a failed venture. The Daily Edited started as a fashion blog in 2011, which Tran and Liu populated with items they personally loved, before adding an online store to the site, where they sold their own clothing line. But in early 2014, the two co-founders decided to fold. “The production, logistics, after customer care were hard to manage while working full-time as lawyers,” says Tran. “And as our clothing line didn’t take off to the extent our current business has, we couldn’t justify engaging staff to assist us with the project so we decided to drop it.”

The Daily Edited underwent a quick renaissance of sorts, as Tran and Liu launched a new business of the same name in July that year, this time coincidentally tapping into a global fashion trend on the rise: customized accessories. Tran took to Instagram to share the new collection, and orders starting coming in straight away. “It was, and still is, quite simply a product that I personally wanted, and couldn’t find at a price point similar to what we now provide for our customers, so we decided to do it ourselves,” says Tran. “We weren’t looking for a particular niche. We didn’t set out to grow our business to the size it has become. It has all just happened quite naturally.” 

Their concept sought to fill a gap they saw in the local and global market  to offer small leather accessories at a more affordable price point than international luxury brands, with the added option for customers to personalize their purchases with their initials, names or Emoji-like symbols. The Daily Edited’s prices start at around $50 (for a small card-holder) and reaches around $450 at the top end (for a leather overnight bag, for example). These prices fare considerably lower than many high-end leather goods brands, where handbags, for instance, retail for $2,000 or more.

Although “personalization” is a service that many international fashion labels have long offered (think Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed luggage or Burberry’s more recently released personalized perfume bottles, for example), over the past five years in particular, this trend has made its way into the mainstream. As consumers in luxury markets in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, the U.K. and the U.S. have gravitated to brands that offer more personalized shopping experiences, they also now look to purchase items that make a statement about their identity, which sometimes is as simple as putting their name on a wallet or handbag.

The same idea formed the strategy behind Tran and Liu’s brand. “On a personal level, I really dislike seeing someone else with the same clothes or accessories,” says Tran.

So what makes a “likeable,” sharable and tag-worthy Instagram post for businesses – the kind that is behind The Daily Edited’s success? And more importantly – what does it take to make it stand out among Instagram’s 500 million users around the world? Content is always king, according to Tran – a philosophy that has earned the company 127,000 followers, a number that is growing daily.

“It’s all about the content and creating imagery that people will react to and want to share with their friends,” says Tran. “I still create all of the imagery for our social channels. I feel if I put effort into creating the pictures it pays dividends in terms of engagement. The more effort generally, the more engagement.” Much of the content on The Daily Edited’s Instagram is photographed professionally, for example, giving it a polished, fashionable look that could just as easily appear in the pages of a glossy international fashion magazine. It’s posts are spaced out evenly, not over-saturating its followers’ news feeds, usually with just one or two images per day.

(Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

(Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

Although “personalization” is a service that many international fashion labels have long offered (think Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed luggage or Burberry’s more recently released personalized perfume bottles, for example), over the past five years in particular, this trend has made its way into the mainstream. As consumers in luxury markets in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, the U.K. and the U.S. have gravitated to brands that offer more personalized shopping experiences, they also now look to purchase items that make a statement about their identity, which sometimes is as simple as putting their name on a wallet or handbag.

The same idea formed the strategy behind Tran and Liu’s brand. “On a personal level, I really dislike seeing someone else with the same clothes or accessories,” says Tran.

So what makes a “likeable,” sharable and tag-worthy Instagram post for businesses – the kind that is behind The Daily Edited’s success? And more importantly – what does it take to make it stand out among Instagram’s 500 million users around the world? Content is always king, according to Tran – a philosophy that has earned the company 127,000 followers, a number that is growing daily.

“It’s all about the content and creating imagery that people will react to and want to share with their friends,” says Tran. “I still create all of the imagery for our social channels. I feel if I put effort into creating the pictures it pays dividends in terms of engagement. The more effort generally, the more engagement.” Much of the content on The Daily Edited’s Instagram is photographed professionally, for example, giving it a polished, fashionable look that could just as easily appear in the pages of a glossy international fashion magazine. It’s posts are spaced out evenly, not over-saturating its followers’ news feeds, usually with just one or two images per day.

It’s number of followers on Instagram, however, doesn’t quite capture the extent of the brand’s reach globally, having recently partnered up with Hailey Baldwin for one of its latest campaigns, going by the name of #TheHaileyEdited; a move which not only put its products directly in front of the eyes of Baldwin’s 6.5 million followers, but also, is helping to push further expansion into the U.S. market.

As a business that has capitalized on the power of social media and it’s ability to reach a global audience, Tran knows the future of international e-commerce is only going to be increasingly socially driven, where companies can communicate more directly with existing and potential customers. “People are becoming time poor, and they just want to be able to scroll through and interact with a simple platform to be informed, and purchase the things they need and desire.”

Although “personalization” is a service that many international fashion labels have long offered (think Louis Vuitton’s monogrammed luggage or Burberry’s more recently released personalized perfume bottles, for example), over the past five years in particular, this trend has made its way into the mainstream. As consumers in luxury markets in regions such as Asia, the Middle East, the U.K. and the U.S. have gravitated to brands that offer more personalized shopping experiences, they also now look to purchase items that make a statement about their identity, which sometimes is as simple as putting their name on a wallet or handbag.

The same idea formed the strategy behind Tran and Liu’s brand. “On a personal level, I really dislike seeing someone else with the same clothes or accessories,” says Tran.

So what makes a “likeable,” sharable and tag-worthy Instagram post for businesses – the kind that is behind The Daily Edited’s success? And more importantly – what does it take to make it stand out among Instagram’s 500 million users around the world? Content is always king, according to Tran – a philosophy that has earned the company 127,000 followers, a number that is growing daily.

"It's all about the content and creating imagery that people will react to and want to share with their friends," says Tran. “I still create all of the imagery for our social channels. I feel if I put effort into creating the pictures it pays dividends in terms of engagement. The more effort generally, the more engagement.” Much of the content on The Daily Edited’s Instagram is photographed professionally, for example, giving it a polished, fashionable look that could just as easily appear in the pages of a glossy international fashion magazine. It’s posts are spaced out evenly, not over-saturating its followers’ news feeds, usually with just one or two images per day.

(Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

(Image courtesy of The Daily Edited)

 

It’s number of followers on Instagram, however, doesn’t quite capture the extent of the brand’s reach globally, having recently partnered up with Hailey Baldwin for one of its latest campaigns, going by the name of #TheHaileyEdited; a move which not only put its products directly in front of the eyes of Baldwin’s 6.5 million followers, but also, is helping to push further expansion into the U.S. market.

As a business that has capitalized on the power of social media and it’s ability to reach a global audience, Tran knows the future of international e-commerce is only going to be increasingly socially driven, where companies can communicate more directly with existing and potential customers. “People are becoming time poor, and they just want to be able to scroll through and interact with a simple platform to be informed, and purchase the things they need and desire.”

Tran’s sentiment is also reflected in research on the global luxury goods industry by Bain&Co, which found that “e-commerce is also rapidly gaining ground on traditional channels at 15% compound annual growth revenue across formats and models, with new ones emerging all the time.”

If a “like” today could translate into a sale for tomorrow by first offering a product there is a genuine demand for, and second by investing in creating unique imagery an content that will engage your audience, it certainly does pay for brands to use the powers of social media to grow their audiences locally and abroad – and that is certainly the case for The Daily Edited.

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